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Fic: Rogers Take Care of Their Friends

Rogers Take Care of Their Friends
Summary: a White Collar outsider POV on the Roger’s Verse (Castle/Captain America/Avengers cross).


Peter Burke was not happy.

Someone had used a fire to cover up an embezzlement and the only witness of the arsonists was somewhere in this government building across the street.  Peter wasn’t even sure what branch of the government used this building.  All Peter knew was that they had enough pull to stonewall even Hughes.  Speaking of Hughes, Agent Coulson reminded Peter of him.  Coulson had the poise, authority and nerves of steel of someone very close to the top of the heap.  He had no problem telling Peter ‘no.’  He wasn’t even pretending to be sorry. He controlled the meeting every minute with a bland calm that was deliberately infuriating and Peter couldn’t shake him.  Coulson couldn’t get Peter to lose his temper either, so that was a win, or at least a well-earned tie.  Coulson hadn’t even bothered to bring Peter through the security and up to his office, no, he kept Peter standing in the lobby.

A well-muscled man in Army fatigues spotted Peter arguing with Agent Coulson on his way into the building.  He was sidetracked by the scene Peter was creating.  “Police?” Peter mentally categorized him as tall, blond and asking hopefully.

“Captain,” Agent Bland tried to warn him off.

“Are you here about the arson?”

And suddenly, Captain Blond has Peter’s full attention.  “Special Agent Peter Burke, FBI.  I’m here in response to an arson tip.”

“That’s me.  Captain Steve Rogers,” the captain answered with a smile so large and guile-less, Neal wishes he could do the same.  “I called it in.  Do you need to debrief me?”

“I’d like to interview you, yes.”

“I need to get my sketchbook.”  Captain Blond looked at Coulson.  “I’ll meet with the agent in conference room thirteen?  In ten minutes?”

Agent Coulson relented faced with Captain Blond’s hopeful look.  Peter could relate; he didn’t say ‘no’ to Neal nearly enough.  Part of Peter wondered why this hardened, experienced agent was such a pushover for an Army captain.  Peter was missing something in the dynamic.  Coulson finally escorted Peter through all of the security protocols and confiscated his weapon for the duration of his visit.

Conference Room 13 was a bland as expected and resembled an interrogation room, complete with a one way mirror and multiple cameras and microphones.  Peter was honored that they thought he could be trouble.

And infinitely glad that he had left Neal at the office.  The thief would look at this set-up as a challenge to be conquered.

Coulson was silent until Captain Rogers returned.  “The Captain can never go on the witness stand,” he announced.

“But…” Peter and the captain protested in unison.

Agent Coulson lifted an eyebrow.  “What is the likelihood of a mission during a court case?”

The captain looked sheepish and apologetic.  “He’s correct.”  He flipped his sketchbook open and tore out four sheets.  “This is what the three I saw looked like.  There had to be a fourth, a spotter but I never saw him.  And this shows how they entered the building.  I didn’t realize anything was happening until five minutes later, the fire alarms ringing.”

The sketches appeared realistic but were they accurate?  Peter didn’t recognize any of the arsonists and he had been expecting a certain face to appear.

“How good are you?”

Steve grinned, turned his back on Peter and put a pencil to his paper.  Peter was nosey enough to look over Steve’s shoulder as he drew.  He watched his own face being revealed.  Steve never glanced at him to double check his work.  Peter could believe that this artist could accurately draw suspects after a glance in their direction.

Then Steve flipped the page and drew a cartoon of a determined German Shepherd sitting at a long-suffering agent’s feet.  It was Peter… and Coulson.  There were worse things Steve could call him.

Peter was laughing when he told the Captain, “That’s good enough for me.  I’ll take the portraits you drew.”

Steve cheerfully handed Peter all of the pertinent pages of his sketchbook.  Peter now had a pretty good representation of his suspects.

“Can I have mine too?” he asked after a moment.

“Both of them?”

“Yeah.  My team and my wife will get a kick out of it.”



Coulson’s sour expression was tinged with envy and sudden Peter added the shadowy government agency to the alien attack and the reports of eyewitnesses and his lack of availability for a trial and Coulson relenting to Captain Steve Roger who was an artist the same as Captain America had been an artist.

