Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to White Collar. I'm just taking the characters out for a little spin and some fun.

Broiled, Baked, and Fried

By: Vanessa Sgroi

"Damn, it's hot out here," Special Agent Peter Burke muttered irritably, swiping the back of his hand across his forehead. New York was in the midst of a heat wave that had everyone feeling beyond irritable and grouchy. Everyone, that is, except his CI and quasi-partner Neal Caffrey. He glanced at the man who was walking next to him.

"How do you manage to look cool in the middle of this heat?" he growled.

"Cool as in impertinent and awesome or cool as in frosty?" Neal tossed Peter a lopsided grin.

Peter rolled his eyes. "Smartass."

Neal laughed. "Maybe it's the clothes. But it's also because I took my jacket off. I loosened my tie. I rolled up my sleeves. Unlike you who's still miserably buttoned up."

"I'm an FBI agent. I'm supposed to look professional."

"Yeah, I'll remind you of that after you keel over."

In truth, Peter was roasting. "You know, when you're right, you're right." He yanked off his jacket. "Hold this." He loosened the knot of his blue tie and unbuttoned and rolled up both sleeves before reclaiming his jacket and hooking it over his shoulder.

"Better?" asked Neal.

Peter shrugged. "A little."

"Good." Neal turned and loped away.

Peter followed, calling, "Now what are you doing?"

Neal stopped at a street cart. "Sno Cone. Want one?" Neal beamed like a five-year-old, his blue eyes alight.

"Uhhh…no, I don't think so."

"C'mon. Cold, wet—you'll feel ten degrees cooler," Neal smiled at the vendor, "Lemon-Lime, please."

"All right, fine. I'll take a cherry."

A minute later, both men were continuing their walk down the street, Sno Cones in hand.

Neal took a bite of his, savoring the tart cold crushed ice. "See, isn't that better?"

"Yeah…yeah," Peter slurped at his, "it is." Then he felt several cold drops splatter against his chest. Two more landed as he looked down at his white shirt in dismay. "Well, so much for looking professional. Elizabeth's gonna love trying to get that stain out."

"But you still feel ten degrees cooler, don't you? It's all good."

They finally reached the car but leaned against it instead of getting in. Peter glanced at Neal then laughed. Several green splatters decorated the front of the former con artist's own light gray shirt.

"Yeah, you're right. It's all good," he pointed, "and at least I have another shirt to change into when we get back to the office."

Neal looked down and groaned at the state of his shirt.

Peter opened his car door and started to slide into the driver's seat. "And no, we cannot stop at June's on the way back."