The earthquake had shaken the city like none before.
Cable lines fell, houses toppled over, streets cracked, and to worsen the event, all power in New York City along with its neighboring cities was down. People rushing in their cars to hospitals filled the streets with roars as houses seemed to empty themselves in fear of destabilization.
Although in a small fit house on 106 Cambridge Place down in Brooklyn New York,
A woman laid still on the damaged floorboards of her living room floor as the rubble of a collapsed ceiling surrounded her cold body.
Kneeling above said body, crouched her grieving husband Peter Burke. At his sides stood his colleagues and friends Clinton Jones and Diana Berrigan, both mournfully shocked as they cleared the nearby rubble from the mourning man.
Standing stricken behind the three stood Neal. His eyes gazing upon the horrendous scene in pain.
When the earthquake struck, the four were preparing for a means of transport back home, Peter offering Neal over for dinner per his wife's request, claiming his superior palette to be essential for a new recipe she had been learning.
Agents Jones and Berrigan had carpooled together, however as the shaking had subsided Diana found her vehicle to be the victim of a fallen powerline.
Taking shelter far from any trees, buildings, or poles the four stood huddled as they waited for the shaking to stop.
When they deemed it safe, the agents and Neal decided it would be best to take shelter in Peter’s house, as the abode had been the closest to their destination.
Unaware of how far the earthquake had spread.
Phone lines were out of use, like those in the car soon realized after multiple calls to landladies, friends, girlfriends, and wives fell silent.
Stopping outside the house in its steady glory the three stood in front of the door with high hopes of minimal damage as the knob jiggled open.
Although upon entering the house the only emotion felt was a grief-stricken fear as the smell of iron filled the air and a somber-looking Satchamo whined pitifully under a pile of the fallen ceiling.
His nose pawing the leg of a still woman underneath the rubble.
“ She didn't deserve this”
The single comment seemed to break the silence that clutched the room in its grasp.
Diana and Clinton gave the speaker a wary look as they saw the way Peter stiffened.
Turning his head to face his CI
“ What good does that do?” Peter said,
His words brittle and wet, even in their quiet tone, it still conveyed a heat behind it.
Neal only stared at the scene with a pitying look, scanning the room with a remorseful mind as he paid his respects to the once warm and comforting home,
the room would never be the same.
Trailing his eyes to meet his handlers,
“ I can fix this.”
The agents in the room fixed their eyes on the man with a look of bitter disbelief.
How could anyone possibly say that? What could even be done to fix this loss?
Heat filling to the brim of the man's eyes as he questioned with mirth, “ what could you possibly do that could fix this situation?”
The query being rectified by the man standing up to stare his friend in the eye.
The man in question simply looked into the fire straight on,
“ Do you trust me?”
A simple question for some, but a heavy one for the four. While the agents trusted their fellow law enforcement workers and by trade their confidence man CI in the field, there were still a few holes in the team's relationship.
In this situation though, the question made no sense.
The same question arose, what could possibly be done to fix this situation? What could possibly de-stain the blood blooming on the suit pants of the stricken husband or the smell of iron filling the air?
Although the simple look of grief and unbridled pain in the man's eyes only answered the question, as a small spark of unbelieving desperate hope entered his eyes.
Neal took that as his answer.
Pulling out a small swiss army knife from his back pocket, he slashed a long deep cut along the width of his left palm.
Shocking the agents as he faced his hand to the side as if to let the blood run down his hand and onto the floor.
Taking place near the conman's side Diana rushed to grab the man's arm, “ What the hell do you think you're doing!”
As soon as the blood dropped to stain the floor the room seemed to stand still.
A wave of energy pushed its way through the room, filling it with the smell of ozone and static before dispersing.
The wave pushed the agents to the floor as their bodies felt weak from shock.
What the hell?
Sparing his friends a small glance, the con man stalked his way towards the body of Elizabeth Burke,
the fallen staring mouth ajar as they stared at the man with faces adjourned with disbelief and fear.
Standing tall Neal inhaled deeply holding his breath for a few seconds before exhaling in a draft.
Suddenly the air became filled with ozone once again, this time filling the area with an almost warm buzz.
The wreckage piling on the floor and the fallen roof above began to glow faintly with a transparent blue hue as the broken objects in the room seem to stitch themselves together in a flurry. In minutes the living room looked just as it was the morning of as if the whole event had been nothing but a crude dream. Even the blood staining the wood below had been cleared of its pooling.
