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02 September 2015 @ 01:07 am
White Collar Gen Fiction: "Rolling With The Tide" (PG)  
Title: Rolling With The Tide
Fandom: White Collar
Characters: Neal, Mozzie, June (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: Neal's plans take an abrupt turn for shore.
Author's Notes: For runthecon, and the prompt of "Rainy Sunday afternoon."

x-x-x-x-x

"Unbelievable." Neal sloshed up to the front door, water dripping from his once-fashionable bucket-hat.

Mozzie sneezed. "I don't control the weather, you know."

"Oh, I'm not mad at you, Moz. It's the meteorologists from the radio, the Times, and the web who should have seen that storm coming." Neal took off his deck shoes and poured them out before stepping into the front hallway.

Mozzie took similar measures, squeezing the water out of his shirt and the bottom of his pants, and then taking his shoes off and wringing out his socks. He followed Neal inside. "Would you mind lending me a towel?"

The two of them trudged upstairs. "I can do better," Neal said. "I think I might even have some spare clothes."

Neal gave Mozzie first dibs on the bathroom, and set up the espresso machine while he waited. Mozzie came out shortly, rubbing a towel over his head. "I suppose it could have been worse," Mozzie said. "We could have been farther out on the ocean when the rain started."

"Yeah." Neal handed him an espresso. "I wouldn't be surprised if Bertrand went back out again after he dropped us off. He sails every chance he can get."

"In the rain, though?" Mozzie said. "That would be so miserable."

Neal sighed. "I was really hoping this would work out. The last time I tried to go sailing, I nearly drowned."

"Maybe there's a lesson in all this."

"Oh, come on, Moz. Don't be fatalistic."

"Gee, you're testy when you're thwarted."

Neal topped his espresso with a dollop of whipped cream, and headed into the bathroom. "Aren't we all…"

Mozzie was poking around the bookshelves when Neal came back out. "Do you want to stick around?" Neal asked. "Or do you have somewhere else to be?"

"Are you kidding?" Mozzie said. "A tiny river flows right into my storage unit when it rains this hard. I've tried to move to a different one, but the manager's a stickler. Everything in the water's path is up on supports, so it stays dry, but… it's kind of dismal."

"I understand. Do you want to play chess, or maybe watch a movie?"

"How about a movie?" Mozzie said. "Have you got anything by Bergman?"

"Moz…" Neal groaned.

"What? He's a master."

"But on a day like today? Why not just die right here where we're standing?"

"Sarcasm does not become you," Mozzie said. "What do you have, then?"

"I'm not sure." Neal looked in the cupboard below the television set, where June's granddaughter kept her DVD collection. "Um, The Shining, The Notebook, Terms of Endearment—"

"I'll have you know, that one's even more depressing than Bergman," Mozzie put in.

"—Boyz N The Hood, Beaches…"

"God, Beaches. Kill me now."

"…Love Jones, Beverly Hills Cop, The Wiz…"

"Oh. Maybe one of those last two."

"Okay," Neal said. He put the movies next to the television set.

"You know what would really go great with this?" Mozzie asked. "Popcorn!"

Neal smiled. "I agree, but I don't have any."

"Maybe we could ask June? I know how to make it on the stove—we did it at the orphanage."

"That would be great. I wonder if she'd like to join us?"

There was a knock on the door. "Hello!" June called out.

Neal opened it. "June, we were just talking about you."

"I know," she said. "It's my only superpower. Though its use is rather limited, I'll admit. What are you boys up to on this wet Sunday afternoon?"

"We were wondering if you'd like to watch a movie with us," Neal said.

"And whether you had popcorn," Mozzie added. "We have espresso..."

June sat down on the sofa. "Ah, one of these? I recognize Cindy's taste in movies, though these two aren't bad."

"Beggars can't be choosers," Neal said. "Unless you have a better suggestion?"

June tapped her lips with her finger. "You know, I just might. For a day like this, I have the perfect choice right downstairs: Singin' In The Rain."

"Ooh, yes!" Mozzie said. "That's a much better idea."

Neal moved toward the door. "Would you like me to go get it?"

"No," June said. "I think we should all go downstairs and watch it in the rear quarters. We can light a fire and make popcorn, and get nice and cozy."

Neal smiled broadly, the day's earlier disappointments forgotten. "You always know the right thing to do," he said.

June laughed. "And don't you forget it."

"Should we bring anything?" Mozzie asked, as they got up and headed for the stairs.

"Thank you, dear, but I think we're fine." June took Neal's arm as they went down to the first floor. "You can move the divan for me, though, to clear some space in the center of the room."

"Oh," Mozzie said, "are you doing some redecorating?"

"No, no," June said. "This is for the movie. I don't know about you boys, but I fully plan on recreating the street-dancing scene with Gene Kelly. If you're going to join me, we'll need the extra floor space."

Neal caught Mozzie's eye over June's head. Mozzie looked exactly like Neal felt. "Byron was a very lucky man, June."

"And so was I," she said. She turned on the lights in the back room, and smiled sadly. "I surely do miss him."

"You two must have been something together," Neal said.

"Every hour of every day." June pulled the end table away from the sofa, and twinkled a smile at him. "And twice on Sundays."

"Did you want this here?" Neal asked, as he and Mozzie moved the sofa back a few feet.

"Perfect! Let's start the popcorn," June said. "Would anyone else like a little coffee and bourbon to warm them up? Though as I recall, that might have been how I lost the coffee table the last time I watched this movie."

"Why not?" Mozzie said. "Let's live a little."

