sam_storyteller: (White Collar)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2010-12-24 11:36 pm

Lost Loves

Title: Lost Loves
Rating: PG
Notes: [ profile] juniper200 gave me the idea. [ profile] amand_r is to blame for several other elements. This is a crossover but to explain the other fandoms would seriously ruin everything.
Summary: Neal knows a very sad story about a thief and a sailor. Peter's still stuck on pirates.

Now a podfic by [ profile] cantapodpatrol!

Also available at AO3.

The video footage was inconclusive. It certainly looked like her, matched all the sketches and descriptions, and she was definitely stealing a lot of money from the vault. But she didn't quite look old enough. And Neal swore up and down it wasn't her.

"That's not her," he insisted. "That's why we have to hold onto this case."

"Okay, explain to me why we can't just kick this into the storage room the FBI has assigned to her," Peter said.

"Because someone's impersonating her. That's an impostor," Neal said, jabbing a finger at the video still. "She should be caught."

Peter raised an eyebrow. "You're not usually that upset when people don't get caught," he pointed out.

"She should be," Neal said. He looked...almost angry. "You shouldn't -- it's just -- it's not right," he said. "It...look we, they, whatever, what I used to be, we have an image to uphold. We have a reputation. Someone like that, doing that, it's wrong. She needs to be stopped."

Peter set the file down and looked at Neal curiously. "How do you know it's not her?"

Neal met his stare with defiance. "Because I met Carmen Sandiego, and that woman is not Carmen Sandiego."


Peter had to get Neal pretty drunk before he'd say anything further on the subject. Neal suggested it, so he didn't feel too badly about it. They bought a bottle of bourbon on the way home.

Elizabeth took one look at Neal, Peter, and the bottle in Peter's hands, and kissed her husband and announced she was going upstairs to work for a while.

The bottle was pretty low before Neal finally sat back and looked up at the ceiling and laughed.

"You know me," he said, words slightly slurred as he looked back at Peter. "I love a brunette. That's her real hair color, you know. Brunette."

Peter raised an eyebrow at him. Neal pointed at his own head. "Her roots used to show."

"You spent some time with her, then," he said. Neal nodded.

"Also she had a fantastic hat," Neal said. "I used to wonder how she ever got through customs or...wherever. Because her look, that was pretty distinctive. Doesn't matter," he added, waving a hand. "See, the thing about Carmen was, is, the thing..." he unfocused for a minute, then rested his chin on one hand, staring into the distance. "She's everyone. She's a myth, you know, she's every great thief and con artist and hustler. She represents us. It's like dressing up like God. And then going to wander around the Vatican."

Peter looked skeptical. "I know she's legendary, but come on, Neal."

"She is! She's legendary. Here's the thing, the thing, okay," Neal said, gesturing with the hand that wasn't currently holding up his head. "Carmen Sandiego never ages. She never gets caught. Sometimes someone will catch one of her agents, but the woman herself, you'd have to'd have to be you or something. Because she's not real."

"Not real," Peter repeated.

"You get a couple of con artists together, couple of thieves, sooner or later they start telling stories. You got guys who are fifty, sixty years old, saying they knew her when they were young hustlers. Then you got guys like me who ran with her forty years later and she hasn't aged. So some people, right, they say it's a title, it gets passed on from mother to daughter an apprenticeship?"

"Next you're going to tell me about Dread Pirate Roberts," Peter said.

"Who?" Neal asked.

"Tell you later. Go on."

"So my theory is, she's our patron saint. You get a really good con, really young, like me, and she...appears, and she teaches you what to do. You run with her for a while, till you've learned what you need to know, and then bam...she's gone."

"She leave you like that?" Peter asked, fascinated despite himself.

Neal nodded mournfully. "And you never learn where in the world she went."

"But you don't really believe that."

"I do!" Neal said. "I do. And there's more. 'Cause if you do hear enough about her, you start hearing about her. Not just the guys she taught, not just the things she stole, the amazing stuff. You start to hear about who she really was. Is. You get the stories about her. Carmen Sandiego. Like, she's the daughter of a cartographer who used to do maps for pirates."

"I knew we'd get to pirates, sooner or later," Peter muttered.

"And she took a lover, a sailor, and then she lost him. So all the traveling she does, whenever she finds someone new to teach, she's really looking for him. A man in a striped shirt, like sailors wore, and a watchcap. He travels the world, always in crowds, and you can see him if you look really hard, but she's never found him," Neal said. He looked maudlin. "She's always searching for her lost love."

