* This isn't going to be a multi-chaptered story, unfortunately. I was just watching "Hard Sell" (Episode 8, Season 1) and thought I'd write this little story about Neal Caffrey. NO SLASH. Just friendship. And as always, READ AND REVIEW!


The oxygen in the room was limited. Slowly fading out... becoming nothing but carbon dioxide. Not something people generally breathe in. In fact, doing so is rather harmful. I don't recommend it at all. It sounds most excruciating.

But Neal and Peter were trapped. A gun pointed at them through the window, trapped in a room with no air. Neal tried to calm himself down but the fact that his head seemed to be heavying was not helping at all. He tried to breathe but he couldn't his chest was becoming restricted, and his head felt like it was being squeezed, about to blow...

The room was spinning and he wanted- needed to regain control. He had to hold through. For Peter. But the lack of air was eating at him. Causing his chest to clench, his head to pound, his world to spin... He grabbed clumsily at nothing, hoping to find something to help him remain standing.

But nothing was there but the wall, his eyes were wide as he opened them as far as he could, he needed to stay there, with Peter, he'd be okay...

His hand scrabbled at the wall and he felt himself sliding... down onto the floor... his chest tightened, his head throbbed, his world blackened... No! Peter needs you, Neal, stay awake... have to stay... awake... So tired... had to let go... had to subcumb...

He'd be okay... he had to be. Peter was with him, so he'd be okay... he had to be. He trusted that he would be. He would be. Wouldn't he? Yes. He would. Peter was there so he had to believe, had to trust that everything would be alright. He trusted Peter. And always would...

His thoughts disappeared as the room turned dark and the faint voice of Peter silenced... He didn't see... he couldn't think... his mind had gone dark... just as the room had, so unexpectedly before his eyes.


It felt like forever that Neal was unconscious. But he knew he'd be okay once he heard that reassuring, encouraging voice. It belonged to Peter. He knew this. His head hurt, and his chest was looser but still aching, but he was alive. Peter had made sure of that.

He opened his eyes slowly, his vision blurred at first, he blinked it into better focus and gasped for air which thankfully came. He inhaled and exhaled quickly, as though this was the only oxygen left in the world and he had to take it all in at once. Peter held out a hand for him to slow down.

"Breathe. Just breathe, Neal."

He did as instructed, and breathed. He was so exhausted he wished he'd pass out again but he knew that he shouldn't let that happen. He allowed, Peter to haul him to his feet, and he stumbled. Peter took Neal's arm, and draped it over his own shoulder and half-dragged him outside for some air.

It took five minutes for Neal to finally come back completely. He had been dragged outside in a daze and had been sat down on the ground outside without knowlege of it... until now and he realized he was sitting there beside Peter, and he'd be okay.

He wanted to extend his gratitude to Peter, but had never been very good at 'thank you's. He took some time to breathe and then said to Peter with complete sincerity,

"You've always got my back, right Peter?"

Peter smiled but he could tell there was something more, behind that smile. It was bad. Something that he was about to tell Neal.

Neal breathed, he knew whatever it was, it would be okay. Because he trusted Peter and was glad of it.

Because otherwise, he might not be out here. He'd be dead on the floor, having died miserably in that tiny, airlocked room.

But he was alive.

Trust kept him alive. And it had everyday he'd worked with Peter Burke.