Peter rapped on the kitchen table with his knuckles to get the former conman's attention. "Neal…Neal!"
Neal blinked his bleary blue eyes and looked up from his cereal bowl at the noise. "Huh?"
The FBI agent glanced at his apprehensive wife. "Neal, what are you doing?"
The other man looked back into his bowl contemplatively. "Eating fruity…pencil shavings…"
Peter rolled his eyes. "No, I mean…" He sighed. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Neal gazed at the couple. "What's there to talk about? My girlfriend exploded into a million pieces in front of me. The end."
Elizabeth covered her face with her hand and Peter snapped, "Neal!"
Neal shook his head. "Sorry." He got up and shoved his chair in. "I'm going…see you later…"
"Neal…" Peter called again but he shook his head and left the house, the explosion that had taken Kate's life still echoing in his ears.
Neal Caffrey woke with a gasp and in a cold sweat, the nightmare images of Mozzie and Joan and Alex in pools of blood flashing before his eyes. He held his face in his hands, taking deep breaths to calm himself.
They're fine, Neal, he told himself. They all know how to take care of themselves.
He got up three minutes later to call each one anyways, pretending he was at a party and had accidentally sat on his phone.
And then he called Peter Burke.
Elizabeth rolled over in bed with a sigh as Peter put down his cell and sat up. "Who was that?"
"Who do you think?"
Elizabeth's dark eyebrows drew together over her bright eyes. "Neal? Is he alright?"
Peter watched her worried expression for a moment. "I don't know."
"So, are you all set? Extra blankets are at the top of the stairs and you know where everything else is." Peter smirked wryly and nodded at Neal's grateful half-smile.
"Hey, Peter," Neal started and the other man started back down the stairs.
"Nothing. Thank you for letting me sleep here."
"No problem," he muttered and Neal smiled again as he watched his friend climb the stairs.
"You killed Kate!"
"I did no such thing."
"You killed her and wanted to kill me, too. Admit it!"
It took Neal a moment to figure out the hysterical screaming was his own.
He backed up a step from the sinister shadowy figure, full of rage and grief.
"Oh, Neal," it continued anyways and stepped aside to reveal two figures lying at his feet. "Look what you've done."
Neal sank to his knees as the limp bodies of Peter and Elizabeth came into focus. "That's impossible. That would never happen."
"But it has. And it's all your fault." The voice continued and Neal shook his head violently. "All they were trying to do…was protect you…"
"No!" Neal got up and started to shake Peter. "You guys can't leave me…this isn't happening…this isn't happening…"
Peter and Elizabeth hurried down the stairs early that morning, awakened by Neal's shouting. They were surprised to see him still asleep on the couch, covers strewn off, writhing around restlessly.
Peter grabbed his shoulders and shook him awake. "Neal, wake up!"
"This isn't happening…this isn't happening…"
Elizabeth patted the side of his face. "Neal, hey! Neal!"
His eyes finally opened in the dim light and he breathed heavily for moment, jerking around in shock until he realized where he was and who he was with.
Peter politely ignored him as he sat up and wiped the tears from his face. Elizabeth gave his arm a squeeze and went to go make coffee.
"Did you have a nightmare about Kate?" He asked after a moment.
Neal glanced at him and shook his head. "Not about Kate," he murmured, voice strained after his yelling.
Peter opened his mouth in confusion to ask but was interrupted as Neal spoke again. "I'm not putting you two…in danger…staying here, am I?"
Peter stared at him and shook his head. "I wouldn't have asked you stay of you were."
He laughed softly as Elizabeth came out and silently handed him a cup of coffee. "Right. Sorry for all the trouble."
"It's not any trouble," Elizabeth emphasized before nodding to Peter and heading back upstairs.
Peter caught he pillow she threw down at him from the stairs, ignorant to Neal's puzzled gaze as he curled up on the chair and turned the TV on, the volume low.
"What're you doing?"
"Watching TV, what does it look like I'm doing?"
Neal paused and then shook his head and almost instantly fell asleep again.
The nightmares stopped.