Fandom: White Collar
Word Count: 3655
Beta Credit: elrhiarhodan, sinfulslasher
Summary: Sometimes the memories won’t let go
A/N: This one is for pooh_collector’s prompt of “If I want, I can remember everything.” as part of my 12 days meme.
Again – so many thanks to kanarek13 for the incredible artwork.
The waves crashed against Neal’s feet as he threw the pager and the phone into the sea. While he didn’t hear the splash, he felt the finality as they sunk into the water.
His last link with Peter.
Mozzie would approve – severing ties with the past – but Neal was not so sure. While he told his friend he had no regrets, on nights like this, where the moon was high and the thunder rolled in the distance, he allowed himself to think, to remember - the daring heists, capturing the bad guys, good meals with good friends.
He thought he’d gotten past that. Six weeks since he'd left New York and he only thought of Peter with every other breath. But hearing his voice, the concern, the worry, the love, brought him right back to square one.
Maya was a good distraction, but her curves and softness would never take the place of hard planes and taut muscles.
She would never take the place that Peter held in Neal’s mind. In his heart.
Peter held a place that even Mozzie knew nothing about.
Sometimes – when he was alone and needed to feel, Neal opened the lock to that place and let the memory flood his senses.
The sun was out and the tourists were flocking in droves to tour the Sainte-Chapelle and marvel at its beautiful stained glass.
Neal wasn’t there for the sights. He’d been surreptitiously tailing the lovely daughter of an industrialist, waiting to introduce himself as the bastard son of an English noble so he could get access to her father’s art collection.
The girl was in a pack of her friends, shopping bags filling their hands, their voices sounding like a flock of canaries twittering. Neal was about to lift her wallet so he could pretend he found it and give it back when a familiar figure exited the police station in front of them.
Neal cursed – What the hell was Peter Burke doing in Paris? He ducked behind an advertisement column to regroup.
He didn’t think Peter was here after him. Even Mozzie didn’t know Neal had returned to Paris, and the breadcrumbs he’d left for Peter to follow had him at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona.
Knowing that Peter had no clue he was here, Neal leaned out a bit to watch him.
Peter was standing on the front steps talking to an officer. He looked fit and happy, the afternoon sun glinting on his dark brown hair. Neal took a moment to appreciate his long legs and broad shoulders before ducking back behind the column and leaning against it.
He couldn’t pick out one specific thing about Peter that attracted him. Sure the man was gorgeous, but it was more than that. He was smart. Scary smart. And that turned Neal on like nothing else. Ever since he’d handed Peter that green sucker, the man was on his mind to the point that Neal intentionally devised puzzles and clues and games just to get his attention.
Whenever Peter got close to catching him, it sent a wave of satisfaction – Neal refused to call it lust – throughout his body. And just because he jacked off to the thought of Peter cuffing him really didn’t mean anything – did it?
Neal sighed and peeked around the column. The steps were empty. Peter was gone.
Which was probably a good thing, but it meant that Neal would have to be careful until he was sure Peter had picked up his false trail and had left Paris.
The gaggle of girls passed by again, their laughter sounding less like songbirds and more like the cawing of crows.
Neal pushed off the column, checked again to make sure Peter truly was gone, and followed them. He had a job to do, after all.
It was late when Neal returned to his hotel room. He’d made his introductions to Nathalie, the industrialist’s daughter, charmed her with flirtation and champagne and got her promise to have him over for lunch the next day.
The room was dark, but he didn’t bother to turn on the light, relying on the illumination from the windows. He wasn’t tipsy, but he wasn’t sober, which was the only reason that it took him a heartbeat longer than usual to realize that he wasn’t alone.
Someone was in his room.
The table lamp clicked on, revealing Peter seated in the overstuffed wingback chair.
“Hello, Peter.” Neal scanned the room, checking to see if Peter had brought any other agents. It was just the two of them. His shoulders loosened. “I’m surprised to see you here.”
