Author Note: This story takes place about six months after Season 4. After the end of Brave New World, Peter and Sylar entered into a relationship. We will see how and why as the story unfolds. I hope you enjoy :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Heroes.

Three Little Words

The sharp whistle of the teapot interrupted Gabriel Gray's afternoon reading of the newspaper. He placed down the paper on the table before making his way into the kitchen. He opened one of the drawers looking for where spoons were kept...finding only a few dishrags, he proceeded to open the next drawer to find what he desired.

The apartment of Peter Petrelli was a familiar place, Gabriel having visited there many times, but lately he was beginning to discover it in a more detailed, intimate way. Gabriel had only recently begun coming into the apartment when Peter was not home...sometimes fixing dinner and sometimes simply having a cup of tea and waiting for the younger man's return.

It had been slightly uncomfortable at first, Gabriel admitted, as he poured the steaming tea into the small china cup...he had brought a few of his teacups over to Peter's apartment, seeing as Peter didn't drink much tea...it had been slightly awkward and almost a bit intimidating. Gabriel wasn't sure how he felt about it at first, Peter trusting him with a key to his apartment building, Gabriel letting himself in whenever he felt like it...what if Gabriel started coming over far too much and Peter realized what a mistake he had made?

"You're not going to bother me." Peter had insisted, his lips quirking into that delightful boyish half-smile of his. He rushed his fingers through his thick, brown hair. "Just come over when you feel like comin' over. I wouldn't give you the key if I didn't want you to have it, okay?"

The comforting slap to Gabriel's shoulder somehow accentuated Peter's sincerity, and soon Gabriel was visiting Peter almost every night after Gabriel had left his own job at the bookstore. Peter would often come home later, his shifts as a paramedic long and sometimes unpredictable, so Gabriel wanted someone to be there for the young man to heat up a microwave dinner for him...brew him some coffee, his preferred drink...or simply to keep his bed warm at night. Sometimes that's all it was, for at times Gabriel would hear the door creak at three in the morning as Peter returned from his late shift...feel warm breath on the back of his neck as strong arms encircled him...Gabriel would be too sleepy to respond, but by hearing the soft, contented sigh he knew that Peter was happy just to have him there when he came home.

A mischievous smile quirked Gabriel's lips as he took a drink of his tea. Sometimes when Peter came home there would be angry, frustrated murmurs...on nights like these Peter would make Gabriel wake up...make him wake up with Peter's forceful, hot mouth smashing against his own...Peter's encompassing hands threading through Gabriel's dark, thick hair...Peter would take out all of his anger at himself for the lives he couldn't save that day...for not being that hero he always needed to be...and channel it into a tempest of passion that Gabriel was only too happy to welcome...it was times like these Gabriel knew why Peter had insisted he take the key...what would Peter do without him...what kind of inner anguish would tear at his soul on nights like these without Gabriel to grasp onto for dear life...

Gabriel turned towards the window and watched his own reflection, taking another thoughtful sip of tea. What would Peter do without him...Peter would still be Peter, of course, beautiful, sweet, selfless Peter...but, God, what would Gabriel do without Peter?

Gabriel often didn't like to dwell on thatthought; after all, he knew exactly what he had done without Peter...who he had been before Peter had showered him with love and mercy that Gabriel had never done anything to deserve.

Peter was so good to him. Gabriel knew he hardly deserved such goodness in his life, knew he certainly didn't deserve the love that Peter so mercifully and generously granted him. At times, it scared Gabriel to be so happy with Peter. Gabriel was not supposed to be happy, had never been this happy in his whole life, and it sometimes felt as if something terrible was always waiting for him right around the corner. But Gabriel tried not to dwell on those thoughts and tried not to think that maybe he deserved that terrible lurking feeling...he didn't want to wonder if the happiness he was experiencing now was only meant to intensify the pain once Paradise was lost to him once and for all.

"You can't think like that." Peter murmured, tracing Gabriel's face with his finger as he looked the other man over thoughtfully with sharp, hazel eyes. "You can't think that every time you're happy something bad'll happen...that'll just drive you crazy, man."

