hi sam. ^^ for fundraiser fic, i'm requesting that neal caffrey and peter burke meet steve. mostly for neal and steve discussing art and other cuteness.
FBI Agent Peter Burke seemed like a nice guy, and he wasn’t barking at Clint over jurisdiction, so Clint was inclined to be friendly.
“Look,” Burke said, clearly working on being patient, “You know we don’t need the Avengers on this, right? It’s uh. More…detective work than your…usual MO.”
Clint nodded. “Have you tried telling Captain America that?” he asked, gesturing to where Steve and Burke’s partner, a guy in a sharp suit named Caffrey, were chatting excitedly in front of an empty painting frame at the Met.
“I wouldn’t dare tell Captain America anything,” Burke admitted.
“Not when he’s like this, anyhow,” Clint said. “Just…let him tag along, you never know when you might need an art-loving sensitive kind of guy to punch someone through a wall.”
“I have always wanted to see that,” Burke admitted.
“So you met Picasso?” Neal asked, in a voice that was nearly a squeak.
“Yeah, while I was overseas. Nice guy, massive egomaniac. Damn, but I hate to see one of his go missing,” Steve said, looking up at the empty frame. “Think we’ll get it back?”
“Oh, sure,” Neal waved a hand dismissively. “I recognize this guy’s technique, I’m pretty sure I have the address somewhere of the storage unit he probably stashed it in. You like Picasso’s work?“
“Well, sorta. I like Magritte more.”
Neal made a soft noise. “Did you meet him?”
“Nah. But he’s got a quality, you know?”
Neal nodded. “Have you ever seen his photos?”
“Photos? No,” Steve said.
“Yeah, the Met’s got a bunch of his gelatin prints around here somewhere.” Neal grabbed Steve by the arm and dragged him to where his boss, Burke, was talking with Clint. “Peter, Steve and I have some really important investigation to do. He’s on the case with us, right?”
Clint looked amused. Burke looked like a dad considering letting his kid have a friend sleep over.
“Keep out of trouble,” Burke ordered.
“Come on, before he changes his mind,” Neal whispered, and led Steve off. “You’ll love the photos. Then we can steal back the painting and you can punch the thief if he tries to stop us.”
“I do like punching art thieves,” Steve agreed amiably.
Rescuing a Picasso was, it was true, not entirely within the realm of Avengers business. When it was stolen, however, Steve was appalled and personally offended, and he somehow wrangled permission from the FBI to work the case. Clint got sent along as his minder, which was okay, since it turned out one of the FBI guys had a friend named Mozzie who was the best entertainment ever.
Still, it wasn’t all laughs; what Neal thought would be an easy recovery turned south fast when it became evident that the thief, who had been a normal human being when Neal knew him, had joined Hydra sometime in the last few years and was starting a stockpile of “degenerate” art he was planning to publicly burn.
“You know, I genuinely did not expect supervillains,” Neal said, crouched behind a crate containing a priceless granite sculpture, which was currently being shot at by Hydra’s art division, for the love of God.
“THIS IS A BRANCUSI, YOU MONSTERS,” Steve yelled, and threw his shield. There were two grunts and a clang.
“As battle cries go, I’ve heard worse,” Neal allowed, as Steve stood up to catch the shield before crouching again. “How many more are there?”
“Goddamn Nazis and their goddamn art looting, does this look like a salt mine to you,” Steve muttered to himself. “There’s two more hiding behind what looks like a Klee nude in the corner.”
“Oh, that’s a fake,” Neal said.
“For sure?” Steve asked.
“Yep, painted it myself, I recognized it.”
“Good,” Steve said grimly, and threw the shield again. There was the sound of tearing canvas, then a gurgling scream. Steve put out an arm and caught the shield, then bounced to his feet.
“All clear,” he said to Neal, who stood and dusted himself off just as the roll door of the warehouse opened.
“Neal?” Peter called. “Captain Rogers?”
“All good here!” Neal said, as Steve stowed the shield on his back. “Just Nazi art loot.”
Peter looked around, sighed, and then said, in an aggrieved tone, “Again?”