Chapter One: NyQuil

For Neal, it had been a long day, well more accurately it had been a long week. Hell, it had been a long couple of months. Kate. Kate had died six weeks ago on Tuesday. Looking down at his watch he discovered that it was now technically Monday seeing it was 12:07 in the morning. So... Kate had been dead six weeks tomorrow. Neal shook his pounding head. No. He was not thinking about Kate right now. Bed, that was all that he was going to think about... Well NyQuil, then bed. He wanted to sleep, something he hadn't accomplished lately. Between chasing bad guys until o' dark thirty, sitting in stake outs, and staying up all night with Peter to prefect his cover story he really hadn't had much time for sleep.

Oh yeah, and now he had this nice little head cold to go with it all. Making the occasions that he did find time to crash extremely unpleasant. A sinus headache the size of NY that wouldn't stop pounding, congestion that threatened to suffocated him, and over all soreness that made lying in any particular position for over a minute uncomfortable. As if all the freaking nightmares weren't enough by them selves, now the rest of his body felt as miserable as his mind did. Yes, he was definitely breaking out the NyQuil. By the time he made it all the way up the stairs and to his apartments door it was 12:11 Am.

Neal tugged off his jacket, for once not caring that he left his expensive blazer on the couch. Slowly he bent down and untied his loafers, groaning as his sore muscles and head protested the movement. Once done he used the last bit of his energy to poor a glass of water and down a some of the blessed NyQuil. It took Neal five false starts to actually get enough motivation and momentum to cross his apartment, to where his bed was awaiting him. Wasting no time he striped out of his work shirt and trousers, changing into the abandoned silk sleeping pants he had left there from the night before. Then he flicked off the lights and fell limply into his beloved bed. 'Sleep at last,' was the last thought passing though the ex cons head before he passed into the gentle darkness.