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the island of conclusions

So We Move In Between (White Collar fic, NC-17)

the island of conclusions

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So We Move In Between (White Collar fic, NC-17)

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It seems to be kink week up in here (as Danny Williams would say). But don’t despair, everyone who friended for the gen fic—this doesn’t happen very often!

Title: So We Move In Between
Recipient: whitecollarswap
Characters, Pairings: Neal/Peter with background Neal/Peter/Elizabeth
Rating: NC-17, but mostly for kink—aside from that, R.
Word Count: ~2K
Warnings: Breathplay (RACK—risk aware consensual kink).
Spoilers: through the beginning of S2, specific spoilers for 1.08, “Hard Sell.”
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit
a/n: title from The Talking Heads, “Born Under Punches.”
a/n: a big thank you to [personal profile] yourlibrarian for the beta!
a/n: original prompt was: Peter takes Neal’s breath away—literally.

Summary: Neal dreamt about the vault a lot, during those first shaky weeks after Peter sprung him from prison a second time.

So We Move In Between

Neal dreamt about the vault a lot, during those first shaky weeks after Peter sprung him from prison a second time: the bright, cold light; the gleaming colors of the comics on display. He would hear again the sharp hiss of air leaving the room. And he was always falling, Peter’s hands on his chest, his face; Peter’s voice saying his name.

Except that in the dream, Peter never wore the expression he had at the time—three quarters determination and one quarter fear. No, the look in his eyes was the intimate, conspiratorial one he’d given Neal earlier, when he’d told the bond dealers Neal was a mole—the one he’d had when he’d said follow my play.

And despite his misgivings, Neal had believed the promise, the confidence, in Peter’s eyes, and he had, he’d followed.

And so, in the dream, when Peter put his hand on the soft flesh of Neal’s throat, fingers pressing against the windpipe, Neal went along with that too.

As the oxygen left his lungs, he seemed to move into a world of more vivid sensation, a world where the rub of Peter’s other hand along his cock was a thousand times more intense, sent sparks firing behind his eyes, his whole body electrically charged.

And on the other side of his release, every time, was a whiteout high, an unfamiliar satiety.

Often enough, the sheets were already ruined by the time Neal woke up. But if not, he’d roll onto his back, take himself in hand and finish, futilely chasing that flawless, ecstatic blankness.


Because if truth be told—and it never would be if he could help it—the world always seemed to be spinning a bit too quickly during those weeks—lights, faces, objects coming at him too fast, overwhelming him with their demands. Out of his control.


It was the end of a long work day—but then all the days were long. The pencil slipped against the paper for the third time in twenty minutes, marring Neal’s sketch of the stolen antiquities again. He swore softly, dug the eraser into the error, and rubbed at it too hard. His hand was shaking, just a little.

“C’mon,” Peter said, behind him, the tone of his voice indicating he’d seen at least the last slip. “Let’s go home.”


Peter had been taking him back to Brooklyn a lot lately. Neal couldn’t tell if it was out of concern for Neal’s precarious well-being, or because Elizabeth had been in San Francisco so much and Peter was the kind of guy who liked to have someone across from him at the dinner table, someone to hash over the day’s events with or fight for the last cookie.

It had surprisingly little to do with sex, which happened often enough, but usually hard and fast against the door to the kitchen, or slow and sloppy sprawled out together on the couch. Nothing like the drawn-out pleasures they indulged in when Elizabeth was around. It went against Neal’s principles—he usually figured anything worth doing was worth doing elegantly—but it turned out that if a hand-job during the Jets game made Peter happy, Neal didn’t mind. He liked seeing Peter happy.

They always called Elizabeth as soon as they got in, a kind of ritual. “Neal’s here,” Peter would say, after asking about her day. “She wants to say hello,” he’d say, offering the phone to Neal.

“How’s he doing?” Elizabeth would ask, sounding impossibly distant.

“He misses you,” Neal would always reply.

“I miss you both,” Elizabeth would say, warm and clear, and Neal would hurriedly give the phone back to Peter, embarrassed at how easily his eyes pricked with unshed tears these days.


They’d brought back Thai tonight, and Neal started unpacking the plastic bags while Peter pulled plates and glasses off the kitchen shelves.

The long line of Peter’s back, the neat twist of his shoulder reaching up, caught Neal’s eye, and he gave in to impulse.

He stepped closer, put an arm around Peter’s waist, reached down and cupped him through the cheap suit fabric, pressed himself against the curve of Peter’s ass.

“C’mon,” he whispered, lips brushing Peter’s ear, “dinner can wait.”

