AN: So this is my first fic. I wrote it a while back and have finally decided to see if it was any good. Please review, I appreciate feedback.
Disclaimer: I do not own White Collar.
Chapter 1: Annoying an FBI Agent
Some people just think they know everything don't they?
That's the thought that's running through my head as I'm being led up the stairs to a FBI office on the landing that over sees the rest of the floor. Technically I'm being dragged by one arm, thanks to an agent who's about five times my size (how he passed the fitness portion of the job application is completely unknown). Once we make it up the landing he sets me in a very uncomfortable plastic chair, and then exits the room leaving me in an FBI agents office unsupervised. Big mistake buddy.
I immediately remove myself from the tiny chair and take a seat in the swivel, cushiony one and prop my feet up on the desk, survey the contents of the office, and take a look out of the big glass window that oversees the floor below. I find the eyes of other Bureau agents currently staring at me. I kind of hate that, I mean I know I'm pretty with my wavy dark brown hair and ice blue eyes, but come on I'm not gorgeous. Okay so I know that's not why there looking at me, but the real reason is just as annoying so yeah we'll just pretend it's the first one. I decide to shoot them all an evil glare and amazingly enough they all look away. I let out an audible laugh; these guys can handle the world's toughest criminals, but all it takes is a dirty look from a seemingly harmless fourteen year old girl to send them running for the hills.
Bored with the lack of anything interesting below I spin the chair to face the widow looking over the city. I can hear the busy commotion on the streets below and can see people running off in different directions. Man, I love New York; always something happening. "That's where I should be", I think out loud to myself. Come to think of it, why wasn't I out there?
Oh, that's right I tripped on an undone shoelace after successfully picking a pocket and ended up getting spotted, and then the guy recognized me and called the cops who in turn called the FBI. Because I'm a special case, that only he can handle. And by 'he' I mean Peter Burke, the guy who single handedly can be blamed for ruining my life (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating that a tad, but then again….).
I decide to turn back to the desk and see what I can get into there. Then just for the heck of it, I flip open the file sitting on the big oak desk in front of me and begin to peruse through it. It's pretty basic stuff; some guy stole something from a museum that was worth some value. A simple heist really that any number of criminals could perform considering the horrible security system this low end museum had to offer, but luckily for this place their thief of the night didn't have a brain and decided to walk right into the security camera. Wow, criminals sure are getting dumber. I snap the file shut and open a thicker one sitting beneath it. At the top is a heading that reads "The Dutchman". I'm about to dive into the actual contents of the file when I hear the door handle click, so I cross my arms on my chest and throw my feet back onto the table flashing the newly entered agent my charming yet devious smile.
"You're in my chair" he says stating the obvious.
"What else is new" I retort tipping the hat on my head so it covers the top of my eyes.
"Fine, take my chair, but the feet come off the desk please."
"Well since you said please, I guess I can comply" I respond to his almost plea, pulling my feet to the floor and resting my hands on the desk in front of me. Normally I wouldn't listen to him, but my dad always said politeness is the key to getting what you want. And my dad is a very smart man.
"Now what?" I ask the very aggravated agent in my sweetest voice.
He sighs and sits in the chair I occupied when I was first brought in here and looks up at the smile that has returned to my face due to my current victory.
"You know we don't have to do this" I start, "You could just give me a pat on the back and send me on my way."
"Well considering the mess I'm in because of you, I sort of think we do" he says blankly, running his hands through his hair.
I knew that would be too easy. Oh well, looks like we'll have to do it the hard way.
"And what mess would that be Peter" I ask ever so innocently.
"First of all it's Agent Burke to you Callia, and second don't play innocent with me here. You know exactly what you did and we are going to sit here until we work this out" He declares firmly as he leans forward, finally starting to act like an agent. Perfect now the fun can really start.
I smile deviously and lean forward so my face is only mere inches from his. "First of all, it's Callen we've been over that like a thousand times and second there could be a thousand things I've done that you could be referring to so you're going to have to be more specific."
I'm starting to enjoy this. Normally I'd hate to be interrogated but me and Peter go way back so I'm basically safe.
"You ran away Callia."
"Callen, say it with me Call en Callen and what's your point?"
"This is serious. Twenty-nine times in two months. That's not good."
"I really don't see what the big deal is; I mean you found me every time right."
"Only cause your letting me catch you."
I raise my eyebrows at him and let out a snort. He has got to be kidding; the last thing I would want is to get caught so they can send me back to anther foster home. It might as well be prison. There some irony in that statement.
"First off, try not to flatter yourself too much. And second, you're a lunatic" I respond back coolly.
"Look at the facts, you're not very good."
"Really because last I checked, it was two years before you got ahold of me the first time" I tell him matter of factly.
"Look who's flattering themselves now" he says rolling his eyes and leaning back in his char.
"It's not flattery if it's a fact" I tell him shrugging my shoulders and letting myself fall back into the comfort of the chair.
"You still got caught" he mocks.
"Well fine. Say what you will, but I do not want to get caught just for some stupid reason I keep making rookie mistakes." That statement comes out almost as a shout, but I restrain it because I'm enjoying having someone to banter with.
"Look, I get it your upset or annoyed or whatever, but that doesn't mean that you can keep running away and that definitely doesn't make it alright to try and pick people's pockets for money." Apparently we've gone back to being agitated.
"What do you mean by try?" I ask, and I'm a little stunned honestly, I mean come on-has this guy seen my file, "I'm a savant at pocket picking and you know it."
It's a fact and he does know it. Generally that's not something a kid would be proud of but when you're me, and you have a dad like mine, it's definitely something to be proud of. Let's just get one thing straight though, I'm not a criminal. Not technically anyways; just a very hungry kid who knows how to get money by means other than holding out a tiny tin cup and begging.
Although I suppose I have done some criminal esq things…..
"Yeah that's one trait I wish your dad hadn't passed on, then again you probably would've figured it out by yourself" he states more to himself then to me.
"Now there's a statement I'll agree with you on" I say smiling.
He rolls his eyes. "Are you trying to upstage him?"
"What?" I ask as I feign innocence. "First off, he can never be upstaged. He is hands down the greatest. And two, picking pockets and running some innocent street cons isn't even comparable to his alleged work" I say, throwing the alleged part in there because there's no real proof my father has done any of the things he's accused of.
Of course I know differently, but we're not going to share that tidbit with the FBI. I'm not that dumb.
"You just admitted to committing crime" Peter says leaning forward and smiling at me.
I reach over and pat his hand. "The statue of limitations prevents you from processing crimes committed by a minor. And last I checked I was in elementary school when these accusations were made. Oh and I'm still a minor for like four more years so… But you get Brownie Points for a decent attempt."
I lean back in the chair I give him my most charming smile.
"Your dad make you read the FBI hand book?" he asks with irritation in his voice.
"Nope, I did that one by myself. Smart right?" I respond, my smile growing.
Cue another eye roll. If he keeps doing that his eyes might never stop rolling.
"You talked to him lately."
Dang it Peter, why'd you have to go there? It was just starting to get good.
"Not in a while, I mean we write and stuff but I haven't actually visited or spoken to him since….." I trail off, not really wanting to hear the end of that sentence; unfortunately Peter finishes it for me.
"Since Kate left you guys."
"Something like that" I say sheepishly. I mentally curse myself for sounding like a scared little kid. I'm supposed to be confident, cool, and cocky. Not a big cry baby.
I look at Peter who's looking at me now with concern and guilt. He's worried about me and my younger siblings because we're so unpredictable and were just little kids really. Plus whenever one of us lands in his office (although usually it's me), he gets that look on his face that he did something wrong, like he's the cause of all our pain. Technically he did assist in it, but he still shouldn't have to feel that way.
I hate it when he looks at me like that. It makes me feel weak, something I am not. I also hate him for making me feel guilty for him. I mean come on he's a fed.
"Alright, come on" he says after an awkward silence as he stands up and walks over to where I'm sitting. "I'll tell you what's gonna happen. I'm going to get a team to gather the rest of the mini Caffrey's and then you are all coming to stay with me and El for now, because I am sick of having to find you kids every three days or so because you decided that the foster family you got was boring or smelly or whatever other 29 excuses you evil geniuses have come up with in the last two months. And I'm also getting tired of the paper work."
Now it's my turn to roll my eyes.
"Good, I'll take that as a yes. Now let's go, I'm starving."
"What makes you think I'd willingly get into an FBI agents car?" I ask curious as to what he's planning.
"Because I have good food and a place where you can sleep" he says as though it's obvious.
I look at him skeptically.
"Look, stay for the night and if you don't like it your free to pick your next foster home yourself" he says growing agitated by the minute.
