spongetastic: (Blood)
[personal profile] spongetastic
Originally written in 2008

When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained


Eventually all bars looked about the same. Same basic layout, same air, same feeling. Whether it was a pub in England or a bar in Las Vegas, it all came down to the drink in your hand. Locale didn't make a damn bit of difference. The feel of the glass in his hand, the taste of alcohol as it ran across his tongue... those things didn't change.

In a world gone to hell, it was good to know he had little things like that he could depend on.

His eyes scanned this evening's crowd. Rather small, but it usually was on a week day at two in the morning. Only one other person besides himself and the barkeep seemed to be aware, and it was a gentleman sitting alone at a table. Their eyes met across the room and the gentleman gave him a polite nod before knocking down his drink. The table had several other empty glasses.

Intrigued, he pulled away from the bar and approached the stranger. He usually didn't talk to people but it wasn't every day he saw someone who could hold their liquor like that.

"Looks like you've had a lot to drink," he observed.

"So have you," the stranger replied in an English accent. "I was watching." This little confession didn't bother him very much. He was used to people staring at him. He had a fucking scar over his face. Who would blame them for staring? "Are you supposed to be the bouncer... Bruce?"

"What?" The Englishman wordlessly pointed to the nametag that the other forgot he was still wearing. Feeling stupid, he pulled it off. "No, I'm not a bouncer. I'm a bartender."

"Ah... I thought bartenders weren't allowed to drink on the job."

"I'm on break," he said shortly. The Englishman just smiled, propping his legs up on an empty chair. He looked fairly young, possibly in his early thirties, with blonde hair and wearing a casual jean and leather jacket combo. Perhaps it was the accent or the casual way he had knocked down all those drinks, but there was something in this stranger that was very attractive. Especially the eyes. He found himself staring into those eyes.

"Not that you asked," the Englishman drawled, "but my name is Alex."

"Oh, right. Nice to meet you." He held out his hand to shake the other man's. His social interaction skills were basically extinct, but this didn't seem to bother his new acquaintance. Which was a refreshing change.

But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same


This was the first person Peter even thought of as a "friend" since the explosion. He never really allowed himself to get close enough to people. Even with Niki there was a distance. But with Alex, something was different. Peter saw the same distance in the man's eyes that he saw every morning in his reflection. They were both disconnected and that was what connected them.

At first they simply "happened" to be in the same place at the same time, so they would sit together. There wasn't much talking since Peter wasn't good at it anymore. Having companionship was enough for both of them. It was Alex who broke the ice first, in the most unexpected way.

"Obviously I'm not originally from Las Vegas. I highly doubt anyone here is. Until a few years ago, I was living in New York." Those two words took Peter by surprise enough for him to spit out his drink.

"New York?" he repeated. "So you were--"

"Yes," Alex replied. "The explosion." He took a sip of his drink.

"You survived," Peter said blankly.

"Indeed I did. You could say that makes me... special." The way he emphasized the word made Peter think he meant more by that. Like "special" in the way that could get him hunted by the government.

That was all it took for their connection to solidify. They exchanged cell phone numbers and called each other at the most bizarre hours. When he was supposed to be sleeping next to Niki Peter instead was in the other room talking to Alex. They started with New York since they had the place in common. One would mention a place and the other would recognize it. They discussed New Year's in Times Square, attending shows on Broadway, walking through Central Park, the sites of Greenwich Village, Queens, the Bronx...

Talking about his last home with someone who knew it as well as he made him feel less lonely. They skirted past the topic of the explosion and moved on to other things. Peter found himself admitting he was once a nurse and Alex revealed he had been a co-founder for a large company. These days Alex worked as a professional gambler. When Peter expressed interest in what exactly that entailed, he was taken to a casino where he was amazed at how good Alex was at card games.

"Is it telepathy?" he asked the man. "Are you reading their minds?"

"No. I've just had many years of experience." It struck Peter then that he had no idea what Alex could do, but of course Alex didn't even know Peter's real name.

It didn't matter. Peter found someone he could talk to, could be with, and slowly he was warming up. Niki saw it and was pleased Peter finally seemed to be letting the world in again.