Looking at the reason for this unbelievable feat, a broken man allowed a spark of hope to enter his voice.
The man looked over to his friend with a captured look of awe and fear.
Merely looking back to give Peter a small reassuring smile, Neal focused his eyes on the body in front of him.
Giving El a good once over, he kneeled down by the woman's stomach much like her husband had minutes before. Closing his eyes and leaning forward he bowed his head as if to pray, letting his bleeding hand cover the blood-soaked fabric of the woman's stomach.
The word is spoken in a light coercing voice, the language falling unknown to the surrounding people.
A similar glow of the power used before to fix the room covered Elizabeth as it seemed to wrap her like a cocoon.
The center where Neal's hand laid glowing brightest in a hot orb on white heat, as it seemed to mend itself with her body. The process lasted for several minutes.
Neal's face pinched slightly around his closed eyes as if holding back frustration and pain. Taking a deep breath once more before exhaling, he opened his eyes.
The others took in a sharp intake of breath as Jones let out a whispered “ oh god.”
And ‘Oh god’ indeed, was all the others could think of as they saw the glowing white eyes that seemed to replace Neal’s, as a faint outline of long sleek wings seemed to protrude from his back laying open and limp across the floor.
The flash of glowing white in Neal's eyes only lasted less than a few seconds before his eyes reverted back to their normal cobalt blue and the wings seemed to solidify.
The glow emitting from his apparent healing had reached its peak when the solidifying mass of glowing white seemed to spread across Elizabeth's body in a fury.
The room flashed in a wave of warm blues and whites as the body seemed fully covered.
Upon opening their eyes after shielding them from the burning light, the agents looked over to the now sitting up woman in clean attire.
Peter could feel his hands trembling as Diana came to help Jones off the floor.
Pushing himself he looked over to the obviously equally shaken woman.
“Hon?” Peter said, looking desperate for an obvious response.
the familiar voice responded in kind as she seemed to be just as shaken and confused.
Rushing forward he gathered his wife in his arms in a tight embrace, holding his wife tight as he felt her familiar warmth in his arms.
His wife back in his arms, apparently alive and well.
The two stayed like this for a few minutes in silence, before El asked “ Hon what's going on?”
Pushing against his chest slightly to get a good look at her husband's face, his eyes rimmed slightly red.
“ As happy as I am, I for one would also like to know what the hell is going on here too,” Jones commented as he and Diana inched closer to the pair.
All eyes zeroed on to the man slumped against the now fully fixed couch,
as he seemed to struggle to keep his head up straight.
“ Neal.. what did you do?”
The question was spoken quietly from the saved woman herself,
She remembers the pain of her lonely death and the steady voice calling out to her with open arms, calling her back home, back to Peter, back to life.
The question seemed to take a while for the man to process as Neal starred pale and weak at the four standing ( or sitting in the Burkes cases) in front of him.
Wheezing slightly “..- you died, un..undeservingly you died. It wasn't your t-time to pass. So I brought you back, as..as my duty requires it of me.”
Neal spoke slurred and tired.
The others looked at him confused, his duty?
Suddenly Neal slumped forward, the four rushed up to catch the man before he fell forward. Diana reached the man first as his head fell onto her stomach.
Jones standing firmly behind Neal to stabilize him with a steady hand on his back.
The Burkes came to check worriedly on Neal as he seemed to have passed out from exhaustion.
Although as much as they were worried for their friend, the folded dark grey wings protruding out of their friends' back seemed to harbor more attention to them.
The wings seemed to be phasing out of the back of the suit jacket but seemed perfectly physical from then on.
Diana absentmindedly strummed her fingers through her friend's hair, subconsciously trying to soothe him, as she and the others stood shell shocked at the events that occurred in the past hour or so.
The slight tired groan emitted from the sleeping man brought them out of their stupor as they looked at one another.
Collectively they all looked down to Neal and for once, left the questions for when he was more coherent.
Obviously whatever he did to fix what had occurred this evening had taken a toll on himself, and thanking whatever was above for the events that transpired this past hour.
Still shaken, the four felt the weight of all the turmoil this situation brought upon themselves. Diana shifted and lowered Neal so that he laid rested on the couch.
Diana sat down next to his still body watching Neal’s chest rise and fall as she rested her head back on the cushioning of the couches backboard,
Jones followed Diana's lead as he sat slumped on the floor, resting against the legs of the couch.
The burkes sitting close on the small coffee table, looking terribly tired but also awake.
All four with one main thought in mind.