"I hear Brazil is nice this time of year."
Neal slowly tore his attention away from the beautiful pieces of work – no, art - in front of him and looked up. "Really?"
"Of course not." Mozzie bit happily into his bagel and spoke around a mouthful of lettuce and cheese. "Brazil has That Thing."
"I thought we don't talk about, you know: That Thing."
"Exactly," Mozzie said, and spared a dark look for the door before hunching protectively around the remains of his bagel.
Neal stared at him blankly. "I'm … really not following."
Mozzie made his way around the table to look at the bonds from a safe, mayo-free distance. "You know they're surrounding the building, right? There's going to be sirens and yelling and guns, and you know I hate sirens. Also yelling. And guns."
Neal rolled his eyes and went back to staring at the bonds. "They aren't surrounding the building, Moz. We'll be out of here tomorrow. We're fine."
"I'm fine. I'm just the neighbor - an innocent bystander, if you will, who will be aghast because that young couple always seemed so nice.
"You, on the other hand, probably already have Agent Burke pawing through your hotel room." He leaned further over Neal's shoulder and appraised the bonds. "Your work has such depth. I've always been very impressed with your commitment to the inking."
"Well, thank you, Moz." Neal put a few more kilowatts into his smile, which Mozzie liked to think he was largely immune to. Largely.
He sniffed, just to prove it. "Even if that shade of blue is practically a signature. At least it isn't actually a signature." He stared down at Neal's suddenly blank expression. "It isn't actually a signature, right?"
"Yeah, about that-" Neal shifted uncomfortably in his seat and let his eyes stray back to the seal.
Mozzie held Neal's piece of scored glass over his eye and turned the light onto the bonds. "You really did it."
Neal grinned and held one up for inspection; Mozzie squinted and there, tucked against the inside of the seal, a tiny set of initials glimmered. He couldn't help it: he whistled his appreciation. "Nice. Very, very nice. And when they arrest you, you can claim insanity, because only a crazy person would do that."
"Don't you get tired of never signing your own name?"
"No," Mozzie replied promptly and set the polarizing glass back on the workbench. "I've never signed my own name; it's a point of pride."
Neal spun his chair around, bonds momentarily forgotten. "Never?"
"Never." Mozzie drew himself up proudly. "The first words I wrote were an alias."
"So you had an alias at, what, four?"
"Three. Doesn't everyone?"
Neal shrugged equanimously and Mozzie went on more softly, now he actually had the kid's attention. "You know they'll figure this out."
"They won't. Burke probably will." Neal's mouth curled into an almost fondly wry smile. "I don't like this job. If he doesn't figure it out, maybe we can help a little. Once we're out of the country. He can track the bonds with the signature and put these guys away. And next time, Moz? Don't bring me work from the Mafia."
"I didn't, I brought you work from McManus, it's not my fault if he didn't choose to divulge some of the details."
Neal scowled. "The Mafia."
Mozzie held up a hand. "Technically, they aren't the Mafia, they're the mob. The Cosa Nostra is very picky about-" He stopped speaking under Neal's glare and then shrugged. "Fine. So, we're back to Brazil."
Neal nodded and began to slide the bonds into their folder. "But not until Kate gets here."
"Kate can catch up," Mozzie pointed out as he picked up his cooling cup of coffee.
"I'm not going to do that to her."
"Oh, sure, but you'll get me arrested."
"Hey, innocent bystander, remember?" Neal stood and stretched a couple hours of intensive loupe action away. "You can tell them I threatened your cat."
"I don't have a cat."
Neal grinned again. "Well, not now."