Author's Note: This story is a tag to the episode 'Neighborhood Watch'. I didn't like the episode much, mostly because I thought Elizabeth did some pretty stupid things, and I figured she was smarter than that. This is Chapter 7 in my White Collar series, and I haven't written Chapter 6 yet, but I will be doing that sometime in the next three or four months. This one is for Cola – I hope you enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and I'm not making any money from this story.
Warning: Consensual M/F disciplinary spanking.

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Spousal Immunity

Relief washed over Peter when he saw his wife run out of the Starlight strip club unscathed. His heart leapt back into his throat when he saw their neighbor Ben run out pointing a gun at his wife's head. Luckily the twenty FBI agents with their guns pointed his direction stopped the criminal in his tracks, which allowed Elizabeth the time to get behind her husband.

As soon as Ben and his companions were in handcuffs, Elizabeth rushed over to her husband.

"Hey, you alright?" Peter asked, needing to make sure they hadn't hurt her.

"Yeah. I was just… trying to help," she said with an apologetic smile.

Butting in, Neal asked, "Did you impersonate an FBI agent? I happen to know that's illegal," he added, curious to see how Peter would react when it was his wife who had put herself in danger. All he got for his efforts was a glare from Peter. Neal shrugged, "I'm just saying."

"Spousal immunity?" Elizabeth suggested.

"You made that up," Neal said with a frown.

"She has spousal immunity," Peter said, and pulled his wife into a kiss.

Rolling his eyes, Neal walked away to see if Diana or Jones needed help. Peter was always ready with a lecture and a firm hand to his backside when Neal put himself in danger, but Elizabeth got a kiss? Not that he wanted a kiss from Peter, but a little more 'I'm glad you're okay', and a little less 'Damn it Neal!' might be nice.

When Peter ended the kiss, Elizabeth scrutinized him for a moment. "You're angry," she said.

He sighed and crossed his arms. "He almost shot you, El."

"But he didn't, and we caught him," she said with a hopeful smile.

Peter scowled. "We?"

She could tell she'd said the wrong thing. "Well, I mean…"

Jones rushed up and interrupted, "Building's clear, Peter."

Peter squeezed his wife's shoulder. "We'll talk tonight. For now I need to oversee booking our neighbors, and you need to go with the other witnesses and give your statement." He turned to Jones and said quietly, "I'd consider it a personal favor if you could help Elizabeth with her statement before she speaks to anyone."

Jones understood that Peter wanted him to coach her on what not to say. "You don't even have to ask."

# # #

That night when Peter got home, he was greeted at the front door. "Hi Hon," Elizabeth said, and pulled him into a kiss before he even got the door shut.

Even though he'd been caught off guard, he pulled her in close, and kissed her back. When they broke apart, she took the briefcase out of his hands, and set it on the floor by the coat closet.

"Why don't you go get changed. Dinner will be on the table in five."

Peter knew this was her way of apologizing, and said softly, "Okay, Hon."

He put on jeans and a sweater, and came back down. Elizabeth was waiting for him at the dining room table. She lifted the lid off a large pan and said, "I made pot roast."

"My favorite," he said with a smile as he took a seat. He noticed she'd also opened a cold beer, and put it next to his plate. He took a drink while she put food on both of their plates.

He took a bite, and closed his eyes to savor it for a moment. He opened them and grinned at his wife. "It's delicious."

"Thanks," she said, and took a bite of her own.

"And it's a nice gesture, but we're still going to talk about what happened."

The smile fell from her face, and she swallowed the food in her mouth. "I'm sorry that I…"

"After dinner," he said, interrupting her. "Right now, I just want to relax and enjoy the wonderful food, and the even more wonderful company."

He held his hand out to her, palm up on the table. She put her hand in his and squeezed it once. "Sounds good."

While they ate, Peter asked Elizabeth about the next event she was putting together, and she tried to enjoy her food and talk about mundane things with difficulty.

Once she saw her husband put his fork down, she immediately stood and picked up both of their plates. He put a hand on her wrist to stop her. "You cooked. I'll clean up."

"Oh, no, you don't have to do that," she tried to gently pull away.

