Disclaimer- *insert witty way of saying I don't own White Collar here*

AN- This was born of a prompt on tumblr (see link at bottom of chapter.) It's not Peter/Neal or Neal/Elizabeth. Technically, its post-'Countdown', written in honor of Tuesday, but I know it's gonna be AU from before&after it so…Please review(:

Neal looked deep into Elizabeth's dark brown eyes, his blue eyes filled with such determination and sadness that it shattered her heart. She had no idea what her husband had said or done to make Neal think that this was his entire fault. He hadn't told Keller to kidnap her, the man had just done it, Of course, he had taken the Nazi treasure and conned them, but she had long ago accepted the Neal did make mistakes, like all humans did. Elizabeth took each slip up in stride, and this was no different.

"Elizabeth, we need to go." He whispered his voice hoarse. Blood and sweat dripped down his face. "Please! I don't know when Keller is getting back and we need to move!" The brunette woman nodded, staggering to her feet. Her head swam slightly, but she shoved it aside.

"Which way out?" She asked, turning into the logical FBI agent-wife she was. "And I need some sort of a weapon in case his thugs come back."

The con-man threw her a smile, obviously pleased she was coming, and handed her a pipe. Neal then reached into his pocket and pulled out a handgun. It fit nicely into his hand, like an old friend, but there was a flash of discomfort in his eyes as he cocked it and moved towards the door.

"Let me go first." The C.I. whispered, easing open the door. "You follow as I take out the guards."

"Neal, honey…" El started, but didn't finish the sentence. Whatever Peter had said had done the trick. He would get her out, even if it cost him his own life. "Go ahead."

The blue eyes begged forgiveness and his mouth turned into an apologetic smile. He turned the door handle and slipped into the hallway with his former best friend's wife at his heels.

Elizabeth Burke sat up with a choked cry, the image of her almost-son's face battered and sad burned into her eyelids. Beside her, her husband lay asleep and completely oblivious. Only days had passed since her rescue by Neal and Peter had never let her out of his sight. He didn't know what Neal had done to save her. All him and the FBI knew was that Neal had somehow got her out, and vanished into the night. They didn't know what happened that night. The only people that did know were the thugs, Keller, Neal, her, and Moz. She slid out of bed and stumbled as quietly as she could down the stairs to her living room. Ripping open the desk drawer, she rifled through her papers until she found the glossy photo she'd taken just months before Keller took her. Neal had been 'researching' until he had fallen asleep on the file and her husband had just nodded off beside him. She had been pleasantly surprised to come home and find them not only home, but asleep next to each other. A tear rolled down her cheek, dripped onto Neal's fedora.

"Oh Neal…" The brunette whispered "You should be helping Peter catch cons, not laying there all cold and…"

"It's not fair, really." A voice cut in, causing El to slam the drawer and whirl around. She found herself face to face with Moz. As soon as Neal had told the smaller man what he was doing, he had come racing back to try and stop him, but it had been too late. Elizabeth had told him what happened, and they had grown close in the following days. "He shouldn't have…"

The con didn't finish the sentence, just let it hang there and fill up the room.

"A man as beautiful and passionate about the people he loves shouldn't have to choose between them." Elizabeth whispered bitterly, turning back to the photograph on lying on the table. She glared at it in the gloom of the early morning. "Neal deserved the best, but all the best wanted him, either the con-man or the consultant. He had to choose between the two lives he loved, and no matter how many times he tried to have both, he couldn't."

"I shouldn't have let him be tempted by Keller." Moz said quietly, his guilt almost tangible in his voice. "I shouldn't have tempted him. I just wanted my Neal back. He was so close to you and the Suit and Sara." He sighed and sat down onto a chair at the table, he face in his hands. "Now he's gone, and none of us get to have him."

Elizabeth turned away from the picture and to Neal's best friend. She moved quickly, sinking in the chair next to him and taking one of his hands. A crystalline tear rolled down one of his cheeks, startling her. All the time she had spent with Neal and Mozzie, the brunette woman had never seen the duo cry. It was then she realized that Peter and she weren't the only ones who had thought of themselves as Neal's parents.

"Before Neal…" Elizabeth started, causing Moz's head to jerk up. "He told me, 'In every shadow there is a light. In every tear, a smile. In death I know there still is life that lingers for a while…'"

The small man gave a small laugh, brushing the single tear away.

"That was Neal's favorite quote. One of those amazing, anonymous sayings."

El gave a grin as she stood and moved towards the kitchen, taking down too mugs and filling them with coffee she had set to make before she slept knowing full well she wouldn't sleep.

"He's not dead." She stated gently. "And he didn't run."

"I know. You told me what happened" The con-man replied. "All we have to do is prove ourselves right."

To Be Continued…

Not too bad right?

Anyways, please review(:

And here's the link to the prompt: i-am-the-morticians-daughter .tumblr .com/post/15809447053/white-collar-neal-would-do-anything-to-help-peter