"Where were you this morning Caffrey? We had a deal, " said Peter from the coffee maker. Neal walked slowly into the canteen. With a sigh he sat in the first chair he saw.
"Says the man who checked each hour where I am," muttered the ex-con and threw his leg on the table so that his anklet was flashing visible. Agent Burke just grinned and poured two mugs with the bitter and warm fluid that was probably hot for a while.
Striding he sat at the table where his partner was and put the mugs down. Neal had never looked at him and had the collar of his shirt pulled up as he gave a sly look. Finally Peter realized that something was wrong with him.
"Hey, do me a favor," grumbled Peter and poked at his shoe. Neal immediately took the hint and sat back in his chair civilized. His face remained bent over and the frown on his forehead was new. Then Peter began to understand it and took a noisy sip of his coffee before he said: "Was it fun last night?"
Neal sighed and raised his head just far enough to look right in to Peter's eyes. Peter couldn't hide his smile when he saw the dark circles around the tired blue eyes of his partner .
"I hate you, Peter," grumbled the younger man with a hoarse voice. "And I don't have a hangover."
Peter raised an eyebrow and took another sip of the bitter liquid. "Hmm. No Hangover. That reminds me, Neal, you said to me recently that you had never lied to me. Not really. Or was that just another lie?" It was meant as a joke. But Neal did not face. So, yes. There was something wrong with this CI.
Two other officers arrived and walked into the cafeteria. They began to groan when they saw that the last coffee was already consumed. Peter watched them when they had acknowledged that there was a better coffee shop, outside this building. And they got into the elevator.
When Peter was facing back to his partner he saw that the younger man massaged the sides of his head. Peter sighed and his grin faded.
"Listen, Caffrey. If you are sick, you know, or have a hangover, you should report that to me. Then I would have given you a day off. I can't use you all moody like this, anyway." Neal groaned irritated and blinked. "I'm not sick. And I don't have a hangover." That was his answer before he closed his eyes and his whole head was now rested on his arm. Peter sighed again. With one hand he pushed the coffee at Neal. "Neal. Everyone get sick sometimes. You're no superhero. If I'm not mistaken you never had taken a sick-day yet."
Neal didn't answer but had heard him. He flexed his shoulders at the word sick.
Peter finally gave up and looked at his watch. The break was over. And he had an appointment with the boss. With a stiff movement he rose from the chair and pushed him backwards. Before he left he gave Neal a pat on his shoulder.
"Come to my office in an hour, okay? I think we have a new case that can cheer you up a bit. I just know it." He meant well. He smiled when he said that. And Neal had also understood that without actually seeing his soft smile.
"Thanks, Peter. But I'm not gloomy. I-I ... I'll tell you later. See you soon." His voice was muffled with his arm pressed to his forehead, like that. He didn't really move and that worried Peter a little more than he liked. Peter blinked his eyes suspicious while he took a step towards the boss's office.
"Good. See you about an hour, Caffrey. Take it easy, for me, will you?"
Neal then nodded his head and moaned softly in that action. But Peter was too far away to hear him.
Peter was right. It was a new case where the boss wanted to talk about. One of the biggest jewel thieves was in town. And he had already robbed fifteen stores for diamonds, gold and rubies. Apparently Nick Halden had connections to these unattainable thief and it was time for some undercover action. But when Peter walked into his office and saw that Neal was nowhere in sight, he wondered whether the CI is needed a bit of action. He sighed, looked at his watch and saw that the conversation had run a little longer. They were a half an hour further. So Neal may had been here the whole time and could equally have gone to the toilet or something like that. Knowing that Neal was always moving around and never stayed in a place for five minutes like a normal person. No, Neal had no acquiescent person. Unless he was ill ...
Just when Peter decided to go find his partner Jones walked into his office with wide eyes. "Peter, maybe this is a stupid question but ... why is Neal Caffrey lying down on the ground in one of the hearing rooms?" Peter's expression was firm and tense.
"Caffrey? Where?" Jones blinked his eyes. "Uh. Follow me."
The lighting was muted and the chairs were pushed aside. Under the table was the infamous Neal Caffrey sprawled on the floor in some kind of light sleep. His eyes were closed. But his expressions on his face were far too alert for someone who was asleep.
'Neal! What are you doing down there? This room should be free for recitations." grumbled Peter sternly. Jones was somewhat subtler and walked to the younger man to wake him.
"Everything all right there, Caffrey? You look a little… you look far to pale."
Neal came back to life and was totally not pleased with his visit-storm a la Peter Burke. With difficulty he scrambled up and ran his best suit right. "I just closed my eyes for a bit. Is that so terrible?" was his grim answer. His voice was so broken and thin that Jones even began to chuckle.
