(A/N): I guess I'd say this story has a bit of whump in it so, heads up! Any mistakes you find are my own and I (sadly) don't own anything. Enjoy!
Neal was just about done tying his tie when he heard a knock at his door. Peter is here early. he thought as he walked over and opened the door to see Peter standing in the doorway.
"I'd say good morning, but clearly it's not." Neal said as he spotted Peter's tired face and looked back to the car. "Uh, why are you here half an hour early?"
"You have a driver's license right?" Peter asked, out of nowhere. "Wait, let me rephrase that. Do you have a legal driver's license?"
"Peter, of course I have one that abides by your legal standards. Quite frankly, I'm hurt that you would suggest otherwise." Neal added sarcastically. "Anyway, why in the world would you need to know? And you still didn't answer my previous question."
Peter sighed. "Well…the game was on last night, El was in bed upstairs, and I sort of fell asleep on the couch writing up yesterday's reports. I woke up this morning, with absolutely nothing done."
"I still don't see the problem. Just get the reports done at the office."
"Normally I would but Jones and I made a bet. We split the work in half and whoever came in with the most done would make the other pay for the others lunch."
"Okay, that explains you being early. But why do you care if I have a legal license?"
"I have to finish all these reports before Jones gets in this morning. If anything, he'll be coming in early too. I need you to drive while I finish up the last of the reports in the car."
"Seriously?" Neal couldn't believe Peter would even consider letting him drive the Taurus to the office.
"Completely. Now, come on, get your fancy shoes on and let's go."
Neal quickly put his Italian leather shoes on and made his way down to the Taurus with Peter. This time though, he went for the driver's side. Weirdly enough, Peter made his way to the backseat.
"Why are you sitting back there?"
"More room, I need to lay out the papers."
"Fine. Keys please?" Neal stuck his hand out like a teenager begging their dad to give them the keys to the car for the first time.
Peter reached out to hand over the keys to Neal but raised them at the last second. "If you get one scratch on this car, so help me…" Peter warned.
"Chill out Peter. If you may know, I am an excellent driver."
"Don't make me regret this." Peter said as he finally gave the keys to Neal who then put them in the ignition and drove off.
"How's it going back there?" Neal asked a few minutes into the drive.
"Shh, I'm almost done. I have four more pages to fill out." Peter said as he quickly worked in the backseat.
The most recent bad guy they were putting away was Robert Dykes for counterfeiting. He was rumored to have a brother who was running the con with him, but they never got anything to convict the brother.
Neal quickly glanced out the side mirrors when he saw a black SUV not too far behind. He could have sworn that was the same one that had been behind him for the last couple of turns. I'm being paranoid. Neal thought. Just to be safe, he took a few more turns and thankfully, the SUV was no longer following him.
"Neal, where the heck are we?" Peter looked out the window. They were on some sort of side road with old and empty shops.
"I think we had a tail, so I took some extra turns and lost them."
"Are you positive?"
"I'm sure. It was a black SUV, I didn't see any plates." Neal said as he signaled and turned down a one way road. "Who do you think it was?"
"Maybe an associate of Dykes'?" Peter thought out loud even though he was positive that Dykes didn't work with anyone.
"Could be." Neal said as he continued down the one way road.
It happened so fast. The same black SUV that was tailing them speed out of an abandoned parking garage from the left and hit the Taurus diagonally into the front of the driver's seat. Peter heard the crushing of metal, screeching tires, and the sound of the car's air bags deploying. He felt his report binder hit in square in the face—hard. After the collision, it was silent. Peter opened his eyes slowly and self-consciously touched his nose, and it was no surprise that he felt warm blood dripping out of his nose from the impact of the binder. He looked around and saw smoke rising up from the front of the Taurus. Peter was a bit dazed as he found himself in the backseat. Wasn't I driving? he tried to recollect what happened before the crash. Peter carefully unbuckled himself and swore at the pain in his right arm. He gingerly leaned forward to look at the driver's seat and saw a figure slumped up against the steering wheel.
"Oh no…Neal!" Peter yelled to Neal who was still unmoving in the driver's seat. He opened the backseat door, which required a bit of a push, and rushed to pull open the door for the driver's seat.
"Neal!" He screamed again as he successfully opened the door. Peter carefully leaned him back against the seat as he felt for a pulse on Neal's neck and released a breath he didn't realize he was holding when he felt a weak pulse.
"Neal, come on buddy, you gotta wake up." Peter said as he softly slapped Neal's cheeks, and to his surprise the younger man's eyelids fluttered a bit. "Please, Neal, open your eyes for me." he begged.
Thankfully, Neal opened his eyes but looked around panicked and unaware of what was going on.
"Neal! Neal, calm down, just relax." Peter tried to calm Neal down and it seemed to work when Neal started to focus his big blue eyes on Peter.
"P-Peter? What…happened?" Neal slurred.
Peter sighed as he came to the realization that Neal probably hit his head and got a concussion. "Well, it seems like our tail decided to crash into us. You were driving, do you remember that?"
"I-I don't know." Neal said as his eyelids started to close.
"Keep your eyes open for me, Neal." Peter shook Neal gently but stopped as Neal groaned and hugged his side. "Sorry, sorry!"
"My…my side is killing me." Neal said with a voice full of pain. Peter's heart dropped; he would do anything to switch places with Neal. After all, he was the one who asked him to drive in the first place.
"Just hold on, let me call an ambulance." Peter said as he reached inside to pull out his phone. He panicked a bit when he didn't see it so he went to look in the backseat of the Taurus. Damn it. He swore inside his head, being careful not to worry Neal, when he found his cell with a cracked screen. Peter got out of the backseat and went over to Neal, who had his eyes closed again.
"Neal, I'm serious, keep your eyes open and don't fall asleep."
"But, I'm real tired." Neal managed to say clearly enough for Peter to understand. He desperately wanted to listen to Peter, but unconsciousness was holding out a welcoming hand.
"Just hold on for a little while. Do you have your phone with you?"
"Yeah, I think so. It's in my pocket." Neal shifted in the driver's seat to get his phone out but stopped suddenly when he felt a wave of pain from his ribs. As much as he tried, he couldn't hold back the small cry that escaped his mouth. After recomposing himself, Neal said, "I can't get it out. Hurts too much. I'm sorry." He made a mental note to avoid moving at all costs.
"No, Neal, it's definitely not your fault." Peter reassured his friend.
"Yeah it is, I'm the one who crashed your car." Neal looked up to see Peter's face and and saw something that shouldn't be there. "Peter! You-your nose, its bleeding. Are you okay?" Neal felt guilt flow through him as he realized he didn't ask if Peter was okay yet.
"No, it stopped, its just all dried up. I'm fine, my arm is just a bit sore from the seat belt. Don't worry about me right now, okay?" Peter paused as he thought of a plan. They were on some side road and no one was around so chances were, nobody heard the crash. "Okay, here, I'm going to go check out the SUV. Keep your eyes open."
"Mmmkay." Neal mumbled as he fought to stay conscious.
Peter cursed himself for forgetting his gun back at home since he was in such a hurry to get to Neal's. His only spare was at the office so he was hoping that whoever was in the other car wasn't armed. When he got over to the driver's side of the car, he saw that the tinted window was already smashed and could see a figure leaned against the steering wheel. Peter cautiously grabbed the handle to the door and prepared himself to fight back if necessary. He opened the door to reveal a man hunched over the steering wheel with a gash on the side of his head. Peter looked further inside the car and saw no one else but the guy in the driver's seat. He reached over to feel the stranger's neck for a pulse.
Peter sighed and didn't waste any time as he felt around the dead man's jacket and was relieved to find an undamaged, working cell phone. He quickly walked back over to Neal.
"Hey! Neal, I found a phone." Peter yelled to Neal who had his eyes closed again. "Neal? You with me?"
Neal slowly turned his head to face Peter. "Huh? Oh…yeah…I'm here."
"Good, let me call an ambulance and we'll get you all patched up." Peter flipped opened the stranger's phone and dialed 911. He told them what happened and their approximate location and was assured that an ambulance would be there soon.
"No, it's okay." Peter said when the operator asked if he wanted to stay on the line. "Alright, thank you." He told the lady on the other line before he hung up and turned his attention back to Neal who was barely awake.
"An ambulance should be here soon."
Neal barely nodded to Peter. "Who was in…?" He tried to say but talking was draining his energy.
"I don't know but we'll find out. I'll call Jones and Diana once we get to the hospital."
"Kay." Neal closed his eyes.
"No, stay awake for me. Help should be here any minute." Peter told Neal but he didn't answer back. "Neal?" Peter nudged his arm but Neal didn't awake. Luckily, he heard sirens in the background and turned around to see an ambulance pulling up to the wreck.
Peter looked back to Neal who was still unconscious. "You're going to be okay." Peter said out loud as he heard the EMTs wheeling over a stretcher. He wasn't sure if he was trying to convince himself that Neal was going to be fine or reassuring his consultant who couldn't even hear him. I'll make sure of it. Peter made a silent promise.
(A/N): I had a weird dream a while back about Neal getting to drive the Taurus so I decided to make it into a story! I was a bit hesitant to post this so tell me what you think. There is only one more chapter and I have already written it so I'll put it up tomorrow if I can. Thanks for reading!