Spoilers for episode 1x08 Hard Sell
A/N: My first White Collar 'fic'. R&R. Enjoy.
Neal Caffrey trusts Peter Burke. It is not the kind of trust that needs years to develop, nor is it the kind of trust that emerges instantaneously. Neal doesn't know what sort of trust it is when he tells Peter: "I trust you".
He could die in that vault, but that's not why Neal says those words. It has nothing to do with the possibility of death coming to get him. It has nothing to do with the lack of oxygen he's about to face. He's not trying to be a hero, it's trust even if he can't explain it right away. It's the birth of a friendship, loyalty and the fact that Neal just knows that Peter is going to find that kill switch and open the vault. Peter doesn't disappoint and Neal doesn't expect him to.
Before he collapses Neal knows he can place his life in Peter's hands and that's exactly the kind of trust existing between the two of them. It's oxygen when there's none.