A/N - First, to anyone reading my Chuck/White Collar Crossover "CIAgent", I am terribly sorry that I'm being so slow with the updates. My deepest apologies. I was attacked by these rabid plot bunnies, while the ones assigned to that story are being suspiciously silent. Now, as for this story… I have no idea how it came about. Really. It was suddenly in my head, and I just thought 'Hmm… Eh, why not post it?' So, ta-da! A little Neal/Kate ficlet. I may add some other ficlets later, I suppose. Oh, and please read and review. Thanks!

Disclaimer: Not mine. But I'll be 21 in a few months, and Matt Bomer would make an excellent gift…

If Only

Neal had known Kate for three days when he asked her to marry him.

It was their first official date. They'd had dinner in the Eiffel Tower, then snuck into a closed-off part of the Louvre to have their own private tour. Kate looked at the paintings like she had never seen such beauty.

Neal looked at Kate the same way.

He listened as she talked about brushstrokes and colors, compared Renaissance pieces to more modern works, and added his own commentary when necessary. But the whole time, he was cataloguing the lines of her throat, the curve of her lips, the blue of her eyes, and realizing with the utmost certainty of someone in love that nothing could ever compare to this girl.

When the museum guards found them, they made a run for it, clinging to each others hands as they fled from the museum, and out into the streets. They ducked down a deserted side street, and pressed themselves against a wall, breathless and laughing.

He glanced over at her, and blurted out the question before his brain realized what his heart had gone and done.

Kate looked over at him, eyes still laughing and a smile on her lips and said "We've only known each other three days."

"So?"

Something shifted, and then she was looking at him like she did the paintings, brushing her hand gently down his cheek, and tilting her head just slightly, like she was searching for something in his eyes.

Angry shouts in French were followed by the sound of running down the direction in which they'd come.

They took off again, hand-in-hand, and Kate laughed again, gripping his a bit tighter. "If you still want to marry me in three years as much as you do in three days, ask me then, when nobody's trying to arrest us!"

Three year later, to the day, Neal bought a diamond ring, and headed to Mozzie's apartment.

"I need you to do me a favor."

Mozzie eyed him warily. "A favor?"

"Well, technically two."

Moz crossed his arms. "I'm listening."

"I need you to be my best man. And to hold on to this." He handed him the ring.

He took it, looking at it curiously, before pocketing it. "Despite my very deep loathing of the monkey suit and it's itchiness, yes to the first. As for the second, why can't you hold onto it?"

Neal smiled, and Mozzie tried to ignore the feeling that something was wrong. That was the smile Neal used to distract a mark while he lifted their wallet/watch/item-of-value, and using it on Mozzie usually meant that the kid was about to do something stupid and he didn't want Moz to stop him.

"What are you going to do, Neal?"

Neal wouldn't look him in the eyes as he headed for the door. "There's something else I've got to take care of before I can ask Kate to marry me."

Mozzie wouldn't forgive himself for letting the kid walk out that door.

Two weeks later Neal was arrested.

Nearly five years later Neal knelt on a burning tarmac, a diamond ring biting into his clenched fist hard enough to bleed, and wondered where he'd be if only she'd said 'yes'.