I have no claim to White Collar or it's characters. This is my own personal interpretation and no copyright infringement is intended.
This story, more than most, is just for fun.
Day Three (of the most boring surveillance assignment ever):
"So, if you had a time machine but you could only go back within your own lifetime AND you couldn't change your past or interact with yourself in any way…what would you do?" Peter asked.
They were playing yet another round of What Would You Do? It was similar to Deserted Island, which was the game they'd played yesterday.
"I'd buy a Barracuda." Agent Clinton Jones announced. "Those things were only a few grand brand new. I'd buy a gently used one and then brick it up in a warehouse or something. Get it out now it'd be worth over a hundred grand."
"Wouldn't work." Neal said.
"What do you mean it wouldn't work?" Jones asked.
"Well," Neal started. "You'd have to have the few grand to buy it in dated currency and you'd also have to have money to either buy property to 'brick it up' or rent for several decades."
"I'd take some gold back with me."
Neal still shook his head. "The value of the dollar was much higher in the past. You couldn't afford the amount of gold you'd have to take back. Wouldn't work."
Jones turned to him. "Oh, you have a better idea?"
"Easy." Peter said. "Baseball cards."
"I'd go back in time and buy a bunch of baseball cards. Put 'em in a safe place. Dig 'em up now."
Neal shook his head. "Better but still not a good idea."
"Why?" Peter protested.
"Well, you'd still have to bring something of value back with you to get money from the time period and then you couldn't be sure to get a card of value. You'd have to hunt one down…It's just a bit messy. Doable, but messy."
"Well, what about you, Hotshot?" Jones challenged.
"Yeah, what would you do?" Peter asked.
"Easy." Neal smiled. "I'd rob the Met."
Both agents stared, neither was smiling. Neal didn't seem to notice.
"I mean, think about it. I could circumvent those security systems in my sleep. Grab a few paintings. They're small enough to stash them in a place like a wall. They'd be worth millions."
Neal finally turned his attention back to the two agents and noticed their grim expressions. The beaming smile on his face disappeared.
"I mean, that's what I'd do alledgedly." Neal said.
Peter and Jones continued to frown.
"Hypothetically?" Neal tried.
"New rule." Peter said to Jones but turning to look pointedly at Neal. "No committing felonies in the van, not even hypothetical ones."
"Here, here." Jones seconded.
"It's not like I'd actually do it." Neal laughed.
The two agents continued to frown.
"Wow, I'm thirsty." Neal said quickly. "You guys thirsty? You look thirsty. I'll just go get some coffee, shall I?"
Peter and Jones turned their attention back to the monitors.
"Not like I could get my hands on a time machine anyway." Neal muttered as he left the van.