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Neal, white collar, I am Neal

Fic; I am Neal, Chapter Ten

Posted on 2013.03.19 at 19:59
Tags: ,
Title; I am Neal
Author; swirlsofblue
Fandom; White Collar
Rating; NC-17
Character/Pairings; Peter/Elizabeth, Neal.
Warnings; Flashbacks involving abuse, slavery.
Word count; 620 (this chapter)
Summary; Based on a collarkink prompt; Neal was kidnapped and it takes Peter a minimum of 5 years to find him. By the time he does, Neal's had 5 years to be broken down and turned into the perfect house/sex slave with regular punishments. This is the tale of Neal's recovery.
Author's note; Follow the links for previous chapters: chapters 1 - 6, chapter 7, chapter 8, chapter 9.

The next day Neal was less worried as he sat in his small hiding place, Peter was letting him stay here for his good behaviour, it meant Peter and Elizabeth were happy with him. He hadn’t gotten in trouble, maybe there was no big plan for punishment, maybe they just thought he had done a good job. Neal chastised himself for clinging to hope so readily, but hope made the most sense. He had been here for weeks and why have that much of a build-up to punishment, when they could’ve given him several beatings and still ramped up his anxiety levels.

No one asked him to leave so he happily stayed where he was, less nervous about getting in trouble for it; this was his reward he would enjoy it while he could. There was a light now and he used it to read one of the books Elizabeth had left for him. All of the books seemed quite dull though, too full of cheer.


After spending a few hours a day in the small room under their stairs Neal seemed a lot better, more confident. But Peter and Elizabeth were still wary, there was a long way to go and any small thing might set things back. Peter can’t help watching as Neal walks from the dining room to the living room, shoulders slightly hunched, but at least he isn’t feeling the need to hold up a façade of chipper glee as much as before. It seems as though Neal’s coming towards them for an instant before he veers off and busies himself folding the unfolded laundry, they say nothing of it. Neal’s looking down into the clothes basket when a small miracle happens.

“Can I go and stay in the closet for a while?” Neal whispers, almost as if hoping he isn’t heard.

But he is heard and both Elizabeth and Peter have to stop themselves from gushing at Neal for being able to ask the question.

“Yes Neal, go ahead,” Peter says, impressing himself with how sedate he manages to sound.


Elizabeth is busy preparing menus when it first bubbles up inside of her. She pushes the feeling back down, working from home takes organisation and she has tasks to get done. But it just comes back up burrowing small orbs of sound out of her until she’s uncertain whether she’s laughing or sobbing hysterically. Her blue ball-point clatters onto the table and she presses the pads of her fingers into the sheaf of papers before her, stopping herself, or bracing herself, or getting ready to break down entirely.

Peter is suddenly behind her, half embracing her and half the chair she’s on.

“Hey,” he says gently, comfortingly. She wants to laugh but readily accepts the hug, she leans in and his hands slide over her shoulder blades. 

“This is ridiculous. Just when everything was going so well.”

“Yeah, you’ve given yourself a break and now you’ve got the chance to decompress, this is normal,” Peter says.

“I know, I just, I wanted everything to be sort of okay for once. I’m just so fed up of all of this. I don’t want to be the strong one anymore Peter. And I know, I know you’re being brilliant sweetie, I couldn’t ask for more…”

“But it’s just that I rely too much on your wisdom for the final decisions. I look to you to tell me whether what I’m doing right,” Peter states simply.

“Yeah,” Elizabeth breathes out in bittersweet relief.

“I’ll have to do something about that then,” Peter states, matter of fact. 

El finally allows herself to relax properly in Peter’s embrace, tears quietly slip down her cheeks and she lets them.


ladyrose42 at 2013-03-19 21:12 (UTC) (Link)
Poor El - everyone has a breaking point. It is so hard to stay positive when Neal is definitely 1 step forward and many steps back. Keep on writing.
swirlsofblue at 2013-03-20 07:16 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you :)

Yeah *cuddles El*
dreamsofspike at 2013-03-19 21:46 (UTC) (Link)
Poor Elizabeth... her reaction is very realistic and believable... glad Peter understands :) And I'm glad Neal's starting to feel safer, but I'm worried about some kind of a setback to come... :/

Love this story!! :)
swirlsofblue at 2013-03-20 07:14 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so happy you're loving the story and finding Elizabeth's reaction realistic :).

