WhiteCollar-Neal hand on Peter's shoulde

White Collar/Fallen London ficlet #2: An Unusual Pail of So-Called Snow

... and then I realized I'd better post this one, too, because Frith has one that follows on from this, and she can't post hers until I post mine. So here's another, basically plotless little ficlet. See the previous post for context. Like a lot of our ficlets, this fits into one of the game's minor storylines (in which the entire city of Fallen London gets inundated with something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike snow). [personal profile] frith_in_thorns, I added a little bit to the end after the version that I sent you.

Title: An Unusual Pail of So-Called Snow
Word Count: 700
Characters: Peter, Neal, El (gen with background Peter/El)
Summary: "Look, Peter," El said. "Neal cleared our path for us. Isn't that nice?"




"I cleared your path!" Neal said.

He was bright-eyed and pink-cheeked, leaning on a spade in front of the Burkes' cottage. Peter was fairly sure the temperature wasn't actually colder when the Neath-snow fell, but it certainly felt that way; he'd been huddled in front of the fire all day.

"Look, Peter," El said. "Neal cleared our path for us. Isn't that nice?"

"You want the snow for something, don't you," Peter said darkly.

"I'm not sure what you mean." Looking a bit shifty, Neal poked the bucket of Neath-snow with his foot. "You can have it if you really need it."

"No one needs it," Peter said, "and we have more of it than we know what to do with."

"Well, then, you won't mind if I take it."

"Of course we don't mind," El said, hooking her arm firmly through Peter's elbow. "Won't you come in, have a cup of tea and a candied mushroom?"

"I have something better than mushrooms." Nudging the bucket of Neath-snow to the side of the doorway, where it wasn't in view of every thief or urchin who happened along, Neal brought out a package from under his coat. It was wrapped in surface-silk, and the smell that wafted from it made even the Bengal Tigress, reclining in front of the fire with a weasel or two, perk up and take notice.

"That's surface food," El breathed, unwrapping Neal's offering. "Oh, Peter, look!"

Peter gave up even pretending that his mouth wasn't watering at the smell. How long had it been since he'd had real food? Neal was turning away, reaching for the bucket of snow, but Peter caught his arm. "Oh, no you don't."

Neal looked instantly wary, his "cornered by the Constables" instincts coming to the fore. "It's not precisely stolen," he said quickly.

"What do you mean by not precisely --" Peter stopped himself in mid-diatribe and managed to shake off the urge. "No, that's not -- Just get in here," he said, and hauled Neal inside in a small shower of lacre.

"Your neighbors' paths aren't cleared yet," Neal protested.

Which pretty much confirmed that he wanted the snow for something nefarious. "They can do it themselves," Peter said, although from the look of things the urchins were out in force; there wouldn't be an uncleared path in Fallen London in a few hours. "The point, Neal, is that you can't just hand us something like this and then run off."

Now Neal just looked baffled. "He's inviting you to share it," El said, drawing him gently towards the table. "In his own ... special way."

"I already had breakfast," Neal said, digging in his heels. "That's just for you."

Peter laid out three plates. "It's better shared," he said gruffly. "And we haven't all sat down to a meal in a while. El, do we still have some of the Broken Giant?"

El brought out the good wine, while Peter scraped up the lacre that Neal had tracked in and dumped it outside. He still wasn't sure what the stuff was, but he'd made it clear to El that he didn't want it in the house (though he privately suspected El of smuggling a bucket off to the University to experiment with; she'd been suspiciously absent that morning). A person couldn't be too careful down here. He cast a wary glance over his shoulder at Neal, but Neal looked fine, laughing and helping El at the table.

"You'd better hurry, Peter," El called through giggles. "We'll eat everything before you get here!"

"You'll save some for me." Peter gave the lacre a last suspicious look, just to make sure it wasn't crawling around on its own (for all he knew, it might) and then he closed the door on the dark, dank world. Inside was warmth and laughter; inside was the part of his world that made the rest worthwhile.





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I just love these three together. In any universe:)

"He's inviting you to share it," El said, drawing him gently towards the table. "In his own ... special way."
Lol. Aw, Peter ♥
*grin* They are sweet together, aren't they? I'm glad you enjoyed this! ♥
You know, your Fallen London fics are so much happier and less disturbing than mine XD

I love Neal (and El!) wanting the lacre for nefarious purposes, and Peter being so suspicious of it. And "It's not precisely stolen", bless :D

One thing in this 'verse I really love is how the three of them are this tight little unit. *hugs them*
LOL. I think yours are very sweet too, but I'm perfectly happy with bringing the fluff to this 'verse. Heaven knows they could use it! Poor babies. *smishes*

One thing in this 'verse I really love is how the three of them are this tight little unit. *hugs them*

I knowwww! Like we were talking about earlier ... it's when they're under stress and surrounded by danger that their affection for each other really shows. And this 'verse brings that out, all over the place.
Awwwww! There's something delightfully cozy about this scene, with the three of them together, and I love the contrast between warmth inside and the creepy mysterious snow and everything outside. :)
Hee! This is so lovely! Neal cleaning their path for absolutly-not-ulterior-motives, not 'precisely' stolen... and the food! Awww. I love Peter's reactions to all of these, and the way the three of them interact together - I know almost nothing about Fallen London, despite Frith's attempts to drag me in, but I love how the setting really works for the three of them together.
Awwww, thank you! I'm sure that familiarity with the setting is helpful, but mostly Frith and I are just using it as a backdrop to do horrible things to them and/or write fluffy family fic, so ... yeah. :D
♥ ♥ ♥

At first I read "Neal-snow" but that seemed strange and then it morphed into Neath-snow... *facepalm*

Love the friendship and affectiong between these three. =)

Thank you!
I'm glad you're enjoying these! It's a really fun 'verse to write in. ♥
Fallen London 'verse is addictive. The game, too, it turns out.

Love the three of them here :)
It is a VERY addictive game. Damn you, game. *waits for actions to refresh*

And thank you; I'm glad you're enjoying these! ♥