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The Thinking Chair

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"Why are there..." Neal stopped in the doorway to his apartment and cocked his head to the side, looking curious.

When he'd gotten home that day, there had been a huge furniture truck outside, but when he'd gotten in, there weren't any movers in the house that he could see. When he got to his apartment though he'd seen the door open already and assumed Mozzie was there. He wasn't, but, to be honest, it wasn't that bad of a surprise though.

He gave June a curious look while she signed a paper at the dining table and handed it to a furniture mover who gave her a smile and slipped out the door, nodding to Neal along the way.

"There was a furniture man here."

June smiled and met Neal at the door, gently steering him into the room with one hand on the small of his back. Next to the balcony doors, was a huge red arm chair. It took up a huge chunk of space (though, to be honest, that space hadn't been used for much before now anyways, so it's not that bad) and had a bright red ottoman in front of it. The chair itself looked big enough to hold at least two fully grown people and was covered in black swirls and soft fabric.

It looked kind of like...

"It looks like a thinking chair!" Neal was suddenly feeling much more little than before. There was no way, with how often June and Mozzie watched Blue's Clues with him while he was little, that she wouldn't have recognized the similarities. "It looks like Steve's thinking chair! But bigger."

Neal was so excited right now. He almost wished that Mozzie would just buy a freaking smart phone already so he could snap chat him a million pictures of his new amazing thinking chair and then text him while he got little and snuggled into it.

That sounded like the best idea ever right now.

He grinned and let June manipulate him into the chair before letting out a surprised sound in his throat when June took the available space next to him. This was perfect, it wasn't just a thinking chair, it was a snuggle thinking chair. Neal took that as an invitation to get comfortable, snuggling into his landlord's side with a sigh, before remembering he was still dressed for work.

"Oh wait." He sat up again and wriggled his jacket off and wrastled the tie around his neck over his head after loosening it. He folded them as carefully as his slowly shrinking mind would allow for now and curled back up into her, ignoring the fact that his pants were wrinkling too. He'd deal with that later.

June wrapped him up and held him close, one leg pushing against the floor until Neal felt the chair move.

Oh my god, it's a rocking snuggling thinking chair. This is amazing.

"You know, I always wanted a son, and when you came along, I wasn't expecting to get so attached. I also never expected that you would be the way you are."

Neal lifted his head a bit and frowned. "It that bad?"

"Of course not. It's like, trying to have a baby and ending up with twins. One was unexpected, but both are loved."

Neal put his head back down and hid his grin behind his hand, thumb drifting into his mouth while he let her sooth him into that warm little space he loved so much. "So, wasn't expecting the little, but you like him anyways?"

"Very much so... I was thinking the other day, about getting a new chair for the sitting room since my favorite in there is getting worn out and no where near as comfortable as it used to be. But then I saw a picture of this one, and knew my favorite little detective needed a nice place to sit and think."

Neal went a little red. He always got a little embarrassed when people admitted to thinking about him when he wasn't there. When he was a little kid, he used to move around so much, he was used to being the kid that people forgot about. The kid that no one needed to remember because he wouldn't be there for long anyways.

He liked being remembered.

"Oh. I like sitting and thinking. A thinking chair helps."

June smiled down at him, looking fond, "You know, I'm not sure if Byron would have understood you the way Mozzie and I do, and I know I still don't understand you like Mozzie, but, I think, if he could have seen you, he'd probably end up spoiling you more than I do."

Neal laughed, "We would have gotten along well then. I love being spoiled."

June just hummed and tucked him a little closer, making Neal yawn. It'd been a tough day, being growed up all day and not colouring like he wanted to do. Being adult was hard, it was best to let someone else take over right now.

***

"I got worried about you last night."

Neal gave Peter a wide eyed look, not expecting that. "What?"

Peter sighed and sagged down in his chair a little, "You stayed in one corner of the apartment last night for over six hours, and just when I was thinking about calling to make sure you were okay, you finally moved."

Neal raised an eyebrow, "I stay in one place a lot of the time. I'm not really an anxious person."

"Yes, but this was not a place I have seen you hang out in for six straight hours before."

Neal thought about it for a moment before lighting up when he remembered his new rocking snuggling thinking chair. It was amazing.

"June saw a chair she thought would go good in the apartment yesterday, and had it put in, and it giant and squishy, and I fell asleep in it."

Peter cracked a smile, looking a little relieved. "Oh thank god. I thought you had somehow brained yourself and was lying passed out on the floor for six hours."

Neal shook his head with a grin, "Nope. Just sleeping."

Peter shook his head, looking amused, "Sounds like fun."

***

Peter had just got home when he got a text from Neal, with a picture attached. He opened the picture and couldn't hold back the smile when he found a pic of this new amazing chair Neal had fallen asleep in the night before.

It looked like a great chair.

***

"Door's open!"

Peter raised an eyebrow and pushed the door to Neal's apartment open. He's not sure what weekend activity he was expecting from his CI, but to be honest, being snuggled up on a chair with a pillow in his arms wasn't it.

"That looks like fun."

Neal hummed a little, still staring at sound point on the wall with a tired expression on his face. "Was expecting Mozzie. Sorry. Are we being called in?"

Peter shook his head, "Nah, El's out of town and I got bored."

Neal finally looked over, one bare foot lightly resting on the red ottoman while he pushed the chair in a steady arc. Neal's nose wrinkled as he thought that over, "I'm not going to another ball game with you. Don't care what you bribe me with."

Peter frowned, "It wasn't that bad, was it?"

Neal held back a grin, not fully liking how little he was around Peter right now. Not the first time he'd been little around him, and he'd never realized before, but one day, Peter was gonna make that connection. He could just feel it. "Hmm... I wanted to bleach my brain."

Peter grinned. Neal seemed to be rather happy right now, it was nice.

Well, or high, he sounded kind of high. "Are you on something?"

Neal snorted, "That's stupid, I don't do drugs willingly, Peter."

Neal had to hold himself from giggling though. Babies weren't supposed to call things 'stupid.' He was a rebel.

Peter nodded, "What about a park? El is out of town, I was thinking we could take Satchmo to the park. He's napping in my car right now."

Neal's slow rocking in the chair stopped, the other man looking curious. "Hmm... Mozzie is 'posed to be here soon."

"We could ask if he wants to come too?"

Neal looked a little suspicious, but was stopped from asking questions when the apartment door was pushed open again. Peter looked over from his seat at the table and grinned, "See, he's already here."

Mozzie gave Peter and Neal an odd look, "Why am I being summoned now?"

Neal sat up a little on the chair, making the thing swing forward a bit, "Peter wants us to go to the park. He says Satchmo is in the car."

Mozzie hummed and gave Peter a similar suspicious look.

Peter had the distinct impression that he was being ganged up on right now, and not in a fun way. "Oh come on, I'm wifeless for the weekend, and only have like, five other friends."

Neal nodded, looking very serious, "Yeah, he's boring. And he can't cook. And he works too much. Peter has no friends."

Peter gave Neal a betrayed look, "Oh, I see how it is. Ganging up on me."

Neal laughed, "I'm only trying to make you look pathetic enough to need our help. Not my fault none of it's a lie."

Peter rolled his eyes and stood up, feeling like he was dealing with a four year old. "Do you want to go? I'll take you to a museum later once Satch is back home. You can even bring your keeper."

Neal smiled and gave Mozzie a hopeful look. He was feeling just a bit too little to go out on his own, but big enough that he didn't need to stay in today.

Mozzie exaggeratedly thought about it for a minute before nodding his consent. Neal grinned and held back a cheer.

He was so little right now, this was gonna be great! Everything was funner when little. Cept scary things, those were worse.

He got out of the chair to get his shoes and socks and gave Peter a slightly suspicious look as he passed. He wasn't gonna make him do scary things, right?

Nah, Peter was kind of a whimp too, so it's probably okay.

He still didn't fully trust him though. What if Peter thought something was fine but Neal gotted scared? Oh no.

No, Mozzie was here too, he'd protect Neal.

Neal ignored the fact that he was wearing sweats and a tee shirt and just pulled on some running shoes and a sweater. Little days wasn't for suits. Peter wasn't wearing a suit. Pants itched, so no. He was fine.

Mozzie was giving him an amused look while Peter had that usual look of confused excitement that he always got when he'd unexpectedly run into little Neal. He didn't know what was going on, but he knew it was different and awesome.

Course it was awesome, little Neal was cute and adorable and very awesome.

***

It was an interesting day. The park next to Peter's house was awesome, and had a jungle gym, and Neal kind of wanted to climb it, but there were children around, and he didn't want to freak anyone out. Though, Peter did bring a Frisbee for Satch and Neal and him ended up getting all muddy and gross when Satch jumped in a puddle and then on Neal and got them covered.

It was okay, he could take baths later, it was play time now.

Mozzie and Peter looked like they were talking about adult stuffs before the two of them herded Neal and Satch back into the back of Peter's car, preemptively laying out some towels in the back as if he had been expecting them to be messy.

Neal didn't mean to be messy, he just was. It was an accident.

Peter didn't look mad though. Good.

***

"I don't know what it is, but sometimes, he just..."

Peter looked away from Neal and Stachmo, both looking excited to play, and over at Mozzie, who was giving Neal a fond look. "Don't look at me, Suit. I'm not helping you finish that sentence."

Peter sighed, "So, there is something."

Mozzie shrugged, "Not my thing to tell though."

Peter shook his head, wondering why sometimes Neal just, felt so, different... "It's like, he loses years and just feels relaxed."

Mozzie shrugged, "Could be."

Peter's nose twitched, "If I ask him, would he tell me? I'm so curious."

Mozzie thought about it for a moment, "Don't ask him. He'll just clam up. But don't wait either, cause he won't ever get the guts to say it. Make guesses, if you get close enough, he'll say."

Peter's eyebrows furrowed, "Why would he say if I get close enough. Doesn't really make sense."

"Because if you bring it up first, he'll know that it won't be all that weird to tell you, but you thought of it too."

Peter looked back at Neal just in time to see a very muddy Satchmo attack him, making Neal laugh. Peter and Mozzie got up, assuming it was time to head back while they were ahead so to speak.

"Is it illegal? Just tell me that."

"Not in the slightest."

"Good."

***

Neal was happy right now. He was happy, and warm, and snuggled in his rocking snuggling thinking chair, with a sippy cup of milk and three whole cookies that Mozzie and him made earlier.

This was awesome!

Mozzie was working on some chemical experiment at the dinner table, so Neal had to sit in his chair so he wouldn't get anything on him. Chemicals is not for littles, Mozzie said. Mozzie said, cookies and milk and snuggle chairs is for littles.

He was very very right.

Neal perked up when he heard music start playing and looked over to see Mozzie putting Neal's lullaby music on the radio in the mantle and smiled. "Quiet time for littles?"

Mozzie nodded, "You want a book while I work?"

Neal nodded, "Blue's Clues please?"

Mozzie smiled, "Such a good boy, asking with his manners."

When Mozzie looked back up again, he nearly died of the cute at seeing Neal reading a Blue's Clues book with such a serious expression on his face, the tip of his sippy cup between his teeth, nibbling at the lid. Neal bit everything. Neal's foot was slowly pushing the chair back and forth as he went, looking relaxed and calm.

Not something Neal often felt nowadays, to be honest.

Yeah, that was an amazing chair.