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White Collar Fic: Healing Touch

Title: Healing Touch
Author: dennih23
Rating:  G
Characters: Neal Caffrey, Peter Burke
Word Count: 3277
Summary: AU where healers exist
Disclaimer:  Nope, characters not mine, they belong to Jeff Eastin

Beta: Thank you sherylyn, all mistakes are mine
Artwork: Thank you kanarek13,

A/N: Fills the Healers square on my H/C Bingo Card


His journey began on an average summer day. The sun was bright, and white fluffy clouds were scattered across the vibrant blue sky. It was a typical day in the life of a ten-year-old boy. He was outside playing fetch with his dog. Neal would throw the ball and Casper would run across the yard to retrieve it.

His mom appeared at the back door and called out, “Neal, it’s time for dinner.”

“Okay, just one more toss.” He threw the ball and what happened next would change the course of his life.

The toy took an unusual bounce and went into the street with Casper in hot pursuit. Neal screamed as the speeding car rounded the block and hit his beloved pet. The vehicle kept going as Neal ran towards his dog.

Neal could hear Casper whining in pain as he approached. Dropping to his knees he was about to pet the puppy when a soft ray of light extended from his fingers, reaching out towards the wounded animal. He gasped and jerked his hand back. The beam disappeared. He extended his palm again and the glow re-appeared again.

He didn’t know what was happening and he was too afraid to move. Neal could actually feel a stream of energy reaching from his fingertips to blanket Casper. He was in shock and could only stare at the rays leaving his body. He was so focused on the light that he jumped when his mother laid a hand on his shoulder. With tears in his eyes, he looked up at his mom who nodded. “Don’t worry, I’ll explain later; for now, just focus on Casper.”

He concentrated on Casper, his brow knitted in deep thought. Without warning the radiance vanished as quickly as it had appeared. Before Neal could figure out what was happening, Casper was licking his face.

His mom pulled him to his feet. “Neal, honey, we need to get out of here. I’m not sure if anyone saw this, but we need to go.” Casper happily ran in front of them as they headed back to the house.

Stepping inside, his mother told Neal to go and pack up anything he wanted to keep. They had to leave as soon as possible. He wanted to argue, but his mom was busy grabbing anything with their names and photos from the walls. He stood watching her, unsure what was going on.

“Mom, why did we need to go?”

“Oh, baby, I’ll explain as soon as were in the car. But right now it’s important we leave here right away.”

Neal pouted; he didn’t want to leave his friends. “But I don’t want to go.”

Anger shot across his mother’s face. “Neal, I don’t have time to argue with you. We need to leave NOW. If you don’t go and pack then it all stays behind. We need to be out of here as soon as possible.”

Neal had never seen his mother acting so strangely. Still confused, he climbed the stairs and threw as many of his belongings as he could into boxes. Within thirty minutes they were on the road. His life as Neal Bennett ended that day.

For the next three days he barely talked to his mother. He just sat in the backseat with Casper. He was continually petting the dog while wondering how Casper managed to survive the hit and run.

He noticed that his mom was constantly checking the rearview mirror as they travelled. She only took backroads avoiding main highways and large cities. At night, she would pull off the road and they slept in their car. He had never seen his mother act this way; she was frightened of something and it scared him. Finally, on the third day of their road trip, his mother pulled into a small town and found a phone booth. He listened as she left a strange message for someone whose name he didn’t know.

On the fourth day, they drove up to what appeared to be an abandoned farm house. As they approached the barn doors, his mother honked the car horn. Neal jumped at the unexpected noise and was even more surprised when the entry opened and they were waved inside.

“This is going to be our new home.” His mom said no more but motioned him to get out of the vehicle. Once they were standing outside the car, an elderly man came over to greet them. The gentleman introduced himself as Leo.

Neal was busy looking around the place while his mother talked to Leo. He could see about a dozen other kids about his age, all staring at him; not one of them seemed pleased to see him.

Feeling self-conscious, he looked down at his shoes and waited. It seemed like an eternity before his mom came over and told him to bring Casper and follow her. The Bennett family made their way back into their vehicle. Leo sat in the front seat giving Neal’s mom directions for where to drive. About a mile from the barn, they parked in front a small house.