"El," Peter said without taking his hand off her wrist. "Leave them. Let's go sit on the couch and talk, and I'll clean this up later."

Reluctantly, she put both plates back on the table, and followed her husband over to the couch. Once they were sitting side by side with their knees touching, she said, "I'm sorry, Peter."

"You could have been killed today, El. I told you to leave, and instead of leaving, you went into the club."

"I know…" she twisted her hands together in her lap nervously. "I just couldn't stand to see them get away."

He put an arm around her shoulders, "Do you think you did it because of Keller?"

Her eyebrows drew together while she considered that.

"You must have been feeling pretty helpless while you were held captive," he added. "Do you think this was your way of taking back control?"

She shook her head slowly. "I'm not sure. I don't think it was, but I don't know."

"What were you thinking about right before you went into the club?"

"That you weren't going to get there in time, and that they were going to get away with it."

Peter thought that over for a few seconds. "And what made you decide to impersonate an FBI agent?"

Blushing, she looked down at her lap and said, "Well… it was just the only thing I could think of to stall them."

Narrowing his eyes, he said, "So it's okay to do something dangerous and illegal, as long as you can't think of any other way to get what you want?"

Her body tensed when her husband used the word 'illegal'. "No, Peter, it wasn't like that at all. You make it sound so premeditated. It… it was an impulsive mistake."

He took his arm off her shoulders, so he could take both of her hands in his. "El, honey, you know that I love you, but this wasn't a mistake. I warned you to stop playing detective after that dinner fiasco, but obviously you didn't stop. You made the decision to put yourself in danger, and you knew it was illegal when you did it."

Her eyes welled up with tears, and she whispered, "I'm so sorry, Peter."

He rubbed a hand up and down her back, and said softly, "I know, but I don't think that's enough this time."

"I…" she shook her head, trying not to think about what Peter did to Neal when he messed up. "I don't know what else you want me to say."

"What happens to Neal when he does something dangerous or illegal?"

"You can't… you can't spank me," she whispered, and took her hand out of his.

He rested his elbows on his knees, and laced his fingers together. "Just because I never have, doesn't mean I won't, but I'm not going to force you over my lap either. So you can either convince me that you don't deserve it, or I'll convince you that you do."

She worried the edge of her sleeve between her fingers, and squirmed. She wasn't sure how to convince him she didn't deserve it, when in reality she knew she did deserve it. She'd had time to think things over, and she knew she'd messed up. She also knew that if Neal had done exactly what she'd done, Peter would spank him, and she would support him in that decision.

After a few seconds of silence, Peter said quietly, "Why do you think I told you not to go into that strip club?"

Elizabeth cocked her head to the side, trying to figure out why he would ask a question they both knew the answer to. Playing along, she said, "Because it was dangerous."

"Not exactly. What do you think I would have told Diana to do if she'd called me with the same information?"

She already knew where this line of questioning was going to end, and couldn't keep eye contact. "You'd have told her to go in, because she's trained to deal with situations like that, but it was dangerous for me, because I'm not."

"Exactly," he said. "And what kind of example is that to set for Neal? I thought we agreed that we were going to be helping him turn his life around. Did you see the way he was looking at me today when I said you had spousal immunity? Trust is hard for him, El, if he thinks I'm a hypocrite, I'll lose whatever trust I've earned so far."

The thought of setting a bad example for Neal made her feel even worse. Peter put his hand on her back again. "If I don't do it, the guilt is going to eat you alive for weeks."

"You're right. I know you're right, but… if I let you do it, our relationship can't ever be the same."

Peter shook his head. "We've always been equals, El, and we still are. If you ever think I deserve a spanking, I'll be more than willing to go over your lap."

"Really?" she asked with surprise.

"I hope it never comes to that, but yeah, really. You have my word."

She looked into his eyes for a few moments, and could tell he was being completely honest. Taking a deep breath she nodded once. "Okay. I agree I deserve it. Just do it quick, before I lose my nerve."

He nodded in approval, and scooted forward on the couch. He took her hand in his, and pulled at it to guide her over his lap. Once she was in place, he pulled her skirt up, and then peeled her pantyhose and panties down to mid thigh, so he could see what kind of damage he was inflicting while he spanked.