"I know." Gabriel hissed but his apprehensions remained. His eyes slipped shut as he allowed Peter to discover every inch of his cheeks...his nose...his forehead... "God, Peter, it's just...you're too good to me..."

And then there were those words Gabriel was now growing so dangerously accustomed to hearing. Those three beautiful words that both transfixed and exalted Gabriel every time he heard them. It didn't matter the situation, or the way they were said...Gabriel's hand tightened around the small china cup as he squeezed his eyes shut at the flow of memories.

"I love you." Peter would smile at him, taking a microwave dinner out of Gabriel's hands...as if such an action was worthy of such words...

"Hey..." Peter would whisper into Gabriel's sensitive ear when he thought the other man was sleeping, certain the words would be lost to the night. "...I love you."

"Ah...God, I love you..." The words would slip past his lips during the height of their passion...he would shout them in a dark, husky voice as his head dipped and body shook. Gabriel wished he was able to return those words during their lovemaking...but Peter never seemed to mind being the only one to express them while they were being intimate.

"Have a good day." Peter would wish him, placing a quick kiss on Gabriel's lips and a small touch to his elbow. "I love you."

Gabriel pursed his lips in thought as a small pang settled in his stomach. And how often had he returned these words of affection to Peter? Gabriel had never spoken them at all...never even whispered them in the hush of the night...and it puzzled him as to why Peter never seemed to mind. Surely, he deserved to hear those beautiful words more than Gabriel ever did.

But somehow the words always got stuck in his throat. It wasn't that Gabriel wasn't sure if he returned Peter's love or not...after all, he had loved Peter far longer than Peter might ever realize...but for some reason they were such difficult...exposing...words to vocalize.

Maybe it was because his love for Peter had been so confusing for so long, those old feelings of unease with the words had carried over. After all, Gabriel thought resentfully, when had he first decided he loved Peter? In some perverse, sickening moment when he realized that Peter could heal...when the crimson river that ran from the gash on the young man's head had been quickly closing...when those sharp, hazel eyes flashed in defiance, effectively denying the satisfaction of ripping open his skull and seeing what wonderful powers laid inside?

While he hadn't exactly loved Peter then in the sense that Gabriel understood his love for the young man now...it had always been Peter that Gabriel chased after...it had always been Peter that destiny had pushed into his life again and again...it had always been Peter. Gabriel fingered the rim of his cup; he sometimes had a strong urge to explain these things to Peter, to tell the young man that it had always been him that Gabriel had longed for...Peter had been the one all along; the song of salvation that kept piercing Gabriel's otherwise dark, twisting thoughts.

But Peter would probably not like to hear such things. Peter still didn't like to hear stories about Gabriel's past, his eyes darkening and lips quirking uncomfortably whenever Gabriel walked too close towards the edge of such subject matters. Gabriel tried to respect that, but he still wondered...still wondered if he could convey his love any better if Peter knew that Gabriel had been wanting him...in any way he could have him...since Gabriel first realized that the man who had thwarted his attack on the cheerleader could also never die. Peter was the angel that would kill Gabriel's demons. And Peter was that angel...and Gabriel's demons were now slowly dying every time he surrendered himself into Peter's broken wings...

It was Gabriel who had broken those wings...maybe now he could mend them...if he continued to care for Peter...continued to be there for him whenever the selfless young man needed him. Gabriel delighted in being able to care for Peter's apartment now, in caring for Peter when he returned...maybe it would eventually help fade those scars that Gabriel himself had etched on Peter's soul. Maybe if Gabriel could someday say I love you in return...

Gabriel picked his head up as he heard the door to Peter's apartment click open. Gabriel's eyes shifted towards the clock on the wall...two minutes fast...and realized that Peter was indeed due to arrive home from his shift at the hospital.

Sure enough, the young man pushed open the door with his shoulder and slid into the apartment. He still wore his paramedic uniform, although the shirt was becoming a bit untucked from the long day. His thick, brown hair fell messily into his face and his shoulders slumped as he shut the door behind him, hazel eyes hooded with more than just exhaustion.

"Peter...you're home." Gabriel murmured, taking a few steps towards him. Peter failed to greet him in return and Gabriel began to sense that something might have gone wrong at the hospital that day. "Is everything okay?"

