Hey y'all :):):).
Phew! This was one long one-shot hehehe. But I hope I did it justice :P.
I was requested to write a fic about Peter finding out that Nathan is not actually his brother and is in fact Sylar. I haven't watched any Season 4 episodes yet because it isn't out in the UK yet (to my knowledge anyway) and I unfortunately haven't had time to access any sites to watch them :(.
Summary: "Your brother is dead, Peter. That man is not Nathan." Unbelieving of his mother's words, Peter races to see his brother, only to find him fixing a broken watch…
This fic is dedicated to Bracali who requested it of me and I hope everyone, including her, enjoys it!!!
AN: I don't know which powers Peter has in Season 4 so for the sake of this fic, he definitely has telekinesis :):):).
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Your Guardian Angel.
Cowboy Bebop - Blue.
My Chemical Romance - Sleep.
Evanescence - My Immortal.
Angela Petrelli sat silently in her study, a picture frame held tightly in her hands. Her normally so cold eyes stared at the photo with something akin to sadness, the tiring years of her life seeming to finally take their toll. Steadily, her thumb traced the strong jaw line of a handsome man that smiled back at her widely.
The daylight through the window reflected off of the glass in the frame and she immediately tilted it to reveal the subject of her concentration once more.
The man's image taunted her and the immaculate smile remained unwavering. His arm was wrapped around a smaller, much slimmer-built man, whose drooping bangs of hair fell haphazardly across his face.
She sighed: her woes coming abundantly clear in that one long exhale. Removing her thumb from its exploration, her knuckles whitened as she proceeded to grip the frame in sheer desperation.
"Why are you acting this way?"
Angela jumped where she sat, her gaze darting towards the open doorway in surprise. Her shoulders relaxed minutely as she noticed the visitor and, stowing her emotions away, she replied smoothly, "And what way might that be?"
With gentle care, Angela placed the picture back onto her desk, straightening it so that it faced her fully. Her stare lingered on her eldest's face a second longer, before she glanced up to her younger son.
Peter, it could be fair to say, had matured incredibly since that photograph had been taken. The long hair had been cut back to a reasonable length and he seemed to have accumulated a little more muscle than he had previously carried.
But, the biggest difference that Angela could plainly see as he stared at her, were his eyes: hardened and sincere. Angela remembered when she had always been greeted by a pair of doe-like eyes, accompanied with a lopsided grin every time she saw him. That gentle, heart warming expression had, she admitted, even managed to drag a smile out of her on occasion.
But that was when he was innocent, naïve. No-one can stay that way forever.
Truthfully, she had thought that Peter would. He had always been so faithful in the kindness of mankind, of how everyone had the potential to be a good person deep down. Angela had told him countless times that he was living in a fantasy world, that the world wasn't a nice place. He had simply nodded, smiled and continued on with his life in his own selfless way.
The Peter that stood before her today held no such fantasies.
He still desired to save the world, because at the end of every day, the world would always need saving. Everything else – the blind trust in humanity and the innocence that had always been associated with the youngest Petrelli, was gone.
"You know what I mean," Peter replied, arms crossed sullenly over his chest from where he leant against the doorframe. "How you're acting with Nathan."
Blinking slowly, her expression telling no secrets, she met his stare unflinchingly. "I don't know what you mean, Peter."
Narrowing his eyes, Peter pushed himself upright, allowing his hands to fall loosely to his sides. He strode with confidence across the floor towards his mother's desk, the two having a silent contest of wills as they stared each other down.
"Why are you treating him like he's some kind of plague or something?"
Stopping before the desk, he waited for a response. The tension in the room was almost suffocating and in any other case, Angela would have won this simple battle of intimidation in a heartbeat. However, with Nathan involved, Peter would never back down.
Sitting back in the chair, hands resting on her lap, Angela smiled with little conviction: the supposed nonchalance not quite managing to raise the shadow of grief that cloaked her so warmly. "Why do you assume that I am?"
