sam_storyteller: (Crossover Fic)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-20 05:15 am

I Was Only Borrowing Time (I Was Going To Put It Back)

Title: I Was Only Borrowing Time (I Was Going To Put It Back)
Fandoms: White Collar/Doctor Who.
Rating: PG
Summary: They haven't exactly met in linear order, Neal and the Doctor, but sometimes that makes for the best kind of friendship.
Warnings: None.
Betas: [ profile] spiderine, [ profile] tzikeh, [ profile] neifile7, and [ profile] hija_paloma

Oh hay [personal profile] ponderosa did an illustration of this fic! It is awesome and I keep laughing at Peter's expression.

Now a podfic by [ profile] twilight_angel!

Originally Posted 9.11.10

Also available at AO3.


Neal's First Meeting, The Doctor's Fourth
or, Rory Isn't As Prepared For Fatherhood As He Thought

"Oh my god, can we keep him?" Amy asks.

The Doctor looks at Rory. Rory looks very, very nervous. Obviously he wants children, they all three know that, but the Doctor thinks Rory didn't bank on an insta-toddler.

Amy is cradling a five-year-old in her lap. The boy has a dazzling grin, a mess of black curls, and huge blue eyes.

"Amy, you can't go appropriating American children from the past," the Doctor says sternly.

"Show him the trick you showed me," Amy says. The boy, shyly, holds up his hands showman-like and waves them around to prove there's nothing in them. From nowhere he produces a single daisy. Amy applauds, and even Rory is looking at the child in a sort of affectionate way now.

"We can't," the Doctor says.

"Come on, we could give him a great life."

"No," the Doctor repeats. "Kidnapping is frowned upon in most civilisations and the TARDIS is no place for children. As I have learned," he adds quietly. Still, he can't help it; he crouches and ruffles the boy's hair. "What's your name, then, eh?" he asks.

"Neal Caffrey," the boy says boldly.

"Oh," and the Doctor looks thoughtful. "Neal Caffrey."

The boy offers him the daisy. Amy squeaks.

"Here you are," the Doctor says, and passes Neal a shiny round pound coin in exchange. "Learn to make that disappear. Run along with you now."

The boy hops off Amy's lap, delighted with his new shiny toy.

"Thank you, Amy'n'Rory, thank you Doctor!" he yells over his shoulder as he runs off.

"We'll get you a kitten or something," the Doctor promises Amy, who sulks for an entire afternoon before they end up saving the universe (again).


Neal's Second Meeting, The Doctor's First
or, Jack Harkness Gets A Handful

Neal has exactly six minutes to crack the safe, four to empty it, and five to get out of the building. Six minutes is generous; he can usually do it in three, but you always have to allow for delays, right?

"Excuse me," says a voice with an English accent, just as the last tumbler drops, and Neal looks up in surprise. There's a man standing over him in what looks like standard cat-burglar gear -- black jeans, black sweater, leather jacket.

There is also, suddenly, something round and cool pressing into the back of Neal's head. Neal goes very still, and very quiet.

"Jack," the man sighs. "It's not a gun," he tells Neal. "It's a torch."

"Flashlight," the man behind Neal corrects. The metal eases away from Neal's head. Neal still isn't moving, just in case. "Doctor, seriously -- "

"Look, I didn't mean to poach your con," Neal says, because two against one isn't worth the Raphael. "I got the safe cracked. You want it, take it, I'll clear out."

"Atta boy," says the voice behind him. Neal risks a glance over his shoulder. Yeah, definitely not worth trying to take on the muscle of the operation. From his position, the man named Jack looks huge.

"Are we done yet?" a woman asks, stepping into the dim light of the living room where the safe is located. Cute kid; blonde, also English. Since when did the British Invasion happen to crime?

"I'm the Doctor," the Englishman says, and Neal blinks at him. He's not precisely the Doctor who lives in Neal's memory, but the vivid recall of his childhood finds something familiar in his way of speaking, not his accent so much as his tone. "Who're you?"

"Neal Caffrey," Neal says, bold as he was when he was five. He reaches into his pocket and takes out the pound coin, his lucky piece. "Remember?"

The Doctor furrows his brow. "No."

"Oh," Neal says, a little crestfallen. "You gave me this. When I was a kid. I think it was you."

"Ah! We haven't met yet. But we will," the Doctor says cheerily. "This happens a lot. I'm a time traveler."

