Author's Notes: Hi guys! Thank you for sticking with me and this story for so long! I am shell-shocked at the amount of reviews you guys have been giving me for this story! I never expected it to get even 50 and yet you guys reward me with 100+!

~hugs all the loyal reviewers~

I thought I might allow you guys a sneak peek at a yet-to-be published story as a reward and a thank you. The excerpt will be after my (second) Author's Notes.

Neal: You're going to ruin the surprise!

Me: Aww, come on Neal, I think they'll like it…

Neal: You mean that you hope they'll like it. ~looks down at the chess game~ Oh by the way, check mate.

Neal shifted restlessly in his bed as his dreams troubled him once more. This time instead of being beaten by Peter he was forced to watch as Keller and Wilkes blew his friend and partner up in front of him. No amount of pleading had convinced the two older cons and Neal was made to sit still or else El and June would die. He uttered a soft whimper of anguish as the El in his dreams screamed Peter's name frantically. There was nothing he could do to keep her from rushing into the flames after her husband.

"El…" The word was breathed in a troubled sigh as the young man turned his head to side yet again.

The man in the white suit simply smiled and stood up. Leaning over Neal he sneered into the unconscious con artist's ear. "You really are a waste of air Neal; it's a pity Peter cared so much while the two of you were stuck in that bank vault. I would have preferred it if you had died that way, much less troublesome for me." There was a pause as the man took out a syringe, "but then again Caffrey, you've never been known to make things easy. Always having to do things with a bang." There was a dark chuckle.

"Infiltrating the FBI and moving my way up the ladder was so much easier than I had anticipated it being. It was quite pathetic actually, the lack of security I mean. All of my documents were fake, I would have thought that you of all people would notice that they were fake, but then again no one asked for your opinion on the matter much less investigated it. When I heard that Burke had finally caught you and thrown your useless butt in jail I was thrilled. I mean, we have been competitors for years and years now. In fact if I believe my memory serves me correctly, we used to be partners Caffrey.

It was you and me against the world, like one of those cheesy super-hero movies only we were (are) the bad guys. And then she came along, batting those baby blues and swishing that head full of dark hair all around the place. I didn't mind it when you were with Alex. In fact I loved it, we had a fence that was reliable and the best I had or have ever come across. But no, that wasn't good enough for you. You just had to go and throw it all out the door when that witch pranced across your path.

She might have had you under her spell but she sure as hell didn't trap Alex and me into it. We were too smart for that. Why couldn't you see that she was just using you to get to the money? You're a freaking' brainiac and a con artist! You should have seen it coming from a mile away!

But no, the great Neal Caffrey was wooed by a lady and was about to be blindsided. So I stepped in, made you think it was Fowler that blew up your beloved Kate." The man in the white suit spat Kate's name with intense loathing.

As he finished talking for the moment, the man quickly emptied the syringe's contents into Neal's IV tube. The yellowish liquid traveled through the tubing and other fluids and into Neal's bloodstream. He grinned when he saw the younger man stiffen, facial features tightening with pain as the toxin began to ravage his system.

With the arrogant smirk still sitting proudly on his thin lips, the man in the white suit got up from his seat and left.

Peter Burke was tossing and turning in his own bed as he made a futile effort to get some shut-eye. His body needed the rest but his brain refused to shut up. What was so hard about not thinking?

Shut up!

What's the weather supposed to be like tomorrow?

I told you to be quiet!

Do we have anymore deviled ham for my lunch tomorrow?

You can worry about that in the morning now be quiet and let me get some rest.

Why is it so damned hot in here?


Make me…


I wonder what Mozz is doing, haven't heard a peep out of the little guy since we told him that we had found Neal.

Worry about that later, now turn yourself off.

I don't think you want me to do that. You can't function without me. Why did that last retort sound so much like Neal?

Because you dolt, you miss him.

Do not.

Do too.

Do not.

Do too…

Wait, why am I arguing with myself?

I dunno, you're the one that started it.

:: I'll be darned if that voice doesn't sound like Neal:: Peter mused distractedly.

Maybe I am, maybe I'm not.

Peter groaned loudly in annoyance and flopped down onto his other side.

Did you set your alarm, check to see if the dog needs to be let out? Speaking of dogs…

WHAT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT SHUT UP? Peter roared at the other voice furiously. Seriously why couldn't a guy catch a break and be able to enjoy some well earned rest?

What if Bugsy pees or poos in June's house? It would be your fault you know.

Fine, you win this time Caff but there won't be a next time.


Now will you shut up?

No… Peter rolled his eyes and got out of his bed, noticing for the first time that El wasn't lying down in it. Where had she disappeared to now?

