oper_1895: Neal Caffrey in a suit. (Default)
[personal profile] oper_1895
Title: Runner’s High
Author: [personal profile] oper_1895
Fandom: White Collar
Rating: R
Pairing: Neal/Peter
Words: ~1400
Spoilers: None
Contains: D/s, forced exercise, fetishization of tracking anklet, abuse of FBI resources, kinky not-porn.
Notes: For the In Public kink-bingo square, in the Asexual!Neal ‘verse.
Summary: They couldn’t really play in public; getting caught would have ramifications way beyond embarrassment. But this, where the rest of the world could watch him slowly come apart as he pushed the limits of his ability, was subtle and perfect.
Betas: Many thanks to [personal profile] jumpuphigh and [personal profile] bientot.


Neal groaned as he stretched back into his chair, tipping it onto its back legs. This week had been an absolute hell of fiddly minutia and pounds of paperwork. Everyone was trying to piece together the details that would give them the proof they needed to finally close this case, but they’d had no luck. He let his chain thump forward again, burying his hands in his hair. For the past three days, he’d been following Peter in early every morning and out late each night, living off coffee and takeout. He really wanted this case to be over and closed.

He tried to turn back to his notes and focus, but he could feel pressure leaching out of the walls, creeping up his spine. He was scattered and jittery and just couldn’t think. He felt like he was so close to an answer; it was like a word on the tip of the tongue, and it made his brain itch. He knew he just needed to relax and it would come to him, but he was stuck in the rut of a strung out body and unsettled mind.

The solution was easy; he needed to be forced out of his brain for a while. He needed the physicality and the pain and the obedience. But Elizabeth was out of town on a job and Peter was focused on this case with an intensity that was actually kind of disturbing.

Neal was stuck.

“Come on, we’re leaving.” Peter interrupted the hamster wheel of Neal’s thoughts by depositing Neal’s hat onto his head as he walked by Neal’s desk. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Neal quickly gathered his notes while Peter stood impatiently by the door.


They ended up back at Neal’s apartment; Peter had declared that he needed a change of scenery and Neal’s scenery was the better of the two. So while Peter set up his laptop at the kitchen table, Neal settled on the couch with a sketch pad, hoping that the physical movement of drawing would help dislodge the block in his brain.

He managed a very bad sketch of a pigeon, then gave it up as a waste of time. He was staring out the window, tapping his pencil absently against the paper when Peter threw an eraser at his head. “Seriously, what’s up with you, Neal?”

Neal immediately stilled his hands. He dropped the pencil and sketchpad to the coffee table and shoved them away. “I’m sorry, just frustrated.” Frustrated was a good word. Frustrated with this case, with the way it was taking all of Peter’s attention, frustrated with his inability to just deal with it and his own unstable emotional landscape.

Peter stared at Neal, weighing something that Neal couldn‘t read, then turned back to his computer. “Get changed,“ he ordered, casually.

“What?” Neal sat up straighter, his heart beating faster at Peter’s tone of voice.

“Running gear. You’ve been skipping your morning runs; you’re going on one now.” Peter turned his laptop to face Neal. A highlighted map took up most of the screen. “This is your route. You have 5 minutes to memorize it. If you deviate, you’d better have a damn good reason.”

Neal blinked. He almost asked how Peter would know, but then saw his map blinking in the corner of the screen. The anklet. Peter could, and would, watch every minute of his run in real time without having to leave the comfort of his chair. He’d be sitting here, most likely with a beer, while Neal sweated through a route that looked to be somewhere around 10K, half again his usual route. It was brilliant.

Neal quickly went over the map and felt the perfect tension settle into the pit of his stomach. Not only would Peter be able to watch every moment of his run, but the route skirted the edges of Neal’s radius. He’d have to be careful, and there would be people all around him.

Neal changed quickly, and grabbed his gear. Peter waved him out the door.

He started at an easy pace, letting himself warm up, but it was hard to maintain. The sharp need coursing through him wanted to go faster, further, harder. To be better than he had been before, to prove to his oblivious audience that he could be good for Peter. He hit the edge of his radius and turned, feeling the delicious restraint of his anklet. Of Peter’s anklet. The FBI and the Marshals were just the necessary framework.

Finding his rhythm, Neal dodged through the late afternoon crowds. They couldn’t really play in public; getting caught would have ramifications way beyond embarrassment. But this, where the rest of the world could watch him slowly come apart as he pushed the limits of his ability, was subtle and perfect. The run would help drain away the fidgety adrenaline in his body and the people made it a performance. He watched heads turn as people casually tracked his passing and wondered what they would do if they knew that he was running his metaphorical lunge-line, with Peter at the center, holding the whip.

Neal let himself fall into the thud of his feet and the rasping counterpoint of his breath. The complexity of the route kept him from completely slipping into the soft brain of submission, but there was still something settling in the back of his brain. He didn’t have to think here, he just had to act and be.

With 3k to go, Neal was feeling the distance. Muscles burned and his form was starting to suffer. He was relying mostly on momentum to keep him moving when he came to the crest of a corner and heard warning beeps from his anklet. He immediately sped up, sprinting the short distance around the curve and back to safety. Only then did he scan the crowd, heart pounding from exertion and possibility. No one seemed to have noticed, no one was paying him any attention. He sagged, panting, and quickly reviewed the map in his head. He hadn’t strayed from the route; Peter had planned it this way. A soft moan escaped at that realization, mostly hidden in his harsh breaths, and he bowed forward, bracing his hands on his knees.

One little tip on his route extended out into no-man’s land. Long enough of a time to remind Neal of exactly what was going on, but not long enough that the Marshals would think anything of it. At most they’d send Peter a notification for the next morning. He imagined Peter sitting there, watching the blinking dot breach the boundaries then bolt back to safety. Peter’d be staring now, smug and satisfied when he noticed that Neal wasn’t moving anymore, knowing full well what caused it. And that train of thought wasn’t helping Neal slow his heart rate at all.

A small clot of people slowed as they walked past him, looked vaguely concerned. Neal waved them off with a weak smile, knowing it was haggard and unbelievable, yet not really caring. He kicked himself back into motion, not quite able to swallow the groan as his legs protested the resumption of movement.

He was pushing himself hard to finish the run actually running but he made it, barely. Staggering through the doors of June’s house, soaked in sweat and trembling, he stared mournfully at the stairs leading up to his loft. This was going to hurt.

By the time he reached the landing Neal wasn’t entirely sure he’d be able to walk the next day, but he was grinning, full of good pain and endorphins. Peter was sitting at Neal’s kitchen table with a beer, just as Neal had expected. He looked pleased.

“You were faster than I thought you’d be.”

Neal beamed at him, feeling proud and just a little bit hazy as he collapsed into a chair at the foot of the table. Peter immediately got up and retrieved a bottle of water and a sandwich from the fridge and deposited them in front of Neal.

“Feel better?”

“Much.” Neal cracked open the water and drained half of it before he had to stop for breath. He’d found his baseline again. “Thank you.”

“No problem.” Peter said casually, then he caught Neal’s gaze and held it. “It’s never any problem. Now finish your food and take a shower, I think I’ve got something here.”


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oper_1895: Neal Caffrey in a suit. (Default)

February 2012

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