Painful Encounter

Author's Note: Just a brief encounter between Neal and a prickly female FBI agent.

This was an idea that popped into my head while I'm stuck on a longer story I'm working on. I have no plans to take this one any further.

The day started off just fine. The team was expecting a visiting FBI agent from the D.C. office, one Nina Myers. Neal was to go undercover with her as a "just married" couple. The assignment was to expose a lucrative identity theft ring. The scam was operating out of a classy resort in the Hamptons that catered to newlyweds. Agent Myers had been chosen because of a proven talent for undercover work and her solid experience with identity theft methods.

As Neal perused the case file that morning, he hoped she would be fun and a willing partner. After all, posing as a newlywed could well require some very enjoyable acting. He was confident that he could have this new agent eating out of his hand in no time.

Nina Myers was due at the office at 1:00 that afternoon. The rest of the team was busy making preparations for the undercover operation so Neal decided to grab a quick bite by himself at the Chinese buffet near the FBI building.

That's when the day started to go bad.

It wasn't his fault. Okay, it was his fault, but it was only a moment's inattention. It was just that he saw the tall blonde secretary from the Cyber Crime unit leaving the restaurant. She had been doing her best to ignore him for weeks now. And Neal had just caught her looking back over her shoulder at him and smiling as she walked out the door.

Busy congratulating himself on having finally gotten a reaction, he spun around too abruptly to head to his table. As he turned, he collided with a petite, rather severe looking brunette woman trying to edge past him. The plate of Szechwan pork he was carrying flipped and emptied down the front of her blouse. She was dripping pork and peapods and anger. Lots of anger. Appalled at what he'd done, he blurted out apologies and without thinking, reached for her chest to pluck off a peapod threatening to slide down her now ruined blouse onto her skirt.

A split second later he found himself on his knees, his thumb twisted painfully into an unnatural position. His captor glared down at him and admonished him as if he were a child, "Mustn't touch." She held him there helpless for a few seconds and then released him and walked away.

Shocked by the throbbing pain as well as finding himself on the floor in a crowded restaurant, Neal rubbed his thumb for a few moments while he regained the power of speech. "Wait! Please! Let me…" he called after the woman, but she was already out the door.

A busboy came over and started to clean up the mess. Neal thanked him and headed after the tiny woman who had just publicly taught him a lesson in humility.

He spotted her walking swiftly down the block well ahead of him and threaded his way through the crowds to catch up with her. He put his hands on her shoulders to slow her progress. Bad idea. She grabbed one of his hands (the same one she had misused in the restaurant), twisted his arm behind his back and thrust him up against the wall of the bank they were passing. He looked over his shoulder at her. Recognizing him, she asked "Do you have a death wish?"

The apology on his lips withered at the look on her face. He wanted to offer to pay for a new blouse for her. He wanted to redeem himself. He wanted to stop looking like an ass. But he stumbled over his words, and the woman let go of his arm and was gone again. His usual social grace having deserted him for some reason, Neal decided it might be best (and less painful) to let well enough alone. He returned to the office and occupied himself by studying the file on the stolen identity case.

Hughes, Peter, Jones and Diana joined an uncharacteristically subdued Neal in the conference room to wait for the visiting agent. She arrived some 20 minutes late. She apologized for being tardy, complaining that some idiot had dumped Chinese food on her and she'd had to replace her blouse. And then she saw Neal. Her lips tightened, her eyes narrowed. "You, again!"

Neal backed away from her, with a look of confusion and guilt.

Peter quickly read the expressions on their faces and made introductions. "Neal, this is Agent Nina Myers. Agent Myers, I'm guessing that this is your idiot, Neal Caffrey, who is also, incidentally, your new undercover husband."

Scraping together what shreds of dignity and charm he could muster, Neal began, "I am so very sorry, Nina, er...Agent Myers. Please let me pay for the new blouse. I hope this won't get in the way of our working together." Neal offered his hand to her cautiously--his thumb and wrist were still sore. She reached for his hand slowly, and he swore he heard a low growl coming from her. He jerked his hand away from her.

"Peter, this just isn't going to work. Every time I try to touch her, she threatens to hurt me. How are we going to look like newlyweds? Our cover's going to be blown the minute we walk through the door."

Hughes sighed and decided it was time to retake control. "Agent Myers, stop scaring Neal. Neal, stop worrying. Agent Myers is excellent at undercover work. She can con people as well as you can."

Neal opened his mouth again to voice his doubts, but Hughes cut him off. "And she won't hurt you--unless I tell her to. Now, children, make nice."

Neither of the two antagonists moved. "That was not a request Agent Myers, Caffrey."

Resigning herself, Agent Myers took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. She stepped over to the table and placed her gun on it. Shrugging out of her jacket, she released her hair from its bun letting it fall in loose waves around her shoulders. She walked over to Neal, who stood his ground this time. She closed her eyes and lowered her head for a moment. When she raised her head again, the hard-ass FBI agent had been replaced by an adoring new bride, all innocence and sensuality. Smiling wonderingly up at Neal, Nina melted into his arms.

Neal was stunned but delighted, and responded by cradling her close to him. She leaned her head back, exposing her neck. Her breathing quickened. Neal touched her lips and then slowly trailed his fingers down her throat. She groaned in delight. Eyes wide, lips parted, she reached up to gently stroke Neal's hair and pull his head towards her. He lowered his lips to hers--a long, languid, exploring kiss.

Jones, Diana, Peter and Hughes looked on enjoying the show. Jones raised a hand, "Uh, Peter? If Neal's not comfortable, I am perfectly willing…"

Peter shot him a look and said "No. You are not volunteering." He glanced at Diana, "And you're not either."

Hughes finally broke it up by addressing the new agent, "Agent Myers." He cleared his throat and addressed her again—louder, "Agent Myers…if you please."

Nina separated from Neal, smiling smugly. She retrieved her gun and ran her hand lovingly along the barrel. She looked pointedly at Neal as she holstered the weapon. The FBI agent was back in full force.

Peter asked Neal, "So? Are you satisfied?"

Neal whispered under his breath, "Not yet, but I'm hopeful." Then out loud he assured Peter, "Yes, I believe we can make this work after all. I'll just try to be more careful."

Nina nodded at him in understanding and turned away so no one could see the smile she couldn't quite hide.