Disclaimer: Not mine in any way or form, other than the (barely present) storyline. Developed from Company Man, Season 2.

M for a short dream scene.

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Clarity

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It is the longest elevator ride in his entire life.

Neal catches his fingers shaking as the machine finally stops, the doors finally opens, and he is never as terrified as he is now. He runs like Peter's life depends on it – it is – and he sees Peter lying on the floor and the first thought that comes to him is a plea Please don't be dead don't be dead don't be dead even as Neal comes to Peter, tests for a pulse – too weak, too weak! – and grabs Peter's under his arms, drags him to the elevator again.

"It's okay, stay with me, stay with me Peter," Neal says, trying to give Peter an anchor to hold onto, to stay with him here in life, next to him.

And his mind plays the plea repeatedly, sending a prayer to whatever deity is listening – to all of them – praying, pleading, begging Please don't be dead don't be dead don't die Peter don't die don't die and of course the stupid guy has to be a hero and wants Neal to get Wesley whatsisname.

"We don't have time!" Neal almost screams at him. If the security guard hasn't called backup yet he is going to die. Neal will murder him if Peter dies, he swears, and-

"No, we can't leave him there," mutters Peter.

"You are dying, Peter!" shouts Neal, heart about to burst with terror at losing this man, this one man he trusts above all others. He will not waste time saving that piece of crap-

Peter grabs his shoulder weakly – too weak, too weak – and says, looking hazily at Neal. "Neal, Neal. We don't – don't leave anyone behind."

Neal takes one more look at Peter and races back to grab Wesley Kent.

The ride down takes longer than it did up. Neal holds onto Peter's hand, willing Peter's heart to keep beating, to keep beating and beating and beating, until the doors open and Neal is shoved aside for the paramedics to grab Peter, throw him on a gurney, pull open his shirt and a life-saving injection made.

Only then does Neal realize he has not been breathing properly ever since he stepped into the building. His knees almost gives out with relief and he sags against a pillar. Tears well up but Neal holds them back, holds them back because Peter does not need to see them, not now, and he does not have to face a tomorrow with a grieving Elizabeth and without a Peter Burke.

He lets Diana cuff Wesley Kent, lets Peter play his hero bit, before he steps out and teases, "Seems like I'm not the only one who makes dumb decisions."

Neal takes in the gratitude in Peter's eyes and basks in it. Peter asks, "You mean Kent?"

"You've taken this 'innocent till proven guilty' thing a little too far."

"He lives or dies, it's not my call," says Peter, voice still harsh and ragged from his brush with death.

Neal's smile fades. "Whose is it?"

"You do what's right, let the pieces fall where they fall," says Peter as they wheel him into the ambulance.

Neal watches Peter as they leave. "Do what's right," he echoes.

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That night Neal sits up a long time staring at the wall. He can still remember the adrenaline-laced fear that had surged through him earlier, the very real terror that he might have lost Peter tonight.

But Peter is not Neal's to lose.

Peter has his own life, his lovely wife Elizabeth, his career in the FBI.

Neal has his own life, his great friend Mozzie, and...

The former con closes his eyes and lets his head roll back. He had Kate, and Kate is gone. He loves her, loves her so much that he will give up anything to see her again, to hold her hand, smell her hair, kiss her.

And all he has now is that key to the music box – which Peter is holding.

I want to know. Neal opens his eyes again, stares at the ceiling. No more secrets, Peter.

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Perhaps the events of the evening or the words he thought earlier have triggered something inside Neal Caffrey's brain. He dreams often; these gave him inspiration for his cons, his plays, his little sleights-of-hand. But these dreams aren't the kind he can play out in real life.

Peter is touching him. His fingers are rough but they move with great sensitivity, moving over Neal's face, brushing over fluttering eyelids and sharp cheekbones, over his soft lips and pressing just a little into the moist warmth inside.

"No more secrets, Neal,"Peter whispers, "let me know how much you want this."

Neal can't see Peter's face, but he knows it is him. The large hands shift to Neal's shoulders, kneading, rubbing, circling, and then down his back. These hands are warm, hot, unlike the chilly hands Neal held earlier that night, and these are skilful in ways not even Neal can describe. Every caress brought a frisson of pleasure up Neal's spine.

Neal leans into the touches, presses his mouth into the shadowy face before him, seeking out a mouth and tongue. They are naked – of course they are naked – and there is no fear or embarrassment or shyness about this, as if they have done this thousands of times. There is a play of tongues and teeth and hands, Neal's smooth hands skating down and up Peter's biceps, around broad shoulders, reaching down to massage a toned waist.

Peter groans, soft and guttural, and shifts Neal about to enter him. Warm hands circle Neal's arousal and strokes Neal expertly, and Neal moans for Peter, moans so that Peter can tell how much Neal wants and needs this.

And he is now on his back, legs wrapped about Peter, and now he can see Peter's face, the gaze no longer grateful and gently amused but intense, intense and burning. Neal opens his mouth to cry out as they move frantically, hips rocking together, circling, pushing, shoving, thrusting; they are joined and he doesn't know or care any more, he just wants more and more and more -

And then he arches into Peter, arches into him so much he wants to melt into him, become part of him and never come away, keening his desire as his vision whites out.

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He can't look Peter in the eye for the majority of the day, the dream still vivid in his mind. Yet after most of the others have left, Neals sits in Peter's office and tells him that he knows Peter has the music box.

After a nice dinner, they go to Neal's place, and they each take up one side of that amber box.

Peter smiles. "No more secrets."

Neal looks at Peter. "No more secrets." Bar one, and that is one I'll never tell.