sam_storyteller: (Crossover Fic)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-20 05:05 am

Paper Chase

Title: Paper Chase
Rating: PG-13 (language, some violence)
Fandoms: White Collar/Sherlock
Summary: One criminal consultant. One consulting detective. One serial killer. And one perhaps inadvisable bet...
Warnings: Some gore.
Betas: [livejournal.com profile] hija_paloma, [livejournal.com profile] juniper200, [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh, and [livejournal.com profile] spiderine. You should see the fights we had about Oxford Commas.

[personal profile] pandarus and [personal profile] lunate8 have done a co-podfic of this story, which can be found here. Enjoy!

Originally Posted 9.03.10

Now available at AO3.

***

There were four bodies before the NYPD admitted it was a serial killer and called in the FBI. There were six before the FBI decided they needed to call in a consultant. Well, two consultants.

The first consultant came to them like this:


"No," Peter Burke said.

Hughes rubbed his forehead in frustration. "People are going to die, Peter."

"It's VICAP. People are always going to die," Peter said ruthlessly. At Hughes's disapproving look, he sighed. "I know. I know, but I don't work in violent crimes for a reason. I like my sleep nightmare-free, and my underlings untraumatized."

"This guy is smart," Hughes told him. "He's going to be hard to catch. We can use you. This isn't just about Neal."

"Six major players in the New York art world are dead. It's mostly about Neal," replied Peter.

"Maybe, but you're a good man on the chase," Hughes told him.

"Yeah, and I've seen what can happen to VICAP agents," Peter said. "I don't want Neal on this case."

"He's a consultant for the FBI and a felon. He's not going to break."

"He's a nonviolent offender who saw his girlfriend die four months ago. This?" Peter held up a handful of bloody crime scene photos. "Not what I want to put in front of him."

"Burke," Hughes sighed.

"This is a request from VICAP, not an order from you," Peter said. "I'm allowed to say no."

"I am asking you to say yes," Hughes said quietly. "Before anyone else dies."

Peter looked down at the photos.

"I'll take them to Neal," he said. "If he says yes, we'll move forward."

Neal said yes, of course, because Neal didn't like dead bodies but he hadn't yet learned the distinction between 'chivalrous' and 'self-destructive'.

The second consultant came to them like this:

"You've been moaning at me for weeks," John said sternly, as they stood at the baggage carousel at the airport. "'Think of the possibilities, John! What an interesting case! Why do the Americans get such a brilliant serial killer? John, what do you think of the newest homicide?' You emailed the FBI and told them you could help and when they told you to piss off you kept pestering them until this Burke bloke sent you a plane ticket. You brought this on yourself, Sherlock, so you can jolly well stop whining about the flight."

"I am never flying on an aeroplane again," Sherlock remarked. "Travel is the most tediously boring of all activities."

"Going to swim back to England then? You slept for six hours of a seven hour flight."

"I was awake enough when we were sitting in the airport and I couldn't possibly have spent seven hours conscious in one small cylindrical room with two hundred incredibly boring people," Sherlock retorted. "And I am awake now while we stand here staring at nothing."

"You're the one who insisted on bringing half your chemistry lab, and they don't allow that kind of thing in carry-on."

"The FBI can't supply some of the customised equipment I possess," Sherlock said. He turned to a man who had just pulled a suitcase off the carousel. "You should stop lying to your father," he said.

"What?" the man bleated, looking shocked.

"He already knows you're skint," Sherlock said. "He's by far wealthy enough to give you a loan."

"Don't mind him," John put himself between Sherlock and the man. The man just stared at both of them.

"What does skint mean?" he asked.

"Slang term for broke," Sherlock supplied. "Penniless. Desti -- "

"Sherlock!" John exclaimed, not bothering to turn around. Sherlock fell sullenly silent as the man hurried away.

"That was momentarily interesting," he muttered, after a while.

"I've decided I like America," John announced, changing the subject. "So far nobody in America has shot at us, which is more than can be said for any other country I've been to recently."

"Give it time," Sherlock said, reaching out without looking to grasp his bag and pull it off the carousel. John just shook his head.

"Sherlock Holmes?" a voice asked, and they both turned to see a man in an expensive-looking suit standing behind them. John saw Sherlock's eyes flick quickly over him.

"Neal Caffrey," Sherlock announced. The man smiled.

"They told me you were quick," he said.

***

Neal and Sherlock bonded like each had just been waiting to discover the other's existence.

Neal was obviously fascinated by people who weren't easily conned or charmed, and he spent a lot of his downtime trying out various approaches on Sherlock. This, of course, made him a bright shiny new thing for Sherlock to distract himself with, which kept him from brooding when they weren't actively working the case.

John could have, perhaps should have, been jealous, but he was serenely secure in his position. Bright shiny new things were all very well but Sherlock would get bored eventually -- he seemed to get bored of everyone eventually, except perhaps John and Lestrade -- and anyway it wasn't like he could take Neal back to London with him in his luggage.

It seemed like it should have followed that John and Peter Burke get on well. They each had their temperamental geniuses to commiserate about, after all. Instead they kept circling each other, making snide remarks about American culture or the pointlessness of John's presence on the case. He'd seen it before in the army; dogs deciding on territory, aware they couldn't actually snap at one another but subtly jockeying nonetheless.

It finally came to a head while he and Agent Burke were arguing a point of medical protocol on one of the autopsies, John insisting that it be redone and Burke insisting there was nothing left to find. Suddenly Sherlock was leaning over them, looming in that way he had, and announcing, "I do wish you two would stop this petty and frankly somewhat homoerotic bitching."

John watched in amusement as Burke's head snapped up.

"John, I will need tea," Sherlock proclaimed.

"The FBI has no kettle," John pointed out, still aggrieved on this point after a week of working in what was otherwise quite a nice office.

"Then go out and find some tea. This is a cultural centre of America, surely they have tea somewhere," Sherlock retorted. "Neal, take him away. Agent Burke and I need between seven and ten minutes to discuss this."

John saw Burke bridle at the casual order given to his pet convict, but he also saw Neal hesitate, glancing at Burke for permission, and Burke's fractional nod. John stood up; Sherlock slid into his seat like a cat. John sighed and followed Neal out.

"Let's get some sushi," Neal suggested in the elevator, leaning indolently against the wall.

"Why?" John asked.

"I'm hungry, you look hungry, it'll get us out in the fresh air, and it'll piss them off," Neal said. He held up a credit card. "Peter's treat."

"Do you really think you should be picking the pocket of -- "

"Aw, Doc," Neal interrupted, employing a nickname he could not, for love or money, be broken of using. "Like you didn't have this in your pocket?" He held up a badge in his other hand. "This belongs to DI Lestrade," he said, pronouncing it Lee-strayd. "He's a good-looking guy," he added, comparing Lestrade's face on the ID to John's.

