Peter Burke saw the world in black and white. No grey area. Period. There were the good guys and the bad guys and it wasn't possible to be both.
Then he met Neal Caffrey.
After the four-year sentence, the charming young con escaped. No big surprises and it was more than easy to find him and bring his back. But Neal -with that smooth grin that was easier to see through than glass when you got to know him and those sparkling eyes that didn't really sparkle unless he was really, truly happy- stuck himself a deal. And they started working together. The conman with the moral compass that was more than a bit off and the FBI agent that had the most distinct feelings of right and wrong you would ever see. The office joke for weeks on end.
In the beginning, it was hard. Peter didn't trust his CI in the slightest, except when it came to his opinion. His advice was sound, he had solid information (even if the means of getting it was questionable) and he was more often than not right on what exactly was going on and who was doing it. There was no way Peter would have trusted his consultant to take a bullet for him, and he wouldn't have returned the favor.
And then, slowly, he became Neal instead of Caffrey. Begrudging partner that might have been trustworthy instead of conman-turned-consultant who needed to be checked on to make sure he wasn't stealing something every hour on the hour. And at the same time, the world wasn't just black and white anymore. There were little bits of grey in there. Subtle changes in color, not even noticeable, just like it wasn't noticeable that the joking had a new, slightly lighter tone. The world was black, white, and a hint of grey if you looked for it.
Once that initial change came more started coming faster and faster. Neal showing up unannounced for no fully apparent reason and Peter being irritated on the outside, but amused on the inside, or standing up for his partner and trying to prove he was innocent or a crime he didn't commit when just a month or so before Peter wouldn't have even questioned the accusation and simply shipped the con back to prison. And more shades of grey were slowly added to the spectrum, and just maybe a bit of polaroid colors.
The final change was sudden, final and bright.
Neal got wrapped up in some mess - again. And he was in danger of being put in prison - again. This time it was for June, for her niece, and ratting out an apparent organ donating company that asked for a bit too much to be fully legit. Neal was caught snooping through the CEO's files, put off as one of the patients in the psych ward, and sedated. Only the sedative didn't work fully and he was just really, really high. So Peter bailed him out, and stole the tapes so no one would be able to get Neal on that particular escapade. But Neal said something, and that brought it on, or at least made it clear.
"You're the only one."
"The only one what?"
"The only one I trust."
And suddenly, the world was in full color. There was no more simple black and white, and maybe even the shades of grey were disappearing. Neal wasn't just another con, or a consultant, or even a partner. He was a friend.
It took a bit to process, but Peter saw it eventually. He hadn't noticed it happening, but he saw the result.
He couldn't help but think that the world looked kind of nice in color instead of black and white.
A/N: I don't even know where this came from... But dang that was fun to write! You people must love it when I get insomnia - it's when I write the most! Anyways, I hope everyone liked.