A/N: It has been a long 8-year journey to the completion of this story. Through tragedy and life stresses.

But I am glad that I started this and now I'm happy to finish it. Thank you everybody who read, reviewed,

followed and favorited this story. Thank you!

A/N: Can't get the formatting right. I apologize if it bothers people, but I've tried contacting the site but no answer. So hopefully it's readable.

Chapter Twenty-Five

A week later found Peter and Elizabeth in the Doctor's conference room. They wanted answers.

"Doctor, why won't Neal wake up?" Elizabeth asked.

"Mr. Caffery's injuries, many which are superficial but painful, there a few that are more serious and

those he will need time to heal. His feet alone will have caused infection to run through his body. We

have him on an array of antibiotics. This infection must run its course. He does have a moderate

concussion, probably occurred in the beginning of his captivity, but that has slowly healed over time, it

should not be the cause of this coma. Agent, your friend has been through a very traumatic event, he is

exhausted both in body and mind. His body is healing, his mind? Well that will take longer to heal." The

doctor said.

"So, what you're saying is that you have no clue why he hasn't woken up." Peter's tone was thick with

disbelief. He looked over at his wife.

"Agent I understand this is hard to hear, but Neal has a long way to go. He will need you to be there for

him. This will take all of you together to help Neal through this." The doctor said. He took a business

card off his desk and held it out to Peter. Peter reached out automatically.

"What's this?" He bit out. The doctor took a deep breath.

"Due to the nature of some of Neal's injuries he will have to be evaluated by the psych department." He

raised his hand to forestall any eruptions.

"Hospital Policies" he said. He studied the Burke's closely for a moment, before he opened his desk

drawer and pulled another business card, handed it over to the Burkes. Mrs. Burke took it this time.

Before they could respond the doctor was speaking again.

"Like I said before He has survived a very traumatic event, however he is not the only victim in this

situation. In most sexual assaults, the victim will go through many stages, shame, grief, anger to name

just a few. It's important that they can have someone impartial to the situation, someone who they feel

safe enough around to let go, to rage at." Once again, he stopped Peter from interrupting.

"I'm sorry Agent Burke, but its most likely that he won't feel comfortable around you to talk. He'll more

than likely 'take it out' on you. He won't want to do that, so he may pull away from you and this is what I

meant by him not being the only victim. You and any other friends of Neal's, though not involved in the

direct attack, are also victims of assault. This person I'm recommending, specializes in this situation.

She will be able to help, it will take time, but I do stress that all of you receive therapy." The doctor said.

He watched as the reactions flow across their faces. He saw determination settle over Mrs. Burke. He

knew she would be the one to hold things together, especially her husband. All the doctor was on his

face was despair and could feel how overwhelming the situation was for him.

"Thank you Doctor, we appreciate everything you've done for Neal and for looking out for us." He

nodded at her.

"What are the next steps?" She asked.

The doctor went on to explain that they will keep Neal in ICU for another week till his injuries improve.

Then he'll be transferred to the step-down unit, from there they'll wait to see if he improves and if he

wakes up. If he doesn't, there is a long-term care facility for coma patients outside the city and if they

wanted to move him back to New York, they could investigate transferring him.

As the doctor was ushering them out, Elizabeth turned back to him,

"Doctor, I was thinking maybe we could move Neal's brother into his room. It might help his recovery if

Blaine was there." El hoped her idea was taken seriously. She watched many expressions cross his face

and she spoke before he could answer her.

"Right now, Neal believes his brother died. If we put them together it might help him to hear is

brother's voice, his touch maybe even his smell. If it works for infants, couldn't touch therapy work in

this situation?" El questioned.

The doctor thought about that for a moment. It really couldn't hurt either patient.

"Let me converse with his brother's doctors and we'll see what we can do" he said.

"Thank you!" El said. She felt positive that this will work.


Later that same day, after taking Peter to the airport for a short trip back to New York, El was back at the

hospital. She watched from the hallway as they moved Blaine into Neal's room. She went inside after

they got them situated. She spoke softly to Blaine and gently guided his hand to Neal's arm. She leaned

down and whispered in Neal's ear.

"Your brother is alive and right beside you. Can you feel his hand? Its right there on your arm. Wake

up soon because he wants to hear all about you. Please Neal we all miss you and want you to okay and

back in our lives." She then kissed his forehead, touched Blaine's hand in parting and left. She absently

walked through the hospital till she got outside. Thinking about everything that happened she felt

overwhelmed with emotion and thinking about the months or possibly years of recovery pushed her

past her limits. Tears streamed down her face, her breath coming in gasps. Her heart racing, if felt like a

vice was squeezing her chest. She realized she was having an anxiety attack. She hasn't' had one since

the whole Keller incident.

"Are you okay"

Elizabeth turned toward the voice and realized it was Blaine's boyfriend Kurt. She nodded and smiled

gently at him.

"Is Blaine alright? They said they moved him?"

