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24 July 2012 @ 01:55 am
Untitled Snippet (The OC/White Collar; Neal is Ryan's half-brother)  
Okay, so... this has been written for a while (though I added a few sentences tonight), but I was unsure about posting... after a tiny bit of encouragement, I am.

A warning though, I'm not sure of my characterization of Neal and Peter... so any opinions on that would be awesome...


"You're not an easy guy to find."

Neal paused as he walked out of June's and tilted his head to regard the blonde teenage boy standing at the curb, hands shoved in jacket pockets, then smiled in sudden recognition. "Ryan?" he asked.

"Hey, big brother," Ryan replied, letting Neal pull him into a hug and clutching the back of his brother's suit jacket for a moment.

"What are you doing here?" Neal asked.

"I... I need help."

"What kind of help?"

"Trey took me with him to steal a car, and we got caught, and I got a PD that got me probation, but then I was gonna get tossed into a group home, or maybe even juvie until a placement was found, so..."

"You ran."

"I ran," Ryan said. "I hid in this model home, and these guys... one of them was jealous because his girlfriend liked me... so they came to kick my ass and set the place on fire and then ran and... and apparently because my bag was still in the house, the cops and everyone assumed I was dead, so... no one's looking for me."

"So you came here," Neal concluded, thinking fast. After a long moment, he nodded and took Ryan's arm to take him inside, hoping June didn't see them on the way upstairs. "Okay, I need to think, but I can't skip out on work or I'll end up back behind bars, so, you are going to stay in my room here for the day. Watch TV, read a book, take a nap, whatever, just stay in the room and don't answer the door or the phone. If I call, then I'll let it ring twice, hang up, then call back..."

"Exactly one minute later," Ryan said, remembering the old trick for keeping Dawn from knowing it was Neal calling, as they walked into the room.

"Right," Neal said, grinning. "I'll have a plan by tonight, I promise."

"Okay," Ryan agreed.

"I am glad to see you," Neal said.

"But you could get in trouble because I'm here."

"Yeah. But like I said. Once I get a plan, we'll get it worked out so no one's in trouble."

"Whatever you say."

~~~

"So, you wanna do me a favor?" Neal asked the first chance he got Peter alone.

"What kind of favor?" Peter asked, suspicious but amused, having expected the question ever since Neal had presented him with a large thermos of June's coffee blend that morning.

"I need to find out the details of a case in California... actually two connected cases."

"Why?"

"Someone I know was involved and I... I need to know what happened."

"Do you have case numbers?"

"No, but I have names," Neal said. "The first one is Trey and Ryan Atwood, grand theft auto in Chino. The second one is Ryan Atwood, a fire at a model home in Newport Beach."

"How do you know them?" Peter asked, even as he started looking, having noticed the almost desperate tone to Neal's voice.

"They're my brothers," Neal admitted.

"You have brothers?"

"Half brothers. Our father left my mother for theirs. Before you arrested me, I'd sometimes give their mom money so she'd take better care of them, but... didn't really turn out like I intended," Neal shook his head. "Trey's... I love him, but he's a lost cause. Ryan though... he's like a smarter, moral and upstanding citizen version of me."

Peter sighed, hearing the affection in Neal's tone, and wishing he didn't have to repeat back what he'd found. "Trey's in jail for the car theft, as well as drug and weapon charges," he said. "Ryan's public defender got him probation then took him in for a few days, but... the kid ran away before he could be transferred to social services. His backpack was found in a house that had burned to the ground, and some kids admitted to getting into a fight with him in the house and leaving him inside. The police have ruled it an accidental death..." He looked up and was surprised to see that Neal looked more contemplative than upset, then realized. "He's not dead, is he? He got in touch with you?"

"Maybe?" Neal said.

"He broke probation..."

"He's fifteen and scared," Neal said. "He just wanted his big brother."

"The ex-con who has to wear an ankle monitor," Peter said. "Where is he?"

"I..."

"Neal."

"I don't want my baby brother to get locked up in Juvie because our middle brother took him for a joyride, or because he was scared of going to some random group home and took off, only to get beaten all to hell and left to die."

"Where is he?" Peter repeated. "I can't help at all unless I talk to him."

"He's at my place," Neal admitted. "I told him to just stay inside until I came back tonight with a plan."

"And telling your FBI Agent partner was part of your plan?"

"I trust you, Peter. I don't really have anyone else to go to. I mean, Mozzie could help me get Ryan a new identity, but then it becomes an issue of making sure he's living somewhere I can go see him without going outside my two mile radius. And he's smart, he should be in school, and... and he's my baby brother, Peter."

"I'll pretend not to know until we solve this case," Peter said. "Then... I'll try and work something out."

"My hero," Neal said.

