Neal Caffrey had a problem, and he had no other tool to solve it with other than his own talents.
He knew he had charm, and style, and wit. He also had the chiseled features of a model and brilliantly blue eyes that glittered like the finest sapphires this side of the Atlantic. However, all these God-given gifts were of as much use as a chocolate saucepan when it came to Peter Burke.
Especially when it came to Peter Burke.
The Caffrey charm rubbed the FBI agent the wrong way, and was usually met with eye-rolling. Either that, or an exasperated look that Neal found utterly captivating and often tried to elicit and – okay, off-topic.
Forget style. Peter had one style: the repetitive. He wore the same kind of suit every single freaking day. Only the ties had any variation, and sometimes even the variation was that of stripes or dots over the same freaking color. However, the fact that Peter always wore ties did make for some rather fascinating fantasies, especially the one which Neal used both his own and Peter's ties... Moving on. NOW.
Wit, wit, wit. Peter could match him, usually, especially when they were working a case. On a daily non-case basis, Peter was dry and sharp, no doubt honed by years of dealing with book-smart FBI agents. And Peter had once tried to out-quote Mozzie, losing out only when Mozzie brought up Khalil Gibran. That had been entertaining. That intense furrowed brow and half-smile that curled Peter's lips, along with the determination not to lose, plus the shape of his hand resting easily on the sofa arm as if he owned it... A hand that had more than once pulled Caffrey out of whatever scrapes he got into, strong hands with wide palms that were callused with work yet gentle enough to reassure...
Okay. Off-track again.
Good looks, now. Somehow Neal's good looks didn't seem to bother Peter. Which was nice, not having to deal with the alpha-male jerk syndrome Neal had to face in his younger years, but it also meant that Peter was not seeing Neal. Even when the younger man was blasting the FBI agent with all the brilliance and magnificence of his gorgeous blue eyes, Peter had always just looked at him, the person, looked at him with warm brown eyes that alternated moods among wry humor, gentle encouragement, irritated annoyance, hurt anger, determined trust and complete acceptance. And interest, let's not forget interest. And the protectiveness that just gave a person a pleasant warm glow, that practically assured of its steadfastness...
Neal groaned and buried his face in his hands.
“Yes, Neal?” asked Peter from across the room. He wasn't even looking at the ex-con. “Have you come up with a good reason yet to have a brand new computer?”
“How about the fact that you have completely engaged my interest and affection and I plan to write emails declaring my adoration of you to the entire office?”
Peter Burke lowered his newspaper and stared, deadpan, at the young dark-haired man. “Sarcasm doesn't work either, Neal. Try again.”