"Wow. Someone here has a hangover," he grinned. Peter shrugged to his colleague but began to doubt. Neal stood now straight in front of Peter and looked at him apologetically. The deep frown was worrisome enough to cause this to cease Neal for answers what was going on with him.
"Okay, Neal. This is the right place to ask you what is wrong." Neal looked around. Hearing room. He got it. But again, Neal didn't grin, smirk or chuckle.
"It ... It's just a migraine. That is all. It started tonight. But I thought it was better this morning." Jones frowned and offered the CI some chair, immediately.
"Oh, Buddy. Those things are Nasty. Sit down, man." Peter looked at Jones with a sidelong glance.
'Migraine? Isn't that a woman thing? " Neal did not answer and decided to sit on the chair Jones had offered.
"Are you kidding me, Peter? A migraine makes you feel like your head is going to explode, man.
Picture a normal headache ... visualize that ten times worse. A migraine is no fun." Neal dropped his head against the backrest of the seat rest and looked at Jones, smiling slightly (or what looked like smiling). "Well, thank you, Jones. Sounds like you have them a lot." Jones shook his head, grinning.
"Man. Everytime my mother comes to visit with her new, and to young husband." Peter nodded and watched as his partner grew paler. "Okay. Sorry, Neal. A migraine is not a women thing. Come. I'll take you home. Your day at the office is over." Neal wanted to resist him, when Peter stood up, and hoisted himself of the chair as quick as possible. To find his way to the mensroom. Fast. Peter and Jones saw it happen. Neal was as white as the walls and when he began to move true the building his pale color changed to light green. Gagging Neal drove himself through the toilet door and Jones looked bewildered at his boss.
"Ow, Peter. I believe your CI needs a bit of soda before you drive him around in your car. Soda helps relieve some of the nausea. And some mints would be a good plan, too. Trust me, Peter. I will get it for you."
"Will that work?"
"It works for me, every time." Peter nodded to his colleague and decided, after some doubt, to go to his partner and accompany him before Neal drowned himself in one of the toilet bowls.
Peter was not surprised to find Neal half-conscious onto the ground, hanging forward to a toilet seat. At least he was not vomiting anymore. And Peter was grateful for that. With soft fit he knelt down beside him and laid a comforting hand on his drooping shoulders. Neal opened his eyes to see a smiling Peter.
Neal was warm and clammy of his effort. The plain purple tie was loosened a bit and the top two buttons of his white undershirt were opened.
Neal was not happy.
"Ooohhh ... P-Peter. Do you really have to see me like this?" wailed the younger man. With a trembling hand he rubbed his face and looked upset when he stroked his wavy hair in to place. "I feel better now. Just give me a minute, okay?" Peter frowned at him suspiciously. He looked somewhat better than before but Peter knew that he only tried to look strong for him and his fellow colleagues. Neal was trying to con his way out. But Peter was not to be fooled. "Nice try, Neal." He had to go to bed and sit this migraine out. He was not worth turd.
When he saw the younger man was ready to leave this place he supported him a bit and helped him out of the toilet. Suddenly Peter began to chuckle softly. "What?" asked the paled younger man.
"The infamous Neal Caffrey. Disabled by a woman ailment." Neal put his stride and looked annoyed at his partner. "P-Peter It's ... it's not -"
"No woman ailment. Ya. I know. I was just teasing you, kid." Neal nodded after a long moment, and walked further. His unstable steps were closely held by him and Jones. By the time Neal took a seat in the Taurus, Jones gave the younger man a can of cola.
"That's good for you. Believe me, man." Neal blinked and nodded gratefully. Then the door was pushed shut. When Peter had crawled behind the wheel Neal had put on a big seized sunglasses and drank from the can with small sips. "Neal? Shouldn't we go to the doctor first? For, ya know… medicine?" Neal gently shook his head.
"No. June has sleeping pills. They'll do the trick. This is not the first time for me." Peter nodded. Before he started the car, he looked again at the deep frown on Neal's face. The man was in pain. He wondered why he had to come to work with his migraine, this morning. And why he didn't call in sick. If he has had a migraine, more often, he had to know better than that.
"Hey, why are we still standing here, Peter? Come on and drive already." Neal muttered grimly. His face turned whiter again. Despite Peter suspicion that he might vomit again in his Taurus, he started the car. Meanwhile, Neal bravely took a few sips of cola. With a several soft hiccups and coughs his sick feeling was diminished by the cola. "If you see Jones. Tell him that he was right ... but Peter. Just so you know. Do not drive too hard on the thresholds, this time. I am not quite okay."
"You have my word, Caffrey. I don't let my beautiful car get ruined by a puking conman. You know me better than that." He teased him a bit. Caffrey knew him all too well. But Neal also knew that Peter squeaked quite different if he really puked.
AN: here we are again! This time I tried to translated this story for you guys. Was it good and readable? Or not? Let me know what you think, ok?