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18 June 2012 @ 01:54 pm
[fic: white collar] Search Pattern  
Back to posting snippets; apologies for spamming.

Title: Search Pattern
Characters/Pairing: Peter, Neal; Gen
Genre/Rating: Hurt/comfort; T
Word count: 900
Warnings: Allusions to violence
Notes: Written for sholio on whitecollarhc. She has the best prompts.
Also a fill for the "Captivity" square on my hc_bingo card.

Summary: Prompt: "Peter's been, I don't know, chained to a pipe in a dank basement or something while the bad guys work him over, and Neal's the one who gets him loose and catches him."

- - -

"Peter?" Neal says, barely above a whisper, and for a moment he's completely frozen.

Only for a moment, and then he's over by Peter almost before he realises. He's not supposed to be here yet — it's a large building and the FBI haven't finished clearing it. He doesn't care.

Peter is chained by his wrists to a heavy pipe running along the ceiling, pulled up high enough that his heels can't quite make contact with the floor. His shirt is hanging open and bruises are blooming darkly on his chest and face. His eyes are closed, and his breathing is harsh.

"Peter!" Neal insists, and touches Peter's unbruised cheek. Lightly; he's afraid of hurting him more.

Peter jerks back slightly at the touch, and his eyes open slowly.

"It's me," Neal reassures him. "It's Neal. God, Peter, are you —" alright? He bites the word off in time. "I'm going to get you out of here." He doesn't wait for acknowledgement before sliding a pair of picks out of his pocket and studying the chain's padlock.

"Is it," Peter begins, and has to stop to catch his breath, "Safe?"

"Yeah," Neal says. "Yeah, we got them." He focuses on the lock, rather than Peter. It hurts to look at Peter, at what's been done to him. Neal signed up to identify fraud, not for this.

He hopes Peter can't see him not looking.

It's an easy lock, and it clicks open after only a couple of seconds' effort. "Are you ready?" Neal asks. This is the bad bit, the bit where he won't be able to avoid causing Peter pain.

"Yes," Peter says.

Neal lets the chain go and grabs Peter under his arms before he can fall. Peter moans through gritted teeth as his stiffened arms drop, and then his legs give way and it's all Neal can do to make his landing as gentle as possible as they both end up crumpling to the floor.

"Peter?" he asks, desperately. Now is the time when you find out just how badly you were hurt, now that the overwhelming scream of badly stretched tendons and muscles stop overriding more serious pain signals. Peter lies across him, pinning him, and Neal doesn't dare wriggle free without knowing first how much damage the movement might cause.

"I'm okay," Peter groans.

"You really aren't," Neal says, more sharply than he'd intended. Because, god, for a moment he'd thought Peter was dead, strung up like a piece of meat. And that's really, really not okay.

Peter, very slowly and hissing through his teeth at the effort, rolls himself off Neal, and lies on the concrete floor clearly exhausted by the effort. Neal has no jacket to cover him with, so he bends over Peter, who's shivering, and carefully re-buttons his shirt, to try to keep him warm. "I'll fetch help," he says.

"No!" Peter says, quickly, and grabs Neal's wrist. His grip is weak, but it's obviously the tightest he can currently manage. "Don't…"

Neal, who desperately doesn't want to leave Peter, is only too happy to have an excuse not to. "Okay," he says. "We'll stay here." The others will find them soon. He puts a hand on Peter's shoulder, to show that he doesn't plan on going anywhere in the meantime.

However, Peter continues to completely disregard common sense, and starts pushing himself up. "I can manage," he says, when Neal tries to hold him down.

"Peter, you're hurt. Stop moving."

"I'm fine," Peter insists, which is so obviously false that Neal decides not to waste time debating it, but puts his arm around Peter instead. If he can't make Peter stay still, he's damn well going to help him all he can.

Peter doesn't object to Neal assisting him in getting up, or to Neal taking a large portion of his weight once he's (slightly unsteadily) on his feet. "This is a bad idea," Neal mutters, and Peter huffs a laugh in response as he determinedly starts walking.

They meet Diana at the top of the stairs. "Caffrey!" she snaps. "I told you to wait until we'd cleared the place!"

"It's clear down there," Neal says, helpfully, and she glares at him before slipping under Peter's other arm.

"Are you alright, Boss?" she asks, anxiously.

"Don't bother asking that," Neal says.

"Yep," Peter says, at the same moment.

Diana laughs wryly, and radios for paramedics to meet them outside.

Once they've (somehow) got as far as the front step Neal forces Peter to sit down by the simple method of sitting down himself and bringing Peter with him. Diana pats Peter gently on the shoulder and goes off to supervise things. Neal leans back against the wall and Peter leans against him, hesitantly at first and then properly, with his head on Neal's shoulder.

"You're an idiot," Neal says, torn between exasperation and fondness. "You should have stayed there, caught a free ride out."

"I hate being carried," Peter says, between breaths. He's still panting.

Neal nods slowly. He can understand that. "You're still an idiot. A stubborn one."

"Takes one to know one," Peter says, and nestles into Neal's shoulder some more.

- - -

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/61799.html with comment count unavailable comments.
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf: White Collar - Peter & Nealembroiderama on June 18th, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, my heart! This is lovely. Neal's worry for Peter and his insight into what Peter was going through felt just right.
Frith: White Collar - Peter - scepticalfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I thought it was definitely time for Neal to get a turn worrying about Peter!
kanarek13: duokanarek13 on June 18th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
Yay! Peter!whump :D And awww, love protective!Neal to the rescue. of course he wouldn't wait for the rest of the team to finish sweeping the place :D

And the last line is the best... heee... yup, they're both so alike, Peter would've done the exact same thing here :D :D

Another winner \o/ I'mma buy you Italian roast coffee and fedora-shaped cookies in August :D :D :D
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - boysfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
Woo, cookies! :D

Yeah, Peter would have done exactly the same stupid thing, and they both know it :P I did enjoy writing protective!Neal for a change, although I think he's protective in a different way than Peter is, so it was interesting to try :)
(no subject) - coltdancer on June 20th, 2012 03:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on June 20th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Winter: prompicwinterstar95 on June 18th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
I love the banter at the end! So in character! Perfect!
Frith: White Collar - Neal - smile hatfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I just can't write them without them sniping at each other a bit :P
lindenharp: white collarlindenharp on June 18th, 2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, this puts a lump in my throat. Nice to see Neal as the comforter for once.
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - shirtsfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I see Neal as being much more awkward in that role than Peter is, so it was interesting to try :)
aqwt101aqwt101 on June 18th, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
Aww! I love protective!Neal:) Very nice!
Frith: White Collar - Diana+Peter - benchfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked this! :)
oh these heroes come and go;: [wc] that's what i said;;micheleeeex on June 18th, 2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
Awww, I love this!
Frith: White Collar - Neal - hat stepsfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
pipiljpipilj on June 18th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
Aww I love protective Neal. Loved the banter at the end.
Frith: White Collar - Neal - hat greenfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This was fun to write :)
RabidChild's Ficrabidchild on June 18th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
I love the detail that Neal doesn't look at Peter, like he's saving Peter from seeing how f*cked up he is through Neal's eyes (if that makes sense?).
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - boysfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I'm glad you liked that bit :)
saphirablue on June 18th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEEEEEEE! OMG! This is so awesome!

Neal finding Peter and Peter refusing to stay and Neal (and Diana) helping Peter outside! ♥

I love the last bit - Peter nestling into Neal's shoulder. ♥

Thank you very much for this! ♥
Frith: White Collar - Diana - happyfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! And for reccing this! ♥ I thought it was definitely time for Neal to do the comforting, and it was fun to write. I'm really happy you enjoyed it! :D
F# A# ∞: peter: candysoteriophobe on June 18th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
jskdjksajkjsakdjask, Love this. I mean, when I see a fic that is all "written by frith and prompted by sholio", I am automatically like:

-Ahem. But this was just......eeeee. Love Neal not wanting to look at Peter's injuries, love Peter reluctantly using Neal as a pillow at the end, love the last line, love love love. <3

Edited at 2012-06-18 06:31 pm (UTC)
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - boysfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Ahaha, who is that guy?! He's dancing perfectly in time to my music. It's a bit disconcerting.

I'm really glad you liked this fic - thank you so much! :D I think that Neal wouldn't be particularly comfortable with having to deal with this sort of thing and provide comfort - at least, nowhere near as good at it as Peter is. And that was fun to write :)
elrhiarhodanelrhiarhodan on June 18th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)

Love this - short and painful and desperate. Love Neal coming to the rescue, love Peter fighting against his own rescue.

Love Diana's matter of factness.

Love every word.
Frith: White Collar - Neal - hat stepsfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! :) I don't think Peter's really very good at accepting having to be rescued - that's his job :P
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Peter Neal hugsholio on June 18th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)

And, ohhhhh, this is so perfect. :D I love everything about it. Your Neal!voice is excellent as always, and I love the subtle little touches: that Neal knows exactly what Peter is going through at each stage (obviously he's been in the same situation, without actually being obvious about it), that Peter's answer every time someone asks him is that he's fine (hee!). And now Peter is the one drooping on Neal's shoulder for a change. :D Lovely banter and Grade-A h/c. Exactly what I needed to start my day. ♥ ♥ ♥
Frith: White Collar - Neal - blue shirtfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
I was resolutely not answering prompts, but you always manage to prompt things I want to run off and write now, and my self-resolve vanished somewhere XD I am trying not to sound like I stalk you

And I'm really glad you enjoyed this! ♥ Especially that the thing about Neal having had the same experience worked. And it was interesting writing the reverse of the dynamic I usually do -- I see Peter as much better at giving comfort, and Neal at accepting it, although they both do their best, if that makes sense :)

Thank you very much!
iamhere23iamhere23 on June 18th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
You're awesome.
\o/ Peter!whump and protective/worried Neal, what more can one ask for?!
Frith: White Collar - Neal+Peter - boysfrith_in_thorns on June 18th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you very much! :D
dragonfly.dreamwidth.org on June 19th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
Aww, this is just perfect!
Frith: White Collar - Neal - smile shirtfrith_in_thorns on June 20th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
daria234daria234 on June 19th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Great fic - and love the last line too.
sanuye12sanuye12 on June 19th, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Oh, wonderful! Neal comforting Peter - I love the role reversal! Peter, naturally, would be just as stubborn (if not more so) than Neal with the "I'm fine' comments. Neal being shaken by Peter's injuries, but determined to cope even though it means not looking at the worst of it. And Diana coming in, probably ready to hit both of them. Thank you for this; I really needed some Peter h/c and this was perfect.
PS That scene at the end is just right!
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on June 26th, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on June 20th, 2012 03:29 am (UTC) (Expand)