|Primary Characters:||Nathan, Peter|
|Spoilers:||a little, Season 1, not the finale|
|Warning:||m/m, non-con, incest|
|Description:||Nathan has another power he doesn’t know about. Peter finds out about it the hard way. But…now that Nathan has it, Peter does too.|
Nathan Petrelli was going over some paperwork. He’d been doing that since dinner, which had been a rather hasty affair, around nine pm. His eyes strayed to the sturdy, old wall clock, made from dark, polished wood. It had been a gift to his grandfather. He frowned as he tried to make out what time it was – almost midnight. About two hours earlier, he’d briefly entered his sons’ room to say goodnight.
He blinked to clear his sight and reached out to turn on another lamp. His eyesight was twenty-twenty, but he’d strained his eyes, that was all. A slight noise from the doorway made him look up.
It was his wife. He smiled faintly, as she wheeled herself into the room.
“I just thought I’d say goodnight, before I turn in. Don’t sit up too late.”
The response came automatically. His mind was already at work again.
“Don’t worry. I won’t. Goodnight, darling.”
She wheeled herself closer, which made him feel guilty. He sprang up and met her halfway, leaning over to plant a tame kiss on her cheek. That wasn’t enough, so he put two fingers under her chin and tilted her face up, then kissed her rather more warmly. He waited for her reaction. Her smile reassured him that he hadn’t disappointed her.
Though he had work enough for at least another hour, his eyes followed her receding back. Not even when the door had closed behind her, did he return to his desk. He remained standing, deep in thought, until the phone rang.
His heart took a leap in his chest, and he snatched up the phone. It wasn’t uncommon for his campaign manager to call him at this hour, but then again, there might be some crisis he’d need to deal with. However, that wasn’t what concerned him.
For two breathless seconds, he listened for his brother’s voice. When he realized who it was, he relaxed, yet deep down, he felt a touch of disappointment.
“Yes, thank you. I appreciate you calling. No, I’m sure we’ll be able to – Right. That’s alright.”
He caught himself nodding, even as he hung up. No crisis, but no Peter either. Just information, routine, but important. And nothing that needed his immediate attention. Except for the paperwork on his desk. Struck by his conscience he returned to his chair and got back to work.
An hour and a half later, he was able to call it a night. There was still enough for him to do in the morning, before his next scheduled meeting, but he’d manage. At this point, getting a little rest was his first priority.
To his surprise, he didn’t drift off to sleep the second his head hit the pillow. Though he was tired, his mind couldn’t seem to let go of the day’s work. Or tomorrow’s or the next day’s. When he took on this job, he hadn’t realized quite what a strain it would all put on him. And that was not counting that other business. Peter’s strange superpower trouble.
Nathan’s hand moved up to his eyes to rub at them, in a vain attempt to put that mess out of his mind. To put Peter out of his mind.
It was useless. By focusing intensely on his work, he was able to block out thoughts of Peter, during the day. When there were strangers around him, or his co-workers – or his mother. It was at night, that the unwanted thoughts sneaked up on him. The forbidden fantasies about his own brother.
He didn’t know exactly when they’d crept into his mind the first time. When Peter was a teenager, in any case. Before then, he’d seen his brother as a kid, pure and simple. Lovable, but a nuisance. Then somehow, one day, things had changed. He saw Peter with new eyes.
And that was absurd. He wasn’t into men at all. Never had been. It was always women. Even now, he knew he wanted his wife, the way she was before. Before the accident. Women working for him, or women he saw in passing. That blonde that Linderman had sent him, in Las Vegas. Niki or Jessica, or whatever her name was. The spy, or honey trap or whatever the heck she was. They turned him on, but – with Peter, it was like a curse. A poison in his blood.
At last, he began to doze off, or at least it seemed that way. He became more drowsy and within seconds, he must have been asleep. A scene appeared before his eyes. A room, vaguely outlined by the faint moonlight coming in through a window. He never really got a good look at the surroundings. That was because they paled in comparison to the man who was lying on the bed.
It was his brother Peter. He was lying on his back, his hair tousled and his cheeks slightly flushed from sleep. Even in a dream, Nathan remarked on how ridiculous it was that he found a badly shaven man attractive. That stubble had to be at least two days old. And still he found Peter irresistible.
His brother was deeply asleep, covered by a sheet that had fallen off him and was dragging onto the floor, revealing Peter’s chest and arms, as well as part of a thigh. Peter was wearing a pair of boxer briefs and nothing else.
Nathan hadn’t noticed before how smooth and toned Peter’s arms and legs were. Not the chest either, but now he saw clearly that despite Peter’s wussy job, he was still in great shape.
Peter’s mouth was partially open. Nathan caught a glimpse of the tip of his tongue and went hot all over.
His dream self, because that was what it had to be, moved closer. Peter didn’t stir. By now, Nathan was standing so close to Peter he could feel his scent and he stood there listening to the faint sounds of Peter’s breathing.
