Fandom: White Collar/Doctor Who
Characters: River Song, Neal Caffrey, Eleventh Doctor, Peter Burke
Edited by: my beloved buckaroobob , aka dr_whuh
Summary: Neal Caffrey knows that New York contains a multitude of wonders. But the temptress with the neat ankles and the man with the suspect fashion sense were unexpected even in Central Park.
Author's Notes: Written as pure crack for sahiya , during the 2013 fandom_stocking effort. I'm sorry, but not very. I'm guessing this takes place sometime during S1 or S2 of White Collar and obviously well before The Angels Take Manhattan.
Neal didn’t notice her presence at first.
He was poring over the Inland-McPherson files, trying to figure exactly how McPherson had managed to smuggle the real Gothenburg transcripts out of the museum and substitute his own admittedly good fakes. Peter was certain there was someone inside helping him, but Neal knew McPherson. He hated sharing anything, whether it was credit for a clever job, or the proceeds from those jobs. He had to have figured out a way to do it all by himself … Central Park and the warm New York summer sun faded to background sounds and pleasant heat on his back as he bent to his task.
“You know, McPherson’s not nearly as clever as he likes to think,” the voice purred in his ear. Neal started, then grabbed at the files as they slid from his lap.
“River, have you ever thought about announcing yourself like a civilized woman?” he grumbled, trying to retrieve the sheets before a breeze took them.
“I don’t believe I ever promised to be civilized,” the older woman replied, coming out from behind the bench and bending to help him.
She had a point, Neal thought, accepting the sheets of paper from her, and checking to see that she hadn’t pocketed anything from the file for herself. As little as he knew of her (solid archeologist, but completely false CV; killer smile and excellent social skills, but more than a hint of ruthlessness underneath; unnerving ability to be where Neal least expected her to be on the few occasions one of his jobs and her projects coincided), he knew enough not to trust her. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Always glad to know that you think of me with pleasure,” she said, making herself comfortable beside him on the park bench. “But I wasn’t actually looking for you. I’m waiting for my husband, and I happened to notice you sitting here, and thought I’d—”
“You thought you’d spy on me,” he finished her sentence for her. A husband? Yeah, right. What on earth was her game?
“Well, you really made it too easy,” she said, sounding very slightly disappointed in him. “You were so involved in your reading. I was curious.”
Neal smiled in spite of himself. She was easier to read than the McPherson file. “I’m not on a job. I don’t do that anymore.”
Now she looked disappointed.
He raised an eyebrow, pointed to his shoe and, when she looked, pulled up his trouser cuff to show the anklet.
“Oh, I could get rid of that,” she said, smiling like a shark. Her hair really was lovely, Neal thought, a riot of gold. It was what was under the hair that made her even more intriguing of course. And dangerous; he couldn’t forget that. “I appreciate the thought, Professor Song, but I’m quite resigned to my fate. And the FBI—”
“Oh, so that’s who’s got you doing their work for them.”
If she’d thought to get a rise out of him, she failed. A little to his own surprise, he was actually quite content. There was something to be said for exercising one’s talents when doing so didn’t risk time behind bars. “It’s a living.”
“Well, then, I’ll let you go about your living. Right now, I think I see the mister heading my way, and I should be off before he notices I’m here.”
Wait, what? Wasn’t she waiting for her husband? He looked in the direction Song was staring fixedly, and blinked. That was her husband? She was definitely robbing the cradle. A weedy, tweedy man dressed in — was that a bow tie? And a … a fez?
“The headgear is definitely a fashion statement,” he managed.
“I know. I keep shooting them off his head, but he always finds replacements.”
Neal wasn’t going to ask.
“Time to leave,” she said, standing up and smoothing down the skirt of her very smart suit. Neal glanced approvingly at her neat ankles. When he looked up, she was grinning. “Running keeps my legs in shape. Before I go; did you know that McPherson still lives with his mother?”
Neal frowned. “ I did not. Didn’t you say you were waiting for your husband?”
“I did. I had to see what direction he’d be coming from so I could plan my escape. And yes, if you check out Mommy Dearest, I believe you’ll find the real brains of the McPherson operation. Ta.”
“River! You come here right this minute!”
Tweedy sounded irritated in that way British types excelled at. Neal could only guess what the woman had done to him.
As he looked at the approaching gentleman, there was a crack behind him, and the sudden smell of ozone. He looked over his shoulder, and Song was gone.
“I thought I’d disabled that bloody manipulator,” the man complained, looking absolutely delighted. “Hello there! My wife didn’t happen to say where she was heading next, did she?”
“No. She, uh, was helping me with a case,” was all Neal could think to say.
“I’d take her advice if I were you. She’s brilliant you know,” the man said, bending down as if to impart great wisdom. He looked at Neal and grinned. He seemed quite genially insane.
“I’ll do that, Mr. Song.”
“Oh, I’m not Mr. Song. I’m her husband, but I’m not Mr. Song,” the man said. Then he seemed to reconsider. “Well, maybe I am. Anyhow, it’s been nice to meet you, Mr.—”
“Caffrey. Neal Caffrey.”
“Brilliant! Nice to meet you, Neal.”
With that, he was off, loping across the grass to God knows where. Neal couldn’t figure out where Song had disappeared, but he had an idea that the crazy man in the fez knew. Good luck with that one, he thought at the man’s back. You’ll need it. Which the man probably knew better than he did.
When he got back to the office, he walked in to Peter’s office.
“Did you know that McPherson still lives with his mother?”
“ I did not.” Peter looked at him. “How did you know?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
Peter looked dubious. “Try me.”
Neal sat on the edge of his boss’s desk and grinned. “Have you ever heard of Professor River Song?”