Hey people! This is my first WC fanfic. It's an idea I've had for a while now... we'll see how it does on paper… The time frame isn't anywhere in particular, I guess just where we are now in the series! That would be about the middle of season 4 I suppose! Oh and if you have any suggestions for the story, or want me to use a character that I haven't used yet, leave a review or PM me and I will gladly put it in, if I can intertwine that idea or person with the story! I'm an open book! Wish me luck, hope you like! :D

Chapter One

Trust Issues

I look up from my painting when the door opens and Peter comes in, closing the door behind him, an odd look on his face. A look I can't quite put a word to. Is it concern? Or maybe anger? What did I do?

"Peter!" I greet him, setting down my palette of paint and brush and wiping my hands clean on a rag, turning my attention to him. But he doesn't come in or speak back to me. He just leans against the door, eyes on me. Something's definitely wrong.

"What?" I finally ask him.

He closes his eyes for a second and breathes outward sharply, almost annoyed, as if wondering why I would ask such a stupid question. Then he looks back at me and asks, "Did you do it?"

I deflate, cocking my head at him. Of course he would think I'd do it. …What does he think I did? "Do what?" I ask.

"No, Neal, don't give that crap to me," Peter says harshly, taking control of the conversation and stepping forward. "She was right where she was supposed to be. We were right where we were supposed to be. We were seconds away from pinning her when suddenly, the fire alarm goes off—sound familiar?" He doesn't give me a chance to reply. "She got away in a van with somebody else and drove off. We got it all on tape. And don't worry, we got the van, too, along with your little friend. And guess who the person she got in with was?"

Me. He thinks it's me. Obviously, if they got it on tape. And this is Peter, who would believe anything that shows I did exactly what he told me not to. Because he knows I would. What he doesn't know (or doesn't believe) is that sometimes, I can listen to him.

"We got you on tape, Neal."

"Did you get the face?" I ask.

"She certainly did."

I shake my head, pinned.

"Peter," I say as sincerely as I can, looking him in the eye. "I didn't do it."

He only laughs, shaking his head. "Of course you didn't…"

"Peter remember when I said that I have never lied to you?" I snap, taking a moment, wanting him to look at me to see my seriousness. "I meant it. Why don't you trust me?"

"Because you give me nothing to hold on to, Neal," he replies sharply. "You constantly speak of how I need to be more honest, or that we shouldn't keep secrets between each other. Then you turn around and break the law or something. Or you run. You tell me you'll do something and then do another. You constantly prove me right, that I really can't trust you."

I narrow my eyes slightly, hurt. Finally unsure of what to say next. It was a stupid question I asked—I know I can't be trusted. I take a breath (much deeper than I intended), then look back at him. "Did the thought ever occur to you that I might have been framed?"

When Peter doesn't answer, I redirect my question.

"Who was in the car when you found it?" Surely if they had found Harleigh in the car, there would have been somebody else with her. The driver, or the "me" that got in with her.

…Unless she wasn't found in the car…

"Nobody," Peter replies. "The car was abandoned two blocks from where we found her."


"What happened after that?" I ask.

"We held her for questioning. Asked who it was that helped her escape. Eventually she said Neal Caffrey. Sounded pretty convincing to me. Right now she's in our custody. Right before the sting started, your anklet showed you walking down the street from your house when suddenly, it blinked right back to the house." Peter eyes me suspiciously. "You've manipulated your anklet before. I have no doubt you can do it again."

I roll my eyes and turn around, picking up my paint brush and palette, continuing my work. Peter's being stubborn and is willing to let a criminal go to pin it on me. There's not a lot left I can do. Maybe explain myself? What I was doing while everyone else was out performing a sting without me? And failed? Why it showed me walking down the street? I was walking down the street. But not en route to where they were.

I shouldn't. What's the point? That would be too low and it's likely he wouldn't listen, like throwing a rock against a brick wall. But the conversation has likely ended anyway by now. I know Peter's about to leave, so I throw out some last words.

"I wasn't there, Peter. You're just going to have to trust me on this one."

I hear him let out a breath, eyeing me before opening the door and walking out, shutting it behind him, leaving me alone in the room. His footsteps fade away. For a few seconds, there is silence.

"Well!" comes Mozzie's voice from behind me, sounding just as cheery as ever.

