Disclaimer: Nathan and Peter do not belong to me, but I do own the dirty things that my mind makes them do.
Author's note: Written for the mission_insane prompt, "Sun." Once again, I give scads of thanks to oh_mcgee for her encouragement and feedback, for without it this story would not exist.
Summary: Peter eventually finds that he is willing to live out his relationship with his brother on Nathan's terms.
Despite years of scrambling to finish homework on time and last-minute cram sessions, it still took Peter by surprise every time he not only managed to pass an exam, but fly through it without breaking a sweat. He left his chemistry class early, amazed yet again that studying actually paid off, and stepped out into the sunny, albeit chilly, October day. Instead of walking across the campus to the coffee stand to get his usual lunch and eat it all by himself, he decided to call Nathan in order to share his triumph. He fished his cell phone out of his messenger bag and flipped it open, scrolling down to select his brother’s office number.
The phone rang twice before Nathan’s secretary—office assistant, Peter corrected himself mentally—answered the phone. “Hey, Lisa,” he said. “Is Nathan available?”
“Hi, Peter.” Lisa sounded harried, but good-natured all the same. “I’ll transfer your call.”
“Okay, thanks.” Peter shifted the weight of his messenger bag on his shoulder, trying to settle it in a more comfortable position. He waited for Nathan to pick up, looking around him as he kicked at a pebble. After a couple of minutes, Peter heard a click, and then Nathan’s tired voice asked, “What do you want?”
“Lunch. I just finished a test I thought was going to kill me. I was wondering if you wanted to celebrate.” Peter held his breath, half-expecting Nathan to turn down the offer. He heard Nathan sigh on the other line and was just about to downplay his offer when the older Petrelli said, “Sure. How’s two o’clock sound?”
Peter grinned broadly, knowing he probably looked ridiculous to passersby and not caring in the least. “That’s great. I’ll be at your office at quarter ‘til.” He hung up before Nathan could tell him to just meet him someplace, and turned off his phone. He tucked his hair behind his ear and shoved his cell back into his messenger bag, then slowly made his way off campus.
He hailed a cab and slipped inside, flopping down onto the seat. He gave the driver the address and leaned back, looking outside at the busy city street. It had been awhile since he and Nathan had spent some time together, what with Peter’s increasing amounts of homework, and Nathan’s pressing case work as well as a family to take care of. And, sure, they’d have their tri-weekly ten minute phone calls, but Peter missed having one-on-one time with his big brother.
When the taxi pulled up in front of Nathan’s building, Peter paid the driver and hurried inside, noting that they’d have to go to a cheap restaurant if he wanted to be able to pay for his own meal. He pressed the “up” button on the elevator, rocking back and forth on his heels as he waited for the doors to slide open. A few seconds later, the elevator pinged and Peter stepped inside, pressing the number of Nathan’s floor and leaning back against the wall as he ascended toward his destination. He slowed down his breathing, trying to calm his nerves.
The elevator pinged and Peter stepped out, pleased that a foolish smile was no longer trying to split his face in half. He ambled over to Lisa’s desk and gave her a wave in greeting before knocking on Nathan’s door. He could see his brother inside, standing in front of his window while he talked on the phone with someone about something important, looking over a file as he did so.
At Peter’s knock, Nathan half-turned, meeting his younger brother’s eyes with his own, then motioned for him to wait a minute before turning back to the window, still conversing with whoever was on the other line. Peter rolled his eyes and went back to Lisa’s desk. “How’re the kids?” he asked, tapping a picture of Lisa’s two daughters.
Lisa smiled up at Peter. “They’re all right. Carrie’s starting to get the sniffles though.”
“Aw.” Peter reached into his messenger bag and pulled out a travel-size pack of Kleenex. “Give those to her. They’re the really soft kind.”
Lisa laughed. “Thanks, Peter. I’ll tell her they’re from you.”
Peter talked to Lisa for a few minutes more until Nathan finally came out of his office. “Okay, I’m going out to lunch,” he announced, shrugging into his coat. “If Harrison calls again, tell him it’s being taken care of.” He approached Peter’s side and placed his hand on his shoulder. “Ready to go?” he asked. Peter nodded, and Nathan clapped his shoulder. “Then let’s get going.”
Peter held back a frown, wishing that Nathan didn’t see spending time with his brother as such a chore, but followed the older man out of the office and then out of the building. “You want to go to that pizzeria near the new age shop?” Peter asked.
Nathan snorted. “That hellhole?” He shook his head and waved for a taxi. “I thought we’d go get food that’s edible.” Peter almost groaned; Nathan’s idea of “edible” typically involved a menu with appetizers that cleaned out the younger Petrelli’s wallet for a week, but he didn’t want to admit that he was struggling to keep food in the fridge.