'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain


The city never slept. Peter didn't get much, either, and apparently neither did Alex. That was the world they lived in now. Peter glanced at his watch. It amazed him how he could lose track of time when he was with Alex. Thunder rolled threateningly overhead, and drops of rain started to fall.

"Ah, damn," Alex swore. "We'd best hurry along." They weren't actually going anywhere but both picked up their pace all the same. Luckily there were plenty of buildings to take cover in. Peter took the lead, jaywalking across a busy street. Alex quickly grabbed him and pulled him out of the way of an approaching car.

Peter found himself in Alex's arms with the rain still coming down on their heads. Instinctively he tensed up; intimate contact made him uncomfortable. Alex wasn't in a hurry to let him go, however. He was looking down on the scarred man with a thoughtful look in his eyes. Peter tilted his head up to match the gaze.

Both of them moved at the same time. Peter's hands reached up to touch the other man's face just in time for Alex to bend his head down. Their lips connected and without a thought Peter turned invisible so they could have the moment in privacy. The kiss felt right. It was almost as if he'd been expecting it ever since they met that night in the bar.

It ended only when they needed to breathe. "Well...," Alex said with a breathless laugh. "That was a pleasant surprise." Peter felt his lips twitch into the slightest of smiles.

We've been through this
Such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain


Alex's flat was equipped with the best a bachelor could buy. He even had a pool table. They went through the pretense of touring the place. Before long Peter was attacking the man in bruising kisses. Alex's hands slid up between them to wrestle off Peter's shirt. Peter had no idea what the fuck he was doing. Only that he needed this. Alex bit his lip and he bit back, breathing heavily against the other man's mouth.

Clothes started landing in piles on the floor. Alex left his mouth to press his lips against Peter's neck. His teeth grazed across the scarred man's skin gently at first, and then harder. Peter moaned, his fingernails digging hard into Alex's back leaving angry red marks behind. The way Alex's hands ran over him made his body shiver in excitement. Usually he was quiet during foreplay but Alex drew the noises right out.

The Brit forced him down on the floor. He ran his hand along Peter's thigh and gave the scarred man a questioning look. He didn't have to ask; Peter knew what he wanted. He nodded his head. It was all Alex needed. His body felt like it was burning in impatience and Alex's fingers weren't enough.

"Shit," he breathed. "Just do it. I'll heal."

"All right," Alex conceded. And he did, penetrating into Peter's body. The empath threw back his head with a loud groan. "Oh... god," Alex breathed. Peter had to smile a little; those were his thoughts exactly.

Sex with Niki was never like this. This was rough and intense and oddly freeing. Alex set the tone with the way he rocked into Peter, how his hands moved, how his mouth felt. When Peter bit his ear it was greeted with a pleased moan. Alex pulled the other man's legs up around his hips to get better leverage. Peter hooked an arm around Alex's neck so that each time he came down, Peter could pull himself up.

Then Alex was touching him between his legs. His whole body jerked in surprise. "Fuck," he hissed out. "Don't stop," he warned, before Alex could move his hand away. Peter had no clue what to do on his end except to keep up the rough kisses Alex seemed to like so well. One time when Alex moved it felt like Peter's brain was exploding in white bursts of pleasure.

"Bruce?" Alex purred out questioningly. And that killed the mood.

"Don't call me that. My real name is Peter."

"Peter," Alex repeated. The way his own name was spoken by that voice... God. He pulled Alex down for a kiss which sparked the mood back up. Alex couldn't go fast enough, Peter couldn't get enough skin, they couldn't kiss passionate enough, it didn't last long enough. When it was over they rested still pressed up close together on the floor. Peter wasn't looking forward to getting up and going out there.

"You're bleeding," he noted, lifting a hand to touch Alex's ear. The man responded with a wry smile, pulling Peter in for a kiss.

"It's all right," he said. "I'll heal."

But lovers always come
And lovers always go
And no one's really sure
Who's lettin' go today
Walking away


"Where is she?" Those were the first words that greeted him from Alex's lips. He glanced up and stared wordlessly at the Englishman. This was only the second time Alex had ever been to his place. The first was when they were still friends. As usual, neither of them had to speak. Alex seemed to understand everything from the look in Peter's eyes. Alex moved to sit next to the scarred man, pouring himself a drink. Peter was already nursing one.

