Here's the last chapter. I hope those of you that read this enjoyed it, I know it's not as easy to get into a fic with no pairings, but I think if you squint you could take some shippiness from this chapter for several different potential pairings.
Logan Winter stepped into the elevator and the doors closed him in. Using one hand to adjust the position of the tamping iron in his coat, he reached with his other hand to press the button. The motion sent a pain shooting through the area, and he groaned slightly while using his other, good hand to select the second floor.
I should have walked. But that wouldn't have made much difference either. The repetitive motion of climbing stairs would be too much for his hand. The impalement hadn't seemed to have caused him the slightest harm in the beginning minus some inevitable pain from driving the tamping rod clear through his wrist, but now there was swelling and discoloration and his hand was stiffening up as if he had tetanus. He couldn't have tetanus. He was up to date on the shot.
He would go and get treatment after he helped Margaret. It was too risky now, having to come up with an explanation for his injury. If he did it afterward, even if the doctors knew the cause, it wouldn't matter. Margaret's tumor would be gone and they could arrest him or ridicule him or do whatever else they wanted, because she would be all right. And that was all that mattered, doing what was best for his little sister.
The bell dinged, signaling the arrival of the elevator to the second floor. Logan repositioned his hand so it wouldn't look suspicious and headed down the hall, smiling at one of the nurses he was familiar with, and then entered Margaret's room. "Hey there."
"Go, go go go!" Myka shouted, a half step behind Pete as the duo bolted toward the hospital doors.
"Me go? You're behind me!" Pete yelled back.
Myka reached out and grabbed his sleeve, hauling herself forward and ahead of him.
"Hey!" Pete said, reaching out to use her own trick against her.
"Oh, stop being childish," Myka said. "This'll slow us down!"
"But…but you just…" Pete gave up, running after Myka. "They should have more parking up close."
Pete and Myka entered the hospital, showing their badges to the nurses as they darted down the hall. "You know where Meredith Winter is?" Pete asked.
"Room 302," Myka said.
"Wait, we know the room number?"
"Claudia's good," Myka said, slowing slightly to take the stairs two at a time. "Okay," she said, taking a moment to catch her breath, "here we are."
Pete pushed the door open. "Winter! Stop!"
"Logan, you don't want to do this!" Myka said at the same time. Logan Winter was standing over a pale form in the hospital bed, cleaning a spot on her head. "Logan," Myka said, raising the Tesla. She was hesitant to fire lest Logan fall atop his dying sister, but hopefully it would buy her time. "Think about this very carefully."
"Oh, I have," Logan said, drawing out the tamping iron from his coat, cringing as he did so, and holding it out. "I'm going to save her."
"No," Pete said. "No, you're not. It doesn't work."
"Oh ho ho!" Logan said, wincing again as he held out his mutilated arm. "But it does!"
"Logan, that wrist is infected," Pete said. "You probably have gangrene."
"Oh my gosh," Myka said. "That's what the artifact does!"
"What?" Pete asked.
"What?" Came a voice from the pale figure in the bed.
"Logan," Myka said. "The tamping iron didn't kill Phineas Gage. He could function well enough without it to live, but he did die at a really young age. The tamping iron doesn't kill you. It keeps you alive long enough to die from something else. Gage had seizures related to his railroad incident. You aren't dying from damaged arteries in your wrist, but you will die of gangrene if you don't get help. Margaret? She'll be the same as Gage. You can get the tumor out of her head, but she'll end up with some other infection, or a seizure, and it'll kill her."
"Everyone is going to die at some point," Logan said, anger and desperation evident on his sweaty face. "At least I can give her a few more years!" He raised the tamping rod over Margaret's head, and Pete aimed his Tesla.
The voice was small, but they all heard it. Pete didn't lower the Tesla, and neither did Myka, but they glanced at each other and then looked back at the Winter siblings.
Logan was looking down at his sister. "Don't what?"
She shook her head, her thin black hair moving with the motion. "Don't remove the tumor."
"Margaret," he said, putting a hand on her arm, still holding the tamping iron up. "I can save you."
"No you can't," Margaret said. "Even if it works, it'll only buy me a couple of years. Then I'll die of something else. You heard them."
"You believe what they say?" Logan said, his body beginning to shake, as his gaze strayed from his sister momentarily to look at Pete and Myka. "Over me?"
"I didn't hear you deny that I'll only have a few more years," Margaret said. Her hand came up and momentarily rested against her brother's stomach. "I'm going to die. I've made peace with it. If I'm going to get my life back, I'd rather get it back with the promise of a long life that could end in old age than just another stolen year. I don't want to have to make peace with it again. It took too much energy to make peace with it this time."
