Fandom: White Collar
Characters: Neal, Mozzie, June (Gen, Fluff)
Summary: A bad day doesn't have to stay that way.
Author's Notes: Schmoop for run_the_con, for the prompt of "Cookies."
Sometimes, Neal wasn't sure who'd benefitted more from his having met June. He'd gotten a fantastic place to live out of it, and the chance to know an incredible and sophisticated woman whose stories could outlast Scheherazade's.
But after trudging home through the wind and rain one day, a dead umbrella at his side, he stepped through June's front door to an onslaught of Charlie Parker and muffled laughter and decided that the luckiest people in this equation might be June and Mozzie instead.
The parlor was warm and welcoming after the storm outside, and something smelled heavenly. Neal hung up his hat and overcoat, and followed the laughter to its source:
"Hey, guys," he said, poking his head around the corner. "What's up?"
"Oh, Neal, you're just in time!" June said.
"We're making cookies," Mozzie added gleefully. "Chocolate chip."
"Wow, real cookies. Gluten-free?"
"Actually, yes," Mozzie said. "I picked up some amaranth flour on the way over."
Huh. Though Neal had to admit, everything smelled exactly like cookies were supposed to smell. Better, even.
June finished putting clusters of dough on a baking sheet. "We'd planned to see a matinee at the Angelika this afternoon, but the weather was awful, and Mozzie had his flour and chocolate chips—"
"Because June has this wonderful oven, and I hardly ever get the chance to bake over at my place—"
"And suddenly making cookies 'someday' turned into making them today!" June said.
Mozzie selected a cookie from the cooling rack, and offered it to Neal. "Here, try one."
Neal took a small bite, tasting it thoughtfully. Crispy at the edge and chewy in the middle, and the butter—god, the butter—practically melted on his tongue. "God, this is wonderful."
"I know!" Mozzie said. "Aren't they good? June has this amazing touch…"
"With everything," Neal said, and meant it.
He ate another bite, settling into the coziness of the kitchen and the music. June took another sheet of cookies out of the oven and replaced it with a new one, and Mozzie buzzed around tidying things up while remaining oblivious to the smudge of flour on the side of his nose.
"We were going to play canasta afterwards," Mozzie said. "Care to join us?"
The weather and the stalled-out financial case at the office faded into the background, lost to an evening that promised happier things.
Neal smiled, just glad to be part of whatever Mozzie and June were up to. "Sure," he agreed, suddenly thankful for all of it. "Yes, I'd love to."
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