Beep... Beep...

Peter Burke pressed the button on his alarm clock groggily. He noticed quickly that he felt more tired than he normally did at this time, but over the years he'd gotten in the habit of rising right when his alarm went off. With an affectionate glance at his sleeping wife, he slid out of bed and went to shower. A few minutes later, as he pulled on his usual slacks and white shirt, he briefly recalled that today was something he was supposed to remember. Somehow he couldn't recall what it was. I guess I'll find out eventually. He had remembered that today was to have a marked improvement in the weather over the past several days. That'll be nice, at least.

"That's... strange," he said to himself as he noticed the coffee maker hadn't preformed its usual duty of having hot coffee ready for him. He started a pot as he wondered what was going on, mildly disgruntled. We did pull a pretty long shift yesterday, Peter reminded himself. It's a good enough reason to be a little out of it.

Peter took just enough time to eat half of a plain bagel and drink a hot mug of coffee, burning his hand and spilling on his shirt in the process. Cursing under his breath, he went upstairs to change and put the stained shirt to soak. He hoped Elizabeth would know how to best deal with a coffee stain. With the amount he drank, it was surprising he didn't spill on himself more often. He looked at his watch and let out a breath of relief. Getting up before you were supposed to be at work had its benefits. His delay wouldn't keep him from being on time.

As he pulled his car out of the parking space, he realized that he'd left the file for the day's case on the kitchen table. He ran back in to get it, trying still to be quiet and not wake Elizabeth. Getting into the car a second time, Peter frowned.

"Caffrey'd better be on time today," he muttered to himself, disregarding the fact that Neal had only been late once in all the time Peter had known him. All in all, not the best start to the morning.

****

As he walked into a disturbingly empty office building, Peter didn't know if he was glad to see Neal at a desk or not. The ex-con artist flashed him an airy grin as Peter came through the glass doors.

"Morning, Peter," he said brightly. Peter gave him a half-smile and nod, deciding he definitely was not glad. It was too early for grins. Peter brought his folder up to his office, closing the glass door behind himself. Without doing anything else first, he opened the folder and started taking down the notes on his computer. He glanced down through the clear walls to where Neal was studiously working on something. Peter rolled his eyes. He supposed it was better than having Neal studiously work on a heist.

Where is everyone? He wondered as the minutes rolled by. Checking his watch, he saw with surprise that it was already almost nine thirty. Everyone was nearly an hour late. He frowned and stood. Pushing the door open, he called down to Neal.

"Caffrey!" Neal jumped slightly, then looked up questioningly.

"Yeah?"

"Did anyone call you to say we were meeting somewhere, or something?" Neal shook his head.

"Nope. I haven't heard from anyone. I just came in, sat down, and starting dying of boredom from this paperwork." Peter rolled his eyes again.

"Yeah, okay. Thanks." He sat back down at his desk, feeling prickling irritation. Leaning back in his chair, he happened to glance at the analog clock on his wall. He nearly fell out of it as he read the time as five thirty. Quickly turning the computer screen back on, he saw that the clock on it read five thirty also. He cursed loudly, and saw Neal look up with a surprised expression.

"You alright, Peter?" He asked, tilting his head to one side.

"No. No, I am not alright!" He stood up and walked down quickly to the desk Neal was working at. "What time does your watch say it is?" He demanded.

"It's still broken," Neal reminded him. "It has been for a while."

"Oh. Right. Well, what time does your cell say, then?" Peter asked in a frustrated tone.

"Are you alright, Peter?" Neal asked with a slightly concerned quirk to his eyebrow. When Peter didn't answer, he checked the phone. "Five thirty. Why?"

"May I ask... Why you are here at five thirty in the morning?"

"Why are you?" Neal asked.

"Because the clock at my house, and my watch say that it is nine thirty. Did you have something to do with this?"

"Me?"

"Yes, you. Clocks don't change themselves." He narrowed his eyes, scrutinizing the younger man's expression.

"It was you," he decided. "Do you have a secret desire to get back to your prison buddies?"

"No," Caffrey said quickly.

"Then why?"

"Don't you know what today is?" Caffrey asked with a slightly incredulous expression, leaning back in the swivel chair easily.

"It's Thursday, April first. What does that matter?"

"April first... April Fools' Day... Ringing any bells?" As the ex-con shrugged, Peter threw his hands up in disbelief.

"I don't believe this. Caffrey. You're a thirty-two year old man, for goodness' sake. You are too old for pranks like this."

"I thought I was Peter Pan." Caffrey didn't look sorry in the least bit. Rather, his eyes were happy and far too energetic for this hour.

"Well, this is taking it too far." Peter was extremely irritated. He did the math in his head. "I got up at three thirty?"

"Guess so."

"I suggest you sit there and get as much work as you can before I come back when I'm supposed to be here."

"Okay." Peter was even more annoyed by how little protest Caffrey made. He turned on his heel and started out the doors.

"Never. Again. Understand?"

"See you in three hours!" Caffrey called behind him. Peter fumed all the way to his car and back to his house.

"Maybe that was a bit much," Neal considered to himself as he doodled on the back of a piece of paper. "But it was funny."