Some people say that life is made up of a series of moments. Moments that dance in the back of your mind and wind your lips into a smile. Moments that are dark and send a cloak over you until your mind dances again with the memories that chase the nightmares away.

Some people think that every second of every day leads you to the next. That without the dull moments there would be no exuberant ones and vice versa.

Some people believe that your life can be defined or determined by one moment alone. That one moment can either swell your heart to such an extent that even if it deflated, you wouldn't be able to notice the difference, or that one moment can burn so much that the scar, no matter how much it would heal with time, would still feel just as bad as it did when the wound was made.

Neal took a step forward to the moment they would all remember. The moment that would dance or cloak. The moment that would lead to the next. The moment that would swell or burn. An intake of air that filled their lungs with guilt separated Neal's first step from his second.

"Like a lamb to the slaughter." A voice caused them to wince a fraction of an inch.

The snort of laughter that was forced from Neal's throat caused their eyes to remain on him warily. "I've never been a lamb."

"Even wolves can be sacrificed."

They watched Neal's throat constrict making him appear more like the lamb he claimed to have never been. Wolves fought back when threatened, not this.

"I don't like wolves."

Their eyes reluctantly traveled to the other man, the wolf. "It must be hard to live with yourself then. At least I'll be doing you a favor."

"You're a good samaritan. Always putting everyone's interests above yours."

"I try." The man replied with a grin of deviousness as he cocked the gun and pulled the trigger.

How are you supposed to feel when you willingly accept a bullet to the chest?

The question swirled in Neal's mind just as quick as the crimson liquid swirled into a stain on his buttoned down shirt. He didn't get an answer. His mind just chose a feeling.

His chest felt lighter, despite the added weight of the bullet lodged somewhere beneath his surface. If his lungs would have given away air to show his relief, he would have sighed, but his lungs were stubborn and he could only choke on the air that was stuck in his throat.

He dimly felt pressure of what he could only assume were hands. He didn't fight them, not only because he physically couldn't, but because he didn't want to.

Suddenly, pain became his company, but he accepted it, just like he accepted the bullet. He didn't want to scream or groan. He wanted to laugh. He wanted to laugh because for the first time, he flipped the 'life or death' coin and won. Kate beat him before. Mozzie almost had, but after a third party ruling, the game was tossed. This time Neal won. He called death, so Peter, Diana and Jones could call life. He finally won.

Despite the fact he was beginning to believe that he had turned over a new leaf, he still had the old one in his pocket. He would always be a conman in some aspects of his life. That's why he used a double sided coin. He knew he couldn't save them any other way.

He felt like smiling, but wasn't sure if it reached his face until a voice asked, "What're you smiling at?"

The voice was muffled, but no amount of distortion could secure the identity of whom it belonged to. Peter.

He blinked owlishly and found it hard to keep them open, let alone focus.

"You." Neal whimpered involuntarily as more pressure was added to his chest. "Y-you're...d'ble sided...coin."

Neal eyes closed. The moment was over.

That moment cloaked everyone.

That moment led to the next one, which led to the next.

That moment burned in everyone.


Two months of moments later, the two doors opened.

An intake of air that filled their lungs with relief separated Neal's first step from his second. A lamb stepped out of the slaughter with a double sided coin at his side and grinned. "Hey."

Elizabeth quickly crossed the distance of the lobby of the hospital and wrapped her arms around him. "I'm pretty sure you're supposed to be in a wheelchair. Hospital policy and all."

"He is." Peter confirmed from where he stood beside him. Then turned to the younger man. "You are looking ghostly. I know you haven't been out in the sun much, but I would put it down to the fact that you're likely to pass out rather than your irregular tanning schedule."

"No, I think it's just the lighting in hospitals. Everyone looks pale." Neal countered, although he didn't protest or pull away when Peter put an arm around him to support him.

El nodded while squeezing him one last time. "I'll go get the car. Just wait here."

Peter slowly helped Neal ease down on a bench by the exit, before sitting down next to him. Both were silent as Neal tried to catch his breath while hiding the fact that he was rubbing at his aching chest from Peter. Peter was aware of it though, but said nothing.

"Can I ask you something?" Peter asked, after Neal's panting ceased.

"The sponge baths were amazing. I'm sure I could pull some strings with the nurses and get you one." Neal replied, with a smirk.

"I know you could. You've been charming these women for two months." Peter rolled his eyes. "But that's not what I was going to ask and you know it."

"Sure, Peter." Neal chuckled tiredly. "What is it?"

"When...you were shot..." Peter paused, swallowing thickly at the memory. He noticed Neal didn't even flinch. "right before you...you ...you said something to me. I...I don't know if you remember it, but..."

"You're a double sided coin." Neal supplied, before Peter could finish.

Both men looked at each other. "Yeah." Peter replied nodding while biting his bottom lip. "What did you mean?"

Neal broke his gaze away and chuckled half-heartedly while shaking his head. "I think I was a bit out of it." He glanced sideways at the older man and saw something he couldn't quite place cross Peter's face. "But...what I meant was..."

"Boys, the car's out front." Elizabeth called from the entrance and motioned for them to come before going back out to the car so she didn't get towed.

Peter sighed, defeated that he still hadn't gotten the answer, but helped Neal stand up.

They walked slowly towards the exit, both silent in their journey until Neal stopped just before the doors.

"What's wrong?" Peter asked, becoming alarmed until Neal laughed.

"Nothing, Peter." Neal replied. "I just...I realized that you're always the same and that's a conman's best friend."

Despite the fact he was beginning to believe that he had turned over a new leaf, he still had the old one in his pocket. He would always be a conman in some aspects of his life. That's why he used a double sided coin.

His double sided coin never failed him. Always the same. He picked the outcome he wanted, the coin always made it happened.

Peter Burke was the best damn doubled sided coin he'd ever had.

Some people say that life is made up of a series of moments. Moments that dance in the back of your mind and wind your lips into a smile. Moments that are dark and send a cloak over you until your mind dances again with the memories that chase the nightmares away.

Some people think that every second of every day leads you to the next. That without the dull moments there would be no exuberant ones and vice versa.

Some people believe that your life can be defined or determined by one moment alone. That one moment can either swell your heart to such an extent that even if it deflated, you wouldn't be able to notice the difference, or that one moment can burn so much that the scar, no matter how much it would heal with time, would still feel just as bad as it did when the wound was made.

Then there are some people who trust the flip of a coin to determine which moments will dance or cloak, which moments will be dull or exuberant or whether moments will swell or burn.

Thank God, Peter thought as he helped the younger man into the car, that Neal only trusts a double sided coin. A coin that would never fail him.

"I think what you meant to say was a consultant's best friend."

Neal glanced up at him and grinned mischievously. "Yeah, that."

Peter raised an eyebrow and nodded in a way that said he knew better. "You're double sided coin is getting worn down."

Neal shrugged, the grin never leaving his face but lessening just a hair with uncertainty. "Whether it's worn down or not, it'll still be my doubled sided coin, right?"

Peter smirked, but rolled his eyes. "Yeah, Neal. Yeah."


AN: So this is a one-shot that was just therapeutic writing for me. Feel free to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

For anyone concerned about "Dream a Little...", no worries! I'm working on the next chapter.