(Chapter 1)

Ellen left late in the evening, Neal seeing her outside to a cab. He watched it disappear down the street until he could no longer distinguish it from the other lights and vehicles. He remained standing there, eyes seeing more than just the city and his friend he considered so much more. The woman had practically raised him, his own mother distant and sad after what had happened with his father. He had never really understood what was wrong but he had learned to be self-sufficient at a very early age going through the paces with his mother at home but happy to visit with Ellen after school and on the weekends. His eyes continued to stare into the distance lost in thought when someone called to him.

"Neal?"

He turned to see June standing in the doorway of her home, a curious look on her face as he started towards her without a word. They both entered the palacious brownstone they both called home, the silence deafening until his landlady and friend gently squeezed him in a light hug and pointed at the dining room.

"I have some wine a friend brought me if you'd like to try it."

Normally the young man would take her up on the offer but his head was filled with a confusion of thoughts from the discussion he had with Ellen. His father was a murderer? There had to be more to this story than what was said. Ellen was leaving things out, she always did and even to this day he was uncertain how much trust to put in her words after she and his mother had lied about his father for so many years. She was the mother he'd wished he'd had but at the same time she wasn't. Nobody was perfect but he wanted... no NEEDED answers about who he was and who his father had been. Was he like his father? Had he really followed in his footsteps? Peter didn't seem to think so but he had become a criminal easily and his father... well there were lines Neal would never cross. Ellen said his father had lines but had murder been one of those? Neal had nearly killed Fowler, angry over Kate's death but Peter had stopped him. Could he have crossed that line he fought so hard to stay away from? Would he have become Keller or worse, Wilkes? He shrank from the thought as he returned to the present, eyes on June.

"Thank you but I'll have to decline. Goodnight, June."

He said it quietly with a faint smile he didn't feel but she seemed to understand as she gave him another brief hug then let him go.

"I'm sure things will seem better in the morning, Neal. My door is always open."

June left it at that, a look there he'd learned to recognize on her face. She was worried about him as if he were her own but he didn't want to burden his landlady, friend and benefactress with his problems or anyone else for that matter until he had figured it out for himself. He had always been self-reliant and it would be that way until he had gotten a hold of what he wanted. This was his own private business; His secret to deal with and if he was good at anything, it was keeping secrets. Neal nodded back, heading up the stairs quietly as June watched him a moment then turned and disappeared through the dining room out of sight. There was a part of him that wanted to bend her ear but it was still too soon for him to process everything Ellen had told him earlier. It was still a very private issue or as Ellen had said "They don't know our history." He thought about the years they spent in WitSec. His life had been ideal, few memories of his life before 3 when he'd become Danny Brooks, resident of St. Louis. He had no memory of his father, the lack of pictures troubling but not enough for him to ask many questions at the time. Neal sighed as he opened up his door and walked in, locking it behind him. He leaned against the frame a few minutes deep in thought before he moved over to his bed, slipped off his shoes and collapsed upon it. His eyes stared up at the dark skylight overhead vague memories of his past floating up to the surface like oil in water as his eyes grew heavy and he finally fell asleep.

()()()

Peter worried about his partner the next day at work. He was still relegated to evidence or "The Cave" as it was nicknamed, with more cellphones than he could shake a stick at in his possession. Since he had done such a great job on the other assignment, Patterson had given him more. Would his little brownie aka Mozzie come help him? He had nothing to distract him this time so he could easily do this on his own, having conveyed his thanks through his wife to the con man. After their chat in the Canary islands, he'd been surprised to find Mozzie back so soon but it was evident he liked Neal and perhaps New York and returned for that reason.

"Burke... go take a break."

He blinked, looking down at the huge pile of phones he still had to catalog and then back up at his current boss. Patterson was telling him to take a break? That was unusual. He glanced up at the clock overhead and saw it was only 10:30 AM, too early for lunch but he had to admit he was a bit hungry. Would Neal be around today? Maybe he could go up and visit with him and the rest of the crew for a bit. He heard a tapping foot, Patterson giving him a motion with his eyes to get up and go. Now this was unusual as he nodded, pulling on his jacket as he stood.

"Thank you sir. I'll be back in..."

He hesitated, uncertain what was up but the man was smiling slightly at him.

"2 hours. Be back at 12:30 PM."

Peter nodded, hiding his surprise as he grabbed his things and left. This was definitely unusual but he wasn't going to complain. Maybe he could go eat with El for once, the idea intriguing him as he started out towards his car.