Peter gave a soft sigh, finally glancing up to meet Gabriel's eyes. Gabriel pursed his lips in dismay. Unfortunately, recognizing when hurt swam in Peter's softened gaze was something Gabriel had become all to accustom to.

"Hey, Gabriel." Peter finally relented, running his hand through his hair to shake it from his eyes. "Yeah, I'm...I'm fine. It was just a long day."

"What happened?" Gabriel knew he probably should've moved forward now...offered to hold Peter or maybe just put comforting hands on the young man's shoulders...but something told him that Peter didn't wish for Gabriel's touch at the moment. Peter wanted to be strong.

Peter always wanted to be the strong one.

"I..." Peter gave a heavy sigh of frustration, his fist clenching subconsciously at his side. He shook his head again, beginning to move farther into the room. "It was just...I dunno...you shouldn't worry about it."

"I made macaroni and cheese." Gabriel offered, jerking his head towards the pot on the stove. "And...and tea." He lifted the cup in his hands towards Peter's dejected face.

Peter nodded, and Gabriel knew that the words had barely reached his ears. Peter's thoughts were miles away from the apartment kitchen and still with whatever horror had taken place at the hospital that day. Peter absentmindedly ran his fingers through his thick hair once more, while making his way towards the stove for dinner.

Gabriel was silent as he continued to watch Peter spoon macaroni into the bowl Gabriel had placed out for him on the counter. Gabriel squinted his gaze at Peter in concern...the young man seemed to be filled with something terrible that he was barely successful in containing.

"Peter..." Gabriel called out, softly. He reached out to place a large hand on Peter's stooped shoulder, but before the contact could be made, a loud clatter sounded as Peter threw the spoon back into the pot. Gabriel jerked his hand back in surprise, as Peter turned to slam his now trembling fist into the counter, his face red and jaw clenched with frustration and anger. This movement seemed to effectively release his inner demons as Peter's fist was now colliding repeatedly on the counter, the old paint cracking loudly beneath the force of his fury.

"Peter, stop it!" Gabriel shouted, rushing over to grab onto Peter's arms from behind him. Peter only thrashed a few more times, angry grunts slipping past his lips, before allowing Gabriel's strong grip to subdue him.

"What happened today?" Gabriel demanded, pressing Peter's back flesh against his chest and placing his cheek on top of Peter's soft hair. When Peter didn't answer, Gabriel turned to press soft kisses to the top of the young man's head, hoping to soothe whatever raged inside of him. "Shhh...shhh, Peter. Talk to me. Talk to me, please."

"It's..." Peter throat tightened as he sucked in a deep breath, his own hands coming up to grip onto Gabriel's arms with trembling force. "I...we got a call. A woman stuck in a burning car. I had your telekinesis, I was able to cut her out...to s-save her..." Peter shook his head angrily. "I thought...hey, I guess I picked the right power today... guess I was a big hero today..."

Gabriel felt Peter begin to tremble beneath him and in return tightened his hold. "You are a hero, Peter."

"No...no...we got another call. There had been a shooting. A man had...had shot his ex-wife and...and their three k-kids." Peter took in a heavy, ragged breath, his head dipping towards his chest. "Then he shot himself."

Gabriel went silent in thought. Obviously, the man hadn't been able to stand the thought of his love leaving him and possibly finding comfort elsewhere...the idea of Peter leaving flashed quickly through Gabriel's mind and his grip on Peter's arms burned all the tighter...what a selfish man.

"I..." Peter gritted his teeth, his jaw working furiously. When he finally was able to speak again, his voice was low and shaky. "I saved him. I was able to save him. But..." His fingers dug sharply into Gabriel's arms. "I couldn't save them. Can...can you believe that? I could save the man who murdered his wife...and children...but I couldn't save..." He trailed off his eyes gazing over to the far side of the wall. He bravely pressed on, "And...and I know it's not right...but I'm so angry...I'm so angry. Dang it, Gabriel, why couldn't I save them?"

Peter saved the murderer.

Gabriel remained silent, continuing to press whispering kisses to the top of Peter's head, breathing in the scent of the other man's hair deeply. He hugged Peter closer to his chest, now taking in deeper breaths as well...he hadn't liked Peter's story.

