Everything old is new Again
Sunday in the office with Peter
Peter walked into the office. It was Sunday morning, he expected to be walking into an empty office. He was surprised to see Jones and Diana sitting at their desks. The scent of fresh brewed coffee drifted in the room. He was proud to see that his team didn't give up looking for Neal, not even on an off day. Filling his cup with coffee, he walked to Jones' desk. He saw him pick up a paper from his printer.
"You couldn't stay home either?" he asked Diana and Jones.
"We didn't want to wait until Monday to search for places that sold pigments," Diana explained. "I want to be a step ahead of Kramer." Diana knew that sometimes Neal could be a real pain, but like Peter, she felt that he did not run. If Kramer found him first, he didn't deserve what he had planned for him.
Jones handed Peter the printed sheet. "I was alerted that the Marshall's was going to send me something late last night. I left before it was sent. It's a list of places Neal lived when in WITSEC."
Peter went down the list, he noticed that he lived in St. Louis the longest.
"Boss," Diana dejectedly said, with a shake of her head. "This is not going to be easy. I found hundreds of places that sell pigments in the country. I narrowed it down to around fifty that deal with special pigments for master paintings. There is one plus, on 8th street is a store that specialize in pigments for creating old master paintings. Unfortunately, they're not open on Sundays. We'll have to talk to them tomorrow."
"With the luck we're having," Peter said, "I bet Peintre used some obscure place in a nowhere town."
Jones stood up and picked up a pad of paper. "I found sixty-four places outside the country. I actually managed to call four of them. So far none of them want to talk to us about their clientele. It's going to be hard getting them to give us any information, we don't have jurisdiction there."
Peter was happy to hear they actually found a place close by that sold pigments for painters. Sitting on Diana's desk, he said, "Great work, guys. We do have jurisdiction for the one here in New York, but we'll need to word this just right. We don't want to spook them. If they've done business with Le Peintre when he was alive, they may not want to help us.
I'm sure he was able to be a ghost due to the loyalty of the businesses he would buy from. We can't really force them to tell us, they've done nothing legally wrong. It's no crime to purchase merchandise. Wish Neal was here, he'd know how to get them to talk without them being suspicious."
Jones laughed. "If Neal was here, we wouldn't be doing all this."
"Since we don't have Neal," Diana said, "Would a mini-Neal do?"
"Who?" Peter asked. Jones pointed behind Peter. Looking back, he was surprised to see Mozzie standing in the elevator hallway. Standing up, he swiftly walked to the glass door.
"Mozzie, what are you doing standing there, come on in."
Mozzie shook his head, "No thanks, Suit. I'm allergic to FBI offices."
Peter opened the door, "I'll buy you some calamine lotion, get in here!"
Mozzie hesitantly lifted his foot and gingerly placed it over the door jam. The other soon followed. He held fisted hands close to his chest. Peter could swear he was shaking. He gently placed his arm on his shoulder and ushered him to Jones and Diana's desks.
"You must have something important to tell us if you came up here," Peter said.
Mozzie nodded his head. "I didn't expect to see you here on a Sunday. I was going to drop this off in your office." He pulled out an envelope. "I received this, this morning." Peter took the letter. From the concerned look on Mozzie's face, he knew it must be important. He pulled out three printed papers in the envelope.
"Another email?" Peter asked Mozzie. He just nodded his head.
Jones and Diana waited to hear what the letter said.
Peter quickly read the email. "Anonymous sent Mozzie another message. The first is a photo of a painting with two girls sitting on some balcony."
"It's a Renoir," Mozzie said, "It's called, Two sisters."
Peter read out loud the second paper. "The letter states to potential buyers that as they can see, Le Maitre Peintre is able to complete an order briskly and accurately. They dare all dealers to find any discrepancies with the original. They also brag that three more have been ordered."
Peter looked at the third printed paper. It had three paintings printed on them. One was obviously the Mona Lisa, the second looked like an alien screaming, the third was a lady dressed in a bright blue dress.
