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31 August 2011 @ 06:21 pm
White Collar Fiction: "More From The Marvelous Mozziepedia" (Mozzie, Peter, Neal, G)  
Title: More From The Marvelous Mozziepedia
Fandom: White Collar
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Peter, Mozzie, Neal (Gen, Humor)
Rating: G
Summary: Once again, Peter turns to Mozzie for help
Author's Notes: My final Flood Auction fic for tsuki_no_bara, arising out of a phone convsersation between Peter and Mozzie that needed a backstory. This can be either standalone, or a followup to All For You.

x-x-x-x-x

Peter wasn't sure why Neal had suggested Mozzie for this job, but then again, Peter wasn't entirely sure what Mozzie did. Something vaguely illegal and con-artisty, obviously, but the actual details were thin.

Peter knew, of course, that Neal's help wasn't always just Neal. Sometimes Neal's friends and colleagues were working behind the scenes, which was how Peter preferred it. Dealing only with Neal was less complicated, and it left room for plausible deniability (not that Peter liked to think he'd ever need it). But it was especially important when Mozzie was involved, because that was how Mozzie liked to work.

Peter's phone rang. "Peter Burke," he answered.

"Hello, Suit. Neal said I should call you."

Yes, because God forbid Neal should give Peter Mozzie's phone number. (God forbid Mozzie should actually ever call Peter by his name, for that matter, or any name instead of referring to him by label—sometimes in the third person).

"Mozzie," he said, forcing a genial note as if he hadn't heard Mozzie's words. Beggars couldn't be choosers, and Mozzie would be doing him a favor.

"Yes?"

Peter took a deep breath. "You really helped me with Neal's birthday, and Elizabeth and I have an anniversary coming up in two weeks…"

"Ah," Mozzie said. "You want to know what to get her."

"Well, no. I want to get tickets for the Met, because she loves opera and we never really go. So, Neal mentioned that you might be able to teach me how to get through it, without dying."

"Dying?" Mozzie sounded appalled.

"Of boredom," Peter clarified.

There was a long silence. "It's possible," Mozzie said. "Remotely. With some training in music appreciation."

"Sounds great!" Peter said. Elizabeth will be thrilled. "Though we can't do it at my place—too suspicious. And I'll have to check my schedule, so I need to call you back. Can I reach you at this number?"

"For the next few hours," Mozzie said.

"Why? Are you going on vacation?"

"Not exactly."

Peter frowned. "Is the phone going on vacation?"

"Maybe…"

"Mozzie!"

"What? That's how I work! It comes with the territory."

"Fine." He should have known, Peter thought. "Try not to ditch the phone before dark," he added. "I'll get back to you."

They met at Neal's loft, early the next evening. Neal was out, but Mozzie was there with a stack of CDs. He motioned Peter toward the sofa.

"You're not going to play all of those," Peter said, wondering if it was too late to get tickets to the Ice Capades instead.

"Bits and pieces." Mozzie loaded a disc into the stereo, just as Neal walked in the door.

"Hey," Neal said. "This is quite the operation."

"A crash-course in opera," Mozzie explained. "We'll start with something easy."

"Ooh, 'Carmen'," Neal said. "Nice choice."

"It's the gateway opera," Mozzie said.

Peter leaned forward."The what?"

"Nothing," Mozzie said. "Just listen."

The sounds of a snappy march filled the room, and Mozzie nodded along to the music. "This is the Toreadors' Song," he commented.

"Hey, I know this one!" Peter said. "Nor a lender be," he sang, "Do not forget… stay out of debt."

"Wow. You've really got your work cut out for you," Neal said.

"Nah. It's a generational thing. He can't help it."

"Really? What on earth were they teaching in schools back then?"

"It's from Gilligan's Island," Peter said.

"Oh." Neal looked confused. "Gilligan's Island did a 'Carmen' episode?"'

"'Hamlet', actually," Mozzie said. "Now, shush—we're working."

Neal sat down, and Mozzie played more excerpts from 'Carmen'.

So far, so good, Peter thought. But soon the samples got shorter and shorter, until everything seemed to be rushing past. When Mozzie switched to 'La Boheme', Neal announced that he had some errands to run, and practically bolted downstairs.

