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Title: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Author:  dennih23
Characters: Peter, El, Neal Burke; Mozzie, Neal Caffrey
Rating:  G
Word Count: 1932
Summary:  It’s Christmas and Neal Burke is afraid Santa won’t find him
Beta: sherylyn – thank you so much; all mistakes belong to me
Disclaimer:  All characters belong to Jeff Eastin

A/N:  For H/C Advent 2015, also fills the Toothache square on the H/C Bingo Card

“Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,” El crooned as she rocked Neal.  His little body trembled as he sobbed.

He looked up at her, his brown eyes filled with tears. “Santa wouldn’t be able to find me.”

Peter came over and ruffled his son’s hair. “Hey, Sport, Santa will know where you are.”

“But Daddy, we won’t be home. How will he know to find me at Aunt Julie’s?”

He hated to see his son so upset. “He’ll know where you are because your mom and I told him where we would be.”

“You did?”

El hugged Neal, “You bet ,sweetie, Santa knows exactly where you’ll be on Christmas.”

The little boy jumped off his mom’s lap and grabbed his father’s hand. “We better get going, we don’t want to be late. We might miss Santa.”

Both Peter and El laughed. They followed Neal out of his room and down the stairs. Neal made a beeline for the car.  “Hurry up!” he shouted as he ran out the door.

The family and Satchmo piled into the vehicle and started their five hour journey to Julie and Dan’s house. El’s sister was having everyone for the holidays for a Mitchell family reunion. El was looking forward to seeing her parents; however, Peter was not thrilled with spending time with Alan Mitchell.

As he pulled into traffic the snow began to gently fall. Peter stole a glance at the rearview mirror and smiled. Neal was sitting in his car seat and El was next to him. Their heads were together and they were watching Blue’s Clues on the child’s computer that Neal had received from his grandparents. A warm feeling spread through him as he watched them.

They were three hours into their trip when the snow began to fall in large flakes blanketing the roads. Soon Peter was unable to see more than ten feet in front of the automobile. The highway was becoming slick and it was difficult to maintain control of the BMW. Peter tuned the radio to the weather broadcast only to find out a storm was moving in and travel was not recommended.

El pulled out her cell phone and began looking for a hotel that would accommodate all of them and Satch. She found one about ten miles up the road and dialed the number. The inn had openings, but only accepted small dogs. El started to explain how well behaved their Lab was but the manager stopped her. The woman had two Labs of her own and was a fan of the breed; she let them have a room.

It took Peter almost thirty minutes to drive the ten miles to the hotel. Rain had started to mix with the snow making the roadways icy and treacherous for driving. Peter was relieved when they finally pulled into the parking lot and got their room key.

He unloaded their suitcases while El and Neal checked out their room. Satch played happily in the snowbanks, digging his nose deep in the snow and burying his head. Peter watched as the dog played liked a young pup leaping through the drifts.

Peter was just walking towards their room when the door flung open and Neal ran out. “Let me help Daddy!”

Neal came barreling towards him when his small feet slipped on a patch of ice. He landed face first on the sidewalk and started crying.

Dropping the luggage, Peter raced toward his son. Satch also came running at hearing the child’s cries. Both reached Neal at the same time. Peter kneeled down and gasped, there was a lot of blood on his son’s face. He lifted his little man up and cradled him, carrying Neal to their room.

El took one look at her son and her eyes went wide. “Peter, what happened?” Neal held out his arms and she reached out to take him. She sat in the chair with him in her lap.

Peter headed toward the bathroom to get a wet washcloth. He called back, “He slipped on an ice patch and fell.”

Coming back into the room, he handed the warm towel over to El. She cleaned up her son’s face and found the blood was dripping from his mouth. She took a quick look and discovered the problem. Neal had broken a front tooth. It was jagged and looked painful.

She called the front desk and got the phone number of the nearest emergency clinic and asked them what to do. They told her that Neal needed to see a dentist and gave her the number to the nearest twenty-four-hour doctor’s office. El called to see if she would take a look at Neal. They had time, but the weather was too bad to drive in. They told her to give Neal some baby aspirin and use an ice pack to keep the swelling down until they were able to get him to their facility.

Peter and El tried to make little Neal as comfortable as possible, but their son kept whimpering and clinging to them. Finally he wore himself out and drifted off to sleep. With Neal tucked between his parents, the family huddled together in the bed. Multiple times during the night Neal woke up crying. They put on fresh ice packs and gave him more aspirin.

In the morning the snow had stopped, but the roads were still icy. City and county trucks were just beginning to put salt and sand on the roads. El called her sister, updating her that they would not be able to make it to their home for Christmas. Julie inquired about what she should do with Neal’s presents, and El asked if she would ship them back after the holidays.

Peter called Diana and told her what was going on. The Burke’s were supposed to stop in DC on the way home and visit Diana and Theo. Diana felt bad for Neal since he had been so excited about Christmas. She told Peter to keep her updated as to how Neal was doing and then they made plans to get together after the New Year.

They drove the hour back towards the city to the dental office. Neal squirmed and cried through the exam and x-rays. Neal was sitting on Peter’s lap while they waited on the results, his eyes filled with unshed tears. “What’s wrong sport? Is your tooth hurting?”

Neal nodded. “You said we were going home after this, but then Santa wouldn’t be able to find me. I won’t be at Aunt Julie’s house.”

El stroked her son’s head. “Oh sweetie, don’t worry, your daddy and I will get a message to Santa. We’ll ask him to make a special trip and bring your presents after Christmas. Is that okay?”

“I guess so.” Neal looked heartbroken.

Doctor Jan approached and Neal crawled further unto his dad’s lap. She kneeled down to Neal’s level, but spoke to Peter and Elizabeth.  “Your son needs to have his tooth pulled. There is also some nerve damage that will require surgery. It will be best if we do this now. The surgery and tooth removal will take a little over an hour and then we need to keep Neal here for a while after surgery to make sure he is okay.”

El held her husband’s hand. “Is it possible for one of us to stay with him?”

“You will be able to stay until the anesthesia takes effect.”

Peter kissed Neal’s forehead and gave El a quick peck on the cheek before his family disappeared behind the doors heading for surgery. He quickly dialed El’s parents. He updated them to what was going on and let them know that El would call them later after they arrived home. Walking over to the receptionist he asked if there were any shopping centers in the area. She gave him directions and he asked if he could leave a note for his wife.

The note said he was going shopping in hopes of finding a few presents for Neal. He headed out and returned close to two hours later. The dentist’s assistants led him back to see Neal and El. His little man was asleep and El smiled at him. The surgery had gone well and they would be able to go home within the hour.

El crawled into the backseat with Neal next to her, his head against her shoulder. He slept the entire way home.

Peter told El he had picked up a few presents for Neal and had them wrapped at the store. Once they got home he planned on finding the small artificial tree they had in the basement and work through the night to decorate the tree and the house. It wouldn’t be what they had planned, but Neal would at least get to enjoy his Christmas.

It was almost eight o’clock when they pulled around the corner on their block. El gasped and put her hand on Peter’s shoulder. He found a parking space in front of the house and stared in wonder. He’d expected his home to be dark, but instead the lights were on and they could see the outline of a lit-up Christmas tree in the window.

As they opened the front door, Satch rushed past Peter and El, running over to the two men who were busy setting presents under the tree. Satch greeted Moz with a head bump and then turned his attention to Uncle Neal, giving him a slobbery doggie kiss.

Both men started to laugh, but El shushed them. She was carrying a sleeping child and didn’t want him to wake up. Neal and Moz stopped giggling and came over to check on their unofficial “nephew”.

As El took little Neal upstairs, Peter motioned for Santa’s two helpers to join him in the kitchen.

Peter broke into a huge grin. “I don’t know how you knew, but thank you. Neal was so worried that Santa wouldn’t know where to find him.”

