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10 November 2013 @ 03:10 am
[fic: white collar] Safe Places  
I... am still probably not done with tags to this episode. I feel it's only fair to warn you. (I'm writing these tags as stand-alones, btw, so they may not fit with each other.)

Title: Safe Places
Characters/Pairing: Neal, Peter, Jones
Word count: 900
Warnings: SPOILERS for 5x04
Notes: This totally fills the "Counseling" square on my hc_bingo card. If you squint.
Summary: Another missing scene for 5x04. The aftereffects of Neal's first visit to Dr Summers.


Neal barely remembered, afterwards, how he got down the stairs and out of the building while riding a surge of tightly-suppressed panic. He burst out into the open air aching to catch his breath. But there was a cabstand right opposite on the sidewalk, good, and he all but threw himself into the back seat of the closest one, giving the Bureau's address.

His heart was hammering. Adrenaline. That could be what was making his hands shake, too, or it could be the after-effects of whatever drugs were in his system.

Drugs. God, he'd been drugged — Dr Summers had denied it but he knew what his own body was telling him — and he hadn't seen it coming. He couldn't even remember it, which was terrifying.

Adding to his discomfort, he could still feel the artificial drowsiness lurking under the sharp edge of his fear. He clenched his fists, digging his fingernails into his palms, and tried to focus on the pain. Traffic and buildings were rushing past in a blur outside.

Remember… remember… All he was doing was bringing on a headache, and he didn't even notice for a minute that the cab had come to a stop outside the Bureau until the driver asked if he was planning on sitting there all day.

"How much?" he asked.

The driver told him as he was getting out his wallet. And then he instantly forgot, staring blankly at the bills in his hand. Trying to cover, he passed over an amount he thought looked about right, and as there were no complaints he must have guessed correctly. Or overpaid by several dollars. He didn't really care, so long as he could get out.

He had another moment of panic as he stared at the elevator buttons, momentarily unable to remember which one to press. Shit. He squeezed his eyes tightly shut for a second and let his hand make the decision from muscle memory. The adrenaline was leaving fast, and what he wanted more than anything was to retreat to somewhere safe and secluded where he could put his head down and give his body time to pull itself back together.

The next best thing, though, would be finding Peter, who would make sure that he was safe.

He found both Peter and Jones in the conference room, and took a chair quickly. Peter's eyes widened as Neal outlined what had happened, and his eyes anxiously searched him up and down.

"I'm okay, really," Neal insisted, as Jones left to arrange for someone to draw some blood. He hadn't been feeling so sure a few minutes ago, but now he just wanted to reassure Peter, who looked horribly worried.

"I'm sure you are," Peter agreed. "I think we should get you some water, though. Come on."

With a hand on Neal's back, he shepherded him down the stairs and towards the break room. They were drawing several curious glances, and Neal wondered if he looked as dishevelled as he felt. He hoped not. Mostly he just wanted to sit down again.

He got his wish — Peter guided him down onto the couch in the break room, and shut the door before pouring Neal a glass of water. "You'll need to take off your jacket and tie for when the medic gets here," he said.

"My tie's in the way of drawing blood?" Neal asked, raising an eyebrow skeptically. But he knew what Peter was trying to do, of course, and went along with it, removing his tie and loosening his collar.

Peter pulled up one of the plastic chairs and sat down in it, just giving Neal some quiet, until Jones came in with a medic behind him. "Hello, Mr Caffrey," she said. "This won't take long. Do you mind if I just take your vitals first?"

"Sure," Neal said, and let her take his pulse, blood pressure and temperature, which she did without talking more than necessary. He was grateful for that. Then he rolled up his sleeve so that she could fill two vacuum tubes of blood from the vein in his elbow.

"You seem pretty healthy," she said. "You should rest for a few minutes now, and try to eat something."

"I'll make sure he does," Peter said.

"Thanks, doc," Jones said. "I'll show you out."

Left alone with Peter, Neal made a desultory attempt to get up. Peter stopped him instantly with a hand on his shoulder. "Were you not listening a minute ago?" he asked. "You were told to rest. Lie down."

"She didn't tell me to lie down," Neal protested. "I'm resting fine here."

Peter fixed him with a stern gaze. "I don't care; I want you to lie down. You were unconscious, Neal, and you didn't look to me like you were feeling a hundred percent even before you had blood drawn. Am I wrong?"

"No," Neal admitted, recognising an argument he was unlikely to win. He swung his legs up over the arm of the couch and stretched out. "Better?"

"Much better," Peter said, sounding satisfied. He patted Neal on the shoulder, and then rested his hand there as if he was worried that Neal might still be considering escape.

Neal smiled a little, and closed his eyes. He didn't fall asleep, but he relaxed. Peter was there, and he would keep the rest of the world away for just a little while. Much better. Yes.


Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/107268.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Hard Sell Peter Nealsholio on November 10th, 2013 07:05 am (UTC)
.... eeeeeeee. :D This episode needs ALL THE TAGS, and I love how you've depicted Neal's state of mind and his lingering memory slips, as well as Peter's concern and care for him.
Frith: Zundry - squidflailfrith_in_thorns on November 11th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
ALL THE TAGS! ~flails~

Thank you so much! <3 <3
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf: White Collar - Neal b&wembroiderama on November 10th, 2013 08:20 am (UTC)
I love this! Please do write many tags for this episode. :)
Frith: Zundry - raining heartsfrith_in_thorns on November 11th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D (I loved this episode a LOT.)
pipiljpipilj on November 10th, 2013 08:32 am (UTC)
Another great episode tag. Love worried Peter
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - boysfrith_in_thorns on November 11th, 2013 01:48 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I always love writing worried Peter :)
kanarek13kanarek13 on November 10th, 2013 10:01 am (UTC)
Wheeee \o/ Another glorious tag :D This is so wonderful, poor Neal, he really was out of his comfort zone until he got back to Peter, awwww.

Also, I just have to say/show that we now have the perfect example of that stare of doom, no wonder Neal doesn't feel like arguing with that :D (https://www.dropbox.com/s/9wprm4atxf1kqt2/coninterest15832.png)

Awww, this is great \o/ Totally made my morning :D Thank you :D
Frithfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! There needs to be SO MUCH drugged!Neal fic. He is the best :D
ladyrose42ladyrose42 on November 10th, 2013 12:52 pm (UTC)
I think you captured Neal's post-drugged state of mind and panic perfectly.
Frith: White Collar - Diana - reflectionfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
shimyakuhybridshade on November 10th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
Agreeing with people above, this episode in particular needs as many tags as possible! It's practically begging for it!

Anyway, I loved how you portrayed Neal's confusion and anxiety as he was getting back to the Bureau, how he's on the verge of freaking out about the most regular of things like pushing the lift button. And then of course there's the 'aww' moment at the end where Neal can finally relax again. Lovvve<3
Frith: Zundry - raining heartsfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:29 am (UTC)
I am surprised there aren't more tags out yet! Everyone should be writing drugged Neal!

I'm really happy you enjoyed my take on this; thank you very much :)
Neal's ass is magicfatale on November 10th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
Love it! As soon as I saw the episode, I was thinking about how many lovely fics it would inspire.
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - boysfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
saphirablue on November 10th, 2013 02:08 pm (UTC)

Thank you!
Frith: White Collar - Diana - coatfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:31 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks! :)
calis_1stcalis_1st on November 10th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
Wonderful tag! I love how you showed his state of panic as he left Summer's office to not remembering how to pay the cab fare to forgetting the floor he needed.
Frith: White Collar - El+Neal+Peter - familyfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:34 am (UTC)
Thank you! I thought watching that Neal definitely Wasn't Okay in the scene where he got back to the office, and felt this really needed to be explored in fic :D
Winter: BWbeautywinterstar95 on November 10th, 2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
Perfect missing scene!
Frith: White Collar - Diana - coatfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
palombaggiapalombaggia on November 10th, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
Aww, you wrote again!
"Peter would keep the rest of the world away"...perfect description of protective Peter.
Wish he would become protective again instead of traumatizing Neal by calling him a criminal..
Frith: White Collar - Diana - reflectionfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
Really glad you enjoyed this, thank you!
lauracollaredlauracollared on November 10th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
"The next best thing, though, would be finding Peter, who would make sure that he was safe." :D

Frith: White Collar - Neal - writingfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
I love writing missing scenes :D Thank you!
pooh_collector on November 10th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'm squinting and I totally see how this fill works.

I was really looking for something just like this in the ep.

Thanks for filling this need in my head canon.
Frith: White Collar - El+Neal+Peter - familyfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
I felt the need for this while watching the ep too, I'm glad I'm not alone! And also glad that you enjoyed this, thank you :)
lov_pb on November 10th, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
Loved it. Thanks!
"Peter was there, and he would keep the rest of the world away ..." Oh yes!!!
Frith: White Collar - Diana - coatfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
azertyninazertynin on November 11th, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
Awwwwwwwww This episode is screaming h/c fanfictions ! Thank you for this lovely tag ♥ I'm looking forward plenty of them :D

Did you see how Neal closed his eyes when Peter and he are in the interrogation room with Griffiths. I bet the drug's effects are not completely over. Begging for more tags :D

Edited at 2013-11-11 06:33 pm (UTC)
Frith: Zundry - raining heartsfrith_in_thorns on November 17th, 2013 01:42 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! ♥ This ep was really great for inspiring ALL the tags and missing scenes!