Title: Six Faces of Broken Trust
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Era: Post-show; undefined future
Genre: Drama, Angst
Rating: K+ / FRC
Characters: Adam Monroe, Nathan Petrelli, Peter Petrelli, Claude Rains, Mohinder Suresh, Sylar (, Caitlin, Angela Petrelli, Arthur Petrelli)
Pairing: Implied Caitlin/Peter
Summary: Peter curses his own naivety, contemplates on the many mistakes he has made in life, and ponders if in the end he was supposed to be different.
Written for: Heroes_Contest’s (heroes_contest) One-shot Challenge 12: Jealousy
Warnings: Briefly mentioned violence. Possible spoilers for the seasons 1-3 of Heroes.
Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)
Disclaimer: The show, its characters, its places, and everything else, belong to Tim Kring and the other respective creators and owners of ‘Heroes’. I have made no profit by writing this story, and make no claim over the show.
Feedback: Warmly received. Constructive criticism allowed.
About Six Faces of Broken Trust: Peter has been let down a lot – by himself and others. It is only obvious that he sometimes stops to think about the past, the future, and the things in between. And, of course, the people he has met on the way.
Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
Six Faces of Broken Trust
Written for Heroes_Contest’s One-shot Challenge 12 (Jealousy).
The wind swept across his face like the cold, biting touch of frosty fingers. He missed the warm draft of the South, like the caressing fingers of a lover, but he knew he had to be content with what he had.
Peter’s life wasn’t easy, and he had to take refuge with the things he still had in his possession – which wasn’t all that much.
Sometimes he wondered what was the point of all this. Since the first eclipse when their powers first appeared, he had been tossed from one direction to the next, and sometimes he had been so horribly lost he thought he might get sick when he tried to recall it. His memories were fresh, though, and most of them undeniable although he would have wished them to be otherwise. Sometimes, he hoped for blurred edges so that he wouldn’t have to look back at all the mistakes, misery, pain, and loss.
Thunder rolled on the horizon, the sound of it echoing through the vastness of the sky. The first drops of rain began to fall, long and far apart from each other, as if uncertain whether they were supposed to fall yet. Peter looked up to the gray sky, the clouds whirling above him. A thought of soaring up to the sky was tempting, but he knew better than to allow his feet to leave the ground. It was not safe to fly, even in a storm. The world wasn’t yet ready to accept that a man could fly by his own will, and although there was no other soul nearby that he knew off, he didn’t want to risk exposure.
He had been hunted enough.
Peter lowered his eyes again, looking at the darkening land. There had been no sun visible for hours, and the wall of clouds thickened and had turned almost an indigo blue above him. It would rain heavily soon. Perhaps the raindrops would turn into a blizzard, beating the ground and the trees in the distance.
The temptation to fly grew even stronger; to see the clouds turn into soft white, the sun gleaming in the distance, so bright it would blur his vision.
As he thought of flying and the warmth of the sun so easily in his grasp, yet so far away, he also remembered the source of that ability. These days, it did him no good to think of Nathan. Too many bad memories, and too many times he had wanted to trust his brother and had his hopes dashed.
Truthfully, it had always been like that. Ever since they were children. He had admired Nathan, looked up to him, believing the other felt the same for him. But now, he knew Nathan had just played the game to his own advantage. Why? Because he could. He was smart enough, charming enough, and knew how to play Peter. Whenever he wanted something, he would get it. Peter was soft and malleable – had been soft and malleable – and thus it hadn’t taken much from Nathan to have him move according to his wishes.
Peter had always known Nathan was the older brother, their father’s favorite, and on occasion, he doubted if their mother hadn’t loved him the most as well. Nathan’s future had been bright before him, whereas Peter just tagged along, on the curb rather than on the shiny path itself.
As a child it hadn’t really bothered him. He was proud to have Nathan as a brother because he was cool, and at times he really talked to Peter, as if he totally got him. Later, Peter wasn’t so sure about that, but what was in the past stayed in the past, he guessed.
He wondered now if there should have been more rivalry between them, and if Nathan would respect him more now if he had stuck his toe out of line every now and then. Like when Peter got his first toy gun, and their father took Nathan out to an actual shooting range, perhaps he should have been jealous. Sure, he was a little envious, all things considered, but Nathan was Nathan, and that’s the kind of thing that dad did.
