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(White) Collar Optional (18/18)

Title: (White) Collar Optional
Fandom: Psych, White Collar
Characters: Shawn, Gus, Peter, Neal, Henry, Juliet, Lassiter & Vick with cameos from Mozzie, El, Diana & Jones
Word Count: 1817
Rating: PG-13
Overall Summary: In New York, Peter and Gus search for what happened to Neal and Shawn. In California, Shawn and Neal escape a little too easily, making them wonder if Ridley has other plans.
Notes: Okay, I'm finally posting the sequel to Psychic in the City. It's still unfinished so posting will stay with Wednesdays until further notice. I'd also like to thank my three betas snowflakie06, slytheringurrl and the_moogie

Can anyone guess the languages used for the numbers? C'mon, give it a try!

Ein Deux Tre Cuatro Pyat' έξι sju dziewięć nove deset elf dó dhéag hamahiru quattuordecim viisitoista šesnaest seventeen




Elizabeth Burke thanked the taxi driver and paid before stepping out of the cab. Going by the stories and first impressions, the house in front of her was not quite what she pictured when it came to Henry Spencer. It was quite “homey” with its bright red shutters, white picket fence and welcoming porch. On closer inspection, she could see the bushes and hedges were trimmed with precision, the lawn impeccably manicured and the flowering plants on the porch displayed just so. This was the home of a perfectionist.

El entered the yard through the gate and walked up the path to the front door. She could hear laughter emanating from inside, something at Shawn’s expense if his outburst was anything to go by. She knocked on the door.

“I’ll get it!” came the response from inside.

The door opened and Neal stood there in a T-shirt and jeans, the most casual she had seen him dressed when not on a case. “El?” He was dumbfounded.

“Hello to you too, Neal.”

“Um, sorry. Peter didn’t say you were coming.” He motioned her inside.

“Peter didn’t know.”

“Here, let me take that.” He carried her bag as he headed back the way he had come. “We’re all in the kitchen. Shawn’s dad is grilling up some steak.”

Smiling, El followed Neal through the home of a confirmed bachelor. (What woman would allow all the fishing décor in the living room?) The kitchen was very warm and friendly. Shawn’s dad probably used this room the most.

Then she heard her husband’s voice. “Neal, who was at the door?”

Just hearing his voice made her smile. “Hi, hon.”

Peter crossed the room in two steps and wrapped her in a tight hug. He released her and then planted one of his “I’ve Missed You So Much” kisses on her lips. When she opened her eyes, she noticed that everyone in the room was consciously avoiding watching them. Everyone except Shawn who was beaming at them.

Peter cleared his throat. “Uh, sorry, everyone. This is my wife Elizabeth.”

“I would hope so after a welcome like that,” said the man she recognized as Henry Spencer. “It’s nice to meet you in person,” he said, shaking her hand.

“Thank you, Mr. Spencer.”

“Henry.”

“Hey!” cried Neal.

“I can’t very well have her be so formal while her husband uses my first name. Besides,” he added, pointing a finger at Neal, “I still don’t like you.”

The only man she didn’t know raised his beer in a salute to Henry. “Thank you.” He looked at the woman across from him. “See? I’m not the only one.”

“Be nice, Lassie,” Shawn said as he gripped one of the man’s shoulders as he stood behind him. "I bet you had him on your wall until he got caught.”

The man ignored Shawn’s use of the nickname which meant that he had gotten used to hearing it over a long period of time. That could only mean this was Detective Lassiter and the woman was his partner – and Shawn’s girlfriend - Detective O’Hara. Their names were confirmed when Peter made the introductions.

“Elizabeth, can I get you anything?” asked Henry. “Something to drink? Wine? Beer?”

“Just water, please.”

“OK. Shawn.”

Shawn rolled his eyes but prepared a glass of ice-cold water for her. “El, why did you follow me to California?” he asked melodramatically. “I know your husband is the tenacious type and carries a gun. It can’t end well for either of us.”

“But, Shawn, sweetie, I couldn’t let things end the way they did,” she responded. “We never got to say goodbye.” I really could have done daytime drama.

“If the only way to keep me from temptation is to keep a continent between us, then so be it.” He struck the exaggerated pose of turning away from her.

Gus and Juliet were the only ones who applauded at their performance. Peter and Neal merely smiled. Henry had disappeared outside. Lassiter was the only critic. “This just reminds me of why I hate dinner theatre.”

“Certified soap star here, Lassie-face. Bask in the glory.”

“You were on for barely a week, Shawn,” declared Gus. “They killed you off.”

“No, they didn’t,” he replied in a horribly fake accent.”

“Yeah, well, how come they never asked you back?”

“I still get fan mail, I’ll have you know. And I’ve been asked to conventions.”

“And you never went because…”

“You know I can’t just drop everything and leave.”

Everyone else made some show of derision. That’s exactly what Shawn would do.

Before insults led to arguments, El said, “Shawn, why don’t you take me on a tour of the house?” He looked at her like she was crazy. “I’m sure you have some stories to tell.” He smiled and she knew she had him.

When they were out of earshot, she asked. “They never called you for conventions, did they?” He shook his head with a childish pout. “We’ll just have to start a campaign.”

