"Mozzie, I can change my clothes alone." Seeing his doubt, she knew he didn't trust her. "My God, Moz. There are no windows in there, so give me my stuff and back off. What has happened to you?" she snapped at him and gave him a disgusted look.
Mozzie looked at her in shock for a second. "You almost died, Red. You stole a federal agent's gun and broke into my house." The disapproving look he gave her stung.
"So says the felon!" Red sneered at him. "I have a key you moron, and I saved your life again, so how about a little fucking gratitude? That loser didn't follow me here, genius. He was waiting for you!" the kid poked him in the chest to make her point.
They now had an audience, though neither noticed Peter nor Neal listening at the end of the hall.
Shaking his head, Mozzie said what he felt needed to be said. "I don't need your help. You're just a kid. I don't need you. I have Neal and the Suit to help me. They have better things to do than chase a kid around. They need to protect themselves and find Keller. Not Babysit."
Peter, Neal, and Mozzie all saw the look of utter devastation cross the girl's face. She looked ready to burst into tears, and they all, no matter how much trouble she had been, felt bad for her.
In a blink of an eye, she had her walls up again with a careless look plastered on her face.
"I see. Well, I need to change and wash up. I'll leave the door unlocked." She rifled through her purse, pulled out a first aide kit, and slipped in the bathroom, leaving a stricken Mozzie behind.
Neal walked up and rested a comforting hand on his friends shoulder. "You did the right thing, Moz. Now she knows you don't need her to play hero for you anymore."
Peter began to get nervous. It had been almost 30 minutes, and Red had yet to come out from the bathroom. Using the paramedics as an excuse, he had them follow him to the bathroom. The shooter had already been taken away by ambulance, under Jones's close watch. Two ambulances had arrived, and he insisted that they check out Red. The shooter had refused to talk, and they had no idea yet who he was. The only certain thing was that he was a killer.
He dreaded facing the kid almost as much as his boss, Hughes, who was on his way there right at the moment to asses the situation in person. When Neal and Mozzie saw him approaching, they backed away to let him and the EMTs by.
"Red?" Peter called out, knocking softly in hopes that she wasn't scared of him. He just couldn't get the look of terror he saw on her face for that split second out of his mind.
"What, do you want?" came the reply from inside.
"I need to come in and have a look at you." Peter decided to not mention the medical personel with him.
"Door's open, Agent Burke," she snapped.
He pushed open the door to find Lilly carefully stitching her head up. She had fresh bandages on her arm, and she didn't bother to look his way.
"What are you doing? You should have a professional do that," he stepped forward, and she turned and looked at him with a stoic expression.
"I am a pro at this, the ER doctors are famous for making their stitching look like shades of Frankenstein." She was pleased when the medics look offended.
The agent stepped into the hall and returned alone after sending the EMTs away.
"Are you okay?" He looked the kid over, seeing if she had any injuries he may have missed earlier. She was pale and her hands were shaking, as much as she tried to hide it from him.
"Oh. I'm all kinds of wonderful. My motorcycle is totaled, I bashed my head on the ground, I was shot at, and Mozzie doesn't want to be my friend anymore. This day is just freaking fantastic." She sat down and pulled on her black motorcycle boots.
"We are gonna have to go back to my office to sort this out, and you are going." His tone left no room for argument.
"Fine." She rummaged through the medicine cabinet and took out a bottle of Vicodin, taking two before Peter could say anything. Beating him to the door, she marched out ahead of him and bumped in to a rather grumpy looking older man.
"Excuse you," she scowled at the man. He was staring at her and made her feel guilty for some reason. He looked from her boots to her jeans, and then finally at her shirt that said in bold letters 'Have you seen my Zombie?' He also didn't miss the bandage on her head or the ones on her arms.
"Hughes, this is Lilly." Red turned to give Burke the stink eye and was surprised when the old guy named Hughes began to laugh behind her. She quickly realized he wasn't laughing at her but at her shirt. The missing zombie was grinning on the back of her shirt.
"My name is Red," she told the older man. All at once, she began to feel woozy, and Hughes gently steadied her. Though she quickly shook him off.
"Burke, get this mess fixed, and then we can finish all the reports. I'll take Red here back to the office, so she can rest." And for once Lilly didn't argue, though she did roll her eyes at the "rest" comment. She would rather ride with anyone than with Agent Burke. She was fairly certain she could slip away from this older man anyway.
Peter motioned to Hughes, and the two stepped away to speak in private. Lilly watched them, intently reading their lips, a trick she had learned from her ex-friend, Mozzie. Burke was telling the older agent that she was capable of more than he knew and to keep eyes on her at all times.
Lilly rolled her eyes. Really, which one of the agents was the boss? A wicked grin spread across her face as she called over to them. "Agent Burke, is this the Senior Agent you were telling Neal about? The one who you said was way past retirement age and was getting a bit senile?" She blinked innocently at the look Burke gave her, but he said nothing.
