As Lizzie and Leon made their way down the short hallway to the safe, she had a moment to reflect on how pathetic the day's events had made her feel.
She wanted to be taken seriously as a field agent, and instead, she played the damsel in distress not once, but twice in this single day. It was enough to hurt anyone's ego.
The two quickly reached their destination, where the bank manager lay unconscious beside the open safe. "He'd served his purpose," Leon spoke in way of explanation. Motioning with the gun, he led Lizzie into the safe, closing the door behind them.
"This is your plan? Locking us both in the safe?"
"You have a better idea?"
"Give it up and turn yourself in?" Liz asked, sounding more hopeful than she felt.
"Not likely. Something's up here, but damn if I know exactly what it is. I just get this feeling if I go back out there, I'm not leaving this building alive." He had a crazed look in his eyes, as he held her close to his body. The gun stayed firmly planted to her head, but his head was swiveling in every direction, as though he could magically find an exit in the sealed room.
"Look, I promise you, if you turn yourself in, it's the best option for you. For both of us. Do you really think I want anything bad to happen?
"That's real kind of ya, miss, but I just need a minute to think, to figure this out." It didn't appear to Liz as though Leon was capable of figuring anything out in that moment, nothing about him appeared capable of being rational.
Both of their thoughts were interrupted as the safe door opened in front of them.
"I thought you closed that?"
"Apparently I didn't close it all the way." He pulled her even closer to him, impossible though she thought that would be.
Liz was hardly surprised to see that Dembe was the one behind the door. He entered slowly, his hands held in the air, in a symbol of peace or surrender, she wasn't sure.
"Please don't be alarmed, I'm just here to talk." Dembe weighed the air of the small room and could see immediately the seemingly crazed state of the man holding Agent Keen. This was going to be quite difficult.
"Just hold it right there, now, pal, no one's coming in here, ya understand?" He backed himself into a corner of the safe. Dembe sucked in a breath, knowing how a caged animal can sometimes behave. Being backed into a corner was never a good place to be. Leon removed the gun from Liz's head and pointed it towards the large man before him. "You set that gun down, now, hear me? Set it down or I'll shoot you, then her."
Dembe didn't move.
"Put down the fucking gun!" Leon was shouting now, losing his grip on the situation. Who was this guy? He certainly didn't look like a cop. What the hell was going on? It was all taking its toll on his ability to size up the situation. That was doing nothing to ease the tension that was taking over his mind. How had he ended up in this situation? It was the middle of the afternoon. On a weekday. This was supposed to be a simple job.
Dembe looked Agent Keen in the eye and she returned his gaze, her own hard, trying to appear strong. Dembe smiled back at her gently. The gun was still in his hand.
"What are you smiling about?" Spittle from his shouts landed on Liz's face and she jerked her head in surprise. Leon had the gun back on her in an instant. "You trying to get away from me? Don't you try and get away from me, I'll kill you. You hear me? I'll kill you!" His shouts were growing higher in pitch by the second.
Dembe had the gun down and aimed at Leon in a moment. "I'll ask you to please take the gun away from her now." Leon didn't budge.
"You get your gun on the ground and I'll take the gun away from her." His eyes were locked back with Dembe. "Do it. Now!"
Finally, Dembe began to squat down, never letting his gaze leave the two. He slowly began to lower the weapon to the floor of the room. Before he had a moment to set it all the way down, though, he was struck from behind by the safe door opening even further. Dembe sprawled forward as the gun spilled from his grasp.
Behind him, Ressler and Red entered the room. Ressler had his weapon now pointed on Leon, while Red rested his tired body against the wall of the room.
Red's vision was growing weaker by the moment and he felt so very tired, but seeing Lizzie there before him gave him the relief he needed to go on for a bit longer.
"Agent Ressler, FBI! Lower your weapon."
"Where are all of these people coming from?!" Leon finally screamed aloud. "No, I don't think I'll be putting my weapon down. Now why don't you and your friend just get on out of here?"
"Not without Agent Keen." Ressler responded, voice flat and calm.
"Agent?" Leon looked down at the girl in his arm, confusion spreading across his face.
Red felt his eyes roll up towards the ceiling. Oh boy, Donald, he thought to himself. Well, it hardly matters now I suppose. He struggled forward to stand straight and tall beside Ressler, trying to appear as intimidating a force as normal.
Liz felt the gun pressing into her head, much further than was comfortable. Leon had eyes only for her, and anger was beginning to replace the confusion and terror that had been present over him the last few minutes. "Agent." It wasn't a question this time. Leon just sounded angry now. "Agent Keen. You've been telling stories, haven't you?"
