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Fic - Meme Fill (Elizabeth, Sleep)
Matt TNH 1
Oh, look! I'm back with another fill as I oh-so-slowly work on the prompts from that meme I posted a while back. It's ~900 words long, so I again decided to not worry about character counts and just post to my LJ. This fill is for angelita26 for the prompt Elizabeth, sleep. Takes place mostly during Season 5.

Elizabeth thought that Peter would sleep better once he finally caught Neal Caffrey, the “brilliant” (her husband’s words) forger formally known as James Bonds. Not that the young man was dangerous – according to Peter, he was as non-violent a felon as he’d ever dealt with. But he was clever and slippery and Elizabeth had been sharing her husband with him for quite a while now. It turned out that she was right. Peter was home more, and got more sleep, once Neal was behind bars. But while Peter still enjoyed his work, and took real satisfaction in it, there was just that little bit less joy in it once he was no longer matching wits with Neal Caffrey.

Elizabeth thought that she would sleep better once Peter stopped being actively involved in Neal’s search for the evidence box that presumably held some sort of clues about his father. So she’d asked (okay, told) Neal to lie to Peter. And of course he did. She’d known he’d say yes to her. And if she chose not to think too hard about that, or about how she was usually the one helping Peter and Neal to understand each other better and not pushing them apart, well, who could blame her? Peter could have been killed! But any respite she found was short-lived. Peter knew Neal was lying to him, and that made him unhappy, and restless, and determined to find out why. And really, Elizabeth should have known that Peter would keep digging into Pratt, whatever else might happen. Trying to distance him from Neal’s search for his past wouldn’t change that…didn’t change that. And so in the end she’d barely had a chance to breathe, to feel some relief when Neal agreed to do what she’d asked, before everything went completely, terribly wrong and Peter landed behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit.

Elizabeth thought that both she and Peter would sleep better once Peter started his new job as ASAC. She would have less to worry about, with him spending most of his time in the office and not out in the field. And Peter would no longer be the one responsible for Neal, wouldn’t have to worry from day to day what his CI might be getting up to. He could let a new handler give Neal the boundaries he needed and help him see out the rest of his sentence.

Perhaps initially they were both playing their parts, at least to a degree. The three of them really, for as much as the decision to go to D.C. was Peter and Elizabeth’s, it about Neal too. So maybe Elizabeth wasn’t thinking too hard about whether Peter was ready to take a desk job, and maybe Peter was telling himself a bit too often that this move was for the best for everyone, and maybe Neal’s smile was a little too bright when he congratulated Peter and told him how much he deserved his promotion.

But that didn’t mean that Neal wasn’t sincere in his congratulations – Elizabeth was quite sure he was. And things between him and Peter were better now, better than they’d been in months. And surely Peter would find a way to spend more time in the field than his job description might suggest. For her part, Elizabeth couldn’t be more excited by the opportunity to work at the National Gallery. And Neal had told Peter that he wanted to go straight, that he could go straight, and it seemed that Peter believed him. So when Peter came home one night with a smile on his face, and told Elizabeth about his phone conversation with his superiors in Washington, how Bruce was going to meet with the Director, how Neal was about to get his freedom, she smiled and hugged him and they opened a bottle of wine and toasted to the future – all of their futures. And both of them did sleep well that night. And as Elizabeth drifted off she thought of Neal, perhaps falling asleep in his apartment at June’s, looking forward to his own future, to his freedom. Freedom which didn’t come. First it was the FBI, not wanting to give up such a useful asset. Then, while Peter was still reeling from that news, and Elizabeth was dealing with the prospect of going to Washington without him, Neal disappeared, seemingly without a trace, and no one was sleeping well, or sleeping much at all.

Elizabeth thinks that perhaps now they will finally all sleep better, now that Neal is installed in the guest room of the Burke’s new house in D.C.  Elizabeth doesn’t know the details of what happened to Neal, and he is clearly not ready to talk about it. She imagines the fact that Rachel Turner played a key role isn’t helping with that. But she also knows that despite Peter and Neal’s often rocky relationship, especially this past year, it was Peter who insisted that Neal hadn’t run, telling anyone who was listening (and quite probably a number of people who weren’t). And when Neal had managed to slip his captors, it was Peter’s phone he called. She doesn’t really know what finally tipped the scales of justice in Neal’s favor either, but he is, finally, truly free…and hopefully about to make good on his earlier promise to be the houseguest who never leaves.

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Love it!

We don't often get stories from El's pov and this piece which spans the life the Peter and Neal's acquaintance is a wonderful overview of El experiences and thoughts throughout those years.

And, I love the ending!

Nicely done!

Thanks so much. Once I figured out what this story would be, it turned into a nice opportunity to explore Elizabeth's thoughts and feelings, and I'm glad it worked for you.

I love your insight into El's POV on Peter & Neal especially the part about her asking Neal to lie.

The ending was perfect with her hoping that Neal becomes the house guest that never leaves. : )

Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Ooh--I love the feel we get here for what Elizabeth has gone through in each stage of Peter and Neal's relationship. Thanks so much for the hope at the end . . . that Peter believed in Neal, that Neal trusted Peter, and of course that now they can all get some sleep!

Awwww. I'm all about the hopeful ending. :) Glad you liked it.

Awwwwww, this was awesome! I was curious to see what you'd write when I named Elizabeth, and it was such a treat to read something from her POV. I really enjoyed her perspective on everything here, especially the end - hoping everyone will sleep better now that Neal is back with them and very close.

Thank you so much! It's awesome!!

You're very welcome and I'm so glad you liked it.

It took me a while to figure out what I was going to write - all of your prompts were ones I thought I could probably work with. Once the 'hook' for this story came to me, it all started to come together.

P.S. I wrote another El POV story quite a while ago. It was for one of Elr's Promptfests. It's called "Five Moments" (see the "Short Fic/Ficlets" section of my Masterlist). :-)

Oooh, very nice! I love the calmness of this, and the hope.

Thanks so much! Obviously, I'm behind on replying to comments, but I do appreciate them. I wanted this to end on a hopeful note, and I'm glad that worked for you.

So wonderful, it's always a treat to be able to read about things from El's POV, everything they've been through, the relationship between Peter and Neal and its effect on their lives.

The ending is perfect, maybe now they will finally get some well-deserved rest, with Neal safe and close by :D

Hopefully they can all rest a little easier for a while - they surely need it.

Thanks for commenting.

Love it!
Nice take on El's side of the story. :-)

Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it. It was interesting to explore El's POV, and I'm glad that worked for you.

Enjoyed reading El POV

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