Halloween-black cat

Nicked from Recessional

Trick or Treat! Time for something sweet to —- read. Since I can’t hand out snickers bars over the internet, I’m giving away fun-size fanfic for the first five lucky ghouls to reply to this post with their fic request. (Unless I get a lot of responses fast, in which case I might up it to ten.) Any series or characters you know I'm generally familiar with. :D

ALL SLOTS FILLED! I'll do my best to write these by Halloween. :)

1. Autumn/harvest/day-of-the-dead traditions in Asgard [contains Thor 2 spoilers]
2. Werewolf!Peter and werewolf!Diana being wolfy together [Peter & Diana gen, 2200 wds]
3. Natasha anything (but perhaps post-Written in Blood and Bone Natasha & Bucky)
4. Methos anything
5. White Collar, Kate meets June
6. Neal and Mozzie planning a heist on Halloween (or any Neal & Mozzie)
7. Trick-or-treating with SGA or Avengers
8. Theo trick-or-treating at the Burkes' or anything Peter/El
9. Steve & Bucky friendship or White Collar Halloween (Steve & Bucky comfortfic, posted over on AO3 due to length)
10. Anler/Taiv (Torn World)

.... Though I will add the caveat that since I'm traveling/visiting/not at the computer much this month, these might be REALLY short! I'll guarantee a couple of paragraphs but not more than that.

Avengers or White Collar are most likely to get more than a couple of paragraphs, but I'll try my hand at anything I've watched/read, and any character, pairing, or prompt is acceptable. If I truly don't think I can do it, I'll ask you to pick another.

ETA: Since I may not be able to check this post very often, you might want to look at both the LJ and DW side to see if there are still slots! First come, first served.

This entry is also posted at http://sholio.dreamwidth.org/975523.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Part 1/2
[many thanks to Frith-in-Thorns for suggesting a possible scenario for this!]

June spots the young woman immediately, of course. She's not a bad tail, but makes a few amateur mistakes, especially catching the cab to follow June's car. Most people probably wouldn't have noticed, but June isn't most people.

The driver catches June's eye in the mirror, alert to her moods. "Mrs. Ellington, should I return to the house? Or take a different route for your usual Saturday shopping?"

"No, thank you, Barton. Please carry on as normal."

At a guess she'd say this is probably Neal's young lady. It could be something entirely different, of course. There are plenty of reasons why June might have picked up a tail. But the young woman isn't law enforcement -- she doesn't have the look. She could be a private detective, perhaps. June doesn't think she's dangerous.

After purchasing birthday presents and cards for Lisa's twins and a bridal shower gift for her maid, she pauses at her favorite chocolaterie. The young woman is at a cafe across the street, pretending to read a newspaper. June purchases purchases two cups of gourmet hot chocolate and a pair of truffles, and crosses the street with them.

The young woman does a barely concealed double take at June's approach. She rises in haste, dropping her newspaper.

"No need to leave so soon," June says. She sets the cups on the table. "Have you ever had a Mayan chocolate? It's a bit of an acquired taste, but it's truly excellent."

"I --" The young woman hesitates. She's not underfed, but has a lean, desperate look to her that June remembers very well from her own young days. "I really can't stay."

"Even long enough for a cup of cocoa? I hate to see food go to waste. Humor an old woman." When the young lady remains poised on the verge of flight, June adds, "We can discuss my handsome lodger, if you like."

The flurry of emotions across the young woman's face fascinates June: the split-second shock and fear and anger, then the blank mask that drops down, followed by a serene half-smile. June marvels that she herself was ever that young.

The woman sits. June passes her a cup and a truffle in a tidy paper wrapper.

"I'm June Ellington, but I expect you already know that. May I call you something?"

"Perdue," the young lady says after a brief pause.

French for "lost". "It's a pleasure to meet you, Perdue. What do you think of the chocolate?"

"It's good," Perdue says after touching it briefly to her lips for form's sake.

June decides it's cruel to play games with her. "Neal is fine, if you were wondering. He will continue to be fine unless he gets himself into trouble. He'll have no trouble from me."

This time the mask is so firmly in place that there's not even a flicker at the mention of Neal's name. "I'm afraid," Perdue says, "that you have mistaken me for someone else."

"I hope not," June says. "He wants to find you very much, you know."

Something catches in Perdue's face, somewhere around the eyes.

"And no," June goes on, "I don't plan to tell him that we spoke. I only want you to know that, and to think about it. I could see that he gets a message, if you like."

Perdue draws a breath. "No," she says. "That won't be -- No." She drains the rich chocolate in her cup as if it's neat whiskey, and leaves the truffle untouched on the table when she rises.

"If you need help, my dear," June says, "you have only to ask."

Perdue stands looking down at her, hands shoved in the pockets of her long wool coat. "And why," she asks quietly, "would you help me?"

"Because I've been young and alone too, you know," June says. "And I have let my heart lead me unwisely where young men are concerned, and regret none of it. I think we have a lot in common, you and I."

Perdue's jaw clenches. "I never said I don't regret it," she says, and then closes her mouth tightly, as if she didn't mean that to slip out.

"But do you?" June asks.
Part 2/2

Perdue doesn't answer. After a moment she says, "Sometimes it's not about regretting or not regretting anything. It's just about making choices."

June stands and holds out a hand. Perdue studies it, then shakes it, and June takes the opportunity to slip one of her gold-embossed cards into Perdue's -- Kate's -- pocket.

She's all the way across the street before she checks her purse and realizes that at some point during the conversation, Kate lifted her wallet. Kate might have a ways to go before she can run an undetectable tail, but June has to offer her a hat tip for remarkably acute pickpocketing skills. It is, however, something of a pain. She contemplates canceling her credit cards, then decides to give it a day or two. She did, after all, offer to help, even if this isn't quite what she had in mind.

In the morning, the wallet is in a heavy unmarked envelope in her mailbox, all contents intact. The card has been dropped into the envelope along with it.
Re: Part 2/2
Awww, that was amazing. I can totally see this happening. And so sad, knowing what is to happen later :(
Re: Part 2/2
I knowwwww. :( EVERYTHING Kate is terribly tragic at this point in canon. (I'm glad you liked it, though!)
Re: Part 2/2
Oh, I liked this so much. I love the edges between June and Kate, and I love the way June offers help, but never condescends, along with the grace and compassion she shows. And, oh Kate, my prickly, closed off darling.
Re: Part 2/2
Thank you! :) I don't think I would've thought of writing these two together, but they're fun, as it turns out.
Re: Part 2/2
I love that Kate lifted the wallet—and then sent it back with the card. I feel for Kate, and for Neal. I can't help thinking that things could have been quite different with a little more trust in the right people!