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The Fulcrum

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Lizzie walks along the boardwalk, staring out into the ocean. She remembers sitting here after the freelancer situation. It seems so long ago. She was just meeting Ray back then. After 20 years on the run, he had turned himself into the FBI and had asked to speak to her. Only her. Here she was just starting out with the FBI and a notorious criminal decides to turn himself in.

She wipes a few tears away. She didn’t know what was going to happen between her and Ray. He had just stood there, not saying a word. And the way Dembe was looking at her. She takes a seat on one of the benches and sighs. She was cold and there was a slight breeze tonight. She rubs her arms up and down trying to get some sort of warmth into them.

She jumps as she feels something being draped over her shoulders. She looks up into the kind eyes of her partner. She hastily wipes away the tears that were running down her face. “What are you doing here?” she asks. Besides Ray, Ressler had become a good friend to her. He had almost become like a brother.

“Reddington called. He said you took off.” Lizzie starts crying. “What’s going on?”

“I think I screwed up Ress. Big time. I’ve been sitting on this secret since the whole Braxton thing, and I don’t know what to do. I finally told Reddington and he just froze. Dembe had this disapproving look on his face. I’ve disappointed both of them,” Liz stops, taking in a shaky breath, trying to calm her nerves. “So, yeah, I don’t know what happens next. It’s not like I have somewhere else to go. How did you find me anyway? I don’t have my cell phone on me.”

“Reddington gave me a few places to look for you. I’ve spent the last half hour driving around the city. He sounded upset, I guess. Well, he didn’t sound like himself at least. So, I don’t know what you should do next. What’s this big secret that you kept from him?” Don asks.

“The Fulcrum,” she says gazing back out at the water.

“What is the fulcrum?” Ressler asks, staring at Lizzie.

“It’s a file. A blackmail file. If that file were to get out, some of the most powerful men would either go to jail or be executed. There is proof of some clandestine service or whatnot. Everyone thought Reddington had it, that’s why people kept going after him. That’s why he was on the run for 20 years,” Liz explains, stroking her scar.

“But he didn’t,” Ressler butts in, “have it.”

Lizzie shakes her head. “No, he didn’t. When I was under with Dr. Orchard, things weren’t really all that clear. But I think my father had something to do with it. Afterwards, I found something in my stuffed bunny from when I was kid. Aram couldn’t figure out what it was, something to do with a data storage device. Almost like a thumb drive, but way before those actually came out.”

“So, you finally told Reddington you had it.”

“Yeah, but when I found it, things weren’t going good between the two of us. I didn’t want him having it. I didn’t trust anyone with it, so I hid it. I had been thinking about it. Thinking about how to tell Ray that I had something, but I wasn’t sure if it was the fulcrum or not. And with us moving in together, I just decided to bite the bullet and give it to him, but the look on their faces. I don’t know what’s going to happen now,” Liz finishes, tearing up again.

Ressler gives her hand a quick squeeze. “I think you should talk to him Liz. I think you need to explain what you just explained to me. What does he want with this file anyway?”

Lizzie turns to look at Ressler. “That’s the thing, I don’t know. Even now, he doesn’t tell me anything. He tells me what I need to know, but that’s it. He knows things about my past, but won't tell me. ‘Wants to protect me’,” she quotes with her hands. “He’s never lied to me, so…” she trails off, trying to gather her words. “I just don’t know.”

Ressler nods, trying to find his own words. He smirks before telling her, “We could always put him in the box for a time out.”

Lizzie starts laughing before his phone starts ringing. He pulls it out his pocket and rolls his eyes. “It’s Reddington. Ressler,” he says answering. He sighs before handing the phone to Liz.

“Ray,” she says.

“Lizzie, please come home. We have much to discuss.”

“I know. I will be there in a few. I kinda walked here.”

“Dembe is waiting for you. I will see you when you get home.” Lizzie hands the phone to Ressler and stands up. She takes his jacket off, handing it back to him.

“Thank you Don,” the two start walking towards where Don had parked his SUV.

“No problem. I'm just glad I was here. If you can't turn to your partner, who can you turn to?”

Lizzie smiles and nods. “That’s very true.” She sighs as she sees Dembe getting out of the Mercedes. He opens the backdoor, then turns and offers Lizzie a zip up sweatshirt that he must have picked up off the seat. She slips it on and Red’s scent wraps around her. It must have been one of the sweatshirts that only she gets to see him wear.

“See you tomorrow Scott,” Ressler says getting into his car.

“Is he mad?” Lizzie asks Dembe as she sits in the backseat, Dembe already driving off.

“I do not know. He sent me to find you,” Dembe answers. Lizzie nods, continuing to stare out the window. They pull into the garage of the apartment building and Lizzie gets out slowly. Taking a deep breath, she walks over to the elevator and turns noticing Dembe was not behind her.

“Are you coming up?”

Dembe shakes his head. “Raymond needs me to run an errand.”

Lizzie shrugs her shoulders and hits the button for the elevator. The doors slide open only to reveal Ray standing there. He grabs her hand and pulls her into the elevator and twists them around, pinning her to the wall. “Ray?”

“I love you Lizzie. That will never change.”

“I love you,” she gets out before Red captures her lips with his.

He breaks the kiss. “Everything else doesn’t matter. What matters is I. LOVE. YOU.” He presses himself against her, kissing her senseless. Lizzie wraps her arms around his neck, returning the kiss. He was right, nothing else matters but this. Them.