My first "White Collar" fanfiction! This was bound to be to happen. Can't wait for Thursday and the 6th season to start. In the meantime, enjoy - hopefully!Title:
Thank you Beth for all the hard work and tardisjournal
for some additional suggestions!Rating:
Neal Caffrey, Mozzie, June, Peter, DianaWord Count:
last episode of season 5Summary:
After having been released from his kidnappers, Neal has to learn to accept some changes in his life.Notes:
Another one of those "What happened to Neal after the season 5 finale" stories. Still I hope I found a different approach.
Neal looked down at his hands. He always had liked to be busy. All those years behind bars, where he only could sit and stare at the walls, waiting for the day to be over. It had almost driven him crazy.
His hands had been his tools, they had done so many things. Sketched on paper. Painted canvas. Forged Whiskey. Chiselled a block of marble. Swung swords and billiard cues. Flipped a hat around. Picked locks. Opened safes. Grabbed briefcases from pockets and watches from wrists. Slipped out of countless handcuffs. They had hugged Peter, clapped his shoulder, taught him how to mix drinks. They had taken oaths he had not intended to keep, and also a few he actually had meant to keep, until circumstances prevented it. They also had opened many wine bottles, held even more countless women, stroked them tenderly, cooked meals for them. They had typed away on a keyboard, written FBI reports, and they even had punched a face and shot a gun once or twice. And if they hadn’t been busy with any of that, they liked to fiddle with a pen at least. Always keeping busy.
Even when he had been “retired” to that island – yeah, didn’t last long, that – he had not just sat down and relaxed. He had still liked to paint, and maybe one day he might even have started on some original work. And his hands had sculpted that sand castle of the New York skyline. The view from his apartment window.
But now all of this was in the past. Now his fingers looked and felt like useless claws. “They” had done their best to ensure that he’d never use them again properly. Every single finger broken, some even two or three times. The doctors had done what they could, but his days as con man were officially over. His fingers were stiff now, and hurt occasionally. Some of the fractures hadn’t healed properly. He was able to get by in his daily life, but ever so often he was reminded of his limitations. Every single task took twice as long as it should have.
And to this day he didn’t know who “they” were. So he couldn’t even plan any revenge. The man (or woman?) behind his kidnapping had been careful to never show their face. And they had known what they were doing, grabbing Neal at a time when nobody would miss him. Neal had spent months as a prisoner – again – trying to survive, doing what they wanted. Waiting for Peter to come and find him. Again. Only, Peter never came. And Neal continued to suffer.
Oh, they had been careful to not damage his eyes or his hands. They needed him to forge all kinds of stuff for them. He was valuable. The rest of his body, not so much. But they had been careful to not inflict any permanent damage. Nothing that wouldn’t heal on its own. Neal had soon stopped to count all the marks on his body. He’d tried to resist, at first, hoping against hope that in a few hours some people would storm through the door, shouting “FBI! Put your weapons down!”
More than once he had wished he had told Peter about the man following him. Things might have been different then.
But the longer he waited, and the more they “insisted”, the more his resistance crumbled. Especially when they got out the electric wires.
He’d tried a new tactic then, pretending to work willingly, while trying to hide hints in his work. Hints for Peter to pick up on. Sometimes they caught him doing it, which resulted in another beating, sometimes they didn’t. But it made no difference, Peter still didn’t come.
And they had known him so well. They had kept him in a room that had nothing he could work with, to try to get out on his own.
The room was absolutely bare. He slept on the naked concrete. He got only food that needed no cutting, no knife. Of course not. But he did not even have a bowl for his “personal needs” which he could have smashed onto the head of one of his captors. He had to wait for the few times a day when someone would accompany him to the toilet. Standing right next to him with a gun in his back actually. He’d tried to not let the humiliation get to him, acting nonchalant instead – hey, he was Neal Caffrey, always a smile on his lips!
His world also had become very quiet. Nobody ever talked to him. The only noise was the grunting of the men who beat him, and his own moans when he couldn’t suppress them any longer. Sometimes, when he was alone in his cell, he talked loudly to himself, just to hear his voice.
He’d completely lost track of time. The room they kept him in had no window. He knew no day, no night. They amused themselves with startling him awake at irregular hours, which soon left him exhausted and confused. All he knew was that he had been here for a long time already, and that this was what the rest of his life would be like.
That’s when he stopped doing anything at all. They beat him – he didn’t care. They threatened to kill him – he didn’t care. He stopped eating entirely and lost quite some weight until they realized he was serious, he wanted out of this, one way or the other.
Surprisingly, they didn’t just kill him. Sometimes he wished they had. Instead they dropped him off at some street corner far away from home, almost as good as new, except for that last gift they had left him with.
They had taken the most important thing from him, the ultimate punishment. As far as Neal was concerned, his life was over.
It had been a long and excruciating walk home. ( Read on here: He had no money, no phone... )
On to the sequel: Feet
Also posted at fanfiction.net: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10798745/1/
Also posted at AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/2555972http://wcnewsletter.livejournal.com/356675.htmlhttp://usanetworknews.livejournal.com/220594.html