Almost alone.

He comes from the bathroom in one of my robes and plops on the couch a few feet away from me.

"That went well!" he finishes.

I smirk. "Sure did."

While occupying myself with my version of Flaming June (a Leighton painting I've grown quite fond of), I go over what the situation with Peter is all about in my head.

A couple of days ago, we got a case. We started investigating a woman named Harleigh Foster, who happens to be an old colleague of mine. She's a thief, among the best I've ever seen. We did several heists together—she's not much of an actress, but she can carry out any lift you set her to, without ever a mistake—until now, I guess. We thought about getting together after a while of conning (came quite close, actually), but that was ruined by another friend of mine… Jason Lang, the guy who kidnapped Peter, however long ago that was. Lang made an attempt on Harleigh's life, of course ever-so-cleverly pinning it on me. She fled after that, and I haven't seen her since until this week.

Harleigh's face was caught on a camera she must have missed. The video showed her finishing off a grid of lasers, intertwining between the last of them, and finally coming upon the ultimate prize: the Titus Dagger. Legends say that a young boy named Titus rose up against an army to defend his wounded brother with nothing more than a dagger and a shield. He defeated the army and returned his brother to safety. Unfortunately, the blade was chipped down the side somewhere in combat. But the dagger was held in the family line for centuries and still lives to represent the tale today.

Do I believe it? Not really.

Anyway, Harleigh skillfully got the dagger out of its sealed glass case and walked out the front door with it. Security guards were found the next morning, knocked out in a utility closet, and the dagger was gone. The FBI has been working on the case ever since.

Me, not so much. Hughes had me sit this case out when he heard Harleigh and I were old colleagues and… he was pretty much trying to avoid exactly what they think happened earlier today. After what happened with Alex, the bureau has been pretty cautious about who they have me "investigate." They don't want me going and getting involved and messing their plans up to protect my old "friends". Or whatever. And they were right to believe I would do that. Because, in fact… I did. Kind of.

When I, um, overheard about the sting they were going to do on her, I found her. And I warned her. That's probably why she escaped. Mozzie was the one who pulled the fire alarms. But why someone was posing as me, I don't know. Maybe someone cut her a deal that if she could get me arrested, or something, she would get money…

Finally deciding to let Moz in on my train of thought, I speak.

"What if someone made a deal with Harleigh?" I ask.

"What are you talking about?" From the tone of voice, Moz doesn't have a clue what I mean.

I drop my paint brush away from the canvas at my side, straightening, probably splattering paint on the floor. "You heard the conversation with Peter, right?"

"Yeah, the Suit barged in right when I was about to walk out," Moz replies accusingly, as if he could have as well been naked when Peter walked in. …I don't want to know.

"Okay. So, there was someone dressed as me to get in the car with her. They probably made sure it was on camera, too. I'd have to see the video… But what if Harleigh was paid to get me on that tape? To convince the feds it was me in that car when they asked her? 'Cause Peter sounded pretty convinced. If he is, I'm sure everyone else is, too. And they caught Harleigh? That's impossible. Harleigh never gets caught."

"So you're suggesting that Harleigh got caught on purpose? So she could convince the suits further that it was, in fact, you?" Mozzie inquires.

"Exactly. And she would do anything for the right amount of pay… even get caught."

"Even pin your name on this case so that you can get arrested, even though you saved her ass," Moz adds.

"Yep! Case closed!" I say hopefully, then sigh and sit down. "Partly. We still need to figure out who made her the deal and who was paid to be me."

"Yeah," Moz sighs, then looks at his watch. "And good luck to you with that. But I have somewhere to be." Almost purposely, it looks like, Moz stands up and walks toward the door.

"And you're going to go in my robe?" I ask, an eyebrow raised, because the question was begging to be asked.

My friend stops in his tracks, a slight smile on his face as he turns around and walks back to the bathroom to gather his clothes. "I was fully aware of that," he mutters as he walks past me.

I chuckle silently to myself, turning back to the painting, grateful for the humor he let in. And for the luck—I'm going to need it.

:D review please! If you want to! If not, that's cool too! Just go ahead and wait for the next chapter! Or click on the next chapter! Wherever you are in your set of mind that is getting on board with the story! If that makes sense. It does to me. Um, yeah. Shutting up…