AN: When I thought about Neal's aversion to guns, this was the first answer that popped into my head. So I went with it. I hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of White Collar.

The Question of Guns

"Never?" Jones asked still sounding surprised.

Peter just shook his head looking a little bemused.

"Why?" this time Jones' question was directed towards Neal; who up until now had merely been listening in on the conversation about his character that Jones had started.

Neal rolled his eyes. "There's lots of reasons, pick one," he replied with a disinterested shrug. Through the corner of his eye Neal caught Peter's smirk as he flipped through the folder in front of him.

Jones responded without a second's hesitation. "Were you a victim of gun violence?"

The ex-con leaned back in his chair interlocking his fingers behind his head. "Why is that always the first assumption?" he asked back with a sigh.

"Probably 'cause of the face you pull every time you see one," Peter happily supplied.

"What face?" he demanded indignantly, sitting forward again in his seat.

Peter looked up calmly; his expression changing as his eyes grew wide in an exaggerated expression of fear.

Neal scoffed with a look of disbelief. "I do not."

"You do," Peter returned with an impressive note of finality in just those two words.

"So what's the real reason?" Jones asked, cutting off Neal's scathing retort.

"They're inelegant," Peter answered a hint of a poor British accent coloring the second word.

Neal rolled his eyes again and leaned his elbows on the conference room table. "Anyone with an index finger can fire a gun--"

"What about someone with arthritis?" Peter was quick to ask, bending his index finger as though it hurt.

Jones snickered, no doubt at the flat look Neal knew he was directing at Burke. "You tell me which theft is the harder," Caffrey continued pointedly ignoring Peter. "A thief who uses the barrel of a gun? Or the thief who bypasses security and lifts the item without being seen?"

Jones considered that for a moment, slowly nodding his head. "What about a backup plan?" he asked, "or for protection?"

"No," Neal replied flatly, voice cold, but thought better of it adding, "A gun only gives you two options. The threat of violence and violence, sooner or later someone's going to call your bluff." He leaned back in his chair again a slight smirk turning the corners of his lips. "Besides, if you carry a gun you're assuming the con's going to go south."

"From what I've seen, with or without 'going south' happens a lot," the agent countered as he tapped one of the folders in front of him. Neal caught the name reading it upside down 'The Dutchmen.'

"That's because my hands are tied with you keeping me on the straight and narrow," he said glancing pointedly at Peter, who at some point had sat back from his work to watch the conversation.

"Straight and narrow's the goal," Peter contended, "but you're not there yet, crooked and a mile wide is more like it."

Neal flashed the agent an innocent smile before returning to his work.

Thanks for Reading!

Morganeth Taren'drels