"The other day," Peter began, his severe look never failing. "He tried to touch you and you practically told him to back off."
"Peter, I don't think…"
"What? That stepping away and glaring at him doesn't mean you've got a problem with him?"
Breathing heavily through her nose, a clear sign that she hated to be interrupted or challenged made Peter straighten slightly. Trying to get a handle on her emotions, she interlaced her fingers, infuriated with herself for not being able to keep her mask of stoicism in place.
"I am sorry if you and Nathan interpreted it like that," she glanced away, the photograph once again capturing her attention. "It's just that…"
As she trailed off, Peter raised an eyebrow, noticing the way her gaze seemed to persist with lingering on the photograph at her desk. "It's just what?"
She didn't reply, lost in her own thoughts. An impulsive move struck him and, not one to be ignored, Peter stepped forwards, plucking the photograph and lifting it from the desk before Angela could even protest.
He stepped back, out of the reach of his mother as she rose quickly to her feet. He turned the photograph over, frowning at the picture inside. It was of him and Nathan dressed in tuxedos, smiling brightly at the camera. Nathan's arm was wrapped protectively around Peter's shoulders as the younger brother leant into his side.
Holding the frame delicately, Peter studied the photograph carefully. This picture had always been significant to him: from the day it had been taken to the present day now. It reminded him that no matter how hard it got, Nathan was still his brother and he loved him, no matter what.
It even helped me regain my memory, he thought, lips quirking at the corners as, like the night that he had remembered, the memories came back to him.
Through so many struggles, Nathan had been a supportive constant. When Peter had first decided to test his ability and see if he could indeed fly, who had been the one to catch him when he had fallen? Who had tried to destroy a painting to keep him alive and then flown him off into the sky to spare him the pain of being responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people? After being manipulated by Adam Monroe, Nathan had managed to persuade him otherwise, to make him see sense before the world was destroyed.
Peter swallowed, studying his brother's face. Even when we were being rounded up, he tried to protect me.
Nathan had offered Peter a way out, protection from everything if he simply agreed to remain by his side. It would have been a good offer if Peter hadn't been all too aware that if he did surrender, he would have been shot on sight, with or without Nathan's protection.
The photograph was suddenly snatched from Peter's fingertips and instead he was faced with the darkening expression of one Angela Petrelli.
Squaring his shoulders, Peter inclined his head towards the frame that was now held tightly in her hands. "Why are you looking at that?"
She opened her mouth to make an excuse, but then closed it again abruptly. The excuse: "Isn't a mother allowed to look at a photograph of her sons?" would have been perfect if the mother in question hadn't been her.
Angela wasn't the type to rummage through past photos and remember old events that had long since passed.
"What's going on?"
"Nothing that would concern you, Peter," she snapped back tightly, turning and resting the photo frame face down on the desk. Facing her youngest, Angela noticed the shift in his features: the stubborn look that his father always bore when he wanted something.
Peter scoffed, looping one arm over the other, "How many more secrets are you gonna keep from me?"
"I have so many secrets that for you to hear them all would make you decide that the world is no longer worth saving." Angela stared up into her son's eyes, somehow appearing the taller of the two of them with the powerful way she held herself before him.
As Peter recoiled slightly at her tone, Angela softened, lifting a hand to the collar of his jacket and flattening it out in a motherly gesture. He said nothing throughout her ministrations and she chewed on the inside of her lip, thinking of the best way to diffuse the situation.
Her opportunity was stolen from her.
Leaning forwards, as if to initiate an embrace, Peter lowered his lips to her ear for a whisper. He glanced at the overturned photograph, his brow furrowing while his mind continued to fire off questions that, as of yet, he had no chance of finding the answers to.
"If you won't tell me, I'll just find someone who will."
Angela's eyes widened and Peter pulled away abruptly. She clenched her fists as he turned from her, and she attempted to reign in his emotions. She knew that it wouldn't be long before Peter discovered the truth – there were others more willing that herself to reveal the details of what had really happened on the day of Sylar's "death".