They traded hastag names as Shawn took her through his childhood home. His favorite was #who’syourchaddy but then realized it could lead to recasting. By the time they returned to the kitchen, dinner was on the table outside.

Everyone took turns telling her about the case and their part in it. When she heard what Neal and Shawn had done, she slapped Neal on the arm. “What were you thinking, driving off like that?” she scolded.

“Ow!” Neal made a show of rubbing his arm.

“You should know there was no need for you to take off like that when you had backup waiting. It’s a good thing Peter knows you so well.”

“He doesn’t let me forget.”

Shawn snickered from the other side of the table.

“Just because you’re sitting over there, mister, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve one as well. You were both in that car, you each had a phone but neither called.”

Juliet slapped him. “That’s for making me and Carlton go on a wild goose chase to Fresno.”

“Jules!” he whined.

“Just be thankful Carlton can’t reach you.”

Shawn eyed the other detective. “I’m not so sure. Have you seen those arms? He’s got the wingspan of an albatross.”

“Just the long arm of the law, Spencer.” Lassiter smiled as he bit into his burger

The joke was old but the timing was perfect. Even Shawn chuckled.

“So where do we stand?” El asked.

“I got a call from PSPD and Riley’s men are willing to talk about his activities,” said Peter. “Even though he’s dead, we should be able to close a number of unsolved cases. The LA office is sending someone from the Organized Crime unit.”

“What about James? Is he going to be investigated for buying stolen property?”

“He didn’t go through with the same and an expert told me that the painting I saw in the office was not the original Caravaggio.”

El looked at Shawn and Neal. “You blackmailed him into helping, didn’t you?”

Neal shrugged. “Just made him see how helping us would be beneficial to his social standing.”

“That’s what I thought.” She looked to Peter. “When do I get to see it?”

“The chalice? Probably once it’s back at the Met. Right now it’s under lock and key and the museum is providing a courier to escort it back. I’ll have my hands full keeping track of Neal.”

“We could be the ones to take it,” said Neal. “A little misdirection. Let everyone think the courier has it.”

“And you smuggle it out of the hotel in a laundry truck. Dude, that was the first episode of Remington Steele.”

“Hmm. They’d probably peg Peter as FBI anyway. What if…”

“No!” declared Peter and Henry in near-unison.

“You didn’t even hear it,” Neal said, hurt.

“You are not using Shawn, Gus or Henry in any combination.”

“Fine.” Neal put up his hands in surrender. “If you don’t want my expert opinion…”

“Your plan will leave a way open for you to benefit.”

“That’s pretty harsh, Peter.”

“But you can’t deny it.”

El put a hand on her husband’s arm. “Why don’t you show me the sites of Santa Barbara?”

Peter looked at her, surprised by the topic.

“There are some nice places,” Shawn put in. “But you need a full day to really appreciate ‘em. Right, Gus?”

El smiled at Shawn.

Gus began to list all the places of interest in the greater Santa Barbara area.

Henry even got in on the act. “The Hotel Milo will be just the thing for you. There’s no way you want to stay the night in this frat house.”

“A regular Delta Tau Chi,” Peter agreed with a smile.

After dessert, the detectives drove them to the hotel. Juliet gave El both of their cell numbers in case they needed a ride in the morning. “We’ll call you when the courier arrives. Until then, treat the day like you’re on vacation.”

They had a nice romantic evening and slept in the next morning. Before they were down to breakfast, Peter called Henry to check on Neal. He learned that the three young men stayed up talking and watching re-runs of It Takes a Thief. Neal was currently sitting outside sketching. Satisfied, they continued on with their day. El couldn’t help but laugh when they saw Shawn’s picture at the museum by the dinosaur fossil. She had thought he had just made it up.

The call from Juliet came just as they were finishing lunch. At the station, both Peter and Chief Vick verified the courier’s identity before signing over the chalice. Peter then called Hughes and gave him the courier’s itinerary. Hughes then told him to take another day and fly back tomorrow. El grinned at that news.

The next day brought many goodbyes and phone number exchanges. Shawn promised to come to New York more often. “Maybe Juliet and I can have a weekend getaway.”

“Mr. Spencer,” started Neal, “I’d like to thank you for all that you’ve done these past few days. Shawn’s lucky to have you.” He held out his hand.

Henry took Neal’s hand and gave it a vigorous shake. “Any time, kid. And it’s Henry.”

Neal beamed at the paternal affection and El could feel herself tearing up.

Shawn was waiting outside and hugged the three of them goodbye, saving Neal for last. “Take it easy, Monet,” he said breaking the hug.

“You, too, Judd.” He waved goodbye as they walked to the waiting cab.

It was nice to know that the two young men she had first met as lost boys now had family on both coasts. She knew she didn’t have as much influence on Shawn as she did with Neal, but she’d take it anyway. El settled back into her seat in the cab, a smile on her face. My work here is done.

********************************

German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Swedish, Polish, Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, Irish (Gaelic), Basque, Latin, Finnish, Croatian

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
slytheringurrl
Sep. 18th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
Congrats on finishing this!! It was an awesome journey! Now, I just need a Burn Notice/Psych/WC crossover :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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