Neal woke up after a while, eyes looking around the room the feeling he was forgetting something evident. He started to sit up when someone coughed and Neal turned his head to see someone standing by the window to his right.
"Who's there?" The room was bathed in soft light from the window, Neal reaching for the lamp when a voice spoke.
He knew that voice. Neal stopped reaching for the switch and listened, obeying the voice as he tried to get comfortable.
"Peter? I thought..." He didn't get to finish as the agent interrupted him.
"You really thought I wouldn't know what you did? Neal..." Peter's voice sounded strange but he wasn't sure if the agent was angry or accusatory, the tone more matter of fact. Neal blinked in the dim darkness trying to focus on the figure who had turned, their silhouette obvious against the window.
"I..." He didn't know what to say, shame coming over him as he tried to think how to redirect, lie or at least get Peter to not be angry with him. He wanted to hide or run away suddenly till he heard the next words.
"You did the right thing, Neal. Killing Bancroft wouldn't have done either of us any good. I'm proud of you. I guess you listen more than I thought. I'm sorry if I ever doubted you. Thanks." Peter's tone was not admonishing but admiring, pleasant and praising. Neal felt his eyes well up with tears not because he was sad or upset but glad. Peter approved. He wasn't angry with what he did.
"I just... I didn't want to disappoint you." He choked up before he could say more, the figure moving closer till he could almost see those brown eyes glittering softly at him in the darkness. Peter sat on the edge of the bed, his hand gentle on his shoulder.
"Neal, you could never disappoint me. You protected me and Elizabeth and everyone else. You did good." Neal reached up to touch his friend's hand, his tears flowing freely making him glad it was dark in the room. Peter didn't need to know he was crying. He felt the man move slightly as he sat beside him.
"Just remember this: You are important. You count Neal. Don't forget that. You have people here who care for you so don't do anything stupid like this again. Ok?" There was as hint of humor on the end as he felt Peter's hand move from his shoulder and up to his head, his hair mussed in a brotherly manner in the darkness. Neal leaned back against the mattress and closed his eyes as he felt the hand combing gently through his hair.
"I'm here because of you, Neal. You did good." Peter spoke but his voice seemed to be fading into the background, Neal nodding sleepily as he felt the touch of his friend's hand on his hair fading as well.
"Peter?" He wanted to ask him something but he felt as if the moment was fading away, disappearing like smoke in the wind. He fought to regain control and keep his friend with him.
"Yes, Neal?" Peter's voice sounded farther away now.
"Do you ever..." He paused unsure if he should ask.
"Do I ever what, Neal?" Peter's voice was faint now, the feeling of his hand on his head like a wisp of breath.
"Do you ever regret our agreement?" He had thrown it out there now, the guilt and everything else he felt betting on the answer to this question. The room was silent, Peter's hand no longer caressing his hair. Then he felt a faint voice whispering in his ear.
"What do you think?"
Neal opened his eyes to find faint light from a nearby lamp casting a soft glow. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he sat up and looked around the room. It was empty except for a figure sleeping in the far corner on the couch. He stood removing all but the IVs, dragging them with him quietly as he approached the figure. Neal draped a sheet over them, sitting on the small coffee table as he watched them sleep. After a moment they stirred, stretching and looking up in surprise.
"Neal... you should be in bed." Elizabeth Burke's voice was still husky with sleep, her lips parting for a stifled yawn before wagging a finger at him. Neal smiled as she reciprocated.
"I couldn't sleep." He shrugged as he spoke, El sitting up as she gave him a gentle hug.
"I understand. You had a nightmare?" She reached up to brush some hair from his face but he shook his head.
"Actually no... I..." He paused unsure what to say under the circumstances. Peter was still unconscious for all he knew and hurt. He didn't want to add to her pain. He sat beside her as best he could, the IV's drug along with him.
"I was dreaming about Peter. We were talking." He combed his good hand through his hair nervously as El put a motherly arm around him.
"So what did you two talk about?" She was looking directly at him now, blue eyes interested in what he had to say. Neal blushed a bit.
"Well... uhm... He told me I did good and not to be stupid again." Neal rubbed at the back of his neck as she smirked at him ever so slightly reaching up to tap him on the nose.
"See? I told you you were important. Maybe it's starting to sink into that psyche of yours. Running is not the only way, Neal. Sometimes just staying in place is a good thing." She hugged him again, standing up to stretch as she eased him to his feet.