"Agent Burke?"

He turned, an unfamiliar agent standing near him. The man wore a nice suit, badge just evident underneath his jacket as Peter looked at the man curiously. The man appeared to be in his early 50s, graying black hair, steel blue eyes and nothing else that made him very distinguishable for any other agent.

"Who's asking?"

The agent smiled with an odd knowing smile, something about the man giving him a bad feeling but he wasn't sure why. The man held out a hand.

"Agent Carson. I've heard a lot about you, Agent Burke. I asked for this meeting."

Peter was confused, the man looking at him curiously before giving a tired sigh. He had not taken his hand so the man finally withdrew it.

"Agent Patterson didn't tell you I was here?"

Peter shook his head at the man, moving away to go have that early lunch with his wife, phone in hand to call Caffrey when the man put a hand on his arm as if to stop him.

"We need to talk, Agent Burke. It's very urgent."

Now he was annoyed, the man's tone making it sound like he had no choice but Patterson had not told him about this and he was going to have lunch with his wife today. He shook his head, eyes looking pointed at the man's hand on his arm until it was removed.

"Make an appointment for tomorrow. I have other plans, Agent Carson."

He started to walk away, curious why the man was looking for him but not liking his holier than thou attitude.

"This concerns Neal Caffrey..."

Peter stopped, looking back at the man with narrowed eyes. If anything would have made him stay it would have been something about his wife, job or Neal. The man knew he'd caught his attention so he nodded for him to continue.

"I understand he told you some information about his... past?"

The man had his attention for sure now, something about his manner worrying Peter. Neal had told him what he had in confidence about his father and past. There were no other ears around but someone knew.

"I don't know what you mean, Agent Carson was it? Caffrey's just my consultant."

He was hoping the man would say more but Carson nodded, shutters going down behind those steel blue eyes. This man was up to something but Peter had no idea what as he finally held out his hand. Maybe he would get a handshake after all. The man shook his, a strong firm grip that made him realize who he might be dealing with.

"I'm sorry I bothered you agent. I hope you have a pleasant lunch."

Carson walked away, Peter watching him a moment before he headed for his car again and thought about what had just happened. Why was this agent looking into Neal and asking about his past? Did it have something to do with the fact his friend had been in WitSec or with Ellen Parker? The thoughts ran around his brain like so many buzzing bees when he received a call and saw it was Neal.

"I was thinking about Italian today. There's a nice little cafe down the street... They have canoli's the size of your fist!"

Peter snapped out of his thoughts, remembering the odd meeting with the agent as he paused by his vehicle.

"Neal, I can't do lunch today but we need to talk. Can you meet me at home after work?"

He heard a momentary silence then a sound of breath before the consultant answered.

"Sure, Peter. Anything wrong?"

The con picked up quickly but he was hoping to avoid a discussion until he knew more about what was going on. He could do some searching of his own about Carson after lunch with El. He had to call her next.

"No... just see me after work."

There was a silence there then another reply.

"I can drop off a sandwich for you if you like."

Neal was determined to be there for him, a hint of curiosity in his tone. The agent was appreciative but for once he was hoping the young man would stay away. If Carson was still around it might not be good. Something was up and his gut was never wrong.

"I'm good. Thank you Neal. See you later."

They hung up, Peter wondering if what he was worrying about was really a big deal but for now he would just have lunch and look up what he could along the way. First he called Elizabeth, her smiling voice making him feel better as she answered.

"Burke Premier Even... Hun?"

He smiled at her query, putting the call on speaker as he started up the car and took off.

"I'm out for lunch early. Don't have to be back until..."

He glanced at the clock to see it was already 11 AM. He still had a good hour before he had to be back according to Patterson's clock and his own.

"12:30. Boss' orders. Want to go to that bistro you told me about?"

He heard her moving around, voices in the background evident as she talked back quietly then answered. He heard the clicking of her heels on the floor and a door shut before car sounds.

"Sure, hun. I can meet you..."

He shook his head at the dash, turning at the light as he headed towards her business.

"I'm almost there. I'll pick you up in 10 minutes. Love you hun..."

He could almost see the smile on her face as she blew a kiss into the cell and he pretended to catch it.

"Ok, Peter. I'll be waiting. Love you hun."

()()()

Neal hung up the cell with Peter, something about the call making him wonder what was up with his partner. It wasn't like Peter to lie to him unless there was something bad going on. Had he been further demoted? The guilt at knowing Neal had caused the agent to get into trouble bothered him more than he could express. He was doing his best to make the situation better and get Peter back where he belonged. It was the least he could do for the man who'd helped him and sacrificed so much to bring him home. Home... this was his home now.

