Title : The lost voice
Author :
Summary : Neal and Mozzie remember an old NY storm. This fills my loss of voice prompt on my hurt/comfort bingo card

"Merry Christmas Mozzie" Neal said raising his glass of Chardonnay as Mozzie entered his loft in June's penthouse. It was Neal's first Christmas since he was out of prison.

"Merry Christmas I see you subscribe to the pagan festival. We can even celebrate it on January 7th if you follow Eastern Christian Churches"

"Oh, Mozzie don't be a grouch. I know you love Christmas. Mr. Jefferies like the toys you sent?"

"It was anonymous" Mozzie answered a little loftily. "But thanks for painting the little soldiers."

"Yet Mr. Jefferies finds a way to thank you every year" Neal smiled knowingly/

Neal walked to windows checking out the steadily falling snow from his window.

"I remember my first winter in New York. I really did not think I would survive" Neal said shivering at the memory

"You picked a hell of a time to walk out of the apartment. What happened? I had a hell of a time tracking you down. When I found you looked half dead."

"I don't quite remember. I spent my first couple of nights on the subway station on 43rd street, Officer James was quite decent and generally looked the other way. He sometimes got some soup and sandwiches on his way home. He got promoted shortly after and the guy who replaced him was a stickler for the rules. He routinely threatened to lock people up. There was a terrible blizzard that year. St Mary Church had opened up their doors during the storm. I did not think I will ever be warm again. I don't remember falling sick"

"Slick Willy found you in a free clinic on Riverside. You had one of the worst cases of pneumonia Dr. House had seen. Coupled with Laryngitis your voice had gone. The painkillers made you loopy you looked so perplexed when you could not sing"

"I remember I was petrified I had lost my voice for good." Neal looked at Mozzie pensively. "You took such good care of me. The little whiteboard to help me communicate"

"It took you two weeks for you to recover Neal and you became a certified ASL interpreter before you got your voice back. It was fun attending your graduation ceremony in the youth center " Mozzie smiled fondly

"I have an ear for languages." Neal beamed

"Does the suit know?" Mozzie asked.

"He does" Neal said a little ruefely" Speaking of the suit it is time we leave for the party. I am looking forward to El's turkey. It will definitely be an improvement from the tv box dinner I had last year" Neal said with a shrug.

Neal may be on an anklet but he chooses not to brood. Elizabeth had made an elaborate Christmas dinner he had got thoughtful gifts from the Burkes. He was warm, well fed and had new and old friends for company. He felt blessed.