Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar.

Summary: Neal is a conman, a liar, a criminal and a friend.


Many things can be said about Neal Caffrey, and they are, frequently and at length.

He is a conman, the careless appellations of 'alleged' and 'reformed' fooling no one. He charms everyone he meets who are as of yet unaware of his status as a CI. The anklet is hardly the most subtle accessory, and it takes all of his skills to salvage an encounter once someone catches sight of the innocently blinking light attached to his ankle. He perseveres, and leaves frustration in his wake as they realize he has managed to endear himself to them anyway.

He is a liar, a careful balance of half truths interspersed with solid fact, and what he would likely call a few harmless white lies along with it. No one believes a word he says that is not validated by his handler, or someone else equally beyond reproach. No one doubts that even the name he calls himself is false, and nothing about him genuine.

He is a criminal, as decided by the unanimous agreement of a judge and jury. He stole priceless works of art and remade brilliant likenesses to fool those who had come to see the real article. and was largely unrepentant. Constantly skirting the fringes of the law, keeping in contact with his old friends, it is enough to make one believe that prison had no redeeming effect on him.

Foremost, he is a friend. He is the one who will bring you coffee when he gets back from lunch if you are having a bad day, he is the person you can count on to look after your dog when your husband is in the hospital after an assignment gone wrong and his own arm is in a cast. He is the person you should trust least, and who never fails to meet that trust, once given.

A little faith goes a long way.