"Caffrey..."

The consultant turned to see Diana there, her eyes looking at him suspiciously. He was in the back corridor by the interrogation rooms, phone still in hand as he nodded at her.

"Diana..."

She moved closer looking at his phone and then back up at him.

"Lunch with the boss again? Mind if I join you?"

She was smiling at him now, a change from the previous weeks where both her and Jones seemed to be keeping their distance. He must have proven himself with that last case. He had done all he could to help get Peter's case solved and try to help their friend but the agent had not gotten any credit only resolution. Maybe it was a good thing Peter hung back. If he was in trouble one more time he might not come back and solving cases was something he wasn't supposed to be doing. Neal could understand it to some degree but it didn't mean he liked it.

"No lunch today. I guess Agent Sunshi... I mean Cullen has him working overtime on those cell phones."

She was giving him a face at his sarcasm but finally nodded in agreement.

"Patterson is a bit of a tight ass but he's a good man. Still, Peter deserves better."

She paused, Diana's eyes flickering at him as if uncertain of something before she shrugged and made a comment.

"Jones was thinking of going to that sushi place down the street. Would you like to join us?"

Was she really asking him to lunch? They'd been keeping him at arm's length for a bit now but if they were willing to take him back...

"Certainly. Let me know when. I still have a few reports to finish up before we go."

She smiled at him, a genuinely happy smile before leaving without another word. Neal watched her go, looking down at his cell phone once she was out of sight. The call with Peter was still bugging him but the agent promised to talk to him tonight. That would be a better time to talk about things. He wouldn't let it worry him for now, the con moving back out towards the main corridor and the glass doors leading to the bullpen. He really did have a few reports to finish and it was still about an hour til noon. He could get them done, mind soon back to the task at hand as the call was pushed to the wayside.

()()()

The day dragged on, Peter enjoying the lunch with his wife but worrying most of the time after about his partner and the queries by Agent Carson. There had been nothing specific just the fact that the man was asking questions he shouldn't know about. WitSec was hard to get into informationally if you didn't know the right people. Collins had known enough to get to Ellen Parker although she had told him nothing. It was Peter who got through to her but it had been Collins who helped him get there. He now understood her role in Neal's life but what was it that had put them in the program to begin with? His partner had been three, his mother and his father's partner all in danger from what? Was his father the person out to hurt him or was it something more insidious? These questions dragged on through his head distracting him as he finished up another 1000 cells into cataloging and saw it was a minute until he was off. He took the last few seconds to write down what he knew about Neal's past and what he'd been told before standing up, pulling on his jacket and looking as the second hand hit that last tick and he was off.

"Have a good day, Burke."

The agent blinked, Patterson coming around the corner with a genuine smile on his face as he continued on his way and Peter waved at him ever so slightly, his boss waving back. Today was definitely an odd day but he could ignore it once he got home. He would have time to do some quick research on Agent Carson and any connection to something in Neal's past. Maybe he could talk to Ellen but he felt like he should go through his partner before he went around through other channels. He owed his friend that much.

"Hey honey... I have dinner simmering on the stove top. When is Neal coming over?"

El hugged and kissed him, an apron tied around her waist as she helped him with his jacket and handed him a beer. Peter was happy to be home early. Now that he was stuck in evidence he wasn't running all over the place on cases but he missed that part of the job. It was what made it worthwhile. El understood his need for digging into things and let him be, only making him promise to show for dinners and lunches. He did his best to obey but now he really could be there.

"Should be here soon. I know they're just doing regular caseloads right now according to Diana. She called me to say hi yesterday. Jones did too earlier in the week. I think they miss me."

His voice held an edge of sarcasm and sincerity his wife seemed to notice as she poked her head around and smiled.

"That's because they do, silly. Go wash up, hun. Dinner should be ready soon."

Peter nodded, going upstairs to change clothes, beer left on the coffee table. He went into the bedroom and pulled off his work clothes, hanging them up before he pulled on a pair of old jeans and a comfy blue tee. He saw the laptop in the corner on the mantle, moving closer to give it a quick look over as he logged online and started looking up Carson. Wouldn't hurt to do some research while he waited for Neal.

