Tropes are tropes for a reason, and well, I've always been a bit of girl for the classics. ;D

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Fingers Crossed (and hope to Die)

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There is no premeditation to what he's about to do. But he's faster on his feet than anyone else in the room. (Well, maybe not the man tied to the chair with his hands cuffed in his lap but Special Agent Peter Burke isn't exactly on his feet, per se, and technicality has always been, kind of, Neal's thing.) And really, it's about maintaining the good man's cover, he swears with a heart of gold, silver tongue already slicking up his lips.

Not (just) because he's always wondered how it'd feel to kiss Burke the Jerk with his tongue

"Wait."

They turn to him, while one of them still have his gun on the agent.

"We can't have him dead."

"And why not?"

Neal rolls his eyes, bites his tongue back to look just as though he thinks they're all stupid (not that it is hard to do, half of it is barely even play-pretend). "He's the Fed after my head, not this," he gestures around at their less than legal operation, "I'm his off book hobby, you guys can't just kill off my fun."

The others look at him like he is insane, the gun pointing to Peter's head doesn't waver. So, Neal doubles the exasperation and doesn't make any eye contact with the man that's been chasing him for a good two years or so. He imagines the gagged man would have a few choice words to say about what Neal's about to do.

"How does 5% of my cut sound?"

The four men look at each other, and for one frightening second, Neal almost thinks they see right through him and his impulsive need to lie. But then one of them is chuckling like a mad man, another shaking his head, and then, yet another is laughing with a manic glint in his eyes.

"Caffrey, you're messed up in the head."

Neal scoffs and gives them all a small shrug. "Everyone needs a hobby."

They are watching when he walks up to the FBI agent and pulls the makeshift gag from between his lips. He can already see the redness in the corners of his mouth from the tightness of the gag, and Neal angles his body to tug it just a bit looser, along with the knot that has him pinned against the back of the chair. His fingers quick and inconspicuous.

And because they are still watching him, uneasy with the way he seems to handle a Fed with such intimacy, he puts a hand on either side of Burke's face and drags him close. Tilting his head just right and ignoring the outrageous glare Burke is sending him, Neal silences the man with a press of his mouth over his.

Thrill rubbing him raw from inside out.

Peter Burke isn't unsuspecting but he does bite back a gasp when Neal moans a decibel too loud. And Neal being Neal, he slips his tongue against the man's and into the wet, wet heat. Peter can't see but he can feel it when the con man's lips curves into a grin over his. It's a show, he knows, they both do, all lips and teeth and tongues sliding wet and obscene between the two of them. It's a demonstration of how he is fearless and just a touch bit insane, playing with fire like he knows he can get away with kissing the man that's bent on catching him.

And for criminals like them, Neal knows just how well of an example he can make of Burke.

When Neal leans back against his heels, dazed eyes and flush high on his cheeks, he ducks his head a bit and adds, breathless, just for good measures.

"Goodbye, Peter Burke."

"Gag him and let's go." One of them says with a scoff, not quite capable of looking at either of them in the eyes. Neal nods with a grin before tugging the gag back over Peter's mouth, and if it is much looser than before, no one notices a thing.

He winks at him as he goes, his tag team of criminals following behind, his mouth red over the dizzying taste of metal on his tongue.

"You're nuts, Caffrey." One calls out, as they are rounding the corner.

"Some like them crazy." Another retorts, voice leering with something that sounds just like second hand embarrassment.

Neal laughs, something loud, and that's the last thing Peter hears before he gets to work with struggling out of the ropes and undoing the cuffs around his wrists with the key Caffrey slipped him through their kiss.

He has the cuffs opened by the time his team, they have just been twenty minutes away, is clearing the warehouse.

"Boss—" Diana walks in, eyes darting each and every way. It's nearly invisible but he does see her relief when she finds him standing next to the chair, rubbing at his wrists.

"Don't." Peter interrupts her with a groan, one hand coming up to wipe at his mouth.

"Did Caffrey just—"

"I don't want to talk about it." Peter cuts Jones off with a glare as he lifts his shirt up to peel off the bug they had taped to his chest. He drops it in the evidence bag Diana is holding out and makes a face at the amount of paperwork he is going to have to deal with when the transcriptions of the recordings come back. "Hell, I don't even want to think about it right now."

Peter pretends he can't see them fighting back the urge to smirk, and stalks off. (Being kissed by Neal Caffrey is like winning without the victory, losing without the feeling that he's lost anything at all, and Peter Burke hates it just as much as he loves the chase. Not that he'd admit to any of this.)

They don't find the counterfeits, or the originals, or even Neal fucking Caffrey's fingerprint on any of the equipment they do end up collecting from the dockside warehouse. What they do find, instead, is incriminating evidence splayed like a path of cookie crumbs leading to every other person in the group, but mostly to the man who has pointed a gun at Peter's head.

XXX Kuro