Jones stared at the paintings. "Two more with no eyebrows. What's with painters and eyebrows?"
"That's Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Munch's The Scream and Renoir's La Parisienne," Mozzie said. "I think there might be a clue we'll be able to use, Suit. They're bragging about the next paintings Neal is going to be doing."
Mozzie made sure to use Neals name, not the one the kidnappers gave him. He angrily shook his head. "I hate how they're using Neal. When he painted it made him happy, calmed him down. Now some low life is making money off of his hard work. Suit, we have to stop them, we need to find Neal."
"Mozzie, I'm glad you're here. We may be needing your expertise."
Mozzie brightly smiled. "Really, Suit? What do you need me to do? Run a con, fix your tax returns?"
Peter gently led him to Diana's desk. "Nothing that drastic, we just need you to make a phone call."
"Or a visit," Jones added, as he stepped back.
Diana pulled her chair out. "Or both."
"Yes," Peter said. He sat Mozzie down on Diana's chair.
Mozzie looked suspiciously at the three agents. "Years of experience in all facets of duplicity and you ask me to make a phone call? Not complaining, Suit. But I really think it's a waste of my incomparable talent."
Diana handed him a paper that had the name, address and phone number of an art supply store. "I was just going to call you," Peter explained. "Last night we may have figured out a way to find Neal. If Neal is being forced to forge paintings from old masters, he'll need special pigments to do that. We need to find a place that specializes in the pigments that would have been sold to Le Peintre. I believe that if we find them, we'll find Neal."
"I get you, Suit. Pretty clever for an FBI Agent."
"I do have my moments," Peter said. He stared at the photo of the lady in blue. "Mozz, I think you're right."
"I'm always right, Suit," Mozzie happily agreed. "Enlighten me as to how I'm right this time."
"They left us a clue. The painting with the lady in the dress, it has a lot of blue in it."
Mozzie stared at the photo. "Neal once told me that the most expensive pigment sold was Lapis Lazuli. It's a bright blue color."
Peter pointed at the photo of the blue lady. "She's practically all blue. Lapis Lazuli, we just need to find out who has been given a recent order for this color, then they can tell us where they're sending the pigments. An address, a PO box, something that we can use to help us find Neal. We'd call them ourselves but if the FBI asked, they'll…"
"Shut up tighter than a clam shell," Mozzie said. "I get you, Suit. They would be more open to a kindred spirit such as myself." Mozzie stared at the addresses. "I know this place, I've been there with Neal several times to purchase pigments." Mozzie was getting excited. He began to have hope that they finally had a lead, a lead that he would be able to use his expertise to help find Neal. Mozzie stuffed the paper in his pocket.
"I'll go to the place and ask around. I know just what to say." Mozzie gratefully smiled, "Thanks for letting me help, Suit. I told you, if we work together, we'll find Neal. Now I have to go," Mozzie began scratching his arms. "My allergy is acting up. The place isn't open today, I'll visit them tomorrow morning. I'll call you to let you know if I found anything."
Standing up, Mozzie swiftly walked towards the glass door. He couldn't get out of the office fast enough.
"What now, boss?" Diana said.
Peter picked up his cup of coffee, "The both of you go home. You've done all you can today. It's up to Mozzie now. All we can do is wait."
Neal spent Sunday locked up in his room. He nervously paced the carpeted floor. The ache in his ribs was still there, but not as sharp. He went over in his mind different ways that he could use to break out of this place. Unfortunately, it would involve him having some kind of tool to help him. They took everything from him but his watch. Getting an idea, he sat on his chair and looked out the window. It was going to be a long, boring day.
Monday morning Peter walked into his office at seven thirty. He anxiously waited to hear from Mozzie. As he waited for his computer to log into the network, he noticed a commotion outside his office. Jones ran up the stairs past several agents coming down.
