The first time Peter put the tracker on him; Peter himself, not one of his minions, Neal almost didn't catch the glint in his eye, almost didn't notice the way his thumb flickered across Neal's skin, his fingers tightening around Neal's ankle.
Thing is, Neal doesn't really miss much, and that was a good thing to know, good thing to keep in mind and work out how to gain something from it.
He didn't quite expect gaining this, but hey, Neal Caffrey, gift horses, and all that jazz.
He didn't know it then, not consciously, but the whole thing was kind of inevitable, a little bit like gravity if gravity was a really fucked up thing that pulled and pushed and twisted with distrust one moment and the complete and utter acceptance a second later.
It's like this now: Peter's fingers are well practiced in the fastening of the anklet, familiar with the touch of Neal's skin.
"You think it's the last time?" Neal asks, stretched lazily on the bed, and Peter looks up, thinking the question over.
It's Peter who puts the tracker on him now, always Peter, and Neal supposes it's a very good thing, there's a certain Pavlovian response he seems to have developed and it would be slightly embarrassing to explain to, say, Jones.
"I don't know," Peter mutters finally, his hand moving absently up Neal's calf… or maybe not that absently, Peter has great reserves of hidden sneakiness, it's part of his charm, really. "You still have a month on your sentence; we can catch two or three cases during that time, there's still chance you can go undercover."
Peter's moves are deliberate now, his fingers tracing the inner seam of Neal's jeans. And yes, Neal Caffrey is wearing jeans, let's all get over this; he wouldn't, if it wasn't for the case and the persona and he wouldn't still if not for the glances Peter kept stealing at Neal's ass for the whole day when he thought no one was looking.
Neal shifts, just to grant Peter a slightly better access, and smiles. "You know, after the first fifty or so times I didn't run… you guys might have clued in I wasn't going to."
"There's still protocol," Peter mutters. "And maybe I just like it on you."
"I have no doubts about that," Neal says pleasantly, finding it just a tad difficult to keep his voice even and his smile full of polite cheer when Peter's hand travels to where it does. "What was it you said that first time? Something about four years," he frowns, pretending to not be able to recall the exact words. Peter probably sees right through this, he has learned to read Neal pretty damn well.
"For for years," Peter agrees, agonizingly slowly sliding down the zipper of Neal's jeans. "I own you for four years."
Neal's hips buckle into the touch, and fuck, if you told him four years ago he would get off on this, he would have laughed at you… well, no, maybe he wouldn't, because he would start and then he would think of Peter and the way he clicked the handcuffs around Neal's wrists when he arrested him (both times) and how under the wholly expected smugness there was some surprising tenderness, some regret that this was how they would meet (and again).
"I think I like this side of you, Peter," Neal says, his drawl set just right, the same way he says it when Peter pulls off a stunt that shows how amazingly fantastic he would be if he stepped away from the bad suits of the agency.
But Peter also seems to love the bad suits, and Neal came to enjoy working for the system instead of against it; the tightrope act of playing to his strengths while staying on the legal side of the whole thing is almost as fun as his previous endeavors. Sometimes more.
"You just like my hand on your dick," Peter mutters.
"Yeah, that too," Neal agrees readily, stretching, arms above his head as he pointedly holds onto the headboard without being told. He's good at this game too, and Peter eyes are wide and clouded, his lips parched as he licks them. Good, like that, Neal thinks. "And you just like me to have the constant reminder on me. And you like to know where I am, every second."
Peter doesn't deny that part, but his fingers tighten around Neal's cock, stroking slowly, too slowly, and it just makes Neal slightly less coherent. Not that he would let that stop him from talking, that probably won't ever happen and they both know that.
"You know, I used to wonder sometimes, late at night in my bed, if you were looking at that GPS tracking page, happy to know I stayed home like a good boy," he says, as mockingly as he can manage while his brain is slowly melting in times with Peter's strokes, that seem to match the heavy rhythm of his breathing.
"Maybe occasionally," Peter admits with a small shrug.
"Did you jerk off?"
"To the GPS page? No, Neal, I didn't jerk off to the GPS page."
It startles a laugh out of Neal, turning into a groan as Peter leans in, his lips and his tongue and his teeth on Neal's neck, and it's gonna leave a mark, high enough Neal won't hide it under his collar, won't want to. And Cruz will make fun of him and Jones will smirk and Peter; Peter will brush his hand across the small of Neal's back as they walk out of the elevator, lingering just a moment too long.
"It begs a question, fuck, Peter," he gasps as Peter straddles his hips, his pants open now as he rubs their cocks together, and Neal almost loses his train of thoughts. Almost. "What did you jerk off to?"
"You want a list?" Peter asks, sounding way too coherent for the situation, but then this had always been Peter's strongest suit. Hah, suit. "You," he says, and it comes out much too serious now, and his gaze bores into Neal with too much intensity to handle just yet. "You, like this. Coming for me."
And heaven help him, Neal does. Because Peter's words are just half of what his eyes are saying and holy fuck. And it's hard to keep his eyes open but it's worth the effort, because he can see Peter come undone too.
Then later, once his breathing is steady again, once the ringing in his ears has passed, Neal will turn to Peter and not really look at him, and ask. "Next month. After my sentence is over," he says, and it doesn't sound like a question but it is one.
Neal can't promise he won't run the second the deal is over, the second he's free again. And he might run precisely because he doesn't want to, just because the anklet isn't at all what keeps him here.
"I'll just have to find a different way to keep an eye on you," Peter mutters, his eyes closed when Neal finally does look up. His voice is light but the hand on Neal's hip is heavy and yet, reassuring.
And maybe Neal will run and maybe he won't, and right now, he's worn out in the best of ways and he stretches into the warmth of Peter's skin and doesn't mind the lazy feeling of not wanting to ever move again.