(Chapter 8)

Mozzie was strangely absent after the incident, Neal sleeping in most of the week as he recovered. June mothered him and made sure he was ok, while Peter and Elizabeth visited daily, chatting with him when he was conscious.

By Friday, Neal was finally feeling up to a little more than sleep. He pushed aside the covers and rolled out of bed. He grabbed his robe and put it on, pulling it around him tightly. Neal still felt a bit of a residual chill from his ordeal but maybe it was just his imagination. He looked over at the mirror, a large throw blanket covering it courtesy of June. He stared at it a moment before he crossed the room and pushed open the French doors to the terrace and walked out. It was late afternoon, the sun low in the sky. He leaned on the stone wall between the statuary and stared out at the sunlit city.

"Beautiful isn't it?" He turned to find Peter standing at the door to his rooms. Neal walked towards the wrought iron table and sat, Peter pulling out a chair to join him. Neal nodded slightly, his face still a bit pale after the incident.

"Yeah. So different than that other place." He shivered slightly, pulling his robe closer around him. Peter pulled something out of his pocket, pushing it over to Neal. It was a light blue envelope with the words: Neal Caffrey scrawled in neat cursive. Neal looked at it curiously, turning it over to open it up.

"Just a little something from everyone at work. A get well card. They think you had the flu." Peter shrugged, looking up and around, his eyes noticing the covered mirror. Neal was reading the card he had pulled out of the envelope.

"Even Hughes signed it. I'm impressed." Neal grinned, his face filling with a bit more color when he did that. Peter smiled back.

"He was glad to hear you were doing better. I'm glad you're feeling better." Peter smiled turning his attention to a passing bird, his way of redirecting. Neal coughed, standing up.

"Give me a minute and I'll jump in the shower and get changed. Maybe we can go get a drink or something?" He saw Peter nod.

"El's been wanting to invite you for dinner. Maybe tomorrow?" Peter continued to sit, Neal smiling.

"Sounds good. Give me a few minutes."

()()()

They went to a small pub not too far from June's. It was paneled in dark wood with a few booths littering the place and a dart board. Neal played darts, tying with Peter both apparently trying to let the other win. They got to be a comfortable amount of drunk before they decided to leave. They had walked to June's, the cool night breeze whipping at their hair as they headed back. June smiled when they showed up.

"Looks like you boys had a good time? Should I call you a cab, Peter?" June walked with them into the foyer and upstairs. Peter shook his head.

"Maybe some coffee. I'll be alright in a bit." He smiled a bit lopsidedly, Neal looking about the same.

"Thanks June. Coffee sounds good." She nodded and left them, both men plopping down onto the sofa. Peter leaned back, head loose between his shoulders. Neal nudged him.

"Don't fall asleep!" He heard Peter snort sleepily at him, rolling over till his head lay on the armrest and he started to snore softly. Neal sighed, standing up and grabbing a throw, tossing it over his friend. He slipped Peter's shoes off and pushed a pillow under his head before he slid into an armchair and slumped back himself.

Neal woke up to the faint sounds of bird song and traffic, opening his eyes and finding it was early morning. Neal sat up, realizing he was still in the armchair and looked around hearing a faint snore to his left. It was Peter, curled up on his side on the sofa. He grinned, yawning as he stood up and padded quietly over to his bed. He slipped out of his clothes and into something more comfortable, curling up on his bed and watching the sun rise through the window. A small beam of light made its way across Peter's face and he noticed the agent's nose twitch before he fell back into a restful sleep. Neal grinned, pulling the duvet over him and going back to sleep.

()()()

"They both had a bit too much to drink. Peter slept on the couch." It was June's voice. He could hear the soft sound of the wind and feel it creeping through the apartment. He shivered slightly, pulling the blanket around him and rolling over.

"Ah. The Suit didn't look too worse for wear when he left." Mozzie was speaking. Neal opened his eyes, peering across the room and seeing no one. The throw was folded neatly on the couch. Neal sat up and tried to figure out if he'd been dreaming when he heard them again.

"Well I called El last night when they were both too far gone for coffee. I didn't want her to worry." He could hear the sound of someone pouring coffee, the scent reaching him with the same breeze that slowly eased through ever corner of the apartment. He pushed himself out of bed and threw on his robe. He padded quietly over to the open terrace and gave a soft cough.

"So Peter took off already?" Neal spoke as if he had been part of the conversation all the time. June and Mozzie both turned to look at him. June standing and offering her chair to him.

"Sit down, Neal. I'll get you something to eat." She poured him a cup of coffee and patted him on the shoulder. Mozzie just sipped at his cup quietly, looking at his friend. Neal tried not to notice.

"I'll be right back." June left the room, leaving Neal and Mozzie alone.

"I saw the card the Suit brought you. The other suits missed you apparently." Mozzie's voice was quiet. Neal looked up from his cup and nodded.

"Yeah. He told them I had the flu. Better than the truth." He smirked ever so slightly, Mozzie choking on his coffee. Neal got up and patted him on the back.

"Hey, take it easy there, Mozz. You ok?" He saw his friend nod and sat back down again.

"I'm sorry I was absent. I needed to think about things. I notice you have the mirror covered." Mozzie grabbed a nearby glass of water and took a sip. Neal nodded.

"June's idea. She's going to have the glass changed out soon. The owner of the antique shop said that would probably be the best solution in case of... well for now I use the mirror in the hallway." He shrugged, taking a sip of his coffee. Mozzie nodded. They sat there in silence for a bit, June coming back with a small tray of food. Neal thanked her, standing up to hug her. She looked at him, blushing slightly.

"And what was that for, young man?" She hugged him back, smiling. He just blushed somewhat guiltily.

"I just wanted to thank you for everything." Neal still felt guilty for what that other Neal had done. She shook her head.

"I'm just glad you're here." She hugged him again, excusing herself as she heard the phone ringing downstairs. Neal turned to Mozzie when the little guy didn't say anything.

"Mozzie, I'm sorry." He kept looking at the now light bruises on his friend's face. Mozzie wiped at his face self-consciously.

"Nothing to apologize for. You're nothing like that. Besides I should apologize for thinking that he was you. I guess it was wishful thinking that you'd come back to the fold." He sighed, sipping at his coffee but looking mildly relieved. Neal smiled.

"I'm not totally far gone, Mozzie." He winked at his friend, blue eyes glittering.

"Don't let the Suit hear you say that." Mozzie looked over his glasses at Neal.

(The End)