She nodded her head. Gave him the new room number. Kurt looked at her then to her surprise, he

tugged her into a hug, squeezing tightly then letting go he turned and headed into the hospital. After

calming her heart rate down, she slowly followed him back into the hospital and back to Neal's room.

She could see the confusion on his face bore realizing that Blaine's roommate was his brother. He

briefly smiled at El before walking in, put down the bag he brought with him and moved over to say a

quiet hello to Blaine, letting him know that he was there before leaning over to kiss his cheek. Though El

didn't enter, she watched as the boy walked and cuddled up to Blaine. She hoped this helps both

brothers in their healing. She turned away from the touching scene in front of her. Sniffling softly, she

headed back to the elevator.


Elizabeth was on her way to the hospital the next day to meet up with her husband, but she was early. So, she

decided to check up on Neal first. She sipped her coffee absently mindedly as she stepped off the

elevator. She could hear someone singing, but it still took her a moment for her sleepy mind to register

that the singing was coming from Neal's room. Then a second voice joined the first one, it sounded

amazing. She didn't want to disturb the singing by opening the door, so she peeked through the small

window in the door. Blaine was sitting in a chair, pulled as close to Neal as possible. It occurred to her

that Blaine was probably sick of the hospital bed. Kurt stood behind him with his hands-on Blaine's

shoulders, singing together. Her gaze moved over to Neal, a tiny gasp escaped her. Though he was still

unconscious, there was more color in his face, but what really caught her attention was the fact that his

head was turned toward the voices, like he knew they were there, like he could really hear them. Her

hand went to her mouth to keep her happy laughter inside.


Peter walked off the elevator lost in thought. The meeting he had back in New York was long and he was

completely exhausted. He couldn't wait to get to the hotel room and just sleep the day away. He

turned the corner and stopped in surprise when he saw Elizabeth standing outside of Neal's room, she

was wiping away tears. His heart felt heavy. He slowly approached her.

"El?" She turned, and a smile came over her face. She beckoned him forward. Peter moved closer, he

blinked in confusion as he heard people singing. El could read the 'what is going on' in his eyes. She

nodded toward the window. He saw the exact signs that she had seen. A smile spread across his face as

he understood the significance of the scene. He turned toward his wife and hugged the like right out of

her. His heart filled with what he thought was joy. Joy and happiness. El laughed with more tears in her

eyes. They stared at each other and El could tell something else was going on. She stepped back out of

his embrace.


Peter took a deep breath, then released it. "I heard from the boss and the commutation board." He said.

El felt it down deep in her bones that it was not good news.

"What did they say?" she asked.

"His running didn't do him any favors. In fact, the added another four years to his sentence." He said.

"What? After everything he's done for the FBI? He served his sentence, he's done everything to help.

He even burned a few of his identities, his contacts, his friends. What more do they want?"

"I know El"

"What about this?" she waved her hand around to indicate the hospital and the events of the past few


"They did take that in consideration, especially after explaining that he didn't run, but that he found out

his brother was in danger and he went there to help." He sheepishly looked away at El's raised eyebrow.

"I know, but that little obfuscation helps them decide that even tough Neal added to his sentence, he

will be able to stay in New York as my CI instead of in DC with Kramer." Elizabeth's breath caught.

"Really?" She asked. Peter nodded. Before he finished he had his arms wrapped around his wife. He

could feel her shake as both laughter and tears sprang forth. He couldn't keep the smile off his own

face, though it was starting to hurt. They stayed that way for a while, just soaking up that happy feeling.

They were interrupted when the door to Neal's room opened. They hadn't noticed that the singing had


"Quick get the nurse!" Kurt said.

"Why, what's wrong?" Peter asked after exchanging looks with his wife.

"Neal woke up!"


Neal indeed woke up, briefly. Just enough time to see but not register his very alive brother before he

was pulled back under. Peter had rushed in while El went in search of a nurse. Peter saw a sliver of blue

eyes and felt relieved. He shared a smile with Kurt when a nurse came, followed by several doctors.

The nurse politely ushered everyone out, even Blaine. They gathered around Neal's door, waiting and

watching. Blaine was wrapped up in Kurt's arms and Peter gathered his wife, her back to his chest as

they both gaze into the room. They perked up as the doctor came out. He smiled widely at them.

"He woke up for a moment, though he woke it was not enough time to know the extent of or any brain

damage. But all other cognitive tests are looking better. We will continue to monitor him and do more

tests once he is awake and aware. This is good news folks." The doctor smiled again before leaving.

The Burkes hugged one another in guarded happiness. They watched as the two younger boys go back into

the room. Kurt helps Blaine back up on the bed and he sits beside him, where they continue with

singing softly as though not to disturb Neal's much needed rest. Peter and Elizabeth once again stood in

front of the door, peering in at the occupants.

"he has a long road ahead of him. We will be right there beside him" El said. Peter thought about

Neal's recovery and all the ups and downs he will face, that they all will face. He took a deep breath,

"Yes, we will." He said with conviction.

The End