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The Fulcrum

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It had been three months since the Tom incident and things couldn’t have been better. She loved Red, but she still had some unanswered questions. She didn’t know if she could change things between them by asking. She also had the fulcrum, or what she thought was the fulcrum tucked away. If Aram, a computer whiz if there ever was one, couldn’t figure out what it was, could Red? She knows he has access to some of the best minds this world has ever seen.

They had also recently made it ‘official’ and told Cooper about their relationship status. His answer had surprised them both.

“I already know,” Cooper told them as he takes a seat at his desk.

“Sir?” Lizzie asks, seating herself across her boss’s desk.

“I’ve known since you got back from the hospital when you had your concussion.”

“How?” Red asks just as perplexed as Lizzie. He thought they had been so careful.

“I’ve noticed you are different around each other now. He has been more attentive towards you. You are always aware of him. When you think no one is looking, you stop what you are doing to take a look around. When you finally see that he is there, you smile and go back to whatever it was you are doing,” Cooper explains to them. “When there is a meeting, you two sit in the back. He usually takes your hand.”

“I'm impressed,” Red says with a smile. “I think Agent Scott is starting to rub off on you.”

“So, what’s going to happen now?” Lizzie asks, trying to wrap her head around what Cooper told them.

“Nothing. It seems that you can still do your job effectively. Being in a relationship seems to do you both some good. Even though it’s forbidden, I don’t have any problem looking the other way. Make sure it stays that way. If anything were to happen that would compromise this agency and the agents in this task force, you both would likely spend the rest of your days in jail,” Cooper warned.

Red nods his head in agreement. “Harold, you have been amazing. Thank you. I have to borrow Lizzie for the rest of the afternoon.” Cooper looks at Red sharply.

“Just because I am okay with this doesn’t mean you get to take Agent Scott whenever you want.”

“Relax, Harold. I have a new name from the blacklist for Lizzie. We won't be more than an hour.” With that Red guides Lizzie out of Cooper’s office.

~*~ TBL ~*~

“Lizzie, I had a thought,” Red says a few days after the meeting with Cooper. Lizzie looks up from where she was sitting in bed, looking over the case file on their blacklister. She smiles when she sees Red, standing in the doorway of the bathroom, a towel slung over his hips, beads of water running down his bare chest. She lets her eyes wander over his half naked form, naughty thoughts taking over her mind. “Lizzie.”

Lizzie shakes her head before looking at her not-so-secret boyfriend. “Red? You had a thought?” she questions.

“I still have that apartment.”

“The apartment that you bought for me?” she clarifies.

“The very one. So, I was thinking that we could move in together.”

“What about the ‘I don’t stay in one place for more than two nights’ rule?” Lizzie questions. They had either stayed at her place or whatever dwelling he was occupying at the time.

“Well, between Dembe taking the other apartment I procured there and you, well, I will be very well protected. And I am willing to throw that rule out,” he crosses the room and takes the file out of her hand, throwing it to the floor. She starts to giggle as he pushes her back and crawls over her, “if you say yes.” He leans down and captures her lips with his and she groans as his hands start to wander. What she quickly thought was pleasure, turned out to not be. She starts to laugh as he finds her ticklish spot on her sides.

“Red! Red!” she tries to yell.

“Say yes Lizzie.”

“Yes! Yes!” he finally stops his tickle torture before giving her another kiss. “I knew you’d see it my way.”

“Yes, okay,” she trails her hands over his still wet form before grabbing his towel and yanking it loose. Red smiles before kissing her once again.

~*~ TBL ~*~

“Liz?” she turns to see Dembe standing in the mouth of the kitchen. Red had been right, as usual, the apartment was amazing. The view spectacular. It had taken no time for the two to move into the apartment, since they both practically lived like nomads. Living out of suitcases and motel rooms. “What are you doing?”

“Looking for something,” she was currently standing on the counter looking in the cabinets. She couldn’t find where Red had put all of her kitchen stuff. The man was OCD when it came to kitchen cabinets, who knew? She closes that one and opens another one, going through that one as well.

“What are we doing?” Red’s voice came from behind her.

“She said she was looking for something,” Dembe explained.

“Do we know what she is looking for?” Dembe must have shook his head because she didn’t hear a response. “Sweetheart, what are we looking for?”

“What did you do with my kitchen stuff? I'm looking for a little box. It’s labeled recipes.”

Red walks across the kitchen and pulls open a cabinet and pulls down a plastic box. He turns and hands it to her. Her eyes light up, taking it from Red. “Sweetheart?” Red asks as he watches Lizzie sit down on the counter. She rummages through it before pulling a piece of plastic out.

She holds her hand out to Red. “I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it’s the fulcrum or what. Aram couldn’t figure out what it was. It was some sort of data thing. I found it in my bunny after everything went down with Braxton and that whole thing. I'm sorry for not telling you. I wanted to, but at the time, I didn’t know what your endgame was. Or why you wanted it. But now that we are doing this, making some sort of life together. Moving in together, we need to be honest with each other,” she was near tears at the end. “I don’t want to lie to you Red. I love you and I want this to work.” Red still hadn’t said anything. “Ray?” she turns to Dembe, who had a disapproving look on his face. She grabs Red’s hand, placing the device into it before walking past the two men.

Chapter Text

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.