Fight and Fall
Heroes one-shot fic
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN HEROES. "HEROES" IS THE PROPERTY OF TIM KRING.
Author's note: My first Heroes fanfic. Dedicated to the Peter and Nathan brotherly relationship. I just love the interaction of their characters; the brotherly bond is just too heartwarming. Hell, sometimes I think I only got hooked on Heroes coz' of them!
Add'l: I edited this because of a few grammatical errors I missed. I would like to thank my anonymous reviewer, Kathy, for pointing it out. She seemed pretty pissed. xX… "Don't be hatin'!" xX… I usually write in the wee hours of the morning and I don't really read through the whole fic carefully before posting; I just scan the words and look for the red lines. So sorry about the errors. Your CC has taught me to actually read my fic before I post it. Although this isn't much different from before, I believe rereading critically has made me rewrite it for the better. Plus, I only noticed now that the separation marks for certain parts weren't shown. I mostly employ free writing so I never considered to actually scrutinize any of my fics except for the flow of the story and its plot. Thanks again. I read this grammatical consciousness. And now that I have, some of my mistakes were embarrassingly simple. Makes me feel idiotic to have let that pass me.
And as for Gosurori Otaku (I love gosurori too! XD XD LoLXD), I'm aware that Nathan was running for Congress but since he's still campaigning for now (in my fic), I'm assuming that he's basically still a lawyer.
"You get in trouble, I drop everything and fix it. Isn't that how things work?" -Nathan Petrelli, Chapter 11: Fallout
There was only silence in the room. Not even the beeping of a machine could be heard, and he wasn't even moving in the least bit, only watching the patient sleeping peacefully in the bed.
Nathan didn't flinch as he looked over his little brother, unconscious on the hospital bed. He felt that if he even so much as blinked, Peter would be gone from the bed and off somewhere to do another crazy stunt and harm himself. Like what he did earlier. And look where it got him: in the hospital, unconscious.
Observing his brother, Nathan couldn't even begin to sort out the maelstrom of emotions inside him. He was angry, relieved, incredulous, guilty. Angry at Peter that he even thought about jumping off the building. Relieved that Peter was still alive and not splattered all over the ground. Incredulous at what he had been able to do. Guilty for failing.
Guilty for letting his brother fall.
Nathan knew this was not good. But as a practiced lawyer, he did not allow himself to panic just yet and kept his cool, as he listened to his brother ranting up on the ledge. Peter just wanted to be heard, to be taken seriously, to make a statement. He knew Peter wouldn't jump off.
"It's my turn to be somebody now, Nathan!" Peter shouted from above, full of conviction. Nathan felt his jaw lock itself; he didn't know how to work his words out. This was Peter; he couldn't negotiate his way in this situation like a smart lawyer. But this was Peter; his brother was no lawyer who knew how to make the best deal for both parties. Peter was the spoiled one who was selfish and stubborn and had no other considerations once he was focused on something.
Up ahead, he saw Peter lift his hands, as if asking for a sign from above, and look towards the sky.
It was then that Nathan felt it. The first knock of fear in his chest.
'He wouldn't dare to-' the thought was interrupted when he saw Peter's foot hover over the edge, the start of his descent.
The scene played out in slow motion in front of him, but everything was happening to him all so suddenly. He could see Peter fall, flailing his arms and legs as he stood down there watching, not knowing what to do. Peter didn't even scream as the fear drumming in Nathan's heart resounded in his chest.
He could only think one thing then. 'I need to get to Peter. I need to catch him.'
And before he knew it, his feet had left the ground, his body shooting up through the air. Before he realized it, he drove straight to Peter. The implausible fact that he flew didn't even register in his mind as his arms finally reached Peter.
He managed to grab a hold of Peter halfway. He could see the incredulous look in Peter's eyes as he struggled to maintain a firm grip on him.
"Nathan... You're flying, Nathan... How did you...?" Peter's eyes seemed knowing, as if he had expected this scenario to play out yet couldn't believe what was happening.
"I... I don't know..." Peter's arms were slipping, he realized, and he didn't know how to get down. He couldn't control his floating body. Nathan tried to get him securely in his arms and Peter tried to lift himself, as if wanting to embrace his brother. But it was at that moment that he lost grip. And Peter fell.
"No!" He screamed as he reached out to his brother, who continued to fall. Suddenly, he felt gravity act on his body as he too, fell. He managed to reach his brother and grabbed Peter close to him, holding him close to his chest as they continued to near the concrete.
