That was all Leo could think about as he and Vincent slowly raised their hands in the air. They were so fucking close. After everything they had done- escaping prison, finding Harvey, finally killing that fucker- it was all for nothing. Leo could see nothing in front of him but flashing lights and a ton of cops armed to the teeth. There didn’t seem to be any way around this, and Leo couldn’t think of any ideas. He glanced over at Vincent, and he looked just as nervous as he was. Damn. If Vincent couldn’t think of a way out of this, then they were really screwed.
“Everybody stand down!”
The one man that wasn’t in a uniform stepped out from the crowd of cops, holding a pistol in his hand. He must be the one in charge. He marched forward until he stood in front of the two men. He glared at Leo for a moment, then at Vincent. Both men stayed still and silent. Then he stepped towards Leo and reached up for his vest. Before Leo could say anything, he had already taken the Black Orlov. He observed the stone in his hands for a moment before putting it in his pocket. He glared for a moment before waving a hand at the cops behind him.
“Cuff ‘em, boys.”
A few cops lowered their weapons and ran forward, holding metal cuffs. Leo’s mind was racing now. Thoughts of his home, his family, the fear of going to prison and never being able to see them again were flashing through his mind. And Vincent… he just became a father, and now he might never get to hold his daughter again.
Leo and Vincent looked at each other- concern for the other in both of their eyes- before the cops came up and grabbed them. They placed the cuffs on their wrists in an instant. They were way too tight, but Leo said nothing about it. They were each being pushed away from the plane and towards separate squad cars. The cops holding Leo were gripping him hard enough to leave bruises, but he just stayed quiet. He looked over at Vincent in time to see the cops who were holding him suddenly push him hard against the cop car, and his anger sparked.
“Hey, leave him alone-!”
The cops holding Leo forcibly shoved him into the back of a car. He sat up and peered out the window. He could see Vincent being led into the car, and he felt as if someone had punched him in the gut. What was going to happen to them? The car started up and slowly started to drive off. Leo kept his eyes on Vincent for as long as he could before his figure was too small to see.
“Alright, uncuff him.”
The cops released Vincent and one took the cuffs off him. Everything so far had been going according to his plan. His new, improvised plan that is. Just hours ago, while they were still in the air, Vincent had told Emily to radio the squad and warn them not to reveal who he was to Leo when they landed. He knew he had sounded crazy, but at the time he didn’t care. He had been more concerned about Leo and what his reaction would be. He was brash and aggressive, and finding out that Vincent had lied to him- at least, like this- would not have been a good idea.
The captain walked up to Vincent and held up his hand.
“Good job, Vincent.”
“Thanks, James,” Vincent shook his hand. “Glad you got my message in time.”
“Yeah, sure,” the captain folded his arms. “So, you want to tell me what the point of all that was?”
Vincent gulped and glanced away from his captain. “If Leo had found out that I was undercover now, he would’ve gone nuts,” he gave his excuse quickly. “He would’ve done something stupid, probably hurt someone. It’s better to keep him calm.”
“Huh. You can read him pretty well…”
Vincent gulped, but nodded. He certainly wasn’t going to give him the real reason, of course. He turned his head to look out at the road and his eyes landed on the squad car that Leo was in. He felt a knot form in his gut as he stared after it.
“So, what happens now?” he asked.
“We’ll bring the diamond back to its rightful home,” James answered, patting the coat pocket that held the stone. “And Caruso will be prosecuted for the crimes he has committed. No doubt he will be there for a long time. Speaking of which,” he turned to face Vincent. “I’m going to need you to write your report of everything that happened. I need it on my desk as soon as possible, understood?”
The first thing Vincent did when he got home was take a shower. It had felt like an eternity since he had been properly clean. The showers in prison weren’t exactly superb, and he had been on the run for a good month without bathing now. The water was hot; just what he needed. For a long time, all Vincent did was stand in the shower and let the water splash on him. For a brief moment, his mind was empty, and that gave him time to collect himself and relax.
His mind went in many different directions. Harvey was dead, his brother was avenged. His wife was safe, and his daughter was healthy and beautiful. The Black Orlov would be returned to its proper place. And… all that left was Leo. Leo… Just the thought of him made his head spin and put a heavy weight on his chest.
“Hey, I’m Leo.”
“Hey, listen, thanks.”
Vincent sighed, leaning his hand against the shower wall. Everything that had happened felt so surreal, almost like a violent dream. But, it was so far from it.
“It’s my plan, and I decide what goes down. You got that?”
“Sure. Whatever you say.”
What would become of Leo now? He must be in the cells below the precinct now, waiting to be interrogated. Would he talk this time? Would he stay silent? Would Vincent see him? Did he have the strength to see him now?
“I mean it, man. You fuck this up, I’ll kill you myself.”
Vincent is positive that if Leo had discovered who he was when they got off the plane, he would have grabbed the nearest gun and shot him down. That was, admittedly, the only other reason why he was so keen on keeping who he was on the down-low for now. The main reason was one that he wasn’t ready to admit to anyone but himself.
Vincent stepped out of the shower, grabbing a towel to dry himself off. He stood in front of the foggy mirror and wiped some of the water off. He saw his face for what felt like the first time in years. Thinner, tired, a little scruffier. He had had that same mustache for years since he had joined the force and had never let his facial hair grow out like this before going undercover. He kind of liked it now.
Vincent stared at his reflection for a moment and sighed. He could remember the look on Leo’s face when they had been ‘surrounded’, and he had felt a pang in his heart. He knew that he couldn’t keep this from Leo forever, and he didn’t plan to. He just needed to find a way to help him, give him the freedom he deserved, and hopefully not get beaten to a pulp in the process. He knew that he wanted to help Leo, he just wasn’t sure how yet.
But, first things first, he had to see Carol.
Vincent got dressed as soon as possible before leaving his home. When he arrived at the hospital he had to park further in the back. There was some construction going on at the front entrance, no doubt due to the damage he and Leo had caused. He glanced up at the skylight where he had fallen through, and he could see some men already up there trying to replace the glass. It was pretty high up, he never noticed until now.
“Afraid of heights?”
“Somethin’ like that.”
He decided to enter through the back as well. There would probably be a few nurses that might recognize him from that night. Though he didn’t recognize anyone in the hospital, he could feel eyes on him when he walked through the building. He ignored them though.
He managed to find the maternity ward without difficulty. He looked around the hallways for a moment before finally coming to Carol’s room. He peered into the window and saw Carol sitting in a chair in front of a small hospital crib. Vincent could just see the top of his daughter’s head from here. He took a deep breath before grabbing the handle and slowly opening the door. Carol turned her head at the sound. Her eyes widened when she saw Vincent and she stood up.
“Vincent, what’re you-”
“I had to see you,” he said. “I couldn’t wait any longer.”
Carol didn’t respond immediately. She slowly turned to look at the crib again.
“You’re lucky. She hasn’t fallen asleep just yet.”
Vincent slowly walked over to stand next to his wife. He peered over her shoulder to look down at his beautiful daughter. She was laying still for the most part, only moving her tiny fists above her head. The weight of the whole ordeal seemed to have lifted off Vincent’s shoulders for a moment as warmth flooded his chest at the sight of her.
Carol nodded. “I named her Julie.”
“I love it,” he said. “Is she okay? Still healthy?”
“Yes. Doctors said she should be good to go home in the morning.”
“Good,” Vincent grinned at Carol. “I can’t wait to have you both home again.”
Carol’s face fell as he said that. She sighed as she shook her head. “Vincent… you know I love you. But… I can’t keep competing for your attention anymore. I know how much you love your work and-”
The room was silent. Carol turned her head to look at Vincent, eyes wide and filled with confusion.
“It’s over, Carol,” he said lowly. “It’s finally over. Harvey’s gone, and the Black Orlov is on its way back to its home right now. I going to give in my resignation in the next two weeks. After that… I’m all yours.”
Vincent carefully reached over and grasped Carol’s hand, ready to let go if she pulled away. She didn’t. She stares at him in shock.
“And… that’s it?” she asked.
Carol stared up at him for a few moments before looking down at his hand. She smiled softly, returning his grasp. Vincent couldn’t help the smile that grew on his face at that. But, her smile faded slightly a moment later. Vincent grew more concerned as she looked up at him.
“What about Leo?”
Vincent paused. He expected Carol might ask about Leo, but he still wasn’t sure how to respond. He thought for certain that she didn’t know what feelings he was hiding, but that didn’t mean that she didn’t have any ideas. Vincent was a good liar, but not to Carol.
“I don’t know…”
Carol didn’t say anything at first. She looked at him intensely, but Vincent just looked at the floor, wondering what else to say. Carol reached forward with her free hand and touched his chest.
“Vincent, talk to me. What do you want to do?”
Vincent sighed. “I… I want to help him,” he admitted.
Vincent paused. He could write out a list of reasons why he wanted to help Leo, most of which were reason he’s sure his wife might not be happy about.
Vincent swallowed. “It’s my fault, Carol,” he answered. “He’s going to away for a really long time, and it’ll be my fault. I- I lied to him, Carol. I lead him along and used him to get to Harvey, and he’s going to pay the price for it if I don’t help him. But… I don’t…”
Vincent sighed, brushing his hair out of his face.
“Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out.”
Vincent stared up at her. We? Before he could say or add anything, they both heard a low cry coming from the crib. Carol leaned forward and picked Julie out of the crib, walking over to the hospital bed. She pulled down the front of her hospital gown and began breastfeeding. She looked back up at Vincent.
“Go home and get some sleep,” she said, smiling softly. “I can tell you’ve had a long night. We can talk about this more when we’re all home. Just try to put it aside until then.”
Vincent nodded. He walked over to the beside, leaned over and kissed Carol’s forehead. He smiled as he leaned down to kiss the top of Julie’s fuzzy head as well.
“I’ll pick you up in the morning.”
“Don’t be too late.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
Vincent left the room with a grin on his face. But the prospect of sleeping on a nice, soft bed when he knew that Leo was being held up in a cold cell was not something he was looking forward to. That thought alone made it hard for him to fall asleep that night.