When Nathan later joined to the army, it was also cool because sometimes he wrote Peter, or talked to him on the phone. Later, when he came back home and followed dad’s career, he got a lot of respect and people had hopes for him, while at the same time Peter failed in a lot of things, but no one seemed to stress over it because Peter was Peter, and he wasn’t as important as Nathan was.
All in all, he perhaps should have envied his brother a lot more than he had, but it was too late for that now. Envy was most definitely the emotion Peter held for him now – or ‘grudge’, more like it – because every once in a while he would have liked to be able to walk down a crowded street and not be afraid for his life or safety. Nathan had definitely taken that liberty from him, but then, Peter had pretty much allowed it to happen; he had fought him, but not every step of the way as he had promised. Not with enough conviction.
While he was thinking of Nathan, and their dysfunctional family, it wasn’t a stretch to remember another man who had done his best to make Peter’s life very difficult. True, it had been Peter who first sought him out, but Sylar had never hesitated to get back at him.
The man had been his archenemy, ally, brother, and now enemy again. That they were currently going their separate ways made Peter’s life a lot easier, because facing off with Sylar was never pleasant; someone always got hurt, whether it was one of them or some innocent bystander.
The thought of Sylar awoke the bitter sting of one particular memory: the hunger. He hadn’t been in possession of Sylar’s power for long before his father got rid of it for him – alongside all his other abilities – but he could still remember the clawing, intense need. Sometimes he pitied Sylar for being forced to live with such a maniacal desire. He wondered how much of the other’s mad pursuit for powers was caused by it. The need to covet more power, no matter what it took…
For the brief time Peter had allied with him, and trusted him, the other had almost looked as if he was sorry that Peter had to endure the hunger. That hadn’t lasted for long, of course, and today Peter wouldn’t have trusted the other to have his back, barely able to understand how he had managed to do so in the past.
Once stranded, one tended to look for help in all the wrong places, though. At that time, it had been Sylar and his false reassurances that he only wished to gain the same goal as Peter.
Peter chuckled. The irony in that was very strong. One would have thought he had already learned not to trust people simply because the circumstances demanded him to get help. Whenever he had been helpless in life, and in a need of assistance, it always seemed he got help from all the wrong places – from the wrong people.
People who wanted to use him instead of helping him.
The coolness of the air, oppressing yet clear, reminded him distantly of the rooms at Primatech. What he had regarded as a safe haven – his powers were finally contained and he couldn’t hurt anyone – had actually been a prison he chose to enter, but wasn’t allowed to leave. He owed his freedom to Adam Monroe, who while being very helpful had also proven he was full of poison Peter had been only too eager to swallow.
Adam had provided him a way out of Primatech, and when Peter lost his memories, it had been Adam who prompted them to return. Also, Adam had healed Nathan… But all that shrank in comparison to what he had tried to do. Peter had seen the future he had tried to create – had lost the woman he loved into that world. He didn’t think of Caitlin often these days, and sometimes he wondered if that was because of the time he had spent with Adam. The other had fed him so many ideas and lies while Peter had never bothered to check his real motives. He had been happy with the plan cast before him, spiced up with the premonitions and wise words from the past.
Furthermore, Adam had known how to guilt Peter. Each time he reminded Peter of Caitlin, the less Peter actually wanted to remember her, and rather focused on what she now represented. He couldn’t get her back, so he needed to make her a reason. The driving force. His cause.
Sometimes Peter still wondered if he couldn’t have gone after her when the fate of the world was still unbalanced. Before Adam tried completing his plan and failed. When the future he had seen still existed. By the time he thought of it, it was too late to worry about that, though.
He had been led on blindly, and although his trust had been shaken with Adam’s lies and deceit, Peter knew he had been a willing follower. The small amount of convincing he had required was almost ridiculous. Had he even once tried to read Adam’s mind? To properly read it? The man had age old defenses against such tricks, but if Peter had tried at the right moment, he was certain he would have known of Adam’s plans well before things got out of hand. He had been stupid and naïve instead, drowning in his own suspicions, believing every word because that was easier than doubting everything the other man said and did.
