I'm SO SORRY for the long wait, guys! This chapter pissed me off, because I know exactly where this is going AFTER this part, but I was struggling with how to (interestingly) bridge the gap. I think I epically failed. I hate this chapter. It's boring. I'm sorry. Next one will be MUCH more interesting!

I've also gotten a little (a lot) addicted to BBC Sherlock, but I'll deff keep this fic in mind. I'm excited to write the few parts! Don't feel obligated to review this part; I know it's shit and won't be offended if nobody reviews it.


Neal looked around the club for about a minute, taking in the low ceiling and pillars spread throughout the relatively-small room. Everything was draped in red and gold satin, new age covered the walls (to Neal's dismay) and the center of the room held a small dance floor. Despite the tiny size, couples were wrapped around each other out on the dance floor, singles brushed up against each other, strangers touched without even realizing it. It was the mentality of familiarity, or being used to a lack of personal space.

These people were not going to be happy about this place possibly being shut down. Neal could tell by their behavior that they loved this club. They, at least, were loyal to the place.

"Welcome to the Viper's Pit!" A man Neal instantly recognized as Carlito stood in front of him, a bright and knowing smile plastered onto his face. "Would you, by any chance, be Nick Stanton?"

"That's me," Neal said with a smile of his own. He didn't miss the quiet relief that passed through the young Latino's eyes.

"Wonderful! My name is Carlito and I'm the head bartender here at the Pit. The assistant manager is waiting behind the bar to conduct your interview of sorts. Follow me." Carlito winked and turned around, heading to the bar in the further wall from the entrance. Neal followed at his own pace, peaking around at the people in the club. Some of them really did look hostile.

He figured all of the nicest customers must have gotten fed up with it and went over to Victory by this point.

"Mr. Clark, this is Nick Stanton, your interviewee. Nick, this is Kingsley Clark, assistant manager of the Pit."

"Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Clark." Neal shook hands with the white-haired man, who gave a tiny jerk of the head in response and waved a hand at Carlito. The younger man brought a few glasses forward and set them on the bar, along with a few random bottles. He then excused himself to assist customers.

"Alright Nick, what you have to do is simple: I give you a drink, you mix it up for me." Neal nodded a smiled, silently thanking Mozzie for giving him a crash course last night on some of the drinks he was less familiar with- particularly the comes contained beer.

After six different drink mixes, Neal was feeling confident and good about his work. Per usual when he was undercover, he started to feel like he belonged in this business.

"I think you'll be just fine here, Nick. Why don't you take the day off while I get your schedule ready? I'll give you a call later today with your hours."

"Thank you, Mr. Clark. And...will I be meeting the owner soon?" Neal asked casually, placing a few bottles back where they belonged. Across the bar, Carlito gave him a small, conspiratorial smile.

"You'll probably meet him on your first day. Don't worry about that, now. Why don't you hang around for a bit and become acquainted with the club?" With another wave of his hand, Neal found himself out on the floor once more. He nodded to the man and walked a ways away, headed for the door. He didn't want to stay in this club anymore than absolutely necessary.

"See, wasn't so bad, was it?" Peter said when Neal climbed into the van, which had driven one street over to pick him up.

"Not yet."

"Relax, Neal. It's like a dance!"

"I thought there was no dancing for me?" Neal grinned and Peter pushed him lightly on the shoulder, remembering one of the first conversations they had when Neal got out of prison.

"Good point. And Montague isn't exactly on your dance card..."

Neal shook his head and hid his grin. If only Peter knew how wrong he was. Though, Neal doubted he'd ever actually be attracted to a man like Montague.

The van slowly rolled passed the club and Neil peaked out the back window. His eyes fell on a man who looked oddly familiar, but when he looked again the man was gone. He shook his head, pushing away the image that was trying to sidetrack him. It would do him no good to become emotionally compromised by this case, not for a man he hadn't seen in fourteen years.


I'll have the next chapter up asap, guys! Sorry for the wait!