Disclaimer: If I owned these two men, do you think I'd be hanging around here?
A/N: This story could be considered a companion fic/sequel to my first "White Collar" fic, which has recently been titled "A Well-Dressed Man." As before, it's unbeta'd, so any constructive criticism is welcomed, especially in regards to characterization and the ending. And I'm afraid a little Neal/Hat/everything else threesome crept in there somehow. Oh, and the title comes from Gilda Radner's quote, "I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch."
"What Doesn't Itch"
Neal cringed once again as he regarded his reflection. It was practically...criminal, really, the things he was forced to endure for the FBI some days. He was eyeing his reflection - almost warily – and wondering if there was anything he could do to improve the situation when he heard a knock on the bedroom door.
"Neal?" It was Peter. "What's taking you so long in there? It's only a suit - you wear one every day."
Only a suit? Only a suit? He stood frozen in silent horror at Peter's ignorance, the words stuck in his throat.
"Neal?" There was another knock. "I'm coming in - you had better be decent, Caffrey!"
Despite his seemingly harsh words, the FBI agent entered slowly - one might say almost cautiously - as if afraid of what he might find. He was obviously surprised to see Neal Caffrey, poised and statuesque - and completely dressed - staring wide-eyed at his own reflection.
A Neal Caffrey who wheeled around as soon as the other man entered and began speaking immediately – "C'mon, Peter, can't you get me out of this? I can't do this, really. How do you stand it?" He plucked at the clothes he was reluctantly wearing in a forlorn manner.
Peter couldn't help it – he began to chuckle in amusement at Neal's perceived predicament.
Neal spared a moment for a glare before stalking across the room to retrieve his hat. Returning to the mirror, he placed the hat on his head with his usual flourish. A look of dismay crossed his face, and he promptly took it off again.
"Peter!" his voice was full of righteous indignation. "I absolutely cannot wear this thing! It doesn't go with my hat. Everything goes with my hat!"
Peter was still chuckling as he limped further into the room. Neal eyed his injury almost hatefully.
"You are not allowed to get shot ever again," he muttered.
"Hey! I give the orders around here," Peter said, "and the orders are that you will take my place at this meeting. That means having to look the part, and that means having to wear that suit."
Neal seemed to be thinking this over. "Have you ever considered that you might be so grumpy and irritable because of the suits you wear? I really think that if you wore proper clothes, you'd—"
Peter frowned at being called "grumpy and irritable," then gave his head a sharp shake and interrupted. "Neal, you won't distract me. You will wear that suit – don't give me that look! And besides, FBI agents don't wear Armani hats, or whatever the heck this is, so you can't wear it anyway."
That said, he snatched the hat away from Neal, placed it on his own head – he'd always secretly wanted to do that, but he wasn't ever going to admit it out loud – and ambled back out of the room.
Neal's shout followed him into the hallway. "I expect to get that back in pristine condition, Peter!"
A/N: Reviews are love, let me know what you thought!