So this is my first White Collar story. I have this obsession with Neal Caffrey and guns. Together, they're a very dangerous and very alluring pair. I'm watching it online and I've got the season finale of season 2 left, so this story is cannon until there. It involves Sara and Neal in a relationship. Yum.
Say No to Guns, Kids
"Have I mentioned that I don't like you keeping a gun?"
Sara Ellis shakes her head and throws it back on the pillows. "Yes, you've mentioned it once, or a million times," she replies, sounding amused. "Still not going to change my mind."
"Can't blame me for trying," he says.
Sara purses her lips and tilts her head, surveying his silhouette. It's late – way too late considering both of them have to be up at work tomorrow. The only light in her bedroom is from the street lamp outside, giving her room an orange-ish glow. It makes her – well, whatever he is, they haven't hashed out the details yet. It makes Neal look angelic.
Sara snorts at the thought.
"Something funny?" he asks, with his eyes closed.
He's lying beside her with the sheets covering his lower half and his arm thrown over his forehead. He hasn't moved an inch. If Sara hadn't been watching him, she wouldn't have known it was him who'd spoken.
She wonders how long it took for him to hone his skills.
"Just thinking," she replies evasively.
"Uh-oh. That's never a good thing," he snickers. His lips turn up ever so lightly.
Sara pushes his arm. She leans up on her elbows and pulls the sheet around her upper body. They've been together countless times now and Sara isn't shy, but there's something about Neal Caffrey that has her feeling like an inexperienced little girl again.
He knows things – how to pick locks and [allegedly] steal Raphael paintings – that Sara doesn't.
That means he's seen things that she hasn't, including a better body and more beautiful women. Sara knows that he's loyal, obsessively so, but that doesn't stop her from being insecure.
She is her mother's daughter, after all. Mrs. Ellis always made sure to tell her that there's always something better around the corner.
"You're staring, Sara." Neal mumbles softly.
"I prefer to call it observing," she replies, smoothly and then pauses, "Are you ever going to tell me why you don't like guns?"
He opens his mouth and closes it before shrugging.
"I just don't like guns," he says.
"It has to be more that. I mean, I don't like guns but I can understand it's use. You don't even carry one. I would've thought in your line of work, it would be something of a necessity."
Neal smirks and opens his eyes.
They're unbelievably blue and Sara knows that it's only a matter of time before he'll be able to blink and get her to do whatever he wants.
"My line of work?" he asks.
Sara rolls her eyes. "You're a conman."
"Fine. You're an alleged conman," she amends, smirking lightly.
He shrugs and flips on his side, mirroring her position. "As an alleged conman, I use my words. I don't use guns. I might use intimidation, because there's only so far my words can take me, but I don't use guns. They're for criminals."
"And you are…" she trails off.
"Allegedly," he says, "I'm a conman. There's a big difference."
She pauses. Sara knows that it won't be easy for him to tell her why he doesn't like guns, and she knows that there's a better reason than 'I just don't like guns'. So she tries a different tactic.
"Ever used one?"
"Are you asking me if I've ever shot someone?" he asks, sharply.
Sara nods, hesitantly.
"Yes, I have."
"Did they - I mean, were they okay?"
There it is – he's shot someone but never killed. That's a relief. In the back of her mind, Sara knows that this man – the one in front of her, who broke out of jail for a girl, couldn't possibly be a killer, but she's spent enough time in the world to know that there's a person inside everyone that no one knows.
Neal looks at her curiously, "Why are you so interested in me and guns?"
Her answer is simple.
She nods enthusiastically. "Now I'm not condoning guns or anything," she says, "But watching you with a gun is sexy. And intriguing."
Sara leans back in the bed as Neal stands up. He walks over to her side and takes out the gun from underneath her mattress, flipping it from one hand to the other. Sara can tell he doesn't like it, the distaste is obvious on his face. He stretches his arm and checks the safety and what not – Sara doesn't quite know. The only reason she has the gun is to shoot, which is something Neal won't do, obviously.
"You find this sexy?" he asks, incredulously.
Sara watches the muscles in his arm and back flex as he points the gun at the wall behind her and nods.
"It's not the gun; it's the power you hold when you have the gun." Sara says.
Neal shakes his head and drops the gun on the bed, like it's burning metal. Sara puts it back underneath her bed without saying anything. He walks back to the bed and gets under the covers, once again closing his eyes. Sara wonders whether to say something, but keeps her mouth shut. She puts her head on the pillow and tries her hardest to fall asleep.
Then Neal talks.
"I was ten years old, sitting in the kitchen. Mom and Dad were in the living room, talking to some guy. It was only later I found out that my Dad was making a deal with said guy."
Sara licks her lips, eagerly. Mystery excites her, almost as much as Neal Caffrey does.
"Halfway into their meeting, they started yelling. I stayed put in the kitchen, my Mom had told me not to go anywhere. But then she screamed. So I went to see what was happening. This guy – some six foot scum with snake tattoos, was holding a gun to my mother's head. What angered me more than the fact that my mother was being held at gun point was the fact that my father didn't seem bothered, at all."
Sara watches his face, but it's passive and calm. She knows this can't be easy for him, but he's Neal Caffrey and he doesn't do vulnerable, apparently.
"So I went back to the kitchen, picked up my dad's gun – he was a cop, by the way and a dirty one – from the kitchen table, went back to the living room and shot the guy on his foot."
Sara gasps. The image of a ten year old Neal Caffrey shooting someone to protect a woman he so clearly loves, for some reason, doesn't surprise her. She can imagine him doing it for his mom, Kate and even Diana.
Neal shakes his head slightly, smiling without any happiness. "They took him to the hospital, but obviously he wasn't going to say anything. My Mom wasn't able to look at me for weeks and my Dad patted me on the back and congratulated me."
"Is that why you don't like guns? Because you shot someone?"
Neal chuckles, dryly. "No, no."
"I don't like guns because I liked the feeling of shooting someone and I'm afraid – terrified, even – that if I do it again, I won't be able to stop."
Thank you for reading!