Disclaimer: Crazy people who are productive are geniuses. Crazy people who are rich are eccentric. But crazy people who are neither productive nor rich are just crazy.

The Great Escape - Chapter Three
(c)1999-2001 KSH

Jon took a deep breath, ran his hand through his hair, and looked at Neal like he was about to attempt to explain nuclear fission to a three year old. "The police are not just going to let us walk in there."

"No," Neal replied, shaking his head. "We're going to have to break in."

Jon sighed, making an effort to stay calm. "Neal, we are musicians. I have absolutely no experience with breaking and entering. I have a wife and three small children who depend on me to provide for them. You also have a wife and children. Burglary carries a mandatory jail sentence in this state, not to mention the fact that we would be breaking into a murder scene."

"Then I'd better not get caught. What else can I do? I don't want to end up wearing a cement overcoat. Not to mention what could happen to Dina and the kids if the hitman thinks he could use them." Neal had made up his mind, and anyone who knew Neal would know it was hopeless to argue with him.

"If I don't go with you, you'll go by yourself." Jon ran his hand through his hair again.

Neal nodded.

"Then I guess I'm in. We'd better figure out how we're going to do this, and what we're going to do about Dina and the kids while we're doing it."


By the time Jon's wife got home, all the details were worked out. Neal had called his wife and gave her a very edited version of what had happened. He had convinced her to take the children and stay with a friend out of town until things calmed down, promising to join her just as soon as he could. Jon suggested that she pay for everything with cash for the next few days, in case anyone could get access to her charge card records. For once, Neal was grateful that Jon read so many books, because he thought of details Neal never would have.

They actually managed to work on the song for a little while.

"Hi, sweetheart," Liz said as she came in with a shopping bag. "What have you two been up to?"

"Hi, honey," Neal said, trying to act cool.

"Um, we, uh, we've been working on a song. Can Neal stay for supper? And then he and I are going out, um, to check out this new band at a club."

Neal sneaked a glance at Jon, who looked so guilty Neal wanted to smack him.

Liz looked from Jon to Neal and back to Jon again before shaking her head and turning away. "I don't even want to know." She turned back just as she started to leave the room. "Of course Neal can stay."

As soon as she was gone, Neal turned to Jon. "Do me a favor. Just don't say anything else."


Neal borrowed a screwdriver and slipped out while Jon and Liz were getting the kids ready for bed.

Jon's neighbor was home now, so Neal sneaked down the street and switched license plates on the two Broncos. When the police found his fingerprints in Leroy's office, they would probably put out an APB. And the last thing you needed was to be pulled over when you were on your way to commit a burglary.

Neal and Jon parked around the corner and cut through to the back of Leroy's office. They climbed a tree near the back of the building and climbed over onto the balcony. While Jon held the flashlight, Neal slipped a credit card into the door, wiggled it around a few times, and opened the door.

"I thought that only worked in the movies," Jon said, shaking his head.

Waiting a few seconds to make sure the alarm wasn't set, they slipped inside and shut the door behind them. After a brief discussion, they decided it would be safe to turn a lamp on.

"Ok, now where do we start?" Neal asked.

"What do you mean, where do we start? This was your idea." Jon looked around for a moment. "You look in the filing cabinet. I'll check the stuff on the desk."

Neal took a few steps, stopped, looked at the chalk outline on the floor, and walked around the other side of the desk. He opened the first drawer of the filing cabinet, and began checking file names. Meanwhile, Jon sifted through the papers on the desk, careful to put each thing back as he found it.

"Nothing on Bayside in here," Neal said, turning toward Jon. "My file is here. Should I take it?"

"Might as well," Jon answered, checking the desk drawers. The bottom one was locked. Jon took a Swiss Army Knife from his pocket, extended one of the tools, and picked the lock.

Neal stared at him. "I thought you were the innocent one of the bunch."

"Madison went through a phase of locking doors." Jon answered, grinning. He turned his attention toward the contents of the drawer he had just opened. "Guess who's the first file in here? What the hell...?"

Before Neal could answer, there was the unmistakable sound of the front door being opened.

"Oh, shit! Somebody's here! Get out!" Neal grabbed at Jon's shirt, pulling him toward the balcony door.

Jon grabbed two folders out of the desk drawer and scrambled out behind Neal. The balcony door closed silently behind them just as the door from the office to the lobby opened. Jon reached toward the tree, but Neal stopped him, motioning toward the door. He looked back inside for a moment. One of the two men inside touched the other on the shoulder, pointed to the lamp, and the open drawers on the filing cabinet and the desk. The second man pointed to the bathroom door, then to his partner, to the balcony, and then to himself.

"It's him!" Neal hissed. "And he knows we're out here!"