The first call comes on a random Tuesday night. Peter and El are in the middle of dinner, and whoever's calling has blocked their number from Caller ID, but Peter doesn't ignore unknown callers anymore.
For a moment he feels light-headed - he doesn't trust his ears - but then -
"Thank God." Peter closes his eyes and feels a fraction of the weight of the world lift from his shoulders.
"Don't say my name. Don't say anything incriminating. I don't want you to - "
"I know. I know." Peter looks over at El to whisper the good news, but he can tell by the look of relief on her face that she's already figured it out.
"Are you okay?"
"Am I okay?" Peter laughs in disbelief. "You're the one who - I can't believe you're worried about me ."
"Well, I assume I haven't exactly done wonders for your professional life recently."
"That's - whatever. Seriously, are you okay? I - El's been worried sick."
"Tell El I'm fine." The smile in Neal's voice matches the smirk on El's face and Peter knows he's not fooling either of them.
"Fine? That doesn't sound as enthusiastic as I'd expect from someone I hypothetically assume is in some sort of tropical paradise."
"It's . . . I just want to come home."
"You can't." Peter tries to swallow the panic rising in his throat. "Not yet."
"I know. I'm not going to do anything stupid. I mean it this time."
"We'll figure it out." Peter's words sound hollow to his own ears, but he wills himself to believe them.
"We always do."
"But we've got some time pressure here. We need to come up with a plan by the time they decide whether they trust me enough to send me after you again."
"Well, we'd better plan quickly, because catching me isn't going to take you very long this time."
"When it's time, I'll send you the GPS coordinates myself."
"When it's time."
The line goes dead, and Peter buries his face in his hands, but when he finally looks up at his worried wife, he's grinning.