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01 July 2013 @ 08:39 pm
FIC: No Rest for the Wicked  
Title:  No Rest for the Wicked
Rating:  PG13
Warnings:  none
Pairing:  Neal/Kate, OT3 P/E/N
Word Count:  ~5,300
Genre:  Hurt/Comfort, Angst
Time Frame:  Pre-series, mid-series, post-early season five
Spoilers: Out of the Box, Withdrawal, Scott Free, As You Were
Summary:  This is an attempt at a five times story revolving around Neal and some of his different personas.
Author’s Note:  This is me being perverse and inflicting poor Neal with the insomnia that I’ve dealt with since I was 6 or 7 years old.  Also, St. George and the Dragon is actually housed at the National Gallery in D.C. but since we’ve never heard the tale of how Neal acquired it, I thought it would be fun it were housed in Italy instead since Raphael was, you know Italian and all.  And, no they would never have hung any other works in the Stanze della Segnatura, since the walls are completely covered in frescoes, but artistic license and all.


No Rest for the Wicked

Danny Brooks

Danny didn’t sleep very much.  He didn’t remember having any trouble sleeping before, when he was Neal and he and his mom still lived with his Daddy, before he had died.  But, here in St. Louis things were different, Danny was different.

For a long time Danny spent his nights just lying in bed tossing and turning and staring up through the window of his bedroom at the stars or the passing clouds when he couldn’t sleep.  But tracking the moon across the small portion of sky that he could see through the window was really pretty boring and it never actually helped to settle his thoughts.

So he decided to put the library card his Aunt Ellen helped him get to good use.  He detoured to the big brick building after school and borrowed an armload of books.  When he got home he quickly stashed them in his room and then stole a flashlight from the sideboard in the dining room.  That night Danny pulled the covers up over his head and read until the stack was nearly depleted and he was finally ready to go to sleep.

Three weeks later Danny was at the library returning his 15th enormous pile of books when the librarian made a comment that Danny couldn’t possibly be reading all of them in the day or two that he had them out.

“Yes ma'am, I read them all,”  he said; his most charming seven-year-old smile gracing his face.

“It’s not polite to lie.”  She replied.

Danny’s smile turned into a frown.  He didn’t lie.  He may not always tell his mom or Aunt Ellen everything he should, but he never actually lied.  “I don’t lie.”  His voice was indignant and loud in the confines of the still library.  He pulled a random book from the stack and quickly told the librarian the plot of the story.  He picked up another and did the same.  And, then a third.

With each recitation the librarian’s eyes got a little wider until finally she stopped him by placing her hand firmly on the pile.  “Okay sweetie, let’s see what we can find for you today.”

When Danny was 10 he confessed to the librarian, Ms. Hartwell, that the reason he was able to read so many books was because most nights he didn’t sleep very much, either lying awake unable to fall asleep or waking up after only a few hours of sleep unable to even close his eyes again.

By the time Danny was 16, Ms.Hartwell had been one of the most important adults in his life for nearly a decade.  Danny was still going through books at a prodigious rate, along with VHS documentaries, audio tapes and magazines on every conceivable subject.  Every time Danny turned his attention to something new, Ms. Hartwell had just the book for him, or would find it, scouring the interlibrary loan system for him.  She encouraged him in everything even when his interests wandered into esoteric things like the inks, dyes and papers used to print paper money.

The day his Aunt Ellen finally confided the truth to him about his father, Danny made one stop on his way out of town.  He had five books, three audio cassettes of different recordings of the Brandenburg concertos and a VHS documentary on the U.S. mint out on loan and he needed to return them before he put St. Louis and the lies his mother told him all his life behind him.   

“I didn’t expect to see you today, Danny.”  Ms. Hartwell whispered as Danny approached the information desk at the library.

“I need to return these,” he replied placing the pile of books and tapes on the counter.

Ms. Hartwell looked at him worryingly.  “Not even you could have gone through all of this since yesterday.”

Danny shook his head.  “No, I just... I need to return them today.”

“Okay, is there anything you want instead?”

Danny shook his head again.  He hadn’t wanted to cry when Ellen told him the truth, not about who is dad really was, not about the lies he had been told all his life, not even about losing his dream of becoming a cop.  He walked out of Ellen’s apartment dry eyed and out of the little bungalow that he had shared with his mom for the past twelve years with his backpack stuffed with what was left of his worldly possessions the same way.  But, now suddenly standing in front of Ms. Hartwell in the library for the last time Danny had to fight back the tears.

“No thank you.  Goodbye, Ms. Hartwell,” he said finally, his voice cracking slightly on the final syllable.  Then he turned and left as quickly as he could while Ms. Hartwell called out after him, her voice loud in the confines of the still library.

Nick Halden

Neal paced the length of the luxury hotel room registered to Nick Halden, the latest message from Alex crushed in his fist.  She was waiting for him in Denmark and she was growing increasingly impatient.  Neal was in Rome and had been for just over three weeks now trying to figure out how he was going to pull off a one-man heist in the Stanze della Segnatura.

It had taken a huge amount of planning and no small amount of palm greasing but Neal was set to make the attempt tomorrow afternoon.  He had been obliged to pull a couple of smaller jobs, one at an art gallery in the Piazza del Popolo and one in a private residence in Aventino in order to obtain the necessary funds to get the plans to the security system and to pay off the two Swiss Guards who would be on duty that afternoon, but it would be worth it.  It would only be a matter of days before Kate would find out that St. George and the Dragon had been stolen and she would know that he had done it for her.

Neal moved out onto the balcony.  Though it was quite late the piazza below him was still filled with tourists sitting in the outdoor cafes.  Sounds of laughter and the tinkle of glasses and silverware filled the air around him.  Starlight mingled with the candlelight on the small tables creating shadows that flickered and danced on the cobblestones.

Neal’s vision tunnelled, black spots replacing the points of starlight as dizziness swallowed him.  He leaned on the railing of the balcony and allowed the cool evening air to wash over him while taking several deep, steadying breaths.  It had been weeks since he had slept through a whole night, weeks since he had managed to get more than a few hours sleep in a night and the exhaustion was well and truly catching up to him.

He knew exactly when this latest bout with his insomnia had started, the day Kate had left him.  It had been going on for so long now that he was fairly certain he wouldn’t sleep a full and uninterrupted eight hours again until after he found a way to get her back.  But he needed to hold it together for another 36 hours, long enough to get into Vatican City, get the Raphael and get out again safely.  Then Nick would splurge on a sleeper car on the train to Copenhagen and he would stay ensconced in the bed resting until he reached the capital city of Denmark.

In the meantime, Neal needed to get what rest he could before making his way to the Vatican Museums tomorrow afternoon.  He returned to his suite, closing the balcony doors behind him to shut out the sounds coming from the piazza.  He took a long hot shower to soothe the tight muscles in his back and shoulders, turned up the AC in his room so that he could snuggle under the comforter on his king-sized bed and then slipped between the sheets.  He draped himself around one on the many pillows on the bed and imagined that Kate was wrapped in his arms, her head resting against his chest, her legs tangled with his and let the comforting thought lull him to sleep.  

He woke a mere two hours later, nervous butterflies filling his chest and his belly.  Normally he didn’t feel anxious before a job, but this wasn’t about the thrill or the money, it was about Kate, about proving to her that she was the only thing that really mattered to him.

He forced himself to remain in bed for the remainder of the night, if he couldn’t get any more sleep at least he could rest his body.  At sunrise he went for a short run and then had a leisurely late breakfast in one of the cafes on the piazza limiting himself to one cup of espresso.

The early afternoon was spent reviewing the plan and mentally preparing himself for the task ahead.  He left for the Vatican two hours before the museums were to close.  As he approached the city within the city Neal pulled the brim of his baseball cap low over his forehead and keep his face from view.  After purchasing his ticket and going through the metal detector at the security station he wandered the halls, continuing to keep his cap on and his face hidden.  He avoided the Sistine Chapel, it would have been disrespectful to keep the cap on there and weird when he failed to look up at the famed ceiling and into the cameras mounted just below it.  