John took it out of his hands, tucking it back in his pocket. You never knew when a badge would come in handy, and anyway it had been something of a gift from Sherlock, a memento of their first case together.

"It's pronounced Lestrade," John told him defensively, though he sensed Neal knew perfectly well how to pronounce it and had merely been screwing with him.

"For Sherlock's keeper, you're not much of a moralist, are you?" Neal asked, leading him out of the building. John glanced at him. "Oh, come on, we all know who holds his leash. When you aren't around he gets the crazy eyes."

"Could have fooled me," John said, feeling odd and out of place on the New York streets. It should have been easy; he lived in London, queen of cities, and had nothing to prove to New York. Still, every time he opened his mouth he felt like the Americans were staring. "Generally the boss doesn't get sent out for tea."

"Yeah, well, the boss comes in all kinds of flavors," Neal told him. "So, come on, sushi?"

It really was just like working with Sherlock, if Sherlock bothered with manners and smiled more.

***

Peter liked Sherlock Holmes, though it wasn't easy to do. He was abrupt, abrasive, arrogant, and his very personality encouraged Neal to act in ways Neal probably shouldn't be acting. Showing off was part of Neal's character, but showing off was also an easy way to get killed when you were chasing a dangerous serial killer who liked killing artists and painting murals with their blood.

But he liked Sherlock because he was also whip-smart and making genuine contributions to the case, and anyway it wasn't like Peter wasn't used to handling difficult personalities. Sherlock Holmes was earning his per diem and then some, helping them close in on their prey, and if he was genuinely honest with himself Dr. Watson wasn't hurting the cause either.

"You're not entirely an idiot," Sherlock said to him, as they went over the latest murder again, rebuilding the crime scene detail by detail while sitting in the conference room.

"We do our best," Peter agreed drily. Sherlock leaned back, staring at the ceiling.

"Why do you suppose it is they so often stay in one place?" he asked, and it took Peter a minute to realize he was talking about serial killers. "Familiarity? Territoriality? Adherence to some arcane ritual? After all, these are ritual killings. Or is it simply too time-consuming to move about so much? I've often wanted to ask one, but they're such liars, you can't really trust a word they say. And they're so damnably good at it."

"I try not to think about it," Peter said.

"Well, you would do," Sherlock's tone implied this was a character flaw. "It's a question I can't get an answer to. Perhaps it varies."

"His mind's wandering," John Watson announced from the doorway. "Focus, Sherlock. We have tea."

He had a brown paper bag under his arm; Neal, behind him, had a carrier full of cups in one hand, a bag in the other, and Peter's credit card clenched in his teeth. Peter stood up, took the card out of Neal's mouth, gave him a warning look, and accepted the coffee when Neal angled the carrier at him.

"You have one tea, three coffees, two Philadelphia rolls, one spider roll, one spicy tuna roll, some sort of chef's assorted nigiri special, dumplings, and delusions that I am going to consume anything other than the tea," Sherlock said.

"Food, Sherlock," John sing-songed. "It's necessary to live! Look, it's fish! Brain food. Delicious Omega-3s."

"I don't eat on cases."

"Food," John insisted, while Neal settled in next to Peter and gave him an amused look.

"American food tastes wrong," Sherlock complained, as John thumped the spicy tuna down in front of him.

"Says the culture that invented boiling everything," Neal said, before Peter could make an equally cutting retort.

"I don't argue the culinary arts with criminals."

"Then I win."

Peter rolled his chair back slightly to get out of the crossfire, taking his coffee and a plastic container of Philadelphia roll with him.

"Winning is an infantile concept," Sherlock said.

"Yeah, but I still win," Neal answered, shooting Peter a grin.

"Eat your sushi," John ordered.

"Fine. Boring," Sherlock groaned, leaning forward and picking up a pair of chopsticks with one hand, hauling half the casefile closer to him with the other, seemingly unbothered by the fact that he was eating raw fish and studying bloody paintings at the same time. Peter saw Neal turn away from the photographs. When he was studying the technique (there was, Peter had discovered, a technique to painting with blood) he was okay, but as soon as he stopped dissociating and remembered there were bodies involved, Neal tended to get...anxious.

"Emily Case was a brilliant artist," Neal remarked, more or less to no-one. Sherlock was studying the image of Emily Case's murder scene.

"Her work was certainly high-value before her death," Sherlock said absently, which was more civil than Peter (or John, he could tell) was expecting. "More so now."

"We've ruled out killings for investment purposes," Peter reminded him.

"I know that," Sherlock said, which was more up to the usual Sherlock standards. He stabbed a chopstick straight into a piece of spicy tuna roll. Peter saw Neal flinch. "B-level artists with minor gallery shows, all with dark hair, killed in their studios."

"Maybe there isn't a link," John offered.

"That's gonna make him hard to find," Peter said thoughtfully.

"What if he just likes offing artists?" John asked.

"We can't put surveillance on every dark-haired artist in New York," Peter said.

"Well, no, but you could pick some likely candidates..." John trailed off. He could see, as Peter could, that Sherlock had gone tense in the next seat. Peter glanced at Neal, who had a worryingly excited look in his eye.

"You are inadvertently brilliant," Sherlock said, at the exact same time Neal said, "I have a really, really stupid idea."

***

In the end, Neal did the paintings and Sherlock posed as bait, because as Sherlock pointed out, "I actually know how to throw a punch."

Neal was a little insulted at the idea that someone else made better serial-killer bait than he did, because he really worked hard at seeming innocent and vulnerable, and when he wanted to he could certainly play the part of a slightly not-all-there artist. He'd known enough of them in his day.

On the other hand, Peter was wound a lot less tightly than he would be if it was Neal posing as an emerging and very killable artist on the New York scene. And they were Neal's paintings anyway, so he could let Sherlock face for him. This way nobody was trying to serial-kill him, which was probably for the best.

The FBI set them up with a studio wired to the teeth with surveillance, and Neal managed to bang out fifteen convincingly pretentious canvases over the course of two days, while Peter strongarmed a gallery into a fake opening for Sherlock's new alias, a visiting artist from London with a penchant for wildly surreal and expressionist landscapes.

"What do you think, Doc?" Neal asked, when the joint taskforce working on the case came in to view the studio and he found John Watson standing in front of one painting, looking perplexed.

"This is London," John answered, forehead wrinkling, eyes taking it in with confusion.

Neal crossed his arms. "How do you know?"