Thirty minutes later found Peter’s face falling in dismay as he looked over the prices of the appetizers—so maybe he’d just get something to drink instead. But when their waiter came to their table, Nathan ordered for both of them, his eyes locking with Peter’s authoritatively as he said what they wanted. When the man seated across from him looked like he might object, Nathan tapped his fingers once on the table—a mannerism that had always commanded obedience from Peter when he was younger—while finishing their order.
As soon as they were alone again, Peter glared at him. “I can pay for myself, Nathan,” he insisted. “I’m not helpless.”
“You haven’t looked past the appetizers page and I could hear you trying to figure out just how much you could afford to spend in order to convince me you didn’t need money without having to go hungry this week.” Nathan held up a hand when Peter tried to negate his statement. “Just let me pay for this and you can worry about eating for the rest of the week, okay?”
Peter hesitated a few seconds, then nodded reluctantly. “I’ll pay for my own cab fare,” he offered, not willing to be completely dependent on his brother. Nathan just smiled in a fashion that was almost patronizing and shifted the conversation to Peter’s schooling. Peter kept his answers noncommittal, not wanting his brother to make him feel like a solid B average wasn’t something he should be satisfied with. When Nathan was assured that Peter wasn’t flunking out of college, he changed the subject again to Heidi and Simon; Peter only half listened, wondering why his brother was being so distant.
Their food arrived and they began eating, an almost uncomfortable silence stretching out between them as they each thought of something to say. Eventually, Nathan said, “Ma misses you,” squeezing the statement in between bites.
“I call her every other day, and I see her more than I see you.” Peter fiddled with his napkin. “And the attempt to get me to visit Dad was lame, Nathan. You can do better.”
“Come on, Peter; he wants to see you.” Nathan wouldn’t meet his eyes completely, looking as if he wanted to tear at his napkin as well, but forcing himself to retain his superior composure.
Peter kept his eyes fixed on the table. “Yeah, well he could call for once, or bother to say a few words to me when I call. And he’s been to my apartment a grand total of zero times.” He laughed humorlessly. “He really does want to see me, doesn’t he?”
“Peter…” Nathan began softly.
“Just let it go, Nathan,” Peter said tiredly, not wanting to think about his lagging relationship with their father. Nathan pursed his lips, looking like he wanted to pursue the topic further, but finally cleared his throat and moved on. “So, have you had time to do anything fun?” he asked jokingly.
Peter was glad that Nathan had decided to drop the Annoying Big Brother act, for the time being. Feeling especially bold and a little desperate, now that their meal was almost finished, Peter leaned forward in his chair just a bit and stretched his hand out so that his fingers were almost touching Nathan’s. “Depends on what your idea of fun is,” he said, eyebrow raised suggestively.
Nathan’s eyes widened, then narrowed. “Peter…” he started warningly.
Peter’s eyes widened innocently, but his lips were curled upward in a sly smirk. “But I thought you wanted to talk about having fun?”
“We’re not going to talk about this here, Peter,” Nathan said shortly, purposefully withdrawing his hand from the table when the younger man’s fingers stretched forward a bit more.
“So we can talk about it someplace else?” Peter lowered his voice, trying to convey his desire to his brother. “I miss you, Nate.”
“Let it go, Pete.” Nathan’s tone was sharp. “Now is not the time.” He speared a piece of asparagus and chewed it particularly viciously, eyes hard as they scanned the room, taking in everything but his brother. “We can’t keep doing this, don’t you see that? It’s wrong, Peter.”
Peter’s teeth clenched together and his hand balled into a fist. “Wrong.” He closed his eyes tightly, breathing heavily through his nostrils, then looked at Nathan. “Fine. Thanks for lunch.” He stood up and stalked out of the restaurant, ramming his hands into the pockets of his jeans and keeping them there until he was home so he wouldn’t punch something or rip his hair out. Even so, when he faced the door to his apartment, his hands were shaking so much that he could barely grip his keys, and he had trouble finding the lock from the tears blurring his vision.
He stumbled inside and slammed the door behind him, then threw his messenger bag on the floor and kicked it across the room before turning to the wall and punching it repeatedly until his knuckles were numb and raw. He then picked up his messenger bag and proceeded to sling it against the couch until his arms were sore and his breaths were labored. “Fuck,” he gasped, bending over and placing his hands on his knees. “Fuck.”
