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White Collar Fic: Love As Light As Air

Title:  Love As Light As Air
Author: dennih23
Pairing: Peter/Neal, wingfic
Word Count: 2437
Summary:  Peter just wanted to spend a quiet day at the shore, Neal whump
Disclaimer: White Collar and Peter and Neal do not belong to me
Beta: Thank you to pooh_collector for her insights, all mistakes are mine

A/N : this is a birthday present for kanarek13 who wanted a fic where Peter carried Neal to safety – it morphed into this. Happy Birthday – enjoy your day.  Also fills the Wild Card square on my Trope Bingo Card.

The first rays of the morning sun danced through the slender openings of the window blinds. The soft light brushed across Peter’s face causing him to stir. He blinked and thought about going back to sleep. Instead he began carefully uncurling himself from his lover. His leg was thrown over the other man’s hip and his head was buried in Neal’s soft brown curls. He carefully crawled out of bed not wanting to disturb Neal.

Smiling, he reached down and gently caressed Neal’s unshaven cheek wondering how he got so lucky as to have this man as his husband. Many would have given their wings to be with Neal, but for some unknown reason Neal chose him. Each day he loved Neal more and more. He couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.

It had been the week from hell and Neal deserved to rest. It started out as an ordinary week, both men going to work as usual. Things went downhill on Tuesday. Neal called Peter when he received a piece of art – a Madarasz that had caught Neal’s eye a few years ago. The gift could only mean one thing – Neal’s old beau, Matthew Keller, was back in town. Keller was rich and could afford to give Neal anything he wanted. Keller hadn’t taken it well when Neal broke up with him and started dating Peter. It seemed Keller thought he could win Neal’s affection even though Peter and Neal had been married for some years.

Keller preceded to show up at Neal’s art studio on Wednesday. He demanded to see Neal. When Neal refused, Keller became angry and began yelling obscenities about Neal and his establishment. He threatened patrons and finally Neal called the police. As Keller was being taken away by the police he pleaded with Neal to come back to him. Neal was upset that night and didn’t sleep. It took another two days for Neal to calm down and get any rest.

Peter took one last look at his sleeping husband and smiled. He needed to do something special for Neal and a thought occurred to him. Peter grabbed his favorite pair of jeans – Neal always told him they fit him perfectly and they were worn in all the right places. It took a while but he found the green polo shirt that was also Neal’s favorite. After gathering his clothes he headed into their bathroom, took a shower, and shaved before getting dressed.

He quickly checked on Neal, who was still snoring, before quietly padding out to the kitchen. He turned on the television, keeping the volume low. The weather report was just coming on and it promised to be a perfect summer day, blue skies with little cloud cover and just a small breeze. Peter couldn’t have wished for a better weather report.

It was promising to be a perfect day for playing hooky. He called in for a day of vacation for both of them. There was a small patch of isolated seashore that only winged people frequented. He and Neal would probably be alone and would be able to fly around undisturbed. There would be no prying eyes watching them. Even though most people accepted their wings, there were still the uninformed who were prejudiced. Many times he could feel others watching him, making him feel like an outsider.

Leaving Neal to sleep a little longer Peter dug through the hall closet and found an old wicker picnic basket. Opening the refrigerator, he scanned through the contents. Finding what was needed he took out the multigrain bread, mayonnaise, some sliced turkey, and then found a small container of cranberry relish. He put together some sandwiches and put them in the basket. Luckily Neal always had fresh fruit so he cut some up and put that with the sandwiches. Then wine, cheese and some of Neal’s favorite chocolates were added. Finally he took a couple of Heisler’s out of fridge and put them with the rest of the items.

He didn’t hear any movement coming from the bedroom so he snuck out the door. He had one errand he wanted to run before leaving for the shore.

Neal was still asleep when he returned to the apartment. Peter grinned as he waved a cup of Italian Roast under his spouse’s nose. He laughed as his partner took a deep breath and his eyes snapped open. Those blue eyes melted Peter’s heart every time he looked into them.  He set the coffee cup on the nightstand, leaned over, and kissed his husband. Neal responded by grabbing Peter and tossing him back into the bed. Neal hummed, “Morning Peter.”

Peter snorted. “Good morning to you too. Now get up and let’s get going, I have a surprise for you. I took the liberty to call in a vacation day for both of us so we can go to the shore today.”

“Do we have to?” Neal began nibbling at Peter’s ear.

Peter pushed himself off the bed or they wouldn’t be going anywhere. He gave the perfect butt in front of him a quick slap. He headed back to their kitchen and in a sing-song voice he added, “There’s cronuts in the kitchen.”