Leo handed his mother a key. He looked over at Neal before speaking. “Have you explained to your boy what’s going on?”

His mom just shook her head no.

The old man sighed. “Well, then, you need to tell him how important this is. He needs to understand he can never let himself be caught, and if he does, he can never tell anyone about this place. You explain this to him and in a couple of days I’ll be back and we’ll get his training started.” Leo gave his mother an envelope and then left them alone.

After the strange man left they entered their new home. The house was small but furnished with decent belongings. The place had an eat-in kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. There was no garage, but there was a tiny shed in the backyard.

Neither Bennett spoke while they brought their meager lot of clothes and things into the house. Neal laid out his few boxes in his new bedroom. When he was done unpacking he found his mother in the kitchen making dinner. Apparently, someone had stocked their new place with enough food for a few days.

After they were done eating, his mother told him to sit at the table. She sat across from him with a serious look on her face. She took a deep breath and opened the envelope that Leo had given her. She looked at him and there were tears in her eyes.

“Mama, what’s wrong?” Neal began to worry.

She wrapped her hands around his. “Honey, I need you to listen to what I tell you, okay?”

Neal nodded and waited for his mother to continue talking.

“I know you don’t understand what’s going on. But it is very important that no one must ever know your real name. From now on, Neal Bennett doesn’t exist. Your new name is Danny Brooks. Do you understand?”

He didn’t understand but his mom was so upset, but he nodded yes.

She continued to squeeze his fingers. “You probably already figured out that something special happened when you touched Casper. You’re what’s called a healer. If someone is injured, you can heal them with your touch. No one can ever know you have this ability, or about this place.”

Neal cocked his head. “Why not? Wouldn’t it be a good thing to help people?”

“I wish it was that simple, but it’s not. If someone finds out you’re a healer they will take you from me. You’ll be hauled off to some government facility that will do experiments on you to see what your abilities are. You will be forever locked away and at their bidding. That’s why it’s so important that no one ever finds out about you or this place. Please, Neal, promise me that you will be careful.”

He didn’t know what to say so he just shook his head yes. They sat in silence, holding each other, before heading off to bed.

Two days later Danny Brooks began his training. Leo was only one of six adults who were training the kids. Danny was paired up with Mike, who was a couple years older than he was. Their instructor was a tall, lean man named Bill.

Bill worked with both boys between four and five hours a day. The day was comprised of regular schoolwork and healer training.

The schoolwork was boring and the healer training was scary. Each of the kids were ranked by what type of healer they were. There were different levels, some could only heal small cuts and scrapes; others could mend major wounds. No matter what, there were limitations and consequences for using the powers. Using their skills left them tired and weak.

No one was able to cure cancer or stop a person from dying of natural causes. The most anyone could do was prevent death to a seriously injured person, and only if that person was immediately treated. It did not take long for the teachers to determine that Danny was a level ten healer, one of the most powerful they had seen. He even had the ability to heal himself, not many were able to do that.

Danny found that aspect interesting and it made him a bit of a daredevil. He pushed his limits all the time to see if he could mend himself. The worst part of the ‘cure’ was how exhausted it left him. Sometimes he could barely move for days.

Their teachers also explained that he must never reveal his abilities to anyone in the outside world. They explained that, when a healer was discovered, numerous groups of people would be after them. The government wanted to learn more about their kind, and rumor had it they would submit the healers to extensive measures to see if they could heal themselves or someone else. Either way, someone usually died, either the healer or the person they were supposed to be saving. Danny didn’t like the outcome either way.

Except for his daily lessons, Danny Brooks grew up a normal teenager. He spent the next eight years learning to hone his craft of healing.

On his eighteenth birthday, he and Mike drove to a small town nearby. They had managed to get hold of a couple of illegal drivers’ licenses that declared them to be twenty-two years old. With their new identifications in hand, they headed to the nearest bar for a drink. It didn’t take long before both boys were drunk.

