If White Collar met Cash Cab...
(A parody - no offense meant to Cash Cab or White Collar. I own neither and this was just some crazy lark that came to me in a moment of insanity.)
Peter was cursing louder than Neal had ever heard but was glad it wasn't directed at him. The agent sighed, checking out the damage to the car as the front end smoked, the right front fender tearing into the tire. It wasn't good.
"You ok, Neal?" Peter walked around and checked his partner who looked a bit dazed.
"Yeah, I'm ok. How about you?" He saw Peter looking at him curiously, pulling a handkerchief out and handing it to the young man.
"You're bleeding." He pushed it up against the young man's temple and had him hold it. Neal nodded pointing at his partner's forehead.
"That goose egg doesn't look that great either." Neal saw Peter peek at himself in the side mirror of the Taurus, wincing as he poked at the bump.
"We're going to need a cab to follow the perp. He made sure we couldn't follow in the Taurus when he rammed us." Peter sighed, taking out his phone. Neal kept dabbing at the wound on his head in a gingerly manner, wincing when he poked it too hard.
"Jones, we're taking a cab. The perp got away after ramming us. No we're fine but we'll have to meet you there in a few. Ok, let Hughes know. Thanks." Peter hung up, pushing his cell into his pocket and looking a bit dizzy. Neal moved over and held him up.
"Peter, maybe we should go to a hospital. You aren't looking so good and that bump..." He saw his partner shake his head, eyes crossing a bit when he did so.
"Just use your charm and get us a cab!" Peter sounded slightly testy, leaning back tiredly against his totalled car as he muttered something about El killing him. Neal nodded. He held out his free hand, putting on his most charming smile despite the now bloody handkerchief held up to his temple. After a moment a taxi van pulled up.
Neal let Peter go in first, slipping in to close the door. The driver was hunched in the front seat and from what they could tell was bald. Neal didn't really care, looking at Peter who was leaning back in the seat looking a bit ashen.
"So... where are you goin'?" The cabbie had a thick Brooklyn accent, Neal answering.
"The hosp..." He was interrupted by Peter who sat up and put a hand on his arm.
"The warehouse district... and book it!" Peter barely said that before he fell back against the seat again, his brown eyes crossing a bit. Neal was checking on him when the inside of the cab started to sparkle and shine with several lights. It made the con dizzy as he watched it and heard the driver speak again, turning.
"Hey, you're on Treasure Taxi! It's a game show I put on inside this cab. My name is Dan Dailey. Did you want to play?" Neal blinked unsure of what was going on, looking around at the driver who was now sitting up straight then back at the flashing lights.
"My friend needs to get to the hospi..." He felt Peter pull on his arm and glare up at him.
"Warehouth dithrict... we haf to get to the thite, Neawl." Peter's voice was slurring a bit, that knot on his head turning a nasty bruised color. The driver stared at them, Neal trying to figure out what to do before he finally shrugged.
"Just go..." He saw the driver nod and smile.
"Ok... so I guess we're playing. I'll be asking you questions and you can win cash along the way. If you get questions wrong, you get a strike. Three strikes and I have to let you out and you don't get the money. If you make it to your destination without any strikes or less than three, you'll win that amount. Let's get started!" The driver was talking like a radio announcer, Neal nodding but keeping his attention on Peter.
"These first questions are worth $50 dollars. Here's your first question..." The driver sounded a wee bit too cheerful, Neal trying to keep Peter conscious and hoping they'd pass a hospital or clinic along the way so they could pull over and take the Fed inside.
"On the show Star Trek, what three things can a phaser do?" The driver was looking through the rear view mirror at his riders, Neal blinking at the question since he never watched regular TV. He wasn't really concerned with the game when he saw Peter sit up.
"What's kill, stun and uh... self-destruct!" Peter's brown eyes were a bit dilated, rolling around their sockets loosely. Neal didn't know what to say, just nodding as he settled his friend back against the seat.
"Peter, are you sure you're ok?" Neal was looking worried when they heard a dinging sound and the driver yelled happily.
"That's absolutely RIGHT! You just won $50 bucks! Next question..." The host smiled at the two, seemingly unaware that Neal had a bloody rag at his head and Peter a knot on his.
