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13 January 2014 @ 12:53 am
[fic: white collar] Disintegration  
I have all the shiny fandom_stocking things to round up, but in the meantime have a quick episode tag.

Title: Disintegration
Characters/Pairing: Neal, Peter; Gen
Word count: 1000
Warnings: SPOILERS for 5x10, "Live Feed". Panic attack.
Notes: This just leapt out at me at the end of the episode.

Summary: Tag to Live Feed. Immediate aftermath.

- - -

"Neal?" Peter says, but his voice is echoy and distant and not all that important.

Rebecca killed Siegel. Rebecca killed Hagen. Rebecca has been playing him this whole time.

"Neal?" Peter repeats.

There doesn't seem to be enough air.

"Neal, hey." Peter turns him around. Neal's eyes go past Peter to lock onto the photographs stuck to the mirror. The faces. The aliases. "We need to get out of here. Can you do that?"

Neal nods jerkily. His chest hurts. He's breathing much too fast. Things are beginning to go wavy in the corners of his eyes.

Peter takes his elbow and leads him out, and they must have gone down the stairs but Neal has no memory of it; they're suddenly outside and the daylight is blinding. "Come on, you can make it to the car," Peter coaxes, as if he's talking to a small child, or to Satchmo.

But he can't. He's gulping air but he can't breathe, and his sight is breaking up into bright speckles and black dots, and his heart is hammering in his throat and his chest hurts and he's suffocating

— Siegel lying dead on the sidewalk in the rain and he's had sex with the person who did that, he said to Peter she looks at me like Elizabeth looks at you and he left Mozzie in danger with Hagen because of her and all this time he was being played —

— and he can't breathe —

Peter is holding Neal up even as his knees are folding; he's got Neal with solid brick at his back and has his arms around him so that the top of Neal's head is pressed against his chest. A little space carved out where Neal can't fall and all he can see is the front of Peter's shirt, and his tie, and the tips of his shoes against the paving.

"Breathe with me," Peter is saying, and Neal can't do that but the sound of Peter's voice is good and strong and solid anyway. "You're okay. You're okay. You're gonna be fine."

It takes a long time. Unless it just feels like it does. Neal finally realises what an odd sight they must be making, pressed up together against a wall. It's the first coherent thought that doesn't send him spiralling back into panic.

He's shaking. His teeth would be chattering, but he doesn't let them. "I'm okay," he manages.

"Yeah?" Peter says, with some relief. He cautiously loosens his grip on Neal, but keeps hold of him as he moves back a fraction, like he's still worried Neal is about to keel over.

Neal lifts his head. He's breathing raggedly, but his heart no longer feels like it's trying to force its way out of his chest. "Sorry," he gasps.

"Can you walk to the car?" Peter asks. "Or should I go get it? You need to sit down."

"I can —" Neal begins, and tightens his fingers into Peter's sleeve. His body feels like he just ran a marathon. His legs are wobbly, and he's dizzy. But he doesn't want to be left.

Peter understands. He always does. He puts his arm under Neal's shoulders and supports him down the road. Neal closes his eyes, but Peter shakes him and tells him off.

Neal is still shaking as he collapses into the passenger seat. "I'm going to move us a few blocks," Peter says, and starts the engine without waiting for a response.

They stop again next to a park. Neal is trying by now to pull himself together, but Peter frowns at his attempted smile and finds the pulse in his wrist instead. Neal's too worn out to stop him. He's cold and clammy, and feels vaguely nauseous.

"You really don't look so good," Peter says, still frowning with concern.

"She killed Siegel," Neal says. He puts a hand to his mouth as if he could put the words back; make them be untrue. "She —"

"I know," Peter says, and there's a horrible compassion in his eyes that's harder to cope with than the blame and anger he's been carrying. "Neal —"

"How did I miss this?" Neal whispers. All of it. There's so much, and it all ties back to Rebecca.

"Neal." Peter's voice is sharp, and jerks Neal's head up. "Stay calm, okay? Breathe."

