It was very late – or early, depending on your point of view, when Diana Berrigan and Clinton Jones arrived at the hospital to find Peter asleep in a hospital bed with Neal in a similar condition on a chair beside him, head pillowed on his arms on the bed.

Diana grimaced. "That does not look remotely comfortable," she whispered to Jones.

Jones grinned. "Here I thought you were going to say how angelic Caffrey looks when he's asleep."

Diana gave him a tart look. "Appearances can be deceiving."

Moving closer, Jones gave a shudder. "They look like they've gone ten rounds with Ali and Frazier! There are bruises on bruises here."

They were being quiet but Neal opened his eyes and looked blearily around. "Took you long enough," he accused them in a sleep slurred voice.

"Hard time finding you two," Jones replied with a smile at the young man's disheveled look. If only Neal could see himself now.

Diana moved closer to take a look at Peter, who did not stir. "He going to be all right?"

Neal struggled to sit up straight. Rubbing his eyes, he answered, "Of course. He's Peter. Doctor says he'll be fine. Don't worry about waking him up; he's got some good drugs."

Jones grinned. "I think you've got some of the same stuff there, buddy."

"Why are you still here, Neal? Are you a patient too?" Diana asked, brow furrowed in concern.

"Me? Naw. Me and Peter stick together in a crisis, you know." Neal paused for a moment. "Besides, there was nobody to give me a ride back to the hotel. But I wasn't leaving anyway."

This time Diana smiled. "Why don't you take Tonto here to the hotel, Jones, and-"

"Nope. Staying here. With Peter." Neal insisted, not realizing his case was being undermined by his obvious state of exhaustion, bruises, and his difficulty in moving around. Not to mention a pain killer induced mental haze that was readily apparent to all except him.

"I'll stay with Peter," Diana insisted but her voice was soft. "I promised Elizabeth a call as soon as I saw him anyway. She was already packing but couldn't find a flight out here this late. You two get some rest."

Jones gave a wobbly, protesting Neal a hand up. "We'll call you later." They left, Jones supporting Neal, who was still sputtering that he wasn't leaving.

As Diana settled into the chair Neal had vacated, she could hear Jones telling the young man that back at the jail, Bettina Wilde had not stopped threatening lawsuits or cursing everybody yet. She smiled slightly and looked down at Peter, who was sleeping peacefully, a mass of bruises and bandages. "You'll be happy to know all those politicians who were delighted to accept Jameson money in years gone by are no longer accepting phone calls from Mrs. Wilde, boss." Pulling out her phone, she waited a second, and then said, "Elizabeth? I'm here with him, now."

WC WC WC

"Are you sure about this, Peter?" Clinton Jones asked as he switched off the car's engine.

Beside him in the front seat, Peter Burke shifted uncomfortably, one arm in a sling and another with thick, itchy bandaging. He had the same bruises and general mauling Neal suffered from but he had been extremely lucky. His right arm was through and through wound and his left was a fairly deep graze. "No, I'm not. But this is our final out; I'd rather go down swinging than just stand and look at strike three." Peter knew Neal would catch on the moment they went inside. He just hoped he wasn't about to make a major fool of himself. One hysterical woman at the jail threatening lawsuits was enough right now; Peter didn't need a second. Hughes wouldn't like it at all.

"Baseball metaphors," Neal advised Diana, who sat in the back with him. "Getting serious now."

"Let's do it," Diana said, getting out. She opened the front door for Peter and gave him a hand out, while Jones did the same for Neal on the other side.

Going up to the front door, Jones went to press the doorbell but both Peter and Neal said simultaneously, "Doesn't work." Giving the two a look, Jones muttered, "You two can be spooky sometimes."

After a moment, Anna Gomez answered. "Agent Burke, what are you-" she broke off at the sight of them. "Oh, my goodness! What happened?"

"May we come in, Ms. Gomez? These two are FBI agents as well; Agents Jones and Berrigan."

Her face a mix of fear and uncertainty, Anna opened the door wider, "Er, yes. Come in."

As they entered the crowded parlor, Peter weaved on his feet ever so slightly and Jones pulled out a chair for him immediately. Peter sank down gratefully. His head was full of drug induced mush but it didn't stop shooting pains from striking him full force.

Neal spotted the reason they were there the moment he entered the room, being so obvious that Peter finally had to clear his throat – loudly – to get his attention. "Ms. Gomez, I can get a search warrant if I have to but it would look much better if you would just volunteer it." Peter hoped she wouldn't call his bluff on this; he had the flimsiest excuse ever to try for a warrant.

