Glee/White Collar Crossover Fic: Just Hate Me
Summary: Neal goes to visit his brother when he finds out he's in the hospital (set during Michael, but written before it aired)
Please note: This isn't set in the same universe as those other WC/Glee drabbles I wrote. It's set in the same universe as this: theplaylistismagic[.]tumblr[.]com[/post/16621423764/white-collar-glee-au]. On tumblr theplaylistismagic wrote that fantastic fic and this is set a few years after it, during the 'Michael'.
It had started out as a normal day. No major cases, mostly everyone was simply doing paper work.
But then Mozzie came running in.
Most didn't spare him more than a glance. They were used to the eccentric little man running here and there crazily. He made a beeline right for Neal, again an expected move. Though Mozzie didn't enjoy the FBI building he was with Neal a lot. Nothing was out of the ordinary.
The thing that wasn't ordinary was Neal's reaction to Mozzie.
The short man ran up to the ex-con artist's desk, Neal looked confused as Mozzie handed him a manila envelope. He raised an eyebrow and said, "It's a little early for this. It's January, Moz."
"Just open it." The other man said, a little twitchy…well, twitchier than usual.
Neal opened it, read through the file in hand, reading faster and faster the more he got through it. "Moz." He said, voice slightly panicked.
"I thought you'd want to know." Mozzie said, or at least started to say but Neal was already out of his seat flying toward Peter's office.
"Peter!" He said, breathless and panicked. The agent glanced up at him, surprised by the entrance.
"Neal, what is-"
"Peter I need permission to go to Ohio."
Peter paused, looking Neal up and down, taking in the look in his eye, the file in his hand. "Why?" He asked cautiously.
"I-" Neal paused, struggling with what he wanted to share with his friend. He'd made a promise when he first started working with Peter that he'd keep his old life behind him.Peter can't know about them. Neal Anderson is too far gone, six feet under, to come home. I can't be the son they always wanted, and I will never be the big brother B needs.
He shook his head at his words from a few years back, the last time he got a file like this from Mozzie. He hadn't gone last time, Peter never would have let him. But maybe…maybe now…
"My brother." He found himself whispering.
"Your…brother?" Peter leaned forward in his seat, "You don't have a brother."
"Neal Caffrey doesn't. But Neal Anderson does."
"Anderson." Peter repeated, and Neal just nodded. They stared at each other for a long moment, "I thought we agreed no more secrets, Neal."
"I'm telling you now, aren't I?" Neal said. Peter glanced down at the file in Neal's trembling hand, taking in his friend's shaken demeanor.
"This is serious, then." Peter said, holding out his hand, "May I see the file?" Neal paused for a second, Mozzie technically wasn't supposed to have that file. "I'll pretend I never saw it, Mozzie's safe. Just let me know what's going on." Nodding like a bobble head Neal handed over the file.
Reading it Peter paused, eyes widening. "Your brother's only 17."
Neal nodded, "He…he was so young when our parents kicked me out."
"Your parents kicked you out?"
"Well, sort of. I wasn't exactly a good kid." Neal said nothing more, and Peter decided not to pry. He simply kept reading.
Concussion. Concern over complications from previous head injury in 2009.
"2009." Peter said aloud. "The year you started here."
Neal could feel his eyes welling up and tried to ignore it. "I couldn't be there then. I'd only just gotten out of jail and you…you wouldn't have left me gone-"
"Don't pretend you would have Peter. You didn't trust me at all." Neal sniffled, glancing away, "I left B behind, and he didn't understand why. He was so young, he couldn't understand who I was, what I was doing. But now…maybe I could be there this time." He looked back up. "Peter please." His voice wavered, "I'm begging you. As a friend."
Peter held his young counterpart's gaze for a moment. He glanced back down at the file, wondering how bad it had been the last time. How Neal must have felt, knowing what was happening to his brother but being unable to go to him.
"Ok." Peter whispered, and Neal exhaled noticeably, all but collapsing to the floor.
"Thank you, Peter." He said, blinking fast.
"You know I'll be coming with you."
Neal nodded, "I know. I—it's fine."
Peter sighed, handing back the file. "I'll make the call."
One hour had never felt so long to Neal.
After getting strings pulled Peter and Neal were off on a flight from New York to Columbus. The flight itself was only one hour long, but to Neal it felt like an eternity. He just needed to get there, to be there. But once they actually landed and Neal took in all the familiar sights his heart dropped.
What am I doing here? I can't be here.
He stopped mid-step outside the airport, heart thudding hard in his chest. "Neal?" Peter asked but the ex-conman barely heard him.
"What am I doing?" He whispered, looking to his friend with wide eyes, breath quickening in panic. "I – I'm not welcome here-"
"Neal," Peter said, taking him by the shoulders. "Take a deep breath." Neal did as instructed, searching his friend's eyes.
"Blaine's going to hate me. He's going to be angry I left. I have no right to-"
"Neal." The younger man stopped, "You need this Neal. You. Maybe he won't be happy to see you, that's a big possibility. But you need to see him before you lose your mind, even if it's only for a moment."
Neal swallowed, nodding. Looking down he whispered, "Thank you, Peter. For all of this."
Peter nodded, "Anytime, Neal. I know how important family is." Taking a deep breath the FBI agent stood straighter, "Alright, let's get ourselves a ride."
The one hour drive seemed to last an eternity and a second at the same time. Neal wanted so badly to see his brother, to make sure he was alive. But he knew he would probably be pushed out, shunned. If not by Blaine himself then by his parents…if they even bothered to be there.
This was going to be one fun family reunion.
When the car pulled up to the hospital it was almost like he'd forgotten how to breathe. Peter nudged him, all but pulling him from the car. They walked slowly inside, Neal afraid he'd be thrown out on sight.
"Excuse me." He shakily asked, stepping up to the nurses' station. "I'm here to see Blaine Anderson."
"Relation?" She asked, starting to type on her keyboard.
"I'm…" Neal froze for half a second, glancing to Peter. The older man gave him a soft, reassuring smile. Swallowing, Neal said, "I'm his brother."
Nodding, she clicked some more on the computer and glanced back up, "Room 221, second floor."
Neal nodded, "Yeah, yes. Thank you." Peter placed a hand on Neal's shoulder, steering him towards the elevator. Once inside Neal let out a shuddering breath. Peter merely rubbed his arm, saying nothing. Soon the two were on the second floor, and Neal almost couldn't step off the elevator. With a nudge from Peter he started his way down the hall.
The closer Neal got the harder it was to breathe.
He stood outside the door, unaware of the people around him. Unaware of Peter next to him, watching him closely. He couldn't see anything, hear anything. All he could see was the door number, the name scrawled on the paper name plate underneath.
His breathe caught in his throat, tears welled up in his eyes.
"Neal." Peter's voice was soft, light, but they struck Neal into motion. Raising his hand he lightly pushed the half closed door open.
Inside were several teens, a sight he wasn't expecting. They turned and looked to Neal and Peter, eyes furrowed in confusion at the visitors. Somewhere in the back of his mind Neal was aware that their parents weren't there. But his eyes went right for the boy in the bed.
There…there lay his brother.
On the bed he had an IV in his arm, the side of his head had a gauze pad wrapped to it. His face was blotchy, like he'd had a reaction to something. Neal could think back to when Blaine was an infant, only a few hours old, his face had been blotchy like that. He remembered being ten years old and pulling a chair from the waiting area so he could stand on it and get a better look into the nursery. He remembered staring down at the baby in the cradle labeled Blaine Anderson. He'd been so helpless, so small.
He looked so different now, yet exactly the same.
"Blaine." He found himself whispering before he could stop himself.
"Excuse me, uh – who are you?" Neal turned to the brunette boy sitting beside Blaine, holding his hand. Neal wondered who the boy was, if they'd been friends a long time, if they were dating. Neal glanced to the other teens in the room, wondering who they were and what part they had in Blaine's life. Clearly they cared for him if they were all cramped in this hospital room with him.
"I-" Neal couldn't find the words. He didn't belong here, not with all these people who loved Blaine and were there for him. What was Neal? Blaine's brother by blood, sure. But he wasn't Blaine's family. He'd left his little brother behind, a crying six-year-old wondering why his big brother had to go.
"I shouldn't be here." Neal whispered, feeling ready to throw up. He spun around, ready to run from the room when he heard it.
He stopped dead in his tracks, breath catching in his throat. The voice had been soft, weak, much different, deeper, than the last time he'd heard that voice. But it was the same.
It was Blaine.
Slowing turning he looked back at Blaine, at his little brother. With tears in his eyes he took a shaky step forward, the teenagers and Peter all disappearing from his mind.
"Neal, is that you?" And suddenly the tears were falling freely from his eyes. Blaine's weak voice sounded so hopeful, so excited.
"It's me, B." He whispered, watching his brother's reaction. Blaine's tired eyes widened, he sat up straighter. He looked ready to push himself out of the bed just to get to Neal. Without a thought Neal bridged the gap between them and found himself with his arms wrapped around the 17-year-old. "Oh God, Blaine." He sobbed out quietly. "I'm so sorry."
Blaine said nothing, he merely clung to Neal. His hands clawed at the back of ex-conman's suit, trying to pull him closer. They sat there, clutching each other for an unknown amount of time before Neal pulled back. He sat up, face only a foot away from Blaine's, and stroked his little brother's tearstained cheek.
"You're actually here." Blaine said, voice breaking.
"I am." Neal swallowed, straightening up. "And I…I wanted to come…last time." Blaine looked confused for a second, before realization hit his features.
"I—I've had a friend keeping an eye on you. And I…I'd only just gotten out of jail. And God, I wanted to come, I did-"
"Wait, jail?" Neal broke eye contact with his little brother to turn and see a short dark-haired girl eyeing him. Oh right, there were other people in the room. "Who are you?"
"I-" Neal didn't know how to answer. He was Blaine's kin but certainly hadn't been his brother.
"He's my brother." Blaine said before Neal could answer. Neal's heart dropped. The statement should make him happy but…the way Blaine was looking at him, staring up at him with such a look of happiness. He was so happy Neal was there, despite all the time that had passed…ten years. Despite those ten years. Despite everything Neal had missed.
It made him sick.
"I'm a sorry excuse for one." He whispered, swallowing hard.
"I haven't been here for you."
"Neal, it's ok-"
"No it's not!" Neal found himself yelling, Blaine jumped. "I haven't been here! I left!"
"Mom and dad kicked you out-"
"Because of what I was doing! I knew the conning and the forging would get me in trouble, would get me kicked out, but I did it anyway! I pretty much left of my own accord, Blaine! And I—god I couldn't even be here when you were-" He stopped, unable to voice what Blaine had been through. He blinked away his tears, his anger at himself. Blaine still was looking at him happily, with so much admiration.
Neal leaned forward, all but grabbing his brother and shaking him. "God, Blaine! Why can't you just be mad at me? Scream at me! Kick me out! Be mad at me!" Neal was vaguely aware of the teens who stood, ready to pull Neal out of the room if he did anything.
"I can't." Blaine said, tears in his eyes.
"Why not!" Neal cried, his own tears flowing nonstop.
"Because you're my brother." He said, voice cracking, "You may have left before but you're here now. That's what matters."
With a choked sob Neal fell onto the edge of the bed, wrapping Blaine up in his arms again. They sat there for several minutes, holding each other, crying. "God, B," Neal whispered after a moment, "You shouldn't forgive me. God, I don't deserve it. You're too good a person. You didn't get that from me."
"Don't think I got it from mom or dad, either." Blaine joked lamely, hiccupping into his big brother's shoulder.
"Where are they, anyway?" Neal asked, sitting up but not letting go of Blaine, keeping his hands on the teen's shoulders.
"They, uh, they're away." Blaine said with a shrug.
Neal's eyes darkened, "Do they know you're here?" Blaine bit his lip, "Blaine?"
"Yes." He said, looking down to his hands.
"God damn it." Neal whispered violently, trying to keep his anger in check. After the last outburst he was merely waiting for the nurses to come in and drag him out. "Thoseassholes-"
"No. Seriously, B. This is fucking ridiculous." Neal angrily wiped away his tears. "You're such a good person and yet you got the shittiest family possible." Pausing he glanced to the teens who were all sitting and standing rather awkwardly. "Good thing you seem to have great friends." He said, glancing back to Blaine.
The teen smiled at that, nodding in agreement. He reached over, taking the brunette boy's hand again. Neal stared at their hands for a moment, saying quietly, "I've missed so much."
Blaine reached over with his other hand and took Neal's. Glancing back and forth between the teen at his side and his brother his smile widened. "But you're here now. We can make up for lost time."
"Blaine." Neal whispered, voice cracking. Why couldn't Blaine hate him? Everything would make so much more sense.
"I'm not letting you disappear again, Neal." Blaine said, sniffling despite his smile. "We may have lost one decade but we've got plenty more ahead of us." He squeezed his brother's hand, as if to emphasize his point. "Don't just leave again."
"I won't." Neal whispered, leaning down and placing a soft kiss on Blaine's forehead. "I promise I won't."