Author's Note: Welcome to my first White Collar fanfic! This piece is mostly just my attempt to get familiar with writing the characters. Feedback is always appriciated, especially so that I can tell what I got right and what didn't work so well.

Disclaimer: I do not own White Collar. That privilage goes to Jeff Eastin and the folks at USA Networks, though Christmas IS coming...

Color Choice

Neal Caffrey stood the edge of his radius. One more step forward and the alarm on his anklet would go off. That little green light would turn an angry red the moment he crossed the threshold and moved off of the snow-covered curb.

Lifting his left pant leg slightly to gain a clearer view of the device, Neal wondered at the simplicity of his predicament. Stay or go. Green or red. It was not the first time he had come to this spot to think, to ponder the choices that his friends were trying to force him to make. Peter wanted him to stay, wanted the green light to remain constant. Mozzie, on the other hand, desired the red light. Mozzie wanted nothing more than to run with him to some private, non-extradition island where they could live out their lives in luxury.

Green and red. Two opposing colors, to be sure. Red was primary, as far as colors went. It also represented passion, humanity, of life and loss. Blood was red. Blood that beat through his heart, which had hurt so much in the last few years since the loss of his freedom, of Kate. And now Sara had walked away…. But red's passion had always burned strongly in his veins, and he always felt drawn to that color despite the pain it attracted. When he painted his own work, he would use red. Not a forgery, a copy of someone else's dream, but his own original paintings. Neal suddenly realized how long it had been since he had created a dream of his own.

He shifted slightly, dropping his pant leg back into place and rubbing the leg for added warmth, making sure not to drop the item in his right hand. Green was a secondary color- a mix of blue and yellow. It represented life, though more of the mother-nature, outdoors type. It could also signify safety and stability. If there was one thing that his life with the green light offered him, it was stability. He had friends here, and not the favor-for-a-favor type that he had during his earlier days. No, here he had Peter, Elizabeth, Jones, Diana, June… Sara, once. He had people here he could depend upon. These were people who were content with a world of green, and who wished that he could be, too.

Even the primary colors that made up green still held an influence over its meaning. Blue meant faith, loyalty and trust. Yellow represented joy and energy. It could also be a warning or a symbol for cowardice, however.

Neal shook his head in an attempt to clear his thoughts. Whenever he came out here to think, his thoughts always seemed to run themselves in circles. Red, green, go, stay… each side had their own arguments. But Neal had finally run out of time, back when Red gave him an ultimatum and Green had suffered the fallout.

The reason Neal had come to this place today was not to think on his situation. He had already chosen.

"Neal, are you coming?"

Blue eyes shot up, focusing on the approaching figure.

"What are you doing? It's freezing out here! Come on- we need to get moving."

A small smile tugged at the corners of the conman's lips. Without sparing another look to the curb and the world beyond, he turned and held up the object he had been holding in his hands to his companion.

"What do you think? Do you she'll like it?"

"I'm probably not the person to ask," Peter said non-chalantly, pulling his coat tighter. "El has been asking for a sweater that she can wear to client meetings, but I'm not allowed to buy her clothes anymore after last year. Apparently I have no fashion sense. Green's a good color on her, though."

Neal's smile broadened considerably. Yes, he thought he and Peter climbed into the warm car and headed back to the office, green was a good color.