Sixth of twenty-five comment!fics written for the Twelfth Round of the IJ Porn Battle! One of three concerning White Collar, all of which have this pairing.
"Sweetie, I don't know what happened this week - and I know you won't tell me, don't worry. I don't even really want to know." Elizabeth said calmly, resting a soft hand on his slumped shoulder. "But whatever it was, Neal is all messed up over it. Now, Mozzie and I are going for lunch - hush - and you need to fix him up somehow."
Peter looked up, eyes wide and troubled. "I don't know how, Elizabeth."
Elizabeth leant down, kissing his cheek. "I think you're the only one who can, sweetie."
Peter sighed, looking at the floor, but he nodded. Elizabeth smiled at him, then walked out, calling goodbye to Neal, ensconced upstairs in their bedroom.
A few minutes later, Peter headed upstairs to check on his 'pet con-man'.
Neal was still sitting by the window, his grey eyes distant and haunted. Peter hesitated, but laid a hand firmly on Neal's slim shoulders anyway, instinctively rubbing calloused fingers soothingly across the nape of his neck.
Nate twitched and stiffened, but after a few seconds he relaxed and leaned into the familiar grasp. Peter fought down the strange frisson of . . . sensation that flashed through him at that easy trust.
Neal closed exhausted eyes and tilted his head, resting it against Peter's chest with a sigh.
Peter froze momentarily, and then forced himself to relax. After a few breaths he gave in to a temptation he'd been fighting - much though he loathed to admit it - since he'd first caught Caffrey. He stroked his hand down Neal's shoulder and then up to comb his fingers through that perfectly styled hair, disarranging it.
Peter felt a little odd when he noticed the fact that he was now essentially petting Neal Caffrey. A thought made even odder by the realization that Neal was, far from protesting, simply pushing into the caress.
Peter eventually stopped, content to just . . . be. Sharing space and a moment of unthinking silence with Neal. Long minutes later, he sighed heavily, moving around Neal on his chair and settling on its match, barely a foot away.
Neal's eyes fluttered open - even that was charming, Peter noticed dryly - with a flicker of panic until they landed on Peter, who had made no move to leave him.
Neal took a few moments to regain his equilibrium. When he had, he tilted his head curiously. "What was that for?" he asked, carefully neutral.
Peter shook his head, scrubbing his hands over his face. "Elizabeth told me to 'fix you'." he said. Neal looked offended for bare seconds before he brushed it away, his face smoothing expertly clear of any emotion save distant curiosity. "Don't do that!" Peter insisted impulsively. "And I told her I didn't know how. She said… Well."
Neal started, surprised at Peter's outburst, and then turned thoughtful. He rose, unfolding his lean form elegantly from his chair, stepped to Peter's side, and then gracefully settled across Peter's lap.
Peter froze, eyes widening in shock, but he didn't so much as protest the - rather presumptuous - advance.
Neal leaned down, resting his forearms on the chair back. He smirked, his eyes going bluish in some unknown emotion, and then breathed teasingly into Peter's ear. "Is that it, Peter? Gonna fix me all up? Make me all . . . better?"
Peter shivered in reaction, and Neal licked his ear; so fast Peter almost thought he might have imagined it, save for Neal's craftily acquisitive expression. It was one that Peter had only seen on Neal's face before when he was looking at something he wanted to steal.
Peter blinked, thinking over that odd recollection - for one, he hadn't quite captured the sheer presence Neal embodied when he was so focused . . . on anything.
"Afraid I'm going to try and steal you away, Peter?" Neal murmured, mirroring his thoughts uncannily.
Peter's gaze dropped to Neal's lips.
Neal chuckled, brushing Peter's own with a teasing kiss. "I wouldn't." he breathed. "Not from Elizabeth - and a truly handsome addition is always sweeter when it's given over willingly . . . Peter…" his voice was teasing and light, but held notes Peter had never heard before - even when Neal was playing his latest woman.
Peter closed his eyes briefly, trying to think. After a long moment of looking into those amazing eyes he pulled Neal back down for a deeper kiss.
The prompt for this one was very simple - 'White Collar, Peter/Neal, hurt/comfort' - and one of my favourite genres, both to read and to write.