"All right boys. Neal, you can start the fire while Mozzie helps me in the kitchen. Then we'll get this show on the road!"

The rain dashed itself against the windows as Neal arranged the logs in the fireplace, humming to himself.

He couldn't deny his love of fine food and clothes, and his affinity for expensive entertainment. But really, sometimes the best parts of life had less to do with careful plotting than with the unplanned things you improvised instead.


--/--

 
 
 
kanarek13kanarek13 on September 2nd, 2015 08:49 am (UTC)
*dances with joy*

Oh, this is absolutely wonderful, d'awwwwwwww ♥ It just melts me on the spot and it also makes me very happy that between all the cases and the bad guys and the angst, there were moments where he could still spend some quality time with his family, whether it was June and Moz or Peter and El *pets Neal*

♥ love ♥
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I wasn't sure what the new comm's focus was going to be, but the previous one tended to be schmoop-oriented, and that is a really nice flavor for just about any fandom.

I'm glad this one gave you all of that happy meltiness!
sinfulslasher: moviebuffsinfulslasher on September 2nd, 2015 09:14 am (UTC)
This gives me ridiculously warm fuzzies! :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:11 pm (UTC)
Yay! That is exactly the feeling I was hoping for. :D
dennih23: Season 4 promodennih23 on September 2nd, 2015 11:22 am (UTC)
What a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon – with good friends or family. Love that June wants to recreate the dance number :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
I can so see her not only doing that, but that she knows that Neal-- and probably Mozzie-- would be just the guys to do the same!

So glad you enjoyed this. :D
nywcgirlnywcgirl on September 2nd, 2015 11:53 am (UTC)
Nice... it would have been better if it was raining here, but helas, the weather is great. Lovely story.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
It's been blazing hot here for weeks, but that prompt practically tells its own story. Glad you enjoyed it!
pipiljpipilj on September 2nd, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
Aww this story left me fuzzy all over
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC)
Whee! That's just what I was aiming for. :)
Laura: Mozzie&Junecookielaura on September 2nd, 2015 12:56 pm (UTC)
Aww, so lovely! *smishes all three of them*
Now I want popcorn and dancing and whipped cream too :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:20 pm (UTC)
Me too! This was a really fun scene to get inside and write. I love these three, and their various shenanigans in twos and threes. Your icon shows one of my favorite developments in the show-- Mozzie and June in cahoots!
(no subject) - cookielaura on September 3rd, 2015 06:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on September 3rd, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Typo Queenvexed_wench on September 2nd, 2015 01:02 pm (UTC)
This is a wonderful peek into their lives.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
aragarnaaragarna on September 2nd, 2015 01:04 pm (UTC)
cute story! :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
So glad you like it!
riverotter1951: Just Danceriverotter1951 on September 2nd, 2015 01:32 pm (UTC)
A wonderful way to spend a rainy day with friends and a good movie. Love this bit:"Would anyone else like a little coffee and bourbon to warm them up? Though as I recall, that might have been how I lost the coffee table the last time I watched this movie." showing a fun loving June having a good time with Byron.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2015 07:22 pm (UTC)
I love the glimpses we get of Byron and June's past now and then, and how clear it is that June once kicked up her heels with the best of them... and still can. :)

She does not live life by half-measures, and that's one of the reasons she and Mozzie and Peter gel so well. They all have that in common.

Thanks for reading!
swirlsofblueswirlsofblue on September 3rd, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC)
Yay for June! Loved her in this fic, she needs to be in more fics.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 3rd, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
I really like her, and the way she just "gets" both Mozzie and Neal.

Really, when I'm her age, I want to BE June. :D
riverotter1951: Just Danceriverotter1951 on September 4th, 2015 12:37 am (UTC)
http://www.barbados.org/poetry/wheniam.htm - a perfect image of June loving life and having fun.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lovehalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2015 12:47 am (UTC)
I've always liked that poem-- and my mother and sister even moreso, since they both like to wear purple. I tend to find it kind of "loud," though I will wear lavender. :)
(no subject) - riverotter1951 on September 4th, 2015 03:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
doctor_fangeekdoctor_fangeek on September 6th, 2015 05:02 pm (UTC)
Somewhat belatedly stopping by to comment. This was fun and a very sweet "slice of life," and I really enjoyed it. Yay for spending a rainy afternoon with friends. :-)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 6th, 2015 07:43 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! Sailboats may be impressive, but true friends are so much more fun. :)
nieseryjna: June by teaotternieseryjna on September 6th, 2015 07:05 pm (UTC)
June oh June :) great story and June is always so full of class, even dancing to a movie!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 6th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
She is such a fun character-- elegant and playful all at once, and so very sure of herself. :)
Sherylynsherylyn on September 6th, 2015 09:36 pm (UTC)
Love this! It's got all the right elements to just melt the reader's heart!! <3
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 7th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I wasn't sure if the new incarnation of the comm was aiming for schmoopiness as the previous one did, but I really liked how that flavor of story worked out in the other ones I'd written, so that seemed like a good bet here. :D
(no subject) - sherylyn on September 7th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
scarym1: Peter & Nealscarym1 on September 6th, 2015 11:56 pm (UTC)
That was a lovely story. I love June's comment about her only superpower. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 7th, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC)
She does have a tendency to appear at just the right time, doesn't she? Though I imagine from her side of it, it was overhearing *stomp-stomp-stomp* *kvetch* *slog-upstairs* and adding up the sounds and the weather to figure out what likely happened. And then giving them a little time to recover before going up to see what the three of them might do together, instead. ;)