Neal walked to the rendezvous spot, a diner at 7th and 49th, and he could see Sara through the frosted window. She sat alone at a table, absently stirring a cup of coffee, still wearing her black wool coat. He walked inside, the warmth prickling against his cheeks in contrast to the biting cold outside.
Sara looked up at him as he neared the table. "I'm never doing your dirty work again," she said.
His eyes widened and he sat down across from her. "What happened?"
The con was really the most simple of cons. Have Sara be the distraction while he sipped in and got photos of some records. She didn't ask if this was FBI work or a project of his own, and he liked that about her. Odds were, she didn't ask because she knew it wasn't official business.
"You didn't tell me the doctor was a plastic surgeon," Sara said. She pulled the spoon from the beige ceramic cup and set it down on the table. "I just had a consultation telling me everything that's wrong with my body."
Neal blinked and slowly, his mouth spread into a smile. "That can't be bothering you, can it? You know you're gorgeous."
"Did you just have a doctor tell you it'd be a snap to give you healthy C's?" Sara clutched her breasts for a second and the released them with a disgusted sigh.
"It might be awkward if he had," Neal replied, trying not to laugh at the mental image of himself with breasts.
Sara, however, wasn't laughing. "It was humiliating, Neal. This man just picked out all of my flaws and told me how he could fix them." She sat back in her chair and shook her head. She looked like she was going to say something else, but she just looked down at her hands.
Neal reached across the table and tilted her chin up so she was looking up at him. "Sara, you're beautiful. And I can't believe you need me to say it to you."
She reached up and took his hand, bringing it down to the table. She didn't let go, holding onto it for a few moments before she spoke. "I lied to you," she said finally. "That day on the roof of the Federal building with the Chinese food? I lied."
"About what?" he asked.
"My parents. I said they were deceased, and... well, my dad is, but my mom is still alive. We don't talk. We haven't talked in over a decade. We never had a good relationship and I'm confident that my sister left because of her. But my mother did that, what the doctor did. She picked about all my flaws, and not just the physical ones. But she liked to make fun of those, too. She even took my to a plastic surgeon once, when I was sixteen. And sitting in that office for you, while you did whatever it was you needed that doctor out of the way to do, it felt like being sixteen all over again. And do you know what's a terrible feeling? Feeling sixteen when you're thirty."
Neal agreed with that. He squeezed her hand. "I didn't know."
Sara smiled. "You didn't know because I didn't tell you. But next time, I would appreciate it if you'd give me all the details. Not about what you're doing, I don't want to know, but about what I'll be doing."
"It's a deal," Neal replied. He brought her hand up to his lip and kissed her skin. "You're perfect."
"I'm not perfect," she replied. "But I appreciate you saying so."
He smiled. "Do you want to go back to my place?"
Sara nodded, but didn't smile. "Very much."
"Good." Neal squeezed her hand again and held on as he stood, and helped her from her chair. "We'll make an evening of it."
She left a couple dollars on the table and they walked out of the diner together. The whole of the city was pink with the afternoon sunset of winter. Neal wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her close.
Sara smiled at him. "What are you going to do to me when we get to your place?"
Neal grinned. "I was just about to ask you the same thing."