He was drumming his fingers to a beat in his head, gorgeous dark locks peaking under the rim of his hat as he tilted it.
Suddenly, voice full of wonder, those blue eyes bright with realization, Neal exclaimed, "Peter... you think I'm *HOT*."
"Wait- what?" Peter Burke had that clueless, caught red-handed in the cookie jar face, papers from the case file he had falling to the floor with the boring manilla folder that held them. Trying to get his mind to start working, he said with a stern look, "That... didn't sound like a question."
"It wasn't." Neal Caffrey said with a shake of his locks, hat rolling smoothly from his head with a flick of his wrist, pointing accusatorially at the adorably flustered fed, "It's a fact."
"Ah haha ha, where did that even come from?" Burke tried to laugh it off, if a little nervously, as he stooped to pick up the dropped papers. He didn't expect the ex-con to be crouching next to him, smooth hands brushing his own.
Peter Burke jumped back like he was burned, having stumbled a few steps backwards before he realized how his reaction must have looked. Neal was cocking his brow up at him, amusement dancing in his eyes.
The FBI agent had his hand out, "Not what it looked like. You startled me. Should never startle an agent. Just be glad I didn't have my piece on me."
"Yeah, you're right." Neal nodded, elbow resting on his bent knee, papers tucked neatly back in the folder as he stood, "Then we'd be worrying about your gun going off when you dropped it, too."
"Haha, very funny Caffrey." Burke retorted dryly, trying not to fidget as the younger man tossed the folder neatly on the desk, hands tucked in expensive suit pants -the posture enhancing his streamlined form- as he walked suavely up to the agent.
"Wow, Peter. I mean, *wow*. This just proves it. You are totally attracted to me." Neal Caffrey said with wonder, not knowing how he hadn't seen it before, "The chase. The thrill. The get out of jail free card by *working* with you. You, Peter Burke, find me attractive."
Peter was shaking his head in the negative at each continued statement, that deadly finger wagging as he denied, "Neal. No. I find you overworked and obviously a touch insane at the moment. You sleep on it, and call me in the morning when you're refreshed and ready to be thinking logically with the rest of us able-bodied citizens."
Was it hot in there?
Burke needed some air.
He made a beeline for the door.
But Neal was faster.
He cut off the route of escape, standing between Peter and the door, arms folding disapprovingly over his elegantly dressed chest.
"Peter. We both know that's not true. I'm only as insane as I usually am to make the mad and devilishly handsome genius that stands before you today. And since when do I *ever* overwork?"
"Hmm. You got a point there." Peter nodded in agreement, stroking his chin almost in thought. Then he tried to sidestep around the other, still making for that door. If he could only make it out of June's loft, give the forger time to cool off and think, maybe this moment of insane clarity would just rub off.
Then again, this was Neal Caffrey.
Since when did he ever forget a detail? Especially when it concerned someone he considered close? Someone he actually trusts. Overdose of drugs or not, Peter couldn't help but know the ex-con was telling the truth when he admitted that Burke was the one person -more than Mozzie or even *Kate*- that Neal Caffrey actually trusted.
That was a big thing.
Especially for a man like Neal Caffrey.
"Tell you what. You sleep on it. And like I mentioned before, we'll talk in the morning." Peter offered.
Except there was that devilish smile, that sly and smooth polished step that had the well dressed man in Burke's way again. STILL blocking the way to the door.
"Nuh-uh. And give you time to think of a clever way to slip out of this? Get some tips from El? Don't think so, Peter. You're good. Almost as good as me. But only when you have a moment to prepare." Neal tapped his finger to his chin, fixing the agent with a speculative look, the kind of look he has when he's not letting on as much as he's figured out when faced with a challenging puzzle. Only Peter was the puzzle this time. And Peter tugged at his tie, which was suddenly too tight, as he realized he didn't like the way it felt at all.
"This isn't a *game* Neal."
"Oh no. No I know it's not."
"Get out of the way."
"No, I won't."
"Okay fine, you want me to actually say it? NO Neal, I do NOT find you attractive. Better?"
"No, not really."
"Now get out of the wa-"
"No, I'm not getting out of the way."
"Oh?" Agent Burke's tone was starting to reach the deep tone of oh-shit-you're-screwed-'cause-Burke's-getting-seri ous-slash-pissed-off. Neal knew he was in deep water as Peter demanded, "And why not?"
"Because you're lying." Neal hastily tossed out there, as the buffer man made a step towards him to *make* him move.
That made the FBI agent stop in his tracks, that frown creasing deeper, "I do NOT find you attractive, Neal."
"Oh yeah?" Neal asked, getting high off the dangerous rush he was getting from the older man 's stern impatience. He was dancing on the edge of a knife. And he had to play his cards right, or he might screw this whole thing up and lose Peter. Steeling himself before he could lose his nerve, Caffrey hardened his gaze as he said seriously, "Prove it."
This was the second time in a row he had thrown a blanket over the all seeing Agent's eyes, nearly bringing Burke to speechlessness as the man could only utter, "What?"
