Neal Caffrey is a pretty-boy. Neal Caffrey is a thief who wouldn't know what to do with a gun if his life depended on it. Neal Caffrey is the FBI's bitch, and tricked his way out of prison on his knees.
Neal Caffrey is a gorgeous mask, and the pay-off will be glorious.
"How much longer? You know the Boss hates waitin'."
Neal smiles at his contact, holding out the tiniest of disk drives. "Your Boss'll wait for me, Porter."
Porter glares and his fingers close into a fist, but he takes the drive.
Neal's off limits to everyone.
Mozzie asks him, "What's the angle here?"
Elizabeth invites him to dinner.
Peter trusts him with confidential information, his house, his dog, his wife, and his life.
"If I granted you one request," the Boss muses, watching Neal strip and clean their favorite gun, "you'd ask for the Burkes to be left alive."
"And unhurt," Neal clarifies. "June too, if I could get that."
The Boss nods. "Done."
Neal Caffrey dies in a shootout, shielding one of his team members. He gets a hero's funeral.
Peter and Elizabeth Burke cry in each other's arms for days.
"You ready?" the Boss asks. "You've been out of the game for awhile."
"C'mon, Arthur," one of the best undercover men in the world says. "You need better people at your side."
"Hey, now," the Boss's lover and right-hand exclaims. "I'll have you know, I take wonderful care of 'im."
"Eames," the Boss says.
He subsides, glaring, and the Boss asks, "What name would you like now?"
Smirking at Eames, he says, "Nathaniel, I think."
The Boss nods.
Nathaniel Calton is one of the greatest assassins in the world. It doesn't matter what the job calls for; he excels. The Boss trusts him, and everyone is too afraid to ask why.
"What should we be when we grow up?" Noah asks Aidan, as they're curled up together beneath the covers, all of seven and shivering. Daddy is still throwing things downstairs. Mama's gone again.
"I'm gonna rule the world and make sure no one hurts us ever again," Aidan says, listening to his brother breathe. "And you're gonna be my secret weapon."
"That sounds nice," Noah whispers, hissing in pain when Aidan accidentally shifts his arm.
"It'll happen," Aidan promises. "I swear."
His twin nods. "It will."
The Boss says, "Well done, lil'brother."
He nods, grins, and offers the Boss his knife, so the Boss can take out his own pound of flesh.
Eames mutters, "Darling, this should not be as hot as it is," and he gets identical, blood-soaked smiles in response.
The traitor screams louder and louder, until the Boss finally shuts him up with a cleverly-turned slice.
No one knows where the Boss came from. His lover, a forger and con-man called Eames, was small-time until the Boss took a liking to him. (He's actually ex-military, and just as dangerous as the Boss, but only a handful of people in the world know that, so keep it to yourself.) And the Boss's favorite assassin, well.
A few of the more trusted lieutenants notice that the Boss and his pet killer have the same grace, the same turn of phrase, the same grin when they kill. But they never mention it, so the Boss and Nathaniel let them live.