Neal nods, because he can feel his chest begin to spike with pain again. He can't let himself lose control a second time. He lets Peter take his hand and grip it tightly. "I'm all right," he promises.

"You don't look it," Peter says. "I'm going to drive you back to June's."

"No," Neal protests. "I need to be working on this. What if she —"

"No arguments," Peter interrupts. "Go back to your apartment, have a shower, have a nap. If you feel better after that you can come down to the Bureau — I can guarantee we'll be working late tonight. But you won't be helping in the state you're in right now."

Neal groans, and rubs the heels of his hands into his eyes. Peter's right; he feels like hell. All wound up, and at the same time shaky and exhausted. And it will give him time to bring Mozzie up to speed. "Okay," he agrees.

Peter looks marginally less worried. He gives Neal a once-over and starts the car. Neal leans back against the seat.

To his surprise, he dozes, and is shaken awake by Peter when they reach Riverside. "You're home," Peter says. "Go upstairs and get more rest. Unless you need me to stay?"

Neal shakes his head stiffly, trying not to yawn. "I'll see you at the office later."

"Maybe," Peter says, non-committally. "Don't go anywhere else."

"Will you be watching me?" Neal asks.

"I most certainly will be," Peter responds. Which is comforting in its way; the ground may have fallen from under his feet, but Peter is dependable, whatever's happened between them. "Feel better, okay?"

"Yeah," Neal says, and gets out slowly. He's relieved when he's steadier on his feet than he'd feared. "Peter?" he says, into the car. "Thanks."

Peter's face is a study in fondness. "Any time," he says.


Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/114274.html with comment count unavailable comments.
caseyf123 on January 13th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC)
They're back. This was so wonderfully written. Captures the dynamics between Peter and Neal that made us fall in love with them in the first place. Nice job!
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - boysfrith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: Disintegration
Thank you very much! :)
ultracapeultracape on January 13th, 2014 02:14 am (UTC)
I agree, it brings back the bromance. These two would not get that angry at each other or say such hurtful things if they didn't like/love each other so much.
Frith: White Collar - Neal - writingfrith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 02:21 am (UTC)
Thank you! Yeah, I definitely believe these two will work through their issues, they care about each other too much not to :)
Turtlebabyturtlebaby_02 on January 13th, 2014 04:53 am (UTC)
Awe, Boys. Can I have this for my head canon? Because I need it.

Here's to hoping the writers have at least a fraction of your heart. :)

Thank you for the good vibes and happy (if not so happy?) image.
Frith: Neal+Peter 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 07:16 pm (UTC)
It's definitely my head canon :) Thank you very much!
aqwt101aqwt101 on January 13th, 2014 06:03 am (UTC)
Awwww ♥ I wish a scene like this in the next episode! Neal needs all the hugs...
Frith: Neal 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC)
I would love this sort of scene too! Thank you :)
govgalgovgal on January 13th, 2014 06:21 am (UTC)
your story makes me feel better, because Peter was being nice instead of incredibly emotionally abusive. Even though Peter doesn't know Neal heard, it will have a dramatic impact on Neal's psyche that Peter basically told Jones that he regrets taking Neal on. I don't like this emotionally abusive cycle Peter is on.
Frith: Neal+Peter 1frith_in_thorns on January 14th, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
Re: relief
I don't actually agree that Peter is being emotionally abusive (he's just had his whole self-image shattered, after all, and he didn't actually say that he regretted taking Neal, just that Jones would), but thank you for reading!
pipiljpipilj on January 13th, 2014 07:47 am (UTC)
Aww this was nice. Love reading about caring Peter, Neal would be very hurt by Rebecca betrayal giving that he spent the better part of the day supposedly rescuing her. Taking Rebecca down together may be just what the doctor ordered.
Frith: Neal 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! Yeah, I think Rebecca's betrayal is going to have a HUGE effect on Neal. *hugs him*
kanarek13kanarek13 on January 13th, 2014 07:49 am (UTC)
Hmmmm, wonderful \o/ I can't wait to find out what we will actually get in canon but I'm more than happy to accept this as my head canon :D