Neal stepped closer, noting the sudden twitch in the older man's clenched jaw, the sudden hitch in his breath. A whiff of his aftershave. Neal lowered his voice, tone deeper, challenging as he repeated, "PROVE. It."
"Oh yeah? How mister smarty pants-" Peter tried to laugh his nervousness away again, taking a pre planned step back, trying to get a comfortable distance between them.
But Neal wouldn't let him.
He took two steps this time, making them closer than before. So close he could feel the heat from Peter's buttoned up work shirt, pressed and ironed to perfection under El's care. Obviously, since Peter could never get his nose out of a case file long enough to notice the iron was still on, much less that his shirt would now have a nice triangular hole in it.
When Peter leaned back, refusing to show just how uncomfortable this was making him, Neal leaned in, "Kiss me."
Peter's eyes nearly bulged out of his head, "Ex-CUSE me?"
This time Peter didn't care that he stumbled back, running into the back of the sofa, hands fumbling to keep him from flying over it head first as he distanced himself. But Neal stalked him, getting close enough that Burke's aftershave washed over him once more. Close enough to nearly feel that adam's apple bob up and down as the FBI agent swallowed. Hard.
Close enough that the only thing that would be closer would be if their clothes were off and they were screwing each other, then and there against the back of the couch. Maybe on it. Beside it. Over. Neal wasn't picky.
Neal placed his snazzy cuff-linked sleeves on either side of the couch, one on the top and the other on the side-armrest, titling his angle as he perfectly trapped the other. His voice was sin and silk as he repeated deeper, "KISS. Me. Peter."
Peter's throat was drier than the Sahara. And he found clearing it to be more than difficult as he nearly had to stop breathing just to keep his body from coming into contact with Neal's. Yupp, tie was definitely too tight. He couldn't risk loosening it without brushing against the ex-con's firm collarbone, however. That's how close the other was.
They were practically melded together.
Neal found it adorable when that flush hit the Agent's cheek, his usually firm and commanding voice stumbling a little as he stated, "I-I-I-uh, don't think that is such a good idea, Neal."
"Oh really?" Caffrey smirked that smirk that had hundreds of ladies swooning. Peter was no lady, but Neal would bet his whole collection by the way that face flushed just a little deeper shade of red, that it was working just fine on Agent Burke, "Well *I* think it's a great idea."
"Th-thinking has never been your strong suit, Caffrey." Peter tried to come off as stern, but the affect was somewhat thrown off by his slight nervous stutter in the beginning, and by the way he leaned back into the back of the couch, almost as though he was trying to phase through it.
"You're right Burke. Actions speak louder than words. So just kiss me already and be done with. If you don't feel anything afterwards, then, hey, I'll drop it. But until then-"
Peter ducked quickly to peck the man on the lips. Something so fast you would have missed it if you blinked.
Peter ignored the heat tingling his lips at that brief moment of contact, face a stern mask as he shrugged, "See? Nothing. Satisfied?"
Neal was completely stunned in disbelief, taking a step back. He couldn't seem to close his parted lips, blue eyes wide, "WHAT was *THAT*?"
Now that the other had given him some breathing room, Peter straightened his posture, fixing his dress shirt and tie as he cleared his throat, "A kiss."
"No that wasn't."
"Yes it was."
"NO. It wasn't."
"I don't know why you always argue with me. Lip on lip contact. That was a kiss."
"Yeah... the kind you give a daughter before her dance recital. Or to your dog. THAT is *not* a kiss." Neal Caffrey explained with a short laugh.
"Did you just compare yourself to a little girl AND a dog?" Peter pointed out with a cocked brow.
"Don't change the subject." Neal warned with an accusatory finger, before continuing with a smug, "Honestly, Peter, I'm a little disappointed. I mean I didn't think you had game, but I mean there must have been *something* you had to get that hot of a wife. It's not too surprising though, to learn you're not much of a kisser-"
"I'll have you know, I am a GREAT kisser." Burke retorted defensively, his deadly finger out now.
"NOT from where I'm standing." Caffrey stated, hands up in the air as he raised brows showed just how much of a disaster a few moments ago had been, "I mean if *THAT* was a prime example-"
"That was NOT a prime-"
"-you JUST said yourself Peter, that was a kiss-"
"-was NOT a kiss, that was what I do when I'm *coerced* into-"
"Woah. Peter, there is so much of you I don't know. You usually get coerced into giving out kisses? I mean, does El know?" Neal asked, lowering his voice conspiratorially.
"Stop it, I do NOT-"
"I'm *just* saying Peter, you are NOT a very good kisser."
"I'll have you know I'm a VERY good-"
"HAH. If *that* was anything to go off of, Peter, I'm sure it's safe to say you are-"
"Don't go down this road, Neal."
"a *complete* and utter liar-"
"You don't want to do this."
"-who ALSO is not a very good kisser-"
"All right. Fine. You asked for it." That was the only warning Neal got.