“Hnff,” Peter gasped, kind of strangled sounding. He leaned into Neal’s body. “Yeah, okay, if you put it like that. Just—“ He twisted around so that he was facing Neal, kissed him open-mouthed, “give an old man a break, huh, and let’s take it upstairs?”


Neal knew he was worrying Peter a little, moving so fast, hands quick on buttons and buckles like he was picking a safe and could hear sirens in the distance. It wasn’t like him. Usually, he was leisurely about such things, languid even, savoring the slow reveal of flesh.

“I feel like I’m being studied for a forgery,” Peter had said to him once, “not about to be fucked.”

“Hey,” Neal had teased, “you gotta at least let me admire the view. And besides, I thought you were gonna fuck me.”

But tonight was different. Tonight it was as if the voltage were set too high in the current of his blood, sending it too hot, too rapid, through his veins. He needed something to absorb the charge, and he was more that usually grateful that Peter was there—six feet and change of muscle and patience.

Peter let him set the pace, looking puzzled, but letting Neal encourage him with kisses, a stroke here, a nip there, a hand on the sensitive place under his ribs, until they were both naked, until Neal pulled Peter after him onto the bed, the quilted silk comforter smooth under their legs.

Then Peter did try to slow Neal down some, gentled his fingers through Neal’s hair, kissed him hard, tongue deep and thorough in Neal’s mouth. He smoothed his hands along Neal’s throat, over his shoulders and chest, as if trying to still some tremor only he could feel.

But that wasn’t what Neal wanted, wasn’t what he wanted at all. Feeling suddenly, weirdly, desperate, he caught Peter’s hands between his own and placed them, deliberately, around his neck.

They were kneeling, facing each other on the bed, and the move made Peter pause, draw back a hand’s breadth and cock his head. For a horrible moment Neal thought he was going to have to explain: Caffrey’s School of Kink, Lecture #342.

But Peter, thankfully, didn’t need the lecture. He took a moment to collect himself, then said, voice carefully neutral, “Really? You sure?”

Mouth dry, not quite believing that Peter was prepared to go along with this, Neal nodded.

Peter’s face was unreadable, but he slowly took his hands off Neal’s throat, and reached across the bed to where his tie had fallen in the flurry of undressing.

Neal stopped him, drew him back.

“Just your hands,” he whispered, voice catching. “Just your hands.”

Peter hesitated for a long moment, but he did as Neal asked. He closed his hands slowly around Neal’s throat, thumbs stroking over the vulnerable flesh under his jaw, tracing the line of it—tentatively at first, but then warming to the job, touch surer, more possessive.

Neal shivered.

And then Peter was pushing him down against the bed with careful force. Neal shivered again as his back met the cool silk, Peter straddling him.

“Put your hands on the headboard.” Peter’s voice seemed to have dropped an octave. “Don’t let go.”

Neal did, gripped the smooth wood tight, and gratefully relinquished his body into Peter’s hold.

Peter moved one hand to Neal’s windpipe, exploring, testing. He went slow, with what seemed to Neal characteristically Peter-like caution, not daring to bear down too hard. Under him, Neal squirmed a little, tried to stop himself from literally whimpering, his body involuntarily begging for the weight—and gradually, blissfully, Peter leaned in, let his hand grow heavy.

When they’d finally reached some kind of balance, Peter reached down with his other hand, and palmed both their cocks.

They were both almost completely hard already, and the sudden contact, the friction, brought Neal all the way there, until he was aching for release. He canted his hips involuntarily and arched his throat against the pressure of Peter’s fingers.

With what Neal recognized as admirable coordination, Peter simultaneously stroked along their combined lengths and tightened his grip around Neal’s airway. The mixture of sensations was both too much to bear and impossibly good.

If anything, it was better than the dream. Neal tried to keep his eyes open, to watch Peter’s face, the flush breaking across his cheekbones and in the hollow of his collarbone, to enjoy the sight of Peter’s strong, broad hand moving along their cocks, slicking now with pre-come.

But soon his world narrowed to the perfect, desperate struggle for oxygen; he could hear his own breath, harsh, constricted, pushing against the obstacles, until it wasn’t outside him, but inside, only the roar of blood in his ears. His eyes slipped shut, nothing left but sound and touch.

And then even the need for breathing seemed to slip away—he felt light, free, pleasure spreading out from his sex to his whole body, until it filled every space, banished all other needs and fears.

“God, Neal,” he heard Peter murmur, from somewhere very far away, “your face—“

And something wet spilled across his stomach, though he couldn’t tell which one of them had come— there seemed no difference between them.

Peter’s grip on his throat loosened as he shuddered through his climax, but it didn’t matter—Neal had found that place, that dissolution of self, that flawless emptiness, he’d been looking for.