~~~

"I have half a plan," Neal announced as he walked into his room to find Ryan reading a book.

"Half a plan?"

"For now it involves another couple days of you hiding out here, and then it involves my FBI Partner working things out."

"Wait, it's a perfectly legal plan?"

"Believe it or not."

"What dirt do you have on this guy?" Ryan asked, amused.

"His wife has a soft spot for me, and I'm pretty sure all I'd have to say to her is that my baby brother needed help and Peter refused, playing up the 'I'm the only one Ryan could turn to and Peter was the only one I could turn to', and... well, he would be very unhappy at home. Elizabeth would probably want to adopt you. I'm pretty sure she wants to adopt me."

Ryan nodded. "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"Showing up out of the blue when it could get you in trouble."

Neal waved off the apology. "You're my brother, you can always come to me. If it comes down to it, you and me are going to Rio. With my general skills and your card counting? We'd be living the high life."

"Like we'd need it," Ryan said. "You've got a stash, Neal, I know you do."

"Yeah, but earning more is always fun," Neal replied with a grin.

The End


So... yeah. Any comments on my characterization? I've only watched the first season, plus the season 2 premiere, so... so assume it's set sometime after the season 1 finale... I just... hmmm... yeah. Do Neal and Peter sound like themselves? lol...
 
 
 
finleefinlee on July 24th, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
I think your characterization is just fine. I like what you did with this and would love to see more!
(Anonymous) on July 24th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
I love both of them, so I love this. Your characterization is good, especially given that Neal is stressed. In times of less stress, he's got more energy, nervous tics, and he'd be more secretive and circumspect.

Hope that helps.
crossover_fancrossover_fan on July 24th, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
I've never been a White Collar fan, but I like this snippet. I'm looking forward to what happens if or when everyone in California finds out that Ryan is alive and with his half brother.
brandywine421: blue handsbrandywine421 on July 24th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
Interesting take. I like this idea a lot. I would love it if Neal had a past with the Nichols. He would totally rob Caleb blind if he had the chance.
Maramissmara on July 25th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
Oooh... I hadn't thought of that but now that you mention it... lol... I sorta have an awesome idea... lol
shoesequallifeshoesequallife on July 28th, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
Oooh really good idea.
ihearttwojacksihearttwojacks on July 25th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Love it! I just recently got into White Collar, and I think you did a really good job with Peter and Neal. Having Neal trusting Peter always makes me happy! I'd love to see a Peter/Neal/Sandy/Ryan interaction. I think Sandy and Peter could commiserate over their 'pet cons' not thinking things through all the way :)
Maramissmara on July 26th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
I can see that... but I can also see Sandy slipping up and saying something disparaging about Neal (maybe something about how Neal would be a bad influence on Ryan) and Peter gets protective of Neal, pointing out that Neal put his freedom at risk to make sure Ryan would okay, that Neal loves Ryan, etc... because no one insults Peter's 'pet con'... if Sandy had questioned whether Neal was a good influence, considering his criminal leaning, that would be different, but outright saying Neal is bad for Ryan? Hell no. lol

And see, what I was picturing was Elizabeth laying a verbal smackdown on Kirsten for being so cold to Ryan, a child who needed help... because as much as I came to love Kirsten, she was so suspicious of Ryan during the first few episodes, so cold to him. It took him getting hurt defending her honor before she was willing to help him, and it took his mother abandoning him after asking her to take care of him before she really gave him a chance... yeah, I've got bitterness... lol...

But in my head, Elizabeth develops as much of a soft spot for Ryan as she has for Neal, maybe more since he's a kid who's been through a lot... and she does not like the idea that he was treated so coldly when he desperately needed someone to care... so desperate that he traveled cross country, with only the singed clothing on his back, to get to the half brother he hadn't seen in four years... actually, I can see BOTH Elizabeth and June having that reaction towards Kirsten... lol...

All of that could be fun to write... lol
shoesequallifeshoesequallife on July 28th, 2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. Love where you are going with this and I think the characterization is pretty good. Look forward to reading more.
ocmissocmiss on October 25th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
Really loved it even though I do not know that tv show, will look into it !

Great fic :D