Then suddenly burly arms encased his, trapping him as a hand wrapped firmly behind his curled locks.
"Peter? What are you- mmf!"
Then suddenly hot lips closed over lips, that large hand titling Neal's head at just the right angle as Peter delved in, mouth attempting to dominate. Caffrey may have been taken by surprise, but he playfully fought back, nipping at the older man's lips and refusing entrance.
Peter Burke was not to be denied.
He had been chasing the younger man for years. Caught him twice, and had been working side by side his insufferable ego for ages. And to have the forger try to put him down for something that was obviously NOT true. Well.
His other hand drifted lower, to possessively cup Caffrey's firm ass and pull those slim hips against his own. A move that Neal obviously enjoyed, as he melted a little in the Agent's arms, giving a whimpering moan.
Peter took advantage, tongue muscling its way past those parted lips, exploring the inner caverns. As the younger melted like putty before him, Peter realized he had just discovered a way to shut the ex-con up. The fact that it was enjoyable was simply a plus. But Neal Caffrey was no wallflower. He gripped Peter's own hips in a firm hold, grinding against him.
This extracted a surprised moan from Burke's lips, bringing him back to reality.
He shoved himself off and away from temptation, breath coming hard and heavy as he saw the fruits of his labor. A dazed Neal with the most kissable lips just as breathless across from him. Except he was grinning like a maniac.
Peter paused. Cocked his head with a disapproving frown, "You conned me."
"KNEW you were a good kisser." Neal said, grin a permanent fixture in that lit up face.
"Hmm, well I hope you enjoyed that. Never. Happening again." Peter growled, turning to grab his coat hanging on the dining table chair.
"Wanna bet?" Neal trailed behind him, vest pulling just right across his chiseled form as he clasped his hands behind the small of his back.
Peter shrugged his coat on, lips pursed and gaze drifting up to the side as if in thought, before immediately shaking his head in the negative, "Nope."
"Knew there was more to you than good looks." Caffrey smiled that winning smile, following the other like a twin shadow as Burke made his way out the loft's entrance.
"Wait-what? You think I'm attractive?" Burke, halfway out the door, turned. Clearly surprised.
"I don't DO ugly." Caffrey said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Shut up Neal." Burke sighed turning and continuing his way to the stairwell.
Hand on the doorknob, about to shut it, Neal was a step behind him as he inquired, "Hey Peter? How are you in bed?"
In which a lot of cursing could be heard, top notch Peter Burke almost making his way down the stairs faster than he intended. By tripping head over heels.
The door was quickly shut as Neal rushed to help, "Jeeze, Peter. Careful! And I thought *I* was the careless one."
"You don't SAY things like that so unexpectedly." Peter exclaimed angrily.
"Oh." A beat of silence, "Well, are you?"
"Shut UP Neal. This is NOT up for discussion."
"Well, you know how I am with words, Peter..."
"You will NEVER know how good I am in bed."
"Never say never Peter."
"Ah, Peter, always a spoil sport. How 'bout we try that kissing thing again-"
"Shut up. Got it."
They headed down a few steps, Peter immensely enjoying the silence.
Before Neal piped up, "You know, El's been telling me how good you really are, and I find that hard to believe without experiencing the real thing-"
"Aw c'mon Peter. Just one-"
"NOT in your lifetime."
"...Ah, I see."
"What? See what?"
"Don't worry Peter. A lot of guys start to lose it as they age-"
"I am NOT old. And I have NOT lost it."
"Don't worry Peter, your secret's safe with me. El's a pretty good wife for covering for you like that."
"…I *hate* you."
To Neal's credit, he took it well by actually giving Peter a reprieve as he scrounged up one of his winning smiles. To Peter's credit, he didn't flinch so much when the next verbal war began.
"Youuuuuu…. can show me just how *much* you hate me. In bed."
Peter was smiling, shaking his head as he began again, "NOT a chance, Rocko."
"And *here* we go again with the lame references to genres and nicknames that should have the decency to REMAIN buried."
"That's really helping your case there, Neal."
"Really? There's a case?" Chalk it up to Neal Caffrey to pick up the subtlest clues in the most favorable ways for his own benefit.
"No. There is no case. Never was. Sorry I even made a reference to the word." Peter really considered covering his ears and humming like a child would. Loudly.
"But NOT sorry that there is something workable there. Between us. And the bed." Neal grinned.
"SHUT up and get in the van." Peter growled as he opened the front door, pointing warningly as the former con turned with his mouth open, "And no sexual puns or suggestions on your way there."
Neal Caffrey shrugged innocently, strutting obediently to the vehicle. Curious at how complacent the other was, it wasn't until the van doors were closed and they were on the move that Peter Burke realized his mistake.
He was suddenly spun in his seat, lap full of devilishly handsome conman with inquisitive hands, as Neal piped up, "Never said anything about once we were IN the van."
After which, Peter Burke would NEVER look at the van the same and Neal Caffrey was always grinning on his way to it.