A/N-My first White Collar fic! So please don't kill me if it's not that good.
Disclaimer- White Collar belongs to USA, but I just wanted to borrow them for a while :)
It was a lazy Saturday when Neal Caffrey woke up. The White Collar team had just finished a rather large case the night before, so he had no real need to get up. Mozzie was spending the day with Gina who was visiting from California, and June was spending the day with her granddaughters. His land lady had invited him to tag along, but he declined, as he wasn't sure if the case would've taken up his weekend.
Neal rolled over to look at his phone to find the time. It was ten o'clock. "Probably about time I get up," the con thought.
Reluctantly, Neal pushed the covers aside and shuffled over to the wardrobe. After a little deliberation, the con picked a pair of dark blue jeans, a white undershirt, and a black long sleeved v-neck sweater before he wandered into the bathroom to shower. Neal let the hot water wash away all his worries about the last case and wake him up a bit more before he grabbed the soap.
Once he was all clean and woken up, Neal stepped out of the tub, dried off, dressed, and styled his hair so it wouldn't stick up in all directions. The con was just thinking about what he was going to do for breakfast when he entered the kitchenette to find a plate of fruit, eggs and sausage, and a pot of Italian roast on the table. Neal began to ponder how but after a second, he realized that Rebecca, the housekeeper, must have heard him moving around and brought breakfast up for him. He smiled at the lady's thoughtfulness.
Neal walked over to his television, turned it so he could watch from the dining room table, and flipped to his favorite channel. It always had marathons of old shows that the con watched as a kid: Benson, Happy Days, A-Team, Gilligan's Island, etcetera. The show that was on today was his favorite—Hogan's Heroes. It was about a main group of five Allied POWs that could've escaped from the prison camp they were at, but these men had made Stalag 13 their base of operations for espionage work. Hogan's Heroes was what really inspired Neal to be a con-artist, and he took inspiration from four of the five allied POWs. Neal could now charm better than Colonel Hogan, he could cook like Corporal LeBau, he knew codes like Sergeant Kinchloe, he had surpassed Corporal Newkirk in safe cracking, and he surpassed all of them in the art of forging. Neal didn't take to the skills that Sergeant Carter had because of his aversion to guns and anything related to them. Though Neal did appreciate Carter's sense of humor—something no one seemed to do.
The episode that was on as he ate was "Art for Hogan's Sake", and it was one of his favorites. One of the reoccurring characters, General Burkhalter, comes to Stalag 13 and entrusts Édouard Manet's painting "The Fife Player" to the camp kommandant, Colonel Klink (who's best described as a blundering idiot), for protection until the General can give it to Hermann Goering for his birthday. LeBau sees the two German's with the painting and steals it once they leave the room. He eventually gets Hogan's help, and the two conned Klink into sending them to Paris to get a reproduction of the painting after LeBau "burned" the original. At the end of the episode, LeBau reveals that the forgery that was in place of the original was a fake. Before Burkhalter orders a firing squad for Klink, LeBau "explains" that Goering had taken the original and that a copy hung in its place. Though it wasn't shown, Neal suspected that Burkhalter took the painting back to the Louvre after he left Stalag 13.
Neal always liked that episode, especially since he pulled a similar con with Mozzie—though Peter didn't know that. The ex-con was about half way through the episode when his phone vibrated. He turned down the volume as he answered the call.
"Hey, Peter," Neal greeted cheerfully.
"Hey, Neal. I just wanted to remind you that Elizabeth invited you over for lunch—she figured that you might've forgotten with how involved we were in the case."
The con nodded. "Course, thanks for the call. I'll be there in forty-five minutes."
"That's fifteen minutes more than normal," Peter commented with suspicion entering his voice. "What are you up to?"
Neal sensed Peter trying to decide whether or not to pull up his tracking data. "Nothing, Peter. I'll see you in a while." He quickly hung up the phone before Peter could try and question him anymore. Just in time too—Sergeant Schultz just started to confront the Gestapo as a General.
Neal entered the Burke's home at eleven-thirty—exactly when he said he'd be there. Immediately, he was greeted by the family dog. Neal crouched down to pet the dog behind the ears.
"Hey, Satchmo. How are you, boy?"
The lab wagged his tail and gave the con a doggy smile. Neal smiled back and rose to move farther into the house. He didn't meet up with the actual owners of the residence until he got to the kitchen.
"Hey, Neal!" Elizabeth greeted as she turned around at the sound of his voice. She gave him a quick hug before she turned back to her cooking.