Agent Hughes walked up and took her bag from her. He steered her towards the door with a hand on her shoulder. They reached the standard, ugly government-issued car and opened the passenger door for her.
"Get in," was all he said. When she hesitated, he gently pushed her inside and, much to her horror, buckled her seat belt and engaged the child-lock on the door.
Once he was settled in his seat, Lilly gave him her fiercest scowl. "I'd rather just go to my house. I'll call a cab." She pulled out her cell phone only to have it snatched, not so gently, from her hands. "Hey! Give it back. You don't have a warrant for my phone, asshole!" She ranted furiously.
"You done?" Hughes asked finally looking at her. "You're coming to the office. And watch your mouth." He said it all very calmly. She just barely kept herself from saying 'watch your face, I just might break it.'
After a few minutes of the silent treatment and glares from his passenger, Hughes looked and found that Lilly had fallen asleep. He smiled at how sweet the little terror looked while sleeping. He didn't have any children and was glad, even more so eying the redhead as she slept.
Sometime later, Lilly jolted awake by a car door closing. With a quick look around, she realized she was in the parking garage of the federal building. 'Oh great,' she thought to herself. She was hurting still, and her mood had plummeted to an even deeper level.
Agent Hughes opened her door and motioned for her to get out. "Out," he said. His lack of conversation was grating on her already frayed nerves. Then, seeing that he had a Happy Meal in his hand, she bristled and crossed her arms, shaking her head no. Though she secretly liked Happy Meals and wondered how this man could have possibly known that.
"You will get out of the car, Lilly. How you get out is up to you," Hughes said in that irritatingly calm tone again.
"The name is Red!" Lilly spat out at him as she gingerly exited the car. He didn't responded. He just grabbed her bag, slung it over his shoulder, and with the Happy Meal in one hand, he reached out and grabbed the kid's hand. A deep blush crept up her face as she saw his intention. He was going to hold her hand like she was a child.
Trying her best to pull away, he stood and watched her calmly, letting her figure out that he was much stronger than her. A frustrated groan told him that she had given up. She decided against kicking him. She was just too worn out to fight. Not to mention the security camera would catch her beating up a federal agent. Or so she told herself to keep up her brave, I-can-kick-anyone's-butt facade.
"Ready to go now?" he addressed his young charge. Receiving no answer, he led the way into the elevator.
As soon as they were clear of the elevator, Hughes felt a tug on his sleeve. Looking down he saw an exhausted expression on Lilly's face.
"What do you need?" he addressed her, still holding her hand firmly.
She muttered something he couldn't make out. He was a great deal taller than her. He leaned down a bit and asked, "Could you repeat that?"
"Um I need to use the restroom, please," She said just a bit louder.
"That's no problem." He looked around the bullpen, aware of the fact that everyone was looking at him holding a Happy Meal and a girl's hand. Although he knew that no one would dare make a wise crack about it to him.
Lilly smiled brightly, only to have it wilt when the senior agent said, "Diana, could you escort Red to the ladie's room." Receiving a nod, he added, "Then bring her to my office."
When the female agent was by their side, she frowned at the young woman. "No funny business."
She got no reply and after only a few steps, Lilly said in a loud chipper voice. "So Peter tells me you're a lesbian with a thing for redheads." A lie of course. Lilly had read the female agents lips while she was having a conversation on the phone, one with a woman who was obviously her girlfriend. Lilly could care less about who was a lesbian or who was gay, after all love is love. She was just being mean. She needed to go to the bathroom alone.
The entire bullpen was silent, and Hughes was making his way back to them. Diana just stood stock still, staring at Lilly. "So is Christie a redhead, or do you make her wear a wig?" Lilly looked warily at the agent. She looked pissed, and Lilly didn't want to have to beat the lady up. It was for that reason that she took a step back, not because she was scared.
No answer came forth, and Hughes had a tight grip in her hand again. "She can use my private bathroom." He marched Lilly up the stairs and into his office where he pointed to a closed door. He looked really pissed, so she retreated to the bathroom, turning on the water. She quickly made a few calls on her phone, which she had retrieved from Agent Hughes's pocket.
She flushed the toilet, washed her hands, and exited. She felt horrible about what she said earlier but couldn't think of any way to make it right. It had been such a long day and the nasty remarks she made to the actually nice female agent were just down right terrible. Considering all the things she had put the woman through, she looked at Hughes and saw a hint of anger in his eyes. Choosing to ignore it, she sat on the couch he indicated and took the Happy Meal from him. "Eat now!"
Thankfully, it was a chicken nugget meal, and she gobbled it down quickly, not noticing the smile on the man's face as he watched her in amusement. When his brother had come to visit with his wife and kids, he had learned from them that young ones would almost always eat chicken nuggets. They seemed to all be picky eaters. That proved to be the case with the teenager as well.