Peter straightened and ran his hands through his hair, inhaling deeply as he tried to calm himself down. “Just… breathe,” he mumbled to himself, flopping down onto the couch. He rubbed his eyes, wiping the tears away, and leaned back into the furniture, stretching out his legs onto the floor. He remained still, staring up at the ceiling as a myriad of emotions rushed through him.
When he felt like hours had passed him by, Peter threw a glance at the digital clock on his VCR, then flinched when he saw that it was only quarter after four. He grimaced and sat up, massaging his temples with his knuckles, then stood up and stretched. “Just ‘cause you aren’t with Nathan doesn’t mean your life has to stop,” he chastised himself under his breath, purposefully keeping his eyes from crossing any pictures with his big brother in them. “You’ve got plenty of other things to do today.” He ignored the constricted sensation in his throat and opened the bathroom closet, pulling out a large Tupperware marked, “Cleaning Stuff.”
Working on pent up emotion, Peter managed to clean every inch of his apartment in five hours, even managing to scrub spots off the walls and remove cobwebs with a damp rag. The only task he neglected to do was Windex his picture frames, still refusing to look at Nathan’s face. He finished off his belated spring cleaning by throwing all of his trash bags into the dumpster outside the building, then went back upstairs and stepped into his freshly cleaned apartment, finding it seemingly larger than it was before. He’d also found a total of fifty bucks lying around in singles and change.
Folding up the money and sticking it into his front pants pocket, Peter went outside and trudged toward the nearest grocery store, eventually managing to flag down a taxi to get him there.
He walked through the automatic sliding doors of the store, grabbing a basket and approached the aisles. After ten minutes of perusing the shelves, Peter waited at the check-out stand while a cashier rang up a pint of coffee ice cream, a package of generic brand chocolate chip cookies, a box of cocoa packets, a bottle of peppermint extract, and a can of rainbow chip frosting. Each blip of the scanner reminded Peter of just how pathetic he was being, but at this point in time he didn’t care all that much. He paid the cashier, then made his way back home.
By the time he entered his apartment again, it was five after ten, and he was nowhere near being ready to sleep. He locked his door and turned off all the lights, then closed all of the blinds. He took off his jeans and stretched out on the couch, scratching his chest under his plain white cotton tee. Picking up the remote, Peter turned on the TV and started flipping through channels. There wasn’t much to choose from; just old sitcoms and some paid programming, but he didn’t plan on paying much attention to the shows anyway.
Another hour dragged by, and Peter quickly finished off his junk food while learning about an amazing offer for a three CD set featuring hits by the greatest artists of soul of all time. He let the empty container of frosting drop to the floor next to the crumpled package of cookies, the hollowed ice cream container, and the mug that had once held hot peppermint chocolate. Wanting to quell the empty feeling in his chest, he got up from the couch and padded softly to the kitchen in order to grab a beer; drinking had never really helped him before, but he felt the need to be at least a little melodramatic—he didn’t have any plans, after all.
Around one o’clock, he could no longer keep his eyes open as the TV screen flashed images of jewelry for sale. “Well, at least you passed that test,” Peter muttered, rolling off of the couch onto his knees so he could reach out and turn off the TV. The picture cut off with a click, leaving Peter in darkness. He rose to his feet and went to his bedroom, stumbling a few times as he grew accustomed to the lack of clutter in his apartment. He peeled off his shirt and fell onto the bed, pulling up the sheet with one hand as he curled up on his side, drifting off to sleep almost instantly.
About two hours later, when the digital clock on Peter’s nightstand repeatedly flashed 3:05 in a dull red, a key was inserted into the lock of his door and Nathan pushed it open slowly, slipping into the apartment and closing and locking the door behind him quietly. He heard his younger brother’s snores from the bedroom and grinned wickedly, hanging his coat up on the hooks he’d helped install the day the youngest Petrelli had moved in.
He frowned a little as he navigated his way to the bedroom, noting that he didn’t have to avoid clothes, plates, boxes, or books like he usually did, but managed to achieve his destination with ease and began to strip, draping his clothes over a chair situated near the bedroom door. When Nathan was completely naked, he snuck over to the bed and gently lifted up the sheet, slipping smoothly underneath so he was propped up on the mattress behind his brother. He continued to hold up the sheet, taking in the sight of the other man before him, and reached out with his free hand to lightly trace the pale skin along the spine.
When his fingers reached Peter’s boxer briefs, just below the cleft where back met buttocks, Nathan hooked them below the waistband of Peter’s underwear and stroked his index finger along the crevice of his ass, stopping just above his hole and applying the slightest bit of pressure, making the younger man stir in his sleep. Nathan chuckled softly, then tugged the boxer briefs down a couple of inches so that a bit of Peter was exposed. He bent down and pressed a kiss to the small swell of each cheek, then licked a stripe along the trail his finger had just made moments before. This time, Peter moaned and wriggled back against Nathan’s mouth, still caught up in his dreams. Nathan grinned in satisfaction, then managed to slide Peter’s underwear off, leaving the younger man completely exposed.