"Let's go see Peter. He's just down the hall. I'll call a nurse to make it official." She winked at him as she mussed his hair then walked over to the nurse call and pushed the button. It was barely 5 minutes when a nurse peeked in.
"He's up. He's not supposed to be out of bed yet." Her eyes narrowed but El went and talked to her privately. After a few minutes the nurse nodded smiling.
"I understand, Mrs. Burke. I'll bring you a wheelchair." The nurse was still smiling when she left Neal giving El a curious look.
"I told her you were brothers and you wanted to be sure he was ok." She saw his look and blushed, her eyes twinkling.
"Don't think I haven't studied your tactics, Mr. Caffrey." She winked at him, Neal grinning now.
"Fine, so now Peter will tell me I've corrupted you." He was only half joking as he sat on the side of the hospital bed and played with the hem of his sleep shirt. June had brought him clothes, uncertain how long he was going to be staying. Neal reached over for his robe at the end of the bed and gingerly pushed both arms through with El's assistance. By then the nurse had come with the wheelchair.
"Your chariot awaits, Neal." El got behind the chair thanking the nurse as they maneuvered the IVs into place to go with him. The nurse clucked her tongue when he made a face.
"You need those antibiotics, Mr. Caffrey. Can't take them off till you're released." The nurse flashed her brown eyes at him till he acquiesced and slumped back in the chair. The nurse pushed the chair while El walked along his left side.
"You'll be out soon, Neal. Let's go see Peter." She placed a gentle hand on his shoulder as they continued down the corridor a few yards before pausing.
"Room 204. You're in 210. I expect him back there when you're done." The nurse said as she winked at El, smiling down at Neal before she left them. Neal felt like he was missing something as El pushed the door open and pulled the wheelchair with him inside. It was a little unnerving going in backwards, El keeping him that way as she pulled him clear of the door.
"El? Where did you go?" He turned to see why she had left his side when he saw someone else staring back at him. He started to stand, unhooking the IVs from the chair and rolling the hanger they were on towards the hospital bed and Peter.
Peter looked at him with tired brown eyes, but he was smiling his color less blue today but with a hint of gray as his breathing improved.
"Peter..." Neal breathed, uncertain he wasn't dreaming again. He felt El's hand gently pushing him into the seat beside the bed as he sat, looking up at his friend.
"I need some coffee. I'll be right back." Elizabeth squeezed Neal gently before kissing her husband and leaving the room. As the door clicked quietly shut, Neal turned back towards his friend, the agent blinking at him sleepily. There was silence, only the hiss of the respirator evident along with the soft beeping of the monitors and the drip of the IVs. Peter moved his bandaged hand ever so slowly towards Neal, his fingers uncurling to grasp at his hand. Neal raised his hand to meet his friend's, feeling Peter's larger hand entwine in his, one finger tapping against his palm.
Neal blinked looking at his friend, eyes closed but obviously thinking hard about what he was doing. Neal did the same trying to concentrate on what he was feeling, each tap gentle but obvious enough before it stopped and Peter looked at him again. It took a moment of him to translate what he had felt, playing back each movement back till he nodded.
"I'm ok. My shoulder wound was infected. Otherwise healthy as a horse I guess you'd say." He smirked when he saw Peter trying to smile around the tube in his mouth, a slight gurgling sound coming from his friend as he swallowed. Peter shifted his weight slightly, eyes squinting when he felt pain. Neal rose and tried to help him, adjusting the pillows till Peter nodded. They sat there in silence, looking at each other or around the room but not speaking. Finally Peter started to tap weakly on the railing of his bed, Morse code evident. Neal listened, trying to concentrate on translating despite feeling tired.
"Bancroft? I don't know. Diana shot him. I haven't seen her since we were brought in last night. He was being cuffed last I saw." He leaned back in the chair, shivering slightly since his fever hadn't yet left. He closed his eyes only opening them when he heard tapping.
"Just tired. Little feverish still." Neal pulled his arms around himself as much as he could with one in a sling. The tapping continued as he sat there and he would just answer without really thinking about it, his mind auto-translating. Finally he passed into a light sleep, slumping in the chair.
Neal wake up...
He jerked his eyes open, looking around for Peter who had been talking in his head, calling him but instead he found himself back in his room. Nobody was in the room with him, a frown forming on his lips. He rolled over to his good side and curled up, blanket pulled over him as much as he could manage. He heard more tapping, phantom sounds of someone sending him messages.
Where is El? She'll know what to do.
Neal wondered why Peter was asking for Elizabeth, the agent's tone worried. He just curled up under the blanket vaguely aware of something cool and damp on his forehead flopping off and hitting the pillow beside him. His face felt a bit warm, body shivering from cold.
Nobody understands what I'm saying.
The young man twitched a bit in his sleep but eventually Peter's voice faded into the background and he thought he felt the agent gently mussing his hair as he fell into a much deeper sleep.
It seemed like he had slept for a week when he woke next. Neal found most of his aches and pains had vanished, the haziness of his mind faded and he could think more clearly. Elizabeth showed up and visited telling him that two days had passed and his fever had finally broke. They'd been worried about him, Peter unable to rest till he knew Neal was ok. The agent had been scared when Neal had passed out in the chair in his room and wouldn't budge. El had showed up not too long afterwards, calling a nurse who contacted a few orderlies who carried the young man back to his room where had briefly waken up before sleeping another 2 days.
"Two days. Seems like a longer time but I feel better. I kept dreaming I heard Peter talking to me only it was in Morse code." He blushed a bit as he spoke thinking it was silly but she shook her head at him.
"He was tapping when I came in. I didn't know what to make of it since I never learned anything but S-O-S but Peter seemed so frantic and I saw you laying there on the floor. I knew something had happened. It took a while to calm him once you were taken back to your room. He thought you might have stopped breathing but I assured him you were ok." She hugged him lightly, passing him a cup. He glanced at the contents seeing it was orange juice before taking a sip.
"I don't remember too much but I could hear the tapping and heard his voice superimposed. It was strange." Neal shrugged as if unable to explain it but El just smiled back.
"I did that once with French. I know it more or less because of my mother but I'm terrible at it. I heard some girls talking once on a bus when I was tired and as I sat there staring out there window I could almost hear them speaking English over the words as if my mind were translating it automatically. Strangest thing but once I realize what I was doing it stopped. I wish I could have continued to do that but it was a one time thing." She shrugged back smiling. Neal blinked then smiled.
"I never would have guess you knew French, El. I'm surprised you never taught Peter." He was thinking back to the incident with the portrait when she blushed.
"Like I said before, I was never good at it although my mother used to speak it around us. Her grandmother on her father's side was Cajun so they had taught it to her as a child but she rarely used it outside visiting them or just randomly around the house. I only understand a bit." She sat up a bit straighter, looking at him a bit more directly as her eyes brightened.
"Oh they took the tube out of Peter's throat. He's asleep right now but when he wakes up I'll take you to visit. I'm sure he'll want to see you're ok. He was asking up till they took the breathing tube out by writing on paper I brought him. He's a worse patient than you are." She smirked and Neal smiled back.
"Just glad you're better. You were practically ashen when I found you. Doctor said you were just dehydrated from the fever. They left you a pitcher of water here. Did you want some? The juice is to get your blood sugar up a bit." She was fussing over him, Neal feeling comforted by it as he shook his head.
"I'm fine, El. Thanks." He reached over as much as he could and kissed her cheek, her face blushing a bit but mostly she just smiled warmly. She rose after a moment, stretching and looking at the clock.
"I think Peter might be waking up soon. Let me go check and then I'll come back and let you know if you can visit. They wanted to check your vitals before you went out again. I'll buzz the nurse and they can do that while you're waiting." She waggled a finger at him as he started to protest.
"No buts, Neal. We don't need you passing out again like that. I want to be sure you're ok. You had us both sick with worry and I don't want Peter upset. He's still healing and you are too. Just deal with it." Her voice turned motherly and Neal nodded resignedly.
"I'll be back soon and the nurse will be here soon. Just sit tight." El gave him a small kiss on the forehead and smiled.
"Your head feels cool. I think there shouldn't be any problems. See you in a few." She left the room and not too soon afterwards a nurse showed up.
"Hello Mr. Caffrey. I was told you were feeling better. Let me check."
Neal was released the next day. He got to see Peter, the agent still not able to speak but he could write just fine. He was contining to heal from the collapsed lung and broken ribs, the tube in his side removed the day Neal left which meant his lung had healed and he was doing better, his color staying without looking ashy or even blue. He still wheezed a bit but Peter was getting better, Neal coming to visit him while he continued to recoup from his own trauma and the past few months. Both men were going to be off work till everything had been cleared up with the kidnapping, faked death and Bancroft. Enough agents and SWAT had witnessed what happened that Diana wasn't even put on suspension. She had done all she could to protect one of their own from an armed suspect even if that armed suspect ended up being her director's boss.
