Written for these prompt on Livejournal:
Neal sees a guy acting like Scrooge at Christmas time so he picks his pocket to get back at him. Unfortunately, El happens to see him and drags him home to face a very unhappy Peter.
And: While driving in the city, El catches Neal practicing his pick-pocketing skills. After confronting him, she makes him come home with her to "wait for Peter to get home". Of course, El will have plenty of time to express her own displeasure over Neal's indiscretions.
I combined them and made some changes to accommodate my muse ;) I hope this still feeds into your wishes and you enjoy it!
Summary: Neal sees a guy acting like a jerk in a shop. He picks his pocket to teach him a lesson. Unfortunately, El happens to see him and drags him home to Peter.
Disclaimer : I don’t own any of these characters, and I’m not making any money from this story.
Warnings : non-consensual spanking of an adult. I do not advocate this behaviour in real life, only in fiction.
It had been a pleasant afternoon so far. Thankfully Neal had managed to dodge the bullet that had involved playing ball with Peter and his buddies. He shuddered again at the mere thought of running around and shooting hoops, not to mention suffering through endless taunts from the other men.
He’d gladly taken up El’s offer to accompany her to the mall to do some shopping. Despite his limited allowance, he did pride himself to be always immaculately dressed. New York was full of thrift shops and people who discarded perfectly fine clothes after only one season. It was truly remarkable what one could find there.
Nevertheless, he enjoyed giving Elizabeth advice on her purchases. And not just because everything trumped running around and sweating. Urgh. The horror.
Strolling along the racks, his musings were interrupted by a man yelling at a young saleswoman. The poor girl looked a step away from bursting into tears as she was desperately trying to justify herself. Watching them for a moment, Neal noticed that he’d already seen the man earlier at another shop where he had been equally rude.
Making a split decision to punish the injustice that he was forced to witness, he approached them quickly, and, while bumping into him, swiftly extracted his wallet from his jacket and pocketed it, before continuing with a mumbled apology.
With a feeling of satisfaction he couldn’t quite hide from his face, he settled back to watch from a distance, absent-mindedly thrifting through some clothes. When the man headed towards the check-out counter, he couldn’t help but venture closer. He didn’t want to miss even the tiniest bit of embarrassment. Rudeness was something he just couldn’t stand.
His attention solely trained on the interaction at the counter, he didn’t notice El’s approach until, all of a sudden, he was pulled back behind one of the racks by a strong grip on his arm. He turned, surprised to find Elizabeth glaring at him.
“If I search your pockets right now, will I find something that doesn’t belong to you?” she asked, not releasing his arm. He was so surprised that it took him a moment too long to school his features.
“I don’t know what you mean,” he said, trying for a coy smile, but apparently Elizabeth wasn’t fooled and the look on her face was not promising.
“Neal Caffrey!” she scolded in a harsh whisper, shaking his arm slightly. Her tone was so unlike anything he’d ever heard directed at him that, probably for the first time in his life, he couldn’t maintain eye contact and found his gaze wandering to the floor instead. This just wouldn’t do! With some effort he forced his head up again, only to cringe at the expression on El’s face.
She looked so … disappointed. With a final sigh, she released his arm, and, holding out her hand in prompting, said, “Give it to me.”
“No. I will return it and tell them that I found it.” Seeing that he was still reluctant to hand it over, she added in a dire tone, “Do not make me frisk you.” With a heavy sigh he extracted the required item from his pants pocket and with a quick glance to their surroundings put it in Elizabeth’s waiting hand. Her eyes flashed once more before she schooled her features and with quick strides approached the cashier. Neal watched her as she flashed the girl a pleasant smile, handing over the wallet.
Neal couldn’t help the scowl that threatened to creep on his face, as he decidedly felt like he’d been made to wait for his mother like an unruly child. All too soon, Elizabeth returned to his side, though, and he forced a contrite expression on his face. It wouldn’t hurt to play the sorry thief.
“Let’s go,” El said, grabbing his elbow and steering him non-too-gently towards the exit.
“Wh-where are we going?”
“Home,” she replied, as he was unceremoniously pulled towards the parking lot and El’s car. He tried very unsuccessfully to pull his arm out of her grasp, but she was unrelenting and he quickly gave up, lest they draw even more attention to themselves as they already were. He must look ridiculous as he was dragged along forcefully.
“Because you don’t deserve a day out after that,” she said matter-of-factly, opening the passenger side door and motioning for him to get in. Glad that they had reached the relative safety of her car and that there were no more prying eyes around, he quickly did as he was told. The door was closed a bit louder than strictly necessary, he felt though and he jumped a little.
He chanced a quick look at Elizabeth’s face as she started the car and pulled out of the lot. It was not reassuring. He had never seen her quite as angry as she seemed to be now and he didn’t really know how to deal with it. Never let it be said that Neal hadn’t been in plenty of situations where he had been faced with unusual and unpredicted outcomings and he had always mastered them.