'Please God, save Peter. Please save him. Don't let him die.'
Nathan was aware of the concrete below that they were rapidly approaching. He closed his eyes, prepared to hit the ground when Nathan felt Peter's body beneath him halt a foot from the floor. Nathan glanced warily at the ground, thankful for the miracle. But his relief was short-lived. Before he could glance at Peter's face, they dropped to the ground.
Nathan sighed. The doctor told him that Peter was fine; he had hit his head pretty badly but it wasn't life-threatening. Peter had a mild concussion but other than that, he was fine; no broken bones even. He would wake up later, the doctor said, and he would require another check-up.
Reaching into his pocket and flipping his cell phone open, Nathan dialed a number and called his mother, albeit hesitantly. She was not going to like hearing this. He could almost hear her reply towards the incident as he heard the ringing of the other line. If it was a problem about Nathan she'd tell him to "fix it" but if it was about Peter, Nathan would still be the one whom their mother would tell off, "why didn't you fix it?"
Ever since Peter was born, Angela had assigned him to the task of protecting Peter. He could still remember that day, the day Peter was born, his mother lying in the hospital room holding Peter and the curiosity of seeing his younger brother for the first time. His father didn't seem to be as enthusiastic as his mother (if he ever was) and Linderman had called just in time about business affairs, which required his father to leave as soon as possible, leaving him with his mother and new baby brother.
"So Nathan, how do feel about having a baby in the house?" Angela asked as she cradled the newest Petrelli in her arms.
Nathan thought for a moment as he waddled his finger which his baby brother was holding onto. "It's okay," he shrugged. "I hope he doesn't keep me up all night with crying and stuff."
Baby Peter's small and chubby hand was soft.
"Well, that's my job, not yours so don't worry," Angela answered with a slight smile to her elder son before going back to admire her newborn son's face.
Mother and sons were silent, content with just looking at baby Peter.
"Can I hold him?" Nathan suddenly blurted out. Angela stared at him for a moment, carefully considering his request.
"Well..." Angela looked back to Peter then back at Nathan, unsure.
"I won't drop him."
Angela sighed before giving in. Nathan was ten and responsible, after all. "Oh, alright. Listen carefully now, this is how you hold a baby..." Nathan listened intently to his mother's instruction as she carefully handed him baby Peter. As soon as the exchange was made, Nathan inspected his brother curiously; his mother's arms were underneath his, ready to act as a safety net.
"Hi..." He said, for lack of better words, which caused Angela to giggle at her son. Nathan tried bouncing Baby Peter a little bit, and smiled. Angela seemed to somewhat relax on her son handling his baby brother.
"You know what this means, don't you, Nathan?"
"I'm a big brother now," Nathan replied, still fixated on his sleeping brother's face.
"That's right. And being a big brother is a big responsibility, looking out for your younger sibling."
"I know." Nathan answered, still bouncing baby Peter in his arms.
"You have to look out for him at all times and make sure to take care of him."
"I can do that."
"And I trust you'll love him like your father never will. He's going to need you more than anyone. You need to be there for him when your father and I can't."
Nathan paused and looked at his mother warily. Angela's eyes seemed grave as she held Nathan's gaze.
He didn't know what to say to that; his mother's frankness about their father's attitude towards Peter was a shock to him. He knew that particular statement of his mother's belonged to the category of "issues that should not be discussed out loud, ever" just as his father's "heart attack" was included.
"Promise me, Nathan. Promise me you'll take care of your brother for me and love him for your father."
Nathan stared at his mother's serious eyes and looked at his baby brother's somnolent face before replying. "I promise."
Nathan flipped his cell phone closed as the conversation with his mother ended. He didn't know when she flew to Mexico but that was where she was at the moment and would take a private plane to New York. Disbelief was his mother's first reaction, which quickly turned into a reprimanding of him not looking out for Peter when he should have been. The worry came last as she quickly made arrangements for her return before instructing Nathan not to leave Peter's side until she got to the hospital. Not that Nathan planned on leaving his brother on his own after that. He might come up to the rooftop of the hospital and start practicing on flying, or floating, or levitating... whichever term it was called. Nathan had been mentally slapping himself for suggesting to Peter that he practice flying off the Brooklyn Bridge, thereby somewhat giving him the idea of jumping off a 15-story building.
Nathan sighed, glad it was over, that he and Peter – especially Peter– got through this ordeal alive without breaking a bone. Peter was still unconscious, sleeping underneath the white sheets as if nothing happened. Nathan stood up and approached his brother's bedside.
