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The last thing Kate had expected that evening was for Red to turn up on her doorstep unannounced. The moment she came face to face with him, she knew she couldn’t just shut the door in his face.
“Raymond?”
“Hello Kate.”
Kate hesitated, her heart began to race, knowing her gun wasn’t close.
“I’m not here to hurt you Kate?”
“Then why, and how did you find me?”
“Can I come in…please.”
She saw the flash of pain that crossed his features, before she nodded, standing to the side to allow him inside. He wavered slightly, Kate without really thinking immediately had her arm around his waist.
“Your hurt?”
“You could say that.” He said breathlessly.
“You ought to sit down dearie.”
“KATE…who was that at the…what the hell, Kate?”
“Ellie, get me my first aid kit, it’s under the sink and some alcohol.”
“But Kate what…”
“DO IT…please dearie.”
Ellie saw the panic and fear in Kate’s eyes and ran off to do as the older woman had asked. Kate guided Red through to her front room, lowering him down slowly on to the sofa, a pained noise escaping his lips. Red watched Kate closely as she helped him off with his jacket before she unbuttoned his waistcoat and shirt, the flood seeping through as she examined the damage.
“You’ve been shot?” She stated as she looked up at him.
“Yes.”
“Who?”
“No one you know, a deal gone wrong.”
“Was anyone else hurt?”
“No one that matters, not from our side…I was alone.”
“Where’s Dembe?”
“I gave him the evening off, he had plans with his daughter.”

Kate stopped what she was doing when Ellie walked back in to the room, passing Kate the first aid kit and the bottle of vodka that she had been holding.
“Will I get some towels or something?”
“Would you dearie, upstairs in the linen cupboard.”
Ellie gave a quick nod before disappearing again, leaving Red and Kate alone.
“A friend?” Red asked.
Kate looked up, closing her eyes briefly before she answered him.
“Yes.”
“A good friend.”
“That’s none of your business dearie.”
Red watched her closely as she cleaned up the blood around his wound, so much attention being paid to the task at hand.
“How did you find me?” She finally asked.
“I have my ways.”
“Raymond please…if you’ve come here to…”
“I haven’t come here to hurt you Kate, I never should have shot you in the first place, I shouldn’t have done any of what I did.”
“You were angry…we both were.”
“Do you regret what you did to me?”
“I really haven’t thought about it, that’s my honest answer. When I jumped off that bridge, I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, I’d either die from the impact or by some miracle, I’d survive.”
“You’re like a cat, the chances you’ve been granted.”
“I broke a few bones, but I survived. I could have come after you again, but I chose instead to start fresh. We both did unspeakable things to one another, you shouldn’t have pulled that trigger and I shouldn’t have gone as far as I did in trying to destroy you, digging up those victims…it was my biggest mistake.”
“I am so very sorry Kate.”
“Me too, but what’s done is done and there’s no going back. What we once had, we can’t get back.”

Ellie rushed in with the towels, passing them to Kate, noticing how they both went quiet when she came in to the room.
“Thank you dearie, now Raymond, I’m not going to lie to you…this is going to hurt so prepare yourself.
Red undid the bottle of vodka, taking a few large gulps from the bottle as Kate brought out a long tool from her kit.
“What the hell is that?” Ellie gasped.
“It’s to remove the bullet, it’s called a bullet extractor.”
“Why the hell do you even have that? Kate?”
Kate chose to ignore Ellie as she nodded to Red that she was about to start. Ellie looked on in sheer horror as Red screamed out in pain as Kate worked on removing the bullet. The noise seemed to go on and on, Ellie’s hand covering her mouth from fear. Everything went quiet moments later as Ellie watched Kate drop the bullet in to a tissue, before she began to stitch up the wound.
“I’ve done the best I can Raymond but I think I need to take you to the hospital, in case of infection?”
“No, no hospitals…please. I’ll be okay.”
Kate looked at him, unconvinced by his answer but if he had chosen not to go to hospital then there was very little she could do about it.
“It’s late, you should try and get some rest. You can stay here tonight, I’ll get you some painkillers to help with the pain, I’ll be back in a moment.”
Ellie stood to the side, as Kate walked past her, heading upstairs. The room went silent as Red looked at the younger woman.
“I’m sorry I interrupted your evening Ellie.”
“Who are you, why did you come here?”
“I’m a fr…I was once a good friend of Kate’s. We haven’t spoken in over a year, a friend gave me her address.”
“Why didn’t you just go to hospital instead of getting Kate involved? She’s a good person.”
“Yes, she is. I’m sorry for coming, but I didn’t know what else to do.”
“Just promise me you’ll be going in the morning, I don’t want her mixed up in anything illegal.”
“I won’t out stay my welcome, I give you my word.”