Your story further explores what we have seen in 509 when Hagen was shot, Peter shielding Neal, protecting him. Despite all the difficulties they are forced to face this season, their love and care and worry for each other is still strong :D

Thank you for posting :D Such a wonderful treat to find in the morning :D
Frith: Neal+Peter 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:05 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! Yeah, I adored that bit in the episode too :) Even when they're angry with each other, they can't stop from caring.
aragarnaaragarna on January 13th, 2014 10:08 am (UTC)
Oh Neal, poor baby!
This one part particularly got me:

Siegel lying dead on the sidewalk in the rain and he's had sex with the person who did that, he said to Peter she looks at me like Elizabeth looks at you and he left Mozzie in danger with Hagen because of her and all this time he was being played

Ouch! I didn't think farther than the heartbreak, but wow so true! It might actually be worse than if Hagen had killed Siegel. awwww poor baby. {{{hugs him tight}}}
Glad Peter was there for him. I have no doubts he'll be there in canon too. Because when it counts, they're always there for each other. And that's why we love them! ♥
Frith: Neal+Peter 1frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
Neal is such a poor baby right now. Well, both of them are. *hugs them* And yeah, Rebecca's betrayal is just so huge. But I have no doubt either that Peter will be there for him -- even when they're fighting they never stop caring deeply about each other ♥

Thank you so much!
dennih23: Set matt fixing tims tiedennih23 on January 13th, 2014 10:24 am (UTC)
This is wonderful and I hope this does bring back the bromance that we all enjoy so much. I can’t imagine Peter not being there for Neal when it matters.
Frith: Neal 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! And yeah, they always come through their fights :)
love_82 on January 13th, 2014 11:12 am (UTC)
Awww, boys. <3 This is my head canon for a missing scene. Poor Neal. He definitely he looked like he was going to have a panic attack at the end of the episode. He wants so much to have a relationship like Peter and Elizabeth. Love is his weakness. The area where he is able to be conned. *Hugs him*.

Of course Peter will be there for him. This fic shows one of the things we love about them. No matter how angry they are or what is going on between them Peter and Neal will always be there for each other when needed. <3
Frith: Neal+Peter 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much!

And yeah, the first thing I thought of when watching that scene was of how Neal really looked like he was about to break. Poor baby! Peter will definitely be there for him, though :)
Hanaalvahana on January 13th, 2014 11:27 am (UTC)
Awwww, what a wonderful tag to the episode. You never disappoint when it comes to delivering the h/c and bromance. Thank you for sharing!
Frith: El+Neal+Peterfrith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! H/c and bromance are my favourite things :D
calis_1stcalis_1st on January 13th, 2014 12:40 pm (UTC)
Excellent study of Neal's psyche. I can't imagine Peter doing anything differently (although I never thought he'd be a nasty as he's been this season). Here's hoping to the reconciliation, or at least to working as partners again.
Frith: Neal+Peter 1frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
leesa_perrie: Peter Neal Hugleesa_perrie on January 13th, 2014 01:15 pm (UTC)
I love this! Totally what should happen next!! :)
Frith: Neal 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
I shall continue to believe that it happened :D Thank you very much!
Vanae: WC/Neal - Christmas lights smilevanae on January 13th, 2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
I needed this.
Frith: Neal 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
cimmercimmerdeux on January 13th, 2014 02:21 pm (UTC)
Very nice tag and needed after this hard season. I know a lot of people have been angry at Peter but it's hard being the adult to such a charming 'child', you always seem like such a meany when you try and give them boundaries because it's a dangerous world out there. I guess this puts paid to my hope that this season was one very complicated con by the gang to bring out the bad guys in the system; I was really hoping we weren't deconstructing the friendship just because, I'm still not sure why we were doing what we were doing this season but at least the friendship is back. Thanks.
Frith: Neal+Peter 2frith_in_thorns on January 13th, 2014 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed reading :)