Parkman, she bristled. He will talk without a moment's hesitation.
Staring at Peter's back as he moved away from her, Angela hurriedly considered her options. Her reasons for keeping Peter in the dark were obvious ones.
Despite Peter's hardened disposition, at heart he would always be a sensitive man. He had a soft spot for Nathan and never seemed to be afraid of letting his guard down around his big brother.
Nathan was the only thing left that could maintain some form of the old innocent Peter: the Peter who daydreamed when he should have been concentrating and was the equivalent of a puppy who needed constant love and affection.
Angela didn't want the death of the eldest Petrelli brother to be the ultimate demise of her youngest. I can't lose them both.
But what good was she doing keeping Nathan's death a secret when Peter would eventually discover what had happened? If she remained silent, he would resent her completely when he found out for not speaking out when she had the chance.
His pace slowed to a stop and he tilted his head to show he was listening. Angela paused, sucking in an uncertain breath. How could she tell her youngest that his brother, no, his hero had been killed and replaced by a serial killer wearing his face?
She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound escaped.
She couldn't do it. For all her bravado and apparent lack of a heart, she couldn't destroy what was left of Peter's naivety and trust.
Something close to a huff broke her out of her reverie and she was faced with a stern-looking Petrelli as Peter regarded her from the doorway. "I don't know what you're hiding, but Nathan doesn't deserve this. All he's ever done has been to protect me, and even you, after everything you've done."
"Peter…" she began, taking a step closer.
"No," he cut her off, a hand raised in a gesture of silence. "No. I've heard enough of your excuses." Peter shook his head and the graceful woman, looking past her preened image. He didn't understand how she could keep using her own sons in such cruel ways.
She had always told them that she loved them, but when would her love reveal itself as it once had in their childhood?
"He's my brother, and he doesn't deserve this."
And with that, Peter made to leave, determined to find out the truth and protect his brother in the same way that he always seemed to protect him. He had barely taken a step further when his mother stopped him cold in his tracks.
"Your brother is dead, Peter."
Hazel eyes widened, Peter's body tense, lips parting in surprise. Hesitantly, he turned to face his mother, her serious expression doing nothing to alleviate the dread that had somehow crawled its way into his gut.
Angela inhaled slowly, not exactly pleased with the situation. She had never wanted Peter to discover the truth, but having him find out in this harsh way was internally killing her. "That man is not Nathan."
Lip trembling, Peter blinked rapidly, not sure what he was even hearing. "What?"
"Nathan Petrelli died weeks ago, Peter, on the same day of Sylar's death."
Tears stung the young man's eyes and he gasped, falling against the doorframe. He shook his head, unbelieving of his mother's words. They were poison, they couldn't be true. "No."
"His throat was slit," Angela continued, steeling herself against her youngest son's agony. "I know because I saw it."
"No," whispered the shaking word. Peter looked up at her, eyes darkening furiously. "No, you're lying!"
"Why would I lie about this, Peter?"
The question was a good one. Angela had nothing to gain by saying that Nathan was dead – it wasn't some ploy to initiate the destruction of New York or any of her previous schemes. It was cold, hard fact… that was all it could be.
But Peter couldn't believe it, he wouldn't.
Squaring her shoulders, Angela continued mournfully, "After your fight with Sylar, when you ran to pursue him, he and Nathan returned to that room." With a small pause, she added bluntly, "Sylar slit his throat and killed him."
Peter raised a hand to his mouth, tear-filled eyes staring at her, trying to deny what she was saying. Why was she telling him this? Peter would have known if the man he had been speaking to recently, embracing and laughing with wasn't his hero.
"We needed your brother, Peter. Without Nathan, there would have been no-one to tell the President that it was a mistake to round up people with abilities," she stepped forward prominently, trying to assert her reasoning upon him. "We would all still be being hunted."
Saying nothing, Peter lowered his hand, gazing at the floor as his mind tried to process what he had been told. There couldn't be any truth to what his mother was saying. Nathan couldn't be dead, Peter would have known it.
