Title: Stage Management

Author: medjai_trowa

Beta: havenward

Fandom: White Collar

Characters: Peter, June, Neal

Rating: G, Gen

Summary: Was it really coincidence that June walked into the thrift store while Neal was there?


She's been on Peter's watch list for years. He had on occasion staked out her house – and at the time, her husband's workplace – as a rookie agent in the White Collar squad, and had frequently found himself and his more senior partner the recipients of coffee in fine china cups or sandwiches on plates so apparently delicate he was afraid of breaking them.

And of course, as junior partner, it was his lot to return the crockery at the end of their shift.

Never to the front door; he was fairly confident that the kitchen door was the safest place to return the items; but it always surprised him to see June answering that door, a maid hovering ineffectually in the back ground. She had always politely thanked him for their return, just as he politely thanked her for their loan and the food with which they had been supplied, but he found himself liking the woman.

As time moved on and the statute of limitations passed on a number of cases in which June and her husband stood accused, they moved down the official watch list until some time in his fourth year with the Bureau, they dropped off the bottom. Not that they ever came off his own, unofficial list.

He and June kept up a correspondence, of course – he wouldn't have liked to see what she did if he failed to make use of the writing set she had thoughtfully presented him with one Christmas. He'd had it checked out by the Bureau, of course. Something like that going undeclared could have caused enormous waves. He hadn't thought that it would be stolen – June would never do something so déclassé – but the guys in OPR would want it in writing, just in case.

They continued their relationship on paper. Peter invited June to his wedding to Elizabeth, which she declined to attend. June invited Peter to her husband's funeral – which he did attend, ostensibly to make sure the old blowhard really was gone but more to lend his support to his friend. And so it was, when Neal was released into his custody, he threw the guy a bone.

Not that he would ever, even under pain of torture, confess that he had done so.

"June? The guy I told you about – he's heading to the thrift store at the corner now."