Danny and Mike began walking back to the pickup truck, having a good time, shoving each other and laughing. They were almost to their vehicle when they passed a young woman and her small daughter. They said hello as they passed them and continued on their way.

Suddenly they heard a scream and turned around. A man wielding a knife was standing in front of the woman and little girl they had just walked past. It appeared the man was high on drugs and battling a demon only he could see. He lashed out and they watched in horror as the knife sliced into the woman and she fell in a heap to the ground. The little girl was screaming. Without hesitating, Mike ran to the woman’s side and touched her.

A crowd had gathered and watched as Mike mended the woman’s wound. As soon as the woman stood, two men grabbed Neal’s friend. One of the men spoke. “Call 911 and tell them we have a healer.” Someone in the crowd pointed to Danny and shouted, “He’s a friend of this one. Maybe he’s also a healer.” Two other men walked toward him, but before they could reach him, Danny ran off. He knew there were large rewards for anyone turning in someone with healing powers.

He kept running until he made it back to their truck. He didn’t have the keys but knew how to hotwire a car. His fingers didn’t want to work properly and he fumbled a few times before the engine roared to life. Looking up, he saw there was a small crowd heading in his direction. He floored the gas pedal and sped out of town. He made sure no one was following him before he went back to the training center.

The first thing Danny did was find Leo. He told him everything that had happened. Leo shook his head. “I’m afraid you’ll need to leave here immediately. Let your mom know what happened and then pack up and go. I recommend you get rid of that truck and find something else; you will also want to find a new identity. They’ll be looking for you.”

Danny extended his hand and thanked Leo for all he had taught him.

When he arrived home, he found his mom cooking dinner. He embraced her and led her to the table, where he told her what had happened. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she realized just how close she had come to losing her son. They quickly packed up their home and drove off.  Neal understood it was no longer safe for him to stay with his mom. He drove to Missouri and dropped his mom off at her sister’s home. Kissing her on the cheek, he said good-bye, knowing he would not see her again.

The next day he re-created himself and became Neal Caffrey. He vowed that day to never use his power again.


Neal hadn’t used his healing powers in almost six years. He hadn’t even considered using them, but now it was all he could think about. Their case had gone sideways and Peter lay sprawled in a pool of blood.

Peter had shoved him out of the way when their suspect pulled a gun. The bullet meant for Neal had torn through Peter’s Kevlar vest.

He knelt beside his fallen partner. Neal started to reach out to help his friend before jerking his hand away. He hated this - he couldn’t even comfort Peter. He could only watch the man who was like a father figure to him bleed out. Blinking back tears, he whispered, “Hang in there Peter, help’s on the way.”

Peter’s eyes fluttered open and he moaned before speaking. “Neal, promise me something.”

A cool hand touched Neal’s arm. He was so absorbed in his own thoughts he didn’t realize Peter was trying to get his attention. Looking down he saw the pain on the other man’s face. More than that, he knew Peter was not going to survive the wait for an ambulance. He was Peter’s only hope for survival.

“Neal, please listen to me. Stay on the straight and narrow, no more crimes. You’re smart, don’t let that go to waste, use your talents to help others.” Neal tried to shush him but Peter only shook his head.

He didn’t know what to do. Neal wanted to save Peter, but the price would be his freedom. He knew that healers were locked away and they became test subjects. He had heard the stories of some of them being tortured and organs removed to see what made them different. Many became only a shell of themselves. It would be worse than being in prison – there would be no way out except for death. He would never see the outside world again.

The sound of Peter coughing brought Neal to the present. Peter spoke again, his voice barely a whisper, “I know this is bad. But I need one more thing from you. Please be sure that El is okay. Let her know I thinking about her.” Peter stopped talking. Neal knew his time to save Peter was slipping away quickly.

Taking a deep breathe, Neal made his decision. Peter meant way more than his freedom, Peter was family, and you did everything you could to help family. He leaned down closer to Peter. “It’s going to be okay, trust me.”

Rubbing his two hands together, Neal concentrated. Within moments, he could feel the power course through him. Slowly, he reached out and laid his hands on Peter’s chest. Peter startled at the sudden burst of energy that flowed through him.

