The twenty-second of twenty-five comment!fics I wrote for the Twelfth Round of the IJ Porn Battle. One - the second, to be specific - of three in this fandom and pairing. This is one of two written from the same prompt - two ideas hit me at the same time, and I wrote them both. The other will go up tomorrow.

Oh, and I blame Neal's angst-ridden-ness on last season's depressing finale, and the odd behaviour he displayed in the early episodes of this season.

No Lie

Neal was curled up by one of the huge windows in his room, watching the snow fall past him and warming his hands on a large cup of hot cocoa - hardly as sophisticated a drink as one might expect of him, but there he was.

His eyes were faraway, had anyone been there to see him, and his mug was going cold - he'd rather forgotten it, in the depths of his thoughts.

Neal had certainly been shot at before - though it was an experience he endeavoured to avoid, as much as possible - but today had been different, somehow. Perhaps it had been the fact that Peter had tackled him, interposing himself between Neal and the gun - perhaps it had been the look in his . . . friend's eyes as he ran those broad, calloused hands over Neal's body, checking frantically for any injuries.

Neal sighed, rising from his chair by the window. He couldn't remember when the majority of his thoughts had begun to follow that pattern - when Peter had become the centre of his life. That in itself was worrying, but he was too tired, and too confused, to worry about it tonight.

Cup rinsed and discarded in the sink, clothes stripped off and folded neatly to await cleaning, Neal tucked himself away in his large - and rather luxurious, if he did say so himself - bed.

For all its size and comfort, though, tonight it felt cold and . . . lonely. Neal curled up on his side, hiding his face in his comforter. He wasn't supposed to get lonely - Neal Caffrey, expertly seducing, masterfully thieving, skilfully forging… He was supposed to be entirely self-sufficient. The occasional ally, but he needed no company to soothe away his fears for goodness' sake.

If he did, though…

Neal turned over, scolding himself for his flight of fancy even as he closed his eyes, allowing the memory of Peter's wide hazel eyes to fill his mind, tracing his own hand down his chest, teasing the sensitive spots he knew better than anyone.

Neal moaned, eyes fluttering open, arching his back as his hand slid over his abdominal muscles, achingly slowly. Peter would definitely be the type to soothe fears, for all his awkwardness…

Neal put off his relief, teasing at the inside of his thighs and spreading them further, as if to allow a person heavier than he was to lie there. He panted, his eyes slipping half-closed as he imagined tracing the heavy lines of Peter's shoulders.

Neal teased the underside of his cock with delicately calloused fingertips, stroking smoothly up from the base. He traced back down, forcing his hips to remain pressed flat on the bed as he repeated the teasing and familiar series of movements.

Eventually he needed more than that, firming his grip and speeding his rhythm by the slimmest of margins, keeping his strokes smooth and steady.

Neal's hips tilted up into his stroke, rocking needily, whimpering. At this point his mind was absorbed enough by his fantasy to start believing in his conjured Peter.

Strangling the urge to scream his pleasure, Neal's hand tightened, sweeping his thumb over the head of his cock. His hips jerked up into the sharp sting of sensation it caused as he allowed himself to moan Peter's name - no one was present to hear him, after all.

Neal traced the edges of his flat abdominal muscles, which fluttered almost ticklishly at the touch. He exhaled shakily, shades of a whine showing through his ever-refined voice as he sped his strokes further, no longer restraining himself from bucking into the sensation.

With his own expert touch, and the experience of a lifetime, it wasn't long before Neal was biting down lightly on his lip, shuddering his release and smothering the yell of Peter's name he wanted to let loose. His eyes were dark in his passion, and, though once more opened wide, looked blankly up at nothing.

Less than ten minutes later, Neal was smothering shaky noises he denied, even to himself, were sobs. He curled back up, hiding from the world - from himself - and trying not to think about anything.

Neal laughed wetly. If his life had taught him anything, it was that he could never lie to himself - it was why he was so good. He never lost himself to a con, or allowed himself to lose sight of his objective.

It was also why he couldn't dismiss or deny the fact that he knew he was in love with Peter Burke.


The prompt was 'White Collar, anyone, staying in on a cold night' - mind you, both of mine are for Neal/(Peter).