"Where's Peter?" Neal asked as he leaned up against the counter.
"Upstairs—he'll be down in a minute. How are you doing?" she asked.
"Fine," Neal answered. "I was asleep until an hour and a half ago."
Elizabeth nodded. "So was Peter. But that's not surprising since you guys were up late last night as well as throughout this past week."
"So how's Burke Premier Events doing?" the con asked as he started to grab plates to set the table.
"It's doing really well, actually. We've been getting tons of phone calls about potential clients. I don't know how we're going to keep up," Elizabeth replied.
"But she will," Peter said from behind them both. The agent smiled as he came up beside his wife and kissed her on the cheek. "She always does."
Neal smiled genuinely at the scene in front of him before he returned to his task. Peter helped the con finish setting the table while Elizabeth took the last few pieces of fried chicken from the pan.
"So, any plans for the rest of your weekend, Neal?" Peter asked as they all sat down.
The con shrugged. "I was thinking about going to the park or one of the art museums. Then again I was also thinking about relaxing in my apartment. How about you two?" he asked as he took a sip of coffee.
"We were thinking about renting a movie," Elizabeth replied. "Got any suggestions?" she asked as she dug into her food.
Neal narrowed his eyes as he looked between Peter and El. "I'm not exactly up to date on current movies, but I know of a baseball movie that came out a while ago called The Rookie …"
The FBI agent's face brightened as he looked to his wife. She smiled at her husband and nodded. "We have yet to see that one, actually," Peter said.
"Really?" the con questioned with a raised eyebrow. "I would've thought you'd have seen it and have it on disc."
"Being an agent for the Bureau has its draw backs."
Neal nodded silently. The three continued their lunch with a light atmosphere as they discussed their weekend plans. When they finished their meal, everyone pitched in to clean up. As soon as that was done, Elizabeth shooed the men from the kitchen so she could bring dessert out. Peter and Neal went and sat in the living room.
"So what were you watching when I called?" Peter asked once they were comfortable.
"What makes you think I was watching anything?" the con responded at an attempt to deflect the question.
The agent glared half-heartedly at his partner. "I heard multiple voices in the background, and they didn't sound like your usual friends."
Elizabeth interrupted as she brought in dessert—chocolate cake. After giving the men their plates, she took a seat on the couch next to Neal and gave him a pat on the back, as if to encourage him to answer her husband's question. After deliberating for a minute longer, Neal thought better of it.
"I was watching Hogan's Heroes," he confessed with a shrug.
Elizabeth gave a satisfied smile while Peter looked surprised. "What?" the con asked as he was going for a bite of cake.
The agent shrugged slightly. "Just not the first show I'd think you'd watch," he answered, eating his own cake.
"I actually haven't seen it in a while. The last time I watched an episode was before I moved to New York City. Used to watch it a lot when I was a kid." Neal took another bite of cake, almost hoping that the topic would be dropped, for he was never very comfortable sharing his past with people. Though he knew it was relatively safe to talk to Peter and Elizabeth about his childhood, but he was still too used to keeping his past under wraps so no one could use it against him.
Peter tilted his head to the side. "What channel is it on?" he asked as he reached for the remote and turned the TV on.
It was Neal's turn to look surprised, and for once he didn't try to hide it. "One forty-six."
To their luck, a "new" episode was beginning, and it was another one of Neal's favorites—"The Collector General". Neal settled back on the couch and relaxed as he watched the show, and Peter and El shared a happy glanced.
This episode was about a General that came to Stalag 13 claiming to have a truck full of guns and ammunition, but after further investigation, through a con pulled by the Allied POWs, it was found to be a truck load of art. By the end of the episode, the Allied POWs had stolen the art back, and the General was threatening Colonel Hogan with an investigation of the theft. Hogan didn't think he'd do it, and the General asked him what made him so sure. Hogan replied by saying, "When you steal from a thief, one sure thing, he'll never call the cops."
Peter narrowed his eyes thoughtfully when he heard the last line as it reminded him of something Neal did. "You used that mentality when you forged the Haustenberg and gave the original to Julianna and the copy to the museum," he stated once the credits started rolling.
"Think what you want," Neal deflected.
Peter just smiled and made a mental note to look back at the rest of his partner's alleged crimes for further Hogan's Heroes influence.
Just so everyone knows, I made up channel 146. I don't have cable, dish, or satellite, so I made it up.
This fic popped into my head after watching too much of White Collar and Hogan's Heroes. Hope you all enjoyed it!