“I’m sorry,” he offered tentatively.
“I cannot believe that you would risk your probation like that!” Elizabeth exploded and he shrunk back against the window. He suddenly understood why Peter sometimes felt so wary of his wife. “What on earth were you trying to accomplish?”
“He harried the poor girl!” he exclaimed, affronted. Couldn’t El see the injustice that had taken place here?
“So you stole the wallet?” she asked incredulously.
“I didn’t steal it.” A hard look made him reconsider his words. “I wasn’t planning to keep it! I didn’t want his money!”
“The Police would not have believed that, Neal!” she replied. “I cannot believe you would do something like that! Risking the life you’ve built for yourself. – What do you think Peter will say to this?”
“He’s probably going to have more than words,” Neal said sullenly, opting to stare out of the passenger side window, already feeling sorry for himself and the evenings he would most likely get to spend in his apartment.
“And rightly so! – Did you not have a similar discussion not too long ago? – Isn’t this a recurring habit that keeps threatening your probation?” He really didn’t have anything sensible to say to that, so he wisely kept his mouth closed. There was no sense in agitating her any further. But he couldn’t shake the feeling of dread that settled deep in his stomach, sloshing around unpleasantly. The unknown had never been something he dealt with well, so after a few very tense minutes filled with nervous energy, he couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer.
“Are-” He cleared his throat, suddenly nervous. “Do we have to tell Peter?”
“I won’t.” She took a deep breath, exhaling slowly.
“Elizabeth, I – thank you!”
“But you will.”
“Elizabeth!” he whined. That really wasn’t fair!
He spent the remainder of the car ride to Brooklyn trying to weasel his way out of his current predicament, but Elizabeth was unperturbed. She simply marched him into their house, parked him at the dining room table with strict orders to stay there and think about his misdeeds, before disappearing into the kitchen. He’d tried following her, only to quickly retake his seat at her furious expression.
With nothing else to do but mull over the fact that Peter’s arrival was approaching steadily and he really didn’t have any good excuses for his behaviour. At least none that Peter would find acceptable. He knew this because Peter had listed the acceptable reasons for stealing. The list had been very, very short. Empty, actually. There was no reason for theft. Especially not if you were an ex-con out on probation and even thinking about stealing anything could threaten the precarious deal you had with the FBI.
Time seemed to crawl as Neal was banished to the dining room table with nothing to do but stare at the big clock on the wall, and still when he heard Peter’s footsteps on the front porch, he suddenly wished that he’d get to sit there in solitude a bit longer.
Elizabeth must have heard him as well, since she emerged from the kitchen just as Peter was unlocking the door. Neal couldn’t see him from his seat and he didn’t dare get up, but he could clearly make out his happy humming as he toed off his shoes.
“Hon?” he called. “I’m home.” He stepped into the room, taking note of Neal’s miserable expression, before kissing his wife. It was all so domesticated.
“Hi, Hon,” El said, and she somehow managed to force a smile on her face for her husband.
“Hi.” Peter’s gaze travelled to Neal, taking in his undoubtedly slouched posture and the desperation that seemed to pour off him, before settling back on his wife. “What happened here?” Unable to hold eye contact any longer, Neal dropped his gaze to the table and his fiddling fingers. Peter didn’t even know what had happened and already his distrustful tone made him uncomfortable.
“Neal has something to tell you,” Elizabeth said, and out of the corner of his eye, Neal could see her pushing Peter in his direction.
“No, he doesn’t,” he mumbled, feeling undeniably like a recalcitrant teenager about to confess his sins to angry parents.
“Neal.” The warning in El’s tone was undisputable.
“All right,” Peter said, pulling out a chair and taking a seat at the head of the table. He even angled it so he could give Neal his undivided attention. How thoughtful. “Let’s hear it,” he prompted, as it became clear that Neal wouldn’t offer anything voluntarily.
Neal chanced a quick look up at Peter’s expectant face, and saw that strange mixture of exasperation and worry that made Neal all kinds of uncomfortable. His eyes darted to Elizabeth who was still standing next to the entrance to the kitchen. Staying back but ready to intervene if she needed to.
Neal swallowed thickly, throat suddenly dry. He didn’t like to see the disappointment on El’s face and he just knew that in a few short moments Peter’s expression would mirror his wife’s.
“Neal.” He snapped his eyes back to Peter and squirmed slightly.
“I…” he started, but cut himself off again. Peter raised an eyebrow in question. “There might have been an incident at the mall today. – A misunderstanding, really.” He flashed Peter one of his trademark smiles and just knew that he was seriously off his game. He was one of the best con-artists, how come a bumbly FBI agent managed to make him this uncomfortable?
El cleared her throat loudly in warning, and Peter turned to look at his wife, clearly surprised. They seemed to be having some kind of silent conversation, before Peter sighed loudly and turned back.
