Title: Still Breathing
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Era: Season 3 (episode 12/13)
Rating: K / FRC
Characters: Claire Bennet, Peter Petrelli (, Nathan Petrelli)
Summary: Peter reflects on his life after Nathan’s gone.
Written for: Heroes_Contest’s (heroes_contest) Drabble Challenge 31: Breath.
Warnings: Spoilers for certain episodes of season 3, implied character death and shooting.
Disclaimer: The show, its characters, the places, and everything else belong to Tim Kring, NBC, and the other respective creators and owners of the TV show ‘Heroes’. I have made no profit by writing this story, and make no claim over the show.
Beta: Mythra mythras_fire
Feedback: Welcome, hoped for, and worshipped in a non-religious fashion.
About Still Breathing: Short, random, and not with half the emotional impact that I had kind of hoped for.
Peter mourning Nathan; that isn’t new, but I thought writing about it for the contest challenge made sense, somehow.
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.
Written for Heroes_Contest’s Drabble Challenge 31 (Breath).
The crisp air was shaping his breaths into pale clouds, each inhale burning through his nose into his lungs. It was a shockingly cold morning. He should have put on more clothes, but he didn’t want to go back to the car.
Looking at Nathan’s gravestone, fresh and still shining, each line perfectly visible, made him feel focused. At the same time, he wondered how he was still even breathing; it hurt so much sometimes, that Nathan was gone… as if Nathan had crept away in silence, not telling Peter, and now Peter was here, realizing he never got a chance to say goodbye, or give him that one last smile.
Saying goodbye to Nathan before letting him fall didn’t take the ache away; it made it worse because it hadn’t been him, not really.
It never had been.
The tension grew in his body. A ghost of a pain in his shoulder where Claire had helped him heal the gunshot wound. He almost wished she hadn’t done it, now.
He heard footsteps, and somehow, he knew it was her, instead of fearing it would be his mother.
“It’s cold,” Claire said, to open the conversation. Peter knew he had been giving her a hard time recently.
She stepped over to stand beside him, biting her lip, then slid her hand into his. It made him feel warmer, as if her ability could do that, too. To heal even the bite of cold air.
Peter tugged his hand free, then looked at her to let her know he appreciated her being here, and that it wasn’t that. “It can’t heal all wounds. It won’t make every scar disappear.”
“It’s not supposed to,” Claire told him, “because those wounds and scars we have to be allowed to healed, with time. The way your mother talks, you’ve been stabbing yourself over and over since the funeral. Just… let him go.”
Peter had let Nathan go, in his opinion, way too many times. He had let him slip, let him make mistakes.
Nathan had always tried to prevent Peter from doing that, even when he first told Nathan he could fly, and was trying to save the cheerleader he had never met.
When he fell into the coma, and Nathan just told him to breathe… Breathe. Come on, Peter. Breathe.
He expected to wake up in Nathan’s arms, and all this would have been just a long, twisted, painful vision he should work to stop from happening. Somehow, though, he knew this was no dream, and Nathan wasn’t going to be there.
Peter took another breath, to remind himself of what was real; that he was still alive, and there was work to be done, regardless of the fact that Nathan was gone.
Avenging him was the first thing on Peter’s list.