Chapter 1

A loud thud and a high-pitched squeak wakes Liz from her stupor and she raises her head to face the light suddenly pouring into her normally pitch black prison. She frowns, squeezing her eyes shut against the harsh brightness, absolute hell on her eyes after so many long hours of darkness, before she pries them open with difficulty to see who is paying her a visit, even though there's really only one possibility. As usual, the dark silhouette of Neville Townsend stands in the doorway.

"Hello, Agent Keen."

Townsend leaves his guards at the door and strides over to where Liz is slumped on the cold, hard floor, looking up at him with distaste. He stops just short of the sizable pool of blood stemming from Liz's right leg, the numerous deep gashes he's inflicted upon her over their previous meetings still slowly seeping blood. He crouches down to be closer to her.

"I hope you're enjoying your stay with us. Are you satisfied with the accommodations?"

Liz, already in enough pain that she is rapidly losing interest in her own self-preservation, leans up only far enough toward Townsend to spit hardily in his face.

(And while it may have been a stupid thing to do, Liz can't deny that it was incredibly satisfying.)

Townsend recoils from her, disgusted and wiping at his face, before he whips a knife out of his ridiculous bathrobe and adds another deep gash to the growing collection on her leg. Liz can't suppress a soft hiss but quickly grits her teeth, not willing to give him the satisfaction of any other admission of pain.

Townsend stands, looking down at her with derision. "I gather you're not ready to tell me what you know about Reddington," he muses.

Liz glares at him. "I'm not telling you anything," she snaps, trying to speak strongly despite her fatigue and pain.

Townsend sighs as though put upon, before his mood changes on a dime, and he suddenly gives a careless shrug. "Oh well," he says. "You only have a day or so at best before you bleed out. I just thought - given that you came to me to team up against Reddington - you had a bit more sense than this."

Liz grits her teeth again, not appreciating the reminder of her single disastrous attempt to murder Red - in a hospital full of innocent people, including her own team - the one selfish act that knocked some sense into her and changed her mind about turning on him…unfortunately only after she'd reached out to Townsend for a meeting. By that point his people had already come to collect her as agreed and she'd had no choice but to attend the meeting. While she'd tried her best to talk her way out of it, Townsend had reasoned that she was worth more as a captive than a partner in his quest to destroy Reddington, and he decided to keep her.

That was a week ago.

Now, Townsend gives another sigh and heads for the door. "It doesn't make any difference to me if you die, Agent Keen," he tells her idly as he walks away. "It's a shame he won't come for you like I thought he would, but it doesn't matter. I'll just find another way to get to him."

At that, Liz barks a harsh laugh that makes Townsend pause as he reaches the doorway, turning slowly amidst the bright beams of light shining into her small, dark cell until he's facing her once again, half of his face darkened by shadow. "May I ask what's so funny?"

Liz smirks at him. "That just shows how stupid you are, Townsend," she drawls. "You really think he won't come for me."

But Townsend grins easily back at her, his eyebrows rising in a condescending way that makes her a little nervous, giving her the unpleasant impression that he knows something she doesn't.

"Are you sure about that, Agent Keen?" he asks mildly. "My intel shows me that he's got a new lady love in his life. Pretty thing, too, older than you. They've been bird-watching in the park together, isn't that quaint?"

Liz scowls at him, even as a cold shiver runs down her spine.

(Because could she really blame Red if he has finally, at long last, given up on her?)

"You're lying," she spits, wishing she felt as confident as she sounds.

"Oh yes?" muses Townsend. "Well, let's see. You're the profiler, Agent Keen…"

And he reaches inside his robe to tug out a surveillance photo, tossing it lightly to land in the puddle of her blood on the floor, and suddenly Red's smiling face is staring up at her, only he's not smiling at Liz but at the pretty, dark-skinned woman sitting next to him -

"What do you think?"

And the door is swinging shut, taking with it all of the light illuminating the photograph, leaving Liz alone with the absolute darkness and her crushing despair, the same thoughts circling through her aching head.

(But her heart - the stupid, foolish organ - continues to keen incessantly inside her chest, wishing in vain for him to appear and save her, even when she's as undeserving as she is, but it doesn't matter because -)

There's no hope.

Red isn't going to rescue her.

Because he's moved on.