Whilst Neal's future was looking decidedly bleak, the rest of the team were being led on a random chase all over lower Manhattan. There was something nagging at Burke's brain and he finally voiced his concerns.

"Something here is definitely wrong; they must have found the tracker because this pattern of driving is too haphazard." He announced in exasperated tones to the other two Agents.

Cruz nodded in agreement.

"That's what I was thinking. If Dhumo knew about the wire, he sure as hell would know about the tracker. It's probably on a tour bus of the city for all we know! What do you suggest we do, boss?"

Burke could tell from her eyes that Cruz was actually worried about Neal. That was a first.

"What we do now is turn back and head to the Club. That is the last reliable fix we had for Caffrey. We'll check it out and see where it takes us! I'll pass the tracker over to traffic and see what they can turn up." Peter's anger at being tricked by Lombardo, far outweighed any fear he had of the man and he was now more determined than ever to find Neal.

Jones turned the van around with a steely determination; Caffrey was part of their team and you didn't leave a team member behind. He headed back to the Blue Note Club, beginning to feel the same stirrings of anger as his boss.

As darkness was falling, the Cadillac approached the docks and it was obvious to Neal, (for reason's he didn't much care to hear about), that Joe had been here before. He pulled off onto a remote area that looked like the Titanic had been the last vessel to dock there, and pulled the car to a stop near some abandoned warehouses.

Dhumo climbed out of the car and walked around to the other side to open Neal's door. He indicated with the barrel of his gun that Neal should get out and took pleasure in watching his prisoner struggle, before getting impatient and pulling him onto the dock area by his collar. Neal nearly fell as he was pulled off balance, but said nothing; if looks could kill…

Dhumo motioned for Neal to walk a few paces away from the car and he followed a short distance behind. The Agent watched Neal walk awkwardly over the rough, debris strewn dock side in his stocking feet, and then ordered him to wait up whilst Lombardo emerged from the car and walked over.

The crime boss took another long puff of his cigar and looking at Neal like he'd just crawled out from underneath a rock, said in his grating voice.

"I fear it is time for us to say good bye, Mr Caffrey. I'm sorry you've chosen this path, I'm sure you would have benefitted from my organisation, but there is no accounting for the stupidity of youth."

Neal shook his head to remove the lock of hair that had fallen across his eyes. Play for time! His inner voice was screaming, so he started talking to stall.

"Take your own advice and beware the stupidity of age; it lulls you into a false sense of security. You believe you are untouchable and that is a mistake!"

The mobster finished his cigar and symbolically dropped it to the ground where he crushed it underfoot.

"Prophetic words, Mr Caffrey, but who is going to stop me? Certainly not you!"

He smiled in that supremely smug manner that comes with the acquisition of great power. He turned to Dhumo.

"He's all yours, Agent Dhumo, and if I were you, I wouldn't make it quick!"

Dhumo nodded and gratefully took Neal roughly by the arm and steered him towards an old container; he had waited four years for this moment.

Once he was happy with the location, he pointed the gun at Neal and said, "On your knees!"

Neal locked eyes with him and hesitated, but Dhumo dramatically cocked the trigger, so very reluctantly he did as he was asked and lowered himself to the floor.

"Think about this! It's not too late!" He tried one more time to get through to this man, but in vain.

Dhumo had that vacant look in his eyes again. "It is for you! The first bullet won't kill you, or the second, not even the third, but by then you'll be begging me to finish you!"

"You always were a sadistic thug, Dhumo!" Neal still had his pride and wouldn't beg this man for anything, not even his life.

"Flattery will get you everywhere!" Dhumo chuckled, savouring the moment. Then the shots rang out.

Neal was surprised there was no pain, and then he realised that it wasn't Dhumo who had fired. Instead the Agent was looking around him, desperately trying to see where the shots were coming from. Joe had pushed Lombardo to the ground out of harms way, and he too was searching the surrounding area for the shooter.

A very cultured voice cut dramatically through the approaching darkness, reverberating around the deserted dock.

