Disclaimer: Heroes belongs to NBC, Kring, and others who aren't I.
Author's note: Written for the mission_insane prompt, "Prowl." Second part of the Moving series.
Summary: Peter looks for an apartment.
(Fear Of the Future)
There was a lot more to “looking at apartments” than Nathan let on. Peter had gotten out of bed and showered by eight in the morning, and had set out to visit each of the locations Nathan had given him. After three such inspections, Peter found that Nathan’s selections were far too expensive, even if Peter got a job that miraculously paid even the slightest bit higher than what he was qualified for.
He walked out of the third candidate and called Nathan from his cell phone, irked that his brother had already seemingly brushed off his insistence on being at least somewhat in control, and headed toward a café in order to buy something resembling breakfast and possibly look over the paper for apartments that were less extravagant. Nathan picked up after the third ring, and Peter immediately said, “None of them are going to work out for me.”
“What? Why not?” Nathan asked, sounding busy.
“They’re too expensive. There’s no way I’ll be able to manage on my own.” Peter entered the café and slipped into an empty booth.
“Have you forgotten that I’m the one who’s paying the rent?” Nathan’s voice was tired and strained, and it was only quarter ‘til eleven. Peter didn’t want to cause any more trouble for his brother, but he didn’t want his wishes to be disregarded either. “Nathan, I’m supposed to be helping out, remember? And eventually I’m going to have to pay for the place myself.”
“Did you at least ask Anna about the job?”
“Not yet, but I will after I eat something,” Peter replied calmly, “and don’t change the subject; I’m going to find apartments that I think are acceptable. I’ll pick three and call you so you can check ‘em out, and then we’ll go from there.” When Nathan sounded like he was about to argue, Peter added quietly, “Please? I’d like to try being at least a little independent for once, and it’s only fitting, since I’m supposed to be living on my own soon.”
There was a drawn out silence, and then Nathan exhaled in resignation. “Okay, Pete. Be careful, and if you have any questions about anything, don’t trust the supers; call me.” He waited for Peter to make some sort of noise of confirmation, then hung up.
Peter flipped his phone shut and walked the remaining three blocks to the café, wondering how the hell he was going to find an apartment that would be more realistic, but still enough to satisfy Nathan—as if he didn’t already have enough of a migraine. He loved his big brother, more than was considered morally acceptable, but he could be overbearing sometimes, and Peter often wondered if Nathan would ever give him the chance to really grow up, despite his griping for him to do so.
He shook his head as he entered the café, and walked up to the counter to order a lemon bar and a granita, wanting something to combat the rising temperatures. He grabbed one of the newspapers on the faux marble tabletop and settled down on a stool, opening up the paper to the Classifieds so he could try to find a place to live. The task might have been easier if he’d had any idea what to look for—what price could be considered good without the apartment being a pit of absolute suck?
After twenty minutes of surveying his options, Peter had a plain white plate holding a smattering of crumbs, an empty cup with whipped cream residue clinging to the sides, a marked up newspaper, and a very wild head of hair; it could only stand pulling for so long. He rubbed his eyes and stood up, pulling a ten dollar bill out of his pocket and leaving it on the counter next to his empty plate before exiting the building.
Another two hours passed by, and Peter decided once and for all that apartment hunting sucked. He’d only been to see five places that seemed in the realm of future affordability and they were all death traps; he hadn’t needed to call Nathan to see that. He now had one more building to try before giving up and agreeing to one of Nathan’s selections, only deciding to give this one a try because it was near the coffee shop that he was supposed to apply to, and it was his last ditch effort to gain just a little more freedom from his family’s stranglehold—not that he wanted to break off all contact completely.
Just as he was about to walk into the building, his cell phone vibrated against his leg and he took it out of his pocket. Nathan’s name read on the caller ID and he answered reluctantly, not wanting to have to talk about how terribly things were going. “Hey,” he said, nodding to the super as he was let into the building, “what’s up?”
“Have you found anything?” Nathan asked, his tone more than slightly disbelieving.
“I’m looking at a place right now,” Peter replied, a little disgruntled by Nathan’s lack of trust in his ability to find an apartment that wouldn’t be the death of him; even if he had failed so far. “It’s close to Anna’s coffee shop—I could walk there from here.”
“And how does the apartment look?” Nathan asked skeptically.
“The super’s opening the door right now.” Peter made a drum-roll noise with his tongue, then stepped through the doorway. His eyes widened at the minimal amount of stains on the walls and ceiling, and the carpet could use some work, but other than that, the place seemed structurally sound. His brow furrowed as he began to walk around the apartment, taking note of any damages—his brother would look over everything later as well, but he at least wanted to be able to impress him by not selecting a home that would endanger his well-being. He noticed that Nathan had been prompting him for a description, and he said absent-mindedly, “I think… I might have found it, Nate.”
“Are you sure?”
Peter pressed his lips together as he turned around in a slow circle, ignoring the super, who was jangling his keys near the front door. “Maybe. You want to check it out, right?” He grinned wryly at Nathan’s snort, then nodded, peering into what could be his new room. “But I think this is it.”
“All right. Give me the information and I’ll come see it tomorrow during my lunch break.”
“Don’t you need that break to… I don’t know, take a break?” Peter asked, walking over to a window in order to look out at the city.
“I’d just be working on this damned case anyway. Info, now.” Nathan’s speech was slightly muffled, and Peter knew he was trying to eat while working. He gave him the address without any more teasing, appreciating the time that his brother was setting aside to help him out. “Call me as soon as you’ve seen it, okay?” He wasn’t sure why, but he seemed to fit in this apartment, and he hoped that Nathan would approve of it too.
“Sure. Now go get the job at the coffee place,” the older Petrelli ordered, hanging up in a manner that was typically Nathan. Peter rolled his eyes and chuckled, knowing that applying for the position was probably a formality, and he’d be working there by the following week at the most.