Claude had been a bit different from Adam in a lot of ways, although the emotional bruise he left on Peter was in no way less painful. Whereas Adam had tried to use him, and Sylar just felt animosity towards him, Claude had tried to help him; to find control for him and to figure out how his powers worked. It hadn’t saved New York, and the .07 percent of the world population per se – Nathan intervening had, with his most altruistic act to date – but Peter had learned a great deal from the various beatings Claude had called training sessions.
He had taught Peter to understand a new kind of pain, but also how to react to it. He had sparked the response of violence in him for the first time. Claude’s view of the world, although a bit dark and cynical, had given Peter a lot to think about. In his current situation, after all these years, he knew he had to agree on some things the man had said.
But first and foremost when he thought of Claude Rains came the feeling of betrayal. The man had just left while they still feared Peter would blow up. It was almost beyond him to comprehend that. He had seen a lot of cowardice before and since, but it still hurt. As if it was personal.
It felt as if Claude owed him something, and had acted irresponsibly. He had left Peter alone to deal with it all while he was still half-prepared, and his resentment for that was still fresh today. One day, if he found Claude alive, he would certainly remind the man of the promises he should have made, and the things he had not done.
Another person Peter would have gladly reminded of his responsibilities was Mohinder. True, he had done that many times on their long road together, but it always seemed to have a lesser effect than he hoped.
Mohinder had started as a wide-eyed scientist, but it seemed that being so close to the specials and their problems had done more damage than good in his case. Especially since the formula he created didn’t give him the kind of power he had hoped for. The man Peter had trusted had turned into a monster, to put it frankly, and while his ideas and plans had still been no doubt noble, he had gone horribly wrong. Peter didn’t think that way only because he had been strapped down defenseless while Mohinder planned to test the new formula on him, but because the Indian had followed Arthur Petrelli so blindly it almost cost them all their lives.
Peter could only imagine how big of a problem his super-soldier program could have become if successful.
Mohinder had turned his coat after that, but Peter still remembered the brief distrust between them – the complete change of perspective in the other – and it was difficult to let those hard feelings pass. It was like a shadow that cast itself over each encounter; something they didn’t speak of, but which they both surely remembered.
The deepest shadow, though, wasn’t cast by anyone else but Peter himself. It was something he had learned slowly, but which held within itself an unmistakable truth; what he had heard from others and seen himself was often unnerving rather than exhilarating.
There were broken promises, anger, and twisted, sometimes mad, agendas. Failed attempts to fix something that had been broken, and a deep yearning for things to be right that Peter recognized even within himself today. After all the things gone wrong, after all the broken promises, he himself managed to cause the biggest hurt every time. He failed himself far more often than others managed to do so.
At the same time, he couldn’t but feel compelled by his future selves, because in them he saw exactly that: the future. Sometimes wild and out of control, but there was also freedom to do and say things that Peter at the moment didn’t feel as if he had the liberty to say. It was like looking up at Nathan, older and smarter than him, with some bearing brought on by age and experience alone.
Peter was often jealous of his future selves, and for no other reason than that he was lagging behind. They were not perfect in any sense, but they often had qualities Peter could only hope for; strength and complete belief in themselves and their cause. They were not swayed by others as he had been, although it was likely they shared the same past. They had made the same mistakes, only it seemed they had learned from them differently than Peter.
Perhaps one day he would know the difference. Until then, he would have to deal with the bunch of failures he had endured, and live with the pain he had allowed others to cause him.
The thunder rumbled again, the rain increasing, and Peter felt jealous of the birds he saw in the sky, soaring to find shelter among the trees in the distance. With a frown, he looked up to the sky, wishing he would see at least one small glimpse of the sun he longed for. The clouds were still thick, though, dark gray and blue, and with a final sigh, he decided he could grasp some of that freedom he often thought his future selves enjoyed: once upon a time, they had perhaps made this decision as well, and so set themselves apart from the life Peter now led.
He gazed at the sky, and then shot up to it, racing the wind and the rain until they disappeared far below him, and all he could see was the brilliant brightness of the sun.