Bending over him, Nathan even thought he could see the pulse beating in Peter’s neck. He clenched his fists to stop himself from reaching out, to trace the outline of Peter’s jaw, or putting his hand to the spot below the left nipple, where he would be able to feel Peter’s heart beating.
Nathan wanted to close his dream self’s eyes and turn away, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he stood for a long time, gazing down on Peter’s body, struggling against the desire that was mounting. It was amazing that Peter didn’t hear his brother’s harsh breathing or the pounding of his heart.
In the end, Nathan lost his patience and told himself that it was only a dream. Who would know what he did inside his own mind? If this was the only way he could know peace, why not give in to the temptation? He’d sleep better afterwards.
So he began to lightly touch Peter’s lips, then let his fingers trail down the side of his neck, lingering to feel the pulse beating underneath the skin, then follow the outline of his shoulder and arm, until he made a detour over Peter’s chest.
Something made him look up, and for a second, he snatched back his fingers, as if he’d been burned. Peter’s eyes were open and there was such a look of horror in them, Nathan backed off half a pace.
But it was absurd. Willing Peter to close his eyes again, he waited. To his amazement, it seemed to work. Peter’s eyes did close, but if it wasn’t his imagination, Nathan thought he saw Peter’s muscles strain under his skin, as if he was held tied to the bed, by invisible shackles.
Nathan waited. Peter’s eyes didn’t open again, but the face looked much less serene now, than it had up until a moment ago. It was as if Peter was in the grip of a terrifying nightmare.
Again, Nathan argued with himself and again, he felt as if he lost the argument, even though part of him felt jubilant. He’d never be able to experience this in real life, so he’d enjoy it to the full.
More boldly now, he let his hands move down Peter’s body and even pull the sheet off completely. After allowing himself to explore his brother’s body for a moment longer, he sat down on the bed, then stretched out beside Peter.
He only hesitated for a few seconds longer. If he’d come this far, he might as well go all the way. As he lay on top of Peter, he felt the muscles strain against him, as if Peter wanted to push him off. That, Nathan reasoned, must be his own subconscious, struggling against the forbidden desire.
When it was over, Nathan got up and for a little while, he remained standing over his brother’s sleeping form, gazing down at him. He was –
A shudder came over Nathan, and he didn’t finish the sentence even inside his own mind. He’d been about to press his lips to Peter’s mouth, but found he couldn’t. Instead, he smoothed back Peter’s hair from his face. Again, he remarked on the tense muscles and the rapid eye movements underneath the eyelids.
Was Peter in the grip of a haunting nightmare? That might be how his subconscious interpreted his brother’s situation. If so, it was no wonder.
Quite apart from the unhealthy attraction he felt, Nathan couldn’t help but feel a strong sympathy towards his brother. He wished there had been some way he could have protected Peter from developing this – affliction. There was no other way of seeing the powers that Peter had. He knew that Peter would have been happier, not to mention safer, without them.
If there had been a way of going back in time to change – in fact, there were plenty of things Nathan would have wanted to change. With a sigh, he let his fingers brush Peter’s cheek before somehow – he couldn’t recall quite how – finding his way back to his own bedroom.
In any case, that was where he woke up, in the morning, shamefacedly realizing that dream or no dream, the night’s experience had left physical traces in the real world. He hurried out of bed and into the shower, effectively dispelling any thoughts of the night, at least until the next night.
Peter’s eyes sprang open, staring wildly around the room. His heart was beating so fast, it was as if he’d been running. That dream – it had been so real. It was as if – He fought to bring his breathing back to normal, but it was a while until he was successful.
Where did such vile ideas come from? His brother Nathan – How had he been able to imagine such a sickening scene? Nathan, coming into his room – this room – then touching him –
Peter closed his eyes again and pressed his knuckles against them, as if he could somehow erase the memories of the dream. Eventually, his heartbeat and breathing returned to normal and he sat up.
The sheet had fallen to the floor. Peter frowned as he looked down on his body. Again, the feeling of unreality and horror came creeping over him. His shorts felt damp, as if – With an effort, he pulled them down and saw damp spots here and there.
He stared in horror at his body, but couldn’t detect any other frightening signs that could indicate that the night’s dream had been real. On the other hand, he was tired enough not to have slept for more than an hour or two.
Dream or no dream, Nathan’s touch had felt so real.
As he considered the unimaginable, Peter bit his lower lip. He remembered struggling against Nathan’s prying hands, then freezing, as Nathan lowered his body onto his. His eyes had shut of their own accord, but even without the use of his sight, he had felt more than just a heavy weight pinning him down.
It had been Nathan’s scent, and the noises Nathan made were somehow familiar too, even if he’d never heard him in quite this type of situation.