Moz grabbed a glass of wine off the counter. “I talked to Diana to make sure she had received my gift for Theo. She told me what was going on.”

Neal joined in. “Moz called me and suggested we try and find a way to bring Christmas to the Burke household. He arranged for a tree to be delivered and I brought over the decorations. June made arrangements with her staff and dinner will be delivered here tomorrow. Hope you like turkey and stuffing.”

Mozzie filled up his wine glass. “I called Alan Mitchell; we agreed to meet halfway between the two houses, and he brought all of Neal’s presents.”

Peter cocked his head. “How did you know Alan’s phone number?” He shook his head and held up his hand. “Never mind, I don’t want to know.”

El stepped into the kitchen, walked over to Moz and hugged him, then leaned over and gave Neal a bear hug. “I don’t care how you did it, but this is perfect. Thank you both.”

“I say a celebration is in order.” Peter walked over to their pantry and dug around. He came back with a bottle of Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label Whiskey.

Moz reached for the bottle of wine. “Impressive, Suit.”

“I can throw some appetizers together and we can celebrate the season if you two want to stick around awhile.” El walked over to the refrigerator and starting pulling things out to make hors d’oeuvres.

Peter filled everyone’s glass, raising his own in a toast. “To Santa’s best elves. Merry Christmas.”

Crossposted at AO3


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC)
D'awwww, looks like little Neal also inherited big Neal's penchant for owies :P

Nice to see the entire family together for Christmas :D Warmth and fuzziness all around :D

Love it :D
Dec. 7th, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, little Neal is going to have his share of scraps and bruises, just like his namesake. It will give Peter another Neal to worry about.
Dec. 7th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
Awww this is adorable! Love everyone teaming up to get Neal a good Christmas. ♥♥
But ouch the broken tooth **hugs him***

Lovely story! Thank you for this! ♥♥
Dec. 7th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I imagine that Neal and Mozzie will be sure to spoil little Neal and make sure he has a wonderful childhood.
Dec. 7th, 2015 03:08 pm (UTC)
Dec. 7th, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Dec. 7th, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC)
Awww, so cute!! Though poor little Neal *hugs him* Glad that Mozzie and big Neal found out and helped, along with June and her cook! :D
Dec. 7th, 2015 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I think big Neal and Mozzie will make sure that their unofficial nephew will have the perfect holidays :D
Dec. 8th, 2015 07:20 am (UTC)
A poor little Neal. Glad Uncle Mozzie and Uncle Neal saved Christmas. Lovely story
Dec. 12th, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I tend to think that Neal and Mozzie's childhood's were not the best, so they will want to make sure that their unofficial nephew's holidays are perfect.
Jan. 27th, 2016 04:59 am (UTC)
Awww, this is so heartwarming and adorable!!! I love it! Thank you for sharing!
Jan. 27th, 2016 11:30 am (UTC)
Thank you. In my head Neal and Mozzie will always be there for the Burkes, especially little Neal.
Dec. 18th, 2017 06:29 pm (UTC)
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Looks like Santa came early.
Yes, by way of me.
I’m helping Santa pass out gifts to those I super care about. It began late last week—Friday, to be exact, and I hope to finish up by the Christmas party on Wednesday afternoon.
Santa recruited me to help out on foot, even on wheels this past Saturday morning.
Boy, have I been busy!
But, I’d have it absolutely no other way. I want to make those around me happy, even if they may not be able to be with family this year for whatever reason. Anything I can do to make this Christmas special for them, I’m going to do whatever it takes.
Friday afternoon, then this morning, I was often spotted zooming around Deer Path of Huntley, spreading holiday magic and cheer to everyone. Surprising some staff and residents with extremely thoughtful presents that matched their personality is what I was doing.
Boy, are my legs tired! This little elf has been on the go ever since buying the presents with Mom on Friday afternoon—directly after lunch. Ultimately, I’m down to my last few presents, then it’ll most definitely be a job well done.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )