In A Moment

Written, spellchecked, etc. by JanieMarple.

Standard disclaimer: I do not own White Collar, nor any of the characters therein, all non-recognizable characters are not up for grabs. Yes this goes AU and yes there is a pairing in it that is AU. Don't like it? Don't read it. Originally written as a gift for my best friend.

A/N: Whole story is in fact written and finished, I just need to be more diligent about posting updates for y'all. Sorry about that.=(

Rae woke with a start. She shouldn't hear crying. Neal! She bounced out of bed and slipped across the hall to Neal's bedside, looking at the clock fuzzily, wondering if she'd forgotten a painkiller dose for him. She hadn't. But Neal was definitely crying. Neal cries? What has he got to cry about? "Neal. Neal, you're ok. Neal, it's Rae, you're alright," Rae said gently, stroking his head. At first Neal flinched away from her hand, but then he started to calm down a little, and didn't mind Rae's touch.

If she had to guess, it wasn't physical pain Neal was upset about. He'd seemed to be asleep, and a nightmare was not out of the question. And on the fun stuff he was taking, his reaction to it was really not unreasonable.

"Do you hurt anywhere?" Rae asked, pausing with her hand on his forehead, gauging his temperature. "Shoulder," Neal croaked. And this touch he did flinch away from again. "Ah Neal..." Rae sighed. "I'm gonna go get you a heat pack, just hang in there."

She came back and pressed the heat pack against Neal's shoulder blade, stroking his head with her free hand. "I think I'm gonna call you Wedgwood." she said. "Wedgwood?" Neal asked, grasping onto a distraction. "Mmmhmm. You know that china that's the odd shade of blue, kind of like your eyes? That's Wedgwood. And it's china, and it's fragile. So it fits you to a T," Rae said.

Neal's pain had considerably lessened, and he was getting very drowsy. Funny, but he didn't remember Kate doing anything like this. Perhaps he'd underestimated women in general. "I am not fragile and I am not like china," Neal said flatly. "Ah yes, you are," Rae said, still stroking his head. "Very pretty, sometimes useful, not something you want laying around."

It took Neal a minute or two to realize she was teasing him. "And I suppose I could add that original Wedgwood is valuable and rare," she conceded, needing no protest from him. "Well there you have it then, it is me," Neal said, his vanity appealed to. He looked at the alarm clock and groaned.

"Peter will be here for me in an hour and a half," he sighed. "No, he won't be," Rae said. "There's no point in him picking you up and carting you around an hour so I can come drag you to physical therapy." "Do I have to go to physical therapy? I can't just do it myself?" Neal protested. "Doesn't work that way, Wedgwood. You're just going to have to deal," Rae said simply.

Neal nodded off, and was surprised three hours later when Rae woke him up for PT. "Come on, you bed bug," she said, giving him a gentle shove towards the closet to get dressed.

Jones called while Rae was waiting for Neal's PT to be over. She could see him from here, and unfortunately she could also hear him.

"Hello Jonesy," Rae answered her phone. "Hey Rae, you got Caffrey?" he asked. "Actually, a physical therapist has Caffrey. I can see him and hear him from here, though," Rae replied.

"We're not picking him up on the tracker," Jones said. Rae blinked. "Then you have the codes wrong, because he can't be off the map," she said. "He might have deactivated it or it went haywire," Jones said. "No Jones, you don't understand. This one can't deactivate," she said.

"Everything can deactivate, Rae, let's be real here. He just figured out how to do it," Jones scoffed. "This can't. There's only one thing that will deactivate it, and he hasn't done it," Rae said.

Jones started to protest, and Rae looked at the app on her phone that tracked Neal at all times. "Jones, I'm getting the signal loud and clear on my phone, you clearly have a problem on your end," Rae said. Jones muttered some and hung up, and Rae shook her head, getting back to work on the cipher she'd been given to decode.

God Jones, you have to be some kind of a moron if you think I can misplace Caffrey in less than twelve hours. Neal was busilly bitching at the therapist, never one to shut up. Wouldn't take me long to find him either. I could follow his blathering. Neal'd be happy to climb back into the Mercedes, definitely. Dammit Caffrey, this is going to be a long two months. I hope I'm not the one who breaks.

Ah. There it is. Rae broke the cipher and wrote out the message. Hope you're not attatched to your pet. What? Who sent this and to whom? Rae looked back at the email that had brought it to her. Someone had sent it to Peter Burke.

Pet? Which 'pet' does it mean? Satch, the dog? Or does it mean Caffrey, his pet con? She looked up over the computer at Neal again. I hope it isn't Caffrey. Neal looked back at her, definitely wanting to be done with this for the day. Thank goodness he was. Rae dialed Peter's phone as she watched Neal get ready to leave.