He looked at Peter. "That's why we have to catch the woman pretending to be her. It's not right, Peter. If she thinks we're disrespecting her, she'll vanish forever, and she won't ever find Waldo."

"Okay, I think we've reached your limit," Peter said, taking the bottle away from Neal just as he reached for it. "Come on, you can stay in the guestroom tonight."

"It's sad, Peter," Neal insisted, as Peter pulled him up out of the chair. "It's just so sad."

"Yes, I agree, it's sad," Peter said, slinging Neal's arm around his shoulders.

"There's a song, you know," Neal said in what was probably meant to be a confidential whisper.

"Neal, don't -- " Peter started, but it was far, far too late. It was probably about four shots of Jim Beam too late. Neal burst into song, something about Kiev and Carolina and slow boats to China. Peter tried not to listen too closely as he dragged Neal up the stairs and down the hallway to the guest room. Elizabeth came to the doorway, apparently to stand there and laugh at her struggling husband, while Neal crooned about scamming Scandinavia. She did help him get Neal's shoes and tie off once Peter dumped him on the guest bed, and Neal finally subsided when Peter turned out the lights.

"So?" she asked, as Peter got ready for bed. "What was so important you had to get Neal hammered to find out about it?"

"Just some old myth," Peter said, shrugging. "I guess con men have their patron saints too. And you know him, he's a sucker for a love story."

"He's not the only one," Elizabeth said, climbing into bed after him. Peter wrapped his arms around her, and they both fell asleep to the strains of Neal's renewed singing.

Well she glides around the globe, and she'll flim-flam every nation
She's a double-dealing diva with a taste for thievery.
Her itinerary's loaded up with moving violations. Tell me
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

"If that song gets stuck in my head, I'm going to kill him in the morning," Peter mumbled.

starlady: Elizabeth from PotC cross-dressing (nice hat)

[personal profile] starlady 2010-12-25 05:42 am (UTC)(link)
OMG this is BRILLIANT! And just a little sad. Where's Waldo? Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Will they ever meet?
pocketmouse: pocketmouse default icon: abstract blue (Default)

[personal profile] pocketmouse 2010-12-25 05:44 am (UTC)(link)
*dies laughing*
madripoor_rose: milkweed beetle on a leaf (Default)

[personal profile] madripoor_rose 2010-12-25 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
A man in a striped shirt, like sailors wore, and a watchcap. He travels the world, always in crowds, and you can see him if you look really hard, but she's never found him," Neal said. He looked maudlin. "She's always searching for her lost love."

OMG Waldo!

Hilarious and sweet, Sam, just what I needed tonight.

sethrak: Ninth Doctor as a sheep, with banana (NineSheep)

[personal profile] sethrak 2010-12-25 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
Best. Christmas Eve. Procrastionation. Fic. I. Ever. Read.

sethrak: Ninth Doctor as a sheep, with banana (NineSheep)

[personal profile] sethrak 2010-12-25 05:47 am (UTC)(link)
"And she'll ransack Pakistan, then go pick your pocket purse...."

At least, that's how the song goes in my head, I am probably woefully misremembering it. :D
bobthemole: (Default)

[personal profile] bobthemole 2010-12-25 07:07 am (UTC)(link)
she'll ransack Pakistan

It's not like the politicians have LEFT anything to ransack...

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melayneseahawk: (adult)

[personal profile] melayneseahawk 2010-12-25 05:47 am (UTC)(link)
OMG I think I just died laughing.

[personal profile] elucreh 2010-12-25 05:51 am (UTC)(link)

[personal profile] priscellie 2010-12-25 05:55 am (UTC)(link)
This is pure cracktastic hilarity! I've loved the idea of shipping Carmen and Waldo for years, but the backstory (crackstory?) you've concocted for them is an absolute delight. And I love the way you write White Collar, as always! Merry Christmas, Sam!