When Neal opened his eyes again, Peter was up on one elbow watching him, all seriousness and concern.

Here it comes, Neal thought, the little talk about how risk-seeking behavior wasn’t healthy-- despite all the evidence that Peter had enjoyed said behavior just about as much as Neal had.

But the talk didn’t arrive. Instead, Peter said, voice low, “I think about it a lot, too. About shooting out that window, about what I would have done if hadn’t worked. If something had happened to you.”

Neal squeezed his eyes closed again quick and turned his head away, fighting the sting of tears for the second time that night. He wondered for a moment how Peter had known. But there was no point in wondering. It was Peter, after all—it was them.

“But why—?” Neal said, head still averted, as if Peter had cast some kind of honesty spell. “You’d think I’d stay away from—from that kind of thing—I’ve never wanted it before—why now?” His neck and throat felt tender, raw—there’d be bruises to be hidden tomorrow—and his voice seemed a tiny thread of sound, hardly belonging to him at all.

“I don’t know. Sometimes there’s no reason for these things. Sometimes we need to go back to something that scared us—test it out again somewhere safe. Besides,” Peter drew a breath, went on, relentlessly direct in that way Neal both hated and loved, “I can see why, after everything,” after Kate, he meant, “I can see why you’d want to take things to the limit—look over the edge—“

And that was it. All Neal’s defenses were down. One hard, convulsive sob went through him. But only one. And it was better on the other side.

Peter’s hand was on his chest now—Neal could feel each finger warm against his skin. “But the only edge we’re looking at tonight is starvation,” he said, in a different voice, turning the caress into a gentle slap. “C’mon—let’s clean up and see what we can salvage of that dinner.”

  • That was insanely hot and so sweet at the same time. It was brilliant to see them both work through what had happened in that vault.

    Thank you for sharing! :)
    • You're very welcome! When I saw the prompt I thought, "but I don't do breathplay," but then I thought "but what about the canon asphyxiation in White Collar?"--and then it was interesting to write--glad it made sense.

      And thanks for all your organizing of the swap!
      • Ah, White Collar. The fandom where all your favourite kinks are canon.

        You're welcome. It was fun, hopefully people will play again next year?
        • The fandom where all your favourite kinks are canon.

          lol, so true!
          • Natulich. Though in Odyssey 5 - the episode I watched today because I am a kinky bitch has one of my favourite slash pairing tie another to his bed, and later spread-eagled on a chair. *wins*
            • good one! but I see your bondage, and raise you the canon bloodplay on Supernatural ;)

              Edited at 2010-12-18 05:22 pm (UTC)
              • O5 gives you a canon threesome? Kurt (played by Sebastian Roche = Balthazar) has two girls in bed with him more than once. He's the one who ties Neil up come to think of it!

                And Kurt watches BDSM. We know this because they show it. :)

                Whilst the first seasons of Supernatural were funtimes (I watched until S4, but kinda pretend the last two didn't happen!) Odyssey 5 is so much better IMO. *g* Their apocalypse was much more exciting too. None of this apocalypse that wasn't malarky.
  • Oh damn, wow. I love the blend of vulnerability and strength here, and it's wonderfully hot. Warmed me up a little on this cold morning. ;)
  • This is hot and delicious and sad and lovely, all at the same time.

    I like how we're not hit over the head with the relationship, and that they are so careful with each other.

    Lovely and perfect and thank you for this.
    • You are very welcome--thank you for the kind words! I kind of love that Peter and Neal each so much want the other to be happy, and can be careful with each other--I'm glad that came through here--

      thanks for reading!
  • i love this!
  • extemely hot and sad and wonderful! Loved it!
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I felt a little deprived of Neal's sadness at the beginning of S2, so I'm afraid some of that seeped in here. Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Even though El isn't physically present, Neal "moves in between" her and Peter as well as in between life and death, in between his lost relationship with Kate and his present life with El and Peter. Very cool fic!
    • oh wow, that's a lovely reading of the title! I hadn't thought about it, but the fic is kind of about how hard it is to make transitions between the different parts of one's life...

      I was actually thinking of the lyrics from "Born Under Punches":
      all I want is to breathe
      won't you breathe with me (hands of a government man)
      find a little space so we move in between
      and keep one step ahead of yourself

      (okay, I might be a little obsessed with '70s Talking Heads)

      Thanks for reading--I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

      Edited at 2010-12-17 01:53 am (UTC)
  • This was both hot and beautiful.
  • Absolutely brilliant. Characters nailed to the wall; emotions palpable. Sublime.
  • Lovely! I'm adding this to my rec list of breathplay fic. Thanks for the amazing story.
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