Peter saved the murderer. In the end, was that the only person Peter was able to save? He had lost so many of the people he cared for... family members laid dead...and yet he saved the murderer hadn't he?

"I'm sorry." Peter whispered, pressing his cheek onto Gabriel's arm and taking in deep breaths. "I'm sorry I got so angry. It's just so hard sometimes..."

"Don't apologize." Gabriel murmured, moving his arms so that his hands could be entwined with Peter's. "You don't need to apologize."

Peter gave Gabriel's hand a loving squeeze. He craned his neck backwards as he twisted his head to capture the taller man's lips with his own. The kiss was already burning with intensity; Peter's mouth moving to open Gabriel's in a heat of fevered passion.

Gabriel let out an eager grunt as Peter wriggled around to face him. Gabriel's hands began to snake up the other man's strong arms and shoulders before tangling themselves within Peter's thick mane. Peter softly moaned into Gabriel's mouth and the taller man responded to this by giving Peter's hair a rough pull.

Gabriel finally broke his lips away from Peter's, his gaze intensifying as he slipped a large hand down to cup Peter's face. Peter looked frustrated; clearly he wished to continue their embrace and to calm his anguish. He opened his mouth to protest, but Gabriel placed a finger to Peter's lips and hushed him gently.

"I'm gonna take care of you, Peter." Gabriel murmured bringing his nose down to press into Peter's warm cheek. "You're always so selfless...so giving...tonight you're gonna be selfish. I'm gonna let you be selfish tonight."

Peter watched Gabriel with uncertain eyes, his lips quirking to the side, his brown hair falling messily down his face. He pressed his cheek into Gabriel's cupped hand, closing his eyes for a second before they fluttered open again. "Gabriel...you don't have to..."

"Shhh." Gabriel soothed, and his stomach was tightening pleasantly at the thought of granting Peter the chance to be the selfish one for once...for Gabriel to be able to give while Peter took and took...the thought was both comforting while being exhilaratingly arousing. His thumb stroked Peter's face while his hand continued to hold him. "Shhh. Be selfish, Peter. That's not a request."

Peter gave a soft chuckle, his eyes flitting to the ground with a shyness that was so endearing. But when they lifted back up there was a darkness present that sent pleasant chills down Gabriel's spine. Peter gave a short nod, his eyes now gazing into the other man's. He gave a small moan as Gabriel leaned forward to nibble at the base of his neck. His hands gripped onto the back of Gabriel's neck as he closed his eyes and continued to moan appreciatively, Gabriel's mouth paying special attention to the area.

Gabriel gave a small hiss as a mischievous smile broke his lips. Giving was so wonderful...Gabriel had taken for so long...taken and never felt filled...giving was such a beautiful feeling...giving satisfied every hunger Gabriel ever suffered from.

Peter's soft moans were so beautifully erotic that Gabriel let out a rough grunt, his hands itching to touch more of Peter...the paramedic uniform was beginning to feel as if it were only getting in the way of the body that now belonged to Gabriel.

Tonight's about Peter. He reprimanded himself, slipping his lips off of Peter's throat and hissing in a dark, raspy voice, "What...what would you like me...to do...for you?" He pressed his warm forehead flesh against Peter's and took in a deep breath. "Peter...?"

Peter gave a loud snort; his eyes slipped shut as his hands continued to grip and stroke the back of Gabriel's neck. When Peter finally spoke, his breath burned against Gabriel's face, even as his voice registered barely above a whisper. "I'm...really sore. I was..." Gabriel had to lean closer, his ear practically touching Peter's lips as the giving young man continued to whisper his needs, "...I was standing...all day. Can...can you...?"

Gabriel hushed him again with forceful lips, sliding his hand down the length of Peter's shuddering form. He felt Peter's broad chest...his rapid heartbeat...his taut stomach, and briefly ran a couple of teasing fingers a little lower, pleased when he elicited a surprised gasp from his lover. The touch was fleeting, however, as Gabriel pressed his hand back into Peter's, gently guiding him towards the bedroom's shower. He smiled, contently, when Peter followed him in quiet anticipation.