Characters/Pairings: Neal, Hughes
Word count: 300
Summary: Neal has to negotiate with Hughes
Notes: Written for White Collar 100 Community; part of my My Old Man verse which explores the father-son aspect of the relationship between Peter and Neal.
Hughes paused outside the hospital room. Peter was awake; Elizabeth and Neal were sitting on either side of his bed. Only family was allowed in the ICU, but Caffrey had insisted he was Peter's son--and Jones, Diana and Elizabeth had jumped to corroborate his story.
But 'son' or not, Caffrey was still under Peter's supervision. While Peter was recovering from the gunshot to his shoulder, Hughes had to put the kid under house arrest. He caught Caffrey's eye and motioned to him. Caffrey whispered something to Peter and then joined Hughes just outside the room.
"You're under house arrest, Caffrey, until Peter returns to duty."
To his astonishment, Caffrey didn't argue. "I know," he said. "But I need to be with Peter and Elizabeth. Can you confine me to their house?"
Hughes shook his head. "The address we have on file for you--"
"I was going to change it," Neal lied. "Peter's house is my new address. You can ask him."
"So he can lie just as shamelessly?"
Caffrey had the grace to blush. But then he gave Hughes a pleading look that would have melted Attila the Hun's heart. "Sir, he'll need my help while he's recovering. So will Elizabeth."
Hughes sighed. He knew Peter and Neal were drawing too close--but, in truth, if Caffrey regarded Peter as a father figure, so much the better. That gave Peter a fighting chance to exercise some control over the kid.
"Caffrey, if you so much as set foot outside the Burkes' door--"
"I won't," Neal promised.
"Ok. Jones can bring you over there now."
"But Peter is still here--"
"Caffrey," Hughes said in a warning tone.
The kid had enough sense not to push him any further. "Ok," he said. "Let me just say goodbye."
LINK TO PART TWO