Liz felt the color rushing to her face, for some reason embarrassed to have been caught in their lie.
"Let me guess," he began, pointing the gun momentarily at Red, "this fella isn't your father, either, is he?"
Ressler found himself glancing at Red, his jaw dropped slightly, completely unsure of what he may have just walked into the middle of.
"No." Red responded for her, his voice deeply serious. "I'm not her father, but if you don't remove that gun immediately, I will make sure that you regret that decision. Immediately."
Leon actually laughed in response to Red's threats. "Oh really? And how are you going to do that?"
In the aftermath, Liz was still unsure of what exactly it was that she saw happen, but there was one thing for certain. One thing that Red did that sent her into a cold sweat. No one else in that room would have responded to the look that came across Red's face in that moment the way Liz did. But, then again, no one in that room, besides Red and herself, had been there with the Stewmaker in his final moments.
Red's eyes were wide, his nose flared. His mouth formed a hard line.
Liz had only seen that look cross his face once. She had hoped never to see it again. For Leon, she began to shake.
It was all over in an instant.
Ressler's eyes had been on Leon and Liz, trying to figure out how to get everyone out of this situation in one piece. He, too, couldn't have said exactly what happened afterwards, because it was all over so quickly.
But for Red, it was all as though it moved in slow motion. His arm shot out to the left, grabbing the gun from Ressler's hand. An expression of shock crossed Leon's face for a brief moment and a momentary thought passed through him to do something. His arm moved from Liz, towards Red, but Red was already pulling the trigger. In an instant, Leon was on the floor, a circular mass discoloring his forehead.
Liz crumbled to the floor beside him, grasping her stomach as the excitement of the last few minutes washed over her.
Red, too, fell to the floor, satisfied, now, that Lizzie was safe.
Dembe went to him, picking Red up with ease. "Shall we leave now, Agent Ressler?"
Donald blinked a few times, still unsure of how this had all gone so awry, so quickly. He struggled to find words, but they wouldn't come. In the end, he simply shook his head in the affirmative, and Dembe exited the room, waiting in the hallway for the FBI agent to lead them out.
Liz found the strength to stand and went to her partner, picking his gun up from the ground, where Red had dropped it. She ran a reassuring hand along Donald's arm and motioned for the two of them to leave. He nodded to her as well, taking his gun as the two walked out.
Once outside, Cooper had Red placed into a prepared ambulance. A profile had already been prepared for him at the hospital, he just hoped that it would hold up.
The doors were closing on the ambulance door when Liz jumped into the back. The EMT inside was about to kick her out, when she flashed her badge at him, "I'm going with." It wasn't up for debate. Instead of wasting his time, the EMT returned his attention to Red.
Somewhere in the time they had taken to leave the building, Red had lost consciousness. But now his eyes were wide open once more. "Lizzie."
"Shh, Red, I'm right here."
"Lizzie, I have to tell you something." His voice was as weak as ever and she felt fear pooling inside of her. "In case…in case. I have to tell you why…"
She place a finger to his mouth, shaking her head. "No. You said I needed to figure things out for myself. That you could lead me to the answers, right?" A small smile quirked in the corner of his mouth. "Where's the fun if you tell me the answers?"
"I came here today to tell you everything, you know."
"Really? You made it seem, at one point that you were going to kill me."
"I just wanted to shake things up a bit, nothing more." His eyes were fluttering shut once again.
She was ready for him to slip back in to unconsciousness, and she herself was ready to drift away for a bit. Suddenly, he was awake and looking at her once more. "Lizzie, you are strong. Never forget that. Never forget what happened here today. You may hate me, and that's fine, but I'm never going to stop being there for you. I hope you realize we're in this together. At least until I reach the end of the list."
His eyes were closed one more and she was quite certain it was for good this time. Regardless she leaned close beside his ear and whispered, "I don't hate you."
A/N: THE END! Aren't you all proud of me? First Fanfic I ever finished. I know I had said I was going to do an epilogue, but I was pretty happy with where this ended, so...
Maybe I'll have another idea for this show inside of this story's little universe, but who knows. I'm just proud of myself for finally finishing a story at the moment, I'll take pride in that personal victory.
Anyways, hope you all enjoyed! I decided in the end to leave Red's secret vague. I had originally planned on it to be a ship fic, then I stopped shipping Lizzington (well as a romantic ship, anyways). Then I was going to have it be father/daughter, but I'm less sure now that that's the case either (pretty sure there related, but who knows). Figured that a vague ending was stronger. Leaves more to the imagination. Lets you fill in your own blanks!