After perusing the endless pages of White Collar fanfiction, I couldn't help but get this little fanfic idea stuck in my head. Just a short one-shot piece about Neal trying to deal with Peter having the same ring as the man who has Kate, and ends up in him getting mad at Peter for supposedly lying to him this entire time (but you guys remember this, right?). This will later be accompanied by Neal's thoughts on what he's thinking after Peter tells him the truth, and then what he thinks after they make it out of the air-tight safe.

Oh, and I don't own any of the White Collar characters or plot lines, and I'm not making any money after this…. So- on with the show!


He didn't want to believe it. He refused to believe it.

Neal's mind swam with questions as he gripped the counter in his partner's bathroom. Or should he say his backstabber's bathroom? 'Cause that was what he was, if he really had Kate all this time.

After having convinced Peter that working on the case at his house was far better than at the office (coffee was always the sure-fire way to get him to agree to something) and lying about needing to use the bathroom, Neal had studied the pictures of Peter and Elizabeth leading to the second floor. He'd admit, there was a sense of relief that touched over him briefly as he found no ring in the first picture, one of the two on vacation, and even began to think that, maybe, Fowler and Moz had been wrong about Peter. But as Neal moved on to the next picture, there it was. The ring.

He couldn't have her, Neal thought frantically. Why would he? What could he possibly hope to get out of this? Of lying to me?

Of course Peter had answered that himself just hours before. Neal couldn't see how Peter thought he might get money out of holding Kate, keeping her from Neal and then lying to him about it. The Bureau only gave Neal seven hundred a month to live on. There was the fact that Neal could get his hands on more, sure, but would Peter actually hold Kate just for that?

No, it had to be something different. But what? He seemed content with what he had already. Good job, nice house, faithful wife – all he was missing was two kids running around wreaking havoc. Neal was right in what he told Moz – he knew Peter. The three years of the cat-and-mouse game they'd both played led to Neal knowing Peter possibly more than the agent knew himself.

But it was him. Peter had the ring in the picture, and that meant he had Kate. There wasn't any other explanation for it.

Neal turned the faucet on and began splashing cold water onto his face, trying to stop himself from shaking.

Just when he had begun to think that Peter was someone he could trust, someone that would always help him no matter what, he lies to his partner. The conman in him told him that he should have expected this. No one was to be trusted, not even a federal agent. Always expect lies from deceit from everyone – from cons, from feds. Everyone.

But what kind of world is it, Neal thought as he reached for a towel and began drying his face, when you can't even trust the man who put you in jail?

Placing the towel back on its hanger, Neal looked at himself in the mirror. The usual brightness from his blue eyes had turned to stone, and his jaw was stiff. If Peter was holding Kate, Neal couldn't just sit idly by and let him get what he wanted.

Not knowing just how he planned to get away from Peter and the whole damn FBI, Neal opened the door and walked back downstairs.