White Collar ficcy bits, possibly rated M for those of a prudish disposition, though I've seen worse in ads for Offspring on telly.
Peter crouched down and snipped the plastic band that secured the ankle monitor.
"You know," he said, boucing the monitor in his hand. "I think you spend more time out of this than in it."
"It only appears that way," Neal answered, a touch peevishly, arms folded.
"I'm sorry," Peter started, then stopped.
"No I'm not. You do the crime you do the time. It's meant to be humiliating and restrictive to make you think twice the next time you let your sticky little fingers do the walking, that's why they call it correction. It's a damn sight better than four walls and an orange jumpsuit, so quit moaning. Orange is so not your colour, by the way."
"I know, but I think I can work it."
Neal shot him that passive aggressive look of mock submission that was anything but.
"I get it. I'm a bad boy and this is my punishment. You never let me forget it."
"Sometimes I think you forget how you got here. You're my friend but I can't ever forget that you're -"
"A criminal?" Neal finished for him huffily.
"Sometimes you do forget it, though, don't you," Neal gently prodded for the truth.
Peter nodded. "Yeah, more than I should."
There was an angry scoffing.
"I don't care about your marriage. I don't want to hear about your marriage. If your marriage was as perfect as you say it is you wouldn't even be here. You've been in a rut for so long you can't even see the sides and I can smell the mid life crisis rolling off you like sweat."
Neal was in the face now, jaw set, blue eyes burning.
"And I don't care about your job. I'm the last person to care about your job. It would suit me just fine if you were gone, banished to counting paperclips in Idaho."
He pushed forward.
"You think this is easy for me? Do you know how fucking hard it is to desperately - to care so much about the man I should hate above all else? The man who sent me to prison for four years of my life. Four years." Neal's voice cracked, as though he could still hardly believe it had happened.
"The man who took me away from Kate. And now," he shook his head miserably. "I'm moving further from her every day. I should hate you so much, I should, but I can't. I don't. What am I supposed to do?"
Peter had an answer for that. He grabbed Neal, so hard Neal's teeth almost rattled, and then, instead of the smack Neal had been expecting, Peter ground out a bruising kiss on his mouth.
Neal's arms flung around him, hips twisted against him.
They kissed and grappled furiously. They scrabbled at clothing, leaving a trail of discardrd shoes, socks, ties and belts until they fell onto the bed together.
Feverish and excited fingers unbottoned Peter's shirt. Peter pulled it away impatiently, tearing it over his head and tossing it away.
Neal was brought to a stop, his hand running over strong arms, strong shoulders, as though his hand had a mind of its own. It probably did. A dirty mind.
"Like what you see?" Peter grinned.
Neal nodded mutely. Uh huh.
Peter pulled away Neal's shirt and pushed him back against the bed, stripping him bare, to lie beside him, finally naked, touching skin to skin. They moved like snakes, sliding and rubbing against each other, twining and touching, tasting with tongues.
Impossibly, Neal was in his arms, highly aroused and wanting more, almost quivering at every touch. How had Peter missed all the signs for so long, all the flirting and teasing, the way Neal's eyes and hips would always turn towards him, the open body language, the primping and preening and posing just so Peter would look, all the soft touches, the way he'd sit or stand or lean so close, too close, close enough for Peter to catch his scent, feel the warm of his skin. All this Peter had missed because he hadn't believed it, and the depth of his denial might have explained what happened next.
(the four most stupid words)
Neal opened the door to the polite knock and found Moz sranding there, looking somewhat nonplussed.
"Is he here?" he asked, peering around the corners before crossing the threshold. "The suit?"
"Peter's at the office," Neal replied, and watched as a visibly relieved Moz finally passed through the door.
"You do know it's not your office," Moz reminded him. "You're meant to be a double agent in enemy territory. You've gone native, haven't you," Moz accused, standing right in front of him.
"No," Neal disagreed, though suddenly he wasn't so sure at all. Who was grooming who, he wondered, for as much as he'd pushed Peter to bend and stretch the law, to turn a blind eye and let things slide, Peter had been pulling at Neal, prodding at his conscience, opening him up to altruism and empathy and a sense of higher purpose than just the kicks from seeing wjat you could get away with.
Moz was studying him closely, too closely.
"He's been here all night, the Suit, hasn't he? He's been here while you've been asleep - you didn't leave anything lying about, did you?"
"No, of course not," Neal scoffed, but then, he thought again, Peter was clever and could see clues Neal was sure he had hidden.
"You've let him get to you. You've let your guard down, you're letting the side down. What's gotten into you? He's the suit who arrested you. You said you hated him, because he caught you, he bested you. What happened?"
"I didn't hate him," Neal tried to explain, though there had been days, many days, when he had, most bitterly. "I was just angry. It was my professional pride talking. If I'd been better, he'd had never had caught me."
"You sure about that?" Moz cut across him. "Because you're letting the man who caught you, the man who put you behind bars for four years, the man who took everything from you, you're letting him blow you now? This is some kind of Sockholm syndrome thing? He's got you completely brainwashed."
"No," Neal argued quietly.
There was a soft, desperate quality in his voice that Moz caught hold of instantly and went spinning into immediate alarm.
"Oh my god, tell me it's not true. You haven't." He stared into Neal's eyes.
"You have. You lunatic. Do you realise who he is? What he can do to you - to us? You've completely gone over to the other side."
"I haven't," Neal appealed.
"You have," Moz accused. This was worse than Kate, but there was nothing he could say. He knew there was nothing, not when Neal was like this.
He was like that idiot Lancelot, too willing to risk everything for a love that was doomed from the start, and there could be no reasoning with him, because he was in love. Neal was immune to all sense and reason when he was like this.
Moz made a gesture of exasperation and gave up. Still deeply suspicious though, Moz wondered just how long this infatuation had been going. He wondered if Neal had actually, deliberately or subconsciously, let himself be captured by the king.
Moz tipped over the figure on the chessboard. Check and mate.