"Nobody move, unless you want to be used for target practice!"

Lombardo struggled awkwardly to his feet, incandescent with rage. "You're dead meat, my friend! Who the hell are you, show yourself!" he demanded.

The strong voice replied out of the ether, "The name's Bond, James Bond!" Then it added with less conviction, "Don't just stand there, Neal, run like hell!"

Neal didn't need telling twice. He had managed to undo the cuffs, and launching himself upwards, hit Dhumo in the stomach. The man, taken completely by surprise, fell backwards to the floor and his gun jolted out of his hand. Neal pounced on the weapon as the shots rang out again, forcing Joe and Lombardo to remain where they were. Neal ran with all his stamina towards the shadows, ignoring the pain as his feet were cut on the rough surface. He had no idea if, or how, he would actually get out of this alive, but for now he was free and more importantly, he had a gun. He peered out from behind a container and could see the three men still pinned down and it was then he heard the sound of a van approaching. As the final shots rang out, he looked towards the entrance to the dock and saw the surveillance van speeding in. He had to admit, it was the first time in his life that he'd actually been glad to see the FBI. Following close behind were two patrol cars, and as the vehicles stopped, the officers spilled out like an oil slick.

Joe and Lombardo were restrained immediately and Cruz and Jones dealt with Dhumo, dragging the big man to his feet and securing his wrists behind his back. Peter meanwhile, looked anxiously around and called out Neal's name. He was relieved as hell to see Neal emerge from the darkness.

"Are you okay?" He asked, noting how Neal was bruised, dishevelled and shaking slightly.

Neal, realising he was holding a gun, dropped it to the floor.

"Yeah, I'm alright, but you cut that a bit fine! I just need my jacket; its cold don't you think?"

Peter was so relieved he couldn't speak, so he just nodded. It was actually a warm evening, but he knew Neal must be suffering from shock, so he didn't comment.

Knowing that for now Neal was safe, Peter turned his attention to the job in hand and walked over to Lombardo whose expression was pure hatred.

"You're under arrest." Burke announced with relish. "And by the way, we happen to have apprehended another friend of yours, on a driving charge!"
The gangster almost laughed.

"You'll regret this, Agent Burke! You have nothing on me or my men and once my lawyers' get on the case you'll wish you'd never been born!"

Peter was all too aware of this because Neal's wire had been removed and so a lot of good evidence had been lost.

Neal appeared out of the shadows and walked gingerly across the rough ground towards Dhumo; he stopped to speak to him.

"Earlier this evening you said Agent Burke was predictable." He began. "Well the thing is - I'm not!" And reaching forward, he removed a small object from Dhumo's pocket.

"It's another bugging device; I slipped it in when you and Joe used me as a football. You didn't expect me to be carrying two bugs, did you?

Dhumo's expression rivalled Lombardo's and Peter was mystified, but he let Neal continue.

"Peter had a feeling the other one might easily be found, since it was so cheesy…"

Peter grimaced at Neal's sarcasm.

"…And knowing you would stop searching once you found a device, we planted two."

Peter tried to look as if he knew what the hell Neal was talking about.

"I have all the conversation recorded on this, including your admission, Mr Lombardo, that you killed Carter and also how you and Dhumo intended to kill me. I don't think your lawyers will be able to refute that."

Lombardo was seething. "You are a dead man, Caffrey. I never forget…"

Neal, on the surface, had regained his composure after his brush with death.

"Perhaps not, but the world will be able to forget about you for a long time!"

The three men were then led away.

"I hope you like ABBA…" Neal called out to them before turning to face Peter.

The FBI Agent still had a look of relief written across his face.

"That was a close call!" He announced; his concern obvious.

Neal had to agree.

"How did you find me? I thought you'd be following that tracker for hours!"
Peter shook his head.

"Contrary to popular belief, the FBI are not all idiots. We cottoned on to the fact it wasn't your signal quite early on and then headed back to the Club. We found your jacket, shoes and broken watch and then, surprisingly, I received an anonymous tip that something was going on down here and we should get here fast! And you know the rest."

Neal nodded. "All too well!"

"There is one thing that puzzles me though." Peter added.

'Only one?' Neal thought to himself, as he turned and looked innocently at Burke.

"When we arrived, there was someone up there shooting." He indicated a dock crane. "It would appear that whoever it was, they were on your side. Any ideas who it could have been?"

Neal's eyes grew large as he shrugged.

"I have no idea." and much to his surprise, Peter let it drop.

"Okay, let's get back and debrief." He announced and as they walked back to the van, Neal asked. "Did you bring my jacket and shoes with you?"

Peter stopped and just looked at him. "Unbelievable! We save your life and all you can think about is your jacket!"

Neal explained "It's just that it's my favourite jacket and those shoes cost…"

"Get in the van, Starskey!" Peter ordered, but with a smile in his voice.

Back at the office Peter was surprised to have a small package waiting for him.

"Who delivered this at this hour?" He wanted to know.

One of the night shift had the answer. "It was some small guy with a bad toupee. Said it would be to your advantage."

Peter sighed. Mozzie.

"He's going to have to get better with his disguises!" He remarked to Neal, who was seated at a desk cradling a large mug of hot coffee and nodding in agreement.

When Peter opened the package, it was an audio disc and he knew that these were the recordings from the bug that Neal had planted.

"You realise I can't use this, don't you?" He told Neal, holding up the silver disc. "I can't convince the powers that be that the FBI and the KGB worked together on this one!"

Neal had already thought about that. "But Lombardo doesn't know where the bug came from. All he knows is that the recording exists and he believes that you sanctioned it. Let's just see what plea bargain he comes up with." And he smiled with a devious grin.

Peter switched on the machine and together they listened to the events as they unfolded. Neal sat in silence, his jaw tense and body taught. Peter listened enthralled. It was great evidence and although it hadn't been recorded on official FBI equipment, Peter was starting to think he could possibly get around it, if it became necessary. Caffrey was definitely becoming a bad influence!

The audio came to the point were the Good Samaritan announced his presence and upon hearing the voice, Peter looked thoughtful. Neal on the other hand looked uncomfortable.

Peter rewound the passage a couple of times.

"James Bond? That voice sounds English!" Peter said at last and turned to Neal. "Does it sound English to you?"

Neal looked unsure. "Do you think? I would say more Canadian…"

Unfortunately for Neal, the cogs were already turning in Peter's brain.

"No, no it is definitely English. How many Englishmen do we know in New York, Neal?"

Neal sidestepped. "Well, if you count Sting…"

Peter wanted to get Mallory, but at the same time the man had done nothing recently to break the law in New York and it would appear that he had saved Neal's life. Peter wouldn't have got there in time if Mallory hadn't opened fire. Not for the first time since meeting Neal, Peter Burke, FBI Agent of the White Collar Unit, made a decision of the heart.

"I think you should go home and get some rest, Neal."

Neal was surprised to say the least.

"Thanks, Peter, I am done in."

"I'll get Jones to drive you home, but before you go, you'd better put this on, I don't want any more paperwork!"

He held up the anklet. Neal took it and attached it to his ankle without fuss. Before he left, Peter had one more thing to say.

"We need to discuss in more detail what's happened over the last few days. I think I can come up with a case that proves to Hughes that you were a victim in all of this, but if you ever keep something like this from me again…"

Neal nodded. Poor Peter. If only he knew the half of it. Hopefully Lombardo would have too much on his plate to mention Neal's part in the theft of the gun and Neal would deny it anyway. Who would believe a Chicago mobster after all? How ironic…

"I'll see you tomorrow and thanks for all you've done." Neal's face showed Peter had more than repaid his trust.

"Any time!" Peter replied with sincerity.

Peter watched Neal walk out through the office. Jacketless, dishevelled and with crime scene shoe covers on his stocking feet, but even dressed like that, he would still have been able to talk his way into an audience with the President. He'd had a lucky escape tonight. Peter would hold off the search for Mallory for a few hours, he owed the big Englishman that.

Jones dropped him back and Neal entered the familiar hall. It was dark and quiet, just like it had been when Lombardo first came to see June, and Neal stood there for a while breathing it in. His feet hurt but he climbed the stairs quickly and entered his room.

The lights were on and he was delighted to see June, Mozzie and yes, Sam Mallory. Few words were spoken, and he accepted willingly a huge hug from June followed by a quick man hug from Moz and finally a great big bear hug from Mallory.

"Thanks Sam!" He said earnestly as they separated. "I owe you a thousand miniatures!"

Sam inclined his head to Moz.

"I know you wanted me to go, Neal, but I couldn't just leave you to an animal like Lombardo. It was thanks to Mozzie I knew where you were. He agreed I should hang around, unbeknown to you. He listened to the audio and told me they were taking you to the docks, so I got there before you and waited. Just for good measure he tipped off your FBI friend."

Neal looked over at Mozzie and nodded his thanks. Nothing needed to be said, they were a team.

Mallory shook Neal's hand and announced loudly, "Well, Neal, it's been – fun, but I have to get back to dear old Blighty before Uncle Sam invites me to stay for a few years! I hope you can come over sometime, you'd enjoy 'viewing' the amazing art and treasures we have hidden all over my little country!"

Neal liked the idea. "I will Sam, but not for the next four years I'm afraid! In the meantime keep in touch."

Sam promised that he would and giving June one more hug, exited as he usually did, across the patio and down the wall.

June looked at Neal, relief written all over her face.

"The next time you don't listen to me, I'll box your ears!"

Neal looked suitably chastened.

"Don't worry, June. I'll take your advice in future!"

She gave him one last hug and said, "I'm so glad you are back safely where you belong!"

She kissed his forehead and left Neal and Mozzie alone.

Mozzie had poured Neal a drink, which he accepted willingly.

"Do you think the suit will find out about you stealing the gun?" Mozzie asked directly.

Neal looked out at the New York skyline and had another sip of his wine. A few moments passed before he spoke.

"Leave that for another day, Moz. At the moment Peter has more than enough to keep him occupied and I have a feeling the gun will be forgotten about once this case gets going. Lombardo would have to admit to owning it and then hand it over to the FBI. I don't think that will happen, do you?"

Mozzie agreed.

"This was a close call, Neal. If you ever suggest anything like this again, I am out of here!"

Neal smiled at his long time partner and friend and said with all sincerity.

"Don't worry, Moz, I will be more prepared next time."

Mozzie nearly choked on his wine. "Next time?"

The grin that spread across Neal's face convinced Moz that he still could be taken in by this man even after all the years he'd known him. He took that as his cue to leave.

"I'm going now, so you can get some rest, but I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Sure, Moz, and thanks again."

Mozzie nodded and leaving his empty glass on the table, walked out the door and gently closed it behind him.

Neal walked painfully out onto the patio, as his cut feet began to complain. He sat on a chair and looked once more at the beautiful city skyline. He raised his glass in silent tribute to Peter, Mozzie and a big Englishman named Mallory. Without them, he would be floating face down in a dock by now, just another New York homicide statistic. He had to admit that he'd been complacent in underestimating Dhumo and he would never allow that to happen again. He then felt his wrist and the absence of his watch and decided that tomorrow he would treat himself to a new one; He still had a few favours he could call in and Peter would never find out. That was the only trouble with working with the FBI he thought wryly, you always had to play by the rules!

That's it, finished! Thanks for feedback on my first submission, let me know what you thought! I have enjoyed sharing it with you. I would particularly like to thank govgal and costley51 for their support from the beginning and I hope I haven't made any blinding errors about New York or the American Justice System, if I have, sorry guys! If anyone is interested, I have another story in progress which I will post when I have a few more chapters under my belt. It's been fun.

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