“The same could go for you. Last I heard, you were casing the Picasso museum in Spain.”
Neal shrugged. “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
He looked Peter over, enjoying how the black t-shirt and pants fit Peter’s body. Neal had only seen him in those horrendous Brooks Brothers suits. The casual attire made Peter look more dangerous, like a wild animal at rest. Neal unconsciously licked his lips.
“So,” he continued. “You’re not in Paris for me then.” A statement, not a question.
“You know you’re not the only criminal on my radar, Neal.” Peter’s voice was amused.
Neal frowned. Peter’s comment bothered him. They had been playing cat and mouse for so long that he’d forgotten that Peter had other cases, other crimes to solve. For some reason that didn’t sit well with him.
Shaking off the jealousy, he asked. “If you thought I was in Spain, how did you figure out I was here?”
“Simple math.” Peter smiled, a look of satisfaction on his face. “Pierre Auberge just acquired a new Renoir. The chatter indicated that the man he outbid put out a very generous offer to anyone who could acquire the painting for him - he was, apparently, a sore loser. Auberge’s daughter is young, beautiful and very naïve.” Peter paused. “Your trail of breadcrumbs was too good to be true. I sent my people to Spain and waited here for you. I kept an eye on her and sure enough, she called one of her friends and went on about the gorgeous man who had returned her wallet.”
Neal smiled. “So you think I’m gorgeous.”
“I think you’re casing her house.” Peter’s tone was wry.
Neal realized that he’d been standing with the door open during his conversation with Peter. Shutting it, he headed towards the bed. He sat down, kicking off his shoes and unbuttoning his cuffs. Rolling them up, he asked, “How did you figure out what hotel I was staying in?”
“That part was easy. Expensive enough to impress but not-over-the top ostentatious.” Peter raised his hands in a ‘there you go’ gesture. “Third floor, corner room, near the stairwell.”
Neal was impressed. “And I assume the management let you in?”
“Nope.” Peter held up a lock pick kit – a SouthOrd C3010. “Had my own key.”
Right then, Neal fell in love.
His heart raced, his stomach clenched. He was so screwed.
“Why are you here, Peter?” Neal gestured at the empty room. “You didn’t bring any agents, you haven’t made any mention of taking me in…” He let his sentence trail off.
“I’m not here to arrest you.” Peter’s voice was low and dark and it sent chills down Neal’s spine.
“Then why?” Neal repeated.
Peter stood up and walked towards Neal. He stopped just in the vee of Neal’s thighs, reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Placing it on the nightstand, he flipped to open to reveal his FBI badge. It glinted in the light, the gold color picking up the glow of the table lamp.
“I’m not here to arrest you, Neal.” Peter repeated softly. He leaned down, his breath caressing the shell of Neal’s ear. His scent filled Neal’s nostrils – a woodsy, masculine smell that wrapped around him. “And I’m not here as an agent.” Neal shivered as Peter’s lips skimmed his earlobe.
“What are you here for then? You knew I was in Paris but you didn’t send your agents after me. You lock-picked my room. Are you trying out the criminal side of things or is there something more?” Neal worked hard to appear blasé, but Peter was filling his senses and it was intoxicating.
“Just...taking a little time off.” Peter sat beside him, eyes hooded and dark. “Personal time.”
Neal fought to speak casually, but all he really wanted to do was grab Peter and kiss him within an inch of his life. “Oh, so it's a couple of hours, and you're on your way? I don’t get paid for by the hour, Peter.” He tried to huff, but his breath failed him.
Suddenly Peter was on top of him, pressing him into the bed, his body a weight that sent Neal's arousal soaring. The kiss was hard but not brutal; Peter made it clear he meant business. When he broke the kiss, Peter's voice was a husky whisper.
“We’ve got all night.”
Neal shuddered at the thought of being at Peter’s mercy for that long. He locked eyes with Peter, knowing that the want in Peter’s gaze was mirrored in his own.
Still, he couldn’t just submit. That would be like giving up, and that wasn’t the game that he and Peter played. Neal rolled his hips, making sure that Peter could feel his erection. He grinned as Peter hissed and ground down on him. “So you think having sex with me is going to make me spill my secrets?” He leaned up to nip at Peter’s throat, marking him just a bit.
“No. I don’t give a damn what you tell me,” Peter growled. “We have full immunity for anything we say or do from this moment until the sun rises over that balcony.” Peter leaned down to kiss him again but Neal tilted his head.
“What makes you think I’m into men?” Neal said teasingly, knowing instinctively that it would frustrate Peter.
“Neal, I know your shoe size. You really think I wouldn’t know that?” Peter grabbed Neal’s wrists and pinned him to the bed. “Now will you shut up so I can fuck you?”
Peter’s blunt words were the catalyst. Neal lunged up, straining against Peter’s grip and captured his mouth. Nipping and biting, he ran his tongue across Peter’s lips, wordlessly begging him to let him in.
Peter did, sucking on Neal’s tongue and biting the corners of his mouth. “Wanted this for so fucking long, Neal,” he murmured. “Every damn time you’d steal something, I knew you were teasing me. Wanting me to chase you down, find you…”
He didn’t have to finish the sentence. Neal knew exactly what he meant. That’s why he’d stolen most of the things he had – to get and keep Peter Burke’s attention.
“Need you…fuck…Peter…” He twisted out of Peter’s hands and grabbed the bottom of Peter’s shirt. “Need you naked…” With a low chuckle Peter obliged him, sitting up to let Neal peel off his t-shirt.
“Damn…” he breathed, taking in the sculpted angles of Peter’s body. “Look what you’ve been hiding from me, Peter Burke.”
Peter ducked his head and blushed, and just like that the atmosphere shifted. No more assertive, dangerous man; this Peter was uncertain, almost shy.
Neal reached out and ran a finger down his chest, slowly circling a nipple. Peter’s eyes fluttered shut and he shivered. Bolder, Neal pinched the nub, watching it turn blood-red and taut. He leaned up to taste it, smiling at Peter’s soft moan.
Neal unbuttoned his shirt, slipping out of it without losing contact with Peter’s body. Slowly he kissed up the length of Peter’s chest until their lips met again, then lay back, pulling Peter with him.
He was in control now, languidly rolling his hips against Peter’s as he leisurely explored Peter’s mouth. Neal slipped his hands into Peter’s hair, enjoying the texture under his fingers.
Abruptly, Peter rolled and with a gasp Neal found himself splayed out on Peter’s chest. He rose up and gave Peter a withering glance. “Warn a guy, will you?”
Peter chuckled. “What? You think you can top from the bottom?”
Neal looked down at him. “It’s disturbing that you know that phrase.”
“You’re just annoyed that I’m right.” Peter leaned up and nuzzled him, somehow finding that point behind Neal’s ear that drove him crazy.
In a low voice, Peter started murmuring. “Gonna strip you down, open you up, get you ready to take my cock. Think you can do that? Take me?”
Peter bucked up and Neal felt his dick press against his thigh. It was big and hard and Neal wanted it inside him as soon as possible.
He shimmied off of Peter’s body and quickly removed his clothes.
“You’re gorgeous.” The awe in Peter’s voice had Neal blushing this time. “Come here.” Peter held out a hand and Neal moved closer.
Neal walked closer until their thighs touched. The fabric of Peter’s pants rasped against Neal’s bare skin, but it was the touch of Peter’s hand that made him feel like he was on fire.
“Look at you…” Peter ghosted his fingers against Neal’s skin, brushing the cut of his hip, caressing his ass, trailing through the trimmed curls before skating up the length of Neal’s cock. “Better than my fantasy…”
The thought of Peter Burke fantasizing about him made Neal’s cock jump, prompting a low chuckle from Peter. “That excites you?”
