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All On My Lonesome

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Neal decided that if he ever wanted to kidnap someone, he would use something that was not made of rope to tie their hands. Something satin, maybe. But not rope. Because rope fucking hurt.

“The last guys had air conditioning,” he said pointedly, “Maybe you should look into that. It’d be a lot more comfortable for both of us.”

His reply was a harsh slap.

“Okay, then how about a drink? Of course, my hands are tied, so maybe you could just tip the bottle—”

“Shut up!” the guard snapped.

“I hear that a lot,” Neal smirked, “Apparently it’s an issue. I just don’t see it.”

He was actually having fun. No one except this one guy had been here since he’d woken up in the very empty and boring room. With nothing else to occupy his time, Neal began his favorite game of pissing off whoever was around, aka Douche Face.

“I think your big boss or whoever is running late. Either that or I was brought to this party way too early in which case I’m disappointed. You should work on your timing skills.”

He could see the man’s grip tighten on his gun and it swung with him when he turned to shoot Neal a glare. “I said shut up.”

Neal gave the weapon a disgusted look. “Yeah, is the safety on? Cuz that thing is right by my—”

Another backhand, this time hard enough to make him bite his lip so that blood started flowing. Oh well. At least the gun was away from him. He seriously doubted this guy’s credibility as an evil lackey. Didn’t he know how to carry a weapon?

Neal spit on the floor and smiled pleasantly. “Okay.”

It wasn’t much longer before the silence started bothering him again, though, and he tilted his head. “Got a pack of cards? I know you gotta be bored too.”

He eyed the gun again as it swung toward him and the guard growled, “Do you want me to break your face?”

“Already did that,” Neal said, “And I’m pretty sure your boss wouldn’t be too happy if— Okay, you know what? I’m trying my best to be polite, here, but if you point that gun at me one more time, there will be trouble.”

The man laughed shortly, purposely moving the gun close enough to rest the tip against Neal’s forehead. “That better?”

Neal smirked. “That’ll do.”

He’d already slipped one hand out of the ropes, quite painfully, and he used it to reach swiftly for the gun. In one sharp movement, he hit the guard in the face with it as hard as he could, which turned out to be pretty effective.

With the guard on the floor, he freed his other hand checked the gun. He didn't like guns, but there were three bullets in it. Bullets were a good deterrent.

The door was unlocked (idiots) so he peered out into the hallway and immediately had to duck back inside to avoid a bullet to the face. Shouts filled the area and Neal sighed. It was going to be that way then.

He stayed close and listened, his hand resting on the door handle until he heard someone on the other side. Quickly, he shoved the door open, knocking the man back, then stuck the gun in his face. “I’ll take that neat little pistol you got there.”

The guy dropped it reluctantly and lowered his gaze to the floor, but Neal caught his eyes darting to the left and whirled around just in time to pistol-whip a new guard in the face. Turning back to the other, he stuck the gun back in his face. “Where were we? Oh yeah, you were gonna tell me exactly how many more people are here and where the exit is.”

The man swallowed nervously, looking cross-eyed at the gun. “Assuming you killed Jared in there? Just two more besides me. And the- the way out is d-downstairs to the left.”

“So helpful,” Neal smiled, then knocked him out as well before heading towards the stairs. The pistol was comforting to have with him, but he still felt exposed.

He descended the stairs silently, glancing every which way for the other two guys — if there were only two. People tended to lie when they thought they were going to be killed anyway.

A bullet through the shoulder spun him around, but he kept his hold on the gun, biting back a scream as the wound throbbed with pain. No time to worry about it. The shot had come from behind.

He spotted movement and took his shot, a shout of agony only providing him with a little satisfaction. Before the guy could stick another bullet in him, Neal rushed over and kicked his gun away, aiming the pistol downward to where the man was writhing in pain, clutching his leg.

Just to be sure, Neal asked the same questions, getting the same answers, so at least he could be pretty confident that there was only one man left and that the exit should be back down the hall. “It’s not that deep,” Neal assured him, jaw tight as he tried to ignore his own bullet wound. “Leave it alone and it’ll be fine.” He quickly knocked that guy out and turned back towards the exit.

But instead of heading towards it, he took a quick glance around before retracing his steps and jogging back upstairs. He didn’t feel comfortable knowing there was another man with a gun running around somewhere and if he wanted the upper hand, he needed bullets, for one, and maybe something with a little more boom.

Back in the interrogation room, he dug through the drawers of the one desk and found a box of ammunition (not for this gun, though), some gum (which he pocketed just because), a taser (also quite handy), and his phone. This, he inspected closely and, once he confirmed that it hadn’t been tampered with, dialed a number.