He's not gone. I'd have known it. He's not.
Angela smoothed out her jacket, before returning to watch her emotionally conflicted child. Swallowing, she managed to keep her voice neutral. She would rather be seen as cold and heartless than a quivering wreck.
"The body we burned was a shape-shifter's that we made assume the form of Sylar," Peter now met her gaze, brows creased together in repulsion as he realised where she was going with this. "We buried Nathan in an unmarked grave in the same cemetery as your father."
Closing his eyes, the thought of Nathan dead and cold in a coffin shook him to the core. There were too many times that he had almost lost Nathan since their abilities had begun to develop. The idea that, after struggling through it all, his big brother had been ripped away from him without him knowing was simply too much to bear.
"As for Sylar…"
"Don't," Peter interrupted, holding up a hand for silence. He shook his head, a tear cutting cleanly across his cheek. "Don't."
Angela stopped for a moment, then, with a heavy heart, finished, "As for Sylar, we forced Nathan's memories on him, made him believe that he was your brother." She pursed her lips, clutching her hands to one other.
"We made him become Nathan."
A gasping sob rent itself from Peter's throat and his whole weight fell completely onto the doorframe now, his knees feeling as though they might buckle. None of this could be real.
Nathan wasn't Sylar.
Sylar wasn't Nathan.
"You're a liar," he ground out, pinning his mother with an intimidating glare. She stilled in her advances toward him immediately, her own expression unreadable. Steadying himself, never once backing down with his look, he stepped back into the hallway.
Hesitating for the smallest fraction of a second, thinking for a moment that he may have seen genuine grief on his mother's face, he left. His footsteps were brisk, his heart beating furiously in his chest as he raced away to his safe haven.
He'd wanted answers: had he got them, or once again, was it all just lies?
Nathan's my brother, he thought to himself, not ready to believe what he had been told, and I'm gonna prove it.
The doubt had been weighing down on him throughout his whole journey to Nathan's office. He continued to question his mother's motives. For what possible reason would she have to tell him that his brother had been murdered and replaced by his enemy?
Peter had tried to embrace the conclusion that Angela was mentally unstable, but he knew it wasn't so. Angela Petrelli may have been a conniving and scheming woman, but she wasn't crazy. Far from it, in fact, she was always strategically one step ahead of the game.
Poised outside of the door to Nathan's office, Peter found he was racked with indecision. He didn't believe Angela – he could never make himself ever willingly welcome such a farfetched theory.
And yet, what if he entered this room and uncovered that which he wanted to remain hidden?
He's my brother, the young man reminded himself, resting his forehead tiredly against the smooth wood. I can't doubt that now. There has to be another explanation for all this. There has to be.
Inhaling deeply, Peter knocked twice on the door, his head feeling the vibrations of each knock from where it rested. There was no reply for a moment, before a distracted "Come in", greeted him.
He gripped the handle tightly, his knuckles bleaching white as he did so. It seemed to take so much time for him to actually open the door to reveal the neat office of Nathan Petrelli - so pristine and respectable that it had to have made their mother proud.
Peter entered slowly, closing the door gently behind him. His eyes easily located Nathan, bowed over his desk, his brow furrowed in concentration as he worked.
Approaching, the younger brother glanced around the room, suddenly taking note of how many clocks there seemed to be on the walls. His eyelid twitched nervously as the ticking registered in his mind: a reminder of darker times, and he pushed it to the back of his mind.
With a plastered-on smile, Peter greeted his brother warmly, stopping a few feet before he reached the cluttered desk which, consequently, appeared to be the only source of messiness in sight.
A grumble, which Peter surmised was probably a: "hello" met him and he scoffed lightly. Then again, he hadn't exactly been expecting a welcome fanfare.
He frowned as Nathan leant in closer to whatever he was working on and felt a shiver run up his spine. Tensing, he warily stepped closer, trying to see what seemed to be so worthy of Nathan's full attention.
