09 July 2016 @ 11:22 pm
Fic Alphabet Challenge: Letter P: Panic Attack  
This is the last story from the Fic Alphabet Challenge, originally posted on my Tumblr.

Alphabet Challenge: Letter P
Prompt: Panic Attack (WC: 372)
Fandom: White Collar
Timeline: Future AU
Pairing: Neal/Sara
Summary: Two words send Neal into an immediate panic attack: Sara's missing.

All it took was two words. The air was punched from Neal's lungs, and his knees buckled. Peter got an arm around his waist before he could fall and lowered him into a chair.

Peter was talking, but Neal couldn't hear him over the buzz that was steadily growing louder in his ears. Everything in his vision narrowed to the picture on the mantel; it was a candid from his and Sara's wedding day. Her head was thrown back in laughter while Neal was looking at her, grinning wide, and his hands were around her waist.

His chest heaved as he tried to breath, but his lungs were paralyzed. Nothing was getting in or out. He was panicking, but he couldn't stop hyperventilating, couldn't stop staring at the picture, couldn't stop thinking about his wife.

Then, Peter's face filled his vision, and his friends' hands were on either side of his face. Peter was talking again, but Neal still couldn't hear him. His eyes darted around the room, trying to find something to focus on.

Suddenly, there was a paper bag being held against his lips, and Neal grabbed for it, holding it in place with shaking hands. After a few breaths, he was able to take a deeper one, and then another deeper one. He was able to hear the crumpling of the bag on each inhale and exhale.

"Neal?" Peter's voice was clear again too. The panic receded enough for Neal to lock eyes with his friend and give him a nod. "Everything's going to be okay."

Neal pulled the paper bag away and repeated the words that had started this whole scare. "Sara's missing?"

Peter frowned and nodded. "The FBI is looking for her. Rice and her team are on it. Everything's going to be okay."

Neal took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He repeated that process a couple of times while he considered Peter's words. As much as he disliked Rice, she got results, usually positive ones. He couldn't afford to give up hope this early into a missing persons case. He had to believe that Sara would be okay. He had to believe that she would be home soon. He had to believe.

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sherylyn[personal profile] sherylyn on July 10th, 2016 03:28 am (UTC)
Oooh!! This is wonderful, if scary! Poor Neal -- that's such a miserable, awful feeling, to panic like that, even if he had a reallllllly good reason!! Glad Peter's watching out for him and Sara -- he'll make sure she comes home okay! <3
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sapphire2309[personal profile] sapphire2309 on July 10th, 2016 10:54 am (UTC)
Awwwww :3
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kanarek13[personal profile] kanarek13 on July 10th, 2016 12:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, geez, poor Neal *hugs him gently* They just can't get a break, awwww... but thankfully Peter is there and together they will bring her home *go, boys*

Delicious angst, really :P
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[identity profile] on July 10th, 2016 08:51 pm (UTC)
*hugs Neal* I can picture Neal reacting that way. He can be strong, but I think this one was just too much!
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[identity profile] on July 11th, 2016 01:59 am (UTC)
Oh no! That was so heartbreaking! Loved Peter's reaction to Neal's distress. Thanks for sharing.
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