“Um hm…” That was all Neal could manage as Peter slowly pumped his erection. That mutter turned into a moan as Peter captured him with his mouth, running his tongue around the head of Neal’s cock. “Fuck!”
He jerked, shoving himself deeper between Peter’s lips. “Sorry, sorry,” Neal said, pulling out a bit.
Peter stilled him, his hands moving to Neal’s ass. Rhythmically, he rocked Neal back and forth, until Peter’s nose was pressing into the flesh of Neal’s belly. In and out, licking Neal’s length then sucking him down. Letting Neal fuck his mouth.
Oh my God, Peter was letting him fuck his mouth.
Neal groaned, bending over and cradling Peter in his arms. Running his hands through Peter’s hair, over his shoulders, his cheeks, his lips, feeling where his cock was joined with Peter’s mouth.
Peter hummed and clenched Neal’s asscheeks, pulling them in harder and faster. Giving Neal permission.
Neal took it, fucking into Peter’s mouth, hard, the tip of his cock hitting the back of Peter’s throat.
Peter grunted as Neal gripped his head, pulling on his hair, speeding up as his balls tightened and his back tingled, his orgasm beginning to spiral.
“No!” Neal jerked out of Peter’s mouth, the combined spit and pre-come stretching from Peter’s lips to Neal’s cock. “Don’t want to come this way. Want you inside me.”
“Yeah.…” Peter’s eyes were dark with lust as he stood up. Pulling out several condoms and a small bottle of lube, he set them on the nightstand, undressed and tossed his pants onto the chair.
Neal sucked in a breath. Peter was huge. Larger than he’d assumed when he’d been sprawled out on top of him. Thick and ruddy, pre-come pearling out of the slit, balls hanging heavy and low. Neal had never had a size kink, but he did now. Just by seeing him, Neal knew that Peter ruined him for any other man.
“Damn, Peter,” he whispered, pressing their bodies together, feeling their cocks rubbing up against each other. “Not sure I can handle you.”
“Don’t worry,” Peter replied, wrapping his arms around Neal and walking him backwards to the bed. “I’ll make you good and ready.”
They fell onto the pillows, Neal settling Peter in between his legs. His weight, his scent, his thick cock were exactly what Neal needed. He kissed Peter, wanting the taste of his lips for a few moments.
Peter tasted like coffee and mint and Neal and he was delicious. Their tongues flirted, sharing space then slipping away so lips could meet lips. Their hands travelled across each other’s bodies, finally mapping each angle and plane.
“Damn, Neal. Not sure I can last much longer.” Peter moaned into Neal’s mouth.
“Then don’t wait.” Neal leaned back and smiled at Peter. “How do you want me?”
“Just like this. God…yeah…under me.” Peter got on his knees and reached for the bottle of lube. “You...spread out…”
Neal watched as he squirted some of the slick onto his fingers and reached under Neal’s balls, trailing down until he circled his hole. Slowly Peter’s finger breached him, popping past the first ring of muscle.
Neal groaned and closed his eyes. The burn was exquisite. Even more so because it was Peter pushing into him. “God, go deeper, Peter.”
“Don’t want to hurt you.” Peter’s voice was soft and Neal opened his eyes to see concern on his face.
“You’re not. Please…want to feel you.” He raised his hips so Peter could have more access.
Peter chuckled. “Okay then,” he said, and pushed deeper, adding a second, then a third digit.
Neal almost blacked out when Peter stroked against his prostate. “Fuck! Do that again!” Peter did, scissoring him with his fingers, stretching him almost to the point of pain. “God, damn, Peter. Please tell me I’m ready for you because I’m not sure I can last much longer.”
“Yeah, think so.” Peter gently pulled his fingers out, leaving Neal feeling empty. “Still might hurt.”
