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Sometimes You Can

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Going Home Again". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Crossover with White Collar. After reinstating his deal with the FBI, Neal comes across a file for a missing person who looks like a younger version of his aunt. He tries to look into that while keeping Peter from learning about his family's business.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > White CollarBerserkerNWFR71534,12058432,28919 Aug 105 Feb 11Yes

Come Home

Disclaimer: Not mine. Neal Caffrey belongs to Jeff Eastin. Buffy characters belong to Joss Whedon. I own nothing you recognize, except maybe the new title of the Council. I make no money off of this.

Note: This chapter is now a prologue.


Ohio, 2014

Sometimes You Can Neal Caffrey stepped out of the cab with a smile. He paid the driver, then turned to stare up at the building in front of him. Four stories of old white stone, each window with an iron cross dividing the panes and handles made of silver, tall spires tipped with a cross, and imposing wrought-iron fence with the name of the area in stylized writing: the headquarters of The New Associated Council for the Sciences. The trees had grown since his last visit, and the fountain in the center of the circular drive had more names added to it, but the last ten years had left it remarkably unchanged.

He entered the building silently, each sight bringing back fond memories. He grinned as he remembered how the stealth he learned in this very hall had trained him so well for his illicit career. The twisting corridors and unconventional layout design he lived in as a child prepared him for a life of reading and understanding bank and museum schematics. The medieval weaponry and - admittedly rare - artwork decorating the walls were his start at appreciating the beautiful in life. The grand double staircase brought back images of learning to dance, because a person had to know how to fight on any terrain, and fighting was really just a life-and-death dance with props.

Neal ducked under the left staircase and opened the small door hidden there. He stepped into a room whose familiarity brought tears to his eyes. He could remember playing under, around, and on top of that well-worn desk, large hands catching him gently whenever he started to fall. A small statue covered the stain on the carpet from a lunch mishap when he was four. The far wall was covered in African artifacts, the centerpiece being an old bone shield with two well-worn spears framing it. The desk itself held a new computer and a chipped 'World's Bestest Daddy' mug, as well as a collection of photographs, and paperwork. He couldn't see it, but Neal knew there was a case hidden in the corner behind the desk with stakes, an axe, and a crossbow inside.

He dropped his suitcase next to one of the armchairs facing the desk, and sat down. The soft brown leather was as well-known to him as the room it sat in. He sat in this chair when getting a lecture, when discussing punishments for his disobedience, and, as he got older, when explaining why he wanted to leave, to make his own way. He had fallen asleep in the chair as a small child waiting for his family to come home, and curled up in it with a coloring book or drawing pad when he just wanted to feel close to his father. As the leather warmed with his body heat he felt himself become drowsy.

The door opened before he fully submitted to sleep. He stood and turned, coming face to face with a couple he had not seen in four long years. The man's once shaggy black hair had been shaved close to the scalp, and there were more lines around his eyes and mouth, but the easy smile and the love in that brown eye were the same as they always had been. The woman's eyes - the same blue as his own - lit up when they landed on him.

Neal stepped closer to them, then fell forward when his father gripped him in a tight hug, the single eye closing briefly as the man laid a kiss against Neal's temple. His mother wrapped her arms around them both, laughing and crying simultaneously.

"You're home," his father whispered. "You're free." Neal nodded. His four year sentence with the Bureau was over, and he was finally able to return. Xander and Dawn Harris held him tighter, relishing having their only child back.
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