It didn't tale the agent long to find her; the overwhelming smell of fresh, home-made cookies wafted through the house, the source being the kitchen. "You couldn't sleep either?" His wife asked without even turning around to look at him.

How she had known he was there baffled him, Peter had thought that he'd been extremely quiet as he had moved through the house. "No," he shook his head as he started up the coffee machine. "I couldn't stop thinking about random things," and arguing with myself he added mentally with a small smirk.

"Hope your making extra?" The statement sounded more like a question as Peter gazed at a tray of cookies, mouth watering at the aroma and the fact that his wife's home made cookies were sitting right there. He reached out to grab one when he thought she wasn't looking but soon found himself glaring indignantly at his wife while cradling a smarting hand. El shook her rolling pin at him menacingly and Peter put his hands up in surrender.

"Alright, alright, I get it. No cookies for Agent Peter Burke… your husband…your amazingly awesome husband…" Peter trailed off when he realized that the current tactic wasn't going to work.

El just grinned at him and handed Peter a deviled ham sandwich. "Take this with you and say hi to Neal for me."

"How'd you?"

Elizabeth Burke placed her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes before stating, "I'm your wife Peter, I know what you're going to do before you even think about doing it. It's a part of my job."

Peter shook his head, a large grin spread across his face as he got into his Taurus.

"Get the doctor in here now!" The nurse called to her associate with an air of utmost importance.

The other nurse nodded and raced down the hallway. The remaining nurses quickly got to work, checking vitals, and locking restraints around their patient's limbs.

This was the scene that one Peter Burke walked in on an hour after leaving his house, (he had gone to Junes' and walked a very-happy-to-see-someone- Bugsy before coming over to the hospital. His eyes widened as he saw the nurses strapping Neal into the bed, felt his gut wrench when his partner's eyes shot open, wild with fear and pain. It made the younger man look like an injured and drugged animal.

The agent desperately wanted to go over to his friend, to tell the younger man that everything would be ok, to tell him not to fight the people that were trying to help him. He hovered outside of the door uncertainly, not wanting to get in the way. Peter was about to turn around to leave so that he would remain out of the way when a pair of panicky blue eyes caught made contact with his own eyes.

Peter felt his heart wrench as the younger man strained towards him, eyes pleading with Peter to get him out this hell, to save him from whatever it was these people were trying to do to him.

"Does he know you?" One of the nurses called to Peter. She didn't sound demanding, rude or even bossy. Rather, she sounded more like she was hoping that his answer would be positive and that he would be able to get her charge to calm down.

Peter briefly wondered why they didn't just sedate Neal but didn't comment on the question as he nodded in an answer to her question. He didn't trust his voice to sound properly right now.

"P'ter?" The consultant's voice was slurred and dry as the younger man forced the words out around the tubes that went down his throat. The CI coughed harshly in a reward for speaking and his eyes squeezed shut as pain lanced down his throat.

"Take it easy Neal," Peter soothed as he gently mussed the younger man's hair in an attempt to calm him down. The older man looked up as the doctor came striding in through the door, his eyes questioning.

Peter looked down at his friend, noticing that the younger man was leaning into the soft caresses and that Neal seemed to be calming down. Once Neal seemed to be completely calmed, the doctor motioned for Peter to go ahead and move to the waiting room.

Almost as soon as Peter so much as took a couple of steps away from ex-con artist, Neal's heart rate spiked up again as the younger man regained the terrified look to his eyes. His body fought with the machines and he choked on one of the tubes. The doctor nodded when he saw Peter's questioning glance and the older man quickly went back to his partner's side.

Once again Neal seemed to calm down, but this time the younger man tried to tell Peter something and made a growling noise in frustration when the tube impeded with his ability to communicate with his father-figure. Peter squeezed Neal's hand gently to let the younger man know that he was there and then felt Neal tapping something.


"Don't worry buddy, I'm not going anywhere." Peter reached down and gently mussed the young con's hair again with a small grin as Neal leaned into the touch before tensing slightly as wave of pain crashed through his system.

Neal looked so vulnerable and helpless right now. That wasn't a look that should be associated with the young consultant and Peter hoped that Neal would be able to get out of the hospital soon. That his friend would be able to go back to harassing Peter to the borderline of insanity once more. Funny how you missed even the annoying things when someone could be taken away from you.

"Why didn't you give him any tranquilizers?" Peter asked one of the nurses softly as she checked a nearby machine.

"We weren't sure of how it would react to whatever it was that he had been injected with."

Peter looked at her, a look of sheer surprise on his face. "Someone just tried to kill him, while he was in here?"

The nurse, Holly, nodded. "It seems to be that way Mr. Burke."

Author's Notes: Dun dun dun… what will happen to Neal? What was he given? I hope you guys liked the fluff I tried to interweave into the chapter. What did you think about the Man in the White Suit's past with Neal? Like it? Hate it? Let me know in your reviews.

Here are the Matt Bomer quotes for the chappie:

The Sweet Side: My parents raised me right, so I always open doors for people and try to have good manners."

The Devious Side: "I've been a con artist since I was 16 and trying to get my dad to buy me a car. I never succeeded, but I learnt a lot of tactics."

And now I believe that I owe you guys that sneak peek at the upcoming White Collar story.

Description: In order to out-con the enemy Neal gets sent undercover as one of the knights in the Renaissance Festival. Can he hold his own when he has to sub for the regular knight in the jousting tournament?

Neal Caffrey grimaced as he looked at his reflection in the mirror. He was in a suit of armor, the metal conformed to fit the contours of his body so that he would be able to move around without too much restraint and still be protected. The con artist felt like a fool but knew that this wasn't as bad as the other case that he would have had to do if he hadn't opted for this one.

It had taken him a long month of training in order to get ready for his undercover mission, and the young man was still sore from being knocked out of the saddle one to many times. Neal had always been a natural when it came to horseback riding, but jousting was a whole different ball game when it came to the cues that he needed to send his mount.

The horse that he had been assigned since the beginning was adequately named Kate (short for Katedianip). The mare was a pretty bay Thoroughbred and was a gentle mount. She was easy to control and had taken an immediate liking to Neal. Yes, they had their ups and downs over the course of the training sessions but the two had managed to stick together. And now they were going to be putting their skills to the test for the first time in a few minutes. Neal was nervous but knew that he had to calm his nerves or else his mount would pick up on them and get jittery. His opponent was announced by the knight that was already in the ring and Neal saw the other man urge his strawberry roan mount into a loping canter.

Neal swallowed nervously as he heard the crowd cheering for the other man as he rode past his section of fans and then the loud sound of booing from when Jackson rode past Neal's designated fans. Then his own name was announced, well at least his alias' name was. "Darius!"

Sliding some of the reins through his hands and leaning forward while keeping his back straight, Neal squeezed his mount's sides gently and the mare rocketed forward. Neal flashed his trademark grin and couldn't help but smirk in amusement when the girls in Jackson's section cheered for him as he went past, turning traitors on their assigned knight.

After warming Kate up with a few more laps around the ring, Neal brought her to a stop in front of his allotted fans. He was handed a lance and a young woman came out of the crowed in order to 'crown' the lance. Neal wheeled Kate around dramatically and then both he and Jackson galloped around the arena for one more lap before they each stopped at their own sides of the bleachers. A group of senior boys were chanting, "Darius, Darius, Darius!" While pumping their fists into the air.

Raising his lance, Neal quickly managed to get his crowd to be quiet enough to hear him.

"I will give you victory!" He paused and thrust the lance up into the air for added emphasis. "I will spill his blood!" Once more he thrust the lance and this time the crowd roared their approval.

Of course the little punks want to see blood. No surprise there.

Neal continued his rallying speech and then cued Kate to rear, spinning her around in the process in a complex maneuver and trotted over to the other two knights. They looked at him scornfully (he was portraying the bad knight after all) and leered at them mockingly.

Charles (the announcer) turned to Jackson and spoke to him first, loud enough for the crowd to be able to hear what he said easily. "Do you so swear to fight honorably, with courage and integrity in this duel to the death?"

Jackson puffed up his chest before regally declaring, "I so SWEAR that I will fight with honor, courage and integrity in this duel to the death!"

Charles turned to face Neal now. "Darius, do you so swear to fight honorably, with courage and integrity in this duel to the death?"

Neal simply leered at him and made a mocking gesture, causing the crowd to laugh. The young man didn't say anything, only sat there and leered like a fool tom cat.

"Darius?" Charles sounded exasperated, as if he had been forced to put up with Darius' attitude one to many times.

Neal's only response was a mock bow before urging Kate to her side of the jousting fence. His squire equipped him with his shield and checked his gear to make sure everything was as it should be. The squire gave Neal's leg an affectionate pat of encouragement as he handed his knight the battle lance.

The young man hefted it with a sense of ease and felt Kate tense underneath him. The mare knew what was about to happen and Neal could tell that she was looking forward to it.

Charles dropped the flags and quickly moved out of the way as the two knights urged their horses into a gallop, dirt flying out from under their mounts' hooves, breath steaming from dilated nostrils as the horses snorted their breaths excitedly.

Neal brought his lance around and fit it into shoulder so that the weapon was snug tight and braced himself for the impact.

Author's Notes: Well, what do you think of the idea? Is it something that you would want to read more of in the future? Let me know in your reviews!