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15 September 2014 @ 05:00 pm
Meme: DVD Commentary  
Joining in on the fun with elrhiarhodan, angelita26 and embroiderama.

Go to my Masterlist (or AO3 page) and pick a passage from my stories, up to 500 words, and comment to this post with that selection (including a link to the story being excerpted will be very helpful). Alternatively, you can randomly pick a number from 1 to 27, my fic as numbered my AO3 account page. Be advised my AO3 is missing some of the fic you can find on my LJ Masterlist.

I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the story, awful puns [perhaps], and anything else that you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track. You can ask me anything - character motivation, writing process, or if you disagree with the direction I took in a story, ask me to defend it.
elrhiarhodanelrhiarhodan on September 16th, 2014 12:14 am (UTC)
Oooh, can I have some commentary on #13?
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 17th, 2014 02:26 am (UTC)
#13! Assuming I didn't count wrong, that's At the Closing of the Year.

Someone, you know who you are, writes this amazing historical AU that is so rich and well-developed. It inspired me to give it a whirl for a time period and place I'm a bit more familiar with.

I knew right away that NYC should be the place, and after thinking on it for a bit, I decided that that period of time when the police department was first forming would be really interesting for a variety of reasons including the opportunity to make Peter one of the first Copper Stars with a beat around the infamous Five Points. There's lots of possibility in that. And, Neal, well who better to play the role of Irish rogue with all sorts of not so legal skills.

I really do have plans to write a larger story, with a case to solve and with other WC characters added to the mix, including Keller who of course will play the role of and Irish gang leader and Neal's rival.
elrhiarhodanelrhiarhodan on September 17th, 2014 12:54 pm (UTC)
I really had no clue that I'd be so lucky to pick a story you wrote for me. And one of my favorites.

I so do hope that maybe I'll get another snippet around the holidays.

Thank you!
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 18th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
Maybe not the holidays, but eventually I WILL write this fic.
angelita26: Neal Sleep Couchangelita26 on September 16th, 2014 12:48 am (UTC)
Your first story! Tell me all about it :D

Story: Under the Weather

Passage: It was a dark and stormy night.

Neal groaned and rolled over onto his back breathing roughly through his mouth. He wasn’t sure whether it was the thunder and lightning that had awoken him or the nauseated feeling growing in his stomach. He cursed softly which turned into a cough, which made his nausea escalate even further.

He wanted to curl up into a ball and go back to sleep. But lying on his side was making him feel worse instead of better and his body was too tense to let him drift back into sleep.

He scooted up slightly against his headboard, bunching the pillows up under this shoulders and head and then slowly pulled his knees up so that his feet were flat on the bed. The position was less stressful on his aching back and afforded him a view out the balcony doors to the late summer storm raging outside.

The thunder was intense enough that he could feel it vibrating through his bed. The flashes of lightening were brilliant, illuminating his entire apartment in an eerie white glow for their duration.

Neal tried to let the weather distract him as he breathed slowly through his nose struggling to keep his nausea at bay and his headache to a dull throb. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working very well.

He hated throwing up, the horrible burning taste in his throat and mouth, the painful clench in his stomach, the tender feeling left over in his ribs. For as long as he could remember it had always been his philosophy to do whatever he could to hold off the inevitable in the hope that his nausea would simply dissipate and leave him be.

Feeling overheated, he pushed his covers carefully off to the side trying not the jar his sensitive stomach. Two minutes later, goose pimples rose on his arms and his body began shivering from the chill that ran through him. He tried to grab for his discarded blanket but in his weakened state he overbalanced and tumbled to his side jarring his belly beyond its capacity to recover.

He pulled himself out of the bed as quickly as he could, lurched through his apartment from the bed to the wall, to the dining table to the hallway door to the bathroom swallowing convulsively the entire distance.

He managed to drop to his knees in front of the toilet just in time to completely lose control of the situation.
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 17th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
I wrote most of this on the airplane on the way home from meet up last November. Ivorysilk used her evil powers on me and convinced me to write two fics for that weekend. This one was in response to the command for sick!fic.

This was also written at the beginning end of season 5, when Neal and Peter were seriously not in the bromance. Neal was a puppet on a string because of the deal he had struck to save Peter and Peter was reeling from his time in prison and doing his best to distance himself from Neal. And, I kind of hated it.

I needed a moment where Peter gave Neal what he needed, acceptance. And, I also wanted to see Neal stressing over what happened to his very temporary handler. I knew Eastin wouldn't give me either of these things, so...
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf: White Collar - Peter & Nealembroiderama on September 16th, 2014 01:18 am (UTC)
From my beloved What Was Lost:

Peter had been hoping he could avoid actually talking to Neal. It was easier to pretend that he had pushed his feelings for his partner aside when he could avoid him altogether. But, it looked like that avoidance could only go so far.

Peter steeled himself, squared his shoulders and preceded Mozzie out of his office and down to Neal’s desk.

Neal was hunched over a detailed map of the subway system, including all of its adjacent service tunnels. He seemed focused, his brow furrowed, as he scanned the drawing in front of him. But Diana had been right, Neal was actually squinting and Peter could see even from where he was standing Neal’s hand where he ran it along the map was shaking.


Neal looked up startled by Peter’s voice. “Peter?”

“I think you should go home for the night. Get some sleep. You can start fresh tomorrow.” Peter said gently.

Neal just stared up at Peter, apparently speechless. “You want me to go?” He finally asked.

His face read pure rejection. Peter felt like a heel. He had barely spoken to Neal in more than a week and now he was telling him to leave. Of course he didn’t mean it the way Neal was talking it, but he couldn’t blame his partner for interpreting it that way.

Peter walked around the desk and squatted down so he could be eye level with Neal. Peter wanted so much to touch him, to reassure him, but he held back afraid of crossing the line he had drawn when El was abducted.

“No Neal, I don’t want you to go. But you’re exhausted and I could feel that headache you’ve got all the way up in my office. I want you to go home, rest and come back in the morning, okay?”

Neal still looked dejected but he slowly nodded in agreement.

“Mozzie’s going to take you home and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

[I picked this section because it feels like a bit of a crossroads, a moment when Peter could have given up on his avoiding-Neal thing but didn't.]
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 17th, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
This may be my favorite scene in the whole fic.

I wanted to show the tension between Peter's desire to be there for Neal and his discomfort with their relationship with Elizabeth missing. Peter absolutely loves Neal, but he needs to get El back and he can't help feeling that his feelings for Neal are something of a distraction from that goal. As if in this one instance he's being disloyal to his wife by spending any time with their lover.

I think this scene shows Peter's gentle concern and love for Neal, while also, like you pointed out, gives Peter an opportunity to end the estrangement that he doesn't take.

And, poor Neal is pretty sad and pathetic at this point in the story, which makes it that much more emotionally compelling for me when Peter can't give Neal what he needs.

a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelfembroiderama on September 18th, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC)
I think this scene shows Peter's gentle concern and love for Neal, while also, like you pointed out, gives Peter an opportunity to end the estrangement that he doesn't take.

And, poor Neal is pretty sad and pathetic at this point in the story, which makes it that much more emotionally compelling for me when Peter can't give Neal what he needs.

Yes! You definitely showed that with this scene--the push and pull inside of Peter and Neal's utter miserableness. ♥
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 18th, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
Awwww, thanks E!

If you're interested sapphire asked me about a different scene in this fic below, which I just responded to.
aragarnaaragarna on September 16th, 2014 03:10 pm (UTC)
I don't have a particular quote, but care to talk about Christmas Gifts?
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 18th, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
Christmas Gifts was written for some Advent fest last year.

I really like the dichotomy in Mozzie between the brilliant conman who lives for himself doing what and as he pleases and the orphaned boy, who still dreams of what it would be like to have parents.

His instant attachment to Theo was a chance to explore the orphaned boy a bit and see what he might do at the prospect of any family if not the one he was born to. His beloved Mozart was his one connection to that long lost family. Could it be a bridge to this potential new one? Could Moz give up the past to have a future?
aragarnaaragarna on September 18th, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC)
Could Moz give up the past to have a future?
oh I love this!

Thanks for sharing! Mozzie is such a great character. :-)
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 18th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
sapphire2309sapphire2309 on September 17th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
This is a piece from What Was Lost (part ii to be specific), and it's one of the stories by you that left me sobbing like a baby. How did you do it? It's still so heartbreaking, and if I reread the whole thing, I'm going to be a mess all over again.

Neal leaned in and kissed Peter lightly. “You have to let me go.” He breathed against Peter’s cheek.

“No, I don’t accept that. If you walk away from us now, Keller wins. I love you. Elizabeth loves you. I know I messed up. I know I wasn’t there for you when you needed me. I know I have no right to ask for your forgiveness or to expect you to stay after what I’ve done. But, I need you to. Elizabeth and I both need you to. Our lives haven’t been the same since you came along Neal and they never will be again. Don’t ask us to go back. Don’t ask us to pretend that we’re better off without you. It isn’t true. It could never be true.”

Peter put his hand on top of Neal’s where it still rested on his cheek. “Please,” he pleaded. “Stay with us.”

Neal closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Peter still loved him. Despite everything, the treasure, Keller, what had happened to Elizabeth, Peter still loved him, still wanted him. Neal felt the darkness that had held him like a vise ease. He looked up again. Peter’s face was partially in shadow but Neal could see Peter’s eyes shining brightly with sincerity and love.

“I can’t. Please understand, this is the best thing for all of us. You and Elizabeth, you’ll be fine. You have each other, you always will.”

Neal pulled his hand away and then gently pulled Peter’s arm from around his waist. “I love you Peter, you and Elizabeth. Kate died because I couldn’t protect her from my past. I only survived losing her because of the two of you. If something happens to either of you because of me...”

Neal shrugged and swiped at the tears running freely down down his face. “I’m sorry.”

Neal rose on unsteady legs and walked back into the house. Elizabeth turned from where she stood at the sink washing the dishes. She saw his red eyes and the tears marring his cheeks. “Neal?”

He smiled weakly at her. “Goodbye El.”

Neal kept moving through the house to the front door. His hand was shaking as he gripped the knob and pulled the door open. He hesitated briefly his heart warring with his head and then he was gone, out onto the street.

El found Peter still sitting on the lounger staring off into the darkness of the yard. He looked stunned and bereft. “Peter, Neal just walked out the front door. What happened?”

Peter swallowed back his grief and then slowly focussed on his wife. “I lost him El. I pushed him away. I made him feel responsible for Keller’s actions. He walked away to protect us.”
pooh_collectorpooh_collector on September 18th, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
Another favorite scene of mine from that story. Poor Neal and poor Peter.

This may be obvious, but for me the stories that I find connect with readers the best are the ones I connected very emotionally with during the writing process.

Ask me what makes a story one I connect with that deeply and I'll tell you I have no real idea. I know there are certain themes that help, like hurting Neal and self-sacrificial Neal, but I'm working on something now with those themes that isn't connecting in the same way that this story did.

Honestly I wish I knew what it was, so that I could bottle it and use it anytime I wrote a new fic.

This particular scene is interesting because it wasn't supposed to go this way. In my head this was going to be the final scene, where Neal and Peter reconciled and our happy ending came to be. But, Peter and Neal wouldn't let that happen. They decided that the fic needed an extra dose of angst and I was pretty much helpless. After everything he had been through, Neal couldn't let go of his guilt and Peter couldn't figure out how to reason with Neal's pain. So, the whole scene went astray and Neal walked away from the best thing in his life. And, then of course I had to flail around looking for a new ending. LOL.
sapphire2309sapphire2309 on September 19th, 2014 11:39 am (UTC)
My ability to connect with a story is usually tied to music. If I can feel it, people can feel it too, and music generally puts me in the right state of mind. Hope this helps somehow!

I'm so glad it went this way. The boys needed that time, and this part and the parts that came after this really hit me the hardest.

Edited at 2014-09-19 11:39 am (UTC)