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01 March 2011 @ 11:59 pm
White Collar Fic: Famous Last Words  
Posted to whitecollarfic


Title: Famous Last Words
Series/Universe: Vanishing Act
Pairing/Characters: Peter, Mozzie, Neal, OCs
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: Peter and Mozzie's fevered search comes to an end but not a good one
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


"Come on! Move!"

Peter hauled Amon Hostetler out of his sedan, causing the fence to shy away, grumbling at the brusque treatment.

"Enough with the pushing and shoving," Amon kvetched, pulling away and looking affronted.

"Which one is it? Where was your meeting?" Peter demanded impatiently. "Look!"

"That one," Amon pointed out after glancing around briefly. "The old restaurant."

The building was fairly dilapidated, but then the whole block was pretty much on the down and outs - a perfect place to hide away where no one asked questions and no one called the cops.

With Mozzie holding back at the car, fidgeting anxiously, Peter drew his gun and slipped through the front door after silently picking the archaic lock.

It was a former restaurant, for sure. The empty booths may have turned gray by a thick blanket of dust, but they still stood, silently waiting for patrons who might never come again.

The layout seemed pretty basic - booths along the walls, space for now missing tables in the center and the back for the kitchen.

Peter stepped soundlessly across the peeling linoleum towards the swinging doors leading to the kitchen area in the back.

He could hear movement on the other side of the doors and reminded himself for the dozenth time why he couldn't call for backup. No warrant, no probable cause, no way to explain himself to Hughes if he got caught.

Heart pounding in his chest all he could hope for was that he wasn't too late, that Neal was still alive and able to be saved.

He'd never forgive himself if all he found was a body.

With a steeling breath he gripped his gun tight and blasted through the doors.

"FBI!"

The kitchen was deserted.

Rats rustling amidst the refuse was the only sound.

o--o

"How does this sound?"

Grigori, the master forger, cleared his throat and began to read the final draft of what he had been working on.

"'I knew you wouldn't believe I would just take off like that and you were right.

I just didn't want any of you to try to stop me from doing what I had to do. There's no life left for me without Kate so I'm ending it all. I tried getting in bar fights, even went to a fight club, but it wasn't enough to end my pain so now I'm doing things the right way.

At least with the drugs it won't hurt anymore. I'll be asleep and I won't remember any of this.

Or maybe I'll dream and Kate will be with me.

Either way, it's my choice to end my life and while I'm sorry for those I leave behind I simply can't go on any longer.

-Neal'"

Dimitri just grunted. "Sounds like a girl wrote it."

"Well, our guest is rather girly compared to you," Grigori teased. "He's certainly a lot prettier." He grabbed Neal's unresisting chin and tugged it up to look at him. "Or he was before all this."

He let go and Neal's head all but thumped back to the floor. Neal stared ahead blankly, barely registering the conversation around him. He'd had enough drugs put in him to render him completely helpless and the final dose rested in a syringe in Dimitri's hand, just waiting for Grigori to perfect Neal's forged suicide note.

"Are you done yet?" Dimitri tapped the syringe on the table, looking bored.

"Almost. I just need our friend's fingerprints..." Grigori forced the sheet into Neal's limp hands, planting fingerprints just where he needed them then pushed the pen into Neal's hand as well, not caring when it fell out of his useless grasp a second later. "I think that should do it."

"Good." Dimitri got off his barstool and sauntered over to where Neal lay splayed out on the floor bonelessly, dark dried blood marring his white t-shirt and pajama pants, cold tinging his bare toes blue. "We need to get moving. There's a rumor of a stolen Vermeer hidden in Turkey. We might be able to snatch it up if we can bribe the right people into telling us where it is."

He grabbed Neal's arm and Neal put every ounce of energy he had left into pulling it away from the deadly syringe.

"Now you want to fight?" Dimitri just laughed. He crouched lower, sneering into Neal's face. "Too little, too late. Your last words have already been said." He gestured to the table where Grigori had placed the forgery under an empty old wine bottle, the irony not escaping him.

"No..." The word cost him and Neal choked as he sputtered blood rising up from his injured lung.

Dimitri just grabbed his arm and held it firm and Neal had to let the swirling gray miasma of unconsciousness suck him away as his vision faded on the needle entering his arm.

"Yes."

o--o

Peter exited the building in a huff, heading for his car before he noticed only Mozzie was waiting there.

"Where's Hostetler?"

"He called for a cab," Mozzie explained. "And given this area he had to offer a pretty big cash bribe for one to come that fast."

"This isn't the place!" Peter exclaimed, flustered gestures revealing his helplessness.

A sound behind him got him to turn around, but when he glanced back it was just two men walking out of a storefront two doors down and headings towards a sleek black sedan parked nearby.

Mozzie grabbed his sleeve, looking stricken. "Don't look!" he admonished and Peter had to fight his instincts to turn and look again. He could hear the car starting up and leaving and berated himself: a car that nice in this area should have sent up his red flags, but he was so sure Amon was right about the place he'd met Fyodor Belanov about the Vermeer.

"What?" Peter asked as they drove off.

"I don't know who the big guy was," Mozzie said, voice low with apprehension. "But the other guy was Grigori Usev - one of the top forgers in the world."

Peter's eyes widened with understanding; they were in the right area - just at the wrong address.

"Neal!"

He set off at a run to the building the men had just vacated, gun at the ready. The door was unlocked - a bad sign - and he cleared the restaurant area, almost identical to its neighbor, and burst through the swinging doors.

His eyes cleared the gutted kitchen at standing height before he looked down.

"Oh god..."

Neal lay crumpled on the floor, his body twisted unnaturally, marred by blood and mottled bruising, his once handsome face almost unrecognizable beneath the damage. Beside him was a syringe cast aside on the floor, plunger fully depressed: empty.

Peter crossed the room so fast he didn't even register he'd holstered his gun in the second and a half it took to get to him. He watched his own arms reach out and scoop up Neal's frighteningly still form from the bare concrete floor, almost as if on autopilot. Neal's head lolled as he started to lift him up so Peter pulled him in close, startled at how cold Neal's skin was when his face nestled beside his neck.

Neal cold felt wrong and Peter tried to ignore the lack of warm regular exhalations against his neck as he struggled to his feet.

There was no time, no time...

He turned on his heel and sprinted as fast as he could for the car.

"Get in the back!" he yelled to a shocked Mozzie who amazingly obeyed quickly, leaving the door open for Peter to lay Neal across the seat beside him.

"Oh my god, oh my god..." The little man's low chant stuck in Peter's ear as he ran around the car and got behind the wheel, sirens and lights on full as he peeled out and headed for the nearest hospital. "What do I do?" Mozzie asked, desperate.

"Try to keep him alive until we get him to help," Peter tossed back, driving too fast to look back in the rearview at him.

Three more turns and they would be at the emergency room.

"Peter..." Mozzie never called him that; whatever it was had to be serious.

"What?" he snapped, almost hitting a car in his rush to turn.

"He's... Neal... He's not breathing."

o--c
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on March 2nd, 2011 09:11 am (UTC)
Confession
Welcome to Part 4 in the six part series of Vanishing Act!

I confess I rewrote the following part more times than I can remember and I'm still not 100 percent thrilled with the big climactic moment.

Neal lay crumpled on the floor, his body twisted unnaturally, marred by blood and mottled bruising, his once handsome face almost unrecognizable beneath the damage. Beside him was a syringe cast aside on the floor, plunger fully depressed: empty.

Peter crossed the room so fast he didn't even register he'd holstered his gun in the second and a half it took to get to him. He watched his own arms reach out and scoop up Neal's frighteningly still form from the bare concrete floor, almost as if on autopilot. Neal's head lolled as he started to lift him up so Peter pulled him in close, startled at how cold Neal's skin was when his face nestled beside his neck.

Neal cold felt wrong and Peter tried to ignore the lack of warm regular exhalations against his neck as he struggled to his feet.


Regardless, H/C! Neal! Peter! MOZZIE! Ah, I really need to find someone who writes H/C to meet my needs because it never seems to work as well writing it for myself. There's something about already knowing what's to come that kills it for me. /sigh/

Very special thanks to First Reader photoash and beta melissima for their assistance with this fic.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
xakrasiel on March 3rd, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
This is so amazing! I want more! You are so great writer. Soon, please!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Thank you so much! All six parts are up now! Thanks for reading!
silver_falcon24: Random: you are quite persuasivesilver_falcon24 on March 2nd, 2011 09:31 am (UTC)
This fic is glorious. I'm feeling that panic. GET THEE TO A HOSPITAL, PETER. NEAL NEEDS HELP, STAT!

More soon, please. Please please and thankyou.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
You're welcome! Thank you for reading. The series is complete now so enjoy the remainder!
ladygray99ladygray99 on March 2nd, 2011 09:37 am (UTC)
You are an evil evil woman! I want the next part. Now please.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Of course I'm evil! Isn't that why you like me? Hehehe ♥
oh these heroes come and go;micheleeeex on March 2nd, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
omg, evil cliffhanger! greta chapter!!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Hee! Evil cliffies FTW! Thanks for reading!
rubynye: Tilly (Hyel)rubynye on March 2nd, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
They found him! They found him! But oh, was it in time?!?

*quivers in suspense*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm so happy you're reading this series, hon. It's all done now and I confess I'm going to miss it.
Winterwinterstar95 on March 2nd, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Just read all parts published so far! Love it and so looking forward to more! Thanks for a great story.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! The whole series is complete now so I hope you enjoy the rest of it.