“Just give me the facts, Neal,” he ordered. “No skirting around the edges.” Peter’s expression grew sterner, his mouth a tight line. Neal didn’t like it when that happened.
“I took a man’s wallet,” Neal mumbled quickly, and was rewarded with another one of Peter’s put-upon sighs. “But I wasn’t going to keep it!”
“I wasn’t!” he repeated, because it was suddenly immensely important that Peter knew this. Peter pinched the bridge of his nose, exhaling loudly.
“What on earth were you thinking?” Peter finally asked, redirecting his glare at Neal. And really? Peter didn’t even know the whole story and already he was glaring at him? That was tremendously unfair!
“He was a jerk!” he replied, suddenly angry. “He kept hassling that poor girl!” Peter’s eyebrows shot up until they almost seemed to disappear in his hairline. (Which was impossible, Neal knew.)
“So you what? Decided to teach him a lesson?” he asked, in a suspiciously calm voice. It quite literally took the wind out of Neal’s sails and he squirmed uncomfortable. He opened his mouth to offer a scathing retort, but Peter held up a hand, and the words died on his tongue. “Never mind. I don’t want to know.”
“No. There is no reason for you to steal anything. – You will not risk your probation and go back to prison because you felt someone was unjustly treated.”
“But he almost made the girl cry!”
“There are other ways to deal with that,” Peter replied. “How many times did we have this exact conversation now? One day you’re gonna get caught and then what do you think will happen?”
“I didn’t steal it!” Neal said angrily. “I was going to give it back!”
Moving quickly, Peter grabbed his upper arm and pulled him to his feet. Neal didn’t even have time to wonder what he planned to do, when a sudden stinging pain engulfed his butt.
“Taking” smack “what” smack “isn’t yours” smack “is” Enormous smack “stealing!” The last swat raised him up on his toes and a tiny yelp escaped. Thankfully, it was over as quickly as it had begun and Peter turned him until he could stare flabbergasted at the other man. His mind still trying to come to terms with what had just happened. Peter had slapped him. Like a child.
Peter’s hands were heavy on his shoulders, keeping him in place. Not that he’d try to get away, he was still too shocked. Nevertheless Neal put one hand back on his backside to rub at the soreness, and also to make sure that he hadn’t just imagined it.
“You hit me!” he protested, once he found his voice again, because it felt like the right thing to say.
“That was a few well-earned swats for a brat who doesn’t want to understand the concept of right and wrong,” Peter replied. “And that is what you can expect in the future, if you ever steal anything again. You have absolutely no sense of immediate consequences and what I’ve tried before clearly isn’t helping.” There wasn’t anything Neal could offer in his defence. Peter had lectured him countless times for the exact same offense. He had limited his radius. Even put him on restriction.
“But… what happened to restriction?” Neal voiced anyway. It sucked, sure, but it wasn’t half as unpleasant as what he just had to endure. Although, if he was honest with himself, he couldn’t really blame Peter for smacking him. He was obviously at his wit’s end and Neal couldn’t say that he had been making Peter’s job easy. Thinking about it, he was actually surprised that it had taken so long for Peter to try a more hands-on approach. He could have done without Elizabeth as a spectator, though. His eyes darted to her shortly, and he could feel his ears and neck burning in shame.
“Oh, don’t worry,” he said. “You have the next week to think about your poor choices and why stealing is something I really, really don’t like.”
“But … you just punished me! That’s unfair!” Getting swatted and put on restriction surely was cruel.
“Would you rather I finish what I just started?” There would be more? He didn’t want more! His butt stung now!
“No,” was the only sensible thing to mumble, and he let his head droop. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw El slip back to the kitchen, probably to check on dinner. Peter’s finger pushed his chin back up until Neal could see the worry in his eyes. It caused a sharp pain in his chest. He didn’t like to worry Peter. And still he managed to do just that almost daily. “I’m serious, Neal. I do not want to bring you back to prison, simply because you cannot keep your hands to yourself.”
“I’m sorry.” And he really was.
“The next time you steal, I’m putting you over my knee for a real spanking.” His face flushed again, beet-red by the feel of it, and a very unmanly whine left his mouth. “And based on your reaction, maybe that’s exactly the kind of consequence you need to finally make you adhere to the law.”
“I don’t like it,” Neal said grudgingly.
“Yes, that’s the point,” Peter replied. “Go wash up, I’m sure dinner’s almost finished.” With a gentle push he was directed towards the bathroom. He took his time washing his face and hands, mulling over Peter’s words. He didn’t want to go back to prison. Prison was awful. And he knew that Peter would do anything in his power to protect him from it. Even if his worst opponent seemed to be Neal himself. An impatient yell alerted him to the fact that dinner was on the table and that Peter was hungry, so he took another deep breath and went back outside. He’d just have to be even more careful to not get caught next time. Then everything would be fine.