“Don’t care. Just fuck me, please.” Neal knew he was begging but he was so past worrying. All he wanted was Peter’s cock in him, hard, fast and deep. He threw his arm out, searching for the condom on the nightstand. Grabbing it, he ripped the package open.
He sat up and leaned towards Peter, rolling the condom onto his dick. It felt hot and massive in his hand.
Peter groaned and squeezed the base of his erection. “Careful. I’m not much farther behind you.”
“Okay.” Neal lay back and spread his legs farther. He watched hungrily as Peter slicked himself up and guided his cock to Neal’s entrance. Arching up, he hissed as Peter pressed himself inside, not stopping until Peter’s balls touched Neal’s ass.
“You okay?” Peter looked down at him, worry on his face.
“Yeah, just need a minute to get used to you.” Neal shifted, the feel of Peter’s cock finally inside him glorious. “Move...”
Slowly, then picking up speed, Peter thrust into him, his cock caressing Neal’s walls, hitting his prostate dead on, sending spirals of want and need and now throughout his body.
“Yeah…harder…please…Peter…right there…” The words were tumbling out of his mouth every time Peter plunged into his body.
Peter answered with, “God…so tight…feel so good…Neal….”
They rocked against each other, their sweat-slick skin giving them the perfect friction. It felt like it went on forever, Peter thrusting into him, Neal arching back, their eyes locked on each other.
For an infinitesimal moment in time, they weren’t thief and lawman, con man and agent. They were simply Peter and Neal, lovers.
Neal was on the brink of orgasm, his balls tightening. “Fuck, Peter…close….”
“Yeah…wanna see you come….” Peter hooked Neal’s legs over his shoulders and started pounding into him like a jackhammer. Neal’s cock throbbed and he reached to stroke it, but Peter batted his hand away. “Mine!”
Peter’s hand was scorching as he slid his palm up and down Neal’s dick.
One. Two. Three.
Neal keened as he came, ropes of white striping his and Peter’s bodies. He clenched down, feeling Peter throb inside him as he orgasmed almost immediately after.
It went on forever but was over in seconds. Peter fell on him, erratically thrusting as he rode out their pleasure, then rolled to the side, gasping.
“Damn…” Peter’s voice was hoarse.
“Yeah…” Neal lay there, eyes closed; the last vestiges of his orgasm skittering throughout his body. He felt Peter get up and head to the bathroom, but there was no way he was going to move. He was thoroughly fucked out and the bliss was just too enjoyable.
A bit later he heard Peter come back and Neal’s side of the bed dipped. He felt a warm, wet sensation and opened his eyes to see Peter gently cleaning his stomach and thighs.
“Thanks, but I could have done this myself.”
“I know, but I wanted to,” Peter said simply. He finished and stood, taking the washcloth and dropping inside the door of the bathroom.
Neal rolled on his side and looked at him. Even after what they’d just done, he was amazed at Peter’s body, how beautiful it was. Neal memorized as much of it as he could so he could draw it later; so he could remember.
“So what now?”
“Now.” Peter walked toward the bed, climbed in, and turned Neal so his back was to Peter’s chest. “Now we sleep.”
Neal was shocked. “You’re not leaving?”
“I told you we have all night, Neal. And if you want a repeat performance you need to let me get a bit of shut-eye.” Peter gathered him closer. “Now go to sleep.”
Neal smiled and closed his eyes.
They had sex – made love? – one more time before the sun rose. This time it was slow and languid, with kisses and touches and breathy moans. Peter took him to the edge and back multiple times before letting Neal come.
When it was over, Peter dressed and put his badge back into his pocket.
“My team will be back in Paris by five PM. Make sure you’re not here.” With a hard, swift kiss, Peter was gone.
Cape Verde – present day
The last of the church bells chimed in the distance. Neal wiped the salt from his face, pretending that it was brine and not tears. Sighing, he turned and headed back to his house, to Maya, locking away his heart.