And this our life, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

William Shakespeare

Hello everyone! :) It's been sort of a while since I've posted anything... So here's what's going on with this thing (which is dedicated to my amazing friend Shelby, who gave me the prompts). This will be 26 stories, ranging from about 300 words to almost 2000. So it's a vast difference. Each will be based off a word from each letter of the alphabet. They will be posted over the next 26 days, since I've already finished them all. If you don't like this one, please, keep reading! They get better from here on out. And there are only two in present tense.

Please enjoy!


As they sit down at a small restaurant for a sort of informal meeting, a waitress comes up, her curly blonde hair falling barely into her eyes.

"Good morning. My name is Amanda, and I'll be your server today. Can I start you off with something to drink?"

"Just waters," Peter says. He looks at Lauren, Jones, and Neal. They nod. They know he wants to keep the cost down. Amanda smiles, writing something down.

"Alright. I'll have those out in just a moment." As the pretty blonde walks away, the foursome begin discussing the complicated case they're working, Caffrey giving input regularly (not all of it related to the case). As the waitress returns and gives Neal his glass, he gives her a dazzling grin.

"Thank you, Amanda," he says. She smiles in return, one eyebrow going up.

"Sure thing. I'll come back in a minute, when you're ready to order." Peter catches Neal's eye as the waitress walks away, and he gives Peter his trademark shrug and smile. The next hour passes quickly, with bits of the case falling into place as they eat. Neal continues to flirt with the waitress whenever she returns to check on them.

As they stand to leave, Amanda taps Neal's shoulder.

"Hey. You want to do something later?" She asks with a quirky smile. Peter sees something in Neal's eyes as he smiles at her, politely declines, and leaves her with a glowing compliment. She isn't upset, and goes back to what she was doing before.

It is then that Peter realizes that this is what Neal does every time. He flirts, he gives charming smiles and comments. Not because he is genuinely trying to find a girl to date, but because that is who he is. Never has Peter heard him actually accept or make a date. He smiles and redirects, never leaving the woman upset, but always leaving.

Peter knows it is because of Kate. And he has to give that to the ex-con artist. He is loyal. As Peter watches Neal walk in the sunlit streets of Manhattan, he feels a bit more of the mystery that is Neal Caffrey make sense to him.