rodlox (rodlox) wrote,
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White Collar fic: "Verbal liquid courage"

Title: "Verbal liquid courage"
Coda to the most recent season finale.
Author: Keenir.
Summary: Neal is on the plane, and this might get him off.
Rating: PG(13)
This is my attempt to answer this prompt by Swanpride, though the muses made that a little difficult.
Disclaimers: I own none of the canon characters.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the plane was beginning to level out, the ascent from the runway completed, "Afternoon, Mr. Caffrey."

Out the corner of one eye, Neal looked at the woman sitting next to him. "Can I help you?" he asked her, even though she appeared to be asleep. Neal doubted she was really asleep, though - for one thing, his name wasn't the most common.

"Don't run," she said.

Or maybe she really is asleep. "Wasn't planning on it."

"And yet you're on a plane. Ergo, you're running."

"You're on a plane."

"I'm going to, not away. And you're the one people want."

"I'm sure someone wants you," Neal said.

"Right.

"The Department of Justice keeps an ear to the ground when it comes to the unconventional teams. That's why I'm here, Mr. Caffrey. I'm Agent Rey, D.o.J."

"Nice to meet you," Neal told her. "How can I help you?"

"There are some in my Department who have questions about the methods you and Agent Peter Burke have used to close a number of cases. Until recently, Agent Kramer was one of the influential voices asking us not to look too closely."

"Not seeing what this has to do with me," Neal said, though his mind had no trouble making a list of all the things which some might find questionable - or at least unbecoming - of FBI agents.

"To spell it out, Mr. Caffrey, Agent Kramer is no longer calling that favor. Which means that if you were to be captured, you would fall under his jurisdiction. Which would call for my Department to probe deeply into the methods you used while you were a confidendial informant."

"And into Peter himself," Neal said.

"And all those whom you worked with at the times of those cases," Agent Rey said.

Diana, Jones, Lauren. Maybe even Sarah and June. Moz. "But if I'm not caught, I don't land in Kramer's hands, and -"

"And my colleagues are called in to learn how you managed to escape - and why you escaped only when you were about to be released from custody. Don't think you can save anyone by running; that never helps anyone," with the voice of one speaking from personal experience.

"So what are you saying my options are?" Neal asked, his mind already full of possibilities.

"There are two options for you here, Mr. Caffrey. Three if you don't object to murder."

"I won't kill anyone," Neal said.

"I'm reassured."

"So what're my options?" Neal asked.

"This plane will make one more stop before leaving New York state airspace. Disembark at that airport, and go back where you're running from.

"Option two," Agent Rey said, "is to flee to wherever you were planning to escape to. If it's part of a state or territory of the USA, then you're going to be hunted by the FBI."

"Again," Neal said, intending that as a joke. Before Agent Rey could object to that, Neal said, "And if I wasn't going to Hawaii or Guam, for example?"

"Agent Kramer has friends in the CIA. Their jurisdiction is the rest of the world."

"So basically, if I don't get off this plane when it lands, I had better not stop running," Neal summarized. "That about cover it?"

"I'm afraid so, Mr. Caffrey. Think it over."

"Don't need to, really," Neal said. "I've just got one question."

"Only one?" she asked, and Neal swore to himself that Agent Rey sounded a lot like Peter's.

"What's your interest in this? Or in me?" Neal asked.

"Before I was transfered to Justice, Agent Burke was showing me the ropes," Agent Reys said.

"So this is revenge."

That Peter-ish laugh again. "Hardly. If I wanted revenge, I would tell you to run fast and run far. Or I would tell you to do something stupid like go back to seduce Agent Burke's wife."

"I think she'd kill me before Peter got the chance," Neal said.

"That's true too." She opened one eye and asked Neal, "Have an idea?"

"Just what I'm going to do," Neal said. "Thanks. And just out of curiosity, did you get on this flight just to talk me off it?"

Again the Peter-y laugh. "That would qualify as a conspiracy, would it not?" Or as an episode of The Middleman.

"Or a really good guess as to which plane I was going to take," Neal said.

Agent Rey said, "Mr. Caffrey, I'm about to recieve a get, so I'm far from being in the mood for that sort of a game. Good bye," she said, and she closed her eye.

Neal sat the rest of the flight in silence.

~~~

When Neal got off the plane at the next airport, he found Peter waiting there. And with Peter was one of the people who had gathered to decide if the anklet would go bye-bye. "She called you, didn't she?" Neal asked.

"Who called me?" Peter asked. "Or better question would be, who do you think called me?"

"Agent Reys. Department of Justice. She was on the plane with me."

"She hasn't called me in two years, Neal," Peter said. She might have kept in touch with El, though.

"So how did she know who I was?"

"Besides your current infamy with Kramer, or the matter of your anklet, you mean. She told you who she worked with?"

"Yeah, you," Neal said.

Peter nodded. "And when she transferred to Justice, her first assignment was Mozzie."

Ah.

"Now, you ready to head back?" Peter asked.

"Absolutely. That's why I'm here," Neal said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
the end
Tags: challenge response, coda, neal, ofc, white collar, white collar fanfiction
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