Peter had the sudden urge to do the same. "Mozzie," he finally said, "where is all of this going?"

Mozzie stopped waving his invisible baton at his imaginary orchestra. "Oh." He blinked distractedly. "Well, the melodies are glorious, as all of this demonstrates. You've probably heard some of them before, and just never knew where they came from."

Peter nodded. "That's true."

"The storylines tend to be thin, and sometimes they're silly, but the music makes up for it. And the supertitles will help you understand what the characters are singing. Which opera were you thinking of taking Mrs. Suit to?"

"Some treasure-trove thing—"

"'Il Trovatore'? That one's really good."

"—or 'What's-it'? 'Wicket'? 'Wocket'? Something like that."

Mozzie frowned. "I'll bet it's 'Wozzeck.' Definitely not for beginners… Let's work on 'Il Trovatore' for a while."

"I need to leave in about fifteen minutes, or Elizabeth'll start wondering where I am."

"We'll hit the highlights, then. Let's start with the Anvil Chorus."

"Is that a euphemism?" Peter asked.

Mozzie shook his head and poked buttons on the stereo, as earnest as ever. "No."

~*~

Three nights later, Peter was sitting beside Elizabeth at the Met, his spirits fortified by after-dinner coffee and the sparkle in Elizabeth's eyes. He'd truly surprised her with the opera, keeping the secret all through their anniversary dinner and letting the truth arrive self-announced when the taxicab deposited them in front of the Met instead of their house.

"Really?" Elizabeth had asked.

"Happy Anniversary," he'd said, kissing her there in the light spilling down from the Opera House's five arched windows.

Now, the two of them sat in the darkness of the theater, holding hands as they watched the opera unfold. Peter couldn't think of anywhere he'd rather be, and he owed it all to the beautiful woman beside him and to the bookish little man who would go almost as far to ensure her happiness as Peter himself.

The onstage scene shifted to a garden, where the soprano and her servant began lamenting the hopelessness of love. Peter smiled as the soprano began the aria Mozzie had played for him just days ago.

Elizabeth leaned in close to whisper in his ear. "Do you know this song?"

Peter nodded along to the music, and whispered just as softly back:

"I do now."


-------- fin --------

 
 
Current Location: my desk
 
 
 
ultracapeultracape on September 1st, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
That was interesting. I like the idea that Moz could teach Peter to, if nothing else, appreciate opera instead of be boarded by it all for the love of Elizabeth.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 1st, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
I suspect Mozzie enjoys teaching people things, and for Elizabeth? Anything. :D
nrrrdy_grrrl on September 1st, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
Aw! Mozziemania!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 1st, 2011 05:55 am (UTC)
You know how I love him! :D
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Elizabeth smilingsholio on September 1st, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
Oh, that was completely adorable. I will never get tired of stories in this general key.

...and he owed it all to the beautiful woman beside him and to the bookish little man who would go almost as far to ensure her happiness as Peter himself.

awwwwwwwww, everybody.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 1st, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yay-- what lovely comments!

I love Peter's adoration of Elizabeth, and Mozzie's crush on her is nearly as cute. Calling her Mrs. Suit can't keep him from feeling it.

Thanks so much for reading. :)
rude02rude02 on September 1st, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
hehehe
Let's start with the Anvil Chorus."
"Is that a euphemism?" Peter asked.
Mozzie shook his head and poked buttons on the stereo, as earnest as ever. "No."

- Now I've got to look that up
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 1st, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! It actually is one of the best-known choruses in all of opera, but for those who don't know opera... it sounds like a reference to something else, doesn't it?

After reading the "Smallville" summaries on Television Without Pity, I've never thought of anvils in quite the same way. :D
Ursula4x: Burke is sexy tooursula4x on September 1st, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Very sweet of Moz and even sweeter of Peter.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 1st, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
It is, isn't it?

