Word Count: ~800
Characters/Pairings: Nathan, (implied Nathan/Peter)
Summary: Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Spoilers: Season 2 Premier: Four Months Later…
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Tim Kring et al.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note: Thanks to apckrfan for the beta.
He didn't realize how much he'd meant it when he said that he didn't know who he was without Peter. Not until his brother exploded and disappeared.
Nathan had to believe that Peter was still alive. He had to be. The hole in his soul was devastating, but it didn't have the sense of permanence that Peter's death would have wrought.
Nevertheless, Peter's absence from his life had destroyed him.
Months were spent in the hospital as he recovered from radiation burns. Months where all he wanted to do was go in search of Peter, only to be denied. By his mother, by his wife.
Both women tried to convince him that Peter was gone, dead, and he had to move on. Yet he stubbornly refused to do so. Peter was his lifeline, his compass; he couldn't give up on him.
As soon as he was healthy enough, Nathan made a statement to the press that his seat in Congress had been bought for him by the now-deceased Linderman, without his knowledge. He managed, with his mother's un-asked-for help, to avoid prosecution as a co-conspirator to commit election fraud. Barely.
Heidi left him, before he'd even gotten out of the hospital. He could no longer hide the truth about himself; that he was special, that he could fly, that he had a sixteen-year-old daughter. She was angered and hurt by his lies. She was even more hurt by the fact that he seemed to care more about finding his brother than he did about saving his marriage and picking up his life. She took their sons with her.
Nathan let her have the house in Hyde Park. He didn't want to be there anyway. He just wanted Peter back. So until his wayward brother returned home, Nathan would live in his apartment. If only to remain close to Peter – to his things.
Nathan would sit in the quiet, usually dark, apartment and drink. And think. And long for the brother he realized he loved far more than was proper.
Peter and Nathan had always been close, despite their age difference. Perhaps because of their age difference. They were able to get to know each other as people, not just siblings.
He had started to realize how his feelings for Peter were a little less than familial and more … unhealthy, after Peter started thinking that he could fly. After he had jumped off a building and forced Nathan to fly up to catch him. When he'd dropped his brother, Nathan started to realize just how important Peter was to his life. He didn't know what he would do without him.
Apparently, not well. Peter was gone – not dead – just missing, and Nathan couldn't keep his life together. He was floundering, wallowing in self-pity and longing for a man he had no right to long for. He stopped caring about his appearance, trading in his power suits for comfortable jeans and shirts. He'd stopped shaving, too. At first, he couldn't shave because of the burns to his face. Then, he just didn't care enough to be bothered. It's not like there was anyone around to care about his appearance.
His mother didn't count. She was willing to let Peter die. She wanted Peter to destroy New York. She was a heartless bitch and he had written her out of his life.
Nathan barely talked to anyone anymore, not even the bartender at the dive he found himself frequenting. The only person who even tried anymore was Claire. She was just one more reminder that Peter was missing from his life, as if he needed a reminder. Peter had saved her, after all. She was alive because of Peter. She longed for Peter's return almost as much as he did. Talking to her only reminded him of everything that he'd lost. He didn't deserve to re-connect with Claire when he couldn't save her hero. His hero.
That's what it all boiled down to, wasn't it? He couldn't save Peter. He may have saved New York, but he couldn't save his brother. Peter was gone because Nathan was so weak from all of the radiation Peter had been emitting that he couldn't hold on when Peter pushed him away, forcing him to a safe distance when he exploded. He had been in too much pain to try to find Peter after the explosion. Too wrapped up in himself, like always, to find the person who meant more to him than anyone.
Nathan's phone rang and reluctantly he answered it. "Hello."
"Nathan," came Mohinder's excited voice. "Molly's found him. He's in Ireland."
"I'll be there in an hour," Nathan said, closing the phone before Mohinder could reply.
Nathan stood and headed for the bathroom. Maybe it was time shave.