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White Collar Fic: Peter vs. the Chipmunk

White Collar Fic:   Case File:  Peter vs. the Chipmunk
Author:  dennih23
Ratings:  G, for this prompt by  Sholio at The Collar Corner
Characters:  Peter Burke, Neal Caffrey, Elizabeth Burke
Spoilers:  Neighborhood Watch
Summary:  exactly what the title says
Wordcount: 2280

Disclaimer:  White Collar is owned by Jeff Eastin

Thanks to Rainey13 for the beta, all mistakes are mine.



Peter and Satchmo had just returned from their leisurely jog through the neighborhood. He walked into the kitchen to grab some water before heading upstairs to take his shower. Stepping into the kitchen he spotted his lovely wife sitting at the center isle staring intently at the pantry door. She was lost in thought as he came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her hugging her, “Something wrong Hon?”

Taking her eyes off the pantry door, she looked up at him, and kissed his cheek. Tilting her head toward the pantry she whispered, “I think we have an unwanted visitor.”

“What do you mean – an unwanted visitor?”

“This morning I was making coffee when I noticed something furry run into the pantry.  I didn’t get a good look, but Peter, do you think we have a mouse, or even a rat? I looked in the pantry and Satch’s dog food bag has a large hole in it.”

He let Satch outside and went over to the pantry and carefully opened the door. He didn’t see any movement, but there was dog food scattered around the floor and the bag definitely had a couple of holes in it. There definitely was an intruder in his home.

“It’s probably just a mouse that found a way into the house. I’ll stop at the store and pick up a couple of traps before coming home tonight. It should be caught by tomorrow morning. There’s nothing to worry about.”

                                       ________________________

That evening he set up the traps he purchased earlier in the day. Not knowing what kind of vermin was in his home, he had picked up some mouse traps and a small live trap. He set up the mouse traps using cheese and dog food as bait, than he set up the live trap using dog food.  After the traps were set he headed up to bed, figuring that in the morning their visitor would be caught.

During the night he woke up to the snap of a mouse trap, and grinned. He had caught whatever was pilfering the dog food. He was basking in his victory when he heard another trap snap shut – what the?   Did they have more then one pest in their home? He rolled out of bed to check the traps and see what he had captured.

He turned on the kitchen light, blinking at the sudden brightness, and then focused on the traps – the empty traps.  The dog food was gone, the traps snapped shut, and there was nothing in the traps. Smart little critter – this was going to be a challenge. He reset the traps and headed back upstairs. Before he even reached the top step he heard the live trap rattle. He turned back and looked in the kitchen, but everything was as he left it – the traps were empty. He headed back to bed, planning out his next move.

                             -----------------------------------------------------------

The next day Peter made a quick stop before leaving work. He decided to ‘borrow’ some surveillance equipment, than he would be able to see what he was after. Walking out with the box of paraphernalia Peter ran into Neal. He knew Neal would tease him if he found out why he was borrowing the equipment.

Peter moved past Neal, hoping to avoid conversation, but no luck. Neal had noticed what he had in the box.

“What’s up Peter – we catch a new case?”

“No, just checking out some equipment.”

“You’re checking out a lot of surveillance gear, are you sure you don’t want to tell me why?”

“Nope. Nothing here that concerns you.”

Neal studied Peter and cocked his head, “You’re being secretive Peter. Should I be worried – do I need to watch out for bugs in my apartment? Maybe I should have Moz sweep the place.”

Peter responded quickly, “No, of course not. Wait – are you planning something?” He gave his partner a quick study to see what Neal was up to. He made a mental note to watch Neal’s activities over the next few days.

Neal put forth his conman grin, “Peter, you know you can trust me. Now what’s up?”

He sighed knowing Neal would keep pursuing the issue until he found out what was going on. “Okay, if you really need to know – El saw something running through our kitchen, and it’s been eating Satch’s food.”

“Wow, and you’re going to bring down the weight of the FBI on the poor little guy.”

“This is exactly why I didn’t want to tell you.”

“Sorry Peter, I promise to behave. Let me apologize by helping you set this stuff up.”

“I’ll call El and tell her we’re coming. We can pick up something for dinner on the way.”

They picked up Thai food on the way to Peter’s house and had a relaxing dinner with Elizabeth. While Peter helped El with the dishes Neal unpacked the box of equipment. Together they set up the motion cameras making sure to aim them at the pantry and traps so they would get video of anything passing by. Then they went to work setting up the traps. It took some time, but finally everything was set up. Now it was just a matter of waiting for morning to see what exactly was in his home.

                         -------------------------------------------------------------

The next day was Saturday and Peter planned on sleeping in. The sound of the doorbell ringing woke him. He rolled over and checked the clock. It was 7am. He wondered who was intruding on his morning. Listening he heard El say good morning to Neal. He stretched and rolled out of bed, threw on his robe, and headed downstairs. Something might be wrong if Neal was at his home this early on a Saturday morning.

He found El and Neal sitting at the table, sipping coffee, and reviewing the night’s surveillance tapes.

“Good morning, Neal. Is something wrong? It’s only 7am on Saturday and yet here you are in my house.”

Neal smiled brightly, “Good morning to you too, Peter. I thought I would help you go through the video, see want kind of wild animal you have lurking in your home. I even brought you coffee, some of June’s Italian roast, and some Greatest Cake doughnuts.”

Peter smiled, the heavenly aroma of the coffee calling to him, he nudged Neal over and grabbed a cup. “What did you find?”

“El and haven’t been able to see anything clearly yet, but you definitely have something running around.  Wait, what was that?  Back up the video a little bit.”

There it was – a chipmunk scurried across the front of the camera. Now he knew what he was dealing with. Peter grabbed his laptop checking online for ways of capturing his prey.  There were lots of suggestions, and he opened up a random site, reading the instructions out loud.

The internet site suggested setting up a bucket of water. Then make a ramp using a plank for the chipmunk to climb. The site suggested filling the board with food to lure the chipmunk to the top of the bucket. The chipmunk falls into the bucket and drowns. He knew as soon as he finished reading it was a bad idea. Both El and Neal looked appalled.

Elizabeth spoke first, “Hon, you are not going to drown the cute little thing.”

Neal chimed in too, “Really Peter, there has to be a better way.”

He stood there his wife and partner looking back at him. The two sets of blue eyes pleading with him and he knew it was useless to argue. “Fine, I’ll go get a couple more live traps and catch him that way.  Let’s see what they like to eat.”  After a little more research he headed upstairs and got dressed. Than he and Neal went for more traps and bait.  Neal helped Peter set the traps that afternoon.

                              ---------------------------------------------------------------

He slept in a little later on Sunday, confident the chipmunk would be imprisoned. Waking up mid-morning he headed downstairs to find all the traps empty. The food in them gone and the traps were wide open.  Grabbing a cup of coffee he decided to review the video footage to see what went wrong. He remembered the doughnuts Neal brought the day before and went to get one. Opening the box he discovered the chipmunk had been there first. The box had a hole in it and some of the doughnuts had been nibbled on. A small trail of powdered sugar paw prints was leading away from the box. The chipmunk had been in his doughnuts!

He was grumbling to himself while watching the video when El entered the kitchen. She came up behind him and kissed his neck, “What’s wrong Hon?”

He was pouting, “Our houseguest ate the doughnut that I saved for breakfast.”

El tried hard not to laugh, “How about I get you a bowl of cereal instead?” She walked over to the pantry and picked up the box of Sugar O’s. The box had a hole in it. She walked over to Peter and shrugged, “I guess he likes Sugar O’s too.”

He sat, staring straight ahead, his cereal was a victim of the renegade chipmunk. He took a deep breath and gathered his thoughts. He quietly spoke, “This is personal now. First my dog’s food, then my doughnut, now my cereal – this is war.”

Peter drank his coffee and watched the tapes. He noticed how the chipmunk deftly bent over the top of the spring lever. This allowed it access to the food without setting off the trap.  He would have to set the traps to spring a little quicker, where less weight would set them off to snare his opponent.

That night he set the traps again thinking this time he had the chipmunk.

                                  ------------------------------------------------------

Peter was speechless on Monday morning. The traps were empty once again. Checking the video feed, he swore the little chipmunk was mocking him. The animal was looking right into the camera like he knew it was there. The chipmunk was sitting on top of the trap nibbling on the leftover doughnut Peter had used as bait.  El walked up behind him and hugged him.

He paused the video tape and looked up at her. “Look at him El, he’s mocking me, sitting there like he doesn’t have a care in the world. I think he’s smiling at me. Does he have blue eyes?  I swear if it was wearing a fedora his name would be Neal Caffrey.”

El laughed and continued to hug her husband, “In that case I don’t have to worry, you did catch Neal.”

Peter laughed and headed upstairs to get ready for work. Tonight he would set up the traps again.

He arrived at work to find Neal waiting for him, “So Peter, how goes the manhunt for the notorious dog food thief? Since you didn’t bring back the surveillance equipment I assume he is still at large.”

“Very funny Neal, and no I did not catch him yet, but I will. It’s just a matter of time. After all, I managed to catch you a few times.”

“But Peter it took you almost three years to catch me the first time. Hopefully you’ll be able to catch the chipmunk in less time.”

He shot a glare at Neal, who just shrugged his shoulders and headed off to his desk. He exhaled as Neal left but secretly hoped it was not going to take that long to catch the chipmunk.

                                        ----------------------------------------------

He was setting up the traps again that evening, when Neal showed up at the door. “Hey Neal, are you here to help set traps?”

“Since your chipmunk appears to be quite the escape artist I thought I could lend some expertise since I know a little bit about escaping the law. And I brought more doughnuts for your breakfast tomorrow.”

Peter laughed, “Yes, you do know about avoiding apprehension but I always catch you. And I think I may share my doughnuts this time since the chipmunk liked them so much last time.”

Neal made a couple of modifications on the traps so they would shut with very little pressure. They worked side by side setting traps and cleaning up the kitchen. Neal said his goodnights to Peter and El and left. Once again Peter heading off to bed feeling confident the traps would work.

                           ---------------------------------------------------------------------

The next morning Peter woke to the sound of Satch barking in the kitchen. He went to see what the fuss was about, and there was the chipmunk in one of the traps, happily eating a doughnut.

He picked up the trap and smiled, “That’s the last free meal you get from me.”

He was just setting the trap back on the floor when there was a knock at the door. Neal was standing there with a cup of coffee in hand. He opened and door and let Neal in.

Neal handed him the coffee, “Good morning, Peter. I thought I would stop and see if you apprehended the criminal.”

“Yes I did, go see for yourself.   I told you he wouldn’t get away. I always catch what I’m after – man or beast.”

Peter picked up the trap and with Neal at this side left for work, taking the caged chipmunk with them. They stopped at the park and released the animal. Watching as it scampered across the field, Peter smiled to himself, satisfied in a job well done. He didn’t want to admit it, but it had been a fun challenge trying to catch him.  But now it was time to move unto to catch real criminals – this case was closed.

      



Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
morganslady
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Peter met ALVIN!! Smart little bugger.. Love how he thought it was mocking him..
dennih23
Aug. 5th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
The little critters can be very elusive and maybe Peter would take that as a challenge.
ultracape
Aug. 5th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
Cute story but I was waiting for Neal to suggest putting a tracker on the little critter so that it will help him catch other little critters.
dennih23
Aug. 5th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
LOL - I can see that exchange now.


Peter is just about the release the chipmunk.

Neal looks at Peter grinning, "Peter, before you release the chipmunk you're forgetting something."

Peter pounders the comment, "What am I forgetting?"

"He needs a tracking anklet. You need to make sure he stays in his radius. Don't want him to make any more unexpected visits. Or maybe he can consult on capturing other chipmunks."

embroiderama
Aug. 5th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Heee! I love Peter's grim determination to catch the chipmunk.
dennih23
Aug. 5th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Peter would definitely be determined.
leesa_perrie
Aug. 5th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
This was lovely and funny!! I am so calling that chipmunk 'Neal'!! :)
dennih23
Aug. 5th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and your right, the chipmunk should be called Neal.
livejournal
Aug. 6th, 2012 01:51 am (UTC)
Sunday, August 05, 2012
User coolceruleanblu referenced to your post from Sunday, August 05, 2012 saying: [...] Character(s): Neal. Rating: PG. By: . - Peter vs the Chipmunk [...]
love_82
Aug. 6th, 2012 07:29 am (UTC)
Hee, this was cute. I love Peter trying to catch the elusive chipmunk. I was waiting for them to enlist Mozzie's help with it. I am sure he would have some elaborate way to catch it. :)
dennih23
Aug. 9th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
That would be good, I can see Moz bringing in something that was Russian surplus! Thanks.
pipilj
Aug. 6th, 2012 07:30 am (UTC)
This was adorable. “This is personal now. First my dog’s food, then my doughnut, now my cereal – this is war.”. - really cracked me up. Wonder if Neal was rooting for the little escape artist.
dennih23
Aug. 9th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks, maybe Neal would try and help the little chipmunk escape.
aragarna
Aug. 6th, 2012 09:54 am (UTC)
LOL cute story ! Peter Chipmunk Hunter. ^^ :D
sanuye12
Aug. 6th, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so wonderful! Peter in full FBI mode over a chipmunk - I love it! Well done!
dennih23
Aug. 9th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I think Peter would go into FBI mode over a chipmunk, or anything else that didn't belong in his home.
dennih23
Aug. 9th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
sholio
Aug. 6th, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
This is very cute! :D Thank you for picking up my prompt!
dennih23
Aug. 9th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it, thank you for the wonderful prompt.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
nice - very nice
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )