“Get the hell out of here, I got this. Call 9-1-1 and the 99, then get somewhere safe.”
Kevin nodded sharply and headed for the car. Jake took a deep breath and crept around the warehouse.
Fortunately for him, most of the windows were broken--Murphy must’ve been confident that nobody would be around to catch them. Confidence that was gonna steer him wrong, Jake thought, his mental voice deep and spy-y. He crept up to one of them and peeked through to see Captain Holt duct taped to a chair, seemingly unharmed.
Jake waved. “Sir!” He whispered.
Captain Holt didn’t move.
Jake waved frantically, frowning in concentration as if that would make him more likely to glance the right way.
The sound of a gun cocking behind him made him freeze.
Jake slowly raised his hands in surrender, letting his fingers move off the gun. The man behind him took it and kicked it away somewhere Jake didn’t dare look.
“On your knees,” the man ordered. Jake obeyed. “Boss!” He shouted. “Got somethin’ for ya!”
Murphy emerged from the warehouse moments later. His mouth split into a grin. “This day keeps getting better.” He pulled a gun and held it to Jake’s head. “Don’t move.”
Jake gulped, keeping his hands up.
At gunpoint, Jake allowed Redshirt to handcuff his hands above his head to a pull-up-esque bar on the wall away from the window, perpendicular to Holt. He was just tall enough that he could stand with his feet flat without stretching his arms too much.
Seamus and Redshirt headed out to double check that Jake didn’t have any backup in the vicinity, leaving them alone.
Holt stared straight ahead, aggressively avoiding looking at him.
“Captain,” Jake said, “I’m sorry.”
Holt’s gaze remained steadily ahead.
“You’re right to be mad at me, but you need to understand that I didn’t do it because I was stir-crazy. It’s because I didn’t want you guys to get divorced.”
Holt’s head tipped back, his eyes examining the ceiling. Jake’s heart sank, but words kept coming anyway.
“I’ve just been around so many failed marriages in my life. I just couldn’t stand to see you two fall apart.”
Jake’s head jerked toward the sound: a metal bat hitting the concrete floor as Seamus stepped through the doorframe. His stomach turned.
Seamus rapped the bat against the floor again. “Where’s Kevin?” He asked.
“Dunno. We split up.”
Seamus stepped forward and seized him by the hair, pulling his head back. “Where. Is. Kevin?”
“I told you the truth,” Jake said. “He could be anywhere by now.”
Seamus nodded slowly, seeming to accept the answer. He gestured to Redshirt, who turned Holt’s chair so that he faced Jake. Without letting go of Jake’s hair, he turned back to Holt and huffed half a laugh. “Jake Peralta. The very same son of a bitch I helped you get out of jail.”
Holt stared stoically ahead, seeming to see right through Jake and Seamus. Jake’s heart seemed to move down somewhere around his abdomen.
“I know you’d say you never broke our agreement. So neither will I.” Seamus hefted the bat and jerked his head to Redshirt. Redshirt reached for Jake’s leg. After a brief struggle, Redshirt managed to seize and pull Jake’s left foot out of kicking range of the other.
Redshirt set the foot on the edge of a chair like Holt’s, holding it tightly in place.
“Wh-what’re you doing?” Jake asked with a nervous chuckle.
Seamus raised the bat and brought it down as hard as he could on Jake’s lower leg in answer.
Jake gasped in surprise and couldn’t hold back a few pained moans. His eyes darted, against his will, to Holt.
Holt’s jaw was clenched.
Jake sucked in a breath. Holt had never been this pissed before, but then again, he’d never messed up this badly before. He blinked back tears and resolved to be stoic, to take the punishment like a--
Jake screamed, a full-on, piercing shriek that lasted far too long and hit notes so high he half hoped some stray dogs might hear them and come to his rescue. After several seconds, no neighborhood pooches had come to his aid.
It took several moments to see anything, and even then everything was blurry thorough his watery eyes. He breathed hard, but even that slight movement jostled his leg and caused horrible pain to ricochet through his body.
Seamus swept Jake’s leg off of the chair, sending it toward the wall, and all Jake knew was white hot pain and then blackness.
All Holt wanted to do was to tell them to let Peralta go and threaten them with the full wrath of the NYPD, tell them they would never get away with this, tell Peralta he was doing well.
But he knew that would just make it worse. So he just breathed deeply and tried in vain to unclench his hands.
Seamus strolled over to him from the unconscious Peralta and glanced down at the chair arms. He smirked, a wholly unprofessional, too-wide (1cm of extension) smirk.
“You might want to loosen your grip, Raymond. That’s how you get splinters.”
Holt hesitated, then forced his fingers to straighten. He had noticed.
“Was it worth it?” Murphy asked quietly. “Honestly. Were those bonds really worth this? Maybe Peralta woulda been safer in prison.”
Holt refused to give him the satisfaction of a response.
Seamus sighed and strolled over to a pail of water, which he threw over Peralta’s face. Peralta awoke spluttering, shaking his head as if trying to clear it. Holt could see he was struggling to hold back a cry. Peralta’s top teeth clamped down on his bottom lip, stapling his mouth closed. Only low moans and a few tears escaped.
Holt gritted his teeth and braced himself.
Seamus’ phone rang, and his hand shot to his pocket. “Gotta take this; you understand,” he said. “It’s about your husband.”
He casually walked outside. Holt hated that walk.
“Captain…” Peralta’s voice broke. He coughed. “Kevin’s safe. I wasn’t lying.”
Holt didn’t say anything, his ears pricked to pick up any conversation he could.
“Captain, I understand if you can’t forgive me.” Tears ran down Peralta’s cheeks. “I just--”
“Peralta,” Holt cut him off. His voice actually wavered, and he was quite glad he hadn’t tried to speak when Murphy was around. He looked up, making eye contact with Peralta for the first time since the detective had been marched into the warehouse. The look in Peralta’s eyes was one he had never seen before: not in prison, not undercover, not anywhere. He looked broken. “I am not mad at you.”
“Sure, I’m angry that we are in this situation, and we likely would not be in it without your foolish decision.”
Peralta raised his eyebrows. “That...sounds like you’re angry at me.”
“Let me finish, Peralta.” Holt breathed. “I am most angry at the man who threatened my husband, blackmailed me, and is currently torturing one of my best detectives.”
“Oh no.” Peralta’s face paled. “He’s got Amy?”
Holt lowered his eyelids. “You know who I’m talking about.”
“Oh.” Peralta shrugged, then let out a tiny shriek of pain at the movement.
Seamus stepped back inside. “We caught sight of your husband’s car. It’s only a matter of time before we take him down. In the meantime…” He approached Jake again.
Jake flinched away instinctively, regretting it as pain flared up from his leg again.
Murphy crouched down, warily eyeing Jake’s right foot.
Okay. When would be the best time to strike to get the element of surprise? Jake hesitated a few seconds, then threw his leg forward with a very impressive war cry that did not at all sound like a goat dying. Oh shit that hurt--
Seamus caught his right leg and slammed it onto the chair, leaving Jake hanging from his wrists with only his broken leg to help support his weight. Unless…
He glanced up at the pull up bar. Maybe…
He bent his right knee and pushed off the chair, his hands catching the bar. He felt it slipping just as quickly out of his tingling hands--his circulation had been cut off by the cuffs for too long. Frantically, he clenched and relaxed his hands as much as he dared to try and force the blood to move faster. Please, please…
The bat came down and he let go in shock. The metal catching his hands nearly wrenched his shoulders from their sockets. The rattling klinks of the chain seemed to mock him.
“Stay awake, Peralta,” Seamus said quietly. “I got a bucket of water. You get to drink it, or you get it splashed on you to wake you up. Your choice.”
Seamus lifted his leg and dropped it, letting it swing back to him. Dots danced in front of Jake’s vision, and he screamed. Don’t black out, don’t black out, don’t black out… His leg hit the wall.
He awoke to water splashing in his face.
“Disappointing,” Seamus muttered. He crept closer to Peralta, close enough that Jake could’ve spat on him if his mouth wasn’t so dry. “You’re disappointing your captain,” he murmured in Jake’s ear. Jake didn’t know if Holt could hear or not. “An NYPD detective should really have a higher pain tolerance.”
Jake tried to flip him off, but his hands roared in protest when he tried to move them.
Seamus kicked Jake’s knee.
Jake awoke on the floor in a puddle of water.
“Pathetic,” Seamus said, kicking him in the stomach. Jake tried to curl up, but his broken legs dragging across the floor was more painful than the kick.
Seamus crouched down, whispering so only Jake could hear. “You’re disappointing your captain, Peralta.”
“Shut up,” Jake croaked. “You’re just trying to mess with me.”
“Doesn’t mean I’m wrong,” Seamus said.
Seamus moved out of Jake’s field of view. Jake treasured the rest but braced himself for his return.
“Look at him,” Seamus whispered from his place behind Holt. “Have you ever broken a limb, Raymond? Of course you have, you’re a cop. Did you try to stand on it?”
Holt stared down at Peralta. To his shock, his eyes were actually growing slightly blurry.
“You put your career on the line for this kid, and this is how he ends. Suffering, alone, ashamed.”
Holt’s teeth were nearly rubbed flat from all the clenching he’d done in the time since he entered the warehouse.
“I know why I originally went after your husband, and rest assured I’ll track him down, but this is absolutely karmic.”
Peralta whimpered on the floor.
Holt took a deep breath and spoke. “Peralta...I am proud of you.”
The whimpering stopped for a moment before resuming at a greater volume.
“I understand why you took Kevin to the library, and appreciate your trying to protect both of us when everything went wrong.”
“Captain...am I dying?”
Holt remained silent for a few seconds. The odds did not look good, but if they got to a hospital improbably quickly he could probably make it.
“Because you’re talking to me like I’m dying.”
Peralta chuckled weakly. “I just heard an emotion in your voice. A normal-people emotion. I am dying. Wait. Am I dead?”
“No,” Holt said with more certainty.
Peralta mumbled something Holt couldn’t hear.
“NYPD! FREEZE!” Jeffords was the first one in, pointing a gun between Murphy’s eyes. Diaz came in next.
“Seamus Murphy, you’re under arrest for kidnapping,” she said, seizing his arms and pinning them behind his back, “you have right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.”
Boyle quickly cut Holt’s duct tape bonds, and Holt scrambled up. “Kevin is outside, sir,” he said. “Where’s Jake?”
Holt blinked, unable to keep himself from holding his eyes shut 0.003 seconds longer than usual. “There. He’ll need an ambulance.”
Boyle gasped, rushing to his best friends side. “Jake! are you ok?”
Another officer led Holt outside, where Kevin was pacing. When he saw Holt, his face practically lit up like a schoolboy’s.
“Raymond! You are unharmed?”
“Sorry we’re late,” Kevin said. “There aren’t many payphones left and it was difficult to convince anyone to let me use their phone while I looked like a pervert.”
Holt breathed. “Jake—Peralta. Jake Peralta—“
Kevin’s eyebrows knit. “Please tell me he is not dead.”
“I can, truthfully,” Holt said. “He is...very injured.”
“Oh.” Kevin took Holt’s hand in a short handshake and squeezed.
“Thank you.” Holt paced, stretching his legs. “He hurt him to get to me,” he said. “The same way he threatened you.”
“Raymond. You’re safe now. He will get medical care,” Kevin said gently.
“Snapped his legs,” Holt said. “Baseball bat.”
Kevin’s eyebrows screwed up in worry. “Raymond, you are using sentence fragments. Perhaps you should go to the hospital too—“
“No!” Holt said.
“Do you want to come home?” Kevin asked.
Holt hesitated. He twisted his hand to better hold Kevin’s. “Yes.”
They gave their statements as the sound of the ambulance faded, and managed to get permission to leave an hour later. The ride home was silent. Holt had missed Kevin’s brand of silence, with the subtle sound of his breathing and no pressure to fill it.
Now, though, it only gave him more chances to worry about Jake.
“Kevin,” Holt said, “would you mind driving—“
“To Brooklyn Methodist to see how Jake is doing?” Kevin finished. “I am sorry to interrupt, but I assumed—“
“Correctly,” Holt said.
Kevin switched lanes. “Of course I would not mind, Raymond.”
They traveled in silence for the rest of the ride.