"Volunteer?" Anna asked timidly.

Neal smiled triumphantly at Peter but addressed the woman. "The diamond, Anna."

"I don't have it," Anna said uneasily.

Looking around at the statues and the candles, Neal said gently, "Are you sure you want to stick with that story?"

Peter looked irritated that Neal had beaten him to the punch but said nothing. Diana stood beside Peter, looking curious but wary. Jones was watchful but stayed silent.

Finally Anna bowed her head. "You may look. But I did not take it."

Neal looked at Peter, who tried to shrug but it hurt too much. "Go ahead."

Going right to the china hutch, Neal motioned Jones over and together they began to examine the exterior. "Same woodwork as the furniture in Jameson Senior's bedroom," he told a mystified Jones.

"Try the bottom," Peter suggested. At his side, Diana gave him a glance but Peter only smiled back, in a self- satisfied way, not wanting to show doubt. Let the damn thing be there, please.

Jones actually found the piece first and, with an effort, popped out a chunk of wood from the scrolled foot of the hutch. A small black velvet bag fell out, which Neal pounced on.

Opening it with trembling fingers, Neal shook out a medium sized diamond on a silver chain, whose cold fire immediately flashed in the sunlight streaming in the window. For a moment, it was breathtaking.

Immediately producing a jeweler's eyepiece, (which drew a pained reaction from Peter) Neal examined the piece "This is it. The Sanskara diamond," he pronounced with satisfaction, holding up the brilliant stone. As Neal continued to handle the diamond reverently, Jones stood by, glancing at Peter, who rolled his eyes. Jones then started making several significant noises as Neal held the stone up to the light, turning it this way and that with rapt attention. Clinton Jones finally whistled and very reluctantly, Neal handed him the diamond. Jones looked at it for a moment, and then carefully handed to Peter, who gave it a cursory look, curiously disappointed. After all they went through, it was still just a rock to him. Pretty to look at, but that was it. Seemed a bit anticlimactic. Diana took it from him, as reaching for anything right now was painful for the senior agent. To his surprise, Diana looked at it longer than Peter thought she ever would. She became aware of her boss's scrutiny and shrugged with a small smile. Neal continued to stare at the stone with unbroken concentration, which was disturbing. Diana held out her hand for the black bag and Neal slowly handed it to her. To Peter's relief, she placed the diamond back in the bag and Neal finally tore his eyes away.

Returning to business, Peter addressed Anna. "Do you want to tell us the story, Ms. Gomez? Or wait for legal counsel?"

Anna sighed. "I knew nothing good would ever come of this," she muttered, heaving herself out of the chair she had settled in. Rummaging around in her considerable knick knacks, she produced a small wooden box made of mahogany.

Peter gave a start. "That's the same wood."

"Yes," Anna replied, still digging. "There was an old man here in town who did fine woodworking. He made a bedroom set and a dining room set for old Mr. Jameson several years ago."

"Old Mr. Jameson is JJJ model two," Neal enlightened Jones and Diana.

Jones snorted. "Good to know." He thumbed his nose, giving serious thought to skipping a Clinton Jones IV in the family. Too confusing.

"When old Mr. Jameson passed away, Mr. Jameson III gave Papa the dining room set. The table and chairs were too big for our house, so we sold them. But Mama loved the hutch, so we kept that." Search completed, she handed over a sealed envelope to Peter.

Peter had trouble handling it with one semi functional hand so Diana took the envelope and opened it. Peter nodded and she began to read aloud.

My Darling Meha,

I know you wondered what I was doing down here that night when I told you to go to bed so harshly. If you are reading this, now you will know why, for I am dead.

