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The 12th Hour

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The building was supposed to be locked down. Completely locked down. Especially her apartment. Which was more locked down than any place in the rest of the building. She was an FBI agent and she had money. Lots of money. The majority of the tenants in the building had money too but they didn't have knowledge. She also didn't know anyone in the building. That had to do with the fact that as an FBI agent, most of her time was spent in other states. In hotel or motel rooms. When she wasn't there she was at the office. There wasn't a good time to get to know her neighbors and she had no family. This was the first night since she'd gotten used to the purge that she'd ended up stuck in the country. It was all due to small mistakes that snowballed into her having to miss her flight. The security system had been put in place as a fail safe. If god forbid she had to spend a night there when it was purge time, she'd be okay. As someone with dual citizenship and as a federal agent, for the most part she was off limits. Didn't mean everyone always listened. She didn't have any real friends there either. Rika was calling her non-stop. 

"I'm fine okay? Fine. You know about the security system." She said, "My own company installed it and it was approved by my supervisor as one of the most fool proof." 

"That and the fact that you made sure to leave security leaks to other parts of the building. You know, so people would avoid you." Rika said,"Still, it doesn't matter. You are a well known heiress you have a lot of money…"

"Rika, even if they get in here I have a shotgun. Also two hand guns. Besides I might have enough money on hand to get them to leave without question." She pointed out. "Besides, all the years that I've been gone for purge night the security system has worked. People have tried to get in and failed. Always failed. I'm the safest person in this building if I'm here or not." 

"You didn't need to stay late for that conference." her friend replied sounding bitter. 

"That conference could mean a big promotion for me." She said.

"A promotion you won't get if you die tonight." 

"I'll be fine." She said. The lights in the building flickered and she winced. Her backup generator kicked in and kept the barricade system strong. "I have to go. I'll call you in an hour." 

"Every hour on the hour." Rika insisted. 

"Even if I miss a call what can you do from Japan?" She asked. 

"Be careful." Rika said and hung up. Leila looked at her phone then slipped it into her front pocket. She walked to her laptop and pulled up the security cameras. She had a few hooked up in the hallway outside. Currently she didn't see anyone or anything there. They had night vision on them in case the power had gone out, like it had now. Even if they couldn't see her she'd be able to see them. 

"It's going to be a long night." She whispered and headed into her kitchen to get a glass of wine. 


It wasn't too long after she had started watching a movie that she heard a noise out in the hall. It was a loud buzzing. Mechanical. Someone most definitely had some kind of power tool out there. For breaking into the apartments. She was probably the only one left in the building. Most likely everyone else who lived there had been smart enough to go on vacation during this. Unless some of them were intent on purging. Which was also possible. She finished up her wine then grabbed her shot gun. Using the remote, she flipped over to the channel on the TV that would let her check the security feed in the hall. She had a camera angled right above her doorway. There were men out there. They were attempting to break into the door down the hall. The only other penthouse on the property. Belonged to someone she didn't know. Never even bothered to check the name on the roster. She was pretty sure it was Johnson or Jones. Something like that. Otherwise she knew nothing about the occupant or occupants in that place. If they were even there. 

She used her remote to zoom in a bit more. It greatly reduced the clarity but it gave her somewhat of a better idea. Two men, one woman. Dressed like some sort of cross between warriors and hippies. She was no stranger to seeing strange purge costumes but these had to be the most interesting. One of the men was holding the saw and trying to hack at the door. The woman and the second man were sharing what looked like a joint. All of them were armed with some sort of gun. What was in there that they could want? 


The door opened and the three of them didn't hesitate to go inside. Leila swallowed hard. Her mouth going dry. She prayed that there was no one in there that night or they were going to end up hurt, even dead. Considering statistics dead would be the correct choice to make. She glanced at her own door. The problem with all this was that she was an FBI agent. Her job was to protect people. Tonight it was every man and woman for themselves. She'd have no back up. No friends. No help. It would be her against at least three people. There was a possibility whoever was in that apartment would be useful. There would be a bigger possibility they wouldn't be. The alarm on her phone went off and she grabbed it, never taking her eyes off of the screen. It was currently nine o'clock. Dawn was at six in the morning. Three hours down, nine more to go. She dialed Rika's number, never looking away from the screen. 

"You okay?"

"Obviously I am if I'm calling you." Leila said. It was meant to sound kind of smart aleck but it came out rather monotone. Almost chilled. 

"What's wrong?" 

"Look me, myself, I'm physically fine and safe. Some people broke into the penthouse down the hall." She explained. 

"So? Screw them. They are rich if they live in the building with you. They didn't prepare enough. Not your problem." Rika said. 

"But…"

"It's not your problem. Freeze your bleeding heart for a night Leila, for Christ's sake." Rika yelled at her. Leila knew she had a point, but it was hard to flip the switch off when it wasn't just on, it was on full power. She took a deep breath and let it out. 

"Alright. I'll stay here. I promise." She replied. 

"Good. Call me in another hour. Don't forget. You know I could just stay on the phone with you the entire time." 

"No thank you. That's impractical and you have work to get done. You know I'll be fine." She replied. There was a small growl but, even though she couldn't see it she knew Rika was nodding her head. 

"Don't do anything stupid." She warned. 

"Yeah yeah love you too." Leila said and hung up, leaning forward to pay more attention to the feed. Nothing had really happened since the three people had entered. Regardless of that, she wanted to catch them leaving. Just to make sure they actually left and didn't try to get into her place. Maybe even see what they'd taken from there or done inside. 


It was almost an hour later when a man appeared in the doorway of the apartment. Not one of the original men from who had entered earlier. He looked older and injured. Even though the screen was tinted green due to the power outage, Leila could see he was bleeding from his face. One of his cheeks looked broken. If she had to guess age she'd have said he was 60. What did they want with this man? Just to rob his place, that was the logical conclusion. If he lived in this building he had a lot of stuff, and he was old so he was an easy target. The man looked up and looked around before stumbling out more into the hall and towards her door. 

"No…" She whispered. "Okay maybe…maybe he doesn't know that you are home. You don't have to help him." she knew she was talking to herself but it was nice to hear a voice. Any sort of voice. She'd have to call Rika. It was about check in time anyway so that could be her voice of sanity in all this. She grabbed her phone and dialed the number. 

"Still okay?"

"Bloody man, right outside my door. Oh god he's getting closer." 

"Leila don't go out there." 

"He needs help!" 

"Yeah and you will need help if you go out there." Rika insisted. The man looked right up at the camera. Leila didn't believe it was intentional because he wasn't looking INTO the camera. Just up at it. Like he was exhausted. He rested against the wall and slid down it, grasping at his chest. 

"I can't just let him die." 

"It's him or you." Rika said. 

"No it's not." She whispered and hung up, despite the fact that Rika was yelling at her. The phone started to ring half a second later but Leila ignored it. She grabbed her shotgun and walked over to the front door. After moment of hesitation, she entered the code that would raise the metal barrier. After that was finished, she unlocked the deadbolt by hand. When she got it open she looked out into the hall. "Hey!" 

"W-What?" He whispered. Deep voice, raspy. British accent as well. Definitely British. She turned on the flashlight attached to the gun and turned it towards him. He put his arm up a moment later trying to black out the bright glow. "Turn that off you dumb bitch!" He spat. 

"No need for that language. Just trying to you know…save your life." She snapped and grabbed his arm. From down the hall there was loud shouting. "Get up!" 

"I'm…trying!" He gasped grabbing onto her to help climb get to his feet. From down the hall some man came running at them. He had the power saw and was screaming like a damn maniac. 

"MOVE!" She yelled at him. He scrambled to his feet right before the man with the saw would have sliced into his neck. Leila shot him. The blast so strong it knocked him back and onto the floor. She heard a woman scream. Most likely that had been her boyfriend or well at least someone. She had showed up with these two men after all. She grabbed the man and shoved him into her apartment, slamming the door behind them. A moment later the code was entered again and all the security measures locked into place. 

"How do you still…have power?" He coughed and stumbled to the couch, some how managing to sit on it. 

"Planned ahead. Independent back up generator on one of my balconies." She said, her ears ringing from firing that shot gun. She could see the rogue woman on the TV. Now she was outside in the hall screaming and wailing about the guy who had been shot as the other man approached. "What did they want with you?" 

"You can't be serious…" He whispered, wiping the blood from his face. "My eye is…not working." 

"No shit, the pupil is blown." She told him. 

"That's normal." He replied, "I mean the fracture under it. Probable fracture. Not a doctor." She came towards him, lowering the gun and turning on the lamp by the couch. 

"Your pupil is normally dilated like that?" 

"Yes…" He replied like she was stupid, "You haven't a clue who I am…"

"Is there a reason I would know you?" She asked, "I'm barely in this building and I'm sure we've never met so no offense but why should I know you?" 

"At least that's refreshing." He muttered. "Well. Can I stay here until…" He didn't get to finish because there was now pounding at the door. Leila looked over at it, her heart still racing. It would be impossible for them to get in, barring a few things. Hopefully they didn't think to do them nor were they sober enough to figure it out. They they could cut into the wall with that damn saw and start to rip out wiring. Then both of them would be fucked and that's what she was worried about. 

"Neither of us will be safe here now if the figure out how to get in." She said, "And I am a doctor so I guess it's your lucky night. Well…your night just got more lucky. Know how to use a gun?" 

"Point and shoot?" He asked. 

"That's the general idea." She said and held out the shotgun to him. 

"What about you?"

"Have my hand gun." She motioned to the one sitting on the table. "Now, let me get a look at that eye." There was more pounding on the door and she glanced at the TV before going back to examining his face. 

"You really have this place decked out." 

"Kind of have to if you want to survive purge night. Usually out of the country right around now, mistakes were made and I got stuck here this year." She said and pressed on his face gently. He hissed and pulled back from her touch. "Sorry." 

"It's broken, isn't it?" 

"Yes but you are still alive. That's the more important part." She told him and walked into the kitchen. The area that they were in was a big and open one. Like most apartments in this building it had a loft style set up. She opened the refrigerator and got out an icepack. 

"Have a name?" He asked. 

"Leila." She replied and came back to the couch. "Here, hold that under your eye." He took the icepack she was holding out to him and pressed it to his face. 

"I'm David." He told her. 

"Nice to meet you. Sorry it wasn't before this moment." She sighed. 

"I am as well. Would have been nice to talk to someone who is unaware of who I am." He chuckled and closed his eyes. "Don't supposed you have anything for pain, being a doctor and all." 

"Yes but it would be…" she paused. It would be illegal to give him that stuff on any other night. Being that everything was legal tonight it wasn't too bad of an idea to hand out narcotics. Besides, she was a doctor. If she had access to a pharmacy and her prescription pad she'd have written a script anyway. His cheekbone was broken. 

"Would be what?" 

"Normally it would be illegal but I guess tonight it isn't." She said and got up. The buzz of the power saw started up and her eyes moved to the screen. They were just at the door. Which was a dumb idea. The metal on her door would ruin their blade. She rolled her eyes and went into the bathroom. When she came back she had a bottle of pills. "Percocet. You have any adverse reaction to this before?" 

"Not that I recall." 

"How much can you recall with that head injury?" 

"Very funny." He said and held his hand out. She opened the bottle and dumped two pills into her hand then gave them to him. 

"Let me get you some water." 

"Thank you." He said and laid back on the couch as the pounding at the door continued. The woman outside was screaming now. Something about vengeance and how they were both going to suffer and die. Leila grabbed a bottle of water and brought it back to him. He took it and then of course swallowed both of the pills. "Have any food? These will be murder on my stomach if not." 

"Yeah I can get you something." She said, "But are you going to tell me who you are and what they want?" 

"I…well I guess I owe you that much." He replied. She went into the kitchen but it was easy to watch him from where she was since this was an open area loft situation. Every so often he would glance at the screen but then look away. Not that she blamed him for not wanting to be attentive. His hand never left the gun though. "I'm David Bowie." 

"Wait as in the…Major Tom to ground control David Bowie?" She replied. From her fridge she got some left over chicken and pasta from her dinner that night. After plating it she popped it into the microwave to heat it up. 

"Yes that was one of my many songs." 

"Look I don't mean to be rude but I was never into that music. Not really. I like Bon Jovi and Journey and Boston-" He interrupted her with a snort but didn't say anything else. "Alright explain to me how they are awful. They write their own songs, compose their own music, and also perform it. It's better than the majority of the shit we have out there right now, is it not?" 

"Alright…alright. You have a point. I don't think they are all bad really just…the 80's hair bands. Was more or less remembering my hair in the 80's. My personality in the 80's…" 

"You weren't a 1 hit wonder type thing? Well I mean I know you weren't but I can't recall anything you did past the 70's." She said, "No offense. I also pretty much thought you just kinda…died?" 

"Well that's not at all offensive." He said but his tone was clearly sarcastic. She didn't give a shit because she didn't have to impress him. She'd already saved his life. That was impressive enough. If anything, he owed her some kind of impression. One beyond old rock star that was kind of relevant at some point a few decades ago. 

"I'm sorry I'm not fawning all over you like some idiot groupie bimbo." She said, "Which for the record I wouldn't even do if you were Bon Jovi. That kind of behavior is absolutely disgusting." The microwave beeped and she grabbed the plate from it to bring it over to him. The buzzing out in the hallway stopped as she sat down. The two people on the screen argued for a long moment and left. 

"Guess they are giving up." He said and took the plate. She hoped that was the case but there was still a long ways to go that night. There was also nothing to indicate they wouldn't be back with friends. "What do you do for a living then?" 

"FBI agent." She said. 

"You mentioned you were usually out of the country for this night. Are you I don't know what they'd call it…stationed somewhere else?" He asked. "Also, FBI agents don't make this kind of money." 

"I'm also an heiress but I kind of don't like to tell people that." 

"Kind of how I don't like to tell people I'm David Bowie if they don't already recognize me." He smirked and kept eating. 

"Touche." 

"This is very good food, did you make this yourself?"

"Yes." She chuckled, "You are probably just saying that because you almost died. Maybe thought you'd never eat again." 

"Not exactly. Don't worry I'm the kind of man who would tell you it was crap if it was. It's not. Been a while since I had a good home cooked meal. Live alone, you see. That's part of the problem. What are you doing? You know, as an FBI agent. You have money." 

"Yeah and I also have other abilities than being rich and spoiled." She said. "I wanted to be useful, help people, always had a great admiration for the human mind and psychology. Put it to good use. I'm a forensic psychiatrist now." 

"Interesting." He said, "What kind of crimes do you study? Violent?" 

"Sex crimes actually." She sighed and shook her head, "And no it's nothing like you've ever seen on TV. Not a little bit close. Even the most accurate of shows completely suck at it." 

"You mean Law And Order SVU is lying to me? Those bastards!" She laughed loudly his tone of voice was really what put it over the top. He almost sounded offended. Like he was truly hurt. Then managed to some how add a sarcastic vibe to it which indicated it was a joke. "What is it really like then?" 

"Horrible. Same case for months, even years at a time, and not just one. Even the really bad ones. I have just a stack of files. Not all of them are solvable. You are constantly dealing with living victims, perverts, actual rapists, deviants…assault even murder. The sexual murders are by far the worst, especially when you get into the fetish stuff." 

"I imagine a woman like you would be completely grossed out by sex then. Shame." He said and crammed more food into his mouth. 

"For one, I am a psychiatrist so I have the ability to compartmentalize and I also seek therapy myself. Keeps me sane. For two, I don't know why you are disappointed, I wasn't going to fuck you." She grinned at him. He was pretty adorable for an older man but she wasn't sure she was attracted to him. Then again it could have had a lot to do with how busted up his face was. 

"You weren't going to? As in past tense?" 

"I can see you are a very smooth guy Mr. Bowie." She winked at him. "But I do not think tonight is the night to start some kind of sexual relationship with anyone." 

"Why not? Could be our last night on earth." 

"Could but won't. I think yo've seen my security system." She pointed out. He finished up his food and then looked at the security feed. Sure enough the criminals were still gone. He reached out and grabbed the icepack. Her carefully put it back to his face before laying down and closing his eyes. 

"If it becomes apparent that it might be our last night on earth could you at very least toss a dying man a hand job?" He asked. 

"I'll consider it." She chuckled. "Get some rest, you don't have a concussion so you should be fine to doze off. I'll keep watch." 

"Thank you." He said sincerely. She offered him a small nod. It was basically her job to protect people anyway, there was no thanks actually needed. Even if she wasn't a fan of his  she had to admit it was kind of neat having saved the life of a very famous classic rock star.