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08 March 2011 @ 04:18 pm
White Collar Fic: A Welcome Encore  
Posted to whitecollarfic

Title: A Welcome Encore
Series/Universe: Vanishing Act
Pairing/Characters: Peter/Elizabeth, Mozzie, Neal, June, OCs
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: Just because Peter can't get justice for Neal doesn't mean there's no justice
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

The Sunday scene almost seemed normal: Neal was reclining in his robe and pajamas on the rooftop terrace with a cup of June's best Italian Roast. Only it was three o'clock in the afternoon and Neal essentially lived in pajamas since he was still recuperating.

Elizabeth and June were chatting nearby, just out of earshot. June had been like a mother hen to Neal throughout his recuperation, fluttering about, making sure the maids and nurses took care of all his needs.

A full recovery would take time, but the bruising and cuts had begun to heal and Neal's handsome face was just beginning to reemerge. A punctured lung and broken bones took longer; Peter still grew concerned every time Neal had trouble taking a breath. He'd almost lost a lung so Peter was on a constant alert for any signs it might be faltering during his difficult recovery.

"Mozzie heard through the grapevine," Neal stared into his coffee cup, "Fyodor's in Greece."

Peter let out a grumble of exasperation. "You know we can't touch him. Not for what he did to you."

Neal nodded, gaze still fixed until painkiller glazed eyes suddenly brightened, looking up at Peter with a fresh spark - one Peter hadn't seen since before he was injured.

"No, but we could get him for something he hasn't done yet."

Peter brightened, following Neal's logic flawlessly. "A trap. Dangle a Vermeer in front of him and catch him in the act!"

"It could work." Neal paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. "Do you have any friends at Interpol?"

"Some," Peter answered. "Why?"

"Because there's a Vermeer in Turkey that I might be able to flush out long enough to catch Fyodor's eye. I overheard Fyodor's goon Dimitri mention it, but they weren't sure how to find it. I know where it is and who's got it. I'd have to call in a few favors - and Mozzie would too - but we might be able to talk them into revealing the painting even briefly."

Peter took in Neal's excitement and renewed optimism and nodded his assent.

"Let's do it."


"What do you think?"

They'd moved indoors to Neal's living room once Mozzie arrived so Peter and Neal were on the couch watching Mozzie pace back and forth, clearly working out the details in his head.

When Mozzie didn't answer Neal right away, Peter spoke up as well.

"Sometime this week, Mozzie."

"Hold your horses," Mozzie huffed. "An operation this complex takes a great deal of planning." He paced for another two or three minutes then halted, looking at them. "It will work, but I'll need to be on the ground in Turkey."

"If you're willing to do that," Neal waved a hand, "I'm happy to pay all your expenses and then some."

"It will take a good deal of collateral," Mozzie warned. "And I'm talking the favor kind - more than you've probably got saved up with these people."

"Then use mine," Peter interjected. "Tell them you have a friend who might be helpful in the future when smoothing out misunderstandings with Interpol."

"Good, that's good," Mozzie mused. "I might be able to work with that." He finally sat down across from Neal. "We'll need a bribe for the painting's owner and you know what he'll want." He gave Neal a meaningful look.

Neal sighed. "Fine, he can have it. It's just been in storage all this time anyway. And it's worth it if it puts Fyodor in jail."

"I'll see about retrieval once I make first contact." Mozzie rose. "Get your Turkish friends on the phone, Suit," he stated grandly. "Come Saturday night? This should all be over."

"That fast?" Peter asked, eyes wide.

"The plan is all about giving Fyodor a tiny window," Mozzie explained. "He needs a Vermeer, word will get to him that one's only a short hour flight away? He'll come and he'll come quickly. And with goons. And guns. And more guns probably. So tell your Interpol friends in Turkey to come loaded for bear. Think they can handle it? Because if they can't, Fyodor's going to slip away during the firefight and let his thugs take the fall."

"Trust me," Peter said solemnly. "If I have to use up every favor I've got, they're going to lock down that place so tight a fly couldn't escape." He glanced over at Neal's arm, still encased in a cast. "I'll make sure he doesn't get away."


"It's a shame you can't enjoy the wine," Elizabeth said as Peter refilled her glass. "It's a wonderful vintage."

"Just say no to alcohol and painkillers," Neal teased in a mocking authoritative tone. "But I'll be sure to get a bottle for my collection at some point. Your recommendation is enough for me." He paused for a second, smirking. "Maybe two bottles, given the rate Mozzie's been diminishing my reserves."

Both Neal's and Peter's cell phones went off at almost the same time, chiming for new text messages.

"News from Turkey?" Elizabeth asked, looking between them.

"Hopefully," Peter responded, pulling his phone out as Neal did the same. He was a little faster, not having to deal with the cast, so he was done reading and looked up to see a smile dawning on Neal's face. "You first?"

"No," Neal countered graciously. "Your house, you go first."

Peter read his text message for the table. "'Fyodor Belanov in custody along with six of his men. Plenty of evidence and witnesses. Rock solid case. Thanks for the tip.'"

"Honey, that's fabulous!" Elizabeth gushed. "What does yours say?" she asked, turning to Neal.

"It's from Mozzie," he replied. "It says 'Suit came through. They pretty much sent an army. Fyodor looks good in handcuffs. I'm sure he'll enjoy Turkish prison. Enjoy this small memento.'" He handed the phone to Peter. "He sent a picture."