“Peter.”

“Neal! Where the hell have you been? You were supposed to meet back at the van four hours ago!”

“Relax. You know how to trace a cell. Trace this one for me.”

"You're crazy, Caffrey.”

A slight noise from the stairs made Neal duck behind the desk and he whispered, “Gotta go. I’ll leave the line open.”

He set the phone back on top of the desk and brought his gun up to count the bullets. Only one. Great. He contemplated going out for the bigger gun on the floor, but it was too risky. The last man was waiting for him to make the first move.

Another quick glance around the room gave him nothing, but he did feel much better with the taser sitting nicely in his belt loop.

While he had time, though, he took off his shirt so he could wrap up the bullet wound in his shoulder. Just as he was trying it tight, a voice spoke from the doorway, startling him a bit.

“You gonna come out or do we have to do this the hard way?”

Neal held his gun securely, eyeing the open door, but seeing no one there. “I was hoping we could talk. Y'know, I’m pretty sure you’re going down already, so humor me.”

A laugh, then the man stepped out from behind the open door, his own gun held out front. “I prefer to just kill you. You’re not worth the trouble. Besides, I know you’re just buying time.”

“Smart guy,” Neal said, keeping his aim steady as he stepped away from the desk. “But I think you value your life more than that.”

The other man’s blazing blue eyes stared back calmly as he also stepped closer. “Even if you were right, it doesn't matter. I’ve got backup of my own coming this way. You can’t fight you way past reinforcements.”

Neal stifled a laugh. “Um… I already did. Or did you not see the rest of your guys out there? Pretty sure I can weasel my way out of this one.”

The other man’s expression softened in mock concern. “Oh my, but you’re injured.”

“I’ve had worse.”

“And you’ll have worse again.”

Neal darted out of the way just in time when he saw the other guy’s hand tighten on the trigger. Safely tucked behind the cover of the metal desk, he shot off his last bullet, but the man also dodged it, scrambling back out into the hall.

“That was a mistake, Halden!”

“I don’t make mistakes,” Neal called back, already sneaking along the wall towards the door.

“You made a big one when you defied me. What’s your plan now, huh?”

Neal didn’t answer, pressing himself against the wall just inside the door and waiting. Sure enough, the other man peered inside again and Neal got him in the chest with the tazer.

“That’s my plan,” he growled to the twitching body on the floor, but he didn’t have time for much else because the sound of a timer was much more pressing.

Neal stood and it was then that he spotted the device stuck to the wall on the other side of the doorway.

He had less than ten seconds.

Not having much time to think, he turned tail and ran, sprinting towards the end of the hall and the window that he really hoped wasn’t too high above the ground.

He was counting down in his head and when he put his head down and threw himself through the glass, he was at five.

Hitting the ground was jarring, at the very least, but he rolled with the impact and probably saved himself a broken leg or two by doing so.

Two seconds and he scrambled to his feet, taking a few running steps before a deafening explosion shook the very air around him and as he felt heat on his back, he hit the ground, covering his head as bits of building rained down around him.

Ears ringing, he laid there for a moment, just getting his bearings back and doing a mental check.

Shoulder hurt like a bitch even more so that before, legs were a little shaky and sore from the landing, back was stinging from the explosion, one arm was scraped up pretty good as well, but considering what could have happened, he was damn grateful for nothing too serious.

That explosion had been loud, though, and he groaned at the ache in his head from it, holding his hands over his ears and bringing them away stained with blood. He added that to the list.

Slowly, he rolled into a sitting position and stared at the mess the explosion had left behind. Not pretty at all.

He almost didn’t hear the car approaching, that ringing noise still blocking out most sound, but he did eventually notice and turned around to see a familiar and welcome van pull up nearby and three familiar and welcome figures came running.

Neal grinned at Peter, who gaped in shock at the building — or what was left of it — and said something Neal couldn’t catch.

Neal pointed to his ears, probably talking really loud when he said, “I can’t hear a word you’re saying. It’s kinda nice.”

Sarah and Casey looked a little miffed that they’d missed out on the action, and Neal just smiled to himself as he followed them back to the car.

He’d gotten himself out with no help whatsoever. No CIA saving his ass and complaining about him getting himself into these situations, no Casey to make him look like an idiot by blowing stuff up and kicking butt. No, this time, he’d done it himself, and that was something he was proud of.

Peter even offered him a smile and a nod while Casey simply wrote on a piece of paper, ‘Good job, punk. P.S. Next time, leave some for us.’