Becoming frustrated at yet another set of unanswered questions, he asked, "What are you doing?"
The shoulders that hunched over the desk slumped, followed by a long sigh. The carefully styled hair lifted, revealing the tired face of Nathan Petrelli. His hazel eyes twinkled with intelligence and, Peter noticed, yearning.
"This…" the elder man shook his head with a congested laugh. "It's been bugging me lately."
An unnerved feeling persisted to tug at him as Peter edged closer. "What?"
Lowering his gaze, Nathan leant backwards. A hand rose to brush through his dark hair and he rested back heavily into the leather seat, appearing utterly exhausted.
Peter narrowed his eyes at his brother's appearance before stepping closer to gaze at what Nathan had been working on. Immediately, his heart stuttered in his chest, lungs constricting and refusing to allow air to enter.
Lying on Nathan's desk was a broken watch, halfway repaired and still in the process of being fixed.
It was true. Everything Angela had told him was the truth. Nathan was dead and Sylar had replaced him. This monster, who had taken so much from him: who had nearly stolen his humanity and then finally taken away his hero, was pretending to be his brother.
Rage boiled through his blood, his whole body becoming taut as he struggled to reign in his emotions. He killed Nathan…
He glared as Nathan, or Sylar, or whoever he was stood up in surprise, noticing the abrupt change in Peter's behaviour. "Peter, what's wrong?"
His question was answered by an invisible force lifting him and slamming him harshly into the nearest wall. Nathan gasped, struggling futilely as his legs kicked out, trying to gain some form of purchase.
The younger Petrelli's hand was raised, fingers splayed out as he pinned Nathan to the wall. He looked murderous, his hazel eyes seeming to vanish into dark abysses of hate as he approached.
It was terrifying to see someone so kind and selfless turn bitterly cold in an instant.
"You son of a bitch," Peter snarled, ignoring everything in him that screamed at him to stop. This wasn't Nathan – Nathan was gone.
"Peter? What are you…?"
Nathan broke off as Peter pushed him harder into the wall, his back erupting with agony. He winced, groaning as his fingernails dug into the wallpaper, trying to fight the power that held him there.
"Who are you?!"
The elder Petrelli shook his head, gasping, "I-I don't…"
"Don't lie to me!"
He was slammed again, his head smacking against the wall hard. Grimacing, chin drooping down onto his chest, Nathan tried not the panic, resisting the urge to scream for help. He didn't want Peter to get arrested or shot – he just needed to figure out what was wrong with him.
As though someone had grabbed him by the hair, his head was wrenched upwards again and he couldn't withhold the pained cry that escaped him this time.
"I want to hear you say it." Nathan's eyes watered as he blinked down at his brother, not sure of what he was supposed to be saying. "Tell me who you are!"
"I'm your brother."
It was the wrong answer.
Peter's glare, if possible, increased its intensity and he curled his hand into a tight fist. Nathan felt his air passage close and he choked, mouth gaping as he fought for oxygen. His back arched from his suspended position, legs thumping uselessly against the wall behind him.
Nathan held his gaze with Peter's, pleading in confusion as his chest screamed at the abuse. A retching sound tore at the back of his throat and he felt his eyes begin to roll.
"P-Peter, stop," he forced out, "it hurts!"
The younger Petrelli recoiled at the words, remembering when Nathan had spoken the very same words to him in the future. The hunger had been clawing deep within, his mind craving knowledge until it physically hurt and became a constant sensation beneath his skin.
The compelling need to understand his brother's intentions, about how he thought he was doing the right thing when he was wrong. It had overpowered all else. It was only after he had seen the blood beginning to trickle down Nathan's brow that he fought it.
But by then, it had been too late.
Peter unfurled his fist, realising the grip on Nathan's throat while keeping him pinned. The elder man coughed, hacking loudly as he drew much needed air into his lungs. His vision, previously blurred returned to him rapidly and he stared down at Peter in shock.
"Don't," whispered Peter, tilting his head to regard Nathan seriously. "You're not him."
