Disclaimer: I'm not USA / Jeff Eastin / etc., so I don't claim to own them.
Warnings: Implied Corporal Punishment
Word Count: 600
Beta: All mistakes are mine
Written For: 12 Days of Ficmas - Day 06 for elrhiarhodan
Summary: Peter needed a new way to let Neal know that his life means something to the people around him.
Neal kept his face blank as Peter gave him the finger point to the office. He knew that he'd screwed up, but he was hoping that Peter could be forgiving. Neal had managed to secure not only the bad guy, but also the little girl that the man had kidnapped. He could ignore the fact that he'd almost been killed in the process. Peter should be able to ignore it too.
"Shut the door," Peter's voice was stern and Neal knew he was doomed. "The Assistant Director has placed a commendation in your file for going above and beyond in rescuing the girl. The DOJ is also knocking three months off your sentence."
Neal felt momentary elation that the anklet would be gone sooner. However, he knew from the look on Peter's face that he would pay for that extra time.
"Look, Peter. I had an opportunity and I couldn't just wait-" Neal was cut off before he had time to launch into his defense.
"You're supposed to wait, Neal. You aren't armed. And, no, lock picks don’t count. You got a commendation and I get harangued for letting my unarmed CI enter into a knowingly life threatening situation. We talked about this the last time. I said there would be consequences and I meant it."
"You plan to throw back in jail for saving a little girl?" Neal snapped out. He remembered that conversation and he remembered Peter saying it would be off the records.
Peter drew in a sharp breath at that. "Never. You know El and I-" and Neal was thankful that Peter stopped himself short from blurting out their relationship in the middle of his office.
"Tomorrow's New Year's Eve. I've been asked by HR to stand down because we've had too much time on the books. We're out of the office until Monday. For the next six days, your radius has been cut to one block. Now grab your things and I'm taking you home."
Neal thought about complaining, but in reality, six days essentially confined to his loft wasn't a bad thing. There were some paintings he wanted to work on after all. It would be better than looking through mortgage fraud cases. Neal didn't grow concerned until he realized Peter was heading for Brooklyn instead of June's.
"I think you're going out of my radius, Peter."
"Forgot to mention that that radius was set to my place. You're under my direct supervision for the next six days."
The rest of the ride was silent and, short of some small talk with El during dinner, there wasn't much conversation at all. Then Neal asked about getting some extra clothes if he was going be staying for a while.
"You won't need clothes," Peter said as they entered the bedroom. "We're not expecting company for the next six days. Words aren't getting through to you, Neal, so we're going to try something new."
Neal's heart started racing as he saw Peter pull a paddle from the closet and sit it on the dresser.
"There were two hours where I didn't know if you were alive or dead. That's one hundred and twenty minutes, Neal. Starting tomorrow morning, you'll receive twenty swats each day for the next six days. Each swat is to remind you that I'll miss you, El will miss you, Mozzie and June will miss you… hell, half the office will miss you if you die while disobeying orders out there."
"We want you alive, Neal," Peter added as he hugged Neal and then guided him toward the bed and El's waiting arms.