A/N: I warned you once, and I'll warn you again: this contains spoilers for the episode Vital Signs. Nothing too major, but still some plot bunnies uncovered. Proceed with caution, and enjoy!
Peter pulled Neal's arm over his shoulder again, trying to keep the woozy ex-conman walking without completely dragging him. When Neal collapsed again, Peter decided to wait a minute before getting him up once again. He lifted Neal into a sitting position, leaning him against the nearest wall. They talked for a moment, and Peter wondered how much of the conversation Neal would remember later.
Then, out of pretty much nowhere, the FBI agent found piercing blue eyes fixed on his own, looking clearer than they had a moment before. Neal said something about Kate and Moz, then shook his head slightly.
"You're the only one," he said, his speech still partially slurred from whatever those people had given him.
"The only one what?" Peter asked, slightly exasperated. Neal blinked a couple times before answering, his voice soft and sincere.
"You're the only person in my life that I trust, Peter." Peter felt his chest tighten as he looked at Neal for a moment. Just seconds earlier, he had been lecturing the younger man about how he was likely going back to prison- probably for good. Now Neal was telling him that he trusted Peter? Lifting his hand and putting it on top of Neal's dark hair, he rested it there for a second, then patted Neal's shoulder. Neal looked slightly disconcerted, as if he had been expecting something else.
Peter rolled an office chair over and handcuffed Neal to it. "Don't pick this one," he warned. Apparently, even while he was drugged, Neal was still capable of opening just about any lock. Neal nodded vaguely, slumping down against the wall. Peter walked out of the conference room. He knew what he had to do.
Back at the house, I could sense that Elizabeth was still a little miffed about the whole thing with Melissa. I knew I'd have to deal with that soon, and I felt awful about the entire situation. Neal was still unconscious, so I decided to say something.
"I don't really want to hear it right now, Peter. I know it's probably all a misunderstanding, but right now I just need some time. It's not the best feeling in the world to know my husband was being a 'chiropractor' with 'magic hands' to some random woman. Flirting, I can handle. I can even laugh at it. But this?" She shook her head slightly.
"Okay, El. I understand," I said quietly with a nod. El leaned her head on my shoulder for a moment before getting up and walking into the kitchen.
"I'm going to get an icepack in case he has a headache when he wakes up," she said as the door closed behind her. I let out a long sigh, looking at the person on my couch. He was motionless except for the faint rising and falling of his chest as he breathed.
"You're the only person in my life that I trust." His earlier words echoed in my mind. Did he mean it? I asked myself. Probably. I didn't think it was likely he was lucid enough to lie so convincingly at the time. And, even though I probably wasn't the best person to have around sometimes, I supposed it made sense. Kate had taken off on him. I still didn't think she had ever loved him in the first place. His short friend was a thief and con-artist like he had been, even if Mozzie wasn't as good of one. I let out a sigh.
"Hey, Peter," a slightly hoarse voice greeted me suddenly. While I had been lost in thought, Neal had apparently woken up. His eyes were on me, pained but no longer bleary.
"Morning, sunshine." Neal gave a slight smile, started to sit up, then winced and laid back down. "Yeah, I'd be careful doing that," I commented. "Being pumped full of sedatives and who knows what else will do that to you."
"Thanks for the tip," Neal muttered. The kitchen door swung open and shut, and Elizabeth walked back in with and icepack.
"How do you feel?" She asked in a concerned tone, seeing he was awake.
He tried to smile. "Like several cars ran me over. And possibly a small bulldozer," he said. His words were probably more than true. He looked pretty bad. El nodded and put the icepack on his head.
"Thanks," Neal said, wincing as the cold fabric touched his skin, then sighing in relief. "That helps." He and El spoke for a moment, mostly leaving me out of the conversation. After I tried to speak, El offered Neal more ice, and he accepted. She went back to the kitchen quickly. Neal grinned easily at me.
"She's still mad, huh?" I nodded, trying not to show how worried I was about it.
"Try having a candlelit dinner and apologizing. Or at the very least a candlelit bottle of wine," he suggested. Evidently I wasn't very good at concealing how I felt.
"Thanks for the tip," I said with a half-smirk, mocking his earlier words. I studied Neal's expression as he let his gaze wander around the room. If he remembered our conversation- what he'd said- while we were in that conference room, he gave no sign of it. Neal was definitely a lot better at hiding things than I was, though, so I couldn't be sure. I didn't want to ask him about it though. I watched as he raised one hand to his head and rubbed his eyes tiredly.
"You're the only person in my life that I trust." I was beginning to think that it really was true. And at this point, I was starting to trust Neal Caffrey a little bit more myself. Nothing drastic, but it was progress. A moment from a much earlier day came to my mind.
"Where to now, partner?" Neal had asked jokingly as we walked through the glass doors to our headquarters. At the time, I'd told him not to call me that, still smiling. Now I saw it for what it was. Neal had always worked alone. That much was clear from his previous cases. He had Mozzie for backup, but not as an actual partner, and I didn't think Kate had helped in his schemes much. He considered me to be his partner now. Those joking words held more weight after what Neal had said today. I realized that, though I had ignored it, Neal had grown on me. I decided at that moment that I would try never to let that trust he had in me become tainted.
You can trust me, Neal.
The first thing I noticed was that my head hurt. Granted, the rest of me did, too, but my head was the worst. Probably the stupid drugs they injected into your arm.
I waited to open my eyes for a moment. I wasn't entirely sure where I was. The last thing I remembered was blacking out while Peter and I were in a cab, and anything could have happened while I was unconscious. It felt like I was laying on a couch. Peter's couch? I wondered, since it didn't feel expensive enough to be June's. The second I thought about Peter, a memory flashed through my mind.
"You're the only person in my life that I trust, Peter." I had said that back at the building, while Peter had been trying to get me out. Why did I say that? It wasn't at all like me to be so direct with such sensitive information. Sure, it was true. It was definitely true. But that didn't mean that Peter needed to know that.
Did he remember the conversation? I didn't know if I hoped the answer was yes or no. I had trusted the guy from day one, when he first caught me. I was angry to be in jail, certainly, but at the same time, the FBI agent just seemed... genuine. He wasn't trying to be something he wasn't, he was just doing his job.
Then he caught me again when I escaped to find Kate. That time I was expecting it. I still trusted him enough to share the meaning of the bottle. Enough to give him the information about the security fibers on his jacket in exchange for a meeting. He'd come to the meeting, and later even agreed to do what I almost thought was impossible- get me out of jail. At first I knew he didn't trust me at all. I still trusted him. I knew he wouldn't sell me out if the going got rough. Then, just when it seemed like he just might have been starting to trust me, too, Fowler showed up. My initials were found on the fake diamond, and surprise! It had all been Peter's idea. The man even took it upon himself to arrest me. Though I suppose that had been an improvement over Fowler.
I heard an explosive sigh from my left side and my eyes snapped open. There was Peter Burke, sitting on his coffee table across from me. He looked like he was thinking hard about something.
"Hey, Peter," I said, slightly irritated at how hoarse and weak my voice sounded. He looked startled.
"Morning, sunshine," he replied after a moment. I tried to sit up, but the sudden, sharp pain made my head spin, and I had to rest my head back against the arm of the couch. "Yeah, I'd be careful doing that," he said. "Being pumped full of sedatives and who knows what else will do that to you."
I rolled my eyes. "Thanks for the tip." Elizabeth entered from the kitchen.
"How do you feel?" She asked me, her dark eyes worried. I tried to shrug, then covered my wince with what I hoped was a convincing smile.
"Like several cars ran me over. And possibly a small bulldozer," I said truthfully. Except, maybe a large bulldozer would have been closer. Elizabeth leaned over and gently set an icepack down on my head. It was cold, but after a moment I felt the ache begin to lessen. "Thanks," I said quietly. "That helps." Elizabeth and I talked for a moment, pretty much excluding Peter from the conversation. When he finally tried to speak, Elizabeth got up to get me more ice.
"She's still mad, huh?" I asked. Peter nodded. He looked worried about it, so I suggested an apology over a candlelit dinner or bottle of wine.
"Thanks for the tip." He jokingly used my words from earlier- though my advice to him had actually been helpful, whereas his had been a bit too late to assist.
"You're the only person in my life that I trust, Peter." I had so many incidents to look back on for proof of that fact. The most recent that came to mind was him stealing a security tape for me (Peter the do-gooder stealing!), to try and keep me out of jail. And look at right now. He hadn't just dumped me back at June's house. I was currently laying on his couch, with his wife helping me with my headache. Whether he knew it or not, he was probably my best friend. Mozzie was great, and I knew I could count on him for most stuff, but as a "reformed" con-artist, I knew that staying with friends could be tough when things went bad. Peter had stayed with me, even when I admitted that I had been going against what he told me and looking for Kate.
He even offered to help me find her. Get her back from Fowler, even though I sensed that he didn't really believe that Kate was on my side, now or ever. I trusted Peter Burke completely, and I knew that now I needed to prove to him that he could trust me, too. I would stay on my GPS leach, do what he said, and keep him informed on what I was doing with the Kate investigation. Whatever it took.
You can trust me, Peter.
A/N: So, did you like it? Did you hate it? Keep in mind it was written between 2 am and 4 am. Long story- chicken pox makes it hard to sleep. And I had too many oreos earlier. But this was a better use of my time than just sitting there. I hope it's better than I think it is. Oh, well. At least I got it out of my head.
Was Vital Signs an amazing episode or what! Oh, it was definitely my favorite one ever. ^_^ I loved it to death! I was so scared from the preview last week that Neal was going to get hurt reaaally badly (I am especially paranoid of him getting shot). But instead we got that cute Peter/Neal friendship scene! It was so sweet. :) They both rock my socks. And I know, the next episode looks like it will go against Neal's new vow of goodness. But hey, this is fanfiction.
Please review, even if it's to flame. I just want feedback. Adios!