Kate walked back in to the room, Ellie going quiet as she watched Kate pass Red two pills and a glass of water.
“We’ll leave you to rest, if there’s anything you need during the night, just come and wake me.”
“Thank you Kate.” He said softly, taking hold of her hand.
“Not at all dearie, good night.”
Kate left as Red got settled on the couch, Ellie going after Kate…walking up the stairs to their bedroom. Ellie closed the door behind them as Kate made her way over to the bed, removing her watch from her wrist before looking up to see Ellie with anger on her face.
“Dearie?”
“Would you mind explaining to me what the hell is going on?”
“Ellie I…”
“Kate, I don’t want lies. I always wondered why you never spoke about your past and now I’m beginning to see why. Who is that man and how the hell did you learn how to remove a bullet…who the hell are you?”
“I’m Kathryn Nemec, the woman you fell in love with.”
“Is that your real name?”
Ellie saw the way Kate’s expression changed.
“KATE?”
“That is my real name, but back when I knew Raymond, I went by the name Mr Kaplan.”
“Mr Ka….what?”
“It’s difficult to explain.”
“WELL TRY.”
“I worked for him for over twenty years.”
“You worked for him? As what?”
“His cleaner.”
“Of course you did, no lies Kate.”
“I’m not, I was his cleaner, just not the type of cleaner you’re thinking off.”
“What other kind is there?”
“His name is Raymond Reddington, he was once one of the FBI’s most wanted men, he made a deal with them. His freedom in exchange for information. The people Raymond killed, I cleaned them up afterwards.”
“You cleaned up murders?”
“Yes dearie.”
“Oh my god…I….”
“Ellie…”
“It’s like I don’t even know you, the woman I’ve been sleeping with for over a year turns our to be a fucking criminal.”
“I’m not a…”
“You helped him Kate, that makes to complicit. You’re no better than him.”
“I’m not that person any more.”
“I’m just supposed to believe that, am I.”
“I’ve done terrible things, yes. Do I wish I could turn back the clock and change that, of course I do, but I can’t. What’s done is done, any relationship I had with Raymond ended before I met you.”
“Why?”
“Sorry?”
“Why did it end, why did it take you twenty plus years to walk away.”
“The truth…he shot me.”
“He…what.”
Ellie looked like she wanted to throw up when Kate told her, tears suddenly in her eyes as she walked over to Kate, her arms coming around the older woman’s waist before she kissed her.
“Why are you helping him then, if he did that to you then why help him.”
“I couldn’t turn him away, whatever we’ve done to one another, I can’t let him walk away injured. We both did things to one another we regret.”
“He shot you.”
“I know, and in return…I destroyed him, those victims I cleaned up for him, I kept a note of where they were buried, when he shot me, I was so angry and I wanted revenge, I was hell bent on it. I went after his business, his money and I dug up those victims and blackmailed him.”
“Jesus Kate.”
“I’m not proud of it, if I could take it back I would but I can’t.”
“Where were you hurt, where did he shoot you?”
“In the head, I was lucky to survive.”
“Wait, your migraines? They’re because of what he did to you?”
Kate could only nod her head before Ellie wrapped her in a hug.
“Promise me he will be gone by tomorrow?”
“He will be.”
“I don’t condone the things you’ve done, but that’s not the woman I’ve been in a relationship with. I love you, you know that…I won’t walk away from you, just promise me he’ll never come back here.”
“He won’t, and anyway, I’ve been thinking about your job offer.”
“London, I told you…nothings definite.”
“You should do it, I think the move is just what we need.”
“But this is your home.”
“No dearie, my home is where ever you are.”
“Are you sure.”
“Positive.”
“Okay then, I’ll call Jacob in the morning, we should get some sleep and make sure he leaves tomorrow.”
“Yes, and don’t worry…he won’t be stopping by again. I won’t risk us, not for anything.”
“Good, and when we do have some time, you’re going to tell me everything about you, all of it, the good and the bad…deal?”
“It may change how you see me, are you ready for that?”
“Probably not, but if you really want us to work, then I need to know. I maybe angry for a while, but I will get over it because I love you.”
“I love you too.”

The next morning Kate was in the kitchen pouring coffee when she felt someone behind her, turning to see Red watching her. His shirt and jacket back on.
“Coffee?”
“Please.”
Kate added two sugars to one of the cups before passing it to him, watching him closely as he drank his coffee.
“How are you feeling this morning?”
“Still sore but better than I felt last night. I can’t thank you enough.”
“It’s quite all right.”
They both looked behind them when Ellie walked in and over to Kate, her arm going around her shoulder before kissing her.
“Good morning.” She smiled.
“Morning dearie.”
“Mr Reddington, you’re still here?” She stated.
“I was just leaving, Kate walk with me.” He said.
Kate kissed Ellie, squeezing her hand before she followed Red down the hallway towards the door. Red stopped, opening the door before he turned to Kate.
“Thank you Kate, for tending to me last night. I know you didn’t have too.”
“Whatever has happened between us, I wouldn’t have turned you away.”
Kate looked in to Red’s eyes, seeing sadness in them. Something she hadn’t seen in a long time.
“I’m so sorry for the way things turned out between us, I know I can never make it up to you, perhaps we can start fresh, try to move on from…”
“Raymond no, look you were a very big part of my life and perhaps somewhere buried deep down, I still care about you. Whatever friendship we had, any trust we had for one another, it died that day in the woods. We’ve both moved on, I’m happy with Ellie, I love her and I think it’s better if this were the last time we ever saw one another.”
Red looked down at the floor, tying to regain his normal composure.
“That day will haunt me for the rest of my life, all it would have taken was for me to stop myself and we’d still be the way we were.”
“But we’re not and that won’t change, move on Raymond. It’s better this way, we both deserve a fresh start, far away from one another as possible.”
“Does that include Dembe, you know he still cares about you.”
“I know he does, it doesn’t take a genius to work out he’s the one who told you where I was.”
“I think he wants things back to the way they were too.”
“Tell him, I’m always at the end of a phone and he can come and see me whenever he has the time off.”
“Time off.”
“I’m moving, Ellie has a job prospect in London. It feels like the right time, I need too.”
Red smiled before he leaned in and kissed Kate on the cheek, lingering a little longer than normal.
“Take care Kate…and have…a wonderful life with Ellie, god knows you deserve it.”
“Thank you Raymond, stay out of trouble won’t you…for me.”
“I can’t make any promises, but I’ll try. Goodbye Kate.”
“Goodbye Raymond.”
Kate gave one last smile before the door closed behind her, Raymond Reddington walking out of her life forever.

-Fin