Disclaimer: The following is a work of fan fiction based on White Collar which belongs to Jeff Eastin and USA. It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights of Jeff Eastin and USA.

With special thanks to mam711 for your beta reading, and your editing and all your help and support with this story.

Ghosts of the Past

White Collar

Warning for trigger themes of bereavement, self-harm and alleged suicide attempt.

Note: The suicide watch protocol is of the type practiced in a British prison.

Eau d'Hadrien is an expensive perfume; 0.5 ml costs up to $65 dollars.

Takes place beginning of Season 2 ep 1 Withdrawn

The Present

Peter pulled up outside of the mansion and looked up at the front door; Neal was running late—so what was new, Peter mused. His knock was answered by the housekeeper; he knew that June was away visiting her son and his family, so he just nodded at her in passing and took the stairs up to Neal's apartment.

He knocked on the door; there was no answer, and he tried again harder. "Come on, Neal get the lead out; we're already running late." Again there was no answer. Peter frowned, pulled out his cell phone and hit the app on it that showed Neal's location; the small triangle was superimposed over the house.

Neal was at home all right; Peter tried the door—it was locked. He called out for the housekeeper for a spare key, but when he didn't get a reply he took a breath, mentally sent an apology to June, and shouldered the door open. He looked around and then in four strides was kneeling down by Neal's side; the younger man was sprawled on the floor, blood pooling under his body.

Quickly Peter felt for a pulse at Neal's throat, and only then did he release the breath he didn't know he was holding. Neal was alive. He rolled him onto his back; as his body flopped over he saw the bloody wrist and a knife that had been trapped under his body.

Grabbing one of the kitchen towels, Peter used it to put pressure on the wound as he called 911. "Neal, what have you done?"