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odditycollector: Supergirl hovering in black silhouette except for the red crest. Cape fluttering. Background is a roiling, raining sky. (Default)

[personal profile] odditycollector 2010-12-25 06:04 am (UTC)(link)
He travels the world, always in crowds, and you can see him if you look really hard, but she's never found him," Neal said. He looked maudlin.
chibifukurou: (Default)

[personal profile] chibifukurou 2010-12-25 06:06 am (UTC)(link)
I think you broke my brain combining White Collar with one of my favorite crack pairings [Waldo/Carmen]
somnolentblue: AtLA quote: Wait! My friends need to suck on those frogs! (avatar suck on those frogs)

[personal profile] somnolentblue 2010-12-25 06:07 am (UTC)(link)
*giggles* I just... there's Carmen Sandiago, which is awesome, but then it gets even more awesome with Waldo! *giggles more*

[personal profile] octette 2010-12-25 06:15 am (UTC)(link)
loling FOREVER. carmen/waldo = neal's otp? love it.
eccentrikita: Softly colored drawing of Hermione from Harry Potter, sitting in a chair in a library reading a book. (Default)

[personal profile] eccentrikita 2010-12-25 06:29 am (UTC)(link)
Read this out loud to my mother, who's not even in fandom, and she died laughing. :D

Seriously, though, for crackfic it's got some surprising depth to it! The sort of self-contained subcultural mythology the cons have reminded me of the homeless children's mythology article, how and why those stories are created and sustained. Plus I liked the substance of the backstory, how it tied back to sailor's tales and the way the doomed are cursed to sail the earth, searching for something or someone they missed in life.

cjblaze: (Default)

[personal profile] cjblaze 2010-12-25 06:33 am (UTC)(link)
I have a vague recollection of Carmen Sandiego, but this was an awesome way to introduce her.
silentstep: the text "Team Hilarity" on a blue background, with sparkles (Default)

[personal profile] silentstep 2010-12-25 06:37 am (UTC)(link)
OMGYES. When I read "striped shirt" I punched the air and whooped out loud. Best belated Hanukkah present ever!

This is crossposted to [Bad username or unknown identity:], yes?
silentstep: the text "Team Hilarity" on a blue background, with sparkles (Default)

[personal profile] silentstep 2010-12-25 06:38 am (UTC)(link)
Er, this:

It is a community dedicated to the shipping of Carmen and Waldo.

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busaikko: Princess Bride, as you wish (PB: as you wish)

[personal profile] busaikko 2010-12-25 06:42 am (UTC)(link)
Aww, such utter crack and yet so bittersweet. Lovely mythology.
bethany_lauren: (Default)

[personal profile] bethany_lauren 2010-12-25 06:51 am (UTC)(link)
Oh Sam. Waldo/Carmen Sandiego = <3

This was just beautiful and cracktastic.

(Anonymous) 2010-12-25 06:53 am (UTC)(link)
oh my god, Sam, you didn't!

*dies laughing* now THIS is a lovely xmas present! ;p

also, have you ever heard Duncan Sheik's "There Once Was a Pirate"? It sorta fits the sadness of Neal's story...
the_rainbow_jen: (_r eye/lash/name)

[personal profile] the_rainbow_jen 2010-12-25 07:01 am (UTC)(link)
I'm having a completely surreal moment, because it reads like Sam, but the content is something my BFF would write about. He's got a nerd!crush on Carmen Sandiego too. Wow. Two parts of my reality colliding.

I think I need more wine to parse this. Yeah.
lizzledpink: (neal caffrey)

[personal profile] lizzledpink 2010-12-25 07:04 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my God, Happy I'm not British goddammit why do I need to remind myself MERRY CHRISTMAS.





bobthemole: (Default)

[personal profile] bobthemole 2010-12-25 07:05 am (UTC)(link)
pouncer: (Default)

[personal profile] pouncer 2010-12-25 07:15 am (UTC)(link)

*falls over laughing*
waldo: (Ferret: Magick - Who Me?)

[personal profile] waldo 2010-12-25 12:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes? :) :) :) :p
mermaid: mermaid swimming (Default)

[personal profile] mermaid 2010-12-25 07:28 am (UTC)(link)
Two of my favourite childhood puzzles - playing the Carmen Sandiego computer game and reading the Where's Wally? books - combined with my current favourite fandom?

Merry Christmas to me, indeed :)
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[personal profile] yellowvalley 2010-12-25 07:28 am (UTC)(link)
I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, and then I got to the Waldo part, and that was actually v. v. sad. And I still laughed.
ext_20958: (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-12-25 07:29 am (UTC)(link)
"If that song gets stuck in my head, I'm going to kill him in the morning," Peter mumbled.

You and me both, Peter.

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