She felt the flat of his hand resting against her bottom, and an involuntary whimper of distress came from her throat. Without warning, Peter lifted his hand, and brought it down hard, catching part of both cheeks with one swat.

Elizabeth gasped at the pain, only to feel another swat land slightly higher than the first. The toes of her high heel shoes tapped the floor as she shifted her hips in time to the swats that kept raining down. He was methodical about the spanking, covering every inch of her butt and upper thighs with stinging swats several times over.

She wiggled, whimpered, and hissed in pain, while telling herself that she deserved every swat she was getting. One of her hands stayed on the floor, while the other wrapped around her husband's ankle.

A small "Ow" escaped her lips when his hand hit the same spot twice in a row on skin that was already sore. After that, any idea of stoicism went out the window. "Ow! Ow, Peter! That really hurts! Ouch!"

"I know," he said, and kept smacking. Thanks to Neal, he had some practice with spanking, so he wasn't hesitant to keep going.

"Owww! Peter please stop! I'm sorry! Really I am!" A few tears ran down her face.

Using a tone of voice usually reserved for Neal, Peter said, "You're a civilian, Elizabeth, not a trained agent. This kind of thing had better never happen again." He started spanking her harder, and faster, than before. The image of Ben pointing a gun at her pushing him to continue.

"It won't! Owww! Peter, it won't!" She couldn't keep her hand from reaching back to try and cover as much of her bottom as she could.

He grabbed her wrist, and held it at the small of her back so that his target was clear, and continued the spanking. She broke down into noisy sobs within seconds. After hearing the tears, he gave her two more hard smacks on her sit spots, and then stopped all together. He let go of her arm, and rubbed her back. "Okay, Hon, it's over now."

She covered her face with both hands and kept crying, feeling very sorry for herself.

While she cried, Peter smoothed the skirt down over her red skin, and pushed the pantyhose further down her legs. He slipped her shoes and pantyhose off, and then gently turned her over so she was sitting in his lap.

She leaned into him, and wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug. "I'm sorry," she said.

He held her close and rubbed a hand up and down her back. "It's okay. It's all over. You're never going to do anything like that again, right?"

Sniffling, she shook her head. "Never."

"Then I'd say you learned your lesson." He kissed the top of her head. "You're forgiven."

After a few moments of silent comforting, Elizabeth said quietly, "That was really awful, Peter."

Leaning back slightly to look her in the face, he said seriously, "Watching Ben point a gun at your head was awful."

Conceding the point, she nodded and said, "It's been a bad day all around. If you're really going to clean up the kitchen for me, I'd like to go take a shower and put on some comfortable pajamas."

"Go ahead." He helped her stand, and then went to clean up the kitchen.

# # #

Peter finished up the dishes, and just as he was about to turn on the television, there was a tentative knock on his front door. He opened it, and found his partner on the other side. Neal had a wide grin on his face, which always meant he had something up his sleeve.

"Neal?" Peter opened the door wide and stepped back to let the younger man in. "Is everything okay?"

"Everything's great, Peter." Neal stepped into the house, and headed for the couch. "I just wanted to bring something to your attention."

Peter shut the front door, and gestured to the kitchen, "Did you want a glass of wine? El has a bottle open."

"No thanks, it's late, and this won't take long."

The older man went and sat on the couch, and gestured to the other side for Neal.

Neal sat and leaned forward, eager to talk. "I've come to appeal to your sense of right and wrong, Peter."

Peter's mouth twitched up at the corner, already suspecting where this conversation was going to go. Neal was in for disappointment, but Peter couldn't help thinking it was cute that he was going to try.

"Sounds serious," Peter said, playing along.

"You've felt the need to uh…" Neal cleared his throat once and shifted on the couch. "To correct my behavior six times since we started working together."

"That's right," Peter said, and purposely used the word Neal had glossed over, "I've spanked you six times."

Neal cringed slightly at the word 'spanked', but forged on. "Right. And every time, it's either been because I put my life at risk, or because did something that could land me back in prison."

"Usually both at once."

"Right, and that brings me to my point."

After a pause, Peter said, "Which is?"

