Epilogue

Neal looked up at Peter and El from his position on their couch. Neal opened his mouth to speak.

Peter shook his head. He and Neal were needed at the office. They had to make sure Hillman paid, a long time, for what he did to Neal and El. "We'll talk later."

Neal nodded. He slowly got up and followed Peter out of the house and to his car.

It was the next morning before they got to talk. Neal came into Peter's office, but didn't say anything. He just sat.

"It's 'later,' Neal. Peter said, referring to the conversation of a day before.

Neal nodded, but he didn't start explaining immediately.

"Neal?"

"It's suicide to grab an agent's gun. I know that." Neal started. "He…but that bastard left me for dead. As if the beating, the torture was not enough…he dumped me into water so that if I was still alive, on that off chance, I would drown." Neal shook his head. "When I saw the chance, Peter…I just…I took it. He was standing there so…smug. I…I just wanted to wipe that grin of his face. And if I had to rearrange his anatomy to do that, I didn't have a problem with it."

Peter couldn't help but grin. He had seen the look on Hillman's face when Neal proposed shooting Hillman in the groin.

Neal stared at Peter for a moment. "I was deadly serious, Peter."

Peter tried to stop smiling, it didn't work. "I know you were, but the look on Hillman's face…now that was priceless." Peter leaned back in his chair. "I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing when he begged me to take the gun away."

Neal nodded. He even grinned at that point.

"But…" Peter said, he righted his chair again. "…something doesn't add up here." Peter said, his agent mode in full tilt. "I seem to recall you told me you didn't like guns." He paused. "But I could tell that guns are not foreign to you, on the contrary. You seemed to know, very well, how to handle it. Do you care to explain?"

Neal sighed. "It's personal, Peter. A very personal part of my life that I'd prepared for for years."

Peter stuck his comment in as Neal paused. "I know everything about you Neal."

"There is no record of Neal Caffrey before I turned 18." Neal reminded him.

Peter nodded. Neal was right.

"There's just things I'm not ready to tell you yet, Peter." Neal admitted. "They're not bad things. It's just…there are parts of my past that I haven't…come to terms with yet. And if I told you why I am so proficient, I'm not sure you would believe me."

"Try me." Peter challenged.

Neal shook his head.

"Come on." Peter encouraged.

"No, Peter." Neal stated.

"You're killing me here."

Neal shook his head and got up to leave. He then turned around as he got to the door of Peter's office. "I had every intention of joining the police academy when I turned 18." Neal then left, not giving Peter a chance to reply, much less process what he had heard.

Peter got up. He had planned on going down and questioning Neal more. But by that time Neal had sit down. Neal then looked up at him. And something in the look on Neal's face stopped him in his tracks.

Peter retreated to his office. Neal would tell him when he was ready for him to know.

THE END