Characters/Pairings: Nathan, Peter
Spoilers: Pre-series, just after Peter’s college graduation
Warnings: implications of emotional abuse, maybe a smidgen of slashy, incestual overtones if you squint
Disclaimer: Heroes belongs to Tim Kring, NBC et al.
A/N: Written for brighteyed_jill, who wanted some hurt/comfort
Summary: Nathan hopes he can give Peter just enough of what he needs.
Through dint of a having a lifetime of Peter-wrangling to fall back on, Nathan managed to get Peter back to his apartment before the expected outburst erupted, like steam from the cranky radiator in his living room.
"He didn't even send a card. I know he wouldn't be at graduation, but I thought he'd at least send... I don't know, a form letter or something!" Peter slammed the door behind him hard enough to rattle it in its frame, and nearly ripped his graduation robe getting it over his head.
Nathan pulled Peter into his bedroom before his neighbors could complain about his arguing with the paper-thin walls in his apartment. Peter was alternating between the red flush of anger and the darker one of embarrassment, of having looked out into the audience as he walked across the stage and not seeing a single one of the Petrelli family there to wish him well. The diploma he’d received hadn’t been in law, but medicine, and Peter had remained hopeful that maybe, just once, someone would have been there for him.
That Dad would have been there for him. Even if it was just to berate him again for wasting his potential. That maybe this time he’d at least try to see Peter. Nathan sighed; it wasn’t like Dad had ever really shown much affection towards Peter, not nearly as much as Mom, or even him. Hell, Nathan had raised Peter as much or more than Dad. But after all the time and effort Peter had put towards pursuing his dream, he’d thought that maybe diligence might have impressed their father where nothing else had.
It was just the straw to break the camel’s back. Nathan knew how that felt.
Nathan felt his jaw clench at the memory and forced himself to relax as he put his arm around Peter’s shoulder.
"He wasn't at mine either," Nathan said.
"Bullshit," Peter said, not looking at him.
"Pete... he expected that of me. He expected me to graduate. It's not enough to just... meet expectations."
"We gotta be extraordinary," Peter said bitterly.
"You are," Nathan said, and looked away quickly, as if not quite certain he'd let that slip out.
Peter looked over at him and slipped his arm around Nathan’s waist, pulling them a little tighter together.
“You are too. I’m never going to be able to handle Dad, not like you,” Peter said.
“I’m not sure that’s a good thing, Pete,” Nathan said self-deprecatingly. “He’s a hard act to follow.”
“I couldn’t. Follow,” Peter clarified, and leaned his head against Nathan’s shoulder. Nathan leaned down and kissed the top of his head, holding his brother close.
“I’m proud of you, Pete,” Nathan said, knowing it was what Peter needed to hear at least once in his life. He practically felt Peter’s whole body smile against him. “Don’t mess it up now, got it?”
“I’ll try,” Peter said into the comfort of Nathan’s shirt.
That was about the best they both could do. And both hoped it would be just enough.