Jones and Diana were still working as was Hughes who had come by at one point to visit Peter when he was finally able to. He also stopped by June's to talk to Neal and make sure he was ok. He apologized for what happened even though he had not been involved. Somehow he felt responsible for the young man having gone through such an ordeal because of the bureau. He would understand if Neal didn't want to stay with them which surprised the young man. Hughes insisted they wanted to keep him but if he left, his sentence would be shortened since the means by which he came to work for him had been manipulated by Bancroft. Neal said he would have to think about it, although once he talked to Mozzie the little guy thought he was nuts.
"Think about it? You said that to the other Suit? Are you crazy, Neal? You could be out of this. You could be free!" Mozzie's voice was incredulous as Neal blinked as if that was obvious but knowing his friend was missing the point.
"I know I know... you feel obligated. You and your sense of morals. Sometimes I don't understand how you were ever a successful con with such a deep sense of ethics." Mozzie shook his head looking at him as if he had grown horns and was blowing steam out of his nose like a locomotive.
"Mozz... Peter's gone through too much for me to just go. I... I owe him. Besides, I think I like what I'm doing. If I work there for the rest of my time, maybe I can get hired full time." He looked pretty pleased until he saw the shocked look on Mozz' face, the man's jaw practically falling to the floor and then down to the street below.
"I can't finish this conversation, Neal. You're not making any sense! Do you hear yourself? You want to be a suit? I think you've lost it but then who am I to tell you what to do. You've always been so stubborn!" Mozz crossed his arms over his chest as he turned away slightly on the sofa, his back to Neal.
"Mozz... I don't know how to explain it. You said you always wished you'd get adopted as a kid. This is like that. I mean... this is like I finally belong somewhere. Do you understand?" Neal was trying his best to explain, still worried about Peter who had only gotten out the day before from the hospital. It had been just over a week since he had gotten out and Peter had finally been released. He looked up as Mozz coughed to get his attention.
"So... speaking of parents. How is Mr. and Mrs. Suit? Is he out yet?" Mozzie sat up reaching for his glass of wine on the table. Neal glanced at him with a slight smirk.
"He's home as of yesterday but I haven't had a chance to go see him." His tone was glum, Mozz looking at him over his wine glass as he sipped.
"So... why don't we go visit?" Mozz finished one last pull of his wine, stood and went to the sink at the kitchenette to drop it off. Neal turned, watching his friend who was pulling on his jacket and staring at him curiously.
"Chop chop, Neal." He was smiling ever so slightly, Neal nodding back with his own smile as he stood and walked over to the door to grab up his jacket and follow Mozz out of the room. June met them downstairs, glancing between the both of them curiously.
"You look happy. Where are you going?" She noticed the smile on both men's lips, Mozz shrugging, Neal smiling broader.
"Peter's. I wanted to go visit. He was released from the hospital yesterday." Neal looked anxious, June nodding and smiling at him before turning to Mozz.
"And you Haversham?" She arched an eyebrow to which he shrugged.
"If Neal's happy, I'm happy." He saw her looking at him arching her brow higher when he gave in.
"Fine... and El makes a mean appetizer. I have to make sure Neal is safe." He left it at that, June nodding.
"Have fun and send my love." She hugged Neal, gently patting Mozz on the arm before they left.
Neal stepped out of the cab, Mozzie slipping out behind him as they stood on the sidewalk just a few yards from the Burkes' residence. Neal hesitated a moment, Mozzie bumping against him.
"Something the matter, Neal?" Mozz was looking up at him curiously when the younger man shook his head. He was thinking about the dream he'd had in the hospital. He had asked Peter about their partnership, well a dream version, and the figure had not really answered his question. Well they had but it was his own subconscious he knew answering for his side of it through Peter. He had to know how Peter felt even if it was uncomfortable. Did he know about the offer Hughes had offered him? Maybe he should wait. Peter was barely out of the hospital.