About 25 minutes before closing Neal made his way toward the Stanze della Segnatura.  St. George and the Dragon was currently housed right inside the room which just happened to be just off a hall that contained a public men’s room.  Neal slipped inside the bathroom, waited until it’s single occupant left and then quickly reached up into the acoustic ceiling tiles, pulling out the mailing tube which contained a poster of the Raphael from the museum gift shop that he had purchased and stashed there two weeks earlier.

But before he could leave the men’s room a wave of exhaustion struck Neal and he suddenly felt as though his limbs were blocks of concrete and his spine was nothing but a string just cut by a puppeteer.  He managed to lean up against the bank of sinks and closed his eyes.  Neal breathed through it, pulling up his last reserves.  He needed another 20 minutes, 30 at most and then he would be gone, back out onto the streets of Rome.  He gave himself a couple of precious minutes and then pried his eyes open and laboriously pulled himself away from the counter.  For a moment he considered walking away, no harm no foul, but then Kate’s face flashed before him, disappointed and pained and the moment passed.

Tube in hand, Neal made his way into the grand room containing so many of Raphael’s frescoes.  The security cameras in the space were conveniently focused on the frescoes themselves leaving Neal’s prize in a rare blind spot.  The frame of the painting itself was mounted on a pressure plate.  Any jarring or movement of the frame at all would send the alarms screaming and the guards running.  But Neal didn’t intend to touch the frame.

He waited for the two guards he had paid handsomely to give an artist and religious fanatic ten minutes alone with the great Raphael to close the room for the evening, filing out after the tourists in their fanny packs and “Italy is for lovers” tee shirts.  Then he removed the ceramic knife he had stashed in his sock and gently and carefully cut the painting from it’s frame.  Neal removed the poster, being careful not to leave any usable prints on it, laid it on the floor, carefully rolled the Raphel and placed it in the tube.  Then he left walking quickly but unhurriedly to the nearest exit.

Neal breathed a sigh of relief, the tips of his fingers beginning to tingle with pins and needles from the accumulated stress and made his way across the courtyard to the Vatican post office.  He made it inside just before they closed for the evening.  Quickly he scrawled Ellen’s name and Staten Island address on the label and took it to the counter.

“Sending a poster home, Signore?” The dark-eyed young woman behind the counter asked.

Neal smiled warmly, “Yes, a gift for my aunt.  She’ll be thrilled by the postmark.”

The clerk smiled back, affixed the postage to the tube and then placed it in a bin with dozens of other small packages, tubes and postcards.

“Grazie.”  Neal said before making his way back out of the small building.  From there he continued on out of Vatican City and to his hotel.

Despite his exhaustion and the release of the stress that had been building within him for more than three weeks, Neal couldn’t sleep at all that night.  After a couple of hours of tossing and turning, he dragged one of the more comfortable chairs from his suite out onto his balcony and sat there watching the world pass by below him in the piazza.

In the morning he would be on the train for the first leg of the trip to Copenhagen.  He was certain that there would be increased security at the station, but he had no doubt that he would easily navigate through it.  He had shaved the beard he had been sporting as soon as he returned to the hotel and he would be wearing the new, dove grey silk suit that he had had handmade, not the scruffy jeans and ill-fitting tee shirts that the Swiss Guards had seen him in on the two occasions that they had met.   

But despite his elation at having succeeded in stealing the Raphael, Neal felt awful.  He had used up every ounce of energy he had left getting through the day.  His body was heavy, his mind mush.  He wanted to sleep so badly that silent tears of frustration slid down his cheeks.  He didn’t even have the energy left to wipe them away.

Inmate Number 916625413

“Neal, you gotta turn that off,” Bobby said sympathetically.

“Okay, Bobby.” Neal sighed as he got up from his bunk to turn off the bare bulb that hung in his cell.   His head spun for a moment from the change of position and he closed his eyes and steadied himself by pressing his legs against the edge of his steel bunk frame.  Eventually the dizziness receded and Neal penciled another lost day onto the wall of his cell, turned out the light and returned to his bed.

