tj_teejay: (Neal Peter - Make A Difference)
[personal profile] tj_teejay
Title: Fix This
Author: TeeJay
[ profile] whitecollar100 Prompt: #9 Witness
Genre: Gen
Characters/Pairings: Neal, Peter
Word Count: 300
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Peter makes a promise to a frustrated and humiliated Neal.
Author's Note: Immediately follows "Losing The Fight".
Disclaimer: White Collar, its characters and its settings belong to Jeff Eastin and USA Network. And, guys? Your characters are not only welcome, they're wonderful. I'm just borrowing, I promise.

"How is this fair?" Neal accused Peter, but of course not Peter personally. He lifted his wrists with the restraints around them.

"It's not, Neal."

Neal was working himself further into the frustration, but before Peter could stop him, he continued, "I was an innocent bystander. A witness to a crime—a victim of that crime! And now they have to restrain me?"

"Neal," Peter tried to placate him.

"I need to get these off," he said, his voice teetering on the edge of desperation, shaking, wavering. "I'm not... I can't—"

Neal's voice caught in his throat, the expression on his face raw, vulnerable. No masks this time. "I can't..." he tried again, and the sound he then made was just shy of a sob. Peter could see tears of frustration and humiliation forming in Neal's eyes.

He stared at him, taking in the butterfly bandages over the ugly looking gash on Neal's temple. Peter was clearly out of his element. What was he supposed to do, supposed to say?

"Neal, you need to calm down," he tried.

"Don't tell me to calm down," he spat at Peter. "Don't— Ow."

Neal's face contorted in pain from the sudden movement he'd made. His right hand came up as if to touch where it hurt, but was stopped by the padded strap around his wrist. He let it fall to his side, his chin quivering, a tear rolling from the corner of his eye onto the pillow. "Shit," he hissed, and this time he couldn't suppress the sob that followed.

Peter's voice was incredibly soft as he stepped closer and placed his hand gently on Neal's bare arm. "Shh," he hushed. "I'm gonna fix this. I promise."

Neal's eyes fixed on him with a glimmer of hope. "You promise?"

"I promise."
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