"This is a terrible idea!" Mozzie complained.

"It never ceases to amaze me when you actually agree with Peter."

"Then why is he letting you do it?"

"Necessity. I can't hide forever." Neal sat casually in plain sight in the park. Mozzie was hanging out behind a statue. The rest of the White Collar team were nearby. Neal could spot one agent dressed as a tourist with camera, another as a bird watcher. One was a jogger. Another sat on a bench apparently reading a novel.

A woman strolled up at a brisk pace. She had black hair and sunglasses. She wore shorts and a low cut blouse. Neal spared her a quick glance and came back for another when she sat down. "Hi." A radio blared loud enough he could here it in spite of the earplugs she wore.

"Hi." Neal flashed her his famous smile, but was inwardly wondering how to get rid of her before the target showed. He was more than a little surprised when the gun poked into his side.

"Not. A. Word."

Neal's eyes widened. Where had she hidden that?

"Give me the jewels." Her voice was soft. Her gaze appeared to roam the park. One hand was on her lap, the other on the gun.

"What jewels?" He replied equally casually.

"No games. I know you're here meeting a fence for the jewels. Hand them over or I will shoot you right here."

"Lot of witnesses."

"Silencer."

"Ah." Neal handed over the case with the jewels slowly. She flipped it open and gazed at the fake gems. Neal swallowed. "Would you mind moving that..." He gently nudged the gun, but she jammed it harder into his side. He winced.

Her finger cocked the trigger. "I think you should come with me until I authenticate these." She stated suspiciously.

Mozzie suddenly appeared, carrying an ice cream cone. He stumbled and staggered trying to catch it, fumbling into her and sending the ice cream into her lap. Neal dove aside as the gun wavered and went off, missing him by millimeters and slamming into the tree trunk beside him. The FBI team charged in and had her before she could recover.

"Thanks for that." Neal looked shaken.

"Told you it was a bad idea!" Mozzie had already vanished behind the tree.

Neal followed. "Sorry about your ice cream."

"You know I'm lactose intolerant. Better on her than in me." Mozzie strolled off with Neal, leaving the FBI to deal with the wrap up.

Neal felt a tingling between his shoulders and glanced back once to see her gazing after him with a venomous glare. He lengthened his stride until the path twisted and he no longer felt the heat of her fury.

He and Mozzie stepped back out of the park and Mozzie paused, turned back. "I forgot my ice cream."

Neal blinked casting an apprehensive gaze at the street as he followed him back into the shadows. He caught sight of what his lactose intolerant friend had noticed. "Oh." He grabbed his cell phone and dialed Peter. "Hey, we're at the entrance and there is a guy in a gray sports car just sitting there with the engine running." The guy kept looking at the park entrance impatiently.

"We'll check it out."

Neal and Mozzie hung back for a moment. Suddenly the sports car shot forward, only to stop with a squeal of tires as a van pulled in front of it and stopped.

Two agents poured out and pointed guns at the car. The driver tried to bail and run toward Neal and Mozzie, but Diana raced passed them and slammed him to the ground.

"Okay. Now we can go." Mozzie said.

Neal smirked. "Don't want your ice cream?"

"Only if you can find a lactose free variety."


"So what about Danval?" Neal asked Peter later. He had changed clothes, his earlier shirt having somehow acquired a few ice cream stains in the chaos.

"Picked up by Interpol, thanks to you giving us the details on the fake IDs you made."

"Good."

"Diana and Jones both want a piece of the guy."

"I don't blame them. It was a rough trip, worse for them than me!"

"Any news on this Smasher woman?"

"It was more like a Smasher team. We found the man hanging back in the getaway car. She was the mastermind."

"What did she want with Danval and his crew?"

"Apparently they hired him to commit a robbery."

"And they bailed?"

"They bailed when they realized they'd been duped into robbing the mob right after the mobster had been murdered."

"I'd bail too." Neal admitted.

"Well, they're in big trouble for kidnapping two feds, but they may make a deal to take down the people that hired them. Or I should say Danval will and maybe his crew too. Ms. Claws real name was Eileen Winvera. And she's been known to work as an assassin and courier as well as a sometime mob enforcer for a rival mob."

"I knew she was trouble." Neal observed, knowing it was an understatement. "So assassination trumps kidnapping two FBI agents?"

"They claim it was to protect them. And they did let them go." Peter said.

Neal rolled his eyes. "Yeah, protect them as bargaining chips." He paused. "Still, I don't doubt Smasher...what was her name, by the way?"

"Karen Wilson once upon a time. She has a long string of aliases. And the guy is her brother, Marcus."

"I can see them going after anyone who had a clue. And Jones and Diana, being the watching agents, definitely had a clue."

"They couldn't have held Diana for long, or Jones. They're trained professionals."

"You're right. Give her half a chance and Diana would tie them in a knot. If her eyes were lasers they'd have been scorched. And both of them have protected Mozzie."

Peter turned to stare at him in confusion. "What's Mozzie got to do with it?"

"Meaning they've received a crash course in driving your captors insane."

Peter's lips quirked. "I won't tell them you said that."

"Thanks. Now I think of it, I'd like to keep all my limbs intact..."


The End. Thanks for reading!