On With the ShowDisclaimer:
I don’t own White Collar or Glee. That’s Jeff Eastin or Ryan Murphy.Author’s Note:
This was a prompt from Bite Sized Bits of Fic, an lj community. It became rather long, so it gets its own post. (Prompt: White Collar/Glee, FBI Team & Glee Club, the only witnesses are a group of school kids who were on a field trip)
“Peter, are you sure this falls into White Collar’s purview?” Neal asked, looking slightly disgruntled. “It sounds like a basic smash and grab to me.”
“Mm hmm,” Peter said, checking his cell phone although he didn’t slow his pace any. “I’ll let you tell the Met that you don’t think their museum qualifies as White Collar.”
Neal pursed his lips and decided that whatever protests he might have had weren’t going to be nearly as important as the politics in play. And everyone knew that Peter was awful at politics, so don’t think for a second that Neal believed this was just about not wanting to piss off the Met.
They rounded the corner and Neal grabbed Peter’s arm, pulling him to a stop. Peter looked at him, eyebrows raised.
“Who are they?” Neal hissed, jerking his head to the antsy group at the end of the hallway.
“Our witnesses,” Peter said, glancing at the group. “Our only
witnesses. A glee club from Ohio that are in New York for the National Glee Competition that decided to take a tour of the Met in their downtime.”
And that was absolutely why Peter wasn’t arguing the same smash and grab theory Neal had tried. Thieves as inelegant as these had been wouldn’t hesitate to become aggressive with a bunch of out of town teenagers to get their point across.
A girl in an eye searing pair of knee socks spotted them, said loudly, “Thank God
,” and honest to God swooned.
Peter would have been a little more worried but the guy that caught her rolled his eyes like this was totally normal behavior for her. The fact that none of the other kids panicked was telling, too.
Then Peter saw something that didn’t mess with the swishy black skirt. He rushed up and grabbed a fist full of fabric and several of the boys, definitely not built like any Glee clubber Peter had ever seen, loomed up with sharp, “Hey!”s.
“We need an ambulance!” Peter called over his shoulder as he saw the trickle of blood welling down her thigh.
The kid holding her, built boxy and head sheered, tightened his arms, suddenly worried for real. Peter clamped a hand around her thigh, trying to stem the bleeding and she jerked, whining, although she stayed unconscious.
When the EMT’s, which had been on their way anyway, were cleared into the space and loaded the girl onto the gurney, the Glee coach telling the others sternly to behave before following off after her, Peter rounded on the uniforms.
“You didn’t think to ask if any of them were hurt?” he asked, getting up in the senior officer’s face. The guy’s partner was so obviously a rookie that there wasn’t any use expecting him to know what he was doing.
“None of the kids complained,” Officer Morton said, thoroughly belligerent.
Neal stepped back, moving off to charm the kids into not watching as Peter chewed Morton a new one. After promising to make a call to their captain and sending them to watch the front doors, Peter turned back to the kids, running a hand through his hair as he stared at the kids.
“Alright,” Peter said. “Can you tell me what happened?”
“Is Rachel going to be okay?” The kid was huge, tall and a little dopey looking, but sincerely worried.
“Rachel will be getting the best of care,” Peter said calmly. “Do any of you know how she got hurt?”
“There were pops,” a dainty blonde in a staid baby doll dress and cardigan said, twisting her fingers in front of her stomach like she was resisting rubbing it. “Stuff started breaking, so we all hit the ground.”
“None of us saw anything,” a little Latina said, scowling. “And Berry’s kind of a drama queen, so we didn’t think anything about her bitching and moaning.”
Peter pursed his lips and didn’t point out that, at least this time, they probably should have paid attention. Neal stepped out of the line of fire, answering his phone like his life depended on it.
“Alright,” Peter said. “Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me your names and what you remember seeing.”
He was halfway through the first kid’s interview when Neal came back, face a little closed off. “Haversham got a visitor looking to sell some stuff,” Neal murmured, back turned to the kids. “Says the stuff’s so obviously hot he’s a little insulted.”
And Neal knew better than to interrupt one investigation with news on another, so the hot stuff must have been their museum goods.
“They said they’d come back later with the real goods,” Neal said, eyes widening to sell his point. “He called as soon as they left. There might
be video, as long as he doesn’t get charged with anything.”
Peter pinched the bridge of his nose and called over his shoulder, “Diana? Come take the rest of their statements, please. I need to go talk to an informant.”
“Wait,” Puckerman said, catching Peter’s sleeve and letting it go just as quickly. “You’re sure she’s going to be okay?”
And, however much they toned out her bitching, the kids all obviously worried about her because they all seemed to lean in a little bit to hear what he had to say.
“I’m sure,” Peter said, nodding reassuringly. “Diana, as soon as you get their statements, round them up and take them to the hospital where Miss Berry was taken, please.”
She nodded, getting the message, and started trying to get them to give her one statement at a time and not rush all of them out at the same time.
“You owe her a fancy dinner for that,” Neal announced as they got into the car.
It took less than 5 hours and the case was solved, the bad guys arrested, and Peter was at the hotel where New Directions was staying, explaining the situation.
“And they took the deal, so you don’t even have to come back to New York to testify,” Peter concluded.
Miss Berry, who Diana had assured him was both going to be fine because it was mostly just a graze and as observant as she was mouthy, nodded in satisfaction. “Thank you, Agent Burke. Knowing that these hooligans are off the street will aid in my mental recovery from this frightening ordeal.”
Peter blinked but Puckerman rolled his eyes as he set his hand on her shoulder and said, “Berry, you could’ve just said thanks. He’d have gotten the message.”
She looked up at Puckerman, soft around the eyes for a moment before she started arguing heatedly and Peter backed away while all the kids were distracted.
Mr. Schuester caught him before they made it out the door. “Really, thank you very much. The, uh, the kids want you to have these. Tickets to the finale of the competition. We had a few left over, so we thought they’d make a nice thank you.”
“I can’t,” Peter said, actually kind of sorry. “We’re not supposed to accept gifts. And, really, we were just doing our job.”
As he walked out the door, he pretended not to see Neal slip them from Schuester’s hand and make gracious movements. Neal was only a consultant, after all. Asking him to play by the rules of actual cops never seemed to work out well, especially when it came to something like this that seemed so harmless.
Enlisting Elle, though, that was just cheating. She waggled her ticket and promised to dress nicely if he’d just give Neal a little leeway this time, which was the only reason he didn’t spend half the show lecturing Neal about cop etiquette. Schuester had apparently not
presumed that he and Neal were life partners as well as on the job partners (it wouldn’t have been the first time), and had given them four tickets.
Elle and June both sighed extravagantly when mouthy little Rachel Berry stood on stage and gave a delicately charming performance of Moon River which somehow or another led perfectly into a bouncy rendition of Love Will Never Do. And, watching them in action, it wasn’t hard to see how New Directions, a tiny little show choir about half the size of the competitors in numbers, had made it to the finale. They’d been shot at, interrogated, and still they churned out a performance so full of heart that it made it seem like they had not a care in the world. He wasn’t surprised that when Miss Berry decided that the show must
go on, it did so without a hitch.