Title: Coming Home
Rating: PG for mention of violence
Notes: Written for a prompt fest. Prompt was: Diana - Coming Home
Diana had been excited about her transfer. It was a big step to be moved from probationary to full agent. It meant she was one step closer to running her own cases. One step closer to being a team leader. She loved Washington, D.C. It was a beautiful city and she enjoyed exploring it with Christie after their wedding. The work was good too. Her new boss was intelligent, but not nearly as brilliant as Peter. Her co-workers were fine agents, but she didn't have that comfort level with them that she'd had with Jones. There was no one there to shake things up the way Neal had, and no one did playful banter like the ex-con. Eventually, her days fell into a dull rhythm of getting up, working boring cases until it was time to go home. She tried to look on the bright side; she hadn't had to face down a gun yet and the pay was decent enough.
By the end of six months however, Diana had revised her opinion. Washington was ok, but the work was less than inspiring, and her boss was bright enough but he wasn't able to make the intuitive, sometimes breathtaking leaps in logic that Peter did on a daily basis. Her coworkers seemed dull in comparison to the easy friendship she'd developed back in New York. She found herself missing the team back in New York even more. Christie was not having much luck in the jobs department and they were beginning to feel the pinch of too many bills and not quite enough money.
When she got the somewhat mysterious call from Peter, Diana was ecstatic. She went back to New York and promised to bring Christie all the news. She didn't have much time for sight-seeing, as it turned out. Peter had gotten caught up in some conspiracy that involved an OPR agent and a mysterious music box. The whole mess centered around Neal Caffrey, of course. She didn't understand how or why Peter had become so emotionally involved with the conman. What she did know was that the man who had pushed her to become a better agent and made her so successful now needed her help. She accepted that somewhere along the line, Neal had earned Peter's belief that he was worth saving, and she threw herself into the case, at first for Peter, and then after the plane exploded, she realized she was doing this for Neal as well.
Four days after the explosion (days filled with enough excitement to last a life-time) Diana sat in the FBI office and talks with Hughes and the director from D.C. on a conference call. Hughes asked her to stay and offered her more money. She accepted it without even calling Christie; she knew what the answer would be. Christie wanted to move back to New York, and Diana couldn't envision leaving Peter now. Neal was locked up in prison again for no good reason, and Peter was on suspension. They both needed her help.
It took some time, but Peter got his badge back. She had no idea how he convinced the higher ups to release Neal from prison, but he did. Three months after the phone call that changed everything, Diana walked into the conference room to be briefed on the newest case. Jones grined at her in greeting and shoved a cup of coffee at her. Neal, recently released from prison, gave her a flirtatious grin (a ghost of what it had once been, but the grief was beginning to fade finally from his eyes). Peter was all business and handed her a folder after only a cursory greeting. As he began to discuss the case, Diana felt like she had final come home.