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Heroes ficlet - "Somebody That I Used To Know" 
1st-Apr-2007 04:22 pm
Grave Lying
Fandom: Heroes
Title: Somebody That I Used To Know
Author/Artist: decadentdream
Written For: original_lie’s music fic challenge
Prompt: "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Elliot Smith
Characters: Nathan Petrelli (ramblings about Peter)
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Belongs to Tim Kring and all other associated people.
Summary: Nathan faces the knowledge that he may just have lost his little brother. Circa: Ep #12 “Godsend” - Ep #13 “The Fix”
Word Count: 1,046

He sat in that chair day in-day out watching the sleeping form of his brother. Somebody in this position usually lay still in a peaceful slumber, unaware of the world passing by. But not Peter – he seemed to be reliving an anguished nightmare every hour of the past two weeks. And Nathan couldn’t help him. There was no way he could save his brother from the terrifying dreams that plagued his mind. All he could do was sit, and watch, and worry as his stubble grew in rough patches, as doctor’s passed in and out of the room, as his phone rang continuously. He knew he should keep his cell switched off, but he was Nathan Petrelli – man of the people. His political campaign was in full swing, and he was four points behind. To drop off the face of the earth now would widen that gap. He couldn’t risk his career for his family, and yet he always found himself in the situation of having to do so.

But lately it had been Peter’s fault. As much as he loved his brother, he couldn’t stand his insistence that he ‘save the world’. It was some deluded fantasy he held that made him fly halfway across the country and risk life and limb for some girl he didn’t even know. He remembered the state he had found his brother in – weak, bloody, yet still incredibly hyper. And as much as he wanted everything to be okay he found things only got worse for Peter. He collapsed and for once fear struck deep into the core of Nathan’s heart. For all the money, power and influence he held, he could not fix all of Peter’s problems. Now as his brother lay there helpless, attacked by visions in his mind until his heart would give out, Nathan could only watch and wait for his brother’s last breath. But no, that was not going to happen. Not if he could help it. They’d flown the best doctors into the country. One of them had to be able to help him.

Is it true that desperation makes you do crazy things? For it seemed that way with Peter. And now Nathan began to fall under that same spell, if only to understand what was happening to his brother. Empathy had never been a big part of Nathan’s personality – that had always been Peter’s gift. It was strange how his mother encouraged that from Peter, yet when it came to himself she would shut him down, allowing him only to care for whomever she approved of. A little part of him was jealous for that simple freedom Peter had, even if Nathan Petrelli was the child who had all his parent’s love and devotion. He remembered, however, that he and Peter had always stuck together. Compatriots in a feuding war between their two arguing parents. He had always protected Peter, always fought for him, always until this day when now it felt like Peter had thrown his life away. Peter was finally living up to his father’s expectations – wasting his time on things that would not benefit him. Nathan thought Peter would always need him. But on this day, he began to feel he was wrong.

As he returned to the hospital he found his brother was gone. Missing. He did not dare to jump to conclusions. There were no clean sheets; the blankets lay in a state of disarray. Obviously someone had been there not that long ago. Obviously his brother was lying there not that long ago. Passing the window, he saw his mother. He could not believe that Peter had just woken up and walked out. He could not understand how his mother could just let him traipse away. He says he’s gotta get away. He remembered what Peter told him before he passed out. Nathan knows he has to take care of this situation now before Peter abandons his family. Peter is not the big threat he believes himself to be, Nathan is sure of that. And even if he is, if he’s going to blow up New York, Nathan will be there to make sure that doesn’t happen. He’s not going to lose his city. He’s not going to lose his family. After all the tragedy of the past six months, he doesn’t need another life at risk.

His search ends once he finds Peter in his apartment, packing his bags. His younger brother is about to abandon everyone. His younger brother is about to run away from his troubles. But Nathan knows, better than anyone, you can run but you won’t escape the things that haunt you. It was the sole reason he joined the marines – to escape the pressures of his family, to escape the problems he had caused himself. And yet they were still here, once he returned everything was still here. He felt bad about leaving Peter, but their unity had not been severed even by a dozen seas. It was this feeling that assured Nathan he’d always be able to do something for his brother, and he offered help, a way out. He had that genetics professor from India on his side. And yet still Peter ran. Just when Nathan thought he had control of his little brother he lost him again, using his own powers against him to fly out that hallway window.

Now Nathan realized he could do no more to help his brother. As much as he wanted to fix this for Peter, he could do no more. He had been rejected. And like any feeling of rejection, it hurt. He found it hard to accept his brother didn’t need him anymore. That caring little guy who had wept to his older brother when he fell and skinned his knee. That young man who had tried to convince him he could fly. Nathan was angry with him, but he knew he wouldn’t be for long. Once Peter showed up and asked for help he would forgive him. He would do whatever he could to help his brother. Peter was big enough now to make his own decisions, to control his own life. Peter wasn’t who he used to be.

Peter was just somebody that he used to know.

1st-Apr-2007 09:59 am (UTC)
OMG Wow. I didn't expect you to write Nathan fic, but it's absolutely fantastic. You captured the essence than is Nathan Petrelli amazingly well. His feelings, his actions, the reasoning behind those actions. They all make sense.

What I particularly loved where the parts where you mentioned how Angela encouraged the empathy in Peter (was she trying to help him with his power)? and why Nathan joined the army. Because that was never explained in the show and it made me wonder.

Also; the first four sentences of the previous to last paragraph and the final sentence just broke my heart :(

Fantastic fic, I hope you'll write more Nathan. ♥
1st-Apr-2007 10:31 am (UTC)
:( You're awesome ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

I thought it was pretty crap, kind of hard to get going, and just a load of waffle so I didn't bother posting it everywhere, but u made me feel like it was halfway decent and now I did so thank u *hugz*

Um... I wrote Nathan once before and felt completely in the swing of it back then, but without our wonderful show I wasn't sure how well I was doing on it. I did, however, have to rewrite some of it LOL Lucky I skimmed back through Ep 12 to make sure I was referencing things correctly cause apparently I started making stuff up! Nevermind, at least it all went to plan once posted :D

Ummmmmm my Nathan background I shall always thank Parul for letting me into his brain, or at least opening the door and showing me the way. The thing about Angela I actually worked out while I was writing this, remembering back on certain scenes. Like u suggested, I do wonder too whether she was trying to encourage Peter to use his abilities or not. That's an interesting question for the show to answer, especially in light of recent events once Claire showed up.

♥ Glad u liked hon. If I can make myself write more Heroes fic then there shall be more Nathanage in future.
1st-Apr-2007 10:49 am (UTC)
I can't believe you actually even considered that what you wrote is 'pretty crap'. Because it's absolutely not. You have a way with words that I am jealous of. The way your sentences are build up, the way you are able to describe a person or event so perfectly, it's just amazing. And that combined with your ability to place yourself in the character you write for (whether it's all your doing or as you say the result of lenghty discussions with fellow obsessed fans, is besides the point) makes one helluva great fic.

Good to see you started to pimp the story, it's worth pimping ;)
2nd-Apr-2007 09:30 am (UTC)
Um I do. And you're really sweet, I told u that *hugz* But I'll believe u cause I trust you. And that's such a beautiful comment cause u made me all sad-like last night for being so wonderful. ♥ And you know you saying that I place myself in my character totally reminded me of the whole Bianca dying thing back in LMS - to go so far, I amazed even myself, and you guys are the brilliant ones that drove me to such depths so thank u.

And maybe I'll just shut up now. You're such a great friend *mwah*
1st-Apr-2007 10:56 am (UTC)
aww, that was lovely, you captured Nathan really well! I love this softer side of the character that we don't get to see as much on the show and you really did it justice.

Peter was just somebody that he used to know.
loved that line, great finish!
2nd-Apr-2007 09:33 am (UTC)
Thank u :D You can see through Adrian Pasdar's wonderful acting that there's an internal struggle there. He has moments where he shows such fondness and caring, yet still tries to hide it all behind a steely resolve. There's so much we don't know that makes it really interesting to watch.

Thanks for the comment, and I'm glad you liked it :)
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Apr-2007 09:40 am (UTC)
Yes Nathan fic! And I told u it was coming. Better late than never, right? :P Mind you I couldn't quite twist it into the feuding brothers u wanted :( Still I hope it was good enough.

I love all the little details like Nathan talking on the cellphone from that episode are in there.
LOL I was so remembering u commenting on it and I was like "must put that in"

And truly, u captured the whole emphasis there in that little paragraph!

Yeah that scene where they were having that discussion was the one going around in my head, and then I remembered back at the start where she was stealing socks for his attention and he at that time did what she seems to be laying down on him and not caring, but she wasn't happy with that either. It's like she only ever wants him to care about who she approves of (eg. her not Meredith). But in that same scene with Peter she did appear to encourage him to be like he was, but she didn't like him becoming so ambivalent over his powers did she? She was probably the one who put Nathan up to the "mentally unstable brother" thing. Angela likes to be in control of her songs I think *nods*

Sorry it was sad, but at least it was kinda sorta in a good way *hugz* At least it makes you want better things for the guy :D
1st-Apr-2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
LOL, until I understood what "offered solace" and "forgive me" meant! So, I love fics from Nathan's POV, he's so complicated, ambitious and yet very protective over his family, always trying to find the balance between the two, between doing what's right and what's right for him. You've captured his so well, and his feelings towards Peter. I loved it and it seems like both Nathan and I are worried Peter is outgrowing his need for his older brother! Say it ain't so! I love their sibling love and how they're so close and look out for each other! Hope to see more from you.
2nd-Apr-2007 09:47 am (UTC)
LOL sorry bout that :P U know when u said "forgive me" I actually started going down the whole Sylar path and wondering what YOU were talking about? haha Anyway...

Yup that's a great description of Nathan! And yeah, I know, I hold that exact same fear! :O I ♥ Petrelli brother interaction sooooooo much, I don't want to see it go away... which means neither of them can die... cause I said so! (Not that I want anyone to die *weeps*) Well let their sibling love still live on in ficland even if the show does start killing off all our fave characters... (and before you ask I'm only wildly speculating cause I haven't read any spoilers LOL I just really wanna keep everyone)
1st-Apr-2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I loved it. Especially the first and the last paragraph.
You captured Nathan feelings and the whys and hows very well and every fic that gives me goosebumps with its last sentence is a great fic :)
2nd-Apr-2007 09:49 am (UTC)
Aww thank you! I do try to think out every angle as I write *nods* And so glad to hear it gave you goosebumps!! That's so cool to have such a reaction. Thanks for reading & commenting.
2nd-Apr-2007 03:51 am (UTC)
Wow! That was wonderful, Jules! Very bittersweet and nice, I think we older siblings tend to feel that way, like we want to protect our younger sisters/brothers. You showed us how Nathan thinks on the inside, that's a good thing!
2nd-Apr-2007 09:51 am (UTC)
Totally! *high fives* You definately knew what angle I was working on. It's easy to relate older sibling stuff through a story (I'm sure u can relate). I've always said that about older siblings - every one I know is always out to protect their younger brother/sister! ;)
5th-Apr-2007 10:47 am (UTC)
Oh, wow. This is intense. I love it, and at the same time, it makes me want to cry. Nice job. Adding to my memories.
5th-Apr-2007 10:58 am (UTC)
oh wow :$ Never thought it was that memorable haha. Thank you soooo much, you're really kind. I'm glad I could write something that could instigate some ever-changing/intense emotion. Thank you so much.
27th-Apr-2007 05:17 am (UTC)
Marvelous, marvelous, marvelous. I love these "illustrative fics" that expand on what we saw, and give us the emotional resonance that we get in a few brief seconds on screen. (Pasdar is the god of that ability...)

Nice one.
27th-Apr-2007 11:51 am (UTC)
Thank you. :D I always love filling in the gaps and adding weight to what we already know. And yes Pasdar IS brilliant with that *nods* Glad u liked it.
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