Peter started to struggle, but Neal held him down. “Please, Peter, it will be okay, I promise.”

After a few minutes Neal was exhausted, it had been so long since he’d needed to call on this part of himself, he’d forgotten how tiring it was. He continued to work until he saw the color return to Peter’s face and the wound was completely healed. He sat back on his heels, on the verge of collapsing. The healing had taken a lot out of him and Neal could feel himself starting to pass out.

Peter sat up and realized what had happened. He was about to say something to Neal when the door burst open and Diana and Jones came into the room, guns drawn.

Jones looked over the situation. “We heard gunshots. Are you okay?”

Peter looked down at the blood he was sitting in, then at Neal, before speaking. “We’re good, just tripped and fell.” Diana gave him a skeptical look, but Peter just gave her one of his ‘don’t question me’ looks and she fell silent.

Diana started to approach the two men, but Peter waved her off.  “Go get our suspect, he went out the side door. I’ll take care of Neal.”

Jones looked at Peter. “You sure he’s okay? I’ll get an ambulance.”

“No need for that. Neal went down pretty hard, but I think he’s just winded. Give us a few minutes and we’ll be right out. In the meantime, go find our counterfeiter.”

As Jones and Diana left, Peter gave them one more look and mouthed, “Thank you.” Both nodded their heads in understanding.

When they were alone again, Peter sat next to Neal. “Hey, buddy, are you okay?”

“I’ll be fine, just need a little time to recuperate. Peter, why didn’t you say anything?”

“What would I tell them?”

Neal was confused. “You know what I did, you know what I am.”

“I know you’re a good friend who didn’t have to do what you did. You choose to help me. Because of your choice, I’m alive. You gave me a gift, Neal. I would have died but you saved me. I want to thank you for that. I know it was a difficult decision. You were willing to trade your freedom for me.”

“But, Peter, it’s your job to turn in someone like me.”

“No, Neal, it’s my job to be a good friend. I appreciate what you did for me.” Peter stood and extended his hand to his partner; Neal took the assistance, letting Peter help him to his feet.

“Peter, I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to help you, I just ….”

“Neal, I know.” Peter embraced Neal. “Thank you. Now let’s get you home. You need to get some rest. We’ll stop by June’s and get you some other clothes and head back to my place.”

“I’ll be fine, just need a couple days rest. I’ll be okay at June’s.”

“No discussion on this one, partner. You’re coming home with me. I want to make sure that you’re good.”

Neal leaned against Peter and let the older man lead them out of the building. He knew he did the right thing and that Peter would make sure no one ever knew about his abilities. For the first time in quite a while, he felt safe.

Cross Posted at AO3


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC)
aww that was a sweet story. Made me think of Carnivale.
Of course Peter would not turn Neal in.
Sep. 23rd, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Peter would have a hard time turning in Neal, he spends a lot of time protecting Neal and probably always will, it seems to be Peter’s nature to take care of Neal.
Sep. 22nd, 2015 10:13 pm (UTC)
Perfection, my friend :D I just read it again ♥ Awww, boys, now that Peter knows Neal's secret, their bond is just gonna grow stronger ♥ Absolutely love it :D And yay for square fills, heee :D
Sep. 23rd, 2015 06:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Peter will keep Neal’s secret and their bond will definitely be stronger. These two will always need each other :D
Sep. 23rd, 2015 07:00 am (UTC)
Loved the story. Neal using his superpowers to save Peter. Peter keeping his secret.
Sep. 23rd, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
I can’t imagine Peter ever telling anyone about Neal’s powers, except maybe El --- I don’t think he would keep anything from her. Between El and Peter Neal’s secret will be save.
Sep. 23rd, 2015 01:56 pm (UTC)
An excellent story. Kanarek mentioned this as the fill for the picture she posted.
Sep. 23rd, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading --- Kanarek did lovely artwork, but she is incredible :D
Sep. 23rd, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC)
Oooh, this is wonderful. I love the AU you crafted here. Would you consider writing more in this universe?
Sep. 23rd, 2015 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed this. I hadn’t really considered writing more in this universe, but you never know.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )