In A Moment

Written, spellchecked, etc. by JanieMarple.

Standard disclaimer: I do not own White Collar, nor any of the characters therein, all non-recognizable characters are not up for grabs. Yes this goes AU and yes there is a pairing in it that is AU. Don't like it? Don't read it. Originally written as a gift for my best friend.

Peter was eager to know what Rae had learned when he arrived at the office the next morning, but she wasn't there yet. Jones said she was running an hour late on an errand for the department, and Peter could ask her his plethora of questions when she got here.

When Rae walked in the door carrying a heavy box, Peter snatched the box from her and ushered her into the office. "What'd they say? When will Neal wake up? Did they find any brain damage?" Peter demanded.

"They gave me the anticipated recovery time, an idea of how long he'd be in the hospital, and they'll stop inducing the coma tomorrow. He might wake up tomorrow evening. But he won't be with it right away," Rae sighed, rolling her eyes. "And no, they don't know if there's any brain damage. They already told you it's not that simple."

"So we have to put the tracking anklet back on him tomorrow," Jones guessed. Rae grinned obnoxiously. "You go right ahead and do that, but it'll be at least a week before that's necessary," she chuckled.

"Why? What's wrong?" Peter asked.

"Nothing is wrong. He's going to be on some fun painkillers, and if he can get out of that bed, let alone walk, it'll be damn impressive," Rae said. "He had a freakin open chest wound and a collapsed lung. He has to be on painkillers just so he'll breathe normally."

"You still sure you're up to taking this broken con man on when it's all said and done?" Peter asked in some trepidation. Rae smiled, but this one didn't seem teasing or mean. "I'm still going to do it, Peter. If you and Elizabeth want to check out my dwelling place first, that's perfectly fine," Rae said. "I don't think Neal will be in a hurry to get out of it and I don't think it'll be an issue."

"She has cars," Jones shrugged. "How many cars?" Peter asked.

"Six," said Hughes, joining the conversation. "Why six cars? Who needs that many cars?" Peter asked in shock. "I only have one car!"

"You're not one of our designated drivers," Hughes laughed.

"They're seized cars, Peter, they've been repurposed," Rae laughed.

"And when she's not driving, she's breaking codes and computer problems," Hughes said. "So leaving her with Caffrey is not going to be a challenge for anyone."

"Sounds like providence sent you this way then, Rae. Hope Neal realizes how good he's about to have it," Peter said. "I still want a look at this place."

"Sure. Bring El and come on by," Rae shrugged. "Hughes will give you the address."

Still, at the end of the day, the place he and Elizabeth pulled up at was not what Peter had expected. "Oh wow, Rae owns this?" El asked. "No, the department does," Peter said. "But they have only Rae here."

The place was palatial, and the cars were kept out back in a large garage, shielded from prying eyes. Peter drove the sedan he was used to driving through the gate into the back drive, and parked it beside the garage. "Hello Peter, El," Rae said cheerilly, still in her bureau attire. "Would you like to see the house or the garage first?" "The garage," Peter admitted.

Rae led them in, showing them the undercover vehicles she was keeping. "Got the Roush Mustang from yesterday, that's my favorite, an Audi R8, also nice, sometimes, umm, there's a Lamborghini Gallardo Valentino Balboni, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, a Mercedes Benz E-Class coupe, and a BMW M-6 convertible. They run the gamut," Rae shrugged. "Whole lotta power here," Peter whistled, eyeing the cars. "And Neal can't start any of them, so we're golden," Rae said. "House now?"

Elizabeth nodded eagerly.

There was a crapload of computers, more than likely because that was what Rae specialized in, and other than that the place was really quite nice and spacious, and there wasn't anywhere for Neal to get to that Rae couldn't find him.

"I definitely approve," Elizabeth said firmly. "I think he can live with it." "Well geeze, we could trade if he'd rather live at our place!" Peter said sarcasticly.

"I'd trade you in a heartbeat," Rae said. "Keeping this monster together by yourself sucks."

"Well don't bet he can't start the cars," Peter said.

