an: Oh, this is my first fanfic, seriously sorry if there are any mistakes! Somehow when I uploaded it, it changed a little. A couple words got deleted, but I think I got them all. Please don't be too harsh. Try to just enjoy it, and don't complain that Neal is seriously OOC. That's somewhat the point. Please enjoy it. Criticism, constructive and otherwise, very much welcomed.

Peter returned home from his week-long get-away in the Bahamas with his beautiful wife, Elizabeth. It had been exactly what they needed. They wasn't a single moment the whole week when they hadn't been laughing and smiling together, never once thinking about the stressful reality back home. They'd lived in the now and had a fantastic time, but now they were home and it was 8am the next morning. Normally, Peter would have been up sooner, but it was the day after vacation and you know what that's like.

Peter put on the usual suit, one he hadn't touched all week, preferring lighter more comfortable wear for the tropical climate. He gently nudged his wife awake. Tired she smiled up at him. "It's time to wake up," he said "I have to go check on Neal, make sure he hasn't done something that'll get himself back in jail yet."

And with that Peter walked out of the safe haven that was his home into a story of utter chaos and confusion that no one saw coming.


Peter sat in his car staring out the front window, dreading going back to work. Don't get it wrong, he loved what he did, chasing criminals, solving crimes, but after such a perfect week it was hard to go back. He sighed and grabbed his phone, turning it on to check all the messages he had missed.

two missed calls. Not bad. Of course he did tell everyone he would be away without his phone on, so it was to be expected. He checked the caller I.D. and found the first one to be from Jones. It went

"Peter Burke? Yeah it's Jones. Neal just came to the department, activated his tracker, looking completely out of it. He looked really scared, and wouldn't stop shaking. We're going to interrogate him now. I know your on vacation and probably won't get this anytime soon, but I thought I'd let you know, since Neal is yours. Let you know more later."

And it ended. Nothing. Peter could have been hit by an atomic bomb and he wouldn't have flinched. Neal was scared. No, Neal was terrified, and it petriefed Peter to think what it could be that could do so much damage to the world's number one white collar criminal. This isn't just some little prank, a little too much drinking, or a smack in the face, heck not even a car crash. Something seriously happened.

Peter looked at when the call was made. Only three days ago. Long enough that Neal would be better, but not long enough for him to be completely healed. At this point all Peter wanted to do was rush to the department or June's house or wherever the heck Neal was and help the poor man. With Kate gone, he had no one. He had to help him!

Though, Peter resisted the urge to just zoom off in some random direction remembering the promise Jones made to update him more later. Fearfully he began to play the second message which had been made only two days ago. Peter wondered what could have caused such a time difference but ignored it, rushing straight to the message itself.

"Agent Peter Burke?" It was the chief this time, not Jones, "Neal Caffery came in yesterday, I believe Jones already told you all about it so I won't bore you with all the details, but as soon as you get back from vacation please report to the department. We need your help to figure out what's happened to Caffery. Until then, he'll be staying under supervision at the department. Just remember, he's your responsibility."

Peter took off. When he put the keys in ignition, he doesn't even know. His foot just hit the pedal as soon as he heard Neal was at the department, and continued to press harder when he heard of the surveillance. Something must be seriously wrong for the chief to allow Caffery to be there for more than five minutes.

The drive to the department took only half the time it usually did. And when Peter got there, the sprint up the stairs took only a third of what it should. When he reached the door he practically broke through the glass in his dash.

"Where's Caffery?" He demanded. A few heads glanced his way, and a couple people pointed to a room in the back, one of the few that wasn't entirely built of glass. Peter approached it, took the handle, and turned it.


Neal was huddled in the corner. His knees bent to his stomach and his arms wrapped around himself like he was trying to hold his fragile self together. He was visibly shaking with massive bags under his eyes as if he hadn't slept in days. His glossy eyes looked over to meet Peter's but instead of the much needed contact they stared right through.

"What happened?"


Peter kneeled in front of Neal. "You have to tell me what happened." He said desperately. "Please, I can help you, Neal. Don't you trust me? I know everything about you. I can help."

Neal chocked and looked as though he would cry. "I...She..."

"A women? Okay, continue." Peter urged.

"There was a... bar. She...was...kind. And...we know. So I went and..." Tears were visibly streaming down his face. "The drink. It was... God, so stupid...I just...don't know...I did it and..."

"Neal" Peter looked straight into Neal's damp eyes. He reached out and held the ex-con's extremely clammy hands in his own. "You have to calm down. What ever happened it completely okay.

"No!" Snapped Neal suddenly, "You don't understand. You can't. It's just...I drank it and I...I couldn't function right! I wanted to fight it. I did! But the I...I was too weak. I couldn't stop it. And...and am I suppose to..."

Peter was at a lost. As soon as Neal got going he slowed down and started off on non-descriptive self loathing. Thankfully, the chief walked in at the moment.

"I see you're not getting much farther than we are." The chief said.


"Though you might want to know," the chief added in his usual firm, emotionless voice, "he hasn't been eating or sleeping. He keeps asking for various drugs. All stimulants. We gave him a few Gatorades which he didn't drink. Hell, we were got desperate and even tried a couple pure sugar cubes. He inspected them very thoroughly, but I guess he didn't find what he wanted because he seemed very annoyed at it. At first it looked as though he would discard it with the Gatorades but finally he caved and began sucking on it."

Peter couldn't help but begin to panic even more. He crouch down in front of Neal again and leaned forward so their foreheads were touching. Damn, Neal was burning up. On a quick estimation Peter would have to say it was a fever of around 103 degrees.

"Peter..." Neal whispered as he fell into unconsciousness for the first time in days.