"Hi Rae," Peter's voice sighed. "Peter, I broke that cipher you sent this morning," Rae cut to the chase. "What does it say?" he asked eagerly, and she heard him scrambling. "It says 'hope you're not attatched to your pet', and I'm really not sure what it means," Rae said quietly.

"Neal," Peter said immediately. "It was on my desk this morning." "What do you want me to do?" Rae asked, grabbing Neal by his good arm and making him walk behind her. She reached across to check that her weapon was still in its shoulder holster.

"I don't know, Rae. Just keep him home until we know what's going on," Peter said. "Too late for that. We're just now leaving physical therapy," Rae spat, annoyed with herself for taking so long to break the message. She stopped dead, staring at the Mercedes.

All the windows were smashed in and there was a yellow piece of paper on the hood. "...Rae?" Peter questioned. "Peter, we have a problem. Come get us," Rae said, her voice toneless as she ushered Neal back inside. "You'll need to have someone process the Mercedes." "On our way," Peter said quickly.

Neal was practically physically attatched to Rae at this point. Instantly something clicked. "Wedgwood, sit on the floor," she said, looking down at his ankle. Neal didn't hesitate for a second, looking up at her in surprise. She crouched down, digging in her pocket for something.

"I hate technology," she hissed, pulling out a nasty pair of linesman's dikes. She fiddled with his anklet a second, found what she was looking for, and crushed it. She waited a minute, and then cut the anklet off. She quickly stuck it in the potted plant Neal was sitting beside.

"Come with me," she said firmly, leading him by the hand. She led him across the facility, into the break room. "Alright, I need you to do what you do best, Wedgwood. Make yourself disappear," she said. "How?" Neal asked in surprise. "There are blank scrubs, swap out enough to disappear," she said, motioning generally around the room. "Like I'm not going to be obvious with my arm in a sling!" Neal fired back. "No you'll just be a really brightly colored target," Rae hissed. "Now do as I say, dammit!"

Neal scrambled to obey, not sure what she really wanted of him. Rae took the sling from him and stuffed it into her computer bag. "We're going back out there. You cross your arms so your good arm will keep your bad arm from being strained, got it?" Rae asked.

"What about the anklet? Peter is going to be pissed at me!" Neal whispered fiercely. "It's still on. It still thinks you're in it. I'm going to move it so it looks like you moved. You're going to stay where I leave you so you're safe," Rae said.

She put Neal where he'd be hard to pick out, sitting behind the front desk flirting with the staff, and stuck the anklet in her shoe, heading across the facility, and then taking it out and putting it in the bathroom trash. She went back to Neal, and looked out the window for Peter. Sure enough, Peter's Taurus was pulling into the lot, followed by a couple of Bureau cars. Peter parked and dashed in the door. "Where's Neal?" he hissed at Rae. "Joe," Rae whispered back. "Joe?" Peter questioned. "Joe. It's on the smock. We'll go with Joe Wedgwood. Pretend we're arresting him, and let's go," Rae said.

Peter spotted Neal, dressed as Rae had said. He stalked over, flashed his FBI badge, and pulled out his handcuffs. "Joe Wedgwood, you're under arrest," Peter said, cuffing Neal's hands together in front of his body. "On what grounds?" Neal protested, picking up the act.

"Drug theft," Peter said, and began to steer him out the door. Neal protested the whole way, and they met Rae in the car. She grabbed Peter's cellphone and took the battery out of it, setting it in the console with her own dismembered cellphone. "Alright, no bugs now," she spat.

"What is going on?" Peter asked. "We were tracked," she said. "Jones called and said he couldn't pick up Caffrey's tracker, and I was having no trouble. Someone else is tracking Caffrey." "What? Why?" Neal asked, frightened. "Look at my recent cases Neal. We've nailed down 90% of them. You're an asset they don't want us to have," Peter said. "Show me the anklet." "He can't," Rae said. "He's no longer wearing it."

"Goddammit Rae, you're going to get me in a world of trouble!" Peter exclaimed. "He is not getting pointlessly killed on my watch!" Rae replied. "Wait, you mean I can't wear an anklet? They'll put me right back in prison!" Neal exclaimed, panicked. "You can wear an anklet. It's just not going to say it's you and it's sure as hell not going through the marshall's office," Rae said.

"What the hell name are you gonna use?" Peter asked. "He has a stack of aliases a mile high, we can't use them!" "Josiah Wedgwood," Rae said. "Wedgwood Porcelain," Peter realized. Rae nodded. "I can't believe I wish I was back in the hospital," Neal said mournfully. "We have to go in to the office, and I'll make up a fake identity, then you'll have to go to the Verizon store, and get us an iPhone," Rae said to Peter. "We'll put Neal's GPS tag on Verizon's network and go from there."

"I have only one question," Neal sighed. Both Rae and Peter looked at him. "When do I get these cuffs off?" Neal asked. Rae hurriedly undid them, sheepish.