Happy new years, all! This one takes place in a not-quite canon world. It was an LJ request, and so, brief. I hope you will still like it. Reviews can be sent me here at or to my LJ(I'm comeon-eileen), my email at eileenblazer(at)yahoo(dot)com, or the Yahoo Messenger ID Eileenblzr.

Toast: A Petrelli Brothers Fic

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Nathan does almost everything perfectly. His smile is bright and wide, like every toothpaste commercial Peter has ever seen; his speeches are always equal parts of confidence and grace. In school, his grades were so high he would have been teased as a complete geek, if he hadn't also had a perfect throwing arm, too. He has perfect taste; and, if Peter's nephews keep winning science fairs and special commendations from their private school, Peter may be forced to admit that Nathan has perfect offspring, too.

There's only one place wherein the charms and luck and grace of Nathan Petrelli fail - one single, solitary mountain he cannot climb – one hurdle, that, even when gifted with flight, Nathan cannot rise above:

Perfect Nathan cannot make toast.

Oh, he tries. With a frequency that would be alarming, if Peter didn't have super powers which included an immunity to fire. It might help if Peter would tell him, but Peter won't. Nathan carries the family in so many respects. He protects them not just from outsiders, but from themselves, too – lending easy words that offer guidance and safety. Sometimes, he veils his efforts with lies, usually sweet and soft and hard to spot for people who are not Peter Petrelli. He does it for them.

So this little thing? He does this for Nathan. He protects him from himself, because God knows Nathan would not take it with a shrug, finding out that every morning Peter throws away the blackened, burned piece of bread and replaces it with a new one, adjusts the level of the heat, and then pretends he's just stepped into the kitchen. He hears Nathan in his head, sometimes, reacting to it: I serve in Congress, raise three kids, and fly in my spare time, Peter – I think I can make a damn piece of toast. He can see Nathan stabbing a fork into the toaster, growling at the thing, insisting that it was the machine being unreasonable, not him.

Little lies save Nathan. A hand on the shoulder, pulling him away from the toaster before he has a chance to question anything. A comment about how great his latest speech was. And really? It was great. It was perfect. Because Nathan does everything perfectly.

Almost everything.