"I don't know." John tilted his head. "That's what's bothering me. There's not a single thing I recognise, it's just streaks and swirls and things, but it's the skyline east from somewhere near Hyde Park, isn't it?"

"I'm just that good," Neal grinned.

"You've been to London?" John asked.

"Yeah, once or twice. Nice place. You like it?"

"Love it. Hard to live anywhere else," John said. Neal knew the feeling; it was how he felt about New York. Even before he got caught, he'd somehow always drifted back to New York from Copenhagen or Vancouver or Florence or, yeah, London.

Sherlock, who'd been familiarizing himself with the layout of the studio, drifted up behind them.

"Hm. London," he said, and wandered off again.

"He could probably explain it to you, Doc," Neal remarked.

"So could you; you painted it."

Neal shook his head, laughing. "Nah. I don't actually know. That's the difference."

"The difference?"

"Sherlock's got formulas. He looks at someone, he sees everything, he puts everything through his formulas and gets the answer. He gets it fast, but he's still gotta go through the process. Me, I just know. Don't know how I know. And I know different stuff, but..." Neal shrugged. "We both know what people are thinking. He just knows why."

John was silent, studying the canvas.

"You couldn't pay me to be Sherlock Holmes," Neal added.

***

Two days after Neal was done painting, with the canvases still just barely dry, Sherlock gave an amazing performance at the gallery opening, while John watched with his usual hint of awe. He never understood why people thought this was sad; appreciation for work well done was only appropriate, and Sherlock liked nothing so well as he liked admiration, whatever he might say.

Peter, posing as Sherlock's agent, visibly almost lost the plot when someone offered him seventy thousand dollars for Neal's American City, which Peter and John both knew Neal had painted in a little under an hour, most of it with a sandwich in his left hand.

John caught Neal mouthing Go for it from behind the collector's shoulder and took himself off to get some nibbles before he laughed out loud in the middle of the operation -- but he also caught Peter telling his surveillance team to run a background check on the collector. Whatever one might say about the American federal law enforcement system (and Sherlock had plenty to say), they were very thorough.

Six days after the opening, with two more paintings sold, John watched on a little surveillance monitor as a dark figure broke into the studio. Sherlock leaned over his shoulder.

"He's lying in wait for me," he said, all sharp teeth and interested eyes.

"You know what to do?" Agent Burke asked. Sherlock waved dismissively, leaning back, still studying the crouching figure on the monitor.

"I don't suppose you'd give me five minutes alone with him," he said. "I have questions, and people are so much more honest when they're not in handcuffs."

"Speak for yourself," Neal put in. Everyone looked at him. "What? I don't like to lie when I can't use my hands."

"That's because," Sherlock said, eyes tracking every move the man in the studio made, "you are not a sociopath who likes to paint murals using the blood of freshly-killed victims."

"And thank God for small favors," Neal chimed in cheerfully.

"By the book," Burke interrupted, putting an end to the conversation. "Our people will be right behind you and on all the exits. We just need him to go for you once and we have probable cause."

"Yes, yes, yes, fine, can I please go see my serial killer now?" Sherlock asked. Burke waved a hand and Sherlock ducked out of the surveillance van, walking quick and sure down the street.

"He's kind of weird," Burke remarked.

"Weird in the name of justice, though," John said.

***

The man in the studio did manage to draw blood -- point for him -- before Sherlock put him in a wrestling hold and broke his wrist. Sherlock really was hoping the FBI wouldn't come pouring in, because he did want to ask so many questions, but rules were rules. The chase had, at any rate, been a diversion for a week or two.

There was DNA evidence to gather, there were statements to take, incredibly boring policework he couldn't be bothered with. Burke was at the head of it all and frankly wasted there, but it seemed to make him happy, and Americans were a strange lot at any rate.

When he was finished giving his statement, he found John and Neal waiting for him outside the crime scene. Neal held up a set of car keys and announced, "Party time."

'Party Time' turned out to be dinner at a nice restaurant, good mid-range wine, Italian food, and Neal bickering with him to gauge his reactions. After about an hour, Burke turned up with an attractive, dark-haired woman (wife, married ten years -- happily married, at that; entrepreneur, reasonably successful, no children, one dog. He'd deduced most of this already from Burke's office within ten minutes of meeting him, though.)

There was a great deal to be observed in the way their little party interacted, and particularly in the stories they told about each other. John brought up the head in the fridge, which Sherlock felt was rather unfair, but he also mentioned some of their more daring investigations, which even made Burke look a little impressed. Burke was recounting his capture of Neal, which Neal declared to be one of his favourite stories (and why not, the man was obviously deeply submissive and panting after Burke, hiding the latter rather better than the former) when Sherlock broke in.

"I find it difficult to believe three years' pursuit was required," he said. "Your clearance times seem to be well below that on average."

"I'm special," Neal told him.

"You had a head start," Burke said sternly.

"Even so, even with one's hands tied by regulations, it can't have been that difficult."

"Sherlock," John warned.

"I think he's questioning your reputation, hon," Elizabeth said, but Burke just grinned.

"Chasing down Neal's a little different from your average op," he said.

"I cheat," Neal added. "You're a bright guy and all -- "

"Understatement," Sherlock remarked.

" -- intentional -- but it'd take you just as long. I'm good," Neal announced.

"Two months, maximum," Sherlock decided.

"Sherlock, hang on a minute," John remonstrated.

"Three years, minimum," Neal replied, still grinning. "You don't have the patience for me, Sherlock."

"I shouldn't need patience."

"Yeah you would," Burke murmured.

"Trust me, you would," Elizabeth added. Burke elbowed her gently.

"Well, we could always test it out," Neal said. "Do a field trial."

"Neal..." Burke sounded like he was warning him off something.

"What did you have in mind?" Sherlock asked.

"I can go two miles in any direction from the Empire State Building," Neal replied. "I get a five minute head start, and you get twelve hours to catch me. If you've got me when the twelve hours are up, you win."

"Hang on, is the goal to catch you or to catch and then hold you for the remaining time?" John asked. Sherlock grinned at him.

"Catch and hold. Anyone can catch me once. Keeping me takes a little more work," Neal said, shooting a grin at Burke this time.

"You've gotta be kidding me," Burke said. "You can't play spy games in lower Manhattan."

"I don't see why not," Sherlock argued, intrigued now. "Sporting chance, though. You can't simply go to ground and hide."

"Okay, paper chase," Neal said. "I have to commit one 'crime' an hour. I'll leave you evidence."

"I'll see it even if you don't," Sherlock warned him.

"Big talk," Neal scoffed.

"I'm prepared to prove it," Sherlock retorted.

"No, wait, you can't really -- this is insanity," John said, apparently under the mistaken belief he was coming to his senses.

"This is fun," Elizabeth whispered to Burke, who looked at her as if she were a traitor.

"It's also very illegal," Burke announced to the table.

"Not if they're not real crimes and I stay in my radius," Neal said. "Off the clock, I'm my own man."

"Stakes?" Sherlock asked.

"My professional pride," Neal said. "And Peter's good name. Against your reputation. You want to bet money?"

"Money," Sherlock flicked his fingers disdainfully.

"Hey, I can't think of anything else I got that you want," Neal said.

Sherlock steepled his fingers, glancing at John briefly.

"When I win -- "

"If you win," Neal cautioned.

"Either way, my stakes are your London skyline."

"The painting?" Neal looked surprised, but his eyes flicked to John too.

"If your other sales are any indication, it's considerably more valuable than it appears," Sherlock said. "I'm willing to put up -- hm," he said, and then grinned. "Immunity."

"Immunity from what?" Neal asked.

"You've committed at least thirteen crimes in the United Kingdom," Sherlock said.

"Allegedly," Neal said, a guarded look shuttering away his face. "Nobody can prove them."

"Not now, perhaps, but things like that sometimes hang over one's head. I can have those cases closed and immunity granted to yourself and your aliases."

"You don't actually work for the London Metropolitan," Burke said. "You don't have that kind of authority."

"I have a few connections in the government," Sherlock said, thinking of how to convince Mycroft to pull strings without having to talk with his brother. He could always make John do it, he supposed.

From the look on John's face, he had already come to this conclusion as well; when he saw Sherlock looking at him, he shook his head in disapproval.

Neal, on the other hand, seemed approving. "Fair," he pronounced.

"Done and sealed then -- "

"Not quite," Burke said. He leaned forward, resting his arms on the table. He looked at Neal, who rolled his eyes. "I could stop you," he said. "I could put you on house arrest until our guests go home. You, I could find a reason to deport if I had to," he added, turning to Sherlock. "So you're going to play by my rules. Both of you."

"Great," Neal muttered.

"No civilians get involved in the actual chase. No crime from either of you. I'll allow trespass as long as it doesn't come alongside breaking and entering. No leaving the radius, and no pushing Neal out of it. You," he said, turning to Sherlock, "we're putting a GPS tracker on you. I want to see where both of you go. Either one of you gets hurt, the game is over."

Sherlock glanced at Neal; this was his territory, and Burke was his handler. Neal tipped him a wink Burke couldn't see from his angle and asked, "You done?"

"Were you listening?" Burke asked.

"No crime, no B&E, no pushing, no hitting below the belt, no biting," Neal said. Burke looked aggrieved. "I got it, Peter. Sherlock?"

"Agreed," Sherlock said.

"Six p.m. tomorrow, in front of the Empire State Building," Neal said. "If you've got me in custody at six a.m., painting's yours. If I'm free, I get immunity papers."

Sherlock held out his hand; Neal shook it. Elizabeth poured another glass of wine for John, who looked like he could use it.

***

"I feel like I'm about to drop a flag on a drag race," Peter said to Elizabeth, at 5:57 the next evening, standing in front of the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Empire State Building.

Neal looked excited, high-strung and a little insane; for once, Sherlock Holmes looked less insane -- calm and composed and smiling. He toyed with the watch Peter had given him, the one with a GPS tracker tied into the FBI's computer system. Peter was only a little heartened by the fact that if something did go wrong, he could find either one of them almost immediately.

In theory, he liked this very much. A chase game across the southern half of Manhattan between one of the world's best fugitives and the world's only consulting detective was enthralling and could very well be educational. He backed Neal to win, of course, but he was pretty sure it'd be a tight game.

In practice...well, it was Neal, given his head, doing one of the things he loved most, and Neal could be...incautious. Plus he wasn't sure how far to trust Sherlock; this was a man who put honesty from sociopaths above his own personal safety.

"Looks more like you're about to start a foxhunt," Elizabeth said.

"You two," Peter told them, holding up a hand. "Be careful."

"I'm always careful," Sherlock assured him.

"I try very hard," Neal said, which was at least honest.

Peter's watch ticked down three -- two -- one --

"Neal," Peter said, and Neal tipped Sherlock a wink, strolling away as if he didn't have a care in the world. Still, Peter was pretty sure he started running as soon as he got out of sight.

Sherlock rubbed his hands.

"Going to wish me luck, John?" he asked, anticipation beginning to creep over his face.

"Try not to die," John replied, resignation in every inch of his face.

"This is much safer than usual," Sherlock told him. "He doesn't even like guns."

"Yeah, well. Good luck," John said grudgingly. Peter watched the five minutes tick down slowly.

"Go," he said. Sherlock, who didn't have any pursuers to witness his dignity (or lack thereof) took off running. Peter took out his phone and called Diana.

"They're on the move, boss," she said, sounding amused. "Jones brought pizza."

"We'll be back at the office in about half an hour," he said. "Call me if their tracking starts to look suspicious."

"Neal can really move his ass when he puts the effort in," she said.

"Yeah, I was aware," Peter sighed, and got into the car.

***

They had no way of knowing what 'crimes' Neal was committing, but between Neal's tracker on Peter's laptop, Sherlock's on Diana's, and Google Maps up on the big monitor in the conference room, they could make educated guesses. It seemed like half the department had heard about the game; there were suddenly a lot of interested Feds in the conference room. Peter couldn't officially condone betting in a government building, but he was carefully deaf to the shouts of Pay! and blind to the money changing hands. Most of them were betting heavily on Neal, but they looked torn about it. Neal was one of them but, on the other hand, it was hard for Feds to bet on a fleeing criminal.

"He's going for the bridge," Peter called, and half the room groaned.

"Can he get across it?" John asked, joining him at the computer.

"Only halfway -- "

"No, he's not going for it. Look, Sherlock already knows," John said, pointing to the other laptop. "He's dodging south."

"Ten bucks says bridge," Peter told him.

"It's taking your money," John replied, and a second later Neal's tracker turned south. John laughed triumphantly and Peter grudgingly handed over a ten.

Sherlock did clearly have a bead on Neal, whether from the clues Neal was leaving or through pure psychology. His tracking lines zigzagged across and around Neal, never quite hitting, sometimes ahead, sometimes behind. Just after the bridge, their lines crossed so close they must have been within sight of each other --

And then Sherlock's stayed still for almost ten minutes, while Neal's zipped away towards Chinatown. John's phone beeped.

"Detained in queue," John read aloud. "Queue required for acquisition of clues."

Peter laughed. "Neal invented that move. Make it more trouble than it's worth to get the information you need, or get someone into a closed space and then lock them there and bolt. He got me stuck in a locked warehouse for half an hour once."

Peter's own phone beeped. A text from Neal: I always called that move the Tower Of London.

Peter made the decision, which he felt was probably pretty wise, not to show that text to John.

Sherlock was moving again quickly, though, on an unerring direct course for what seemed (Neal wasn't moving) to be some safe house of Neal's. By the time he reached it, Neal was gone, but Peter was willing to bet he'd left clues there.

Just before midnight, Peter got a call from the NYPD.

"Agent Burke, this is Officer Harris," the man said, sounding like he probably drew the short straw to make this call.

"Harris -- one of Shattuck's guys, right?" Peter asked.

"Yes, sir. Our patrol just saw Neal Caffrey running down Canal Street near Church, being pursued by a man in a black coat."

Peter glanced at Neal's tracking data; he'd been at Canal and Church three minutes ago.

"You catch them?" he asked.

"No sir. We thought we should pursue, but we lost 'em in the alley."

"It's all right, Harris," Peter said. "Neal's on a training exercise."

"Good to know, sir, we didn't like to think he went off the map. You want our patrols to keep an eye out?"

"Sure. Don't engage. Call me if you see him again."

"No problem," Officer Harris said. "Training, huh? Some sort of special ops thing you Feds do?"

"Yeah, something like that," Peter said, and hung up.

***

Neal had plotted his crimes ahead of time. Not where, and not in any specific order, exactly; that would be suicide. But he definitely went into the game with a few cards up his sleeve. He felt he had been doing pretty well for the first three hours, especially after he got Sherlock caught in a line at the all-night deli, where the clerks notoriously hated line jumpers.

Since then, things had become a little more...intense. For one thing, he'd forgotten how much harder night pursuits were -- you couldn't get lost in a crowd or duck into a convenient store with a back loading dock. There was plenty of nightlife in New York, but some areas of town rolled up their sidewalks after dark.

He found himself in Sherlock's cross-hairs for the first time around ten-fifteen, and there was a brief moment when he wasn't sure he could slip him by ducking into the shadow of a brownstone's stairwell. He got lucky, though; the stairwell had a niche that hid him pretty effectively while Sherlock paced around and played with his phone. Then Sherlock took off running, and Neal knew he'd figured out the clue he'd left about his next job. On the one hand, that meant Sherlock would be waiting for him there; on the other hand, he was honor-bound to go through with it now, and the challenge just made everything more exciting. It was a rush, especially since nobody else in the city knew that they were playing this game.

His next crime was supposed to be a 'heist' at the Museum of Modern Art. He wasn't going to steal anything -- wasn't even going to break in -- but he was going to do two laps around the building and once over the roof. That was why he'd run his last con: to get enough rope to get him up the side of the building. He'd leave the rope, if Sherlock wasn't too close behind him.

At the moment, though, he was pretty sure Sherlock had gone ahead to the museum, and Neal had almost forty minutes before he had to commit the crime. He took out his phone and called Peter.

"Fugitive," Peter answered.

"Don't tell me you're not following along," Neal said.

"Listen, Caffrey, when you're playing chase, you're supposed to be taunting your pursuer, not harassing your friends," Peter told him.

"With you it was always both," Neal replied.

"You say the nicest things. How's crime treating you?"

"Just like old times," Neal said. "Without the threat of prison and some overzealous fed breathing down my neck."

Peter was silent for a while; Neal wondered if he'd touched some kind of nerve.

"It's cathartic," he added. "Gets it out of my system."

"You miss it that much?"

Neal laughed. "No. Not that much."

Which was when he saw Sherlock's unmistakeable form in the distance, facing the other direction but still way too close to comfort. The bastard had doubled back.

"I gotta run, Peter. Bye now," he said. He hung up and took off as quietly as he could, darting around a corner and heading for the subway. Normally he hated the subway, but he was a fugitive. Needs must, and all that crap.

***

By midnight, Burke was getting regular reports from the NYPD about Neal's 'training mission'. John was somewhat impressed; most people didn't make it this long once they were on Sherlock's radar. He chalked it up to an unfamiliar city (knowing full well Sherlock had memorised a street map and several major traffic patterns) and the fact that Sherlock, despite anything he might claim, was a complete drama queen. There was no fun in catching Neal two hours into a twelve-hour chase, and Sherlock knew that.

He got a lot of texts; pursuit was about long periods of waiting followed by short bursts of insanity, much like war, and Sherlock texted when he got bored. John read out the funnier ones to the spectators.

It's even harder to find a quiet place to smoke in New York than in London. I wouldn't have believed it possible. - SH

When Neal contacts you please tell him it's spelled 'catesbeiana'. -- SH

Burke glanced up. "I just got one from Neal. If he texts tell him 'bean' is a clue."

Scratch that, bean is clearly a clue. Also a terrible pun. - SH

This gay bar seems unusually expensive. - SH

John texted back to that one. Are you buying drinks?

That depends on your definition of buying. - SH

By which I mean I am examining the tab Neal ran up. - SH

John grinned. I know, you're married to your work. It's always the good ones who are taken, isn't it?

Around two in the morning, Burke was outside the conference room, refilling his coffee, when Elizabeth straightened and leaned forward. Apparently, something was happening.

"What, what is it?" John asked, leaning over the screen with Sherlock's tracker on it.

"I think he set up an ambush," she said. "Sherlock's at Neal's place."

"Oh Christ," Burke called, hurrying back in. "He's in June's house? No -- " he corrected himself, glancing at the data. "He's on the terrace."

"Soon to have company," John pointed out, nodding at the screen with Neal's tracking map on it. It was heading for the same location.

"Ohh, here we go," Burke said, settling back into his chair.

It occurred to John that this was probably a really massive misuse of FBI resources. Still, everyone crowded around the screens and watched as Neal's little green tracking dot approached Sherlock's little blue tracking dot, and Burke muttered under his breath like someone at a pub watching the footie (well, this was America, so probably baseball).

"Come on, Neal, don't be an idiot, turn around and walk away, you can't need anything from June's that badly -- "

"You must have been fascinating in action when you were chasing him," John remarked. Neal's dot crossed the street, circling around to the front of the house.

"June's going to have my ass if they wake her up," Burke muttered. Neal's dot kept moving inexorably towards Sherlock's, in a little arc that must have been a flight of stairs.

Closer and closer, and then Sherlock's dot darted forward, glitching a little with the speed of it. Suddenly both of them were in the same place at the same time, and both had stopped moving.

"Pay up," John crowed, and half the White Collar division of the FBI groaned and dug in their pockets. "I said it, didn't I? I said Sherlock would catch him."

"He doesn't win unless he holds him," Burke muttered.

"Ah, but I only said he had to catch him to win the bet," John reminded him, slinging his arm over Burke's shoulder and curling his hand. "Pay, come on, pay."

Burke sighed and handed over a twenty.

"I'm taking that back when Neal gets away," he reminded John, who just grinned and counted his winnings.

***

The biggest tactical mistake of the night was not casing the terrace thoroughly before he went for the crackers.

Technically, walking into your own home wasn't housebreaking, so it satisfied Peter's no-breaking-and-entering rule. But Neal had honestly picked the front door lock -- the keys were in his pocket -- snuck through the house, and considered stealing a knicknack off the downstairs bookshelf (something non-valuable that he could return in the morning before June would notice it was gone) so it felt like a crime. He'd picked the lock to his own door, too, and he should have checked out the terrace. Still, given that the front door and his door had both been locked, he had no goddamn clue how Sherlock Holmes managed to get onto the terrace, through the sliding door, and right up behind him before he could bolt.

"Peckish?" Sherlock asked, taking the box of crackers out of Neal's hands. Actually, he had been; combining business (housebreaking) with pleasure (snacking) just seemed to make sense at the time. Neal tried to dodge and slip aside, but Sherlock had a pretty firm grip for a guy who looked like he'd blow over in a strong breeze.

Sherlock had the rope from the museum job slung over one shoulder. Neal decided he might be momentarily screwed. Only momentarily, though.

"I see you got my message," he said, grinning wide. Caught wasn't contained.

Sherlock fixed a handcuff around the wrist he was holding, then spun Neal (Jesus, no wonder he'd broken their serial killer's wrist; he was strong) and cuffed the other one. Neal flexed his fingers. His lockpicks were in his front pock -- no, his lockpicks were in Sherlock's hands.

"This is nice, isn't it?" Sherlock said, pushing Neal down into a chair, settling himself into another one and putting his feet up on the table. "I thought it would be apt, sitting here in your own home, watching the sunrise. We can play chess, if you like; I'll move your pieces for you."

"Well, I wouldn't want you to get bored," Neal said, to cover the soft noise of his thumb dislocating. He let the cuff fall down his hand and caught it, rather than move his arm. Sherlock was watching him. "Okay, set them up. Dibs on white," he added.

Sherlock let his feet fall to the floor (Neal dislocated his other thumb) and reached for the board without looking away from Neal. He did move his eyes away briefly to locate the box with the pieces, and Neal took the opportunity to force his right thumb back into joint, biting the tip of his tongue bloody to stop the pain from flickering over his face. No matter how many times he did that or how often Mozzie said it shouldn't hurt, it always burned.

He had one good hand, a pair of handcuffs in his fingers, and a table between him and the target. Plus an opponent who, it proved during their first four moves, could play chess by touch without ever looking away from him. Sherlock, he decided, would never turn his back on a prisoner.

Neal narrowed his eyes.

***

Neal and Sherlock's trackers had been within five feet of each other for twenty minutes when John's phone rang. Sherlock's number was on his caller ID.

"Sherlock never phones," John said, perplexed, and then answered, putting it on speaker. "Sherlock?"

"He can't come to the phone right now," Neal's voice said down the line. He sounded smug. "Wait, the phone can come to him..."

"Neal, what did you do?" Burke demanded.

"Next time," came Sherlock's voice, distant, as if Neal were also using a speakerphone, "I am using the rope."

"Neal?" Burke prompted again, but Sherlock's voice cut across him.

"He's gone, Agent Burke. He left the phone, though. Big mistake," Sherlock said. There was a grunt and the rattle of something metallic. It sounded like handcuffs.

"Sherlock, are you all right?" John asked.

"In two minutes and thirty-eight seconds I will be," Sherlock said. "Please hang up; you know I despise telephones."

Peter put out his hand. John sighed and pressed the twenty into it.

***

When he was finally out of the cuffs and back on the street, the first thing Sherlock did was phone Neal. This kind of thing was almost traditional, as he understood it from John's attempts to introduce him to 'spy thriller' cinema. The prey and pursuer were supposed to exchange civilities, perhaps engaging in a post-mortem of their recent interactions.

"Hey, buddy," Neal said. "How's bondage treating you?"

"I'm envious, I really am," Sherlock replied. "I've never been able to slip cuffs. Wrists are too narrow, you see. The cuffs close too tightly and even with dislocation I simply can't manage it. Bad genetics, I suppose."

"I blame my parents for everything too," Neal replied. "Nice trick though, huh?"

"Is that one of the ones you tried on Agent Burke?"

He heard Neal begin to laugh. "Nah. I never got close enough. Or he never did."

"Up until you went to prison," Sherlock replied.

"And then broke out. Funny how life repeats itself," Neal said, and hung up. Sore spot. Noted.

Still, Sherlock had gleaned plenty from the telephone call. All the background noise -- soft music, metal on china, voices, the creak of cheap vinyl. All-night cafe within three minutes of his present location at a run. Neal had undoubtedly bought food and it hadn't arrived yet or his vocal tone would be lower (people always relaxed after food -- throat opening, jaw loosening). Sherlock opened Google Maps and picked the likeliest place. Neal liked the classics; a fifties diner would appeal to him.

When he got there, however, the cashier just gave him a look and handed him a bill.

"To-go order," Sherlock snarled, crumpling it in his fist. The cashier just looked at him expectantly. He sighed and dug in his wallet, passing over a handful of American cash without bothering to count it.

Frankly, he hadn't felt this brilliantly alive and entertained for quite some time, and yesterday he'd been in a wrestling match with a serial killer.

***

Peter was a little impressed at how quickly Sherlock picked up Neal's trail after the capture and escape. Between three and five a.m. he was never more than a few minutes behind or a half a mile ahead of him. Some of the spectators in the conference room were beginning to droop, and a few had gone home, but most of them were still watching, sipping coffee and making quiet bets. Peter was five bucks up on John.

Then, at twenty minutes to six, Neal's tracker winked out. An alarm blared through the laptop, startling some of the other agents into upright attention. Peter grabbed his phone.

"It's a dead zone," he announced, calling the Marshals' office.

"Dead zone?" John asked.

"Yeah, there's a -- It's Burke," Peter interrupted himself when an operator picked up on the other line. "Did you just register Neal's tracker offline?"

"Yes, Agent Burke. Do you want us to scramble the Marshals?"

"No -- he's in a dead zone. He's running an op. I'll send some of my people down there, just in case," Peter said.

"Can we be of any other assistance, Agent Burke?"

"Not for now. I've got his map up," Peter said, and hung up. John grabbed his arm -- Sherlock's tracker had just vanished too.