Unable to move from the bed, Peter eventually came to the conclusion that it had all been true. Somehow, and for some twisted reason, Nathan had materialized inside his room – because the window had been closed – Peter was sure of that – then proceeded to –
Peter couldn’t quite smother the sob that tore itself free of his throat. His own brother –
Quite apart from the trauma of realizing what had occurred, Peter forced himself to consider the fact that if Nathan had done this to him, he must have had these feelings for – how long? Ever since they were both children? If not, then when had Nathan’s normal, healthy love for him turned into this? Had he somehow invited Nathan – unwittingly, but still – had some action of his attracted Nathan to him? Or – this was what frightened Peter the most – was there a part of him that had wanted this?
Not until he was forced to get up and leave the room, did he move again. He didn’t want to stay on the bed, where Nathan had – but he found himself unable to move, until he had to go. As he stood over the washbasin, splashing his face with water, he began to consider another aspect of the night’s experience.
How had Nathan been able to appear inside his room? He hadn’t flown in, because the window had been closed and it still was, Peter had made sure of that. How had Nathan been able to freeze him to the spot? Peter wasn’t sure, but he also thought that Nathan might have silenced him. All, seemingly, without much effort.
It took Peter’s shocked mind far longer than usual to make the connection, but in the end, it hit him. Nathan must have had another power, one that he must have been unaware of until now. In fact, he might still be unaware of it, if he too believed that what had occurred tonight, had been a dream.
It took even longer for Peter to realize that any power that Nathan had had, he must now have too. The implication of this was so staggering that for a while, the shock and trauma receded a little.
This kind of power – how omnipotent would it make him? Could he wish away all his powers? Nathan’s powers too? Could he even make the imminent threat go away forever?
Peter sank down onto the toilet bowl and let his mind race from possibility to possibility. The whole concept of omnipotence frightened him even more than what Nathan had done to him – and the fact that Nathan had wanted to do it to him.
In the end, Peter had to attend to his physical needs. He left the decision for later. It was too huge, to decide on after so little thought. He got a cup of coffee and forced down a few morsels of a bagel, but the bread seemed to grow in his mouth and in the end, he put the bagel away.
Though reluctant to return to his room, in the end, he did anyway. He had to lie low, until he could figure out what to do. It occurred to him that he could save all the lives that Sylar had taken. Just by wishing it, he could give them their lives back. He could make sure Claire was safe and everyone else. But would that be enough?
If he changed all that, it would lead to other changes that would be necessary, and from then on, other conditions would need to change as well. It would never end. One change would lead to another, in a seemingly endless chain of interconnected events and conditions.
But even if he couldn’t avert the disaster that awaited New York and its citizens and he couldn’t save the people Sylar had killed or keep his family and friends safe – at least he could and would make sure that he and Nathan weren’t put in this spot again. Above all, he would keep that power away from Sylar, if in the end, the mad killer caught up with him.
Feverish and wild-eyed, Peter sat down on the bed, this time hardly giving it a second thought, closed his eyes and made a wish. He wanted Nathan to lose the power to alter reality, but he also wanted him to forget what had occurred between them. In fact, it would be best if he could somehow make sure that Nathan didn’t feel attracted to him anymore. Then if only he, too, could forget – Could he?
The thoughts danced around in Peter’s mind and he had no idea if he’d succeeded. After a while, he fell back against the pillows, exhausted by the effort. He lay there until he felt at least slightly recovered.
The last part of his wish had not been granted. He still remembered everything about the night. Did that mean he had failed completely? Or had he managed to rid himself and Nathan of the dangerous power? Had he been able to make Nathan forget?
The only thing he could do, to find out, was to try again, to alter reality. He decided to try to make Simone come back to life again. It was an unhealthy wish and he wasn’t sure he could pull it off anyway, but that was what sprang to mind. Nothing happened. He tried something simpler. What if he could clean up the sheet on the bed without removing it?
But that too, failed. He was beginning to believe that after all, he might have been haunted by a terrifying dream, but no more than that. Even so, he tried again, this time to open the window without touching it. Again, nothing happened.
He began to relax a little. Either he’d never had this power, which was good, or he’d been able to get rid of it. At least that meant Sylar would never have access to it. If so, all was well, or at least relatively so. He only wished he had been able to make himself forget.
Had he been able to make Nathan forget? Peter realized that most likely he’d never know. He found it hard to believe that Nathan would ever openly express his feelings for him. Again, that was good. What had happened last night, must never happen again.
If he had to, he would stay away from Nathan – but that was unthinkable too. He couldn’t stand the thought of never being able to see his brother again. Even if he’d always wonder. He’d always be a little shy of Nathan’s touch.
Was there anything that these damned powers hadn’t cost him? Dwelling gloomily on all he’d lost, he got up and began to pack up his few belongings. It was time he got on with his self-appointed mission. He’d saved the cheerleader, now all he had to do was save the world, he told himself bitterly, as he turned out the light and left the room.