"I still have your shirt," Peter mentioned. "When she asked me where mine was, I didn't lie to her. I told her I left it at your place."

"You don't seem too broken up about it," Alex observed thoughtfully.

"I guess I'm detached," Peter agreed. "Have been ever since the explosion." He took a sip of his drink, and felt compelled to keep talking. "If we met before, you'd hardly recognize me now. I was so full of hope back then. Stupid dreamy kid with hopes of a bright future. Fuck that." He concluded the thought by emptying his glass.

"I've been detached as well. Though for a much longer time." Peter glanced sideways at the man. He had sensed that about Alex the moment they met, but neither had ever talked about it before now. "I think that's why I like you, Peter. You're the only person I've met who knows how it feels to lose everything."

Peter quietly moved closer to his lover, stroking the man's cheek. "It hurt to feel. Drinking was the only thing I could do to get away from it. Then you came along." He bit his lip hesitantly. "I never let anyone get too close to me, not even Niki. I'm so fucking scared I'll just lose them if I do."

"I know exactly what you mean, love," Alex replied gently. He pulled the scarred man in for a kiss. "You won't lose me."

If we could take the time
To lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine
All mine


Peter had destroyed the place he called "home" five years ago. Sure he found a place and lived there with Niki. But it wasn't home. He honestly believed he would never feel that way about a place again. Then Alex invited him to move into the flat.

What was it about this man that made Peter feel less broken inside? It was as if spending time with Alex was slowly healing him. Alex had seen more horrors, death and pain than any human should be forced to bear. He lost hope centuries ago. Peter found he needed someone like that, because only a person who went through as much as Alex could accept what Peter did in New York.

That first time together had been another desperate attempt to escape. But every time after that had been a desperate need to connect. Alex decided they needed to celebrate their first night living together in style. Which ended up with the two of them naked with the bed creaking underneath. Peter knew it was more than just his years of avoiding human contact that made Alex's touch especially potent; it was the man himself. Whether it was a harsh bite or a tender caress, it didn't matter. It made Peter ache for more either way.

"Fuck," he breathed out, digging hard into Alex's shoulders. "Fuck... yes." He felt his partner stop and his eyes fluttered open. "What?" he demanded.

"You never say my name," Alex replied. He didn't sound upset about it. Just thoughtful.

"Well... Alex can't be your real name," Peter said awkwardly.

"I haven't used my real name in a very long time." His mouth started pressing kisses along Peter's neck. That alone resulted in an excited gasp from the empath. "I have called myself many things. Takezo Kensei, and more recently Adam Monroe. It doesn't matter anymore what you call me."

He went back to what he was doing and effectively drove the subject from Peter's mind. Until he found the impulse to moan again. And the name just slipped out: "Adam."

"Hmm," purred the older man. "I changed my mind. It does matter." He gazed down at the scarred man, his eyes dark in that predatory gleam that made Peter moan softly in anticipation. "Call me Adam."

And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame


They stood together quietly staring at the memorial. Mutely his hand reached out and grasped Adam's, their fingers twining together. Each name carved into the stone was a life he took that day. This was the first time he had seen it since the memorial was erected. He hadn't wanted to come but Adam insisted on it, and Peter felt himself compelled to do as Adam said.

It was only fair. They visited people Adam had recently killed. Some of the names were familiar. Maury Parkman, for example. Parkman... same as the mind-reading cop. Peter wondered if there was a connection. Kaito Nakamura was another. Hiro's father. It didn't bother him. Peter had even felt a cold sort of satisfaction when he learned Adam had killed Daniel Linderman. Then there were other graves to visit. Charles Deveaux's, his father's, his mother's, and last of all Gabriel Gray's.

"Nathan made up the story that Sylar was behind it all," Peter explained. He ran his fingers over Gabriel's name thoughtfully. "But Sylar didn't do it. It was all me." He let out a bitter laugh. "Funny, isn't it? He takes the blame for what caused his own death."

"He's gone now, love," Adam said, squeezing Peter's hand. "They're all gone: all the people who hurt us."

"Is that supposed to make things better?" Peter asked, shaking his head gravely. Adam considered the question thoughtfully. "There's no one left now," the scarred man went on.

"Just you and me," Adam finished for him.

So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain

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Peter Petrelli

October 2013

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