I'm still feeling a little paranoid, but that's probably just my crazy uncle's conspiracy ideas growing on me.
I decide that Peter's decent enough for now and that I'm too hungry to pass up free food, so I grab my backpack full of my run away needs (three changes of clothes, granola bars, some money, and my stuffed dog Sparky) and head out the door and to the elevator, not waiting for Peter. I do at least yell over my shoulder that I'll meet him in the lobby, because like I said politeness is key (even if you don't like that person). And although I could easily take off, I don't because who would be crazy to skip out on free food. Especially if you haven't eaten real food in like two days.
Okay, so I realize that I should probably fill in the gaps for you people because that conversation was kinda vague on specific details of my ever so thrilling life. For starters, my name is Callia Alexis Caffrey, but people call me Callen because Callia sounds like a girly girls name and anyone who knows me knows that that so doesn't work. So Callen it is, and it works because it's still my name, just more awesome.
Secondly, I'm fourteen and the oldest in the family. I came about when my dad decided to be stupid and have a kid at eighteen with some random girl. Anyway she left about two days after I was born and never returned. I don't even know what she looks like, let alone her name. Not that I care though because as far as I'm concerned I'm all my dad. Same dark hair, same bright blue eyes, same face, walk, talk and smile, even have the same, let's call them hobbies (although mine are a little less refined). There is no doubt that I'm Neal Caffrey's daughter. And I totally love it. Although if you ask Peter, he'd say it wasn't such a good thing.
My dad's about the best con artist to currently walk the face of the earth. He's a master schemer, forger, liar, thief and whatever else you can put into the category of world class criminal. Unfortunately, my dad's a die-hard romantic which shouldn't be a bad thing but in his case it's what ended his unstained career. Yup, my dad got arrested by dear old Agent Peter Burke for bond forgery he committed almost three years prior because he couldn't let Kate go (Kate's the girl, in case you missed that). What an idiot. Give up an exciting career full of utter freedom, for some girl. To be honest I've never liked Kate. She and dad met while he was trying to run some long con and he sort of fell head over heels. Whatever, it's his love life.
Anyway there are two things I particularly dislike about her, one being the fact that she took attention away from me because dad was always trying to do things to make her happy; and she was kind of bossy. It was like she turned him into some sort of zombie who followed its leader.
Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad but hey I was just a kid.
The other actually didn't come up until just before dad took a job with an old friend of his. See after they both lost the jobs that they had had, dad taught Kate everything he knew about being a con. She got really good really fast and then when dad tried to con her into going to Copenhagen with him, she broke up with him and left. And she didn't just move out, she disappeared. It actually took an FBI tip for dad to find her. To me, these events are evidence that she was just using dad to further herself and didn't really love him.
I like to think my hunch was confirmed because two years after he got arrested she left me and my five year old brother Braden (the only thing I will ever like about that evil woman since he's her and my dad's kid)in the foster care system.
Of course there was no way I was going to be raised by someone else, so on our first night at the home I grabbed our bags and drug a twelve year old me and Braden as far away as I could. I spent approximately the next two years using the skills my dad had taught me to take care of me and my little brother. It was mostly simple stuff like picking pockets or running simple street cons, never anything elaborate that could get us caught.
To be honest we were doing really well. I got us a decent abandoned apartment and would still write to dad saying that life with Kate was great since she never told him she dumped us even though she still visited him. She lied to him, another reason I hate her. He never knew we disappeared because no one actually knew we were missing. The house we were in had lots of kids and if the paper work didn't exist, neither did the kids.
The slip up was when I tried to pick a pocket that turned out to be Peter's. He recognized me and took me and Braden back to child services where we were placed in a home that already had a four year old little girl staying there. Her name was Gabriella and I knew after five minutes of talking to her that she was a Caffrey. She had dad's blue eyes and his signature smile. The only difference was her curly auburn hair. That night I dug up all the info I could on her and found that she was born nine months after the job dad took in Copenhagen and her full name was Gabriella Elise Hunter; the same last name as the girl dad ran the con with who he also had a thing for. She was definitely a Caffrey. I also found out she had a twin, but he was no where I could find. So for the past two months, me and the two of them would run away to find the missing twin, get caught and put into another home to start the pattern again.
At the same time we found Gabby, Kate broke up with dad, told him we were gone and disappeared. Figures, she learned from the best.
I really hate that woman.