lonetread: (b&w_neal)
[personal profile] lonetread
Crossposted from [livejournal.com profile] writing_game (originally posted here). First, the ones in the Self-Portrait 'verse. You're probably going to want to read Self-Portrait, In Skin first.


A/N: Drabble. Takes place between sections 4 and 5 of Self-Portrait. Written 8/22/10 for the prompt "resolve".

Confidence Man

He remembers getting his wisdom teeth out years ago, how dazed he was afterward. He hated it then, hates the memory now. It makes him good at what he does, his need to be in control, but it means he hates anesthesia.

Neal knows he can convince anyone of anything, though. So he'll pretend, and let himself be convinced.

"I'm fine," he says. "It's just going to sleep, right? Nothing to it." He's grinning now, and when he sees Dr. Hazen approaching, his grin widens. He can do this. He'll wake up soon enough, and he'll be better than fine.

---

A/N: Drabble; set a month or two after "Confidence Man". Title is from the Michael Jackson song of the same name. Written 8/23/10 for the prompt "chest".

Man in the Mirror

It’s satisfying, seeing his chest in the mirror; it finally looks like it always should have.

He smiles, then buttons his shirt, tugs his jacket on. Over that, he puts on an air of confidence. Puts on his new alias, whose background he’s been meticulously constructing for weeks. Puts on that practiced persona and grins into the mirror.

Beneath the jacket and the shirt, his chest finally looks like it always should have. He’d say he finally looks like himself, but it’s hard to tell – today, he’s someone else again, and, this time, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

---

A/N: Doubledrabble. Set during 1x13 "Front Man"; all dialogue is taken verbatim from that episode. Past Neal/Alex implied. Started 3/7/10, finished 8/24/10 for the prompt "perception".

With Friends Like These

“And if you screw me on this, you know I can make your life miserable.”

He doesn’t bother to agree; they both know he knows that. It would be almost too easy, really – plenty in his life and livelihood hinges on other people’s perceptions of him. She knows more than enough to ruin him, and he knows her well enough to trust she’d use it against him. Given the right motivation, people in their line of work will do just about anything.

Instead of backing down, he walks closer, gets right in her face. He can feel the hint of a smile on his own as he asks, “When did you become so distrusting?”

“When what happened with Kate…,” she says, sounding almost sad. Sounding… truthful. That was a response he hadn’t expected.

“Happened,” he repeats.

“Yeah.”

“That’s over now,” he says, and she seems to accept it, because they move on.

Soon enough, she moves to leave. “See you soon, Caffrey,” she says, and looks him in the eyes.

He could be imagining the very slight emphasis on his last name – the last name he’s chosen.

He can’t help hoping not. It sounds like a ceasefire.

For now, anyway.

---

A/N: Drabble. Set during section 2 of Self-Portrait. Written 9/5/10 for the prompt "normal".

Moving Boxes

He loves New York City, he quickly determines. He likes the sights, the sounds, the atmosphere.

What he likes most of all are the crowds, being able to blend in among all the anonymous people out on the streets and sidewalks of the city. There, no one gives him a second glance, let alone a third. It’s not something he’s used to, but he enjoys it.

And when they do notice him, they call him ‘he’ without being prompted, which he’d thought would feel strange, but – like the anonymity – feels right, feels normal.

Or almost normal – he can’t help smiling.

---

[And finally, a sneak peek! The following snippet (written for the prompt "shamed") is set in a planned sequel to Self-Portrait ("Reframed"), just after Peter and Neal accidentally switch bodies.]


“…Neal?” Peter said, slowly, the hesitancy sounding strange out of Neal’s mouth.

If anyone had asked, Neal would have said he couldn’t meet Peter’s eyes because it was weird seeing himself outside of a mirror. “Whatever you want to ask, the answer is probably yes. Yes, my body is different. Yes, it is what you think.”

“Huh. I thought I knew everything there was to know about you,” was all Peter said.

“You’re good, but I was highly motivated, and you didn’t know what to look for. That, and I still owe favors to some of the people who helped me hide it.

“Come to think of it, now that I’m an FBI agent, I could probably pay some of them back.”

“Don’t even think it, Neal.”
From: [identity profile] pingback-bot.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] lonetread referenced to your post from Fic: Confidence Man, Man in the Mirror, With Friends Like These, & Moving Boxes (http://community.livejournal.com/whitecollarfic/287283.html) saying: [...] Titles: Confidence Man [...]

Date: 2010-09-19 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deepbluemermaid.livejournal.com
Oh, yay, more of this verse :) I really like your insights into how Neal feels at various stages of his transition.

And OMG, bodyswap fic to come!

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October 2010

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