|Saving the World Again, Peter?
Author: Grasspaw PM
When Peter's in an accident at school, it's up to Nathan to do... Well, nothing, really, but sit there and laugh with him.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Family - Nathan P. & Peter P. - Words: 2,025 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7713528
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Random drabble that takes place while Peter's still in nursing school. I own nothing.
Peter was asleep on the couch when Nathan arrived at his apartment, a few of his brother's old comic books in his hands. He had thought to just drop them off, but he blinked and checked on the threshold. In all the time Peter had been in nursing school, the younger man had never once been home before seven, usually later. And it was only around two now...
He understood - or thought he did - when he saw Peter's appearance. His right arm was in a sling, and there was some sort of gauze-y thing taped to his cheek, as well as a Band-Aid above his lip. Looking closer, he could see the beginnings of two matching black eyes, as well as various other scrapes and bruises over his body. He let out a low whistle, then dropped the comic books on the counter, wondering what had happened. Even in his sleep Peter was grimacing in pain, and Nathan absently brushed some of the hair away from his face, frowning in concern. He'd never seen Peter look that, well, beat up.
He hung around in the apartment for a while, at first sitting on one of the two chairs in Peter's apartment and watching his brother, then flipping through one of his medical textbooks and wondering how he managed to choke it all down, much less find it interesting, and finally he wound up cleaning. It was a sign of how bored he really was; there was no way he would normally do this. But, he didn't want to wake Peter, and the place was a wreck, anyways. How the young man survived in this sty was beyond him; he could barely stand it if one of sons left a shirt on their bedroom floor, or if one of Heidi's necklaces was out of it's jewelry case. Much less this place... If he hadn't known better he would have said a tornado had come through, or maybe a robber... Or maybe a few of Peter's friends from medical school. The last one was actually pretty likely.
He was just hanging up one of Peter's shirts when he heard a groan from the living room. He turned around and stood in the doorway, watching as Peter's eyes slid open and he looked around blearily, wincing and bringing his good hand up to touch his cheek, the one with the giant Band-Aid on it. Of course if he asked Peter he'd probably get the official name for it, as well as how it was used and the benefits and problems it posed...
"Saving the world again, Peter?"
Peter looked up at him, not seeming all that surprised to see him. Usually he'd be annoyed that Nathan had come in without knocking, but now he seemed in too much pain to really think about it.
"Hey, Nathan," he said, wincing as he sat up. "Can you hand me the Tylenol?"
Nathan knew where that was - he'd just put it away ten minutes ago - so he headed straight for the cabinet before something occurred to him. "When did you last take some?"
"Took Motrin two hours ago," Peter muttered, scratching at the gauze. Nathan nodded, shook out two pills, filled a glass with some tap water, and sat down across from him on the coffee table. He handed Peter the pills, and once his brother had popped them in his mouth he gave him the water. Peter nodded his thanks before leaning back into the threadbare couch cushions, still scratching at the Band-Aid.
"You probably shouldn't mess with that," Nathan commented, and Peter looked annoyed.
"Didn't realize I was," he murmured vaguely, then looked around the apartment, frowning. "Did you clean up?"
"Had to do something while I waited."
"Could've twiddled your thumbs. What are you doing here?"
"Found a few of your old comic books while I was digging around the house," Nathan said, moving around to sit next to him on the couch. Peter immediately propped his feet up on the coffee table. "What are you doing here?"
"I live here, in case you forgot," Peter said, raising his eyebrows.
"Don't get smart with me, young man." Peter rolled his eyes at his brother's tone.
"Yes, Mom." He resumed scratching at the gauze until Nathan grabbed his wrist.
"Don't do that."
"You're the one in medical school. Isn't that risking infection and all sorts of life-threatening illnesses if you touch it?" A ghost of a smile flitted across Peter's face, to be replaced by a grimace as he brushed his fingers against one of his eyes. "What happened?" Nathan asked.
"I got to ride in an ambulance today!" Peter said in a sickeningly cheerful voice. Nathan snorted.
Peter grinned, just a little bit. "Yeah, well, I wasn't supposed to. It was kind of embarrassing, actually. See, they sent everyone in the class out with two 'experienced' paramedics. We were just supposed to observe, but..." His lips twitched. "Didn't quite happen like that. See, there was this car crash-"
"You weren't in it, were you?" Nathan asked, alarmed. Peter shook his head.
"No, idiot; they would have called you if I was, wouldn't they? Anyways, we went there to check it out, and it was this mom who was taking her two kids to school. The two guys were trying to get them out when her husband arrived." Peter's mouth twisted like he'd just bitten into something sour. "He was trying to see what was going on, you know? And they normally let them, I guess, but this guy was screaming and freaking out and trying to get her out himself." Nathan wasn't sure he liked the look on Peter's face now; he knew he always sort offeltfor people, and was therefore not sure being a nurse or a paramedic or whatever was the best thing for him.