"Neal... I'm cold. Can we either call a cab back or go knock on the door?" Mozz sounded somewhat annoyed, shivering slightly in his jacket as he bounced a bit on his feet to keep warm. Neal nodded and they walked over to the small set of steps leading up to the front door. Neal knocked waiting for someone to answer. A few minutes passed and he knocked again, ringing the bell. Maybe they weren't home? He sighed, turning as he realized they must be out. Neal turned feeling a bit disappointed as he sat down on the stoop and leaned his head on his knees. Mozz sat beside him looking at his friend curiously.
"Some thing's bothering you, Neal. What's up?" Mozz always read him well when it mattered but he wasn't sure he should bring it up and risk the argument about Suits and the evils there of again. He shook his head.
"Nothing's wrong. Just wanted to see how Peter was." He stood up, brushing off his pants when he saw a familiar car park at the curb. He hadn't even thought to look for their Taurus and here it was. Mozz stood up beside him looking to see what it was he stared at.
"Honey, take it easy ok." Elizabeth Burke's voice rang up from the street side when she turned and saw the two men on their stoop. She blinked then smiled and waved as she closed the door.
"Neal? Mozz? What a nice surprise. Peter... look who's here to visit." She walked around to the curb stopping to help her husband from the passenger side, Peter easing himself out of the vehicle slowly a crutch in one hand. He looked up and saw his partner and Mozz and nodded without speaking. El finished helping him up onto the curb, Peter hobbling over towards the stairs with El on his good side to help. Neal moved aside for them both as they reached the stoop and El unlocked the door, ushering them all in. Neal saw Peter paused, waiting for El as she lay her purse and keys down to help him but turned when he felt Neal suddenly at his side. They just sort of looked at each other and then Peter let Neal help him inside although they both knew it was hard for him.
Peter moved towards the sofa, Neal easing him gently down and taking the crutch to put aside as El walked back into the room with Mozz from the kitchen.
"Some snacks from my last big party. I think you'll like these, Neal." She smiled sweetly as she lay the tray down on the coffee table and stole Mozz again who looked at her confused then followed. Neal sat down beside Peter after a moment, reaching for one of the small appetizers and grinned.
"These are good! Peter?" He saw his friend looking at the plate and then back at his partner and shook his head. The agent was unusually quiet, leaning back against the sofa, eyes shut as he settled in and seemed to drift off. Neal was confused, wondering if he came at a bad time or was in trouble for something. He still felt quite a bit of guilt about what had happened. He only ate the one snack, wiping his hands on a napkin as he started to stand, wondering what El and Mozz were doing in the kitchen. He'd barely moved an inch when Peter's hand shot out and grasped his arm firmly.
"Neal?" His voice was still a bit hoarse from his injuries but his brown eyes looked bright and lively when Neal turned towards him.
"What's wrong Peter? Do you need something?" He suddenly wondered if his friend was ok, but Peter just shook his head.
"I'm fine. I... are you ok?" Peter's voice sounded concerned, Neal blinking at the question.
"Am I ok? Uhm... yeah. Why?" Neal felt his defenses building up around him at the question though he had no idea why. Habit perhaps? He saw the agent looking directly at him with curious eyes.
"Neal... tell me the truth." Peter seemed adamant to get an answer about something, Neal unsure what it was he had done or what it was he was being asked. He pulled away, standing up and walking around the coffee table to stand there. He partially crossed his arms over his chest then didn't unsure what to do.
"I don't know what you mean. Am I being accused of something, Peter?" He turned to look at his friend but Peter's expression looked confused, saddened maybe.
"No... I... dammit!" He cursed, the agent trying to get up but unable to with all the bandages still in place as Neal walked back around and pushed him gently back onto the sofa as he sat back beside him.
"You know I'm terrible at this kind of thing, Neal. I... Hughes told me about what happened. I just... I was wondering if you had considered it yet." He was really looking at the young man and not just as his charge. He looked like a father worrying about a kid about to take his first steps into college or a job. Neal blinked uncertain how to react to this.
"He told you? I didn't think... well, I had hoped he didn't." Neal rose again, pacing around the table to the opposite side to stand up and then turn back towards the agent. He was feeling uncomfortable about all of this too and thinking back to before when this all happened. The text from Alex.
"I don't blame her or you. You had to do what you had to do. I just hoped... well, I wanted to let you know that I'm not mad. You did the right thing Neal." He wanted to say the pig-headed stubborn thing but didn't, Peter biting his tongue both for his sake, his friend's and to avoid El's wrath. He sighed and crossed his arms gingerly across his chest.
"You're not mad? Peter, I almost got everyone killed!" Neal's voice was cracking with emotion as he dealt with the guilt openly at what had occurred. He felt responsible for everything knowing what he knew now. He saw Peter try to stand up again and moved back to stop him.
"Don't Peter... maybe... maybe I should take the offer. I... I don't want to take any more chances. You won't have to deal with me any more." He hadn't meant to say these things but he felt so strongly suddenly, the guilty he'd been holding back finally breaking through and revealing itself. He saw Peter gawk up at him.
"Neal, I don't blame you for anything. Don't you understand? It was never your fault. Bancroft manipulated it all. You're free... you can do what you want for your assignment till your time is done. No more mortgage fraud... no boring case files. No more stinky surveillance van. You're free." He said it but he seemed kind of disappointed, eyes lowering as he slumped back against the sofa again and closed his eyes. Peter looked so fragile, something Neal had never seen in his friend as he walked back and sat beside him. The agent didn't move, eyes still shut he thought maybe he had fallen asleep out of exhaustion but then those brown eyes popped open.
"Peter... I need to ask you something." He felt the need to ask even if he had kind of had the question answered. It was important to him and he thought if all worked out, it would make his decision that much easier. He saw Peter shift to look at him.
"What is it, Neal?" Peter's eyes met his and he found it harder to speak, his lips dry, throat tightening but he had to ask.
"Do you ever regret our agreement?" The young man closed his eyes, waiting for the answer, his heart beating fast from his nervousness. There was silence and he opened his eyes to see Peter smiling, the agent starting to chuckle slightly as he reached to put a hand on his shoulder.
"Is that what's bothering you?" He sounded relieved it seemed, his own body looking more relaxed as he spoke and shook his head.
"What do you think?" He winked at the young man, mussing his hair as he started to push himself up. Neal just stared, blinking as he sat there trying to figure out how both Peter's would say the same cryptic thing. It took him a moment to wake from his shock as he stood to help Peter up and handed him the crutch.
"Peter, you shouldn't be up. I can get you whatever it is you want." He was holding the agent up but Peter shook his head.
"Not this... I need to go upstairs." He started to hobble over to the stairs, Neal nodding as he understood why.
"Ah... well I'll help you at least to the door if nothing else." He smirked, Peter giving him a look.
"I'm just glad I can get around a little on my own now. That hospital stay was the second least fun thing I've had to deal with this year." They slowly went up the stairs, Neal helping him as they ascended.
"What's the first?" Neal asked as they reached the 2nd floor. Peter was silent till they reached the door of the bathroom, taking the crutch under his arm and limping inside. He answered just before closing the door.
"Thinking I was going to lose my partner." He winked at the younger man as he closed the door. Neal smiled back, leaning against the frame as he waited and thought about everything. His thoughts enveloped him as he realized the dream Peter had been right or why would the real one not say the same thing? It made sense.
"Hey! Neal and Suit... Dinner's almost ready. Wash up!" Mozz' voice called up from the bottom of the stairs. He was looking up at Neal curiously.
"What? I was helping El in the kitchen. It was a necessity." He huffed as he walked back out of sight, the blue apron with pink flowers flowing around him in the small breeze he made. Neal tried not to laugh, turning when he heard the door open. Peter saw his face and glanced at himself then around.
"What did I miss?" He seemed self-conscious but Neal put him out of his misery for once.
"Mozz... he had on your wife's apron." He tried to keep a straight face and say it but he kept trying to laugh. Peter blinked as if having to think about it a moment then a smile formed on his own face.
"Not the blue one with pink flowers? She always tries to pawn that one off on me when I help her but I just go commando and try not to get anything on me." He puffed out his chest, Neal's face reddening as he tried harder not to laugh. It took Peter a moment as he took the proffered arm and sighed at the younger man.
"You know what I mean!"
Author's Note: Thanks for reading.
Geesh! I saw the word count for this. If this was for NaNoWriMo I'd have more than gotten my words in and in less than a month too. LOL I am going to do that next month again (last year was my first and I won) but I have another story in mind. Something I apparently wrote back in HS and will be updating / fixing grammar on and making into something I hope that's plot worthy and readable. It's a vampire story from back when I liked that sort of thing. Been looking for it forever and found it on an old 3.25 diskette. Yes I still have a ton of those from the dark days before Internet and Windows. :-P Back when you had to rub your socked feet on the fluffy carpet to create static electricity to run the PC. ;-)