“Are you Captain America?” Peter asked.

Captain Rogers (America!) shrugged a bit.  “Yes.”

Peter had put it all together but still… Captain America!  He had owned all of the comic books as a kid.  “It’s an honor to meet you, sir.”

“I’ll escort you out,” Coulson stated.  “The Captain has duties.”

Rogers looked like he wanted to defy the senior agent, but couldn’t think up a good reason.

Peter could.  He handed Captain Rogers (America! And he was not getting over that anytime soon) his card.  “If you think of anything else that might help the case, please don’t hesitate to call.”

“I won’t.”


“So did you get anything out of SHIELD?” Diane asked.

“Is that who owns that building?” Peter asked back at her. It would have been useful information when walking into the high security setting.

“According to my sources.”

“I’m pretty sure your sources are correct, if a little tardy.”

She grinned.  They both knew how these things worked.  “Did you get anything out of SHIELD?”

“I got the descriptions of our suspects but a witness that can’t go on the stand, so we’ll have to link them to the crime some other way.”

“A special agent always out of the country?”

“I think it’s worse: an Army captain that’s kept busy by both SHIELD and the Pentagon.”  Peter was spending too much time with Neal if he could lie this well and Diane not catch it.

The female agent just shook her head and winced.  They couldn’t fight SHIELD on this matter.  The rest of the team accepted the news with the same speed, but they all appreciated having three suspects to keep their eyes on.  Each one closely examined Roger’s sketches and Jones would take them down to the IT department to see if they could get a match.

“What’s that?” Neal, of course, saw the tiny corner of the paper Peter was trying to hide.

“Nothing.”  Which sparked Jones and Diane’s attention.

“Aw, come on, Boss,” Diane cajoled. “Share with us.”

Peter sighed petulantly but still enjoyed showing off the cartoon of himself and Coulson.  “The artist found me arguing with the SHIELD hierarchy amusing.”

The team laughed.  “That’s well done,” Neal acknowledged.  “You should frame it.  The style… it reminds me of the 1940 advertisements.  What’s the artist’s training?”

“No training,” Peter told them blithely.  “But he’s well versed in WWII.”


About a quarter of all calls to Peter’s cell phone were from an unrecognizable number, but he handed out his business card a couple times per case, so he always answered, no matter the time of day or night that they called.

So a call at six in the morning was annoying, but answered cheerfully.

“Agent Burke?  This is Captain Rogers.  I was wondering how your case was progressing.”  And Captain America was instantly forgiven for calling too early in the morning. Peter was pretty sure that Coulson had the same reaction to the certified hero.

“Your sketches were a ninety-four, a ninety-two, and an eight-five percent match with the suspects.  Congratulations.  That is very impressive.  If you can do that based off of other people’s descriptions and eyewitness accounts, you’d be an excellent sketch artist for law enforcement.”

“That sounds like an interesting job,” Rogers mused.  “Maybe when I retire from the field.”

“Just offering other options,” Peter said like he wasn’t feeling vindictive against SHIELD.  “Speaking of… when was the last time you had a home cooked meal?  My wife is a wonderful cook, she’s a professional caterer… and she didn’t believe me when I said that I met you.  Would you like to come over for dinner?”

“I’d like that.  I’d like that a lot.  I’m free tonight.”

El was going to kill Peter.  She was arriving at the airport at three in the afternoon.  Peter wasn’t even home to start a pot roast.  It was going to be all on her.  “Sounds perfect.  Do you need directions to my house?”

“No.  Coulson delivered your file to my desk a week ago.  I think I have a friend that will drop me off.”

Peter really wanted to know what was in that file.  “How does seven sound?”

“Seven will be perfect.  I’ll call if I’m sent out.”

“Then we’ll plan on seeing you at seven.”


Peter managed to get off work and home by six, a shear miracle.  El had the house spotless and dinner cooking in the oven.  She wasn’t even too upset.

“He’s really Captain America?” she asked again.

Peter understood her disbelief.  “Yep.”  He moved from his sentry position at the window to wrap her in a hug.  “He’s a nice guy and really easy to talk to.  And that’s not hero worship talking.”