"Well," Neal says, turning back to the safe and reaching into it for the Raphael, because he's not sure how to react to that. "Can you stop time? Because I'm already running past my schedule -- "

"Don't!" all three of them yell, just as Neal's hand passes the barrier. There's a crackle and a lance of pain up his arm and Neal falls backwards. The Doctor is there immediately, crouched over him, Jack shining a light in his face while the Doctor waves something blue and whistling over his arm.

"Temporary," the Doctor grunts, and then points the blue thing at the safe. There's another shower of sparks, and then the Doctor reaches inside and pulls out a huge diamond necklace.

"Here's what we came for. Sorry, recovering stolen property," the Doctor says. "The High King of Dfir will be glad to have this back. It powers half the planet's artificial ecosystem."

"Uh huh," Neal manages.

"Help him," the Doctor waves a hand at Jack, who helps Neal to his feet and is all of a sudden way up in his space.

"Cap'n Jack Harkness," he says, grinning. He smells kind of amazing. "You're the Neal Caffrey?"

"Well, not to be immodest..." Neal says humbly.

"Not the time," the Doctor urges.

"Sorry, hotness, gotta run," Jack says in his ear, and it's only then Neal realises there are sirens going off. "You could come along?"

"Come along where?" Neal asks, bewildered, but Jack just brushes past him -- brushes past him and grabs his ass briefly, and by the time Neal turns around in startled confusion the Doctor and Jack Harkness and the girl whose name he didn't get are all running. Neal hesitates only long enough to make a decision, grab the Raphael, and strap it to his back before he follows suit.

He makes it out in the courtyard just in time to see a strange blue box in one corner light up and start to groan; as he watches, astonished, the box disappears.

He checks his watch. He's got two minutes to escape. But he's got the Raphael, and a story to tell Moz and Kate that neither of them are ever going to believe.


Neal's Third Meeting, The Doctor's Third Too (Peter's First)
or, Nobody But Peter Likes Guns

The op was supposed to be simple. Steal a painting from an art thief, return it to its rightful owner. Nothing easier.

"All you have to do," Peter had told him, "is follow me in. I'll distract Detten. Can you lift the painting if I get him out of the room?"

"Cake walk," Neal had replied.

Famous last words, Neal thinks. Con men are, by and large, superstitious; he's been lapsing since he joined the Bureau and got his anklet. Overconfidence -- that's what it is.

Not the point right now, though. He has to think fast, because halfway through stealing the painting Detten has him at gunpoint and Peter, like a dumbass hero, has stepped in front of the gun and blown his cover.

"I'm a federal agent," Peter is saying, in that soothing monotone he has. "If you shoot me, there is no place for you to run."

"I coulda told him I was," Neal hisses.

"Shut up," Peter hisses back.

"Tie them up," Detten says to his colleague, which is when a man with frankly alarming hair and a less alarming brown pinstripe suit walks through the door.

"Oh, don't do that," the man says. English accent; definitely not the Doctor that Neal met on the Raphael job, but the arrogance and the tone and the sheer Englishness of him all scream Doctor. Neal lets out a breath slowly. "I hate being tied up, it always gives me cramps. Does it give you cramps?" the Doctor asks Peter, who is staring at him in surprise.

Detten is staring at him in surprise too, and if Peter weren't in the goddamn way Neal could have got to the gun by now.

"Are you robbing him?" the Doctor asks Peter.

"No," Peter says.

"Well, robbing him back," Neal puts in. The Doctor squints at him.

"Neal Caffrey?" he asks, delighted.

"Hi, Doctor," Neal manages, waving with one upraised hand.

"Then you must be Peter," the Doctor continues, nodding at Peter.

"Neal, you know this guy?" Peter asks.

"That's the Doctor," Neal tells him, though he doesn't know how the Doctor knows Peter. Detten's arm keeps swinging, back and forth from the Doctor to Peter.

"Who the hell are you?" Detten demands.

"Just a good samaritan," the Doctor says with a shrug. "One who doesn't like guns. And I really don't like guns aimed at my friends. And I really, really don't like parasites from other planets aiming guns at my friends."

The little blue thing from last time is suddenly in the Doctor's hand, and he's pointing it at Detten, and then Detten seems to twist and in his place is a large slug-looking kind of thing.

"Cheap perception filters," the Doctor says, shaking his head as if he despairs of evildoers in general.

"What the fuck -- " Peter begins, and the Doctor tuts.

"Language," he says, wrenching the gun out of the ooze, not so much in the thing's hands anymore as just kind of sitting on top of some protoplasm. "You have a slug problem. I'll take care of it. Neal?" he offers him the gun.

"Uh, I don't like guns either," Neal says, and Peter rolls his eyes and takes the gun.

"I don't know what's going on here," he announces, "and I don't want to know."

"Good man yourself," the Doctor says. "Off you go. Neal!" he adds, when Neal goes to follow Peter. Peter's already out the door, probably wondering if he's been dosed with a hallucinogen. Neal stops and pulls his lucky coin out of his pocket, flipping it once.

"You remembered me this time," he says, pleased.

"You're hard to forget, once we've met," the Doctor replies, his tone dry. "Listen, we've done the safe and the diamond with Jack and Rose, right?"

"Yep," Neal says. "You said you were a time traveler."

"You believe me?"

Neal looks down at the slug. "I'm getting there."

"Want to come along?" the Doctor asks.

Neal glances down and shakes his head. "I can't. I'm -- "

"On the leash. Right," the Doctor sighs. He jerks his head at the doorway where Peter exited. "Your keeper?"


"Does all right by you?"

Neal nods.

"Right then. I'll take care of this. You take your painting and go be well kept."

He gives Neal a warm smile. Neal smiles back, and surprises both of them by hugging him tightly, and then runs off to find Peter.


Neal's Fourth Meeting, The Doctor's Second
or, Theft Is Fun But Not Getting Killed By Peter Is Even Better

Neal is working hard -- or at least, pretending to work hard, which he suspects most of his fellow marketing managers are also doing -- when a familiar man with a hawk nose and unruly brown hair and that same pinstriped suit puts his head over the edge of Neal's cubicle.

"Hi!" the man says. Neal glances at him.

"Hi, Doctor," he replies, grinning, and pulls his lucky coin from behind the Doctor's ear.

"You recognised me!" the Doctor crows. "Seen this face before? No, don't tell me, spoilers," he adds, and Neal stops himself from saying yes. Non-linear time is something even a smart guy like Neal has a little trouble with, but he gets that from the Doctor's perspective they haven't had their meeting over the slug yet.

"I'm kinda undercover here," Neal murmurs.

"Ooooh. I thought maybe you'd gone honest," the Doctor whispers, casting his eyes around the office.

"Pfft," Neal says dismissively. "Only for a given value."

"Good." The Doctor circles the cubicle and seats himself on Neal's desk. "Want to come steal something with me?"

Neal sits back and shakes his head. "I'm still on the leash."

"On the what?"

"Peter's got me."


"I mean, I can't," Neal says, realising the Doctor hasn't got all his facts yet.

"Are you sure? It's really sparkly and technically a good deed," the Doctor gives him a small pout.

"Sorry, boss," Neal says. "I'd love to, but..."

"Right. Well." The Doctor looks disappointed for a moment, and Neal almost recants and asks to go with him, but he has a job to do here and Peter would kill him if he ditched on it. "See you again sometime?" the Doctor asks hopefully.

"Yeah, you will," Neal replies. The Doctor walks away, whistling.


Neal's Fifth Meeting, The Doctor's Fifth Too (Peter's Second)
or, Old Habits Die Hard

They step out of the TARDIS into a cool New York evening. Amy looks up and around her, always the explorer, but Rory focuses in on the one spot of light on the terrace, a candle flickering on a small table. The Doctor does too; there's a man sitting there, a bottle of wine in front of him, an almost-empty glass nearby. Paper blows across the stone. It looks like there was a party here earlier. The man is spinning a pound coin on the table.

Then he looks up, and smiles tiredly. "Doctor," he says.

"Neal," the Doctor replies, coming forward. Amy's head jerks around at that. "How are you, mate?"

"I've had better days," Neal tells him, standing and accepting the Doctor's hand, pulling him into a quick one-armed hug. "Now this," he says, gesturing to the tweed and the bow-tie and the braces, "looks familiar."

"Neal?" Amy asks. "Little Neal with the daisy?"

"Hi, kidnapper," Neal tells her. "You're looking good. Amy, right? And -- Richard?"

"Rory," Rory sighs.

"Sorry. It's been thirty years," Neal tells him. "Non-linear time, huh?" he asks the Doctor, sitting down again. "Have some wine."

"Still on the leash?" the Doctor asks carefully.

"Nope," Neal stretches. "It came off today."

"Free man at last?"


"You don't look very happy about it," the Doctor says.

Neal tilts his head back and laughs. "I feel like running," he says. "Barcelona. Florence. Tokyo."

"So?" the Doctor spreads his hands.

"I'm also supposed to be back at work on Monday," Neal sighs. "I want to be back at work on Monday. I asked, I have plans, to be back at work on Monday. I've gone straight while I wasn't noticing. It's pretty sad. The weekend's not really enough time to get to Paris, you know?"

"Little baby Neal Caffrey," Amy says, apparently stuck on that.

"Well," the Doctor says thoughtfully. "You could come with us. Take you to Paris, I'll have you back by Sunday night. Take you to Paris in the 19th century and have you back by Sunday night, if it comes to that."

Neal looks hesitant.

"He grew up nice," Amy says in an undertone to Rory.

"Thanks, I can see that," Rory replies, only a little testily.

"Could use you," the Doctor tempts, ignoring them. "Plenty of adventure in the little blue box."

"You look like a man who needs a holiday," Amy adds. Neal seems to be considering the temptation.

"Sunday night," Neal points at the Doctor.

"Sunday night," the Doctor promises.

Six months later -- after Neal makes them take him to meet Leonardo da Vinci and paints Amy nude and gets punched by Rory and paints Rory nude and gets punched by Rory again, after Neal almost steals a 99th-century emerald and does steal a priceless katana from John Hart and saves Rory's life and Rory says sorry about the punching and they all get drunk and almost blow up a sun together -- six months later, they get him back by Monday morning.

Well, it's not that far off.

The Doctor hugs Neal goodbye and gives him a gentle push to send him out the door right as his keeper, the mysterious Peter, walks up the steps to the Federal Building. He stops and stares, first at Neal and then at the blue box from which Neal just emerged.

"You don't want to know," he hears Neal tell Peter.

"I really don't," Peter says fervently.

The Doctor closes the door and grins. A happy ending for Neal.

Then he pats his pocket, swears under his breath, and runs out to make Neal give him back the psychic paper.


Check this out: [personal profile] zzanthalinn did a "Prezi" of the fic, in case anyone's having trouble unraveling the time travelling that went on:

storm_petrel: (Default)

[personal profile] storm_petrel 2010-09-11 03:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my god, I'll leave a better comment when I'm not INCOHERENT WITH GLEE.
sgrio: (Default)

[personal profile] sgrio 2010-09-11 03:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, perfect! I love it! Amy perving on Neal was adorably in-character, and that last line was also perfect. Perfect is my favorite word today, apparently. \o/
filomena: (wc by the river)

[personal profile] filomena 2010-09-11 03:05 pm (UTC)(link)

(I like the title, btw.)

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[personal profile] filomena - 2010-09-12 03:36 (UTC) - Expand
pocketmouse: Peter Burke kissing Neal (nealpeter)

[personal profile] pocketmouse 2010-09-11 03:05 pm (UTC)(link)
and paints Amy nude and gets punched by Rory and paints Rory nude and gets punched by Rory again

tree00faery: (Default)

[personal profile] tree00faery 2010-09-11 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Ahahaha this was awesome! I love little Neal, and the slug alien, and Jack grabbing Neal's bum, and pretty much everything. <3
drgaellon: Ten invites Neal to the TARDIS. Peter says no. (Ten Neal Peter)

[personal profile] drgaellon 2010-09-11 03:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I may have mentioned this recently, but it bears repeating. I LOVE YOU.


[personal profile] amycat - 2010-09-17 22:37 (UTC) - Expand

Re: @drgaellon...

[personal profile] drgaellon - 2010-09-17 22:40 (UTC) - Expand
infelixsoror: (Default)

[personal profile] infelixsoror 2010-09-11 03:10 pm (UTC)(link)


I give myself half a hour off from pre-university reading and find this waiting. You, sir, have truly impeccable timing. Thank you!
travels_in_time: (Default)

[personal profile] travels_in_time 2010-09-11 03:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow, Neal just belongs in that blue box.