"Of course we had to keep him out of the way; he was going to hurt her if he didn't stop. So one of the guys asked me to hold him back, and... He didn't like that."
"What'd he do?" Nathan asked, frowning. He hated to see Peter in pain.
"This," Peter said simply, gesturing at himself with his good arm. "Clawed my face up, gave me two black eyes, and fractured my collarbone. One of the firemen finally got him off me, but then I was already like this. So, long story short, they patched me up, sent me back here, and told me to take time off from school."
"And you're really sure you want to do this for a living?"
Nathan regretted the question as soon as he asked, because he knew what was coming. Every time Peter was faced with a question concerning his job, schoolwork, or lack of sanity, he launched into a speech about how he could see how much pain and fear there was in the world and he wanted to somehow fix it as much as he could, even if he was only one person and blah blah blah... To anyone hearing it for the first time, they would see Peter as a visionary hero who was out to change the world, and they would leave it alone. Because even though Nathan was the politician who spent hours perfecting his speeches, something about Peter's impromptu rush of eager words convinced people that he was right.
But Peter surprised him today. He just looked Nathan dead in the eye and said simply, "Yes."
The power in that one word surprised Nathan, and he leaned back into the couch, subdued.
They sat like that for several minutes, until Peter asked abruptly, "What were you saying about comic books?"
"I found them in your room at Mom and Dad's place," Nathan said, standing. Peter made to follow, but Nathan gave him a warning look. "No, you stay there. You're the one with the broken arm, not me."
"Fractured collarbone," Peter muttered, but he sank back into the couch with a relieved sigh all the same.
"Here," Nathan said, dropping them in his lap. There were at least a dozen of them, maybe more; he hadn't bothered to count. Peter laughed in disbelief as he saw them.
"Wow. I really loved these things, didn't I?" he asked, looking through them. "I should really do something with them all, I guess..."
"Read them?" Nathan suggested, his lips twitching as he stood looking down at Peter. Peter frowned.
"You know what I mean. Think I should give them to a hospital or something? You know, for the kids?"
"Might be a little violent for kids in a hospital, Pete."
"Maybe sell them?" Nathan suggested, more seriously. "Some of those are old; you could probably get some money off of them."
"Yeah, but..." Peter trailed off, doubtful. Nathan resisted the urge to roll his eyes, knowing exactly what was going on in Peter's head.
"And then donate the money to some worthy cause."
"I like the sound of that," Peter said, smiling as he continued to look through the comic books. Nathan did roll his eyes now, simply because Peter wasn't looking.
"You're such a do-gooder, Pete."
"And you're saying this is a bad thing?"
"No, I'm saying you could probably stand to pay a little more attention to yourself at times," he replied, with a meaningful look at his brother's sling. Peter shrugged his left shoulder.
"To each his own, right?"
Nathan just shrugged and dropped down onto the couch, causing Peter to wince. "Don't jolt me like that," he said through clenched teeth, and Nathan winced in sympathy.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to."
"It's fine," Peter lied through his teeth, but his face was white. "How long have you been here, anyways?" he asked after a moment's awkward silence.
"About half an hour," Nathan said. Peter gave him a look. "What?"
"You waited around andcleanedfor half an hour just to give me a few old comic books?"
Nathan had to smile at his brother's naiveté. "I waited around and cleaned for half an hour to ask you what happened and make sure you were okay."
"You could have just woken me up."
"I know better than to try to talk to you when you're tired."
"Despite the millions of times you've woken me up in the mornings?"
"Well the mornings are generally when people wake up, you know."
There was a pause. Then, "I hate you."
"I love you too."
Another pause. "Don't you have a job or something?"
"My hours are a bit more flexible than yours."
"Sure they are. Maybe I should have been a politician, too. Would've saved time."
"No, you're definitely the doctor type. One incident like this and I'd be quitting."
"Do you enjoy getting beat up so much?"
"Do you enjoy sitting a desk so much?"
The brothers looked at each other, then burst out laughing. After a few minutes Nathan stood and said, "Well, as flexible as my hours are, I really do need to get back to work."
"Sure," Peter said, chuckling still. "Hey, let me know when I can come over some time; I never get to see Monty and Simon since I started school. Figure since I've got time off..."
"Sure. Just drop by anytime; they'll love the story as long as you add in cowboys, aliens, or Superman." Peter laughed again.
"Will do. See ya, Nate."
"Bye, Peter. Get well soon."
"I'm working on it."
"Weren't you leaving or something?"
"See you around."
"Get out of my house."
With a final laugh, Nathan closed the door behind him.