I adore Peter's sweetness (the way he took Elizabeth's picture with him when he had to travel made me melt), and Mozzie's sweetness is something he tries to hide under that cynical exterior... and probably fools no one. :)
kriadydragon: Dolphinkriadydragon on September 1st, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
Awwww :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 1st, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
That about sums it up, doesn't it? On all counts. :)
cindy: wc - burke. peter burke. (by bitterbird)tsuki_no_bara on September 1st, 2011 05:33 am (UTC)
awww. <3 i love that mozzie got all caught up in carmen and kind of forgot he was supposed to be teaching peter some music appreciation. also "the gateway opera" made me giggle. also also peter is such a SAP where his wife is concerned, and i really really like that he recognizes that mozzie's really fond of her too. and neal beat a hasty retreat! and the gilligan's island bits are funny.

(a couple years ago when my mom and i went to spain, my dad and sister went to see carmen here, which seemed appropriate.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
also "the gateway opera" made me giggle.
I really think it is, too, if for no other reason than the sheer number of catchy, recognizable tunes (and it's not overly long, either).

also also peter is such a SAP where his wife is concerned, and i really really like that he recognizes that mozzie's really fond of her too.
I adore that about Peter. He's so smitten with her, and it's so cute. I have the impression that he wonders, every day, how he ever got that lucky.

and the gilligan's island bits are funny.
That was probably the only moment of genius ever to happen on that show. I need to add a link to their "Hamlet" performance on YouTube. What a bizarre idea!

I'm so glad you liked it, and found time to read it in between packing and unpacking. Thanks so much for inspiring me to write all of these fics!
misura: White Collar - Neal Caffreymisura on September 1st, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
Mozzie was awesome and charming and very Mozzielicious in this (it's an adjective if I want it to be?), and Peter made me go 'aw!' at his earnest desire to please Elizabeth. His phone conversation with Mozzie left me wearing a very wide grin.

Lovely fun read.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2011 07:23 am (UTC)
Mozzielicious sure describes how I feel about him! All of his little quirks and such are just adorable, especially because he doesn't mean for them to be. "Earnest" describes so much of his behavior. Sometimes, I think of him as a kind of cranky teddy bear, at least in the abstract.

That phone conversation was the impetus behind this whole story. The idea of Mozzie's phone going on vacation, once Peter knew the number, seems so perfectly and paranoidly Mozzie to me.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. Thanks for reading and commenting!
nrrrdy_grrrl on September 1st, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
xo
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
Re: xo
That is really nice! Lovely, soft edges on it too-- almost looks like something fromt he past.

Well, Neal would of course make sure that Peter was dressed to the nines for an anniversary dinner with Elizabeth. Not that Peter would choose badly, but Neal would always choose better. :D
Re: xo - nrrrdy_grrrl on September 2nd, 2011 01:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: xo - halfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2011 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
BTW - nrrrdy_grrrl on September 2nd, 2011 02:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BTW - halfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2011 07:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: xo - nrrrdy_grrrl on September 2nd, 2011 02:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: xo - halfshellvenus on September 2nd, 2011 07:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: xo - nrrrdy_grrrl on September 2nd, 2011 02:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
SamuelJames: Gorgeous Waterfallsamueljames on September 2nd, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
Very sweet story. Loved Mozzie helping Peter.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2011 07:40 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I love it when Mozzie gets so caught up in what he's doing that he forgets to be weird with Peter. The whole dynamic between those two cracks me up.

And Mrs. Suit is Mozzie's Achilles' Heel. ;)
daria234daria234 on September 2nd, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oooh - cool. Of course Peter would do this for El :) love it. and the gateway opera!

and right on on the music making up for the plots, lol, i feel that way too.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2011 07:43 am (UTC)
:D Me too. The supertitles really help, because otherwise you have only the vague overview of the plot (which usually is even sillier in synopsis form). With the supertitles, you get the actual 'dialogues' and 'monologues', and the subtleties of how the music coincides with each (and the extra shading it provides).

Still, the famous arias (or "tunes") are still well known for a reason... even when they get transformed into "Hamlet" on an episode of Gilligan's Island. :D
marie1964marie1964 on September 4th, 2011 06:52 am (UTC)
This was beautiful. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)
The Gauche in the Machinechina_shop on July 28th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC)
Awwwww! This is so adorable! *smishes all of them*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: White Collar- Neal & Peterhalfshellvenus on July 31st, 2012 05:35 am (UTC)
It was sure fun to write, especially delving into Mozzie's ways. :)