Neal all but leapt off of their cushy mattress. He made a beeline for the kitchen and shoved a cronut in his mouth smiling. Peter knew this was Neal’s Achilles heel. Neal snatched another pastry and headed past Peter back to their bedroom. He gave Peter a quick peck on the cheek, “I’m going to take a quick shower and I’ll be ready to go in ten minutes. Unless, of course, you want to join me.” He didn’t wait for an answer but disappeared into the bathroom.

While his hubby was getting ready to go, Peter put everything in the car. After putting their lunch in the back seat he went back to the apartment and found one of Neal’s sketchbooks laying on the sofa. He laid it on the front seat in hopes that his sweetheart would take the hint and draw something for him. One of his favorite things was to sit and watch Neal concentrate as he sketched, nothing breaking Neal’s attention, and the artwork was always something special in Peter’s opinion.

Peter stood on the white sand beach and spread his wings. The immense gold feathers reflecting the sunlight gave him the appearance of being on fire. It wasn’t often he got to flex his wings, there just wasn’t enough room in the crowded city but here he could let his wings expand to their full state. The warm air wafted across his back sending chills up his spine. He could feel the wind calling to him.

While he laid out their lunch Neal stripped down to his swim trunks and took to the skies. Peter loved watching Neal fly. Neal’s wings were the most vibrant silver with sapphire feathers at the edges. Peter had ever seen anything like them.  The light bounced off of them and bowed to their brilliance. Peter sighed and watched as his husband glided over the water allowing air currents to carry him over the waves. His heart beamed as his companion dipped and twirled in midair before heading back to the beach.

Neal landed in front of Peter and gave him a quick kiss before turning towards the food. “Umm, this looks good.”

Peter raised an eyebrow at his paramour and growled low, “That’s not the only thing that looks appetizing.”

Neal laughed. “Food first, then if you can catch me you can have your way with me.” Neal’s eyes sparkled in mischief.

Both men plopped down on the blanket and enjoyed a glass of Merlot and a selection of aged Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyere cheeses that were in the basket. They ate their sandwiches and discussed where they should take their vacation this year. Peter wanted to go to the mountains and Neal begged to go to Paris. In the end they decided to flip a coin and Peter won. Neal pouted and tried to bribe Peter but finally gave up and agreed to their destination.

After eating, they lounged together in the sand, necking like teenagers. Finally Neal got up and took flight. Peter shouted, “I’m going to pick up and then I’m going to catch you!”

Neal wagged his finger, “Just try old man, “and he took off over the ocean.

Peter shook his head and hollered, “You just wait and then we’ll see who’s an old man!” Peter always gave Neal a head start, the chase was always part of the fun.

Everything was almost put away when Peter heard a scream. He turned and saw Neal being attacked by a figure with large black wings variegated with blood red tips. Keller was there and had Neal in his grasp. The man was delusional. Keller wanted Neal and now seemed to be stopping at nothing to claim him as his own.

In moments Peter was airborne, rapidly closing the gap between him and the two men. He knew he was yelling, but he could only hear the whoosh of his massive wings beating against the wind as he gained on Keller and Neal. He could see Neal struggling, but Keller had him, holding him firmly. The struggle was slowing Keller down and Peter was quickly making up the distance.

Keller must have sensed that Peter was almost on top of them. Suddenly the man turned, hovering in midair, meeting Peter’s eyes before pulling out a knife. Peter saw the blade glistening and wondered what Matthew was up to. Keller smirked and shoved the knife into Neal’s ribs. Neal screamed and went limp as Keller continued his brutal assault, shoving the knife into Neal repeatedly. Peter was a few feet away when the unthinkable happened. Keller shrugged and let go of Neal. Peter could only watch as Neal fell helplessly out of the sky.

His watched in horror as his beloved Neal spiraled downward landing on a small reef jutting out of the ocean. Peter cringed as he watched Neal hit the jagged rocks. Neal looked like a broken doll sprawled out across the sharp rocks. Forgetting about Keller he rushed towards Neal. Seconds later he landed next to his beloved and dropped to his knees. He was afraid Neal was dead. Tears ran down Peter’s face; he felt so helpless.

“Peter.” It was only a whisper, but Neal’s eyes were barely open watching Peter intensely.

“Hush, I’m here.”

Peter took Neal’s hand and squeezed it. Neal moaned but kept staring at Peter. With that gaze he could feel all the confidence Neal had in him to fix this. He tried to think. He needed to get to a hospital soon. Neal was full of knife wounds and his wings were broken, the once magnificent silver feathers were covered in crimson.

Trying not to hurt Neal any more than necessary, Peter gently picked him up, cradling him next to his chest and rose to the clouds. Peter headed for the beach and their car before deciding to fly to the nearest hospital. The straight path he could take by flying would cut time off their journey, but it would not be without danger. Many people would see him and there could be repercussions if the wrong people spotted them.

