Characters: Alex Hunter
Spoilers: Copycat Caffrey
Beta: Unbeta'd. All mistakes are my own.
Summary: Alex discovers something about Special Agent Peter Burke
Notes: Posting my Day Four entry for We Love the Women Fandom Loves to Hate. I'm a day behind. :/
Alex didn’t trust him. Really, she couldn’t trust him. He was, at best, an inconvenience in her life. At worst, he’d be her downfall. He’d promised he would help her, but she just wasn’t sure how much he could really do. It was certain that he would want something from her. There was always an ulterior motive when it came to law enforcement. The only reason she had agreed to this sting was because Neal told her that Peter was someone she could trust, and even Mozzie, with is paranoia of law enforcement, held some reluctant admiration for the “suit”.
So, despite her misgivings, she sat and waited in a booth at the diner, with a wire taped to her chest so that the agents could listen into the conversation. Peter had given her a code phrase to use if she felt she was in danger. “Use it at any time, even if the danger seems small.” Peter had repeated that to her several times. He was adamant that she not take even the slightest risk. “If he seems ready to walk on the deal, let him. We’ll get him another way. No chances,
Alex. Promise me.”
Yeah right, Alex thought. She wanted this deal to go through more than Peter. She wanted to see if the agent would really be able to take Russel out of play. To appease him, she had agreed. Peter had stared at her for a few seconds and then shaken his head. “You mean that as
much as Caffrey does,” he’d said with obvious resignation. “Just be careful.”
His genuine concern for her was disarming. With anyone else she would have suspected a false interest in her safety to cover up their true worry about the operation getting blown. Peter seemed too honest for such contrivances. He genuinely seemed worried that she could be in danger. That kind of honesty could get someone into trouble, but Alex was beginning to suspect she had figured out what attracted Mozzie and Neal to Peter. He was strength and stability and warmth, and he was real. He represented that elusive something that people in her chosen lifestyle could never find. To lonely hearts, Peter's light was tempting. Even Alex could feel that pull.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps approaching the table. Professor Oswald had arrived. Time to get down to business.
The take down was effortless, but it still gave Alex that warm buzz that she always got from pulling off a heist. Who would have thought that arresting someone could have the same effect as stealing valuable objects? As she handed Peter the painting, she saw the same look on his face, and all the pieces fell into place. They were on opposite ends of the spectrum, but he knew. He knew about the highs (and probably the lows) from completing a job. This is what he offered to Neal, and a part of her suddenly longed for what Neal had. Getting the high and having the safety net of Peter Burke to catch you if you fell was extremely appealing.
“Thank you, Miss Hunter,” Peter said. There was understanding in his eyes, if he knew some of what she was thinking. “Oh...” he reached into his suit coat and pulled out an envelope. “As per Neal’s suggestion, we booked you for a secure flight to Italy. And we made sure we publicly thanked Russel for his thoughtful and continued cooperation with the FBI.”
Alex took the ticket, somewhat bemused. She hadn’t expected Peter to follow through. Not really, even when she had realized how open and honest he was. Then she smiled. “Neal said you were the best,” she told him. Peter looked surprised and pleased in an aw-shucks kind of way that tugged tugged at her, and before she could stop herself, stood on her toes and pressed a kiss to his cheek. They both blushed and she fled before either of them could embarrass themselves further.
Later that day, as she waited for the plane to take off, she thought about working with Peter. She thought that perhaps, when she wanted to settle down, that working for someone like Peter would be nice. The pilot’s voice came over the loudspeaker, alerting them for take-off. Alex settled back with a smile. She was going to Italy. Thoughts of settling down began to fade as the excitement of a new journey flooded her.
Maybe someday she’d give up this life for something more stable. But not today.