"Elizabeth did both today, and you weren't even angry. There was no 'Damn it Elizabeth!' There was no 'We'll talk about this later.' It was a kiss and spousal immunity." Neal's voice clearly showed his irritation with those last two words.

Smirking, Peter said, "Please tell me you don't want a kiss the next time you put yourself in danger."

"Very funny, Peter," Neal said. "Of course not. But I do think you should reconsider punishing me when I do something dangerous, especially when I'm doing it to catch a criminal. If my heart is in the right place, I should get 'partner immunity' or something."

The older man pretended to consider it for a few seconds, and then turned to Neal with a smile. "Nope."

"Nope?" Neal repeated, lost for words now that his brilliant plan had failed. "Just like that?"

"Just like that."

"But… but that's not fair!"

Elizabeth came down the stairs in her pajamas, and heard Neal's voice. "What's not fair?"

Neal stood and turned to her. "Hi Elizabeth."

"Hi Neal. What's not fair?"

Blushing, Neal shook his head. "It was nothing. Never mind."

Peter said, "Neal doesn't think it's fair that you got a kiss and spousal immunity for something he'd get spanked for."

"Peter!" Neal hissed, annoyed with the older man for saying that out loud in front of his wife.

"And you're right, Neal" Peter said, "that wouldn't be fair if it were true, but it isn't."

"What do you mean it isn't?" the younger man asked.

"Elizabeth and I had a long talk tonight, and she knows without a doubt that I do not approve of what she did."

Neal looked at Elizabeth a little more closely, and he noticed her eyes were puffy as if she'd been crying.

"He spanked me, too," Elizabeth said. She wanted to make it clear to Neal that her husband was a fair man.

"What?!" Neal turned back to Peter, unable to believe what he'd just heard.

"You didn't have to tell him, El," Peter said quietly.

"Do you guys really think I'm such an easy mark?" Neal asked, his temper rising by the second. He couldn't stand the thought of them lying to him, or trying to play him.

Not wanting this to escalate any further, Elizabeth rolled her eyes and said, "Do you need to see the proof?"

"Over my dead body," Peter said, and stood up from the couch.

Ignoring her husband, Elizabeth turned her back to them, and pulled her pajama pants down just far enough to show about two inches of the red skin on her right butt cheek.

"Elizabeth!" Peter exclaimed, and quickly stepped in between the two, blocking Neal's view of his wife's ass.

Neal gasped in shock. The anger he'd been feeling changed direction. "You hit her, Peter?! How could you!"

"She could have been killed today, Neal!" Feeling defensive and irritated, Peter crossed his arms and glared at his partner.

Elizabeth stepped around her husband, so she was in between them, and focused on Neal. "I agreed to it, sweetie. Peter and I sat down to talk, and we both decided I deserved it."

Neal shook his head. "But… but…"

Elizabeth grabbed Neal's hand and pulled him towards the kitchen. "Let me pour you a glass of wine while you try to wrap your head around it." Peter started to follow them, but his wife discreetly shook her head, so he sat back down on the couch.

Peter wanted to go in and see what the two of them were talking about, but he trusted his wife enough, to stay put. Ten minutes later, the two of them came back out of the kitchen smiling. In fact, Peter would have to say that his partner was grinning again.

"Everything okay now?" he asked tentatively.

"Everything's great," Neal said.

"I don't know if I like the sound of that." Peter turned to his wife and asked, "What did you say to him?"

With a wide grin, Neal said, "She convinced me that it was fair." He headed to the door and said, "I'm going home. See you tomorrow, Peter."

Confused, Peter waited until the door shut behind Neal before whispering to his wife, "What did you say?"

She grabbed his hand, and pulled him towards the stairs. "He just needed some time to get over the shock. Now that he knows I got spanked too, he feels a lot better."

"If you say so." Peter wasn't convinced, but he decided to let it drop and focus on his beautiful wife for the rest of the night.

Neal got a cab back home, and spent the rest of the night hatching plans. He promised himself he would find a way to get his partner to do something dangerous and illegal as soon as possible, because the idea of Peter going over Elizabeth's lap was simply too good to pass up.

The End

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