Neal whimpered into Peter’s upper body as they hit turbulence. Peter hugged him closer whispering “You’ll be okay. I’ve got you.” He repeated the mantra over and over, trying to convince himself as well as Neal.

It seemed to take forever before the hospital came into sight. Peter landed right in front of the emergency entrance. He was grateful when a crew of doctors and nurses met him. The hospital was equipped to handle winged patients. They took Neal from him and escorted him to the waiting room.

Time passed slowly as Peter paced the small waiting room. Hours later the door opened and a surgeon approached him. The man listed out Neal’s injuries – everything from internal bleeding, nicked kidneys from the knife wounds, to the broken wings, but he assured Peter that with plenty of rest he was confident that Neal would live. The worst of the injuries were the wings which were badly damaged. The extent of the injury to the wings and his back meant there was a possibility that Neal would never fly again. There was even the possibility that the wings could not be saved, only time would tell. Neal’s recovery would be long and tedious.

Peter exhaled deeply, not realizing he had been holding his breath. “Can I see him?”

“He will be moved to a private room shortly and you can see him then. I just want to remind you that he will most likely be unresponsive for a few days. His body needs time to heal; so please be patient. Someone will come and get you after Mr. Caffrey is settled.”

“Thank you.” Peter gave a small smile. Neal was alive, that was all that mattered. Together they would work through anything else. They had each other and that was the only thing that mattered.

For the next three days Peter didn’t move from Neal’s bedside. He wrapped his hand around Neal’s long fingers slightly squeezing them so the other man would know of his presence. Peter constantly whispered his love to Neal. One afternoon while stroking Neal’s hand, the nimble digits squeezed back. Peter looked up and a bleary-eyed Neal was lovingly staring back at him.

“Hey.” Peter choked up a little before speaking. “I’ve missed you, I’m glad you’re awake. I love you so much.”

“I love you too Peter. How bad?”

“You’ll be fine. Just no flying for quite a while. A lot of damage was done when you hit the reef. Lots of bed rest for you.”

Neal cracked a small grin, “Does that mean lots of nursing from you too?” Neal loved being pampered by Peter.

“Of course. You need anything, without reason, and I’ll take care of it. Now just rest. I’ll be here when you wake up again.” He stood there until Neal drifted back to sleep.

Peter relaxed for the first time in days and as Neal slept there was one more thing he needed to do. He crept outside and took out his cell phone. He paged through the contacts and found the name he was looking for. Momentarily he hesitated and then hit call. When Mozzie answered he explained what needed to be done. After ending the call he knew Matthew Keller would never bother them again.

Thank you for reading.

crossposted at AO3


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2015 08:55 am (UTC)
Oh poor Neal! Thank goodness for Peter ♥

Peter is so sweet planning the day for Neal, and I loved the descriptions of the different coloured wings, those are the perfect colours for all of them!
Jan. 25th, 2015 12:30 am (UTC)
Thank you – and Peter will always take care of Neal --- no matter what. This two care so much about each other, it is hard to imagine one without the other.
Jan. 19th, 2015 04:12 pm (UTC)
Wonderful story, loved reading this very much.
Jan. 25th, 2015 12:31 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the story :D
Jan. 19th, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC)
I love AUs where Neal and Peter are together as couple and where Peter is doing is Peter Protective thing and Neal is well... Neal.

And wow! Peter sending Mozzie after Keller. Wow! The things he will do for love.

Awesome fic!
Jan. 25th, 2015 12:35 am (UTC)
Thank you :D

I love Peter and Neal, they care so much for each other, and will do anything for the other one. I love the protective nature in Peter and it is a great counterbalance to Neal and how it tends to be more reactive and usually needs protecting.

And yes Peter will do anything for Neal, even getting Mozzie’s help in taking care of Keller.
Jan. 20th, 2015 12:05 am (UTC)
Wow, that was beautiful and terrific in one! Love the first part, with all the fluff and the wonderful and colorful descriptions of their wings, as well as the second part, with Peter doing what he's doing best - making sure that his loved ones are safe and that justice will prevail.

Thanks for sharing!
Jan. 25th, 2015 12:44 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the feedback, glad you enjoyed the story.
Jan. 23rd, 2015 04:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so very much for this ♥ It's no secret that I love wings and to get a glorious fic that has fluff and angst and whump and wings - it's just beyond perfect ♥

Such a beautiful beginning with Peter planning a surprise for Neal, and such a terrifying ending to their special day, awwww. But now at least there is no doubt that Keller will never bother them again. And Neal will have the best care possible, with Peter by his side ♥

This has made my mind explode with inspiring images :D I love it. Thank you so much :D
Jan. 25th, 2015 12:55 am (UTC)
Thank you ♥ for all the wonderful artwork you provid the fandom. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
Jan. 30th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC)


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )