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Fic: WC, untitled, MTF!Neal (II)

A/N: First posted at week 70 of writing_game  in two parts (and in slightly abridged form) for the prompts "identify" and "staring straight ahead with your little plastic face"/"a dance we cannot imagine, a dance whose name we can only guess". Set in a universe, begun here, in which Neal is MTF. There's more of this written (and it includes one of my favorite exchanges ever), but I'm considering changing her chosen name, and I'm going to hold off on posting it until I'm certain one way or the other on that. If you want to suggest girls' names that start with "N" (especially if you can think of ones that don't rhyme with "Caffrey"), I'd be obliged.


“Hey, heard you interviewed that he-she at the robbery today.”

Peter turned and stared at him. “Ruiz, were you asleep during diversity training?”

Ruiz had the gall to look affronted at the rebuke. “What? It’s not like we have any of those people here.”

“Obviously you wouldn’t know about it if we did. No one would dare tell you,” Peter responded. He quickened his step, getting through White Collar’s doors – and away from Ruiz – faster than strictly necessary. Neal was more than happy to keep pace.

“Peter,” she said, once they were in his office digging through files.

“Yeah?”

“Thanks, for… for what you said to Ruiz, for calling him out like that. It – I appreciate it.”

“What? Oh, sure. He—” Peter said, and then he looked up.

Neal was sure he’d only seen her this vulnerable once or twice ever. Today, she couldn’t bring herself to exert the energy necessary to hide it, and just returned his gaze instead.

“Neal….”

She swallowed, took a deep breath, and spoke. “You’re right, that no one would trust Ruiz. But… you know I trust you, Peter.”

He nodded, clearly wary of interrupting her, of cutting off something she needed to say.

So she went on: “I’ve known for a while. But when you’re a con artist, you have to be able to be invisible. So I couldn’t… do anything, I couldn’t stand out like that. However much I needed—” Closing her eyes, she stopped and started over. “And now I still can’t,” – shrugging – “but I wanted to thank you, anyway.”

“Still can’t,” said Peter. “Because of jerks like Ruiz? Because you shouldn’t let them run your life—”

But Neal was shaking her head. “No, not because of him, because of me. I’m a felon on work-release. What judge would approve a name change? And besides, how would the FBI know I’m not just conning you all and hoping to make it easier to run?”

“God, Neal,” Peter said – but not in his irritated voice, Neal noticed. He sounded sad. “We’ll figure something out. But – speaking of name changes, do you…?”

“I don’t know yet. Thanks, though.”

“Of course. And I mean it, that I’ll help you work this out. It’s just red tape. You and I can do anything.”

Neal smiled. “You know it.”



ETA: Part 3.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
benebu
Sep. 22nd, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Nicole/Nicola (however you want to spell it)

That's the only one that comes to mind right now, but I'll let you know if I find more.
lonetread
Sep. 22nd, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was the one I had. :) I think I'll probably stick with that, now that it's been seconded and thirded. Thanks!
mr_liam_to_you
Sep. 22nd, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
Natalie, Nadine, Naomi, Nicole? I knew a girl named Naia once upon a time.

PS: Hurrah for transfic! \o/ I read an awesome, accurate FTM!John Watson fic earlier today 8D
lonetread
Sep. 22nd, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I'm sticking with Nicole -- but thanks, I didn't have a couple of those, and the aliases still need new names, too. :) It's amazing how few girls' names start with "N" and how many of those end in a long e. Amazing and annoying. >_<

*nudges you towards the tag* No one ever reads my transfic (OK, except for Self-Portrait and the Samverse) -- that's what I get for writing in obscure fandoms, I guess.

I know, that one was so good! Have you read Intemperanceyet? God, sometimes I feel like I've read everything on that masterlist. (And one day will actually have, haha.)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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