Side note, I will bestow a fabulous made up title to anyone who provides some kind of mechanism for Sophie/Lauren Cruz. Imagine the show where Cruz has spent three years tracking down the infamous Sophie Deveraux, y'all. YEAH, I KNOW.
For a while, it all works out. There is an unspoken agreement that Caffrey and Hardison should be kept apart for the good of everyone, so Peter casually coordinates with Jones the days their respective cons come in, and although some overlap is unavoidable, with them meeting up once a month, they spend most of their brief moments together catching up.
But then an OPR agent shows up to make them account for their paperwork for a ten-year old case, and a twist no one could possibly have anticipated, turns out to be even less popular than Fowler. Murchison is an ass, both prone to thinking he's smarter than he is, and prone to letting people know he thinks they're stupid. It's all hands on deck for a while, as they try to work around Murchison, accommodate his interviews and demands for records, and get their caseload done at the same time. Jones brings in Hardison just to help him get his paperwork done, at first.
“Seriously? I can whip y'all up a nice voice transcription solution,” he offers, and Jones looks at Peter and Peter can read his look perfectly: because having everything around here recorded won't ever come back to bite them in the ass.
“Just type,” says Jones.
“This is degrading,” mutters Hardison.
“Are you allowing a felon access to evidence reports in ongoing investigations?” asks Murchison.
“Nope,” says Hardison, and his typing doesn't slow at all, which makes Peter a little jealous. Kid can do two hundred words per minute or something crazy. “It was plea-bargained down to a whole buncha misdemeanors.”
"Yes," says Jones, “because that is why he is in our custody. To lend his expertise.”
"How did White Collar end up the daycare program for petty criminals?" asks Murchison in disbelief, and Peter winces, because the elevator opened just as Murchison started speaking, and Neal definitely heard that.
“Petty?” asks Hardison. Jones covers his face. “Oh, you did not just say that.”
Neal strolls in casually. “Hey, Peter. I was thinking about the Nguyen files, can I talk to you?”
The Nguyen files are mortgage fraud, so Peter takes this for the lifeline it is, and takes Neal into his office. As soon as the door shuts, Neal says, “I slept with your wife.”
"What?" says Peter, in disbelief. “No, you didn't,” because no, Neal didn't.
“Well, no,” admits Neal. “But if you could act like you suspect I did, what I'm going to do next won't reflect on you as badly.”
Peter covers his face with his hands.
Monday, Murchison comes into work, and when he pulls his laptop out and opens it up, a lacey pair of women's underwear is lying on the keyboard.
“Booyah!” says Hardison, and twirls his chair around, completely blowing any appearance of innocence.
“Nice,” says Neal, appreciatively, and Peter can admit it's sort of impressive, since Murchison lugs around that laptop like it's carrying missile launch codes, to the point of taking it to the bathroom with him when he goes to piss.
“Jones,” says Peter, tiredly.
“I know,” Jones mumbles into the desk where he's resting his face.
“Wait'll you see what I've got,” says Neal.
Peter goes looking for a desk to put his face on.
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