A/N thanks for your reviews and support. This is the final chapter to this fic. I do not have plans for a sequel.
Crandelll: thanks for your review my friend. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Sephiria growled as she moved towards them, "Heartnet! Why didn't you kill him?! Why?"
Train looked back at Creed with a look of disdain as he replied, "There is uno need to kill him. That's not who I am anymore. I left Chronos for a reason. Just as I have left Creed alive. He is no longer a threat to us."
Train shouted knowing that they were watching but not interfering, "Apostles, your leader has fallen. Take him away before someone decides to kill him."
A portal opened and Creed was pulled through. There was time for thanks or any words for him. It wasn't as if he expected them to say anything. They were his enemies after all.
He barely kept his feet when a fist suddenly hit him across the jaw. It wasn't all that surprising but he expected a sword slash. One that would have taken his head from his shoulders.
He rubbed his jaw and glared at Sephiria as he snarled, "I did what I thought was right. Chronos doesn't own me."
Her blue eyes widened with surprise as she asked, "You truly have no intention of returning to us? Even after all of this?"
Train stepped back rubbing his hand over the bruise forming, "Chronos was never going to last for me. As my friend once said I am like a stray cat. Nothing can own me and hold me for long."
Even as he said this he knew how true it was. His time in New York had given him pain and happiness. New friends that showed him a path that wasn't filled with death and killings. A time that was now running short as he felt confined ame the need to leave was growing ever stronger.
Her eyes held just a small amount of hurt as she said, "I guess I should have been expecting this. I won't chase you, Heartnet. Despite not agreeing with your sentiment you have done the world a great service even if you did not kill Creed. Today you have earned your freedom. Both from Chronos and those that bind you here. By the end of the week you will be free to choose your own path. As much as I would rather you come back with us. I know forcing your hand would only lead to more pain and loss. Chronos has already lost two of its number fighting the Apostles. We cannot lose anymore if we are to keep the peace."
Train said sincerely, "Thank you, Sephiria. You dont know how much this means to me."
Her eyes hardened as she replied, "While I do, Heartnet do not let our paths cross again. By the rules of Chronos you are a traitor. As such we are duty bound to kill or bring you in. Just dont let our paths cross. Goodbye, Heartnet."
With that she was gone and he sighed in relief. That was one pain that he hoped to never cross again. At least not officially. Some part of him knew this would not be the last of he saw of her. They had too much of a history for that.
When he turned he realized just how much trouble he was in. Half of the League stood before him. Peter, Hughes, Jones, Diana, and Mozzie weren't far behind them. As expected Jenos was only a few feet to the side of Train. His eyes never leaving the younger.
The two Chronos Numbers exchange a look. As if one person they said, "I need a drink."
That had them both laughing. It felt good to laugh again. It wasn't something he had done a lot of since the business with Peter started. There were few that could make him laugh like Jenos.
They both began to walk off ignoring the sets of people. Dealing with the "good guys" could wait. They needed something to drink.
Bruce snarled, "Where do you think you are going, Richard?"
The two men shared a look before Train replied, "A drink. You all are welcome to join us or wait until we are done. I am not helping with the clean up of this fight. Not my problem. I took care of Creed I'm not cleaning up his mess as well."
With that he was gone with Jenos at his side. They left behind a flabbergasted group. No one moved to stop them.
They went to a mostly undamaged part of city. It was at the very edge of the city and a small bar was where they chose. They both sat at the bar and ordered whiskey. Neal preferred wine but Train preferred whiskey if he was drinking alchohol.
Jenos asked after the second round of drinks, "Are you sure about not returning to Chronos? You could do a lot of good with us."
Train rubbed a hand tiredly over his face, "I can't. The killing is slowly eating away at what is left of my soul. I can't do it anymore, Jenos."
For a moment he thought he was going to be ridiculed for his weakness. Instead he saw understanding in the man's eyes. He knew exactly how Train felt about the killings.
"I know how you feel," came Jenos's reply, "Sometimes I can't bring myself to take missions. At least one that would end in bloodshed. I know how much it hurts to think about. Killing hurts more than we can talk about with others. Numbers aren't allowed to have feelings of our own. If Chronos knew of my feelings they would have me put on probation. If I could not bring my emotions into check. Then if I was lucky I would be demoted. If unlucky then I would be killed."
Feelings were a weakness in Chronos. They could not understand that emotions weren't weakness. They were crippling at times but they could also be one's strength. Saya taught him that emotions were not weaknesses. He would never forget her teachings.
Train said downing another shot of whiskey, "Sometimes we learn what we assumed before isn't true. Without our emotions we are little more than monsters."
"Well said, Richard," came a gravely voice from behind them.
Turning he saw Bruce standing there in his civilian clothes. Next to him was Oliver who was already pushing his way inside. The older vigilante had a pained look in his eyes.
Oliver sat on the other side of Train and ordered, "I'll have a whiskey top shelf."
Bruce hesitated a moment before taking the seat next to Jenos. Bruce asked his hand enclosing a round a glass that was in front of him, "You aren't coming back to Gotham, are you?"
Train shook his head as he replied, "No I'm not. Bruce I can't return to that life. I'm not the same person I was before. I have killed to survive. You saw and can still see who I have been with."
Jenos gave a quiet cough into his whiskey. They both knew there was no going back for him. All he could do was keep moving forward. Even if it was hell that he was heading towards.
Bruce sighed, "At least come visit. From that look in your eye you will be doing a lot of traveling. We have all missed you."
"I can't promise anything but I'll try," he replied. That was the absolute truth. He would try to make a visit but already plans were forming in his mind. A way to make money and to not kill. At the same time he would be helping people just as he had before.
A week later
Sephiria had kept her promise. He was finally free. Officially it was due to all his solved cases and the help he provided during the attack. The only ones who knew the truth were the ones who had been there.
Peter didn't treat him any differently than before. Though he was slightly disappointed that Neal was joining the Sweepers. Already he recieved his license and would be leaving after the party. There was no places in their world for goodbyes.
Hughes accepted that he was both Neal and Train. That he never wanted to kill again. It was with his blessing that Neal was allowed to become a sweeper.
Jones was wary and mistrustful around him now. The man had seen what he could do if he was so inclined. The sort of friendship they had built was gone.
Diana she was wary but she could see that he was still the same man as before. The same person that would protect his friends to the very end. She still would never let him around her child that was on the way. As much as he wanted to be around the child he knew he had too much blood on his hands. A child was too pure to be around someone like him.
The final surprise for him had been Sven. The man not only helped him with getting a sweeper license he offered to be Neal's partner. Most sweepers went at it alone but after being alone for so long he wanted to have a companion.
A voice asked bringing him from his thoughts, "Are you sure about this, Neal? We can get you a position here."
He turned to face Peter as he replied, "I can't. Maybe one day I can return but that won't be soon."
Peter sighed patting him on the shoulder, "Then I wish you the best of luck, Neal. Keep in touch?"
"Of course," was his reply.
No matter where he was or who he was chasing, he would keep in touch. They had become like a family to him.
A feeling that he was recognized ran down his surprise. He was being watched. It only took a moment for him to find where the eyes were.
Jenos was leaning against the side of the doorframe. His dark eyes met Neal's bright ones. They shared a quiet smile and Jenos turned away. He raised a hand as he left in goodbye. It wouldn't be the last he saw of his friend but they wouldn't chase each other. Not anymore.