evening_bat: Bat in flight, silhouetted against the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] evening_bat
Title: Allegations and Accusations
Author: [personal profile] evening_bat
Pairing: none
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~ 760
Warnings: none
Summary: Peter knew they'd done something. The only question was what.
Notes: Response to this prompt on [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic, see summary for the gist of the prompt. :)

Allegations and Accusations

From the moment Peter walked into Neal’s apartment, he knew it was going to be one of those weeks. Neal’s cheerful call of “Come on in!” in response to Peter’s knock at his door was nowhere near fair warning that he wasn’t alone in his apartment. And while it wouldn’t be the first time Peter had crashed some kind of meeting with one of Neal’s questionable acquaintances, those days when he opened the door to a pair of smiling Neal Caffreys were their own kind of special hell.

“Oh God,” Peter blurted in reflexive dread. “What now?”

Neal was a challenge on a good day but any day that Bryce was in town was, by definition, not a good day.

They’d turned to greet him with that unsettling unison of theirs but at least they weren’t pretending to be the same person today. Neal’s suit was as dapper as ever, in elegant contrast to Bryce’s jeans and t-shirt combo. A second thought had him looking at them more closely; it wouldn’t be the first time the twins decided to play each other for a day or two. The fine details all seemed right but it never hurt to be overly suspicious with these two.

“Good morning, Peter!” Neal said brightly.

Bryce nodded a hello, contenting himself with a vague wave.

Peter looked back and forth between them, eyes narrowing. He crossed his arms and split a glare between them.

“All right,” Peter said grimly. “What did you do?”

“Nothing!” they chorused promptly.

Neal’s eyes widened in earnest appeal as Bryce’s casual slouch deepened even further, one twin silently professing his innocence as the other pretended utter indifference.

“Bullshit,” Peter replied succinctly.

Neal never looked so sincere as when he was lying through his beaming smile and Bryce’s amused smirk was less than reassuring.

Besides, he knew they’d done something. They were pretty near always up to something, together or apart. Being in the same city just meant the “something” in question would probably create a bigger than usual mess for Peter to deal with.

“What did you do?” Peter repeated.

Neal gave him a deeply disappointed look, then turned to Bryce. “I don’t think he trusts us,” he told him sadly.

“And here we are, both gainfully employed by the U.S. government,” Bryce lamented, propping his chin on one hand.

Peter snorted at that creative interpretation of their situation. Neal, convicted felon on work-release, and Bryce, superspy half a step away from going rogue, wouldn’t be Peter’s first choice of example of model government employees.

“I will find out what you’re up to,” he threatened, pointing a finger at Neal, then swinging it over to Bryce.

“Honestly, Peter. We’re not ‘up to’ anything,” Neal sighed, trading an exasperated sigh and an eye roll with his brother.

“Yeah. Since when can’t a guy just drop in and check up on his little brother?” Bryce asked.

“Since the brothers are you two,” Peter informed him, making a mental note to pay special attention to the office scuttlebutt when they got there. Bryce was good at secrets but anything calling for his personal attention tended towards the dramatic and there were always whispers about those missions, regardless of their classification.

“Come on, Neal,” Peter added, jerking a thumb over his shoulder. “Time to get back to that gainful employment of yours.”

Neal sighed but got to his feet without complaint, flipping his hat onto his head. “See you tonight?” he asked Bryce hopefully.

“I’ll be here,” Bryce confirmed, returning Neal’s openly pleased smile.

(And that right there was the one reason why Peter couldn’t entirely hate those days when Bryce Larkin dropped in to visit. Neal practically glowed when they were together and Bryce visibly thawed when Neal was around. Peter would never admit it out loud but those smiles were worth a bit of hassle.)

Peter ushered Neal out of his apartment, glancing back once over his shoulder to find Bryce staring thoughtfully at the morning paper. There was a pleased twist to his grin and Peter bit back a groan. He’d heard the morning news on the way over to pick up Neal this morning and the mere idea that these two were involved...

Bryce caught him watching and flapped a hand to shoo him on his way as Neal called to him from the bottom of the stairs. Peter flung up his hands in exasperation and stomped down to meet Neal.

Goddamn it, it was going to be a long day.



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