Yeah, it's still a long road Neal's on and plenty set-backs to come.

livejournal at 2013-03-20 01:47 (UTC) (Link)

Tuesday 19 March 2013

User darththalia referenced to your post from Tuesday 19 March 2013 saying: [...] tjacket." Or: Amanda Calloway, and the decisions she makes. fanfic: het I am Neal (Chapter Ten) [...]
lauracollared at 2013-03-20 02:48 (UTC) (Link)
I just read all of this tonight. I am really enjoying it. It makes me very sad!

I have a couple questions though?... I hope ypu don't mind or find it rude. Why doesn't Neal seem to remember his prior life /friendship with Peter and El? What about Mozzie and June? Wouldn't seeing his other friends help? Peter and El shouldn't deal with this alone .... which leads me to: why are they not getting professional help? This seems utterly necessary to me.
swirlsofblue at 2013-03-20 07:12 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you're enjoying it :)

Of course it isn't rude, I love questions. I think deep down somewhere Neal does remember his prior life with Peter and El, but that's kind of the crux of this story as the title says 'I am Neal', that's the point the story is moving towards getting back to, this person is in a way not even willing to accept that he was that person in a way, even though bits of Neal do bleed through, he has been convinced that he is not a person, he is a nothing, so that previous life was someone else, or someone he was before.

In addition to that, his mindset has been moulded into seeing other people as 'masters' who are above him, greater than him. The idea that he may've been friends with them doesn't fit into his mindset and therefore his mind has deemed it as something that didn't happen.

As Neal tends to get nervous/freak out in different situations (e.g. at the store) and with different people they've tried to keep stuff to a minimum. But Mozzie will definitely make an appearance at some point. I don't know about June, I haven't thought of putting her in the story but now that you've mentioned it, I might ;).

I actually had flashback scenes planned to see them trying to get help for Neal, it ended up with Neal repeatedly freaking out and all the professionals saying he needed to be committed, so they refused that and refused help as it seemed to just make Neal worse. I cut the scenes because they felt like they didn't fit, mainly because of what they were; a plot device. Them having not gotten help is a plot device for this story because it's necessary for it to work within the ideas I have for it. I make put the flashback scenes back in at some later point, possibly when Neal has reached a more stable point and is receiving help.

I hope that answers your questions :)
lauracollared at 2013-03-21 01:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your response. I understand where you're coming from and look forward to reading more. :)
ultracape at 2013-03-21 22:10 (UTC) (Link)
I see this as Neal has always been a rules person. He loves rules because once he knows them, he knows how to get around them. Remember, he never tells Peter a direct lie, but misleading and obfuscating is fine. In fact he never actually lies to anybody.

But my point is here, Neal has had that essential part of himself, that part that looks as rules as a challenge to defeat, beaten and hurt. A rule isn't a guide to him, as it would be to most, and it isn't a challenge, it's a puzzle and if he gets it wrong he gets punished. There are no rewards.

I think the closet idea was fantastic because they found something that Neal actually wants, that he enjoys, that makes him feel safe. The safer he feels the more chances he will be willing to take.
swirlsofblue at 2013-03-22 09:59 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that's exactly what I was going for, glad it comes across :)
samanddeanfan1 at 2016-04-03 23:08 (UTC) (Link)
I just read your new fic (dark avenger) over on AO3 and thought the name sounded kinda familiars! I loved this fic when I first read it and I hope that you were able to rough out chap 11 & 12 like you hoped. Any chance that you will be coming back to this fic?
swirlsofblue at 2016-04-04 16:12 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, thank you, it means a lot that you remembered me and this fic. And I'm glad you liked both fics. I am still intending on finishing this fic but it is firmly on the back-burner now, so it will be a while.
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