Neal Caffrey with Amnesia.
He stood across the street staring up at the huge mansion of a house on the corner. It seemed vaguely familiar to him in his current state, eyes blurring in and out of focus as he stood there in the cold evening air. It was nighttime so he blended in with the rest of the crowd in his Rat Pack styled suit and Frank Sinatra styled hat. He looked like he could have been clubbing somewhere upscale and had a bit too much to drink as he swayed slightly on his feet. Slowly, almost woodenly, he began to cross the street. Halfway a car stopped short of hitting him with a loud honk. He didn't even pause, continuing his shaky journey across the road towards the huge house. A few steps down the walk and he came to an entrance, a gated doorway from another era. He reached into his pocket and pulled something out, pushing it into the door's lock and entering the home silently. The door swung quietly closed behind him and he continued his drunken stroll through a long hallway and into an open foyer that overlook a large dining room. He pulled the hat off his head, as he turned left, and placed it on the lower banister of the stairs, starting up slowly, methodically as if he were struggling to stay on his feet.
The sound of heavy footsteps on the stair drew attention from the dining room where a figure stepped out and look around. It was June, a colorful shawl wrapped around her shoulders. She peered into the foyer and entrance towards the stairs. Nobody was there but she knew she had heard someone in her home. She walked over to the front door and found the door itself unlocked. She locked it with a wary glance and turned around again, heading back towards the foyer, and blinked up at the banister. She pulled a hat from the wooden post that hadn't been there before and glanced over it. It was her late husband Byron's hat and the one that her current boarder, Neal Caffrey liked. Her face darkened with concern especially after feeling something damp underneath the hat's brim. Upon closer inspection, she found it was blood. June's face paled and she replaced the hat on the banister, looking briefly at the stairs before she turned and picked up a nearby french-styled rotary phone. She dialed quickly, glancing up briefly at the clock with a worried glance.
"Elizabeth? I'm sorry to be calling so late. It's June. Yes, Neal's friend." She smiled slightly into the phone despite her obvious concern. "Is Peter around? It's very important I speak with him." June nodded to the phone waiting and then perked up as she listened.
"Peter? You might want to come over here. Please... I think something's happened to Neal. No... I can't say what, but I found blood on his hat. Yes... he's back. Thanks..." She hung up the phone quietly, turning towards the stairs. When she reached the top floor, she saw the door to Neal's room was slightly ajar and pushed it open, peering inside. She found the room as it always was, noting that the back terrace doors were closed and the room was dimly lit by one lamp. She crept into the room and peered to the left seeing a figure shifting under warm blankets in the large king-sized bed. It was Neal, a soft murmuring nearly inaudible escaping his lips. She approached him and felt at his forehead. He was warm but not feverish, brow and hair wet with perspiration and blood. She saw what looked like faint scratches on his face and bruises around his neck.
She clucked her tongue quietly. "Neal... what happened to you? Where were you?" She pulled a chair over to the side of the bed and sat, holding one of his hands in hers.
Thirty minutes passed and June looked up as a quiet knock came from behind her. She turned to see Peter standing in the doorway peering in. He was dressed in worn blue jeans with a gray tee tucked in under his usual beige Izod jacket. She stood and smiled, holding up a finger for him to be quiet. Peter made his way towards the two and put a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"June, what happened?" His voice was a barely audible whisper as he glanced over at Neal who restlessly shifted underneath the blankets. She gave a helpless shrug and put a hand on his.
"I don't know. He just showed up this evening after 2 days. I wasn't sure what to do other than call you. I know you were worried about him." Peter nodded back, moving closer to the young man and taking a good look at his injuries. He gave a sharp intake of breath as he saw the matted, sweat and blood damp hair along the young man's left temple.
"He's been shot at! This is more serious than I figured." Peter pulled the blanket aside and saw a small hole in the young man's blazer sleeve just below the shoulder. There was a little blood along the hole indicating a bullet graze from the markings. Burke clucked his tongue worriedly.
"He never removed the GPS tracker but it showed him as stuck in Central Park. I checked the records but never found any indication he was there when we looked for him. I don't understand this." Peter looked worried, glancing over the rest of the scratches and bruises obvious on the young man's body.