Nathan lifted his hand to his mouth and coated it with saliva, then reached out and palmed one cheek, squeezing lightly as he shifted on the bed so his chest came into contact with Peter’s back. “Beautiful, Peter,” he whispered, gently slipping one finger through Peter’s entrance and brushing it against Peter’s prostate.
Peter gasped and snapped out straight on the bed, rolling back against the older man. He reached behind him, blinking, and touched Nathan’s forearm. “Nathan?” he asked groggily, still hazy from sleep.
“Ssh.” Nathan leaned forward and kissed Peter lazily, reveling in the pliancy of the younger man’s lips as he struggled to wake up completely. “Just relax, Pete. I’m here.” He kissed Peter again, then put his free hand on Peter’s back and pushed so that his brother was tilted forward, still on his side. When Peter seemed about to say more, trying to turn himself around to an angle that would allow him to see the man behind him, Nathan added a second finger to Peter’s hole and spread him open. He watched Peter bite his lip and arch his back before snapping back against himself, trying to press back against Nathan’s fingers.
“God,” Peter choked, already biting down on his fist, wanting to tell Nathan to leave but instead finding himself silently begging for more—he had opened his eyes to find himself already achingly hard. “You—”
“I said be quiet, Peter,” Nathan commanded, inserting a third finger. Peter groaned and clutched the edge of the mattress with his free hand while he bit down painfully on the other. “We don’t want to wake the neighbors, do we?” He used his left hand to hold Peter in place, preventing him from turning around or pushing back. “Hold still.” Peter whined, drawing blood from his hand as his teeth broke the skin.
When Nathan was sure that Peter couldn’t take anymore, he pulled out his fingers and used them to spread pre-come over his cock, sucking in a patch of skin on Peter’s shoulder blade into his mouth and biting down hard enough to bruise. He licked the spot, dragging a whimper from his brother’s lips, then murmured, “Good boy.” He propped himself up on one elbow and looped his other arm around Peter’s torso, pulling the younger man back until they were flush against each other. “No noise,” he warned again, removing his arm from Peter’s waist so he could bend Peter’s leg and push it forward for easier access, “or I’ll stop.”
Peter shuddered and nodded in understanding, and Nathan licked his lips in anticipation as he lined up his dick with his brother’s hole. When the velvet-soft flesh penetrated him the slightest bit, Peter inched his hips back minimally, trying to instill more friction between himself and the older man. He yelped when a hand slapped his ass sharply, making his cock twitch against his belly. “I said don’t move,” Nathan said shortly.
The older Petrelli bit down on his lower lip and slowly pushed into Peter’s entrance just a little bit more, his eyes fluttering shut at the contact. He clamped his fingers into the mattress as he forced himself to act slowly, entering in smoothly until he was buried to the hilt. He made a sound of approval that was akin to a purr, then pulled out in order to glide back in, maintaining his achingly sluggish pace.
Peter tried to buck against him again, his body pleading to be split open, but Nathan returned his hand to the younger man’s shoulder to keep him in position. “Peter,” he said gently, the domination in his tone making Peter shiver and inhale sharply; however, he remained still. Nathan grinned, his teeth bared like a predator’s fangs, and nipped at Peter’s earlobe before biting down hard on the sensitive curve where shoulder and neck connected, making the man in front of him squeal softly. He pressed a wet, gentle kiss to the angry wound when Peter stayed in place, the effort making him shake violently as Nathan continued to fuck him languidly.
“Is this what you wanted, Peter?” Nathan asked eventually, his voice deep and husky with desire. “Am I giving you what you wanted?”
Peter had forgotten about all of his anger, nodding frantically as he sucked in blood from the gashes in his hand. He let out a cry of assent when Nathan reached around to pinch his balls. Nathan’s tongue drew a line up Peter’s neck and he kissed his hairline, and Peter spat out a curse over his hand, reaching down with the other to touch himself. He choked on a sob of frustration when Nathan spanked him again, making his skin red. “You don’t move,” he growled. He continued to hold Peter relatively still, slipping in and out so softly that Peter started to cry, tears slipping down his cheeks and onto the pillowcase.
