One of Those Mornings

Summary: Neal's turning heads, and not for any of the usual reasons.

A/N: This is not the longer fic I've been promising, but a fun oneshot whose idea would not leave me alone.

Neal's turning heads, and not for any of the usual reasons. Diana and Jones are raising eyebrows at him from over their coffees, while the new intern has stopped taking notes in order to openly stare.

"You alright there, Caffrey?" asks Jones, and there's no hiding the laughter in his voice.

Neal answers with only a grimace, and when he looks up, he sees Peter in his office, apparently now alert to his arrival and already grinning. Peter gestures for him to come in, and Neal sighs. It's going to be a long day.

In Peter's office, the FBI Agent wastes no time in getting to the question. "What happened to you, Caffrey?"

"Nothing. I don't want to talk about it, alright?"

"Oh, we're going to talk about it," says Peter with a devilish smile. "I need to make the highlight of my day last a little longer."

"You know, you're enjoying this way more than you should, Peter," replies Neal. "You should really look into some therapy to figure out why other people's humiliation gives you such amusement..."

"First of all, it's not all other people. Just you. And second of all, don't change the subject. Tell me."

Neal sighs - he's not getting out of this one. "Fine," he says resignedly. "Last night, someone had their car alarm going for three hours outside my window and it took all my self-restraint not to go outside and disable it myself. As a consequence of my exemplary behavior, I was not able to get much sleep. Which of course explains the bags under my eyes. It also explains why I slept through my alarm, which in turn caused me to be in a hurry this morning."

Neal takes a breath. "I got this -" he points to the noticeable cut on his cheek, "while I was rushing to shave. And I didn't really have time to comb my hair so -"

"You mean you didn't have time to spend an hour on your hair," Peter interjects, smirking. "And the shirt and tie?"

Neal does the closest thing to blushing that Peter's ever seen him do, followed by a heavy scowl. "I knew after last night that I'd need some real coffee, not that sludge that passes as coffee here. I bought some at the cafe down the street, and everything was looking up..."

"Until?" Peter presses.

"Until the jogger ran into me."

Peter looks entirely too gleeful. "Bet that burned."

Neal gives him a look as if to say, well, obviously. Instead, he says, "Peter, do we have a case or what?"

Peter grabs a folder file from off his desk. "Sure do," he says, holding the file out to Neal, but pulling it slightly away just as Neal reaches for it. "But first, let me immortalize this moment in my memory."

"Peter," Neal says in warning.

Peter hands over the file, but with a smirk still firmly in place. "I just never thought I'd see the day when the famously impeccable Neal Caffrey finally managed to look less than his best."

Neal flips through the file idly. "If it's such a big story, call the press, why don't you?" he says sarcastically.

Peter leans back in his seat and rests his hands behind his head. He eyes Neal's messy hair, his tired expression, his patchy shave job, and his shirt and tie, which are wet and stained with brown coffee. "You know, I think I just might have to."

A/N: I don't really want to see Neal looking so sloppy, but Peter definitely would. Reviews much appreciated, as always.