The blaring sirens drowned out the sounds of his heart as it pounded away at his chest. They were too slow. He turned to his brother and immediately regretted dong so. His eyes were full of desperation and there wasn't anything more that sent shots of pain into an older brother's heart. Peter was just a kid, only 9 years old. He didn't understand what was going on. Not to mention he was the most kind-hearted person he'd ever known. Peter couldn't understand hate, not anymore than he could understand why they hated them. While he thought his heart couldn't break anymore, Peter's small voice quivered,
"Nathan…what do we do? They're going to find us!" Nathan looked down to his younger brother. His clothed were drenched and his hair hung heavy across his face. Nathan kneeled down and moved the hair out of his brother's face,
"Peter, you remember Superman right? He always saved the day, right?" He watched as the young boy nodded his head. "Who is better, Superman or your big brother?" Peter's honest eyes gazed at his brother and a small smile appeared upon his face.
"You, of course!" Peter buried his head into his brother's shoulder and wrapped his arms around Nathan.
"Good man." Nathan returned his younger brother's hug as he looked down the alley towards the bright flashing lights and a squad of officers pouring into the alley, guns raised. "Stand behind me, Pete." Fear flashed across Peter's face but was replaced by something else. He straightened his stance and took hold of his brother's jacket. It was confidence, one that he placed in his brother. He's trying to be strong…for me. What a kid.
"Raise you hands and don't move," one of the officers yelled into the alley. His voice was harsh and bounced off the walls of the alley.
"Why are you doing this? What do you want from us? I'll give you whatever you want just leave him out of this."
"Nathan, what are you doing! You can't let them take you away. I want to stay with you!"
"Quiet, Peter!" Nathan pushed Peter back suddenly as if to tell him to run.
"Don't move!" The officer yelled again, "We will shoot." Nathan hesitated. He couldn't get them out of this. One wrong move and he could end up with a bullet in his head. He turned around to see Peter clinging to his jacket, staring at him with the stubbornness of a true Petrelli. He wasn't going anywhere. Nathan hated this. He was the older brother, the protector, and now he couldn't do anything. He wanted to run, take his brother and run. To be the hero his brother wanted him to be, who he needed him to be. Suddenly Nathan felt a power rise within him, an impulse to run, to fly. Nathan pulled Peter into his arms and kicked off the ground. Shots rang through the alley but soon they were but a distant echo in his mind.
"Peter! We're gonna be ok!" Nathan yelled above the sound of the air rushing by them. Nathan glanced down at his younger brother to see that his eyes were closed and his skin pale. "Peter?"
Nathan frantically looked around for a place to stop. He landed on a roof with a small greenhouse, a table and some chairs and some cages that seemed to be holding pigeons. He placed Peter on the roof and stopped. He slowly pulled back Peter's coat only to find a pool of blood forming around his heart.
"Pe...Pete...Pete…Peter…PETER!" Nathan stared in shock, meanwhile a pool of blood formed around Peter's lifeless body. What began as a low mummer of Peter's name became frantic shouts and pleas. "Somebody, please help me! Peter!" Suddenly, Nathan was pulled off of his little brother into warm arms.
"Shh, shh. It's okay, Nathan." A familiar voice reassured him. Nathan pulled away from the hug,
"Mom? Mom, Peter…they shot him. I tried to get away. They followed us from school and we were chased into an alley. But then I…I…I flew. I flew us to this rooftop." When the word 'flew' came out of his mouth a deep sadness shown in his mother's eyes. "I…I…flew."
"Alright, alright, it's okay now. Let's get you home."
"But, mom, Peter he's…" Nathan turned around to see his father and a man, whom Nathan recognized as Daniel Linderman, kneeling besides Peter's body. Linderman placed a hand on Peter's chest. Suddenly, Peter let out a loud cough and his chest began to rise and fall. "Peter!" Nathan ran from his mother's arms to his brother's side and held his face.
"…Nathan…" Peter's eyes fluttered open.
"Yeah, I'm here Pete. You're gonna be alright kiddo."
"We should get him to the hospital, Arthur. I just stopped the bleeding temporarily." Linderman rose back to his feet from Peter's side.
"Yes. Angela, you go with the boys, I'll prepare everything else."
"Of course, Arthur. Nathan carry your brother and come with me." Nathan picked up his brother and followed his mother off of the roof of the building. When the boys were out of sight Arthur dialed a number into his phone.
"Sir?" Came a voice on the other end.
"Meet me at the hospital. Bring the Haitian with you."
"Your own boys, Arthur?" Linderman inquired.
"We have to fix this mess before it becomes a real problem, Daniel. We swore that no one would know about us. We can't let Coyote Sands happen again and this is how it began. My son shot and bleeding out on a rooftop with no knowledge of why this is happening to him. We have to stop it Daniel, by any means necessary."
Nathan was pacing back in forth in the waiting room. He knew that Peter was okay but he couldn't stand the thought that Peter was alone.
"Stop the pacing, Nathan, you're wearing out the floor." Nathan shoot a look at his mother that indicated that he was not amused. "He'll be fine, Nathan. They just have to sow him up and he'll be fine."
"Geez, mom. You wouldn't think your son was just shot for…God knows why."
"Always dramatic, Nathan."
"Mrs. Petrelli, you may see him now." Nathan wasted no time thanking the doctor. He ran past him into the room to see Peter sitting up in his hospital bed messing with the gauze over his heart. He finally looked up to see his brother standing in the doorway.
"Nathan!" A huge smile appeared on Peter's face as he tried to wriggle his way out of his bed. Even the small motions seemed to exhaust the young boy.
"Whoa, no way that you are leaving your bed, not in the state you are in." Nathan gently pushed Peter back down onto his bed. Peter ignored Nathan's request, as well as the pain that shot across his chest, and threw his arms around his big brother's neck. Nathan smiled and returned the hug. "Okay, that's enough, you're going to hurt yourself." This time Nathan succeeded in getting Peter to lie down.
"You saved us." Peter stated simply as he looked up at his brother. "You flew. Just like Superman."
Nathan didn't know what to say. He did fly. He didn't understand it himself but Peter seemed to grasp the entire situation. He saved both of them by flying away. Still, why did they need saving in the first place. Why would anyone want to take them away, let alone Peter? It was all too much for his brain to handle at the moment.
"Yeah, I guess so," was all he could say. "Why don't you get some rest, buddy?" Peter let out yawn and nodded his head. Nathan got up and put Peter's forehead on his own, a sign of affection in the Petrelli family. He tucked Peter in and brought a chair over to Peter's bedside. He found a nice spot to rest his head and watched Peter as he fell asleep. It wasn't long before Nathan felt his own eyes falling into a deep slumber.
Arthur walked into Peter's hospital room to find Peter and Nathan asleep. He looked at his boys for a second, perhaps in an attempt to convince himself that he was doing the right thing. Either he convinced himself quickly or he decided he didn't care if he was doing the right thing because he turned and walked out of the room. On his way out he said in a hushed yet firm tone,
"Make sure you take it all."
A young man, about Nathan's age, walked into the hospital room. His took hold of the charm hanging around his neck. It was half of a double helix. He looked down at the two boys and placed his hands on their foreheads…