“Do you want me, Peter?” Nathan asked, rasping as he struggled to maintain his steady rhythm. “Do you want me like this?” He ran his hand along Peter’s back, feeling the smooth, taut skin undulate beneath it. When his fingers reached the sharp angle of Peter’s hip, he gripped it roughly and halted mid-thrust, still half-inside Peter. “Or do you want me like this?” He rammed into his brother, relishing the muffled scream that Peter emitted into the pillow.
Nathan proceeded to slam into his brother, picking up speed as he finally let himself go as well. Feeling the sobs wracking Peter’s body, Nathan reached around his brother and took hold of his dick and began to stroke him, alternating rhythms until Peter was a babbling mess, forgetting that he was supposed to be silent and motionless. “Guh—” he grunted, gripping the bed as one of Nathan’s thrusts nearly sent him flying over the edge and onto the floor. “Please, Na—a—than… agh!” he shrieked, just barely managing to shove his face into the pillow in time.
Nathan pressed a hurried kiss to Peter’s cheek, then whispered, “Okay, baby, come with me.” He jacked Peter off in long, rapid strokes as his hips jack hammered. He felt Peter’s come shoot out of his dick to stain the bedding as well as the floor, and then his eyes rolled back in his head as he came as well, biting his tongue to keep himself from screaming his brother’s name.
His arm finally gave out from the strain of supporting his weight and he dropped down onto the bed behind his brother. He looped his arms around his brothers waist and pulled him in close so they were spooning. He breathed a sigh of relief and closed his eyes, inhaling Peter’s scent as he petted the skin above his navel.
After several minutes ticked by, Peter stirred, but didn’t turn around to face his brother. “Why did you come tonight, Nathan?” he asked, voice soft—more curious than bitter.
Nathan kissed Peter’s neck again, trailing one of his hands up between the younger man’s ribs to rest at the middle of his chest. “You asked me to.” He moved his hand to Peter’s hair, carding through his fingers as he willed Peter to let the subject go.
Peter sensed Nathan’s reluctance to discuss the matter and stopped pursuing it—he didn’t want to scare his brother away. Instead, he caught Nathan’s hand with his own and pulled it to his lips to kiss the palm. “Love you, Nate.”
“I love you, too, Pete.” Nathan continued to stay in bed with Peter for a while longer before propping himself up again, releasing his brother from his embrace. “I’ve got to get back home,” he said, yawning. “I’m going to use your shower.” He pushed down on Peter’s shoulder so that the younger man was lying on his back, then bent over and kissed him softly, nipping at his lower lip as he pulled away. “I’ll call you this afternoon.” He pulled away and stood up, grabbing his clothes and going to the bathroom in order to clean up.
Peter followed Nathan with his eyes, knowing that his brother didn’t want him in the shower with him—Nathan had to rebuild his walls and prepare to be a family man again. The younger Petrelli exhaled slowly, feeling neither contentment nor disappointment as he heard the water turn on; this was the way things worked between them. Nathan would see him only when he was ready, and would leave on his own terms, but Peter was all right with that—most of the time—because he just got to be with Nathan.
He wasn’t bothered all that much when Nathan said no; he understood that he wasn’t being rejected personally. What Nathan was turning away from every time he told Peter that what they did was wrong was himself. Or rather, the truth about himself—Nathan wanted his brother, but he was only willing to acknowledge this deep into the night, when his need was overpowering.
Peter glanced at the digital clock on his nightstand, squinting against the dull red lights that flashed the time at him: four o’clock. The sun would be coming up in three hours, but Nathan would make it home in time; Nathan had had plenty of practice. And when the light of day would touch his big brother’s skin and grace his eyes, his mask would be set firmly back in place, and he would once again be an all-American, wholesome family man, the Golden Boy of the Petrelli family.
Rolling back over onto his side and curling into himself again, Peter began to fall asleep again, his eyelids drooping as his breathing slowed. He wasn’t concerned about Nathan’s façade; the next time the sun went down and left Nathan wanting, he’d come back. Peter’s lips stretched in a tired smirk as the last few coherent thoughts swirled lazily about his mind. It was funny that it took the absence of the sun for his brother to see how things really were; the expression was to “shed some light on the situation,” but Peter was convinced that it was only under the cover of darkness that people allowed their true selves to emerge.
Nathan came out of the bathroom, fully dressed and looking like he hadn’t just fucked his brother senseless. He strode over to the bed and sat down beside Peter, observing the younger man as he slipped back into unconsciousness. “G’night, Pete,” he whispered, smoothing his brother’s long hair away from his forehead before dipping his head to kiss the cool skin there, now salty with dried sweat. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” He stood up and exited the apartment, shrugging into his coat as he locked the door and hurried to his car, returning to his wife and child with a mixture of eagerness and dread.