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Fic: Lost Boy 3/? - Trouble


Lost Boy: Trouble

Disclaimer: Not mine. But if Santa’s taking requests…

A/N: somniator429  drew an AMAZING picture of tiny Neal. Go and see it. Now.

It didn’t take them long to figure out that while Neal was still Neal, he wasn’t just a miniature version of his usual self. Usually Neal was a master at hiding himself, at distracting you while he slipped on a mask so that you’d only see what he wanted you to see. But this new tiny version of Neal, he wasn’t as good at that.

That’s not to say he wasn’t trying. Peter could see that he was, in the way he set his little jaw when he tried not to cry at all the confusion of suddenly being so small and helpless. The way he sniffled so quietly, like no other three(ish) year-old would bother to do, and the way he tried to grin like he wasn’t afraid, even though his lower lip trembled.

A part of Peter, the small part that acknowledged that maybe Neal hadn’t always lived a charmed life, hadn’t always had the ability to dance between raindrops, desperately hoped that this rudimentary attempt to hide himself was a manifestation of the adult Neal, and not something that he’d already had habit of at such a young age.

When they asked him questions, he could answer correctly about who they were, who he was, where they were at. He was still Neal, still had adult-Neal’s memories, but when asked about some things he answered like a child.

“What happened on the case with the stolen jade elephants?” Peter had asked him.

Neal had scrunched up his tiny face in distaste, his nose wrinkling adorably (not that Peter would ever, ever say that aloud, because he was certain they would find a way to fix this, or else he’d finally wake up, and Neal was smug enough as is). “Tuh bad lady twied to shoot me, buts you swaved me P’tr.” The “s” noises in his speech came out slightly whistled and lispy, and between that and the fact that Peter was apparently the unrivaled hero in this child-version of the tale, he had to squash down the very unmanly urge to say “awwww.” Again, not something he would ever, ever admit to. Ever.

Peter mentally reviewed the facts. Okay, so. Neal Caffrey, con man, forger, thief, parolee, and Peter’s Responsibility had turned into a child. Kind of Caffrey’s own fault, in retrospect, because Peter suspected it had something to do with that strange gold idol thing that he’d told Neal not to touch, but that (Neal being Neal) he’d touched anyway.

Then there was the fact that Neal was, in fact, Neal, and not just a three year-old whoever-he-was-before-he-was-Neal, but he was three (or thereabouts, as close as they could tell) with a three year-olds mindset and emotions and ability to process things like almost-getting-shot.

And finally there was the fact that while Diana had been witness to the amazing de-againg of Neal Caffrey, he was still Peter’s Responsibility. And until they found a way to fix whatever had been done to him (which they would, really, because otherwise how in the hell was he going to explain this to the Bureau?) , it looked like he was staying with Peter and Elizabeth.

And if it had been hard to resist Neal’s charms as an adult, it was impossible when a pouting three-year old turned his large blue eyes to you.

They were in so much trouble.


Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
ivorysilk
Nov. 29th, 2010 05:32 am (UTC)
The picture is adorable--thanks for linking to it! I think the fourth part of your series is my favourite thus far--I love the idea of Elizabeth tricking Neal, and a negotiating mini-Neal (I think you have his kid-like voice down perfectly--I know children who sound exactly like that)--but this one is one of my favourites too. I'm really hoping you continue this series, because it is so very very cute.
cassandra581
Nov. 29th, 2010 05:35 am (UTC)
They were in so much trouble.

Lol, yes indeed. I love this fic, Neal is adorable.
canaana
Nov. 29th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
I love the thought you've put into Neal still being Neal, but processing everything on three-year-old wetware. It's kind of heartachey, in addition to being hideously adorable.
kriadydragon
Nov. 29th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
I'm usually iffy about kid fic (because they're adorable but most of the ones I've read were never finished) but, dang it, Neal is just so blasted cute. And I love that Peter is trying so hard not to cave to his fatherly instincts :D
lil_miss_maddie
Jul. 7th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
omg, so random and completely unbelievable (since this is a magic-free universe) but I can't help but want to read more :) so I will.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )