She Didn’t Have Time For Criminals, No Matter How Pretty, Charming or Helpful – Lauren Cruz
Diana had told her about Neal before she joined the team. She’d told her how he was charming and beautiful and all these other great things.
But Lauren knew that he was, first and foremost, a criminal mastermind. He was a crook and a con, which meant that when he was being polite and charming, he was really just because he wanted something.
That’s not to say that he wasn’t, in fact, beautiful, because, well, clearly he was. That was the second thing she noticed about him (the first was his tie).
But she knew, even before she knew him, she knew exactly how his relationship with the FBI would end. He’d try to run or he’d pull some con and get thrown right back in prison.
And on the off chance that he made it to the end of his four years, he’d get the anklet taken off, then he’d go pull a con and Peter would arrest him, again. Then he’d find a way to talk himself into another pretty deal with the FBI. That last bit was what it all came down to, every scenario ended there and that’s what she really hated. She’d gone through hell, like every other FBI agent, to get where she was, and all he had to do was put on a pretty smile and he was in. He was a criminal!
He Was Charming and He’d Liked the Man A Lot, Even if He Was a Criminal - Clinton Jones
He’d been there when Peter first arrested Neal, after years of chasing him. He’d been there to watch as the agent manhandled the conman to the ground and cuffed him, and in that moment, he knew there was no other team he wanted to be on. He wanted to work with Peter Burke, because he was one of the best. Not just because of Caffrey’s case, but because of every case after that. He’d known other agents who let one case rule their lives for years, then half-ass everything after the big one’s are solved. There are agent who only care about the big cases.
Peter isn’t that agent. Every case was equally important, whether it took four days to solve, or four years. And for that reason, he was incredibly proud to say he worked with Burke.
And he wasn’t any less proud when Caffrey joined the team. He’d questioned the decision, but it never crossed his mind that it was the wrong one. Peter was a good agent, one of the best, and he knew what he was doing.
He liked Neal. Even for a criminal, he would have made a damn good agent.
But that would never happen. He probably could have talked his way back into the FBI after his four years, if he wanted, but he wouldn’t.
No, he knew what Neal would do. He’d get out of New York the second he had the chance. He’d probably come back now and then, because, no matter how much he denied it, they were his friends, and there was no way he could just go away and never see Peter again. He’d leave, probably go back to his shenanigans (though maybe stay a little more under the radar), but come back once in a while, leaving those stupid origami flowers lying around the office.
He Was Charming and Beautiful, but She Wasn’t the One in Love with Him - Elizabeth Burke
She’d first heard of Neal Caffrey over dinner one night. Peter had been working almost 20 hours a day that week, and it was the first time they’d really seen each other in days. They were sitting at the couch over rice and file folders, when she noticed his picture and said something about how attractive he was, receiving a grunt of agreement from her exhausted husband.
It wasn’t until years later that she actually met him, after years of Peter chasing him, and years of him in prison, he’d shown up at their house a few nights after he started working for the FBI. He was better looking and even more charming than she’d imagined, though something told her that he’d heard it all before, a man that beautiful knew it.
They don’t bring it up, because in the beginning it didn’t matter and later Peter didn’t want to think about it, but she knows what’s gonna happen when his four years are up. He’ll leave New York for a while, but there would be a morning not long after, when she and Peter would head downstairs for breakfast, and find Neal in their kitchen making them a ridiculously large feast, and he’d stay for a while. Peter would pretend to be annoyed by the invasion, and no one would call him on it, but they all would know that he’d be really happy to see the felon.
Yeah, He Was Gorgeous and Charming, Even if He Was Far From Her Type - Diana Lancing
Her first instinct was to punch him. That was also her second, third and fourth instinct. She hadn’t been around when Peter had first started chasing him, but she’d been there for the last year or two, watching as he got closer to catching him every day.
She knew what men like Neal did to women (straight women that is), and could help but laugh when he tried it on her. Even she had to admit though, he was charming and beautiful to the point that even she considered what it would be like if she was just a tiny bit less gay.
Of course, it probably wouldn’t have changed anything, because he’s Neal Caffrey.
It only took a few weeks of working with him to realized that, even if he was a criminal, he loved working with the FBI. Loved it. Or maybe he just loved working with Peter. Either way, it boiled down to the same thing. Neal wasn’t going to leave at the end of his four years. He’d probably spend a few weeks running around outside the radius he’d been confined to, but he’d always find his way back to the FBI, back to Peter. This was his life now. Even if he didn’t admit it, and even if he was only a consultant, prisoner, and all around pain in the ass (a really pretty pain in the ass), he was still FBI and better than most of the agent she knew.
He wasn’t leaving.
He Was Annoying and a Pain and Arrogant, but, Well, He Was Also Kind of Beautiful - Peter Burke
Some Agents focused all their time and energy into one big case to make their career, then get lazy. He’d focused all his time and energy on catching Neal for six years. Going back to run-of-the-mill cases after that had felt weird, like it couldn’t just be over that easily.
Of course, it wasn’t that easy because Neal had to go and escape right before the end of his sentence, which had royally pissed him off. But catching him a second time felt just as good as the first.
And then Neal was on his team, which was insane and career suicide, but he’d made it work, they’d made it work. Neal was a valued member of the team, or the FBI, and he’d even go so far as to say that Neal was his friend.
But that didn’t change things, that didn’t change how it would end.
Four years would fly by, and the anklet would be removed and Neal would be gone the moment it did, and he’d never come back.
Part of him wants to believe that’s not true, that he will come back, but he doesn’t let himself hope, wish, because it only leads to disappointment. There was only one way it could ever end. With Neal gone.
He’d probably go out and pick up his old lifestyle, but he wouldn’t catch him this time. Neal had learned just as much about him as he’d learned about Neal, and he’d know how to evade him. Or maybe he would catch up with the con one day, and let him go, because if Neal had really wanted to change, to be the man Peter wanted him to be, he would have.
There only ever one way it could end.
He Didn’t Move When the Anklet was Gone, Didn’t Move a Muscle - Neal Caffrey
As his four years came to a close, the whole atmosphere in the office had changed. Lauren had been as ambivalent as ever, Jones pretended he didn’t care, Elizabeth constantly gave him a sad smile, Diana kept asking what he was going to do when the anklet was gone.
And everyone pretended that Peter wasn’t angry and irritable and that it didn’t get worse with every passing day.
But it did, and as much as Neal tried to ignore it, he knew he was responsible for the attitude. He desperately wanted to walk into Peter’s office and assure him that everything would be okay, that he didn’t have to be angry and upset.
But he couldn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to do it.
When the day finally came, when he was just minutes away from being a free man, Peter called him upstairs, key in hand. Peter didn’t say a word, just held the key to his freedom (both figuratively and literally) for the room to see, and took the anklet off. The office cheered, each and every agent there happy for Neal, who was now just as much a part of the FBI as they were.
But Peter wasn’t cheering. He put on a fake smile that an idiot could have seen through (or maybe it was just Neal, but it seemed pretty obvious to him) and told him he was a free man now. Then he turned his back and headed for his office, expecting to never see the man again.
But when he sat in his chair and glanced up at the door, Neal was leaning on the doorframe, casual as ever, like nothing had changed.
“I’ve heard about this really fantastic restaurant about ten miles from here. Care to join me?” he asked.