"Pete, please," Nathan begged, a scared expression on his face as he tried to control his breathing. He had always known Peter to be such a sensitive and giving soul. What had happened to make him this way? "It's me. Look at me, I'm your brother. Why are you doing this?"
The youngest Petrelli stepped closer, a hiss of anger whispering past his lips. He watched as Nathan recoiled slightly before managing to maintain his gaze, trying to take hold of the situation.
"You are not my brother."
Nathan let his head fall back against the wall, the challenging look that Peter gave him stilling any snarky comments he may have felt inclined to speak out. How could he prove to his brother who he was?
Swallowing, wondering if Peter would listen or just choke him again, Nathan spoke with caution, "Remember that lake house Dad bought years ago, where we built that tree house together?"
The politician's head was slammed back against the wall and he grunted squeezing his eyes tightly together. Hesitantly he opened them to see Peter's arm trembling, his face now pale, as though bleached of all colour.
"Shut up," he spat out, moisture creeping into his hazel eyes, "Just shut up."
"You were only six," Nathan continued, his head still pressed painfully back against the wall. "But you told me you wanted a place where you could always go to be safe. It was somewhere we could always hang out if we wanted to be alone."
The heartbroken cry almost rent Nathan in two and he sniffed sadly. He knew it was necessary to make him see, but it was agony for him to watch as his baby brother broke down before him, his cheeks already glistening wetly in the office's dim light.
"I went there after Kirby Plaza and the explosion. Some days I'd just sit there and wait for hours, hoping you'd remember when we used to hide out there and that you'd maybe come back. But you never did."
Smiling weakly, tearing up at Peter's forlorn expression, he added softly, "I love you, Pete."
Biting on his lip as it trembled violently, Peter sobbed, collapsing to his knees as the childhood memories returned to him. As he fell, the hold over Nathan vanished and the elder brother was dropped to the floor. He stumbled slightly as he hit, falling into the desk while he tried to regain his footing.
With little hesitation, Nathan pushed away, racing to Peter's side and dropping down beside him. He saw his shoulders shaking with each sob and grabbed him, pulling him into a tight embrace before he could react.
The warmth of Nathan's body against his made Peter stiffen. He wanted to return the hug, but a part of him wanted to throw him away and finish what he knew he had to do.
He's not Nathan, was the blunt reminder in his head, but still, he was just so like his brother. He had the same memories, the same thoughts and even the same love-filled look in his eyes that he had only ever reserved for Peter.
Conflicting emotions crushed down on him and, breathing heavily, he pulled away from Nathan's hold, scrambling back onto his feet. "I can't…"
"Pete," Nathan soothed, holding his hands out in a placating manner as he too rose to his feet. The distance between them seemed so far – too far for brothers to allow. Attempting to breach it, Nathan stepped forward.
"No, stop." Even had he wanted to, Peter's ability ensured that he obliged. "I can't do this right now. I need… I need to figure this out."
With no more than a cryptic comment, he span around and hurriedly reached the door. Tearing it open and without even bothering to look back, he let it close behind him as he rushed away.
The click of the door initiated Nathan's release and he inhaled sharply, not even realising he had been holding his breath. He couldn't look away from where Peter had just been, his mind working overtime as it struggled to comprehend what had just happened.
What's wrong with my brother?
Rubbing hand over his face, the stubble brushing coarsely against his skin, he leant heavily on the desk. His eyes found the repairs of the watch and he frowned. It had been the catalyst, the object that had so easily made Peter lose it.
Picking the watch up, examining it as he held it between two fingers, Nathan wondered if it held all the answers. He had spent hours trying to fix this one broken thing and in return, it had somehow managed to break his little brother.
A scowl deepened on his face and with a grunt, he threw the watch as hard as he could at the opposite wall. He watched it shatter, the pieces he had spent ages trying to align and understand cascading across the floor.
Nathan lowered his head, palms outstretched on the desktop. What do I do now? Inclining his head to the ceiling, he shrugged desperately, wondering if he was the one that was actually going crazy.
"Come on, give me a sign here."
"Yeah," he sighed, to no-one in particular. Dropping his head down, Nathan rested his brow on the cool wooden surface, attempting to soothe his growing headache. "It's never that easy."
The shrill ring of the phone made his head dart up. Lips parting in surprise, he glanced back up at the ceiling before returning his gaze to the phone with a quirked eyebrow, "Alright."
Slapping his hands on the smooth surface to push himself upright, he reached for the phone. To be perfectly honest, Nathan wasn't sure what he was expecting as he answered his supposed 'message from God'.
Unfortunately, good news never seems to be a factor that comes with being a Petrelli.
Placing the phone to his ear, he answered with a hint of trepidation, "Nathan Petrelli here."
Tensing as he recognised the voice, Nathan leant back fully against the desk. He looped an arm fervently over his chest, tucking his hand beneath the other as he prepared himself for what he was sure would be a gruelling conversation.
"Ma," he greeted in what he hoped would seem like a welcoming manner. "Can I help you with something?"
There was a pregnant pause. It was disconcerting considering that the woman on the other end of the phone was always well rehearsed in what she had to say. It was both an admirable and eerie trait – Angela always had an answer to everything.
"Nathan, we need to talk."
It hadn't taken him long to locate Nathan. After finding Arthur Petrelli, he knew that his brother wouldn't be far away and he was right. Nathan's was the only grave in the whole cemetery that was unmarked – a depressing realisation.
The cemetery was deserted, a silent breeze tiptoeing its way respectfully through the gravestones. It was so quiet that the youngest Petrelli wouldn't have been surprised if he could hear the spirits whispering amongst each other.
Remaining perfectly still, he listened, wondering if his brother's voice would greet him. He was left in silence, his heartache doubling with each second that passed when nobody attempted to speak with him.
Sighing, his legs crossed in an Indian style pose, Peter traced his fingers sullenly over the carved crucifix cut into the marble. Is it even worth having faith anymore?
His brother had thought so. After being shot, Nathan had come to the realisation that their powers were gifts from God. He claimed that they could be angels, sent to do God's bidding, to save the world and make it a better place.
Letting his hand fall, hitting the soft earth with a thump, Peter stared at the plain marble. He wanted Nathan's name to be written there, so that everyone could know that he died a hero.
But more than anything, he wished it would forever remain blank. Perhaps then, he wouldn't have to accept the fact that Nathan was gone.
"I know," he inhaled shakily, trying to stop the endless flow of tears that he knew were soon to come, "I know you said we were angels, but, if I'd known what was gonna happen, I wouldn't have let you become one so easily."
Wiping below his eyes, catching the first droplets of his depression, he stared imploringly at the gravestone. He still couldn't believe it. It hurt too much to openly accept it.
How had so much time passed and he hadn't even known that his hero had flown away from him?
Pressing his forehead into his palm, blinking tearfully ahead, Peter gasped as the weight of the truth laid completely on his shoulders. "I'm so sorry, Nathan."
His apologies didn't make up for what had happened, he knew that. He just hoped that somewhere, somehow, Nathan would hear him and grant him his forgiveness.
"I should have been there. I should have stopped it!" Bowing his head, Peter cried with shuddering frame, grief finally claiming him as its own. "I should have saved you…"
The sound of footsteps made him tense and, resting his now clenched fists in his lap, Peter waited for one of two of his most unwanted guests. The heavy steps slowed to a stop behind him, casting a shadow over his hunched form.
"I know I cast a big shadow, Pete."
The Nathan look-a-like towered above him, glancing sadly at the grave. He took in the defeatist way Peter seemed to hold himself and allowed his brother's grief to wash over him. He hated to see Peter hurt…
"Ma told me," he spoke in his deep voice, respectfully keeping his voice no louder than a murmur. He wasn't a particularly superstitious man, but he knew better than to disturb the dead.
Their father had taught them that.