()()()

Neal was happy when 5 o'clock rolled up and he was off for the day. Without any major cases to solve, paperwork was really a walk in the park. He had to admit he missed the excitement of the chase and going undercover but now he got to solve more benign issues through other means (mortgage fraud really wasn't that bad, sort of) and he could leave at 5 PM rather than doing an overnight surveillance. Still he missed the smell of deviled ham and Peter talking to him about responsibilities if not prior cases and stakeouts. They were good together and he had to admit Peter was fun to hang out with.

"Mr. Caffrey..."

The consultant turned, reaching to close a drawer in his desk as he stood up partially and glanced at the man before him. They were obviously an agent, possibly higher up on the food chain from their nicer suit. The man had greying black hair, steel blue eyes and an officious nature that reeked of OPR or something higher even than Hughes. Something about the man made him want to run but he kept his cool, smiling as he finished his task and nodded.

"May I help you, Agent..."

He left it open, hand held out as the man reached for his.

"Agent Carson. I hope you don't mind if I take a few minutes of your time. Are you in a hurry to go anywhere?"

Neal heard the threat there, an indication that the man was telling him to stay or else. He turned ever so slightly, Diana and Jones perking up some as they noticed the man approach him. He shook his head without breaking eye contact or blinking. Carson seemed aware of his cover, smiling even more brightly.

"Is there a more private place we can talk?"

The man's tone was simply ominous when read between the lines. Neal had a feeling whatever he was going to tell him was bad news. The vibe there was cold. He nodded, pointing up at the conference room above. He noticed Diana and Jones giving him a curious look as he led the man that way. They made it upstairs, Diana and Jones following when they started to close the door and the former coughed, blocking the door.

"Caffrey, is everything ok?"

Hughes had left for a meeting earlier so there was no one there to defend him but these two agents, Neal happy they had come to his rescue. He hadn't done anything (lately) and wasn't sure what the man wanted him for. Jones followed through.

"Agent, is there something you needed?

They were there standing in the doorway obviously worried and supportive of their colleague, the agent noticing.

"This is somewhat of a delicate... private matter between Mr. Caffrey and myself unless he wishes you to sit in."

Neal was curious now, making a motion for the two agents to go. If this was something bad from his past, he would rather deal with it on his own first then if he felt the need to involve them or Peter, he would.

"I'll be ok. Thanks."

The two agents nodded, making their own unsaid comment they would be close by. They closed the door on the way out, Agent Carson looking back at the door as if he could see the agents through it, a smile crossing his face.

"They're protective of you... or maybe they like Burke too much to let anything happen to you. Either way, you have friends. That's a good thing, Caffrey... or should I call you Brooks?"

Neal stiffened at the name, blue eyes flashing at the man as they narrowed and tried to figure out what his game was. The man held up a hand, motioning for him to sit as he took a seat near the head of the table and Neal did the same.

"I'm a friend. I may have scared your agent friend a little this morning but I wanted to extend the olive branch while I had the time to do it. I wanted to be sure you had protection around you and it looks like you do. Your friends especially Agent Burke can be trusted. Remember that."

The man's tone had changed, the coldness he had felt ebbing away as the man seemed more relaxed. Neal sensed truth in the man's words but was still uncertain what this had to do with his WitSec days.

"I'm curious what it is you think you know about me, Agent Carson."

He was keeping his tone even, eye contact straight on as the man nodded back doing the same.

"I meant it when I said I was a friend. You don't have very many, Mr. Caffrey but that's not only from the past you've created but one that is also closer to who you really are. I'm talking about your father... James McConnell."

Neal stood up, pacing the room a bit. He wouldn't normally let someone get to him but remembering what he told Peter about not taking his father's name and what Ellen had revealed brought all the memories of finding out about his father back. He finally turned and looked at the man before him, moving closer until they were almost eye to eye.

"What is it you want, Carson? Why are you here?"

He wasn't holding back his curiosity or his concern. This man knew way too much about him, maybe more. The agent nodded, motioning him to sit.

"We moved your friend Ms. Parker into her new home early. She sent me as an emissary since she was uncertain about the days to come. Your friend is safe but you Mr. Caffrey might consider disappearing. I am here to offer you that chance. I had hoped to talk to your superiors but seeing that your friend is in Evidence and his boss is out, I am talking to you."

Neal sat down finally, the man's words getting to him as he realized what was going on. He never knew for certain why they were in WitSec but he had hoped to ask Ellen before she left. If she was gone...

"So you know why my family was in WitSec... Tell me what this danger is so I can deal with it."

The man shook his head, shutters going down but not before Neal sensed fear from him. The man was worried about something.

