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12 April 2012 @ 11:06 pm
[fic: white collar] After the Storm  
Title: After the Storm
Characters/Pairing: Neal, Peter; Gen
Genre/Rating: Fluffy angst. Or angsty fluff. PG.
Word count: 1100
Warnings: None
Notes: This was supposed to be a drabble, for a prompt from sholio, but apparently I'm not very good at writing things which fit into comment boxs. So I'm posting it as a short fic instead.
Title is a song by Mumford & Sons.

Summary: Prompt: Peter and Neal getting drunk together after something bad happens on a case

- o -

Neal goes to stand, and finds that he's not nearly as steady on his feet as he'd expected.

"Think you've had enough?" Peter says, from his position on the couch, which is hypocritical at best.

As such, Neal doesn't bother answering, heading into the kitchen (with the help of the walls) to where the Burkes keep their wine — he's finished the stuff he brought over with him. "You want another beer?" he calls.

"Yeah, sure."

He finds the beer without much trouble and sets it down on the table, if with a bit more force than he'd been aiming for. Then he bends down to the wine rack, going for the first bottle of red he sees, since everything's spinning slightly and reading labels is just more trouble than it's worth.

He straightens up and everything tilts dizzily and whirls around. Neal squeezes his eyes shut and is aware of stumbling a bit, and a loud crash, and eventually he finds he's kneeling on the kitchen floor with the bottle in splinters around him. Wine is spreading out in a puddle, soaking into the fabric of his suit pants. And pooling around his fingers, which are splayed against the tiles in the act of arresting his fall.

He just stays frozen like that, staring down.

"Neal?" Peter calls, sounding worried. "Neal, you okay?"

Neal can't think of anything to stay.

Peter's heavy steps are coming closer, and then he's in the doorway, holding the frame for support. His eyes go wide. "Fuck," he hisses. "Neal!"

Neal stares at him, and Peter stares back, his expression completely blank for long seconds. Then he slumps slightly, his fingers still tight on the frame.

Neal realises suddenly what it must look like, him on the floor with dark red liquid spreading out around him. "I'm not —" he starts. His breath hitches. "Dropped the wine. 'm sorry."

"Yeah," Peter says, after a moment. "It's just the wine, yeah. I thought —"

"Sorry," Neal says, again.

Peter sighs heavily, and scrubs the palm of his hand into his eyes. "Neal. You want to get up?"

"Oh," Neal says. "Oh, yeah." He's uncertain how best to go about it, but then Peter leans forward to grasp his upper arm and pull him to his feet. The wine drips down, stickily, as he sways and grabs onto the table, leaving a dark handprint.

"Oh, for —" Peter begins, and then stops whatever he was about to say. He half-drags Neal over to the sink and rinses off his hands.

Neal looks down at his probably-ruined pants. "Um," he says.

Peter rolls his eyes. "If you think I'm going to let you drip wine all over my carpets…"

Neal's had more than enough alcohol to not be embarrassed about Peter seeing him in his boxers, so he clumsily removes his wine-stained pants and socks and dumps them into the sink. "I liked them," he says mournfully.

"The stains might come out. I think El uses salt." Peter turns on the taps and dumps an enormous amount of salt into the water. Neal chuckles, finding Peter's earnestness even funnier than usual.

"Yeah, laugh at me," Peter mutters darkly. He looks at Neal more closely, tilting his head. "Hey. Your hands."

Neal holds them up to look. There are multiple small cuts on his palms and fingers, which are bleeding slightly. "Oh. Can't feel them."

"Yeah," says Peter. "'Cause you're drunk."

"So are you," Neal points out.

"Least I didn't put my hands down on a load of broken glass."

"I wasn't intending to."

"That's my point." Peter reaches up into a cupboard for the first aid kit, but doesn't quite manage to grab the handle properly or something, because instead he just manages to knock it down. It hits the counter and bursts open, showering its contents everywhere. At least the puddle of wine is on the other side of the room.

"Oh," Peter says, sheepishly.

Neal starts laughing and bends over double with it, letting himself slide down to the floor. He sits against the cabinet.

A moment later, Peter sits down next to him, and sighs again. "This evening's going well," he remarks.

Neal's kind of… giggling, now. When he finally stops he's tired out and more relaxed than he's felt all day, all week — since they started this latest case, really. He lets himself lean against Peter, resting his head on Peter's shoulder.

"Hands, Caffrey," Peter says, in a voice which would sound stern if it wasn't still slurring. Neal holds out his hands obediently and Peter tears open an antiseptic wipe that was apparently in reach and uses it to clean the cuts carefully. It stings a bit, but not much. Peter's solid warmth against him registers much more.

When Peter's finally satisfied that Neal's hands aren't going to become infected overnight, he leans back too. Neal can feel his breathing.

"Peter?" he says, finally.

"Hmm?"

"We can't go to sleep on your kitchen floor."

Peter stirs slightly. "Oh. Yeah. Should probably get up."

"Probably."

They actually do, although it takes a few minutes, and some steadying of each other. Neal's legs had begun to cramp up, and he suspects Peter's have done the same. Not to mention the general unsteadiness they both seem to be suffering from.

Peter surveys the scene of minor chaos which the kitchen's become. "El's going to kill us."

"Not til the morning," Neal says, and yawns widely.

Peter hums in agreement, and steers them to the couch where he drops down, unintentionally pulling Neal down too since he still had his arm around his shoulders. "'s good."

Neal nods sleepily, and leans on Peter again. His shoulder is very comfortable. Peter chuckles, and ruffles Neal's hair slightly, before relaxing into silence.

He's almost asleep when he hears Peter whisper, very quietly, "We almost lost you."

His eyelids are far too heavy to open. "Didn't, though," he murmurs.

"Too reckless," Peter accuses, with no bite to his voice, and Neal's certain he's half-asleep too.

"Sorry," Neal murmurs back, and he is, because he hadn't realised until now quite how upset Peter's been. He hadn't meant for that to happen. He hadn't thought, not really.

"Be more careful." He sighs. "Neal? Promise me."

"I promise," Neal whispers. Because. He doesn't ever want to hurt Peter like that, like he almost did.

Peter makes a small, contented sound, and his breathing evens out.

Neal smiles, and drifts off to sleep.

He hardly stirs when Elizabeth tucks a blanket over them both.

- o -

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/51053.html with comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
oh these heroes come and go;: [wc] n/p - i'll let you go; i'll set youmicheleeeex on April 12th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
D'aww, I love this!
Frith: White Collar - Neal - worried shirtfrith_in_thorns on April 12th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Peter Neal hugsholio on April 12th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
Awwww, boys. ^_^ Thank you for writing this! I love their mutual concern for each other, and falling asleep together. (hee, I hope Elizabeth took pictures!)
Frith: White Collar - El - happy phonefrith_in_thorns on April 12th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
There is totally something about these characters which means that I just can't stop writing them *gg* I'm really happy you liked this! It was a fun prompt :)

And Elizabeth totally took pictures, but she also made them breakfast the next morning when they were being hungover. *g*
(no subject) - ebeneezerdark on April 14th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
noiproksanoiproksa on April 12th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
Aw, this was adorable!
I like how we get little glimpses of what happened to get them there, and of course worried!Peter is always a plus! *g* (I'm talking about the wine looking like blood AND whatever impulsive stunt he pulled this time to help solve the case.)
Favorite bits include for one this exchange: "Least I didn't put my hands down on a load of broken glass."
"I wasn't intending to."
"That's my point."
Heee!
And this sentence: Neal holds out his hands obediently and Peter tears open an antiseptic wipe that was apparently in reach and uses it to clean the cuts carefully. For two reasons, actually. One, I really like the image and think it's very sweet. But I also find the “that was apparently in reach” part hilarious on a meta level. *g*
And lastly: Neal leaning on Peter's shoulder and them dropping off to sleep like that – awwwww! :)
Frith: White Collar - Neal - worried shirtfrith_in_thorns on April 12th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
Ooh, now I wish I could say that I was writing deliberate meta-commentary XD I can totally justify it, though, since Peter had just dropped all of those things everywhere :P
I am such a massive sucker for the "Neal falls asleep on Peter" trope :D But, of course, it's lovely comments like yours that encourage me to keep writing it, so thank you very much! :) I'm really glad that you liked this fic, and the way it fit together. It was fun!
Winterwinterstar95 on April 12th, 2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
Beautiful in its angst, but geez, El has to clean up red wine stains from tile!
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - shirtsfrith_in_thorns on April 12th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
Nah, she'll sweep up the glass and get the boys to scrub the stains out ;D
(no subject) - pooh_collector on April 13th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
nyninenynine on April 13th, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
Oh, very nice~ I love nestle-fic, and this one is paced just right.
Frith: White Collar - Neal - purple shirtfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
sarah_buttersarah_butter on April 13th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
This was so great! I now have to find any other kind of drunk!PeterNeal fics out there... you've set the bar pretty high though.
Frith: White Collar - Neal - hat bluefrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! ♥
(no subject) - coltdancer on April 14th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sarah_butter on April 15th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on April 15th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
kriadydragon: Beastkriadydragon on April 13th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
Awwww :D
Frith: White Collar - Neal - smile shirtfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
aqwt101aqwt101 on April 13th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
Awww, so adorable! "Neal falling asleep on Peter" is one of my favorite tropes as well!
Frith: White Collar - Neal - smile hatfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's such a lovely trope :D *snuggles them*
lauracollaredlauracollared on April 13th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
Aw, those two! <3 Really sweet.

And poor El. lol. She comes home to Neal in his boxers, sleeping on Peter's shoulder, and red wine all over her floor, and Neal's pants in her sink!
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - walk wallsfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
I'm now thinking about writing a sequel, of El's reaction XD I'm happy you enjoyed this, thank you! :)
(no subject) - coltdancer on April 14th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pooh_collector on April 13th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
Bromance, yummy!

Frith: White Collar - Neal - smile hatfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
It's always fun :D Thanks!
pipiljpipilj on April 13th, 2012 06:14 am (UTC)
Loved this, drunk Peter and Neal. The mutual concern. El covering them up perfect.
Frith: White Collar - Neal - smile shirtfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :D
Rumrouzrumrouz on April 13th, 2012 09:53 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww they fell asleep on each other
They are adorable)
Thanks
Frith: White Collar - Neal - hat bluefrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
They are totally adorable *squishes them* I love getting to write them as such :>

Thank you very much!
Sally M: white collar 7sallymn on April 13th, 2012 10:24 am (UTC)
That was just so warm and sweet, with just that touch of shadow from what happened to get them there...

Edited at 2012-04-13 10:25 am (UTC)
Frith: White Collar - Neal - smile hatfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I do like writing something more fluffy every now and then :D Really happy you enjoyed this!
leesa_perrie: Peter Neal 2leesa_perrie on April 13th, 2012 10:46 am (UTC)
Drunk!Peter and Drunk!Neal are just so cute!! Lovely!! :)
Frith: White Collar - Neal - worried shirtfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
Those boys are just the cutest :> Thank you! :D
saphirablue on April 13th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
*awwwww* Boys!

Love the concern of Peter in the end and the hint that something bad happened with the case.

Thank you! :)
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - walk wallsfrith_in_thorns on April 13th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This was really fun to write :D (And now I kind of want to do a follow-up of El's reaction :P)

I'm glad you enjoyed reading!
(no subject) - saphirablue on April 13th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)