Agent Caffrey

By CastielLovesDean


About a week before his four-year deal with the FBI was due to expire, Doctor Caffrey (no one would call him that, no matter how much he begged or how many business cards he handed out) entered a very, very busy White Collar Division at the FBI in New York City. People were giving him ominous looks. That wouldn't have been cause for concern in an of itself – after all, this is White Collar, and he's arguably the best White Collar criminal this side of... well, Mars – but he could see that Hughes' blinds were drawn and Peter's desk was in disarray. For a moment, he worried that something had happened to his partner, but then the older man walked out of the secluded office slowly and paused as if to stop the room from spinning around him. Neal caught his eye and psychically asked him what was going on. (They weren't actually psychically linked; they could just read each other really well.)

Peter just seemed confused and dizzy as made his way down the stairs. "You're late," Peter accused with no enmity.

"Coffee?" Neal offered.

Peter took the coffee, sipped it, and announced cryptically, "They want to see you in Hughes' office."

Panic seeped into Neal's chest. "I didn't do it," he blurted out.

"Do what?"

"Whatever it is. I swear, I didn't do it. Not with a week to go."

"You haven't been accused of anything. You know, you should really correct that knee-jerk reaction – it makes you look suspicious. But seriously, they want you in Hughes' office."

"Who are 'they?'"

"Head of the New York FBI branch Joseph Demarest, Jr. and Federal Judge Oliver Murphy. And Hughes, of course. You shouldn't keep them waiting; they've been grilling me about you all morning."

"What do they want with me?"

"I don't know, but it seems big."

Neal apprehensively looked up at Hughes' window.

"Look," Peter reassured him, "I don't know what's going on, but I got your back, okay?"

Neal nodded, gulped, steeled himself, and walked to Hughes' office. He knocked on the door.

"It's open," he heard Hughes call from inside the room.

Shoulders back, chest out, chin up, Neal opened the door. "Peter said you wanted to see me, sir?" Most days he would forego the pleasantries, but with two very, very important people in the room interested in him, he was playing it careful.

"Come in," Hughes ordered, his voice not betraying anything as to the purpose or seriousness of the meeting. "Have a seat," he added, gesturing to the only empty chair.

"Hi," Neal quietly greeted the other two with his most stunning smile, introducing himself, "Doctor Neal Caffrey."

"Doctor Caffrey," Judge Murphy started without preamble, "we need to talk."


A few hours later, Neal left Hughes' office with an extra spring in his step and made a beeline for Peter's desk, where the older man was slouched in his chair on the phone facing the other way.

"Hey, Peter!" Neal exclaimed, slamming something down on the desk.

Peter jumped a little in his chair and spun around. He saw what was on the desk and slowly told his wife, "Hey, El? I'm gonna have to call you back." Then he glanced about suspiciously, leaned forward, and hissed menacingly, "You took off your anklet? Neal-"

"Nope. Hughes took it off."

Peter blinked. "Come again?"

"They shortened my sentence." Neal sat on the edge of Peter's desk, dangling his newly anklet-free leg, and nonchalantly suggested, "Look it up if I've ever given you reason to doubt me."

Peter immediately started pressing keys on the computer.

"Hey!" Neal pouted.

"Oh, come on," Peter scoffed. "As if you've never misled me."

Neal rolled his eyes, crossed his arms childishly, and pouted some more as he tried to hide his growing excitement. It came to a crescendo as Peter started acting puzzled and clicking faster.

"What the- Neal, what do you know about this?"

"Oh, didn't I mention? Yeah, they sealed my criminal files."

"You're listed as a student."

"That's just the academy in Quantico."

Peter smiled ruefully but shook his head. "They don't let criminals become agents. There's a very specific rule against exactly that."

"Which is exactly why Hughes got a federal judge and the head of the New York branch together to help me skirt the rules."

Peter stared hard at Neal for a long moment. Finally, he asked, "Is this for real?"

"You think I hacked the FBI database and slipped off my anklet in front of Hughes, Demarest, and a federal judge?" He held up a hand. "Don't answer that. It's real, I swear."

"And you're gonna be an agent."

"Gee, you could sound a little more excited for your friend. Don't you think I'd make a good agent?"

"I think you'd make a fantastic agent. I just happen to think you'd hate it."

"Why?"

"You couldn't even handle normal civilian rules. Agents have to follow an even stricter set of rules, and there's very little wiggle room. Are you sure this is what you want?"

"Yes, I'm sure. I'm not as shady as I was eight years ago, Peter."

"Yeah, I know." Peter frowned and stared down.

"What?"

"Are we still going to be partners?"

"Always," Neal promised with a bright smile.

And they lived happily ever after.


A/N: The end was a little out of character, I know, but I'm pretty sure the rest of it wasn't.

Reviews, please!