Plans and Proceedures
Neal assessed the papers spread across his table. After Peter had dropped him off (still pestering him about what was happening) he’d gone back out again, this time alone because it was inside his radius. His destination had been two different places. One was a security box at a HSBC branch he’d used as a safe place a long time ago. The second was to a certain tree in the middle of the park that he hadn’t been to since he was a kid. From the tree he took something he’d hidden.
The object he’d pulled from the tree stump sat on the middle of the table, having had 12 years of dirt washed off of in his sink. He'd been surprised that it had still been there; that no kids had taken it for the bauble that it looked like.
He knew what Giles was going to ask of him and it wasn’t what Mozzie thought. He’d never been trained and with all the rumours he’d started to here swirling around it seemed that they wouldn’t need an ‘alleged’ conman cluttering up their space. No, what Giles wanted was something that he’d taken from the bastard of a man who had called himself his father. Like everyone else in his life it appeared he mused. First Kate and The Man with the Ring wanted what ever it was, Peter wanted his skills as an art thief (not that he really minded that) and now Rupert Giles wanted part of his past that he’d buried since he’d last seen the old man.
He’d been sitting in the same place at the table staring at the papers for about two hours when a knock at the door roused his attention. He grabbed the trinket and hid it behind a book on the shelf. Crossing to the door he opened it and found Moz standing in the doorway. Moz poked his head through the door and looked around.
“No Suit? I thought he’d keep an eye on you all day considering how you were this morning.”
Neal waved him in. “Yeah well, he kicked me out of the office a few hours ago, said I was ‘too distracted’. Neal even made the air quotation marks.
Moz went through Neal’s kitchen and then settled himself at the table. Pulling various pieces of paper over to him he scanned them quickly.
“So what’s the full story Moz, Giles coming to New York can’t be everything, I've never met the man and you know I'd happily ignore Travers' dieing. There’s something else going on, another angle that's happening.”
“You’re right, there’s no way I’d say everything in a building full of Suits. Even if your Suit is a nice guy there's still the Suit that has Kate, and do you really want him catching wind of exactly who you are?”
“Peter’s not my Suit.” Neal corrected. “And don’t try to distract me with thoughts of Kate right now, I have to believe she's ok for now or I’ll snap. What’s the deal with the council Moz?”
"You're right, there was a lot about the situation that I couldn't say at the Suit's office, not that The Man doesn't know about demons but its a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing and you know that the FBI record everything which would get back to the wrong people and we'd all disappear into the ether or into hidden bunkers underneath Cheyenne Mountain." He shook himself off the tangent. "What do you know about what’s happening over in Sunnydale at the moment?"
"Not much.” Neal conceded, “only that something is going down."
"They bit off more then they can chew, and woke up one of the major players for the other team. Have you ever heard of the First Evil?”
Neal shook his head. “No, but I suppose it’s what the name implies?”
“Exactly what it implies. The Council knew about what was happening and started going to ground but apparently not fast enough. Whoever is helping The First has been going after the Potentials as well.”
Neal stared off, gathering together the pieces in his head. “And Giles?”
“He contacted me last night and I got him passage over here. He managed to find a few of the girls after the explosion and is bringing them with him. He’d trying to get everyone to Sunnydale."
"But Moz, I'll be no use in Sunnydale, I'm a thief and a forger, and I don't think that’s what Giles needs if they're going to be having some big battle."
"So why do you think he's coming? I mean, he specifically asked if I was still in contact with you, and he did sound relieved when I said yes on the phone."
Moz was puzzled. He thought it had been a long shot but it was the only thing that had made sense, unless... He groaned. "You took something didn't you? As I’ve said before, you're like a small child!"
"I was a small child!" Neal tried to defend himself.
"No." Moz corrected, "You were 21, and it was how we met remember?" Moz sighed. "So what was it?"
Neal walked over to the book shelf again and pulled it out. Moz took one look at it and banged his heal on the table.
"Why?" He wailed.
Neal shrugged. "I don't know. It was there, he was being difficult and it was a way to upset him. It's not like I knew what the heck it was then."
"Along with everything else that you did," Moz said knowingly. "Didn't you also drain one of the secondary accounts?"
"Well, a few of them."
Moz looked at him questioningly. "And you haven't used any of it to look for Kate? Why?"
"They have strings attached and I didn't want to have any reason for him to try and get in touch with me." His face turned thoughtful. "Or at least they did. Now that Travers is dead I suppose the flags on the files will have been wiped, or at least they've stopped being monitored."
"That could be another reason why Giles is coming to you. Everyone heard the story of your last meeting with Travers."
Neal grinned. "I like to leave a mark."
Moz nodded. "That you do my friend. That you do."
"OK Moz, I need a plan. And maybe a few back up ones."
His shorter friend brightened. "I have the perfect idea...."
Neal looked at him across the table. "Moz, bad things usually follow when you say those words."
"Trust me Neal, this one is brilliant."
"Those words usually mean danger as well."
"Honey? You're home early."
Elizabeth was relaxing on the couch when Peter got home. he had driven back to the office and tried to find out more about the explosion but kept hitting brick walls at every turn. He'd called it quits at about four in the afternoon and gone home.
"Yeah, it's been an odd day."
"Oh?" She replied. Peter grabbed a beer and relaxed next to her. She put her arm around him and pulled him close. "Anything I can help with?"
"Neal's father died yesterday. He was in that explosion that was on the news this morning."
"Oh no." El said softly. "How's he holding up?"
Peter shook his head. "That's not the problem. Caffrey and his father didn't get along so well it seemed. The problem is that one of his co-workers is coming to see Neal. And I think there's something he's hiding from me about this. Again."
El gave him a look. "He's allowed to have some secrets Peter, not every part of him belongs to you."
"But his secrets usually get him hurt. Or in trouble. Or me in trouble. I'm just looking out for him."
"So keep him occupied. Distract him somehow so he doesn't get into any more. Hughes could find you an interesting case that could keep him... preoccupied while these people are here."
Peter kissed her gently. "This is why I love you, you always come up with the bright ideas."
"So it wasn't because I was the only woman who could stand your cheesy jokes," she teased.
For BerserkerNW - Hope your hand is feeling better!