Neal had heard the sympathy in Bobby’s voice.  He was aware that the kindly prison guard knew he lay awake every night in the darkness unable to do anything to help make the time go by.  Neal was pretty sure that if it were up to Bobby he would be allowed to keep his light on all night.  He was grateful for the few extra minutes that Bobby did permit him most days.


Things were bad enough here during the day, the routine was monotonous and it was hard work keeping his defenses up in the dangerous world of supermax.  But at night, things were far worse.  The dark shadows of the bars of his cell seemed to press closer and visions of fiery explosions superimposed over Kate’s angelic face played over and over again in his mind.

The little sleep he was getting was always punctuated with horrific nightmares about her death, about watching her burn, knowing there was nothing he could do to help her.  Sometimes in the dreams the explosion was so concussive that it engulfed him and Peter too and he could feel the skin melting off his body while he watched it melt off of Peter’s.  

At this point there was no way to discern which was worse, lying awake all night, exhausted and anxious or sleeping just until the nightmares left him shaking and sick.

At least tonight Neal had something else to think about, the prospect of getting his old deal back and of working with Peter again.  He and Mozzie were attempting to sue for his release based on his Mentor deal, but things weren’t going well.  Apparently Mentor was so classified that no one else in the FBI could be found who would or even could corroborate its existence other than Fowler who was under indictment on more charges than Neal could count.

Mozzie was still combing through all the paperwork that had come out of his earlier request for everything the bureau had on Neal, but so far it had been of little value in proving that Neal’s deal with Mentor was legitimate and that Neal should be a free man.

Maybe the best thing to do would be to let it drop and resume his deal with Peter.  It hadn’t been a bad life.  In fact it had been pretty good.  He would have missed it, missed playing for the white hats, missed Peter and Elizabeth, and June if he had gone with Kate.

Kate.

Neal slid down the concrete wall he had been leaning against and lay down on his bunk.  His dry and gritty eyes itched and he rubbed at them ineffectually, creating flashes of red, orange and yellow behind his lids; prompting him to open them again to the blackness of his prison cell.  Neal sighed.  It really didn’t matter whether his eyes were open or closed, either way he was trapped behind iron bars or exploding balls of fire.

Neal rolled onto his side and curled up on the narrow bed so that his bleary eyes could focus on the concrete blocks that made up his cell instead of on the bars.  It was a marginally better view.  Then he lay there and listened to the unpleasant sounds of the cell block at night.  There was the occasional thunk or slam of metal against concrete, the footfalls of the guards on their rounds, the certifiably insane guy aptly nicknamed Psycho a level below him occasionally screaming obscenities until one of the guards yelled at him to shut up.  If Neal wasn’t already an insomniac a couple of nights here would have turned him into one easily.
After a while Neal’s shoulders began to ache and he realized he was bunching his muscles tightly.  He forced himself to breathe deeply and relax the muscles one shoulder at a time. Then he unclenched his thighs and knees, straightening his legs under the thin prison sheet.

He was so tired of his insomnia, of prison, of his grief, of his uselessness.  He could do something about two out of four, if he called Peter and agreed to go back on the anklet. When he first made the deal with Peter, pushed for it, he had a goal, find Kate, help her, get her back.

What did he have now exactly?  Nothing to write home about, that was for certain.  In Neal’s world dreams were meant to crash and burn and in some cases that meant literally.  But when he was working with Peter a glimmer of his childhood dreams had seen the light of day again.  And, he had liked it, despite himself, despite the fact that when he first proposed the deal he had no intention of really becoming an asset to the bureau and of going through with the full four years.

Dawn was breaking somewhere outside.  Neal could see the faint light coming in from the windows set just below the ceiling on main hall of the cell block.  As Bobby shuffled past Neal called out to him softly.  “Bobby?”

“Yeah, Neal?”

“Before you leave this morning can you get me a spot on the phone list.”

“Sure, Neal.”

“Thanks.”

After Bobby passed by Neal closed his eyes and felt himself drop down through the layers of his exhaustion into a couple of hours of sleep before the lights were thrown on and the new day began.     

