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CHARACTER FACTS

» Name: Neal Caffrey

» Canon: TV series “White Collar”

» Reference: For series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Collar_%28TV_series%29

For character: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Caffrey

» Canon Point: after Season 3, episode 11 “Checkmate”

» Gender: Male

» Age: 36


CHARACTER INTERPRETATION

» Appearance: PB will be Matt Bomer, who plays Neal on the show. Neal stands just a shade under six feet tall, unless he’s wearing one of his old-school fedoras that he sports on a regular basis, the ones that match so nicely to the vintage styled, sharply tailored two- and three-piece suits that he wears nearly every day. Underneath those suits, Neal is exceptionally fit and athletic, preferring exercise like swimming to keep him lean and quick, traits that serve his chosen profession(s) better than bulk or combat know-how. He’s exceptionally handsome, his features blending both his natural boyish charm and his carefully cultivated easy-going, debonair attitude into a single, generally irresistible package. Neal’s most striking feature are his clear, light blue eyes, often his most devastating weapons of persuasion.

» Suitability: N/A

» Orientation: Heterosexual. All of Neal’s canon romantic/sexual relationships have been with women, and when he’s depicted as leveraging his good looks and sex appeal on someone he is trying to influence, it has generally been females. Personality-wise, Neal is probably not above flirting with a man if it suits his needs, but no further. Also, he is an attractive man who has been to jail, and as such he may have had some kind of homosexual contact but no mention or implication has ever been made.

» Personality: Beyond his physical attributes, the words that most people who have any kind of encounter with Neal Caffrey might use include "friendly", "earnest", "suave", "cheerful" and above all, "charming". It's the face he shows to nearly everyone around him at all times, the one with the mischievously twinkling blue eyes, the confident stride and the air of being the coolest, most clever and most nonchalant person in the room. Both his friends (on either side of the law) and his "marks" get to see this Neal and very little else. Behind that, though, is a man who cares deeply for his few true friends like Mozzie or Peter and holds tight to them as the family he's been able to choose. The real Caffrey is also a hopeless romantic at heart, willing to do just about anything for the woman he's with. There's even an artist's instinct lurking in him, evidenced by the fact that when not using his talents to forge and mimic, he paints and creates original works for himself.

Neal has had three primary and significant relationships during his canon, all of which inform greatly on his dealings with love and sex. Kate Moreau was his first great love, a woman he brought into his life of crime after a failed con left them both penniless. Together they shared dreams of the one great score that would let them walk away from the world together and live happily ever after. After Kate was murdered before Neal's eyes, he was reluctant to open his heart again. Alex Walker was already a world-class thief when she and Neal met, and their relationship, while passionate, was rarely more than a momentary respite or convenience. Before their feelings could develop into something deeper, it was clear that Neal had moved on to a woman who did not represent the wild, unrestrained life of crime from which he was turning. Sara Ellis had every reason to want Neal behind bars and early on, that was her main interest in him. Soon, their attraction to each other's promise of a life lived right on the edge grew enough to get them together. That ended when Sara learned that Neal had been lying to her for months about a crime he'd committed, something he is and was desperate to make up to her for.

For most of his canon, Neal has spent his time balanced between a life of crime and one of crime-fighting, embodied by his two closest friends. On one side has always been Mozzie, who has been Neal's criminal partner, mentor and guru for most of his career. Neal trusts Mozzie implicitly, something truly rare among thieves, and Mozzie's utter contempt for "the system" feeds Neal's disregard for authority. On the other side, there is FBI Agent Peter Burke, who caught Neal twice, then gave Neal the opportunity to work as a consultant and atone for his crimes. While respecting Peter at first, Neal has come to consider him a best friend, humbled and amazed at the faith that Peter's actions have displayed-- a faith that Neal is, at heart, a good person. Burke's influence over the first two and a half years of their partnership culminate in Neal's eventual decision to walk away from a fortune in stolen art and jewelry in order to keep the life he had come to establish--working with the FBI, being close to Peter and his wife Elizabeth, having at least for a little while a relationship with Sara, and being a better person than he was before. This is the point in canon at which Neal will arrive in Atia. (605)

SAMPLES

» First Person Sample Choice: First Person Prompt Two

I glance down at the half-dozen coins in my hand and know that despite being careful, I don't have quite enough to buy an entire meal today. It’s not even remotely the kind of situation I prefer, but that's never stopped me before. Ten minutes of browsing the marketplace looking like I've got nothing better to do and that my stomach isn't growling lets me find the perfect mark: local girl, selling fresh-baked bread, and smiling brightly every time I "accidentally" make eye contact.

"Hi. Sorry I keep wandering by, but the smell of the bread..." I trail off with a smirk, and she nods understandingly.

We chat a minute or two. I get her name; I brush my hand over hers and act as if I don't notice it or the blush that reddens her cheeks. "You know what? I do seem to have a little spare change here. Why don't I buy one of those nice crusty sourdough loaves you've got there?" When she pushes back the hand holding the money, I know I've got her. "No, no, I insist. Although... you don't happen to give samples, do you? My next door neighbor swears she makes the best bread in the district. Maybe if I gave her a taste of the competition, maybe she won't be out here next week, trying to take your customers."

Five minutes later, I'm walking home with three loaves, and she forgot to make me pay for the first one.

» Third Person Sample Choice: Third Person Prompt One

Neal's first clue that something wasn't normal was that he woke up slowly that morning. As were most people who had plenty of reason to not want to ever get snuck up on, he was a light sleeper and a quick waker and the long, languid, drowsy minutes that it took for him to open his eyes were an eternity. Somehow, though, he didn't feel the immediate need to be worried. In fact, he was about as content as he had felt in a while, which was saying something considering the mess his life was in. In fact, the last time he'd felt this much like staying in bed was the last time he'd woken up with Sara. A quick blind grasp confirmed for Neal that neither Sara nor anyone else was sharing the bed with him.

Finally, he sat up and blinked his eyes. The room he found himself in was a lushly appointed suite in an elaborate yet elegant Greek or Roman style. For a moment, he wondered if he'd somehow ended up getting drunk and checking into a penthouse at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, but this place had too much class. Neal shifted around the bed, bringing his attention first to the impossible softness of the sheets and second to his utter lack of clothing, something again making him wonder if he'd stumbled into a one night stand. But that had never been his way with women--not that he was ever lacking in opportunity, and multiple one-nights with Alex he'd always figured didn't count. There were no feelings of being hung over or particularly groggy from drugs, so that was out.

His hand slid down his leg and he let out an involuntary chuckle. No anklet. Wherever he was, that nemesis that had leashed him inside a two mile radius of Manhattan was gone. Another shift in position, though, brought him into view of a mirror that gave Neal the sad news. Apparently, the cuff had somehow left his ankle and been moved and reconfigured into an inch-wide band around his throat. "You've got to be kidding me..." Neal whispered, fingering the collar and trying to pull at it, testing the lock. While it looked like his electronic anklet, he could tell that wasn't how it worked. It seemed to be a single, unbreakable and unyielding piece. Maybe this was some kind of massive prank of Peter's or maybe even the whole White Collar division? Was this a kind of hazing punishment for what he'd just put them all through?

Whatever it was, he tried to put aside his annoyance. If they wanted him to jump through more hoops to prove himself, he'd do it. Neal rose from the bed and since no one else seemed to be in the room, walked around, examining the furniture and decor, every piece of which his trained and expert eye was ready to pronounce an absolutely flawless forgery of authentic ancient Mediterranean work, if one could ignore the fact that it was all newly crafted. "Either someone's going through way more effort than they need to for this joke, or this resort has got the best forgers in the world working for them," he mused out loud as he strode to the window.

The view took his breath away, making Neal think of Lake Como or Santorini, but a thousand years in the past. He sighed and turned back into the room, hoping to find some clothes and hoping that the collar around his neck meant that he was still somehow the FBI's pet "criminal consultant" and that he hadn't traded that life for being the house boy of some mega-rich Greek heiress. Wouldn't Mozzie be jealous if he had, though?
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Neal Caffrey

July 2013

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