|Mini Fic - Neal's POV during the final scene of White Collar 3.10
||[Aug. 12th, 2011|08:15 pm]
He walks into the room and he sees so much but he hears nothing. There are people, faces, he knows them but it's the kitchen that catches his eye. All the signs of a struggle, of someone who was caught by suprise. His stomach grows hot and he can feel it tying itself in knots. It's a strange feeling and it takes him longer than he would admit to place it. It was guilt. Guilt because it wasn't just someone. It was Elizabeth. Sweet, gentle, caring, forgiving, understanding, beautiful Elizabeth.
Then Peter enters the room so unsteady on his feet that Neal almost runs over to support him. He wants to look away, to let him have this moment of private grief but now he is looking at him. Looking right at him, into his eyes.
Neal begins but the words get caught in his throat forcing him to swallow. He recognises the expression on Peter's face and he wants to turn to everyone and shout at them to leave. This is Peter's house, his sanctuary, Elizabeth's sanctuary. But it's been violated and Neal wonders if the Burke's will ever feel safe here again.
"He took my wife."
There is such pure, raw emotion on Peter's face that it takes all of Neal's willpower not to look away. The last thing Peter needs right now is for Neal to show weakness or vulnerability or guilt. So Neal will hide the guilt, hide his own pain, and put on a brave face. It won't stop him from feeling like it is all his fault, but he hopes to hell that it will stop Peter from blaming himself.
Now he wonders if he made a mistake. He's fallen into the same damned trap that he had sworn to himself all those years that he would avoid at all costs. He had cared too much. He'd settled down, found himself the closest thing to a family that someone like him was capable of having. If he hadn't cared then he would have taken the treasure and run. He would have no connection to the Burke's outside of 'work'. Keller would have come after him and Elizabeth would be safe. A surge of anger rolled over him unexpectedly. This wasn't how he had thought it would all play out.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Peter's hand curling up into a fist and he braced himself for contact. But the punch didn't come, not to him. The wall however shattered around Peter's fist and bits of plaster littered the floor below the newly created hole.
Peter doesn't seem to hear him, or he doesn't care. The agent's face has misted over and seems to be completely lost in thought. Neal doesn't realise that he's lost in thought too until Jones comes over with a box of tissues.
"I thought you two might need this."
He murmurs awkwardly as he holds the box out. Neal looks as Peter's face and observes the tear tracks on his cheeks. Feeling stupid he realised that his own cheeks were wet and that the worry and pain that he thought he had been holding inside had manifested itself physically on his face.
"She's going to be okay Peter."
Neal regretted saying anything the moment the words left his lips. There was possibly the only person in the world that he could trust, staring at him with such cold detachment. Already their relationship had changed. Neal could feel the anger radiating from Peter but it didn't appear to be directed at him. At least not yet. But somehow Neal knew that this was just the eye of the storm and he had no idea whether he and Peter would have any relationship left to salvage once they came out of the other side.
I didn't know where else I could post this so I'm just posting it in my own journal.