Peter took the phone to find a shot of two agents in tactical gear leading away a stunned and enraged looking Fyodor with his hands cuffed behind him, ruining the clean lines of his bespoke suit.

"Ah, now that does my heart good to see," Peter joked, handing the phone to Elizabeth for her to look as well.

"I'll have to send him a nice care package in prison," Neal mused. "I'm sure I could come up with a few choice items - packaged with a forged letter from his 'boyfriend' back home - that should give him some trouble with the other inmates when they get taken away from him, because you know they will."

"This is justice, Neal," Peter said warningly. "Not revenge."

"There's not enough prison time to make up for all the people he killed," Neal's tone was dark, his expression scowling. "But at least he's not in some cushy American prison where he gets to play golf every Thursday with the warden."

"He's going to spend the rest of his life in jail," Peter stressed. "We've done our job. We got the bad guy. Now let it go and we can move on to bigger and better fish. There's always more people to save, more criminals to catch."

Neal turned his water glass around in circles, looking thoughtful. "I know."

Elizabeth glanced over at Peter, concern clear in her eyes, then reached over and took Neal's hand from the glass, holding it.

"You were saving someone when you refused to tell Fyodor who you had the Vermeer, weren't you?" Neal tried to look away, but Elizabeth just tugged his hand until he looked back. "We know you, Neal. You wouldn't have let him hurt you like that for no reason. You were afraid he was going to kill them for the painting."

"I wasn't afraid," Neal admitted. "I knew. That's how Fyodor works. He leaves no one alive so there are no witnesses. And she..." His voice trailed off.

"She wouldn't have stood a chance against him," Peter finished for him. "Let me guess. Old lady? Possibly a widow?"

Neal huffed out a little chuckle, his expression making it clear they'd figured it out.

"She's in her late seventies. There's no way she'd stand a chance against anyone breaking into her house. She lives with her granddaughters who go to college nearby and help her keep up the estate." He looked up at them, a softness in his expression. "She's actually Vermeer's descendant. I traced the genealogy myself. She just wanted her ancestor's painting to come back to the family, to be able to pass it on to her granddaughters. I got her the painting and there was no way I was going to let Fyodor know where it was."

Elizabeth squeezed his hand, offering him a kindly smile in approval.

"You're a good man, Neal."

"You're a criminal," Peter countered even as he lifted his glass in salute. "But a good one - in all the ways that count."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
Welcome to Part 6, the last part in the six part series of Vanishing Act!

I hope you all enjoyed the ride. My thanks to everyone at ficfinishing who was tantalized by bits of this all last year and had to wait so long to read all of it.

Here's hoping next time I decide to do a longer WC fic it doesn't take the changing of the calendar to get me to the point of publication!


Emma DeMarais
rubynye on March 9th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful finale! (Would say more if I could concentrate.)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
That's plenty, hon. It pleases me just to know you enjoyed it. ♥
dragonfly.dreamwidth.org on March 9th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
*loud applause* Loved it! Thanks for a plotty, h/c fic!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 06:28 am (UTC)
/bows/ Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking the time to read the whole series!
Winterwinterstar95 on March 9th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
Loved this. I so hope you plan on writing more wc fic. There is not enough good stuff out there!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
Thank you! I write a WC drabble or drabble series each week, but I'm hoping to work on some longer pieces including a big bang or two!
ladygray99ladygray99 on March 9th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
Great finale. This was the perfect way to wrap up this series. Thank you for it.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading it and for supporting the fandom!

BTW, your icon makes me think, "Ce n'est pas une pipe"! Hehehe
ladygray99ladygray99 on March 9th, 2011 06:46 am (UTC)
That's exactly why I picked it up. It was actually a filler icon to even out a grid.
(Anonymous) on March 9th, 2011 05:42 am (UTC)
Since I found your journal I've kept it open and refreshed every once in a while. Now that you have finished I can shut down my computer. I liked this a lot. Thank you for not only sharing your work, but sharing it in a timely manner. I am grateful.

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 9th, 2011 06:28 am (UTC)
Re: Feedback
Thank you! Stay tuned for more White Collar fic! I've committed to writing every prompt at whitecollar100 so there should always be something week after week...
fenchurch1fenchurch1 on March 9th, 2011 09:46 am (UTC)
Fantastic! I love the little tag scene too - You're a criminal! That's so Peter! Thank you so much for this!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 10th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to read it! I know I'm not well known in the WC fandom (outside of the drabble comm) so I was hopeful some people might give me a shot with a 6 parter.
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on March 12th, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
Bravo. I saved these and read all at once. I think you have captured the flavor of White Collar and the personalities as well.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 12th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! LG's drabble comm has really paid off in getting me experience writing WC.
fangirl29fangirl29 on April 7th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
Thought I'd venture over to the WC arena and I'm glad I did! I'm such an H/C and angst lover and you came through for me! I truly enjoyed poor Neal's pain, suffering, and anguish, but I'm glad you fixed him all up to play again with later. I'll be checking in for more of your great fic! Thanks for sharing your work :)
The Gauche in the Machinechina_shop on July 12th, 2012 10:46 am (UTC)
Aww, this was so good! I finally finished the series and really enjoyed it. *much applause*

*smishes all of them*