White Collar belongs to Jeff Eastin.

You should probably read Back In first - the back story to Solitary, if you haven't already. /s/7704366/1/Back_In

And without further ado, enjoy Solitary!


Chapter 1

Solitary. For the rest of his term.

At least this guaranteed him protection from Wilkes and his crew, and the guards who were surely not going to be on his side now. The scene had caused an overhaul of procedures at the prison regarding inmate disputes, which involved doing a lot more paperwork.

But he didn't get out that easy either. A week under observation, a long series of psychiatric tests examining whether he remained a danger or not, the classic white straitjacket which Neal could easily get himself out of whenever he wanted to stretch his arms or scratch his nose.

Neal just played along with the process. He found it quite amusing how confused the doctors were at his case, finding that there was nothing at all suicidal about him, despite his 12 hour standoff with the guards.

To be honest, Neal was lucky to still only have 11 months left on his sentence - the charges of deprivation of freedom and assaulting a police officer were only thrown out with Peter's help.

Peter. Well at least he knew Peter actually cared. That he would be there to catch him if he actually fell for real. That he didn't harbour an intense hatred for him. Maybe even visit him – if you could even visit people in solitary.

Solitary.

Reality.

The room was small by all means - room enough for a small single bed and a combination sink-toilet and that was it. Barely any room to walk around between the four grey concrete walls and metal door that surrounded him. The only light came from a high window above his bed and every so often when the food slot opened.

Only a day went by before Neal realised that maybe he had not thought it through. Neal had always been a people person, and now there was no one. Maybe he made the wrong choice. Life was dangerous with Wilkes around but now...

Now, he was alone with his thoughts.

And alone with his thoughts was a dangerous place to be.

What had Neal got himself into…

It was so silent, almost deafening at times. Each movement created a loud but welcomed sound to Neal's ears. He could hear in the distance, the sounds of men talking to themselves, shouting above their lungs, in the madness of their confines. Neal hoped that he would never get to that stage, but then again, he could not see himself lasting through the night, let alone the next eleven months. Well less than.

10 months. 3 weeks.

10 months. 23 days.

328 days.

His wall was already marked with today's line.

The first of many to come.

He had to take this one day at a time.

Hopeless. All hopeless.

Neal was startled by the noise of the metal door grinding open, jumping up from his bed. The sudden burst of natural light made its way into the cell, only blocked by the silhouette of a man before him.

Maybe this was his day.

Maybe the 328 days had passed that quickly.

Maybe Peter had actually found a way for him to get out.

Maybe.

WCWCWCWC


Peter was sitting at his dinner table, poking at the assorted vegetables on his plate with his fork, his thoughts were in a place 15 miles away.

"You made the right choice Peter. You did the right thing. Now Neal is safe from Wilkes and everyone else." El took the plate away from Peter as he surrendered his fork, she knew that after playing around with his food for an hour, there would be no further eating. At least Satchmo would enjoy his dinner.

"But I still feel like there's something wrong. I wish that I could do something else for him. Get him out of there." The events of last week were still playing in Peter's mind, focusing on the desperation that shone from Neal's face that night. He just couldn't get it out of his head.

"Have you called in all of your contacts?"

"Yeah. I did the best I could getting those charges thrown out. Now I'm wondering if I could've done more. Get him out. Get him free."

"Well if you're worried about him, can't you visit him? Talk to him at all?"

"My hands are tied. Prison protocol is prison protocol. There's no opportunity in the supermax."

"Surely you can get yourself around protocol. You are Peter Burke after all."

"I'll try."

WCWCWCWC


Neal could not make out the face of the man standing at the door. In fact, he was still covering himself from the blinding light coming from outside his cell.

"Caffrey."

It couldn't be.

"Get up."

He had to be dreaming.

"Now do you want to get up or do you want to stay in there?"

He was dreaming. Hoping for too much.

There was sternness in the man's voice. An unwillingness to be lenient. It wasn't Peter. Neal immediately leapt to his feet, fearful of the consequences otherwise. It was then that he first observed the man, wrinkles lined his face, there was not a hair out of place in his head, but not in a good way. Neal opened his mouth to speak but found no voice. It had been a while since he had actually spoke.

"Ah ah ah. No talking. You get 30 minutes out in the exercise yard each day. Just walking. No running. No jumping. No funny business. You're lucky that you get this. Act out and you'll regret it. You clear?"

Neal nodded. Despite all the warnings, he was glad to just get out of the cell. Fresh air, freedom, albeit limited.

When walking, he could think nothing of the world beyond the metal fence. 328 more days. He counted his steps as he walked. All the way up to 328 and then starting back over again. Over and over again. He just wanted to run. Run away.

He dreaded that the 30 minutes had passed by so fast.

He dreaded returning to the small space.

He dreaded that it would be another 23 hours and 30 minutes before he could return back out to the yard.

Back to that place with nothing but four grey walls. Nothing but four grey walls and his thoughts.

As the doors slammed home for Neal once again, he looked back at the solitary line on the wall. How he wished that he could make another mark on the wall. That the wall would soon be covered with those lines and the end would be near. How he wished.

A voice arose from behind Neal.

"Hello Neal."

Neal turned, a surprised look painted on his face. This, he was not expecting.

TBC


Who is in Neal's cell? What do they want?

If you've read my previous story, you know that you should never assume what will happen and that you should expect the unexpected. Sometimes, I don't even know where it goes!

Reviews make me write faster! And make me love you guys lots.