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White Collar Ficlet: Dangerous

Title: Dangerous
Author: sheenianni
Fandom: White Collar

Characters/Pairings: Sara Ellis, Neal Caffrey (Sara/Neal)
Rating: PG
Spoilers: None
Word Count: 600
Summary: When a single thing changes in Sara’s history, what is her relationship with Neal Caffrey? Pre-series AU.

A/N: Third of the reposted ficlets that I wrote for my “Let’s Remove Writer’s block” meme. For sapphire2309, prompt 98 (Secret Identity).


It takes Sara eleven days to figure out that Nick Halden is not a businessman but a con man and a thief. He really should have known better than trying to date a PI and thinking that she wouldn’t check up on him, Sara muses as she stares at the file the FBI has on her – lover? Fling? Still, she has to admire the work he did on the alias, given that he obviously invented it on a short notices.

The FBI file has pages of speculations and very little in the way of actual facts. She wonders what else “Nick” is hiding; more than that, it makes her heart beat faster as she feels the familiar rush and excitement. No agency has ever been as close as she is – they still don’t even know the “Neal Caffrey” name. She could bring it to them and be a hero of several White Collar offices.

Except Sara doesn’t think much of recognition – instead, she prefers the power she gains from her knowledge and skills. She has come a long way in the past few years – ever since she tracked down her sister and found the bastard who murdered her, she’s learned that a certain amount of ruthlessness could get her a long way in the cutthroat world. She could use Caffrey and his special skillset – his charm, the B&E and deception skills, his ability to blend in – there are a hundred ways how someone like him could be exploited to serve her purposes, and Sara has already begun to make her plans…

The door to the restaurant opens to reveal the man in question and Sara quickly shoves the file into her handbag. She looks up at him when he approaches her table, that charming glow already radiating from him. “Well, look who the cat dragged in,” she smirks sarcastically.

“Hey Sara. Sorry I’m late,” says Caffrey with a shining smile as he bends down to kiss her cheek before taking the seat opposite her.

They order dinner and then banter as they wait for their food. After a while, Sara realizes that she’s once again enjoying herself – she’s having fun, she realizes to her amazement. As the evening progresses, she finds herself laughing, taking delight in leading a conversation that’s both intelligent and silly, until the thought hits her –

He could be her partner.

It’s a shocking, novel concept. For years, people have been customers, targets, contacts, assets and sources of information; she’s also had a few one-night stands and made several acquaintances like the cop lady downtown or the guy at the tech shop from whom she bought her surveillance toys and her camera. But a friend, an equal… she honestly can’t remember when she had one of those.

Except Caffrey is a professional liar, and Sara is not going to be one of his marks. Whatever his angle is, she’s not going to let him use her. Besides, she’s happy as she is; she doesn’t need anyone else and certainly not a criminal with the maturity of Peter Pan.

“Is something wrong?” asks “Nick” after they exit the restaurant.

Belatedly, Sara realizes she’s been silent for too long. “It’s nothing,” she says, but her tone is off. She makes up an excuse, promises to call Caffrey tomorrow, and then she goes home – alone.

She has to decide what she’ll do next.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2015 08:18 pm (UTC)
Wow, now that would have one heck of a spin to the story! Your characterization of Sara is absolutely spot on (love the categories she has for the people she meets on the job), the same goes for her thoughts on Neal/Nick. But now you got me curious - what exactly will she do next??

Anyway, great story, thanks for sharing!
Nov. 5th, 2015 08:22 am (UTC)
Ha, no idea :D
No, actually I several some ideas where this could lead... I might continue this in a series of one-shots. Who knows - maybe :D

Thank you for your review and I'm really happy that you liked this :)
Nov. 4th, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
interesting take. Those two would certainly have done wonder, working together.
Nov. 5th, 2015 01:15 pm (UTC)
Well, it would definitely be interesting... I wonder how much would Sara (especially this version of her) be able to curb Neal's criminal impulses, and how much would he pull her into his world.

I don't know. I'm not sure if I can see them as a couple in these circumstances, but OTOH I like the possibilities here... Maybe I'll explore it some more. We'll see :)
Nov. 5th, 2015 01:56 pm (UTC)
Hee I was wondering just that, who would drag the other on their side the most?
I can see them becoming repo partners. Sara becoming the "Peter" of the duo, though being a lot less strict on the rules...
Nov. 8th, 2015 01:37 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I missed this one. Very interesting look at Sara. I'd love to see a continuation, but who says that Neal would be interested?
Nov. 8th, 2015 02:44 pm (UTC)
Heee, I never said Neal would accept Sara's proposal, even if she actually makes it - she hasn't even made up her mind yet, never mind him. Either way, I see Neal more like the Catwoman to Sara's Batman (if we're speaking Nolan movies, that is - I don't know the comic books). So yeah, he might get involved... sometimes. Maybe. When he feels like it. And he'll frustrate Sara to no end in the meantime :D

I do have ideas for this 'verse. Right now, I'm mostly figuring out their relationship, ballancing a bit between dark and fun.

Anyway, thank you for your review :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )




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