asimaiyat: If you're in trouble, and no one else can help, and you can find them, maybe you can hire Leverage! (w/ whole team) (Default)
[personal profile] asimaiyat
Title: "The Letter"
Fandom: White Collar
Pairing: past Neal/Kate
Spoilers/warnings: Through 1x14 "Out Of The Box." Angst.
Summary: It was all one message all along, drawn out across layers of codes and palimpsests, and whatever else it might have said, the first and most important meaning was come get me. I need you. Be here. Come home.

AN: Written in memory of Alex Chilton, singer and guitarist for The Box Tops and Big Star; inspired by "The Letter" by the Box Tops.





He doesn't know what he's going to do with it all.

There's a bottle, for one thing, and a map. A paper flower. A black-and-white photo, cut in half, and then taped back together.

A letter. Well, two letters -- one that you see right away, and then the one inside it, that you have to know what you're looking for to find. (So true to Kate, who loved that kind of game, who used to encrypt the notes that said, when decoded, we're out of milk or I had to run, see you soon!)

It was all one message all along, drawn out across layers of codes and palimpsests, and whatever else it might have said, the first and most important meaning was come get me. I need you. Be here. Come home.

He isn't even sure he cares what the other meanings were anymore. That's the one that matters. The one that says, do whatever it takes, because when you love someone, that's what you do. You burn bridges if you have to. You take risks.

Getting on the plane would have been the last risk he ever took. He knows that it wouldn't have done any good, but despite that it feels wrong that he didn't. Like he cheated at the last minute, when somehow no one was looking.

Now he's sitting on a park bench alone, watching planes fly overhead and boats mark their slow passage across the water, as relevant to him as last week's lottery numbers. Of course there's work to do, and he's realistic enough to know that in time he'll care about another coded message: the flash drive full of encrypted files that will eventually yield the secret of why this had to happen, in the service of what larger plan. Eventually he'll stare at the computer screen with lips pursed and hands poised, the way he studied the bottle, and the map, the letter. It seems ridiculous now, the thought of returning to a battle that he's already lost.

For now there's no mystery, no message in need of a response. No need at all. Maybe that's what love is, a need, or the desire to fill one. An internal demand that pulls at you to live up to someone's beautiful stylized image of yourself. Or maybe that isn't love at all. Whatever it is, it is suddenly, strangely, gone. And there are airplanes in the sky over the harbor, and letters unfolded on the work table at June's, and for now (he thinks forever, and revises), there is nowhere he needs to be.

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asimaiyat: If you're in trouble, and no one else can help, and you can find them, maybe you can hire Leverage! (w/ whole team) (Default)
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