Once Neal was well enough to leave the hospital, there was a small inquiry about the events at the Equinox Conservatory. Brennan Taylor was found to have disobeyed orders by leaving his post, antagonizing and threatening another Federal employee, as well as improper usage of a weapon while on duty. Neal had refused to hold any additional charges against the agent, much to Peter's chagrin, but he said nothing and let his friend do what he felt was right. Neal had figured Taylor would already be suffering enough from any charges the bureau made against him as well as his own conscience. Besides, the man had tried to do right in the end. He had stayed and attempted to save Neal's life so Taylor wasn't all bad, not that Neal would forgive him any time soon but he wouldn't exactly hold a grudge.
Neal found himself sitting at the airport glancing outside at a wet and rainy tarmac. People were boarding his plane but he was still on stand-by. He thought about Kate when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Hey. This seat taken?" Neal blinked seeing Peter there. He shook his head and moved his bag to the floor.
"Thanks. Guess you're on stand-by? Me too. I always found it a little hard to get by here." Neal was about to say something when...
Neal woke up with a start. He glanced around the room pushing the blankets aside and sitting up on the edge of the bed. He was back at June's again. It had been three months since the shooting. It had taken him a while to make sense of everything, including the dreams he'd had during that time. Why had Peter been there? He grabbed his cell off the nightstand and dialed a number. It was Saturday so he was off of work but something bothered him about the dream and he had to be sure his feeling was wrong.
The number rang till finally he heard someone pick up.
"Hello?" He heard Elizabeth's voice on Peter's phone. He felt the hair on the back of his neck raise a little.
"El, it's Neal. Is Peter there?" He heard her moving around and the sound of footsteps then the creak of a door.
"Sorry, he's upstairs. Peter? Neal's on the phone." Neal could hear movement as she handed the phone over and El speaking softly in the background.
"Neal? What's up at... 11 am on Saturday?" Peter's voice sounded tired. Neal tried to figure out what to say.
"Just a social call. Interested in some lunch?" He heard Peter talking to El in the background.
"Sure, but come over here. El's making her famous egg salad sandwiches." Neal smiled.
"Sounds good. See you in about 30?" Peter assented and Neal hung up. He could ask his question when he got there.
Neal replaced his cell on the nightstand and went into the bathroom to shower. He put on his nicest jeans, a comfortable navy blue turtleneck, along with some black socks and matching black suede loafers. He glanced at himself in the mirror and smiled slightly. Neal grabbed up his coat and fedora and headed out. He took the stairs two at a time and paused briefly at the bottom to pull on his coat and hat. June entered from the dining room, smiling at him.
"I was just coming to wake you up. Have a lunch date?" June fussed with his collar watching him nod.
"With Peter and El." He smiled at her as she finished with his collar and hugged him gently.
"Well have fun and tell them Hi for me." Neal nodded at her, kissing her on the cheek and hugging her back.
Neal showed up at the Burke's noticing the Taurus was missing as he exited his cab. Maybe Peter or El left to run a quick errand? He made his way up the walk and trotted up the stairs, knocking on their door. Neal heard footsteps and the door opened soon after. El smiled, pulling the young man inside. He noticed a small band-aid on her forehead.
"Peter's upstairs but he'll be down in a moment. Let me take your coat." Neal nodded as he took off his wool coat and El hung it on the rack by the door along with his hat. She took his arm in hers and led him over to the sofa. He noticed she looked a bit worried, her voice soft. She noticed his glance and reached up to touch her forehead self-consciously.
"Don't mind this. We had a fender bender earlier today. We're both ok. I just hit my head a little but Peter... He was resting when you called. He has a knot the size of... Oh hi Honey." She looked up as she heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Peter was walking slowly down the stairs, a noticeable white bandage on the side of his head. He looked tired but otherwise ok. Neal stood up and walked over to his friend, a worried look on his face.
Peter smiled, his hand going up to the bandage, face blushing.
"I guess El was telling you about our little fender bender today? Taxi cut us off. Still a little dizzy but they said I didn't have a concussion although I did pass out for a bit. Scared El." She stood and hugged him when he said that.
"I was so afraid when he wouldn't move but apparently he was just stunned." She squeezed him a little harder, kissing Peter before she excused herself to finish with lunch. Neal continued to stand by his friend till Peter made a move towards the sofa and motioned for them to sit down. They were quiet a moment before Peter spoke.
"Won't be able to take you to work for a bit. Taurus was dented pretty badly. Public transportation till it's fixed." He sighed, leaning back against the sofa tiredly. Neal put a hand on his shoulder making Peter turn.
"Just glad both of you are ok." Neal noticed Peter smiling despite everything, his head shaking slightly as if trying to figure something out.
"Yeah, it was hairy there at first. I remember hitting my head and then suddenly I'm walking around an airport trying to find a seat. I couldn't figure out what was going on and then I saw you sitting there by the window in the waiting area and walked over. Odd huh?" Peter ran a hand through his hair a slight blush coming to his face. Neal blinked a second then smiled.
"I guess we were both on stand-by? I don't think you'd have wanted to board that plane." Neal grinned slightly, Peter giving him a double-take then smiled back.