Vincent Moreau

Vincent Moreau.  Neal held the passport for his newly minted alias and stared at the name emblazoned on it.  Memories of Kate and what had happened to her because of this stupid treasure swarmed his mind.

He knew the name was a coincidence, but it certainly didn’t feel like one.  It felt like an omen, a portent of bad things to come.

Hell, bad things had already happened.  Kate was dead at the hands of Vincent Adler.  Neal had lost what trust he had managed to establish with Peter.  Sara had walked out of his life. He and Mozzie were at odds.  And, tonight he had broken into Peter and Elizabeth’s home. Neal never felt guilty for the crimes he committed, but violating the sanctity of the Burke household left him nauseous.

And, Peter calling him in the midst of it, trying to help Neal, be his friend, his confidant, showing Neal that he was making an effort to reestablish the trust between them. “I think you deserve some happiness,” Peter had said.

And, Neal had betrayed Mozzie tonight also when he lied and told him that he hadn’t found the manifest.  He knew that if Moz found out he would feel just like Neal had when Peter had jumped to conclusions and wrongly accused him of stealing the treasure in the first place.  Never in his life had Neal felt so conflicted.

There was a soft knock on Neal’s door, June’s knock.

“Just a moment, June,” he called out as he dashed to the hidden nook near his bed and stashed Victor Moreau’s passport back inside.  Then he went to the door and opened it for his landlady.

“Good evening, June.”

“Neal dear, are you trying to wear a hole in my floors?”  She asked, her concern evident on her lovely face.  

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

“Oh, no you haven’t been disturbing me, I’m just worried about you dear.”  June said as she took his hand and lead him over to the sofa.  She guided him to sit down beside her and then gripped his hand a little tighter.  “I hear you up here every night, pacing and pacing. When was the last time you actually slept?”

Neal shook his head.  “It’s been a rough couple of months,” he conceded running his hand through his hair.

June frowned.  Neal looked awful, wan and tired and if she didn’t miss her guess, sorrowful. Very much the way he had looked when he first returned from prison after his girlfriend’s horrible death.

“What’s troubling you so much?”

Neal briefly considered confiding the whole mess to June, the fact that Mozzie had stolen the treasure, Peter’s accusations, the loss of trust, Neal’s anger at Peter’s conclusions, Sara’s discovery, Mozzie’s attempts to push Neal to flee, all the conflicting shit going on his own head.  But, then he came to his senses and remembered that as much as June had always been his ally this was not her burden to bear.

He shook his head.  “Just the usual, I’m afraid.  Peter’s being a bit of bear and my insomnia’s been acting up.”

He smiled at her, a pale imitation of the full Caffrey.  “I’ll be fine, when I can get a full night’s sleep.”

June didn’t look convinced.  “Are you sure there’s nothing else?  Nothing I can help you with?”

“No, but thank you for everything.”

“Of course dear, anything you need, anytime.  My life has been much rosier since you came into it Neal.  I want you to remember that.”

Neal sighed.  June was certain she heard regret in the exhalation.

“Thank you,” he said as he got up off the sofa.  “I think I should go to bed.  Try and get some sleep tonight.”

June rose with him and kissed him on the cheek.  “I’ll see you in the morning.”

Neal walked her to the door.  “Goodnight June,” he said as he showed her out.

Alone again, Neal retrieved Victor’s passport once more from behind the painting on his wall.  The face of Victor Moreau stared back at him.  It wasn’t his face.  It wasn’t what he wanted.  Neal didn’t want to disappoint Moz, but he didn’t want to disappoint Peter either. He was trapped between a rock and a hard place and he had no idea how he was going to get out without someone getting hurt.         

Neal flung the passport back behind the wall in disgust.  He stripped on his way to his bathroom, took a long hot shower and then climbed into bed.  If he could get some sleep, some real solid sleep maybe he could come up with a way out this.  Unlimited wealth on an island paradise didn’t really sound that great if the island wasn’t Manhattan.