"Logan," Myka said. "Give us the tamping iron."
"And get help for your wrist," Pete said. "I don't know if you've noticed, but it's starting to stink."
"Logan, give it to them," Margaret said. "I don't want it."
Logan looked painfully down at his sister, then put a hand over the spot where he was going to drive the tamping iron. He closed his eyes and extended the rod, in his injured hand, out toward the secret service agents.
Myka stepped forward and took it. Logan winter fell to his knees and cried.
"Hey hey!" Claudia said cheerfully when Pete and Myka arrived back at the Warehouse. "Look who's home!"
"And look who is out of solitary confinement!" Pete said when Steve turned around in his chair to smile at them.
"Out of confinement and all caught up on Revenge fanfiction," Steve said, raising an eyebrow toward Claudia.
"I read him some smut," Claudia whispered to Pete.
"All right!" he said approvingly, raising his hand for a high five.
"So where's the tamping iron?" Steve asked.
"Back in Harvard, where it belongs," Myka said. "No one knew it was missing, so they plan to just act as if it never happened. And as it wasn't causing a problem on its own, there was no need to bring it back."
"It's on our list, though," Pete said. "We'll be keeping an eye on it."
"What's going to happen to that girl?" Claudia asked.
"Well," Myka said, "she doesn't have very long to live. But, you know? She's okay with it. She understands that she's going to die and she's made her peace. Hopefully knowing that will help her brother make peace with it, too."
Pete sighed. "Cases like these bum me out a little. You know?"
Myka put her arm around his shoulders. "Yeah, I know. But sometimes using artifacts to try and prevent – or undo – someone's death…it just makes it worse."
"I know," Pete said, leaning on her slightly. "But still. It's still death. We see too much death around here."
"Hey now!" Claudia said, raising her hands. "We're not allowed to get sad right now." She looked around and then grinned, skipping over to Steve and putting her hands on his shoulders as he sat in the stairs. "Sometimes things do work out? See?" She gestured to Steve. "Exhibit A."
Steve smiled. "I love being used as the example arguing that that guy should have stabbed his sister in the head."
"Aww," Claudia said, bending over to hug him around the neck.
"Oh good, you're home," Artie said, shuffling into the room. "Everything taken care of?"
"Yes, Artie, sir!" Pete said, saluting.
"Good. Good." Artie looked at the women and Steve. "All right, lock him up."
"What?" Pete looked around, surprised, as Myka moved her arm from his shoulder to grab his arm tightly, and Claudia took up the same role on his other side. Steve darted around them to open the door. "What is this?"
"This," Myka said as she and Claudia pushed him toward the room that had held Steve capture while his voice was high pitched, "is payback for all your pranks."
Grinning, Steve held open the door, and after Myka and Claudia shoved the still protesting Pete inside, he slammed the door shut and leaned against it, using his weight to prevent Pete from attempting to escape while Myka locked the door.
"Hey!" Pete said. "Hey! This isn't fair!"
Artie, having turned around to watch, chuckled. Myka and Steve high fived, and then they took their turns high fiving Claudia.
"And now," Myka said taking a magazine from Claudia and opening it as the three of them settled down in front of the door. "We're going to look at these pictures of scantily clad ladies."
"Check her out!" Claudia said. "The skin tone, the hair, the…"
"Ugggh," came Pete's voice, immediately preceding a pounding on the door. "You guys are being so mean, stop it!"
"Oh, look at the knockers on that one!" Steve said, pointing.
"H-hey!" Pete protested. "You – you can't even appreciate those! None of you can appreciate those!"
"Hmm, not bad," Claudia said. "Though I have to say, I like this one's body type more."
"I'm with you, Claudia," Myka said, nodding, making sure her voice was loud enough for Pete to hear.
"Myka," Pete said indignantly. "If you go gay on me I won't be able to make any Bering Strait jokes!"
"And what if I go gay on you?" Claudia asked, tipping her head toward the door. "Oooh, look at the hips on this lady."
"Who would you go gay for, Claudia?" Pete asked. "Steve?"
"What?" Steve said. "That doesn't even make sense!"
From a few yards away, Artie watched their little game for another moment or two, and then chuckled again, rolled his eyes, and walked away.
So there, I know I said there'd be at least two chapters left, but I just combined the home stuff with the case stuff. That way you won't have to wait on me to update again.
Hope you guys enjoyed it! I'd been wanting to write Phineas Gage artifact fic for quite some time.