I have to admit, though, I'd like to see Peter's reaction to ("accidentally", of course) being hauled away on some adventure. And Elizabeth. Elizabeth would make an AWESOME companion.
spiderine: (got the drop)

[personal profile] spiderine 2010-09-11 04:15 pm (UTC)(link)
*chants* SEQUEL! SEQUEL!

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cosmic: (Default)

[personal profile] cosmic 2010-09-11 03:15 pm (UTC)(link)
sanura: (Default)

[personal profile] sanura 2010-09-11 03:27 pm (UTC)(link)
kallaneeboi: (Doctor Who thinking brainy specs)

[personal profile] kallaneeboi 2010-09-11 03:30 pm (UTC)(link)
That last line made me laugh so loudly that I scared the cat. He's hiding in the bathroom.

This was awesome!
devohoneybee: (11 and amy)

[personal profile] devohoneybee 2010-09-11 03:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm reduced to comment quoting, because my brain is goo:
"Oh Sam, how are you so awesome???!!!??"

The weaving of the timelines was a delight to behold.

[identity profile] 2010-09-11 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)
That's so awesome. Love the concept and the various interactions. Love the way it's constructed. Especially like the line "he grew up nice." Of course Amy would dig it, and of course Rory would be a little worried. Great job.

[identity profile] 2010-09-11 03:48 pm (UTC)(link)
oh! this was a lovely thing to wake up to! :D
waldo: (WC: My happy place)

[personal profile] waldo 2010-09-11 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Brilliant! I love the intentional use of the run on in describing what Neal, Amy, Rory and the Doctor got up to in Paris (and wherever), because it sounded like how the Doctor (10 at least, probably 11 too) would describe it. :)

(Rory punches him for painting him nude - LOL!)

The whole thing was adorable. Thanks! (Also, the icon version is awesome too!)
zzanthalinn: if a lion knelt to kiss a rose... (Default)

[personal profile] zzanthalinn 2010-09-11 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Really. Dresden crossover next. "Maybe it's just magic." (.coaxes.)

Plus, I think I need a chart or visual aid.
sabra_n: (Default)

[personal profile] sabra_n 2010-09-11 10:10 pm (UTC)(link)
I get the feeling that the TARDIS wouldn't be happy carrying a man with his own personal anti-technology field. Unless Time Lord tech is just so advanced that magic doesn't affect it anymore.

...Yep. Let's go with that.

(Also, Sam: This is awesome and fills me with GLEE. The good kind, not the kind with overproduced musical numbers.)

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Re: code for embedding...

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[identity profile] 2010-09-11 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes yes yes yes, a thousand times yes, or however many words this is. I. Love. Every. Word. Of. This. I have just two more words to add: More, please.
madripoor_rose: milkweed beetle on a leaf (Default)

[personal profile] madripoor_rose 2010-09-11 04:11 pm (UTC)(link)
One of these days I've really got to watch some Doctor Who.

Awesome as always.
tei: Woman in red dress in the snow. (11/Amy)

[personal profile] tei 2010-09-11 04:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Best. Ending. Ever.
abigail89: (Doctor Who Geek)

[personal profile] abigail89 2010-09-11 04:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Wonderful! You can continue to write crossovers for the foreseeable future as far as I'm concerned. Fun, fun story, Sam. Well done!
melayneseahawk: (adult)

[personal profile] melayneseahawk 2010-09-11 04:45 pm (UTC)(link)
bodlon: It's a coyote astronaut! (Default)

[personal profile] bodlon 2010-09-11 04:46 pm (UTC)(link)
It's a good thing my house is empty at the moment. The amount of out-loud laughing I'm doing would draw attention, which would distract from reading.

your icon

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Re: your icon

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Re: your icon

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flamebyrd: (Default)

[personal profile] flamebyrd 2010-09-11 04:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Brilliant, just brilliant!

I had a massive grin for most of it, then the last line made me literally laugh out loud.

PS I really appreciate the headers tracking the timeline, cough.
nephir: petite musique de nuit (Nuit; reclining)

[personal profile] nephir 2010-09-11 05:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, you never fail to please with your stories and I love the voices in this one. Neal oh Neal, and Peter and everyone else. Especially the travel to meet Leonardo...

What a wonderful way to start today with!
glinda: pirate TARDIS (pirate TARDIS)

[personal profile] glinda 2010-09-11 05:04 pm (UTC)(link)

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