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Title: Neal vs Friday the Thirteenth
Author: dennih23
Rating: G
Word Count: 1000
Disclaimer: White Collar belongs to Jeff Eastin

Author’s Note: Written for picfor1000 challenge – my photo is here

Neal didn’t believe in superstitions or bad luck but today was not his day. Today was Friday the Thirteenth and nothing was going his way.

The day started off badly; his alarm clock didn’t go off. He woke to his cell phone ringing. It was Peter, “Neal, you’re late, where are you?”

“Just got up.”

“I’ll be there in thirty to pick you up.”

Neal hurried into the shower where he was greeted by cold spray. The icy liquid caused him to shudder. Quickly he turned off the water, dried himself, grabbed his robe, and headed for the basement of June’s house. It didn’t take long to find the problem; sometime during the night the old hot water heater gave in to its age and quit working.

Racing back upstairs he left a note for June’s maid to call someone to replace the tank.

He pulled on a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. Then he put a suit into a garment bag and grabbed his shaving kit before heading outside to meet Peter.

Peter pulled up and Neal got in the car. Peter slowly eyed him up and down. “Good morning, Neal. New look – decide not to wear a suit today?”

“The hot water tank died, so I thought I’d go to the FBI gym and get a quick shower this morning before starting if that’s okay.”

“Umm, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the gym is closed. A pipe line broke and flooded the area yesterday, they figure it will take a week to fix. Sorry.”

“You’re kidding, right? I can’t go into the office like this? Please Peter, just let me stay home today.”

“Neal, we really need you today. You’ll be fine. Really, you’ll be fine.” Peter couldn’t help hiding a small smile.

Neal slouched into his seat. He really didn’t want to go into the FBI office unshaven and in jeans, he had a reputation to uphold.

When they arrived at the office he settled in at his desk and began going through files when he got a paper cut. He never got paper cuts, this was not a good omen.

Taking a break around mid-morning he went for a cup of coffee, only to find the machine broken. At least someone had made a coffee run and there was plenty of good brew sitting there. It was the first positive thing to happen today. He poured himself a cup and sauntered back to his desk. Just before he sat down the bottom of the cup gave way spilling the hot liquid down his shirt. He bowed his head wishing the day was over.

Lunch was ordered in and when it was delivered Neal’s sandwich was missing. There was however an extra deviled ham sandwich included in the order. He decided to skip lunch.

It was almost five o’clock and Neal couldn’t wait to get home. Fate had other plans, Moz called, he’d arranged a meeting with their suspect Mansfield. Now he was scheduled to meet Mansfield in an hour at the man’s place of business which was a storage unit facility.

Neal sighed, he really just wanted to go home. Instead he was standing out in the rain waiting for Mansfield to show up. He was drenched and now chilled to the bone – he really hoped the hot water would be working when he got home. He was shivering and started sneezing. He began to wonder if anything else could possibly go wrong.

He started to complain to Peter when his earpiece made a sizzling sound and stopped working. Great, now he couldn’t communicate with Peter.

Finally Mansfield showed up. Neal knew he was in trouble right away. Mansfield had someone with him, Leon Jackson, a former ‘mark’ of Neal Caffrey. His cover was blown.

Before he could do anything Leon pulled a gun and started shooting. Neal turned and ran. He weaved in and out of the rows of storage units until he put some distance between himself and Jackson. Hopefully Peter heard the shots and would be there soon. In the meantime Neal needed to find a place to hide.

He rounded a corner and started picking the lock on the first unit he came to. In seconds it was open and he was inside. He pushed the door shut. Now he was in the dark, he backed away from the door and ran into someone. Startled he moved left and ran into another body. He stopped and reached forward his hand touching another body – one missing an arm.

Alarmed he backed away and tripped over something or someone. He landed on his ass and felt another body. Getting up he gasped as he realized he twisted his foot. He stood up trying to keep weight off his right ankle. He fell as he tried getting up, knocking over whatever else was in the storage unit. Whatever is was fell over.

Without warning the door opened and the overhead lights came on. Peter called out his name, “Neal – you here?”

“Over here.” Neal looked around and saw he was surrounded by dozens of mannequins. He peeked around one of them.

Neal limped over to Peter.

“Neal, what happened?”

“Twisted my ankle.”

Peter shook his head, “Come on Neal, let’s get you to the hospital and get that ankle looked at.”

“It’s fine, just twisted. By the way how did you find me?”

“I took a chance.” Peter pointed up to the unit number – thirteen.

Neal shook his head, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

With Peter’s help he hopped into the van and settled into a seat. Peter leaned over to make sure he was okay. Peter took the seat next to Neal and asked Jones to drive them to the hospital.

Jones turned the key in the ignition and nothing happened. Everyone turned and looked at Neal.

“Hey, it’s not my fault.” Next time Friday the thirteenth rolled around he was planning on staying in bed.

Cross posted at: AO3


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(no subject) - comfortnice - Mar. 1st, 2015 01:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 1st, 2015 06:13 am (UTC)
Poor Neal the stars did seem to be aligned against him
Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:29 am (UTC)
Fate was definitely against Neal :D
Mar. 2nd, 2015 02:38 am (UTC)
heee this was cute!
Poor Neal! Definitely not his lucky day...
Mar. 2nd, 2015 11:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, even Neal has bad days.
Mar. 10th, 2015 11:59 am (UTC)
Wonderful story, heee. With Neal being the whump magnet that he is, of course all things would go bananas on Friday the 13th. Thankfully it was only mild whump for a change :D

I think the part that cracked me up most were the TWO deviled ham sandwiches, heee. That's the ultimate cruelty of the day :D

Love it :D
Mar. 13th, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you – Neal really is a whump magnet, at least this time it was only bad luck. At least he wasn’t stabbed, shot, and almost drowned. :D

I’m sure Peter ate the extra deviled ham sandwich that showed up.
Mar. 16th, 2015 02:22 am (UTC)
Poor Neal! The only thing missing was the an anklet malfunction and the Marshals appearance... :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )