sentential: (string theory (hiro))
[personal profile] sentential
title: fixes
fandom: Heroes
pairing: future!Peter/Peter
rating: PG-13
summary: All Peter wants to do is make sure his younger self doesn't turn into him. His younger self is beautiful and whole and he can't bear to let him break all over again.
spoilers/notes: Set in 3x01 and spoilers for that episode and possibly 3x02. The things we don't see after Peter runs into that bathroom. 1125 words



When you catch hold of him in the bathroom stall you can feel the way his heart is racing, you can feel the way his body is screaming out injustice. He still hasn’t seen your face. All he’s seen is the back of your head and a borrowed coat running. You have him pinioned against you. All you had to do was grab him the right way and his back was on your chest, your arm around his neck. You’ve already stopped time but he hasn’t noticed. Why should he have? It makes no difference to him.

He doesn’t struggle much, just says, “You, you shot my brother. You—” and you accommodate him just a little as he cranes to see your face.

He doesn’t have to see much to know. Maybe, he knew all along.

“You—”

He still hasn’t really started struggling. It’s a pity; you wouldn’t have minded a little retribution. You hate him for what he almost did and what he’s going to become. You hate him for becoming this. It’s enough to make you wonder if maybe you did this to save him. (But saving the world sounds so much nobler than saving yourself.)

As it stands, he probably still believes the world is salvageable. As it stands, you’re about to give up believing it wasn’t always irredeemable. This is your last ditch attempt at saving it and all he has to say is: “Why the fuck did you do that to Nathan?”

Sorry, you think, no time for questions. If he weren’t as naïve and incompetent as you know he is, he’d be reading your thoughts.

Really, you have all the time in the world (if you count the minutes when the clocks aren’t ticking as time). And you tell him, nice and calm, “I can’t let you go back in there. There are things I need to do. I’m going to fix everything. I promise.”

“And Nathan? You’re just going to let Nathan die?” He’s yelling and desperate; his hands clasp your arm for the first time.

You want to say ‘collateral’. You want to be that broken, heartless person that he’s going to turn into but you can’t do it. Now, you would never have called your brother collateral. Not in this time, not now, not before everything you ever cared about shattered. You tell yourself it doesn’t matter: Nathan’s worse than dead to him where you’re coming from. Nathan’s better off dying than becoming that. You tell yourself that this time’s going to be different: everything will be better. So you just say, “Hush,” and you kiss his neck. A soft kiss, a brush of lips on skin.

You close your eyes. You want to forget what you’ve just done, everything you’re about to do. Can’t you just have one minute where nothing bad is happening, just a minute where no one you care about is killing someone else you still care about (but shouldn’t). You want him to understand just how perfect the world he lives in is and how you want to keep it that way. You take a deep breath.

He breaks your grip. He takes hold of your arm with both of his and he has it twisted behind your head before you have time to feel anything. You could play at breaking each other’s bones all day. It wouldn’t change anything. It would only make him hate you. You already hate yourself enough already.

So, you screw your eyes up even tighter and you both disappear.

Somewhere in the shift, somewhere in the ‘I want to be in this place, in this time’, you’re the one who’s got his hands behind his back.

He asks: “Where the hell is this?”

You tell him that it doesn’t matter—because it doesn’t. It’ll all be over soon. You’ll fix it all and then he can go back to his life and make it better this time. All you want for him is that he doesn’t have to live your life.

You have his wrists in your hands but there’s just one thing you have to do, one thing before you lock him up safe. You shift your grip. You remove one of your hands from around his wrists.

With your free hand you touch his face, you trace a line across the bridge of his nose like braille. There’s nothing there. You want to pretend that this is your face. It is your face. There is no scar. This could be you. This is you. You wish you could wake up every morning, touch your face and feel that, that nothing. The fact that he has no scar means his soul isn’t in pieces yet. Everything is salvageable.

Of course, he breaks your grip. Two hands always were going to beat one—even if you’re stronger now and faster and more willing to use these things to your advantage.

He turns to face you and he just looks at you. Just looks. You’d expected him to throw you against a wall at least, try to take the upper hand. But all he does is look at you. You weren’t ready for that.

You stare into your own eyes. You smile. You say: “Sorry Peter.” And you put him where no one will think to look, where no one will believe him and no one will ever dare to let him out. You say: “Sorry, but I have to fix what you did.”


You don’t regret what you’ve done, not at first. You don’t consider that you might be doing everything wrong. You’re getting it wrong all over again and you don’t even notice. You don’t notice because you’re so busy pretending to be him that you actually become him.

You become foolish all over again.

You’re foolish and Claire still treats you as though you can do anything, as though you have the answers, even after you’ve ruined it all over again. And Nathan, Nathan looks you in the eye and smiles. You swear you’ll fix it. It should always be like this. Teetering on the edge of disaster but never falling in. If you just stopped time, right here, everything could be alright forever. But that’s not what you came back for. You have to fix it all. You have to fix yourself so you don’t have to become yourself. Really, that’s all that matters. You want to be foolish and naïve forever and you don’t want to watch anyone die or see anyone break. You can’t bear the idea of having to watch them die all over again. You have no choice but to fix it so that he doesn’t have to feel like he deserves that scar, that he wants worse than it.
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