But sleep was as elusive as it had been since that first night when he had found the typed note on his table and a unbelievable treasure in an unassuming storage unit.  He didn’t find any answers in his tossing and turning.  He couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t live with betraying Moz, nor with betraying Peter.  Nothing about this situation was good.  He had nowhere to turn and no way out that wouldn’t end badly, like that day at the airport when Kate had died for this same treasure.

When morning finally dawned, Neal rolled out of his bed sluggish and foggy and hoped that he might be able to get through just one day without his past somehow biting him in the ass.

Neal Caffrey

Neal disentangled himself from the arms and legs surrounding him and maneuvered his way around El so that she was ensconced in the center of the bed.  It wasn’t an easy move, he was sated, sweaty, and sleepy from being the gooey center of an intense and wonderful Burke-Caffrey-Burke sex sandwich and his dexterity was definitely feeling the pain.  Once he made it to the outside edge of the bed he flopped down in a happy, exhausted heap and let his eyes slide closed as his breathing returned to normal.

Peter was already lightly snoring on the other side of the bed and by the sound of El’s breathing she was not far behind him.  Neal turned on his side, wrapped an arm around El’s waist and tucked his head against her hair.  He was asleep before he had the chance to wonder whether he would be able to achieve REM.

Maybe an hour and half later Neal found himself wide awake again. With a quiet sigh he carefully slipped out of bed, searched around in the pale light coming in through the blinds for his sleep pants and then wandered downstairs.

He poured himself a glass from the bottle of wine they had opened with dinner and then settled down on the couch with the latest in a series of gaslight murder mysteries he had become oddly obsessed with of late.

He had barely gotten through a chapter when he heard the stairs creaking and then Peter appeared in the shadows.

“Neal?” He called out softly.

Neal closed his book and laid it aside on the coffee table.  “Here, Peter.”

“What are you doing up at this hour?”  Peter asked as he made his way down the remaining steps and into the living room.  Neal thought Peter looked adorable in the sweats that hung low on his hips, his hair rumpled and his face creased from where it had been smashed into the pillow.

Neal smiled and swung his legs off the sofa giving his partner space to sit down next to him. “Can’t sleep,” he shrugged.

The three of them hadn’t been doing this for very long and Neal had been hoping to keep his insomnia hidden until he felt a bit more secure in the relationship, but he knew it was inevitable the Peter would figure him out eventually.

Peter looked at Neal quizzically and took the offered spot beside him.  He reached up and worried his thumb over a bite mark he had left on the junction of Neal’s shoulder and neck earlier in the evening.  “Is something bothering you?  Did I do something?  Did I hurt you?”

“No, of course not,”  Neal reassured, laying his hand on top of Peter’s where it still sat on his shoulder.  “You were perfect.”

“Then why are you down here and not upstairs with us?”

“I didn’t want to disturb either of you and when I can’t sleep it’s usually best for me to get up and do something to make the time go by,” Neal replied, nodding his head toward the book he had set aside.

“That sounds like this is a familiar occurrence,”  Peter prompted.

Neal shrugged again.  “For as long as I can remember, since I was six or so.”

“Are you a full-fledged, no sleep for days at a time insomniac or is it just the odd night here and there?”  Peter asked, his need to understand Neal was as persistent now as it had been the day James Bonds’ case file first landed on his desk.

“Oh, I’m the real deal,” Neal confessed with a smirk.

“How come I never knew this?”

Neal rolled his eyes.  “Peter, I’m a con artist.”

Peter nodded acknowledging the truth of Neal’s reply.  “True, but I’ve gotten pretty good at reading you over the years.”

“Which is why I occasionally come up with a reason to be off your radar before you can get a fix.”

Peter’s eyebrows did that thing they do whenever Neal confessed to something.  “Oh?”

“The “migraine” I had a couple of months ago.”

“And, that stomach bug you had a few weeks before that.”  Peter surmised.

Neal’s hand moved to cover his stomach unconsciously.  “Ugh, unfortunately that was the real thing.”  He shivered remembering just how nasty that day had been.

“Neal, why did you feel like you needed to keep this from me?”

Neal looked away from his partner.  “At first I didn’t want it to be a reason for you to send me back to prison.  And then I guess it just became second nature.”

“And now?”

“I’m not trying to hide it from you or El, I just...”

Peter cupped his hand under Neal’s downturned cheek.  “Hey, we’re not going anywhere.  We want you with us and that’s not going to change because you have insomnia.  Actually, that’s not going to change period.  We love you.”

“I love you too, so much, and I don’t want to mess this up.”

Peter nodded.  “I know.”

Peter took Neal’s hand and stood.  “Come on, let’s go back to bed.”

Neal frowned up at him.  “Peter, I should just sit down here and read, really.”

Peter shook his head.  “Do you trust me?”

Neal hesitated and then nodded slowly.

Peter tugged gently on his hand.  “Let’s go to bed.”

Neal knew there was little chance that he would get any more sleep tonight, but he didn’t want to disappoint Peter.  So he got up off the sofa and followed the older man up the stairs and back into the darkened bedroom.  He would just lie on the outside of the bed again and once Peter was soundly asleep he would head back downstairs to his wine and his book.

But Peter guided Neal down into the center of the bed and climbed in beside him, trapping Neal between him and Elizabeth.   Peter lay on his back and patted his chest.  “Put your head down.”

Neal sighed, giving into the inevitable.  If he wasn’t going to be able to go anywhere for the rest of the night he might as well get comfortable.   

He put his head down on Peter’s broad chest and snuggled in, slipping one of his legs in between his partner’s.

Then Peter wrapped his arms around him, laying one hand down on the small of Neal’s back and cupping the other softly around the base of his neck.

Neal blinked and relaxed into the comfort of Peter’s heartbeat beneath his ear and arms around his body.

Peter kissed the crown of Neal’s head.  “Close your eyes; go to sleep.”

Neal blinked again, feeling the warmth of his partner encircling him, wrapping him in love and comfort, keeping him safe and then he closed his eyes, and slept.
 
 
 
sapphire2309sapphire2309 on July 2nd, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
This is so sad and so happy at the same time :3
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 9th, 2013 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah! I'm glad you like it.
(no subject) - shehasathree on July 2nd, 2013 08:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 9th, 2013 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
pipiljpipilj on July 2nd, 2013 08:34 am (UTC)
Lovely poignant story.
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 9th, 2013 08:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much!
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf: White Collar - Neal angstyembroiderama on July 2nd, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
Aw, Neal! This is really good, in an aching way, and the ending is beautiful.
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 9th, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks E!

I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Neal hatsholio on July 5th, 2013 08:58 am (UTC)
Awww, this is nice; I like the structure of it, and the little character glimpses.
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 9th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

I kinda like the way it came out too. The idea originally came from the idea of playing with Neal's different personas.
kanarek13kanarek13 on July 6th, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC)
Sorry I'm so late with commenting *blush*

I was really looking forward to this story and YAY, of course it did not disappoint :D Love all the glimpses into Neal's past, and the ending is beautiful ♥ Neal falling asleep in the safety of Peter's arms... awwww *melts*

Wonderful story :D
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 9th, 2013 08:07 pm (UTC)
So sorry I'm so late in replying to your comment.

I was away on vacation and just got back last night.

I am so glad that this story did not disappoint!

I really needed this to have a happy ending, I'm happy it worked for you.
Stacysahiya on July 6th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
Man. Poor Neal. Insomnia is the worst. I've only had it very occasionally, but I have friends who suffer from it chronically, and it's just awful. I love the ending, though, with Neal wrapped up in Peter's arms, all cozy and safe. Beautiful.

(And I hope Peter convinces Neal to get himself to a sleep clinic or something.)
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 9th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, I'm a chronic.

I know it was mean of me to torture Neal like this, but I just can't get enough of doing so. ;)

Thanks for reading and I'm glad you liked it.
lauracollaredlauracollared on July 18th, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
awww Neal ... and Peter at the end <3
Lovely.
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on July 24th, 2013 02:26 am (UTC)
Thanks Laura!

I'm glad you liked it.