I know sooner or later that fool John Jameson IV will come looking for the Sanskara Diamond. You must never give it to him. It is the express wish of his father and myself, for I am the one who brought the diamond into the family. During the war in Korea, I met a very wealthy British couple who had foolishly allowed themselves to be caught up in the battle. It was one of those things that should never happen but sometimes does in war. In short, they were desperate to get out of the country and for some reason, they did not wish to go through customs. I was young, meha, and hungry for money and adventure. They gave me the Sanskara diamond in return for two seats out on a cargo plane. They did not say how they had come by it and I did not ask. I merely took the diamond. When I returned home with it, I, of course, confided in old Mr. Jameson, who told me it might look bad if I, a lowly Mexican servant, somehow acquired a world famous diamond. Questions would be asked. I immediately realized my predicament. Old Mr. Jameson bought the diamond from me; it paid for this house and the college education of the worthless Raphael. After the British couple was never heard of again, he decided to announce his son, John Jameson III, brought back the diamond from Korea. As you know, he served as well – behind the lines. I've often had my differences with John III but in our old age, we have found some common ground. One is despising his son, John IV. So we made a pact some years ago and John III gave me back the diamond, making me swear I would never allow John IV to have it. I have hidden it in the bottom compartment of the hutch, Anna. I am old now and I fear I must leave this legacy to you, meha. Do not give the diamond back to the Jamesons. Throw it in the ocean if you must. It is very bitter to me to leave you with so little inheritance, for you have the same problem as I did with the diamond. If you claim it, the Jamesons will say you stole it. But never let them have it back.

Your loving Papacita

PS (9/2004) Mr. Jameson has added a security precaution as he has noticed John IV creeping about in his room and searching through his things. The diamond will be considered lost or stolen. If that happens, a young FBI Agent will probably come looking for it. It is legally ours, meha, but if it becomes too difficult, then give the diamond to him, if you have no other choice. Never to any Jamesons though. Ever.

"I was tempted, Agent Burke," Anna Gomez said in a small voice, looking down. "I really did want to tell you. But Papa's last instructions…., Oh, I didn't know what to do!" She said, blowing her nose noisily and waving her hands in distress.

Diana looked a bit put out by the histrionics but Peter shook his head at her scowl. "Did you know that John Jameson V is still alive?" Peter asked gently.

"Madre de Dios, no!" Anna said fearfully, crossing herself. "He is a horrible man, the worst of the lot. Why is he not dead?" She asked in real disappointment.

"His father concealed the fact he is alive. After some digging, we found out it was probably to avoid a massive lawsuit concerning the accident he was injured in. He tested positive for drugs and was way over the alcohol legal limit," Diana informed Peter and Neal as well as Anna. "It took some persuading though to convince some of the locals that continuing to cover this up was unadvisable."

Neal smiled faintly. "Money can change a lot reports," he observed.

"So can the threat of a perjury indictment," Jones replied.

"Will I go to jail?" Anna asked timidly.

All turned to eyes to Peter. "It's hard to predict what any judge or D.A. will do but in this case, I would think not. You did not steal the diamond and you never profited by it." His kind brown eyes on the nervous woman, Peter said, "As far as I'm concerned, there is no case against you, Anna."

"Gracias, Agent Burke." She sighed. "In a way, I am very relieved. I hated having that thing around. Once I did try to get it out; I was going to throw it in the ocean, like Papa said. But I could not move the wooden block."

"It was wedged in there pretty good," Jones observed.

"Will it go back to the Jamesons?" Anna asked.

"Only John V and Bettina Wilde are left and they've got a host of legal troubles, not the least of which is assaulting a federal agent," Diana replied.

"And me," Neal added, peeved that he wasn't included.

Diana smiled back. "Going down the list of importance."

WC WC WC

The diamond was turned over (rather regretfully on Neal's part) to the authorities and the media circled the small town for the sensational story. John Jameson V was in the hospital, confined, confused and isolated; Bettina languished in jail, spewing out threats that no one took seriously any more. Jones and Diana would stay behind for the Bureau's official response and fill out the mountains of paperwork. They drove a visibly flagging Peter and a smug but still very sore Neal to the airport to catch a chartered plane, which caused Peter to gripe about having to drive out in the first place. Both Jones and Diana promised faithfully they would bring the Taurus back.

While they waited for the plane, Jones suddenly snickered.

"What's so funny?" Neal asked. He felt aggrieved that he had only been able to look at the diamond for such a short time. Moz would be appalled.

"Yes, do tell," Peter added irritably. God, he was ready to go home to Elizabeth. He had already decided to skip the hospital, where he had been told he should check in immediately. Forget that. He only wanted his wife, his dog, his bed and his house. And some decent food. El would be meeting them at the airport, which couldn't be soon enough for Peter.

"You two. I'm sorry, Peter, but you and Caffrey weren't at your best in this case. Took you this long to figure out the butler did it?" Living dangerously, Jones could hardly contain his mirth.

Diana laughed and Neal looked rueful. "Guess we'll have to brush up on our games of Clue."

Peter gave his partner a glare. "You and your damn road trip!"

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