He would discuss the nasty remarks with Lilly after she got some rest. He didn't allow his agents to be disrespected, and certainly not by some smartass kid.
Hughes saw her shivering and retrieved a large FBI sweatshirt from his closet and handed it to her. Seeing her turn her nose up at it, he pulled it over her head quickly, and she put her arms through the sleeves, giving him yet another nasty look. It was at least several sizes bigger than her, making it a convenient blanket of sorts.
Several attempts to keep her eyes open finally failed, and she was soon asleep. When she finally fell asleep, he eased her slowly down on the couch until she was laying out flat. He removed her boots and then returned to his desk to work on some urgent paper work. He was glad nobody saw his gentle side. He had a stern reputation, which he intended on keeping. Respect was a must to run a whole FBI division. Respect was also something that Lilly needed to learn.
"What?" Peter shouted as Jones interrupted his interrogation of the shooter, who had so far only mocked every question asked.
He followed Jones out of the room. "What do you mean Red's lawyers are here?" he asked with anger in his voice. How could the girl have lawyers or the chance to even call anyone? She was, legally speaking, in protective custody, asleep on Hughes's couch with the man right in there with her.
Neal stepped out of Peter's office where he had been waiting with Mozzie, trying to calm his paranoid friend's fear that there were no mind reading scanners inserted over the doorways to read people's thoughts. Neal suspected Mozzie was really upset over Red and was redirecting it to the usual paranoia. He walked over to join Peter and Jones but froze as he saw two men down the stairs. He knew these men. They were lawyer's of the worst kind and handled almost exclusively people who were guilty as hell but had deep pockets. The tallest man was Sonny Garzo. He had been Vincent Adler's attorney and cohort.
Quickly covering the ground to Peter he nodded his head in the direction of the waiting men. "What are they doing here?"
Peter looked surprised at Neal. "You know them?"
Neal nodded. "The one in charge was on Vincent Adler's payroll."
Peter blew out an annoyed breath and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. "That man is Red's attorney. How the hell does she even know him?"
"The day I met her " Mozzie said from behind the group, causing them all to turn around. "I was injured, and I strayed far from places of torture, like hospitals. They sedate you, and then you're in stranger's hands to do with you as they please. I also do not wish to be in the system."
All three men rolled their eyes. "Just get on with it, man," Neal said in exasperation.
Hearing raised voices drew Agent Hughes's attention from his work. Two of his agents were standing a little ways from his office, having a heated conversation with the CI and his bald friend. A quick check of Red showed her to be sleeping still. Password locking his computer, he quietly slipped from the room to join them, locking his door behind him.
"She took me to an expensive high rise where she was staying. There was a doctor there who handled medical problems with discretion. He wrapped my ribs and checked me out, not asking for a dime. Red had her own penthouse there, a smaller one but still very expensive. Just as the doctor was finishing up, a well-dressed man walked in and spoke briefly with Lilly. It was that man," He indicated the same man Neal had been speaking of. "The other was Vincent Adler. He looked at me and said nothing about knowing me to Red. He did say something about her bringing strays home though." Mozzie frowned, remembering that insult. "She must have told him what happened because she handed the gun to him, and he laughed about it and patted her on the back." Mozzie shook his head as if he didn't approve.
"What was he doing there?" the senior suit barked at Mozzie. The little guy jumped, not realizing the senior suit had joined them.
"I don't know, but I suspect he owned the entire building, as well as Red's." The little guy shrugged.
"Was she " Hughes seemed to be unable to finish, but he didn't need to. Everyone understood what he meant and Agent Burke gasped audibly.
"No, no nothing like that. I think she was more of an amusement to him, like a pet. I asked her about him and all she would say was they were not related and that nosy people get black eyes." Moz laughed at that memory. Neal and Burke joined him.
Hughes just looked at them puzzled.
"She is violent," Neal explained.
"Well I could kick your ass for sure anyway," came a cocky voice behind Neal. There stood Red behind them, leaning casually against the wall, wearing a large FBI sweatshirt that came to her knees and no shoes, showing her rainbow colored socks.
They all spun around and stared at the defiant Red.
"Did I tell you that you could leave my office?" Hughes asked, towering over the girl.
Lilly crossed her arms and tilted her head to the side, looking up at him with a slight smile on her face. "Did I ask?" she replied
"My door was locked with a key." The senior suit leaned down and glared at Lilly.
She glared right back, a smirk on her face. "Sure you did. Or maybe you thought you did. You are getting along in the years."
Seeing something dangerous in senior suits eyes as he took a step towards her, she blurted out loud enough for the entire bullpen below to hear. "I see my lawyer is here." Looking down she yelled this time. "Hey, Sonny! I'm on my way down!"
The two men below both wore amused grins, and Sonny Garzo rolled his eyes nodding in Red's direction.