El laughed at him and let him return to his place spying on the street.  At six-fifty-eight, a red-headed woman dropped Steve Rogers off in front of their townhouse.  “He’s here,” he hissed.

El primped one last time and Peter answered the door just as Steve knocked.  “Welcome!”

Steve smiled at them and offered the bottle of wine.  “Thank you for having me.  This is for you.”

El took the bottle and her eyebrows raised at the vintage.

“Natasha assured me that it would go with whatever you prepared.”

“It’ll be perfect,” El told him.

Sachmo greeted their visitor as enthusiastically as always and Peter was horrified that he had forgotten to pen the dog outside.

Steve knelt to pet Sachmo and never winced at the dog hair that brushed onto his clothes.  He obviously enjoyed the pet and it relaxed the atmosphere.  “What’s his name?”


“That’s interesting.”

The conversation just flowed from there.  As Peter had promised, Steve was easy to talk to and a delightful guest.  And that was before Steve broached a new subject cautiously.  “Peter said that you’re a caterer.  I might be able to send some work your way if you’re interested.”

“I’m always interested in new possibilities,” El told him.

“Richard Castle wrote my biography, SHIELD printed it, but is holding out for a most opportune time.  SHIELD treats public relations as yet another battlefield.”

El looked a bit confused, but Peter was familiar with the mindset.  “They are waiting for the time that will give them the best PR, or the time when they most need a distraction.”

Steve nodded.  “Richard wants to have a book signing party like he has had for the rest of his books even though he’s been told time and time again that fiction and non-fiction book releases are completely different.  So he needs a caterer who can plan at the drop of a hat and is cleared to know about the subject matter and can work around SHIELD security.”

Peter grinned.  “And since obviously El can plan this in one night and she already knows the secret, she’s perfect.”

“Hun, there’s more than just food for a successful event, one must have the venue…”

Since El had trailed off, Steve added (not interrupted).  “If you mean ‘place’ than you can use Richard’s bar, ‘The Old Haunt.’  He was planning on having it there anyway.”

“There you have it,” Peter gloated.

“And if you do an impressive job, I’m sure Pepper would notice.”  Steve was trying to entice her.

“Pepper?” El echoed politely.

“Ms. Potts,” Steve corrected himself.  “Pepper and Tony are a couple and Tony’s been challenging Richard about who throws the better party.  He’d crash the book signing whether or not he’s invited and Richard might not invite him just so he has to crash the party.”

“As in the CEO of Stark Industries?” El breathed.  Peter might have detected a bit of hero worship there.

Steve nodded.  “Pepper’s really swell.”

Peter shook his head at the social circles that Steve Rogers travelled and yet the man was perfectly at home, if not a little awed, to be in the Burke townhouse.

“So will you do it?” Steve asked hopefully.

“Shouldn’t this be decided by Mr. Castle?”

“Richard will be happy to take my suggestion.”

“If Mr. Castle agrees,” El conditioned, “I’d be delighted to plan a book release and signing.”

Steve’s smile lit up the room.


Two months later, Peter wasn’t exactly subtle when he walked into the office carrying a garment bag, but then he wasn’t trying to be.  His team noticed, of course.

“El has an event tonight?” Diane surmised.

“Yep and my attendance is required,” Peter added.  It wasn’t that unusual.  It was dependent on Peter’s case load and whether or not El thought that some unofficial security would come in handy.

“We’ll make sure to get you out on time,” Jones promised.

“Thanks, El has been planning this for months.”

Diane winced.  “And then Richard Castle announces out of the blue that he wrote Captain America’s biography and is having a book release party tonight –with the subject of his book.  Captain America is going to mingle with his guests.  I hope El’s intended clientele doesn’t cross with Castle’s.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, is scrambling for an invite to Castle’s.  Even me,” she confessed with a wry smile.  “I might have a lead.  Christie’s a huge Castle fan and has been to most of his releases.”

“You going to share?” Jones asked her.

“Nope.  Christie is going to get us in.”

Peter shrugged.  “El asked for support for tonight, so I’ll be by her side.”

“Aha,” Jones understood.

Peter noticed Neal in the doorway.  He was quiet –which meant that he was up to trouble- and didn’t volunteer to do anything for El.  His expression was sympathetic though.  “I’m sure you’ll give her the perfect support,” Neal offered.

Peter smirked.  “I’ll try.”

The day dragged by while the team chased numbers and shell companies.  Neal was antsy though he tried to hide it.  By five o’clock, Peter had had enough.  Peter sent his team home, to pick up the trail tomorrow.  Neal sped out of the office, Diane not far behind.  Peter returned to his office, closed the blinds and changed into his new suit that El had had tailored for him.

Jones was waiting for him and handed him a thirty dollars.

“What’s this for?” Peter asked.

“I want you to buy me Castle’s book and get it signed, by both Castle and Captain America.”

“How did you know?”

“I know you, Peter.  You’ve studied WWII and Captain America specifically.  You stop and read the tabloids when they mention him, but you never once complained that you have to be with El tonight instead of trolling your contacts to get into the book release.  And that is a new suit that El picked out.”

Peter adjusted the lapels.  It was a very good suit, one that even Neal would approve.  “It’s a good thing that Neal didn’t snoop or he’d get suspicious as well.”

“Do you want to take bets on whether or not you’ll see him there?”

Peter shook his head, “I better not… though The Old Haunt is within his radius.  SHIELD’s taking care of security and I’ve met some of those agents.”

Jones winced at the thought.  “You might be visiting Neal and Mozzie in jail tomorrow.”

“Ah, hell.”

“I’ll keep my phone on and if you need someone to drive them away, call,” Jones promised.

Peter finally pocketed the Jones’ cash.  “Let’s hope that I don’t have to take you up on that.”


Peter had heard several things about Richard Castle from his wife, Steve and just general gossip, and so wasn’t sure how Castle would react to people like Peter who came to chat with Captain America and not the author.  From all appearances, Richard delighted in Steve’s spotlight and handled it much better the self-contained Army man.  El had set up two chairs at the signing table, one for Richard and one for Steve.  The author teased the readers that skipped him to fawn over the hero.  He was also skillful at detecting when the crowds were overwhelming and extracting Steve from the situation.  He would send Steve to his daughter or his mother or to one of Steve’s co-workers.  Once Richard realized that Peter had previously worked with Steve, he became another social escape route.

After getting books signed for himself, Jones and Christie (Diane hadn’t shown yet so her lead must have fallen through), Peter found himself people watching.  He wanted to find a corner and read; the blurbs of Castle’s book made it tempting, not to mention Roger’s art scattered within.  Peter wasn’t truly part of security since Steve’s friends had that well in hand, but he was too well trained to ignore this many people.

He chatted with a couple truly vapid people that wasted his time and two people that he dearly wanted to arrest.  Then he talked with Detective Kate Beckett.  She agreed that both of his suspects were suspects and they joked about possible crimes that the strangers had committed, each one more outlandish than the last.  When the conversation turned to how they had received their invites to the most exclusive party in town, Peter found out that the detective was Richard Castle’s Nikki Heat muse.  Beckett pointed out her captain and two other detectives for whom Castle had reserved invitations.  Peter figured that if Castle collected friends like the detectives, he had to have more positive attributes than simply being a talented author.

Steve’s redheaded SHIELD driver (Pepper called her ‘Natalie,’ Steve called her ‘Natasha,’ she introduced herself to Peter as ‘Agent Romanov’ and Stark –he found out later- called her a lot of off the wall names) approached Peter as he excused himself from Detective Beckett.  “Your CI’s are attempting to crash the party from the service entrance.  I think you’d rather take care of it than I.  They are twenty minutes from the door.”

Peter sighed and pulled out his phone to text Jones.  Jones’ texted response was not appropriate for a federal officer.  Then he stationed himself at the thieves’ most likely path and waited.

Exactly twenty minutes later, he heard a familiar voice say, “I absolutely can’t get caught.”

“We won’t. I’ve got a foolproof plan…” Peter watched as the security teams ignored the pair pretending to belong.  “See, I told you we wouldn’t have any trouble.”

“Gentlemen,” Peter rumbled, “and I mean it in the loosest of definitions.”

Neal and Mozzie froze.  They turned around with matching conmen grins.  “Hi, Suit,” Mozzie said.  “Imagine running into you here.”

“Yes,” Neal followed the line of thought.  “Aren’t you supposed to be El’s escort at her…”  Neal had obviously set eyes on some of El’s employees over Peter’s shoulder.

“You were saying,” Peter prompted.

Neal immediately took on a hurt/betrayed attitude that left Peter feeling not a bit guilty.  He was immune.  “I can’t believe that you knew that El had this job and you didn’t tell me… or anyone.”

“You two were not invited.”

“But since we’re here…” Mozzie said cheerfully, “we might as well stay, right?”

“Absolutely not.  You see, SHIELD is in charge of security and they know who you are and they know that you attempted to circumvent their teams but out of deference to El, they are allowing me to evict you.”

“But you can take your time evicting us,” Neal suggested.

“No.  You are leaving.”  Peter grabbed the nearest arm of both thieves and took two steps toward the door.


“Now.”  Peter checked his phone, releasing Neal.  “Jones is on his way and you two will be waiting for him on the service steps.”

“We have enough time to get an autographed copy of the book,” Neal pressed and tried to slide past.  Peter stood in his way.

“Or ask the so-called Captain America some pointed questions,” Mozzie added.  And why was Peter not surprised that the conspiracy theorist thought Steve was a fake?

“He’s the real deal,” Peter told the pair of conmen.

“You’re a Suit,” Mozzie argued.  “You have to believe the party line.”

“I’ve asked him his history, Mozzie.  He’s the real deal.”

“They say he was an artist,” Neal distracted.  He was actually standing on his tiptoes to sneak a peak.

“He is an artist.  A talented one at both realistic representation and his own cartoon style.”

“How would you know,” Mozzie challenged, “unless you’ve witnessed him create a piece of art with your own eyes.  Anyone could claim to create anything.”

Neal had figured it out.  “He’s our witness from a couple weeks ago?  The artistic Army special ops officer that rendered the portraits of our suspects but can’t be relied upon for attending a trial.  You interviewed Captain America and didn’t tell us?”

“Really?” Mozzie looked crafty.  “Mr. Suit, how did you get from interviewing Captain America to landing your wife the biggest job of her career?  Which she is handling exceedingly well, of course.  I approve that kind of nepotism.”

“I didn’t land El any job.  She did it on her own.”

“But you had to introduce Captain America to the Mrs. Suit.”

“You had him over for dinner?!  Didn’t you?” Neal was horribly offended.  “And didn’t invite me?”

“You didn’t pass a SHIELD background check.  I did.”  Once again, Peter pushed the pair toward the exit.

“But you could have said something,” Neal complained.  “I could have dropped by.”

“There was a reason I passed the security check.  I know how to keep my mouth shut.”

Neal tried to slide around Peter again and this time was blocked by a stunning redhead.  He pulled out his charming, flirtatious grin and Peter knew he had to put a stop to the situation, post haste.

“Agent Romanov,” he addressed her for the thieves’ benefit.

“Agent Burke, they haven’t left yet.”

“They just need a little more persuasion.  I’m betting that you did a background on all of my associates… and their associates.  Any chance you found some aliases not in my files?”

Romanov looked mildly impressed.  “In fact, we did.”

Neal raised his hands in surrender.  “Okay, fine, we’ll leave and talk about this later.”

“Good.”  Peter checked his phone again.  “And to make sure you don’t get turned around, Jones is in a car just outside that door, ready to take you to June’s.  You three can play cards all night.  ”

“Peter,” Neal argued.

Peter just smiled at the SHIELD agent.  “So I know about Nick Halden.  Anyone else he used doing a con?”

“We’re going,” Neal said and Mozzie looked eager to be gone as well.  They turned around and walked quickly to the door.  Peter dogged them every step of the way so that they wouldn’t become… diverted.  He went so far as to open the car doors for Neal and Mozzie and tap the top of the car, indicating that Jones should drive away.  Once his CI’s were safely away, Peter returned to the party and found Beckett again.  The two traded stories of dealing with their civilian ‘help.’  Her stories were just as crazy as his.  He was laughing and actually enjoying spending time with members of the police department.  The party ran down, finally.  (And holy cow! Tony Stark arriving four hours after it had started certainly revitalized the festivities.  As Steve had hinted, Pepper Potts had been pleased with El’s work and had contracted her for two events, more if those went as planned.  One woman had just lifted Burke Events to the next level.)  Peter knew enough to stay out of El’s way while she was cleaning up.  She would call for him when she needed help carrying things out.  She and her team had a system that he would only slow down.

Steve found him trying to hide in a corner, far from the SHIELD agents but close to his wife.  “I have something for you,” he said.  He handed Peter a beautiful portrait of himself and his lovely wife.  Peter stared at the sketch for several moments.

“Thank you.  This is beautiful.”

Steve grinned and handed him a second sketch.  This one was more like the previous cartoon he had gifted Peter and the FBI agent burst out laughing.  He was going to have to share this one.


The next morning, Peter carried in the pair of books and a folder.  “Conference room,” he announced to his team.  They followed him without argument.  Neal was still pouting over getting tossed from the party.

Diane opened her book to the first page and smiled when she saw a signed inscription to her girlfriend.  “Thanks boss, this will cheer Christie up.”

“I didn’t see you, so I figured tickets were too well controlled.”

“Yes, SHIELD did,” she agreed.

Peter slid the second book to Jones, who accepted it with a smile.  “Good party, I hear.”

“More interesting than normal,” Peter admitted.  He slid the last gift Neal’s way.

“Really Peter?” Neal complained as he held his hand out to stop the sliding file folder.  “They get signed copies of the New York Times Best Seller and I get a new case?”

“Open the folder, Neal,” Peter chided.

Neal, sensing that Peter wouldn’t be that unfair, opened the folder.  He looked from the single sketch within to Peter and back.  “Is this…?”

“A Captain America original cartoon?  Yes.”

Neal was careful to not let any oils from his fingertips transfer onto the drawing paper.

“Well,” Jones said.  “What is it of?”

Neal shifted the folder so the others could see.  Peter grinned widely.  Neal was pretty happy too considering that Steve had drawn the back of Peter as he was trying to usher two cats a certain direction.  One cat had a jaunty hat and the other one had an ascot.  A Siberian tiger was laying in wait.

“What’s with the tiger,” Diane asked.

Peter grinned.  “That would be Steve’s teammate, Agent Romanov.  Neal was almost a cat toy.”  Neal would have made a slightly off-color comment about possible fun, but he knew that the tiger wasn’t the type to leave survivors.

“And now, people, we need to get back to our case.”


Neal had seen the frame sketches on the Burke’s mantle, both the serious ones of Peter, Peter and El and then the funny one of Peter as a German Shepherd annoying the SHIELD agent.  The artist in Neal quailed at the uneven presentation.  With only a little detective work, Neal found the framers El had used and had his sketch framed the same way.  He let himself into the Burke home with the key he had –ahem- acquired and corrected Peter’s mantle.  When El called to thank Neal, the thief assured her that they had gotten a copy of his.  A lie, but a harmless one.  Neal had made himself and Mozzie a copy of the cartoon, but the original belonged on display in the Burke household not hidden in one of his vaults.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
Aw, what a warm-hearted addition to the 'verse. *draws hearts around the fic*
Oct. 3rd, 2013 01:53 am (UTC)
Aw. Thanks. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
Sep. 30th, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)
Wonderful addition. And I do like 3rd party POVs. :)

Hmmm, now that El caters SI events we can hope to see more? I am just imagining Mozzie's reaction to Thor. :P
Oct. 3rd, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
oh. uhm. now you've got me thinking about it.
Sep. 30th, 2013 08:00 pm (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
Thank you.
Oct. 1st, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
Lovely to see Peter and El (and Peter's team, including Neal and sort-of Mozzie) interacting with Captain America's world, and to see how well Castle's autobiography of Steve seems to be doing.

I do hope that Agent Coulson got his OWN Captain Rogers original cartoon to keep, at some point, since it must have been hard for him to let Peter have that first one all to himself. :)
Oct. 3rd, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Coulson with an original art? Now you've poked the muse.
Oct. 3rd, 2013 03:58 am (UTC)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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