"They're all computer controlled, Peter, if I don't put the nessecary parts back in, they don't start," Rae said. "And there's no way around them."

Peter still was not entirely sure Rae could really outthink Neal, but it would be entertaining.

Neal moaned, uncomfortable and hurting and not sure what was going on. He rocked his head toward his hurting shoulder and held his breath for a moment at the pain. "Hi Neal," Peter's voice said gently. Neal struggled to open his eyes, so very tired. "Peter, what happened?" he croaked, his throat dry and scratchy.

"You were shot. It was a little touch and go," Peter said simply.

Neal winced, and looked at Peter again. "My shoulder?" he guessed. "More or less," Peter agreed.

"Did we get them?" Neal asked. "Yes we did, Neal. You're not going back to prison, stop worrying," Peter said.

"I want out of here," Neal said softly, looking more than a little scared by where he found himself. "In time, Neal, in time. You have a ways to go yet. Found you a new home for a little, while you heal," Peter said.

"I don't want a new home, I like the one I've got," Neal protested. "I know you do. But June shouldn't have to take care of you," Peter said.

"Peter, don't put me in another hospital," Neal sighed. "No, no, not another hospital. We have an agent who can work from home and watch out for you. Nice cars too, you'll love it," Peter snickered. "When you're well enough not to be here, that's where you'll be."

"You're gonna stick me with some cranky old guy," Neal accused.

"You wound me, Neal," a woman's voice said flatly. Neal looked at her in disbelief. Very interesting.

"Neal, this is Rae. Rae has the cars," Peter said. Rae nodded. "And I'm not a cranky old guy," she added.

Neal groaned. "Are you serious?" he asked. "Yep," Rae said simply.

The pain in Neal's shoulder started to lessen, and he relaxed a little. "How long was I out?" Neal asked.

"About three days. This is the third time you've been awake, but you weren't awake enough to talk before," Rae said.

"Oh God," Neal sighed. "You were almost dead, Neal, sleeping is not a big deal," Peter said.

"Yeah I think dead is less painful," Neal said flatly. "That's possible. You can hit that pretty button and a nurse can give you some meds," Rae pointed out.

"Oh thanks, so very helpful," Neal shot back. Peter just chuckled.

Time rolled so slowly for Neal, all he wanted was to get out of this hospital for God's sake, and they wouldn't let him go until they were sure he was going to be alright. He was becoming aware of the fact that he'd be in physical therapy for a while afterward, too, simply because of the damage done to his shoulder.

But at last came the day when Rae took him home, picking him up in a Mercedes Benz. That was shockingly comfortable, actually, despite not being Neal's type of car. "Ok then, Neal, you are going to wear that sling and you are going to follow instruction, because if I have to drown you in a bathtub it's gonna look real bad on my record," Rae said, looking over at Neal. He started to protest.

"I know it's not stylish. But neither is not being able to use that arm at all," Rae cut him off.

Neal sulked. It was pretty bad when some girl from the Bureau could tell you what you could and couldn't do. He was very surprised though when they pulled up at the house. Rae backed the car into the garage beside a Mustang, also not on Neal's list of fine automobiles, and turned off the ignition, popping the hood. She grabbed something and put it in her pocket, then slammed the hood shut and walked around to the passenger side door. "Come on, let's get you up to the house so you can get settled in," Rae said, helping him up so he wouldn't bump his arm and make his shoulder freak.

"What'd you just do to the car?" Neal asked, letting Rae steady him. "Killed it. Peter said you'd want to know. When it comes down to it Neal, if you steal this one, I don't care," Rae admitted. "Not exactly my favorite. Steal the Mustang though, and I will drown you in a bathtub."

Rae had wisely tarped the other cars since she hadn't used them in a few weeks and wasn't going to be using them. She ushered Neal up to the house before he could get a long enough look at the wrapped vehicles to figure out what they were. "Ok. So this is where you'll be staying. I'm going to show you your rooms and so on, and then you're pretty much free for the rest of the day. June is more than welcome to visit, so is your nerd friend. You're not going anywhere for a while unless Peter comes to take you to the office or I take you for physical therapy. There's books, magazines, TV, movies, etc, you shouldn't have trouble entertaining yourself," Rae said. "And Neal..."

"Yes, Bureau Lady?" Neal sighed. "Don't blow this," Rae said, and knelt down with a pair of sheers in her hand, then cut the anklet off. She stood back up, holding it.

"Now listen," she said softly. "I'm the resident computer geek. I can do this. I can also tag you myself and make it very, very hard for you to ever get off the grid. Even your Mozz will not be able to mess with that."

Neal looked at her, then looked at the GPS, then back at her, completely surprised. She was giving him the chance to run and threatening him at the same time. How could she think that would work?

"You're getting tagged in the morning," she warned. "And I know you won't just run yet because you'd regret it greatly in about two hours."

"But you won't have a tag until morning?" Neal grinned obnoxiously. Rae grinned back. "I have it right here," she said, slipping her hand in her pocket, and pulling out what looked like a security cable.

"Oh come on. That'll take two minutes for Mozzie to break," he scoffed. "If he happens to have the right equipment to cut it, I'll give you that. But I don't think he'd like the consequences," Rae shrugged.

"That's not even big enough to broadcast a GPS signal," Neal hedged. "I'll call Apple up and tell them that right now. Thanks," Rae said.

"No power source," Neal tried to debunk it. "Nanobatteries," Rae said. "Uses your motion to generate power. Like a watch."

Dammit. She had to be at least as clever as Mozz. He fell into step beside her to be shown around the house, and was surprised to see she had made up a room specifically for him, with a great deal of the things he was interested in involved. Art histories, classic movies, all the various and sundry things he liked. "I'd have put a bottle of wine on the shelf but you're not allowed to drink it right now with the medications you're on," Rae shrugged. Hell she'd even used mostly the colors he liked. This was damn impressive.

"What makes you think I'd regret running in about two hours?" Neal asked, not wanting to give in and show her he was pleased with his accomodations. "You don't know what medications you're on, or why. And we'll just say it'd be clear as a bell then," Rae said simply. Neal doubted she had a clue, really. "You want to test that theory?" he challenged her. "If you want to suffer that's up to you," Rae shrugged.

Neal was pretty sure whatever they were giving him wasn't nessecary, and if it got rid of the fuzziness at the corners of his consciousness, he was more than willing to give it a try. They didn't know what his pain threshold really was, and at this point he was pretty sure he wasn't going to hurt so bad. But he didn't think about the fact that adrenaline will hold off a lot of the pain until you do crash. Adrenaline had held off the pain when he'd actually been shot. But to be honest, Neal really didn't know entirely what was wrong with him, either, and he had vastly overestimated what little two weeks really did. He noticed after an hour, Rae was checking on him kind of frequently. But his mind was getting less fuzzy, and he would trade the pain for that.

Hour and a half. Neal would probably break soon. He had to be feeling it by now, he was an hour past his dose and he did need the pain medication. Rae shook her head. How much of a fool could a genius like Neal really be? Peter had complained about Neal's stubborness and foolishness before, but she was pretty sure Neal hadn't had this option before.

She was checking on him every fifteen minutes now, because whether Neal knew it or not he was starting to look bad.

He made it to the two hour mark. And he did regret it. Rae wasn't entirely surprised to find him curled up in a ball against the pillows, having trouble breathing because of the damage to the inside of his chest wall and his lung, it hurt a great deal. And the damage to his shoulder was no slouch in the pain department either. "You going to take your meds now, Neal?" Rae asked softly, pills in hand. Neal whimpered.

"Come on. You need to," Rae coaxed, helping him to a sitting position. She got him to take them, and let him stay where he was, barely sitting up on his own, leaning heavilly on her.

"I don't really want to get into a power struggle, Neal. And you don't need to do this to yourself. You just need to do what you need to do to get better and get to where you can go back to June's. Truce?" Rae asked, holding Neal's head against her shoulder. "Truce," Neal managed.

Rae got him to relax, and got him to lie down and sleep for a little, at least until dinner.