His mother was right; this was his fault. He couldn't deny that. He had been charged with the task of looking after Peter and he hadn't been doing a good job of that lately. If it was any consolation on his part, he blamed it on the campaign. But still… he knew it was his fault that he didn't get a good enough grip on Peter when they were... midair.
If his mother ever knew that he dropped Peter for the second time in his life, he was sure she would've beaten him into a bloody pulp this time.
"Nathan!" Angela called out to her son as she finished changing one-year-old Peter's diaper. A little while later, Nathan entered the nursery room.
"You called me, Ma?"
"I need you to watch Peter. Your father's on call waiting and he needs me to handle a few things for him right now." Angela picked up Peter and the phone by the bedside and approached Nathan, handing him baby Peter.
"But-" Nathan tried to protest; he was on his way over Mark's house to watch the game with a couple of his friends and afterwards play basketball.
"That wasn't a request, Nathan. You're a big brother now and your responsibility is looking after Peter when I'm unavailable. When it comes to your baby brother, there are no objections; he is your priority. Is that understood?"
"Can I at least take him downstairs with me so I can watch the game?"
"Alright. Now, I don't want to be disturbed unless it's absolutely necessary. I'll be in your father's office making a few calls." Angela left the room, phone in the ear as she resumed talking to his father, who was currently in Vegas handling Linderman-related business.
Nathan sighed and looked at Baby Peter, gurgling like any happy one-year-old. He sighed again before heading downstairs to explain to Sean, who had stopped by their house before going to Mark's, the last-minute change of plans. Sean understood, and everything was cleared as he left for Mark's house alone. Nathan sighed as he closed the front door and went to the living room. He set Peter in the couch and searched for the remote, turned on the TV, and switched on the sports channel.
Baby Peter crawled towards Nathan and tapped Nathan's leg with his tiny hand.
Nathan was annoyed. He and his friends were supposed to have a scrimmage today at the park after watching the game. But his plans were ruined as of now. "Yeah, thanks a lot, Peter." Nathan said sarcastically, irritation evident in his voice. But Peter took no notice and climbed onto his big brother's lap, settling himself there.
Nathan sighed in frustration. "Fine. Just don't move around too much so I can watch the game." He adjusted Peter's position on his lap.
The game started and Nathan was hooked up. His head was finally cooling off. Peter was staying put in his lap. But a few minutes into the game, Peter found the remote fascinating and started playing with it. Nathan held it out of Peter's reach but Peter made prompting noises, reaching out to the remote.
Nathan sighed once more. "Fine, you can play with it but don't switch the channel." If this was any other day, Nathan would've thought he was crazy for talking to his baby brother like that, as if expecting him to understand and obey. But for now, he couldn't care less.
Baby Peter began waving it around and just gripping it in his tiny hands. Nathan was still watching the game.
"Peter, NO!" Nathan exclaimed as he saw his baby brother attempt to chew on the remote. He immediately snatched the remote but he fumbled with it in midair. He leaned forward to try to catch it. He forgot Peter was in his lap. As he bent forward hastily, Peter slid off his lap and landed to the floor with a loud thud.
The remote crashed on the floor as Peter loudly bawled in his position on the ground.
"Peter!" Nathan picked up his brother and tried to soothe him, but to no avail. The baby continued to cry incessantly at full volume.
"Shh, Peter, shh, I've got you, I've got you..." Nathan held his baby brother to his chest and patted his back in an attempt to pacify baby Peter's cries. He didn't know Peter could cry this loudly; Nathan couldn't even remember the last time he heard Peter cry. Peter acted unusually for a baby; he rarely cried, even for his sake of making known when he was hungry.
He heard hurried footsteps down the flight of stairs. "Nathan! What happened?!" Angela asked worriedly as she approached them and took Peter from Nathan. Even in his mother's arms, Peter still hadn't ceased his crying.
"I-I... He was on my lap and he was chewing the remote so I took it..." Nathan contemplated leaving out the part where he dropped his brother. But what if Peter sustained an injury of some sort from the fall?
"And... and I tried to reach for the remote and he-he fell..."
"You dropped Peter?!" Angela shouted with anger in her face. Nathan flinched at the added decibel. "How could you drop him?!" Angela hurried to the phone and dialed 911 to call for an ambulance when Peter still wouldn't stop crying after a few minutes and a bump on his forehead was starting to form.
"Oh God..." his mother's voice had never seemed so anguished and her eyes began to tear up as she held baby Peter in her arms, still trying to pacify him.
When the ambulance arrived, they took Angela and Peter to the hospital, leaving him alone in the house. The TV wasn't turned off during the whole thing, and Nathan couldn't continue to watch. He turned it off and left the remote on the floor, its battery casing separated from the remote, lying a few distance away due to the impact it made with the floor. Nathan waited the entire time sitting on the bottom of the staircase for his mother and Peter to come back from the hospital.
Nathan didn't know how long had passed before the front door opened and his mother and baby Peter sleeping peacefully entered the house. He stood up, but his mother did not acknowledge him yet, passing him by to go upstairs. Nathan followed to the nursery, stopping by the doorframe as he watched his mother tuck Peter in his cradle.
He wanted so badly to ask how Peter was doing but he couldn't even utter a word out, the shame and guilt clogging his throat. After placing a kiss on his baby brother's forehead and making sure he was secure, Angela turned around to go out, eyeing her elder son on the doorway as she made her way towards him. When she reached the hallway, she abruptly turned around to face him.
The next thing Nathan knew, his view was diverted to the side, followed by a sting on the cheek. His hand went to his reddening cheek and slowly, he turned his eyes to his mother, his head a bit tilted; he still couldn't bear to face his mother fully.
Angela's deep breaths were an attempt to calm the wave of fury that was starting to overwhelm her.
"What were you thinking?!" she hissed through gritted teeth, trying to control the volume of her voice so as not to awaken Peter. "Your carelessness could've caused Peter's life! I entrusted with the responsibility of looking out for your brother and making sure he doesn't get hurt but what do you do?! You got careless and dropped him! I don't care if it was accident! You dropped him!"
Nathan couldn't bear it, the shame and remorse that gripped his heart. He looked down, unable to stand the blazing eyes of his mother. This was one of the few times in his life he felt like crying, which his father strongly opposed. He was afraid the tears in his eyes would fall and he was having a hard time holding them back. But it was his mother's next line that stabbed him.
"You could've killed your own brother!"
Nathan didn't know how long he had been sitting in the chair watching over Peter, slightly becoming worried that Peter hadn't even made one small movement. He was starting to think of the worst possible scenario and it didn't help that his ass was starting to stiffen from sitting so long. So Nathan got up and walked over to Peter's bedside, if only to convince himself that his brother was still breathing.
So he almost yelped in relief and surprise when Peter gasped for air and raised himself up before opening his eyes, as if reaching the surface of awareness after drowning in a sea of unconsciousness. Nathan was glad he composed himself quickly and laid a hand on Peter's shoulder to slightly push him back to rest on the pillow. The first thing Peter asked was where he was.
Nathan was known to act on his feet. He took Peter's lapse in memory as an advantage; he thought he could fill the empty void in memory with something more acceptable, something more realistic. It was pretty quick and he would've patted himself in the back for his quick thinking if he wasn't lying to Peter. But God had to disappoint him; Peter still knew, although he showed no signs of being upset about being lied to. However, Nathan was sticking to his story and decided to convince Peter that his brother's version was more reliable, that Peter's head was somehow affected by the fall and blurred his perception of the moment. Peter didn't make any objections, so Nathan took it as a good sign and just dropped the topic altogether. It was at this time that Angela entered the room and almost choked Peter in her embrace before scolding Nathan for his carelessness, which she wasn't able to elaborate on with Peter coming to his defense. Peter stood up for him and convinced their mother that Nathan had no fault. Angela just brushed the issue aside when Peter asked her not to blame Nathan on anything; however, her eyes were clearly upset at Nathan and she chose to occupy herself with fretting about Peter's state. He left later on for campaign matters, deciding that it would be better to get away from their mother now that she was still too busy fussing over Peter to even notice him.
Nathan felt as if he was breathing fresh air for the first time when he finally exited the hospital doors. Perhaps it was relief that the ordeal was finally over, that they could safely say it was all in the past. Or the notion that normality might come again if Peter decided to believe his fabricated story.
Lying was natural to him; he was a lawyer. But that didn't mean he liked lying to Peter; he only did it when it was necessary. What he was doing might be wrong to many others, but he would do what was necessary to ensure Peter's wellbeing. Because what he was doing was for the best, even if it wasn't the right thing. Some secrets were kept to protect others, after all. And he believed that this secret, among all the others his family kept, was by far the most dangerous and threatening.