"What's going on?" Peter asked Jones. It was Kramer that answered him. "We just got a lead," he told Peter. "One of our agents in Florida said his informant spotted Sullivan and Caffrey in Sarasota. That happens to be a place that Caffrey lived when he was in WITSEC."
"How did you…?" Peter began to ask him. He hoped that Kramer didn't have the same idea of getting a list of where Neal lived while in WITSEC.
Seeing how uncomfortable Peter was, Kramer interrupted him. "Not me, Peter, you. The Marshall's was the first phone call I made when I came here. I told them to give me a copy of everything they sent to you. I knew you wouldn't share things with me, not right away. They sent me a list of where Caffrey lived while in WITSEC this morning. That list gives us a connection to Caffrey. We found a store that sells pigments in Sarasota. We just finished talking to the people at an art supply store.
They said they stock Pigments that would be needed to create old master's paintings. We asked them if they had a recent order for some pigments. They gave us an address of a place that they sent the pigments to, it was addressed to a George Devore.
What a coincidence, that's one of Caffrey's aliases. They also said that they've sent pigments to the same place for years. They were addressed to a Pablo Pintor. Pablo, as in Pablo Picasso. He was a Spanish painter. Pintor is Spanish for painter. It's all there, Peter. It connects to Peintre and Caffrey. I'm sorry Peter, but you were wrong. Caffrey's been a part of this from the beginning. We have both of them seen together. They've been working on this behind our backs all this time, Sullivan and Caffrey."
"No!" Peter loudly declared. "I don't believe for a moment that Neal would have anything to do with Rory or taking over Peintre's business."
"Rory was really interested in that painting that Neal did," Kramer said. "If he did turn, I wouldn't put it past Caffrey to talk him into it. I bet Caffrey made a deal with him to go into business for themselves."
"This is all conjecture, Phillip. You have no proof. Who did you talk to? Are you sure they gave you reliable information?"
Peter began putting his hand in his pocket where he had the new printed-out emails from Mozzie. "Neal's friend gave me some good evidence that I believe…"
Kramer held his hand up to stop Peter. "Enough, Peter. Would you just stop protecting him! Think about it, who should I believe, a friend of a convicted con man or an agent of the FBI? This is a good lead and we're checking it out. And don't worry, once I slap Caffrey in cuffs, I'll give you one last chance to say goodbye, but as per our deal, you're not to talk to him again, ever."
Kramer stopped at the stairs, "You coming to prove me wrong?"
Peter could feel this just wasn't right. He took a step back. "You go, I have a lead that needs to be seen through."
"You still believe he wasn't a part of this?" Kramer shook his head. "Sorry, Peter. But it appears that Neal Caffrey's final assignment is going to be working for me in Washington."
Peter watched Kramer leave the office with ten agents in tow. Jones and Diana stood at the bottom of the stairs.
Peter angrily pursed his lips, "This doesn't feel right. Peintre was a ghost for years. The store wouldn't give Le Peintre's address so quickly."
"I just checked the place out," Jones said. "It's only been in business since nineteen ninety-nine. They were not in business long enough to deal with Peintre."
"Kramer knows better," Diana said. "He's blinded by finding Neal. He's not thinking it all out. What do we do now, Boss?".
Peter saw Kramer entering the elevator. "I say, we wait to hear from Mozzie."
Jones and Diana agreed. Peter went back to his office. That was after he received a burning look from Hughes. Once again, it was his ass on the line. But his gut told him he needed to wait and see what Mozzie found. It was eight thirty that he received a text on his cellphone. Looking at it he was happy to see it was from Mozzie. He told him to come to the art supply store right now. That the store owner was willing to talk to him, alone.
Peter couldn't get his jacket on fast enough. Rushing past Jones and Diana's desk he told them he was going to the arts supply store. They insisted on coming, but he stated that Mozzie was explicit, he had to come alone. As he drove to the store, his thoughts turned to whether Kramer was right or his gut.