A White Collar Birthday Fic for Elrhiarhodan: Exit Strategy

Title: Exit Strategy (White Collar Fic)
Author: J. Rosemary Moss
Genre: White Collar; OT3,
Like Air verse (asexual Neal)
Pairing: Peter-Elizabeth-Neal
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Alas, I don't own White Collar or the characters
Summary: Sequel to
Like Air. Neal realizes he needs an exit strategy--for Peter and Elizabeth's sake, if not his own.
Special Note: Much love and happiness to my dear friend and writing buddy Elrhiarhodan. Here's hoping for a marvelous year! 

~oOo~


Neal stared at himself in the bathroom mirror. He had already washed and changed into pajamas. Classy silk pajamas--they should meet with Elizabeth’s approval, and Peter would only shake his head a little.

How would this play out? He considered the possibilities, and the fact that he might need an exit strategy. Yes, Peter and Elizabeth had invited him to stay--and not in the guestroom. They wanted more than just date nights with him; they wanted him to be a part of their married life. Neal felt his stomach clench; partly in fear and partly in anticipation.

He steadied himself and then frowned at his reflection. Should he just waltz into the master bedroom? Why not? There was no way he would allow Peter to see how much the invitation had unnerved him. So he plastered a confident smile on his face as he left the bathroom and strode down the hall.

But his swagger deserted him when he reached the threshold. He found himself hovering there, uncertain.


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White Collar Fic: Like Air

Title: Like Air (White Collar Fic)
Author:
J. Rosemary Moss
Genre: White Collar; OT3, asexual Neal
Pairing: Peter-Elizabeth-Neal
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Alas, I don't own White Collar or the characters
Summary: Peter wants to fix something that's not broken . . .(This story is a response to an
LJ Collar Kink prompt. I've prettied it up and reposted it here and on my Dreamwidth.)

~oOo~

Peter yawned as he walked out of the elevator onto his floor. He almost wished he could turn around now and head back to Brooklyn—and his bed. He had to stop staying up to watch extra innings.

“Morning, Peter.”

He blinked. Neal was already at his desk. “Morning, Neal. Come on up with me,” he added nodding at his office. “We’ve got a new mortgage case to work on.”

Neal groaned as he stood up and then fell in step beside him.

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Address on File, Part Nine

Title: Address on File, Part Nine
Prompt: #9, Witness
Author: JRosemary
Rating: PG
Characters: Neal and Peter 
Word count: 300
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Summary: Peter has a question for Neal that he can't quite bring himself to ask. 
Notes: Written for White Collar 100 Community; part of my My Old Man verse, which explores the father-son aspect of the relationship between Peter and Neal.
LINK TO PART ONE

~oOo~

Peter glanced over at Neal when his twenty minutes ended. The kid was curled up in the corner of the couch, sleeping. So much for Neal ordering him to bed.

He frowned. Neal had crashed on the couch before, but it couldn’t be comfortable. Besides, the kid had a perfectly good room upstairs.

Peter blinked, wondering when he had started thinking of the guest room as Neal’s room. Not that it mattered.

“Neal,” he said, his voice soft. “Come on--time to go upstairs.”

The kid muttered something, but made no move to get up.

Damn. If Neal was worn out, it was because he’d been so busy playing caretaker. Peter owed him. Recovering from the gunshot would have been much harder without him here to cook, clean and harass him into resting.

Peter smiled. Neal was a decent guy at heart. No, more than decent. He was brave, caring, creative, outrageously intelligent--why had he become a criminal? Who the hell had screwed up so badly in raising him? Peter wished he had witnessed Neal’s childhood.

Neal must have felt the weight of his stare, because he finally opened his eyes. “What’s wrong?” he asked through a yawn.

“Nothing. It's just my turn to wonder about you as a kid.”

Neal narrowed his eyes. Peter blushed. The kid was seeing straight through him.

“My childhood wasn’t bad,” Neal said at last, smiling. “I had good times.” He paused for another yawn. “But you--you‘re a great Dad, Peter.  You don’t have to be jealous of the people who raised me. Now let me sleep, ok?”

Peter opened his mouth to defend himself against the charge of jealousy--that was ridiculous. But somehow he couldn’t force those words out.

“Ok,” he said instead. “Goodnight, Neal.”

To be continued . . .

Address on File, Part Eight


Title: Address on File, Part Eight
Prompt: #8, Interrogation
Author: JRosemary
Rating: PG
Characters: Neal and Peter 
Word count: 300
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Summary: Neal has a few questions for Peter. 
Notes: Written for White Collar 100 Community; part of my My Old Man verse, which explores the father-son aspect of the relationship between Peter and Neal.
LINK TO PART ONE

“Peter?”

Peter tore his eyes off the game and turned to the other side of the couch, where Neal was lounging with his sketchbook. He recognized Neal’s tone. It didn’t bode well for him.

“Yeah?”

Neal grinned. “Stop looking like I’m about to interrogate you.”

“It’s either that or you’re going to order me upstairs.“

He glanced at the clock. “I’ll give you another half hour before I send you to bed.”

“Generous of you.”

“Peter, you were shot. You‘re supposed to be resting. Besides, if you‘re not upstairs before Elizabeth gets home we’ll both be in trouble.”

“Fine. Half an hour. Now what do you want to ask?”

“Relax. I just want to know what you would have done under certain circumstances. If you had raised me, I mean.”

Peter made a face. He knew what was coming; Neal had been badgering him for days. What if he’d been caught shoplifting? What if he’d conned his way into straight A’s? What if he’d conned other kids out of their allowances?

He ran his fingers though his hair. “Neal, I don’t know what kind of Dad I would have made. I don’t know what shenanigans I would have let you get away with. I might have spoiled you rotten. I might have been too hard on you. I’d like to think that you wouldn’t have chosen to become a con artist, but--”

“Peter, stop.”

“But--”

“Stop,” Neal repeated, smiling. “I know exactly what kind of Dad you would have made. And, ah, I don’t think I would have made the same life choices.”

“Then why--“

“I‘m just curious about the specifics.”

Peter managed an answering smile. “Re-imagining your childhood?”

“Something like that.” He paused to nod at the TV. “Enjoy your game. You only have twenty minutes before bedtime.”

LINK TO PART NINE


Address on File, Part Seven


Title: Address on File, Part Seven
Prompt: #7, Background
Author: JRosemary
Rating: PG
Characters: Neal and Peter 
Word count: 300
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Summary: Peter tries to convince Neal that maybe there can be more than one. 
Notes: Written for White Collar 100 Community; part of my My Old Man verse, which explores the father-son aspect of the relationship between Peter and Neal.
LINK TO PART ONE

~oOo~

Neal was lazing on the couch with his feet up and a sketchbook balanced against his knees. Peter was next to him, serving as a pillow of sorts. Neal was facing away from him, but leaning back against his side--the side with his good shoulder, of course.

Peter was absorbed in the TV, but he wasn’t happy with whatever the Yankees were up to. He was even muttering at their pitcher.

Neal nudged him. “You’re supposed to be resting.”

“I am resting.”

“Cursing under your breath doesn’t count. You have to relax.”

“You’re relaxed enough for both of us.”

“I am,” Neal agreed, stifling a yawn as he put down his pencil. “I’m comfy here--maybe I’ll move in.”

“That might cramp your love life.”

“I’m not interested in a love life.”

“Could’ve fooled me. You flirt often enough.”

“That’s harmless. Kate was the one, Peter.”

Peter hesitated. “You think there can’t be another one?”

“Can you see yourself remarrying if something happened to Elizabeth?”

“She’d want me to. And I’d want her to remarry if I died.”

Neal digested that. “You two have talked about this?”

“Yeah. Did you and Kate?”

“No,” he answered, trying to keep his voice from sounding defensive. “We weren’t--we weren’t practical that way.” He paused. “Why are you interested in my love life?”

Peter shrugged. “I want you to settle down. Stop breaking into people's humidors." 

“My criminal background won’t attract the kind of lover you settle down with.”

“Was Kate that kind?”

“No, but I could have talked her into the white picket fence. I wanted to--I wanted us to be like you and Elizabeth. You knew that, right?”

“I guessed,” Peter said. “Look, don’t give up on the white picket fence yet, ok?”

Neal shrugged. “I’ll keep an open mind."

LINK TO PART EIGHT