"Where did he say he was going when he left, June? Any idea?" She shrugged at him, her face worried in a motherly sort of way.
"He just told me he was going to see an old friend. I just assumed he meant Honeycutt." Peter nodded, sitting on the edge of the bed and looking over at the young con. He noticed Neal had only partially undressed, his suit pants on the end of the bed in a pile. Peter pulled the trousers over, noticing slight discoloration and wear on them, and started to look through the pockets for any sign or clue to what Neal had been doing for two days in Central Park.
He had barely started browsing the pockets when he heard a loud intake of breath from June and the sound of a gun cocking. Peter turned slowly, hands letting go of the trousers as he came face to face with a pistol aimed at his head.
Neal didn't remember much of what had happened. He just knew he was somewhere that felt familiar, a soothing voice speaking to him in a motherly tone. He felt safe but still lost as if something was missing... He tried to sleep but it was hard to relax when his head throbbed with a pulse of its own, his body fighting to heal itself against some kind of trauma he couldn't remember.
He had been in The Park... that was all he remembered. Kate... something about Kate and then he was here. He was restless, unable to lie still, opening his eyes and seeing a man poking through his clothing. He freaked a little, recognizing the man before him as Agent Burke, someone he'd been running from for a while.
How had he found him? Neal wasn't sure what to do but he felt inside his jacket under the blankets and pulled something cold and metallic out. He held it shakily in his hands and pointed it at the agent. He saw Burke turn around and stare at him confused and frightened.
"Neal! What are you doing?!" The young man turned towards the voice to see a distinguished older woman, maybe late 50s early 60s, with a colorful shawl pulled around her sitting near him, her face looking at him with concern, worry and disappointment. He felt a strange pang of regret when he looked at her as if he owed her something. He blinked as a vague memory of sitting in the park with her popped into his head.
Woman: "Byron liked the park for many of the same reasons."
Neal: "You like bad boys, don't you?"
He shook his head at the flash of memory, gun still pointed at the agent as he tried to make sense of everything.
Where was he? The room was unfamiliar though not shabby, yet he felt a strange sense of being home. He could just make out a terrace beyond the agent with what seemed to promise a glorious view of New York. The apartment was basically a penthouse with styling from a past era. An eclectic collection of books lined the apartment shelves, the furniture stylish and upscale... it was a place he had often dreamed about getting with Kate. His mind was wandering around through all the possibilities when he returned to the present.
Neal stared at the agent again, gun pointed and cocked at the man threateningly. He never used guns but this was a rare case. Someone had been trying to kill him from his last heist and he had picked this up just in case. He hadn't really thought he'd need it but seeing the FBI hovering over him as he woke up was frightening enough for him to feel he had been justified in getting the weapon. Neal spoke firmly despite his fear and some guilt at having to use the gun.
"Agent Burke. Never thought we'd ever meet face to face. You almost got me at the museum that last time. Guess there's always a first for everything." He saw a puzzled look cross the agent's face as if Neal had just spoken in some foreign tongue. The agent kept his hands up where they could be seen, speaking in low tones, the puzzled look deepening on his face.
"Neal, you're hurt. Let me help you. Give me the gun and tell me who did this to you." Burke lowered his hands slowly, one reaching out palm up and open.
Neal blinked back at the agent wondering if he thought he was stupid or something. He shook his head and smirked.
"I didn't realize we were on a first name basis. I'm touched." The young man saw that the agent wasn't about to take no for an answer. Give him the gun? Why would he do that, muchless let himself be taken in?
"Give you the gun so you can take me in? I doubt it. Just hand me my pants and move away so I can be on my way." Neal waved the gun at the agent keeping his hand on the trigger and looking sideways at the woman. Her face was like that of a mother who just found out her child cheated on a test or worse. Something about her made him feel guilty. He couldn't understand what this feeling was, his attention suddenly stuck on her hurt expression as his mind tried to make sense of everything.
He kept seeing the scene in the park, both of them sitting and watching something, talking jovially. It was just a sudden flash but it made his head ache and his vision swim. Neal felt dizzy suddenly, consciousness slipping away. Without any warning, his body slumped and the gun fell from his hand to the floor. It went "click" as it fell but no bullet came out. He saw the agent blink, grabbing up the gun and checking it briefly.
"No bullets. Figures. Neal..." He saw the agent looking at him worriedly just before everything went black.
Peter watched the young man stare at June as if trying to remember something. Neal seemed confused about who they were if not where. He made mention of almost being caught by Burke at a museum but the only case that matched Peter's memory was one over five years ago when he was still hot on Caffrey's trail. Maybe the bullet graze to his head had caused some amnesia? It would explain his lack of recognition. Peter kept his hands up and open.
"Neal, you're hurt. Let me help you. Give me the gun and tell me who did this to you." He lowered one hand palm up and open, hoping the young man would hand him the gun but Neal was adamant.
"Give you the gun so you can take me in? I doubt it. Just hand me my pants and move away so I can be on my way." Peter watched Neal act like a different person, waving the gun at him dangerously but still looking at June's expression as if something about her was triggering his memory.
Peter didn't know what to do, reaching for the pants as the young man requested. He did not want to get shot or see June hurt. Besides, the GPS tracker was on Neal so they wouldn't have any problems tracking the young man, but how would he explain to Hughes that Neal had amnesia? Would anyone care that the con wasn't acting like himself... well his "current" self?
Neal didn't even notice Burke hand over the pants, the young man's eyes glued to June as his body suddenly slumped, hand dropping the gun, eyes fluttering closed. Peter saw the gun slip from the young man's hands and was ready to push June out of the way but the weapon hit the floor and went "click" without a report. It had been empty. Figures. Neal was the non-violent type.
"Peter, is he ok?" June had moved back instinctively as the gun fell to the floor surprised as the agent was that it hadn't gone off. She peered over at the Fed as he picked up the pistol and looked it over. He seemed relieved and surprised but pocketed the weapon, eyes moving over to the young man. His expression was clear as day, a combination of concern and disappointment. The agent obviously cared for the young man but this situation was worrying him more than usual.
"June? Do you have a first-aid kit?" She nodded moving away from the bed and out of the room.
Peter took the time to gently remove the blazer from the young man and place it along with the pants over the back of a chair near the bed. He took a few more minutes to examine all the various scratches and other obvious bruises. From the looks of it, Peter was beginning to think the young man had fallen or else been hit by something blunt. Under his white tee, Neal's chest was bruised and purplish indicating perhaps some broken or bruised ribs. Peter hoped for the latter, noticing other things like abrasions around the young man's wrists indicating he may have been bound at some point. Whoever this friend was he had gone to see, it had not been Mozzie and they had not been happy to see him. Peter turned as he heard June return with a large tacklebox of a medical kit. He smiled and took the box from her laying it on the edge of the bed.
"I'll get you some hot water and towels to clean up his wounds." June said as she moved over to the sink at the far side of the room and drew out a large bowl and some hand towels, filling up the bowl with hot water from the tap and bringing it back presently. Peter thanked her, dipping one of the small towels into the water and gently dabbing at the head wound on Neal's left temple. It wasn't bleeding much but it had left quite a bit of clots in the young man's hair which took some working out. Once he had cleaned it up and put some antiseptic on the area, he pressed some gauze to the wound and wrapped more gauze gently around the young man's head to hold it in place. He worked on the bullet graze on the young man's arm before he used the last of the large roll of medical gauze to wrap the young man's ribs. Neal really needed a hospital but he was afraid what would happen under his current confusion. If he ran, it would be worse if he were in a public rather than private place. June could watch him or Peter could just stay here a few days to be sure the young man returned to himself. He would have to let Hughes know one way or another. The agent sighed deeply.
Peter finished cleaning up and dressing all the wounds, closing up the tacklebox and rubbing a hand through his hair. June nodded, patting him on the shoulder.
"He'll be ok. He might not remember now, but he will. You've been through too much for him not to remember." Burke nodded at her looking lost at what to do.
"He seems more familiar with you than me. Probably because you're less of a "threat" to him than I was. People remember the good more than the bad but he does know me if only from five years ago." She gave him an understanding nod, glancing down at his jacket as it began to buzz. Peter fumbled in his pocket and found his cell phone. He glanced at the number and his eyes widened.
"El..." He moved away from the bed with an apologetic nod to June and walked out onto the terrace.
"Honey, yeah... we found Neal. I'll tell you about it when I go home. I might be here tonight though. I'm sorry. Love you too." He hung up the phone looking unhappy, brow furrowed as he frowned. He peered through the terrace door and saw June speaking softly to the sleeping form of Neal, her hand holding his.
Peter reached into his pocket and looked at the pistol he'd taken from Neal. It was empty, the clip removed and not even a bullet in the chamber. Neal had picked it up in his current state but hadn't intended to do more than use it as a ruse apparently. It didn't matter. If he'd had it on him when they'd been looking in the park for him the other day, agents wouldn't have thought twice about taking him back to jail muchless shooting at him. The thought made Peter shiver. Who was this mystery person that Neal had gone to see and why had it played out like this? Was this yet another attempt by Neal to do things on the sly and it went wrong or did this involve Kate and the music box? It was hard to tell what was going on in the young man's life when he refused to reveal much of it to Burke. He wanted to protect and help Neal but things like this didn't help the situation. He sighed again more deeply, trying to think about what to do as he walked back inside and over to the bed where Neal lay unconscious.
"He's sleeping better than he was. Are you going to stay then?" Peter nodded at June somewhat apologetically and she smiled with a nod of her head.
"I'll bring you some blankets and a pillow for the sofa." Burke nodded thankfully, turning to look at the young con.
Neal looked just like a little boy when he slept, hair mussed, cheeks slightly reddened by exhaustion. The con wasn't a bad person but Peter knew he had to curve as much of the young man's enthusiasm towards criminal pursuits to something more productive. He had hoped mentoring would help change things and in a way he felt he had made some changes to the con's attitudes. It helped that Neal himself did what he did not to hurt people so much as to prove to himself he could do something. To him it was innocent fun until something like this happened. He looked down at the young man and sighed again, speaking softly.
"If you remember nothing, Neal... remember that I'm here for you. Stay with June. She'll protect you." He squeezed the young man's hand gently and after a moment he thought he felt a weak squeeze back. He looked at the young man for some sign but Neal remained asleep.
June walked in a few minutes later with some blankets and a large fluffy pillow.
"Here you go, Peter. Did you need anything else? I was thinking of making some tea if you're interested." He shook his head, stifling a yawn. He had been ready for bed when she had called him up about Neal. El had been reading a book while he had been doing some last minute work on his laptop. June nodded and walked back towards the door.
"I'll let you sleep in unless you need a wake up call?" Peter shook his head.
"I'll call them in the morning and let them know what's going on. Thanks, June... for everything."
"Good night." June said quietly as he nodded back to her with a sleepy smile and she left, closing the bedroom door behind her. Peter moved back over to the chair and sat down near the young man, stifling a yawn and stretching as he leaned back sleepily.
It had been a long two days looking for and trying to figure out where Caffrey was. Peter had been busy with some cases that didn't involve Neal's expertise so he hadn't noticed right away that the young man was missing. It was his wife Elizabeth who made a mention of not seeing Neal since he had the bad habit of showing up on his days off and visiting with her and their dog Satchmo. If his wife was concerned something must be up. Her intuitions had been right in the past so Peter had pulled up the records for Neal's whereabouts and found that the young man had spent more than 24 hours in Central Park. It was within the young man's two mile radius for the anklet but being in the same spot seemed suspicious and odd especially with the current weather. He figured others had noticed so he went ahead and initiated a search for Neal but nothing had been turned up. That had been on Tuesday and now it was Thursday. Neal had showed up at June's by chance, beat up and barely conscious, his memories in the past.
Burke watched the young man sleeping, Neal's eyes fluttering some under closed lids, his lips moving in silent speech. After nearly nodded off in the chair, Peter stood languidly and made his way towards the couch, lining it with a sheet and putting the pillow on top before he slipped off his shoes and lay on top fully clothed. He pulled the flannel blanket June left over him last of all and with a quick glance over at Neal, the agent passed out into his own sleep-induced coma.