"Jones! Diana!" he barked. They both looked up from a Google Maps satellite view of the fallout shelter. "Let's go pull them out of a bomb shelter," he said, pulling on his coat. "Doc, you coming?"

"Crawling around a disused concrete shelter at six in the morning?" John asked. "Of course."

"El -- " Peter leaned over to kiss her goodbye, but she put her hand on his mouth.

"If you think I'm not coming, you've obviously forgotten who you married," she said.

"That bastard did it on purpose, didn't he?" John asked, as they took the elevator down to the parking structure.

"He knows it's a dead zone," Peter said, digging for his keys. "It's the only large-scale fallout shelter in the city, it's under a park and about ten feet of concrete. It's also a really great place to hide out if someone's looking for you. It's been condemned -- it's supposed to be locked."

"Somehow I don't think that's exactly an obstacle," John replied.

Six o'clock ticked over while they were en route; Peter checked in with the agents still monitoring the screens back at the office, but neither Neal nor Sherlock's trackers had reappeared. He drove a little faster with every minute that passed, and he could see Diana swearing soundlessly at him in the other car.

They pulled up to the gated-off entrance to the shelter at four minutes past six. The padlock on the gate had been picked and then jammed (Neal) and now lay on the ground along with two pieces of chain, one of the rusty links snapped in half (Sherlock, probably using the discarded piece of rebar he saw nearby).

"Okay," Peter said, standing at the top of the stairs down to the shelter. "Jones?"

"Flashlights," Jones said, holding up an FBI gear bag.

"Great. Let's do this in teams. Diana with me, John with Jones, El -- "

"You're not going to let me go down there, are you?" she asked.

"Sweetheart, I couldn't stop you," Peter said. "But we need someone to stay here in case they -- "

"Did you hear that?" Diana asked, leaning around him and peering down the stairs.

"Hear what?" Peter asked, turning. Jones shone a flashlight over his shoulder, into the gloom.

"Hi, guys," came a distant voice -- Neal's voice, sounding a little strained. "Don't shoot, we're unarmed."

***

When he heard Neal's voice, John elbowed past Burke and his agents, going as far down the steps as he dared without a light.

"Sherlock?" he called. "Neal, is Sherlock with you?"

"A little hand wouldn't hurt," Neal yelled back.

"I'm fine, John, thank you," Sherlock called, and two bodies began to emerge from the darkness. John let out a breath and dropped down another few steps, the Americans flanking him with flashlights. In this much light he could see Neal, blinking and holding up a hand to shade his eyes; Sherlock had an arm slung over his shoulders, and appeared to be limping his way up the stairs. John offered a hand and hauled him up further, staggering up the last few steps to lean him against the wall of the entryway.

They both looked whole, more or less, but Sherlock definitely had a limp, and Neal was streaked head-to-foot in some kind of black grime, interrupted here and there with green. Both of them were grinning like idiots.

"What did you do?" Burke demanded, as John knelt and pulled Sherlock's shoe off, examining his ankle.

"I," Neal said, wiping his face on what appeared to be a cheap emergency-issue blanket provided by Diana, "crawled through an access pipe that is now a lot cleaner than it used to be. He tripped and fell."

"I did not trip," Sherlock said, as John cuffed his trousers leg up. "You grabbed my ankle."

"That wasn't me. I think it was a really big rat," Neal said. John glanced over his shoulder at them; Burke had his arms crossed and was glaring. "What? He was on my ass, it was the only way to get away."

"You walked into a dead zone," Burke said.

"There were no rules against -- "

"Neal!"

Neal hung his head, but didn't stop trying to clean the dirt off his hands. John turned back to Sherlock.

"You've sprained it," he told Sherlock, studying the ankle. "Good job."

"Worth it," Sherlock declared.

"Hey, you owe me ten bucks," Burke said to John.

"I owe you? Weren't they found together?"

"Obviously Neal wasn't in custody."

"Obviously he was, or he would have left," John retorted.

"It's a big shelter," Burke pointed out.

"Sherlock, tell him you won," John commanded. Sherlock just kept grinning.

"Neal?" Burke prompted. Neal shot an amused look at Sherlock.

"I think that would completely spoil an extremely enjoyable night," Sherlock said finally. "Shan't tell."

"Don't look at me," Neal said, as Burke glared. "If he's not telling whether I was in custody, I'm not."

"I'm going to kill you both," Burke said.

"Good luck trying," John said. "Anyway, let Neal have a shower first. He looks like he earned it."

"Ugh. I think a hose might be more effective," Neal said, rubbing vainly at the greasy black smears on his clothing. "You know what I don't miss about being a fugitive? Being a fugitive."

"Come on, Dr. Kimble," Burke told him, guiding Neal towards the cars. "We'll take you home. Sherlock?"

"Hotel's not far," John called. "Rest and ice; we'll be fine."

"Hang on," Sherlock said, standing and limping to where Neal was trying to clean his fingernails. He offered his hand. "Next time, in London."

Neal took his hand and shook it, grinning huge. "You're on."

John shared a despairing look with Peter.

***

There were two accounts of how the story ended. The first went like this:

John and Sherlock left for London the next day, Sherlock grumbling furiously about flights and ankle braces, John gently but firmly forcing him to do exactly what John wanted. Peter waited until they were well over the Atlantic before pressing Neal on the subject of the chase again, over lunch.

"Of course I won," Neal said, leaning back in the cafe chair, looking smug. "Peter, I'm shocked you doubted me."

"I doubt you all the damn time," Peter said.

"That was the whole point of going into the dead zone," Neal said, pointedly ignoring him. "I knew either you or the Marshals would show up, and someone was going to get in Sherlock's way. He was just a little closer behind me than I suspected. I saw him trip and fall and decided I should stick around. There were only three minutes to go."

"Mmhm," Peter said. "So why did you ship a canvas to London this morning on my expense account?"

Neal laughed. "Come on, Peter, what'm I going to do with a bunch of my own paintings? I don't want a surrealist-expressionist view of the London skyline. Besides, it rubs it in."

"Yeah, making Sherlock Holmes annoyed is a great life goal," Peter said.

"Well, I could go back to annoying you all the time," Neal grinned at him. Peter tried to look stern, but he just ended up grinning back.

The second went like this:

"Naturally I won," Sherlock told John when John tactfully brought it up after receiving a very large flat crate containing Neal's London skyline. "If I hadn't had him in custody, don't you think Neal would have left much sooner?"

"Dunno," John said. "He's the type of man to stick around when a mate's been injured."

"He has some very peculiar ideas about chivalry," Sherlock allowed.

"You didn't trip on purpose to get him to come check on you, did you?" John asked suspiciously.