"I'm not at liberty to say, Mr. Caffrey. My orders were to request you come back to WitSec, no questions asked. You could start over as a new person in another city... or country. You would have to leave your friends here but it would guarantee your safety."

Neal was intrigued now but he still wasn't fully convinced of what Carson was telling him. It could be a trap. Only a few people knew anything of his past as Daniel Brooks or that he was in WitSec. He had told Peter in confidence, Ellen knew but that was it. The agent wouldn't have given him away. He stood, shaking his head.

"If you can't tell me a why, We're done here. I'm already late for a dinner appointment. Thank you for coming by, Agent Carson."

The man nodded back, standing and shaking his hand with a slight frown. Carson pulled out a card and handed it to him.

"In case you change your mind. I know it's quite a bit to take in, Mr. Caffrey. I'll be in town until the end of the week."

The agent left the room, Neal standing in the doorway watching from above as Carson nodded to Jones and Diana, exiting the floor before disappearing into the elevator. Confusion filled the con as he tried to make sense of what little the man had told him. He was in danger? What was in his past that was so dangerous they were asking him to disappear again? Nobody had contacted him but they probably had no idea he was Daniel Brooks, much more Neal McConnell.

"Caffrey?"

Neal glanced down to see Diana at the foot of the stairs looking up at him curiously. His eyes moved from her to the empty office next door that Peter once occupied. The agent's things were still there while he was under review, the door locked until everything was decided but it made him realized what he needed to do. Peter had wanted to talk and now he knew why. Carson had approached him and worried his friend about what was up.

"He was asking about my deal with Peter. Nothing important. Just a survey of what I thought of him as a boss. Probably part of his review..."

Diana gave him a narrow eyed glance as if she didn't believe him but nodded anyway. He didn't like lying after they defended him but he wasn't sure what was going on yet and until he did, they didn't need to know about his past. Right now he just hoped they'd trust him and apparently Diana did as he walked down to meet her.

"I'm guessing you only said good things..."

She was playing with him now, easing up the tension. Neal put on his best smile and nodded.

"Of course. Told him anyone who said anything but good things about Peter was crazy."

She laughed, both of them walking towards Jones who was already pulling on his jacket and looking between them curiously.

"Guessing it wasn't as bad as it seemed if you two are laughing."

Diana nodded, grabbing up her own things as they all walked out of the bullpen and into the lobby to wait for the elevator. Diana glanced at Neal before answering.

"Nope."

()()()

It took longer than he planned getting to the Burkes house, traffic worse since he had stayed after to hear what Carson said. His nerves were tingling with worry and the fact that Ellen was back in WitSec without giving him the answers he needed and wanted. Maybe she had requested his return or why else would someone come looking for him? His lack of details made him tense, so much so that he nearly jumped out the window when his phone vibrated in his jacket pocket, taking the device out and pushing it to his ear as he started to calm down again.

"Ellen's gone..."

He blinked realizing it was Mozzie calling him. The con's voice sounded unhappy if not a bit curious. In the last few weeks Mozzie had spent more than enough time with Ellen to make Neal think the man wanted to be adopted by her himself. They had become fast friends and Mozzie, much as he would deign to deny it, did attach himself to people much more often than he liked to admit. Ellen had apparently been one of them.

"I know. I just found out myself. I'm actually headed to Peter's for dinner. Meet me later at June's?"

There was silence on the other end then a sigh.

"Sounds like a plan."

The call ended there, Neal pushing the device back into his pocket as the vehicle slowed and he saw the Burkes home across the street. He paid the cabbie, slipping out of the car and watching it take off as he made to cross the street as traffic cleared. He didn't notice the one dark sedan speeding his way until it was almost too late, Neal turning as he made to run, flipping over the back end of a parked car to get out of the way and hitting the sidewalk hard as he tried to recover. He gave a quiet groan, his ankle hurting where he twisted it in the attempt to get out of the way, a scraped knee and arm stinging as he noticed his suit slightly ripped in both places. Someone ran over and he looked up to see Peter beside him, eyes scanning the street.

"Neal? Are you ok?"

He wasn't sure what to say, shock evident as he continued to sit there on the warm sidewalk and tried to get his bearings back. The agent crouched beside him, another voice in the background making him turn to see Elizabeth on the stoop with Satchmo, a cell to her ear.

"Yes... it was a dark, late model sedan... possibly a Lincoln... didn't get the plates but they were for New York. They nearly ran our friend over. No he had the right of way..."

She was making the call to the cops, Neal still trying to sort out his close call as he felt Peter gently put his hands on his arms and start to lift him up. His ankle screamed in pain as did the scraped knee as he stood up, a dizzy sensation washing over him as he leaned heavily on the agent.

"Neal... come on, just need to get you inside. Careful..."

()()()

Once they had gotten Neal inside and settled him on the sofa, El came back with the first-aid kit and gently cleaned at the scrapes on his knee, arm and hands. Peter went upstairs and brought down some more comfortable clothes for the con to wear for the meanwhile. Neal changed in the laundry room out of sight before limping back over, El bringing out a small ottoman to rest his swollen ankle on.

"Let me get some ice for that. The cops said they would be here soon to take our statements. I still can't believe that person didn't stop."

She sounded angry but Neal noticed that Peter with the look he gave him knew something was up. They hid their possible insight from her until she had left upstairs temporarily, Neal's ankle wrapped up with a cold pack and his few scrapes and bruises treated. He still looked a bit out of it, the result of shock more than likely as Peter sat beside him on the couch, his voice low.

"Neal... there's something I need to discuss with you. Mostly why I asked you over tonight."

He watched his friend turn his head and nod, shifting slightly to get more comfortable.

"Agent Carson... he saw you earlier today?"

Neal's voice was calmer than it should be with only a hint of strain from the discomfort of his injuries. Peter nodded, curious how he knew when his partner answered.

"He came to see me at the office. Said it was important and private. Ellen... she's gone. They took her back to WitSec early."

Neal left it at that, leaning back and closing his eyes a moment as Peter tried to make sense of what was being said. He still wasn't certain what Agent Carson had to do with all of this as he placed a hand lightly on Neal's shoulder, those blue eyes staring up at him with worry.

"Early? He mentioned something about your past but not what he wanted to discuss. I got the feeling he was testing me. What did he discuss with you?"

Peter felt frustration, his eyes moving back towards the window behind them as red and blue lights flashed outside. The cops had finally arrived to get their statement. Peter stood, motioning for Neal to remain where he was as he answered the door.

()()()

After the short talk with the cops and they had taken everyone's account of what they'd seen (Neal explaining how he had hurt himself several times) the officers left, Peter glad to be done with it but hoping they'd find a suspect. He called work and asked to get footage from the traffic cams on his street if possible hoping they'd find some sign of what had happened and if it had merely been an accident by a hotrodder as the cops seemed to think. The agent had only caught a few minutes of what happened, seeing Neal practically vault sideways over the parked car narrowly missing being hit by the vehicle that seemed to have swerved closer to target him. After the mystery of Agent Carson, this seemed way too coincidental.

"He's asleep. I gave him some more aspirin but dinner is in the fridge now. Are they going to look into this at all?"

El spoke quietly, turning as they both looked at Neal asleep on the couch, leg propped up. Peter had removed the tracking anklet for the moment, the young man's left ankle swollen and angry looking. If it didn't get any better they would take him to the ER but for now it looked to be a regular sprain and not a break or fracture. Neal was very lucky. They would have to finish their discussion later once his friend was feeling better.

"I don't know. They didn't seem very concerned. I'll talk to Capt. Shaddock about this see if there's anything on the street. I already have our people looking into traffic cams. I don't think this was an accident."

El gave him a shocked look, glancing back at their friend before hugging him more tightly.

"You think it was deliberate? Who could be after Neal? What aren't you telling me, Peter?"

He regretted saying anything, worrying her unnecessarily but it happened on their doorstep. El had to know what was going on and he needed to know what Neal had discussed with Carson. His cell buzzed in his pocket, Peter moving aside to take it in the kitchen.

"Burke... You did? Anything?"

He listened, El near him as she poured them both a cup of coffee and handed him one. Peter nodded with a grim smile, listening to the call from his offices. They had found something on the traffic cams.

"Thank you, Reggie. I appreciate this. Night."

Peter sighed, putting the cell away and taking a long sip of the coffee before sighing again. El wrapped her arms around him, hugging him close.

"What did they say?"

She had guessed where the call was from, the agent sighing once more before answering. It hadn't been good news.

"Nothing... they saw the incident but nothing concrete. The windows were tinted, car too general to ID it and no plates. If anything they only know that the car did swerve to hit Neal but no who or why. We're back at square one."

oOoOoOo

Author's Notes: This came from watching Diminishing Returns. I figured something bad must have happened to put them in WitSec and now I wanted to make a why for. More to come soon!