Peter didn't turn to face him. Simply lifting his knees, wrapping his arms comfortingly around them, he snarled icily, "Told you what?"
"That you lost someone you cared about," Nathan replied, his intuitive hazel eyes watching the slim back warily. He swallowed, tugging at the red tie around his neck, trying to loosen the tight feeling around his neck. "She said Sylar killed them."
The younger brother's sobered quickly, hatred marring sadness as he spoke: a reminder that it was his brother's killer who loomed over him, not his brother.
"Yeah," Peter spat bitterly, "he did."
"I get it, why you reacted that way," Peter remained stoic, simply listening. "Ma said Sylar used to fix watches and that his ability was to understand how things worked. If I'd realised, I promise you, I wouldn't have…"
Chewing his lip as Nathan broke off with an exasperated sigh, Peter wondered if he should just simply eliminate the imposter behind him. All it would take was a swift flick of his finger and the other man's spine would snap in two.
His finger twitched slightly in preparation. It would be so easy…
The next three words, however, disrupted this trail of thought immediately.
"I'm sorry Pete."
"It wasn't your…"his voice, sounding gruff and broken beyond repair, silenced itself instantly. He couldn't speak that lie, already feeling it begin to bear heavily on his conscience: because it was a lie. All of this: the reason Peter was here now, why his life had been sent spiralling out of control was his fault.
Nathan, Sylar, whoever he claimed to be… he had done this.
Taking a risk, the elder Petrelli leant forward, placing a hand on his brother's shoulder. The effect was instantaneous and mimicking Peter's flinch, Nathan watched as the younger brother pulled away.
He shook his head, repeating softly, "I'm sorry."
The quiet was painful to withstand, awkward and tense between the two as Nathan remained hovering uncertainly over the smaller man.
Peter gazed at the marble, eyes teary and bloodshot as he finally relented. "H… they were everything to me. They made the world bearable when everything got hard. I feel like I shouldn't belong here without them."
And I shouldn't, he added solemnly. Nathan made me who I was. He was the one I looked up to, who always helped me when I needed it.
"They stood up for me no matter what I did. I mean, I always wanted to save people - that's why I became a nurse. And, these abilities, they gave me purpose, made me think I could save the world. But, I can't. I can't do it without…"
Breaking off, heaving in a shaky breath, Peter allowed himself to break. He didn't care that he had just unloaded his feelings to a serial killer, to the one who had made him this miserable in the first place.
I can't take this anymore.
Arms suddenly enveloped him and Peter stiffened. Sylar still believed he was Nathan, he knew that much for sure. The man behind him was still his brother in mind, but everything they had once had was gone.
His embrace, it felt so much like Nathan's, the neatly shaved stubble that brushed lightly against his ear almost misleading him into believing it actually was. The warm breath trickled through his hair and Peter hunched further. His previous urge to push away the strong arm that rested protectively over his chest was overruled by his desire to feel even the smallest connection to his brother again.
A chin bumped against his shoulder and Peter blinked lethargically, staring blankly ahead, when all the while, his wayward angel rested dutifully on his shoulder.
A moment of serenity passed over the two figures as they stared at the grave: one haunted by the knowledge of who lay beneath it and the other acting as comforter and soother to his own forgotten crime.
"You can save it, and you will," Nathan finally whispered, still holding his slim brother to him, "Don't forget, I'm always here for you Peter."
Closing his eyes sadly at the harsh irony of the words, the youngest Petrelli, no, the sole surviving Petrelli of his generation brushed the marble again with his fingertips. If only he could reach the other side, to see his Nathan again, just one more time.
"You saved the cheerleader, so that we c…"
"…could save the world," Peter finished weakly, his hand dropping and leaving ghostly fingerprints over the grave. A single tear formed, dripping from his eyelashes and to the ground below, sinking to join his brother's body for eternity.
Um... so, what did you think? :/.
Please review and let me know because I'd love to hear what you all thought of it :):):).
Hugs, Ami-Rose x x x x x ;).