Sherlock merely smiled. "At any rate, he provided me with some truly rare entertainment," he said. "And Mycroft keeps trying to press a knighthood on me, so I thought I might do Neal a good turn regardless and ask a favour on his behalf instead. I've sent his immunity paperwork off this morning."

"So now, when he gets his tracker off, he can come to London," John said, half a question.

"Oh, I hope so. I really do hope so," Sherlock said with a grin. John laughed and went to hang the painting up somewhere it probably wouldn't be shot at the next time Sherlock was bored.

END

Hey look, some fanart! Neal's imaginary landscape made manifest.

(Anonymous) 2010-09-03 02:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Hehee. This is most enjoyable. Although you seem to have left out the part where they spend a night in a fancy hotel annoying/shagging each other.
wildestranger: (Default)

[personal profile] wildestranger 2010-09-03 02:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Hey, that was me, sorry about that. It seemed to have locked me out randomly.

Since you should know who is prodding you towards more pornish endeavours. ;)
annotated_em: cross-section of a lemon (Default)

[personal profile] annotated_em 2010-09-03 02:32 pm (UTC)(link)
*laughing* Oh, this is delightful. *utterly charmed*
kaneko: (Default)

[personal profile] kaneko 2010-09-03 02:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Perfect - voices, plot, characterisation, everything.

[personal profile] fruiter 2010-09-03 02:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I really enjoyed reading this -- the banter, the chase, the London skyline. Thank you for writing such an engaging story!
changeling: (writing)

[personal profile] changeling 2010-09-03 02:48 pm (UTC)(link)
This was fantastic, and just what I needed for my cosy lazy Friday night.
sidra: mandala (Default)

[personal profile] sidra 2010-09-03 02:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Fantastic. Half way through I was thinking, "I don't know who I want to win!" and you came through :)

(Anonymous) 2010-09-03 03:07 pm (UTC)(link)
this is so wonderful XD loved it. it would be great to see it in reality - 2 geniuses and 1 race (in don lafountaine´s voice XD)

lucifer2004xx

[personal profile] valancy_joy 2010-09-03 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Well this just added the cherry on the top of my friday :) *wriggles happily*
nafs: red and purple-pink dragon (Default)

[personal profile] nafs 2010-09-03 03:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Awesome. Completely riveting and entertaining.
madripoor_rose: chibi Piper riding a rat (modnaf)

[personal profile] madripoor_rose 2010-09-03 03:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, this is so very excellent.

[identity profile] thkya.livejournal.com 2010-09-03 03:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Hee! This was a lot of fun :D
basingstoke: crazy eyes (Default)

[personal profile] basingstoke 2010-09-03 03:31 pm (UTC)(link)
:D

Delightful!
punkrockscience: (Default)

[personal profile] punkrockscience 2010-09-03 03:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I love this I love this I love this I love this. UTTERLY enthralling.
mlyn: (White Collar Neal & Peter)

[personal profile] mlyn 2010-09-03 03:41 pm (UTC)(link)
My face hurts from beaming at them. Utterly perfect!
brownbetty: (Default)

[personal profile] brownbetty 2010-09-03 03:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a theory that Neal needs to be crossed-over with every crime-fighting team in fiction, and this wouldn't have occurred to me, because, obviously, Sherlock is not going to take much of an interest in White Collar fraud and art theft and whatnot, but this is utterly utterly perfect. Usually the crossover appeals to me because of how incorrigible Neal is, and the prospect of new people having to deal with him, but in this case, of course, the charm is how impossible Sherlock is, and how everyone just rolls with that.

[personal profile] an_sceal 2010-09-03 04:09 pm (UTC)(link)
This? This is the best story ever written. I keep trying to come up with some less flaily way of describing my new investment in this as my personal canon for EVERYTHING, but it's not going to happen, because, again, this is the BEST STORY EVER, and it has MELTED MY BRAIN WITH AWESOME. I want to print it out and roll in it. I downloaded a copy for my Kindle, so I can read it whenever I want to. I am trying to decide if my painting skills are up to the challenge of trying the London skyline painting. (They are not. In any way. But I want to.)

I can't even quote all the lines I loved, because there are character limits in comments. Just highlight the whole damn thing and put a gold star on it.

This is such a ridiculous comment, and I should be ashamed of how utterly FANGIRL it is, but holy crap, honestly best thing I have read in MONTHS. You're awesome, this is awesome, and it completely made my WEEK. Possibly my LIFE. Thank you!
sanura: (Default)

[personal profile] sanura 2010-09-03 05:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Seconded.

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kallaneeboi: (Doctor Who thinking brainy specs)

[personal profile] kallaneeboi 2010-09-03 04:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Sherlock and Caffrey just conned most of Peter's FBI department. Love it!
nephir: Hot Lesbian Sex (Text)

[personal profile] nephir 2010-09-03 04:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Very lovely - combining two of my new favorite fandoms! Good voice for all through out, though I would have loved for Moz to make an appearance.

greyeyes: (sh boys by i-is-for-icon)

[personal profile] greyeyes 2010-09-03 04:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Two of my favorite things mixed together written by one of my favorite authors. THANK YOU! The whole idea of this is just *inspired* and perfectly done! LOVE Neal getting Sherlock stuck in a deli line and paying for all his tabs and John and Peter watching and worrying and being proud and betting! So many lines (and the double ending) made me smile on a crappy morning:)
giglet: (wc)

[personal profile] giglet 2010-09-03 04:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I liked this a lot! And I'm a little worried about other items on which they might have colluded...
bluebombardier: (sherlock wink)

[personal profile] bluebombardier 2010-09-03 04:43 pm (UTC)(link)

I always called that move the Tower Of London.

Saaaaaaaaaam, your braaaaiiiiin. I want to live in it.
sanura: (Default)

[personal profile] sanura 2010-09-03 05:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Made of win. So much win. For everyone. Everyone wins.
izzady: Graffiti loves you (Default)

[personal profile] izzady 2010-09-03 05:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh man, this is so wicked. I have totally been craving this crossover without realizing it. Of course they aren't telling!! Whee.
Also I love the little ways in which these are your version of the characters, particularly Peter and Neal - it's very close to canon, but it's still your take on it, and I love watching Sherlock see that.

Thanks!
kellyfaboo: Photo Shadow of me July 09 (Default)

[personal profile] kellyfaboo 2010-09-03 05:14 pm (UTC)(link)
♥ ♥ ♥ It's a heist story. With Sherlock. And Neal. And Banter! In character!



You've reduced me to wingdings.

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glinda: I...have a cunning plan (cunning plan)

[personal profile] glinda 2010-09-03 05:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh wow! Unending amounts of love for this fic, I am grinning like a fool!

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