"Question number two! How many possible ways are there of playing the first four moves per side in a game of chess?"
Peter blinked, his face looking a bit pale if not flushed. Neal was looking worried but he turned and smiled at the driver as if the question had perked him up.
"What is 318,979,564,000!" Neal's eyes were bright with victory, a hand yanking on his arm.
"Are we there yet?" Peter was sounding whoozy now.
"Is that your final answer?" The host asked. Neal turned and nodded at the man, whispering to Peter.
"Peter stay awake, ok? We'll be there soon." Neal took his jacket off and put it under his friend's head. Peter was smiling drunkenly now.
"You're absolutely RIGHT! You now have $100 bucks and have 30 blocks to go in your 40 block trip." The host was smiling, preparing it seemed for the next question.
"Ooh, it's the RED LIGHT BONUS QUESTION! This won't affect your score if you miss it but here we go. What is the dot over the letter i called?"
Neal looked confused, his attention between the driver and keeping Peter conscious. He was shaking his friend awake, muttering out the side of his mouth.
"Tittle?" Neal sounded distracted, Peter mumbling something about Captain Kirk and Spock playing 3-D chess.
"You're absolutely RIGHT! That's another $50 for a total of $150 bucks, with 25 blocks to go. These next questions are worth $100 bucks each."
Neal nodded despite his attention being on his friend, Peter now quoting something about long ears and disobedience.
Peter interrupted the host, glancing up at Neal with a strange look.
"How the heck did you know that chess question?" He sounded absolutely sloshed despite the fact he wasn't, his eyes still crossing. Neal bit his lip, looking out the window in hopes of finding a hospital or clinic but so far nothing. The host continued with the next question.
"Who is the famous director of the FBI who's name sounds like a vacuum cleaner?"
Peter's face crinkled some as he seemed to perk up, thinking about the answer.
"J. Edgar Vacuum!" He gave a slight hysterical giggle, Neal blinking at the answer.
"Peter, you work for the FBI. Even I know that's not the right..."
"Oh... I'm sorry. That's not the right answer but you were close. It was J. Edgar Hoover. Sorry but you have one strike now. Two more and I have to drop you off."
Neal looked at his friend really worried now. He must have a really bad head injury if he's acting this far gone. He had never seen Peter act this way.
"You have 20 blocks to go. What popular condiment was once sold as a medicine?" Neal was now slapping his friend lightly on the face, Peter slumping even more in the seat of the taxi.
"Peter... Peter wake up!" He heard the agent give a slight groan, eyes fluttering open.
"Neal... what goes on a hotdog? Something, something or other..." Peter was blinking at the young man, pupils ever so slightly larger.
"Hotdog? Uh... Mustard? Uh... relish?"
"Oh I'm sorry... we were looking for Ketchup. That's another strike and you have 15 blocks to go. One more and I have to throw you out."
Neal felt a bit light-headed himself, the gash on his head not helping nor the driver. He'd stopped dabbing at the wound, paying more attention to Peter's uncharacteristic behavior.
"How many years did Da Vinci spend on the Mona Lisa's lips?"
Neal wasn't really paying attention anymore, his cell at his ear as he heard it buzz.
"Not right now Mozz... I'm sort of in the middle of something..."
"So this is a mobile shout out to Mozz? How many years did Da Vinci spend on the Mona Lisa's lips?"
Neal was trying to keep Peter alert when he heard Mozz talking.
"Are you on Treasure Taxi? That is too awesome! I think I know this question! Tell the host hello for me... Neal? You there? Neal?"
"Oh I'm sorry... you didn't answer in time and that's three strikes. The answer was 12 years. You were only 10 blocks away from your destination but thanks for playing."
Neal nodded distractedly, shaking the hosts hand without really paying attention as he eased himself and Peter out of the taxi. Mozz was still on the phone.
"Neal... did you tell the host I said Hi? Neal? You there?"
Neal turned to find they were stopped in front of a small medical office, carrying his friend towards the entrance.
"At least something is working out today... No Mozz, like I said... kind of busy!"