| Supernatural/Heroes | Dean/Nathan | R-Rated | 6042words |
On a hunt in New York,
Dean Winchester meets a mysterious man called Nathan Petrelli.
- - -
He is drowning; gasping for breath elusive as the choking shock of the vision runs through him, turning his blood to fiery ice as it rushes from his head to leave him weak and dizzy. He feels his legs give way, his limbs otherwise paralysed and unable to brace himself for the fall of his body as a sudden darkness takes over him, its thick, cloying strands of demand grabbing and tugging at him till, with a sickening lurch, he is spinning- greens and browns and battlefield reds- the world about him blurring before his eyes as he finds himself, his self, wrenched from his mortal form and thrown up into the finite expanse of the ethers. He screams. Screams and screams because it burns and it burns and it burns…
Be Calm. -comes a voice through the blackness, and the chill of foreign fingers clawing at the very fibres of his being begin to lose their tenacious grip of him. The coldness that clamps down upon him slowly siphoning away till he can breathe, just breathe, and ignore the sickening lurch that twists his stomach.
Do you see? –that voice again, asking questions he does not understand. Dancing spots of monotone colour flitter past the squeeze of his eyes for a moment only before colour seeps back in. Then shape and form and suddenly, suddenly he sees…
The city is alive beneath him; a sprawl of constantly moving life that thrums through him as if he holds the heartbeats of each and every individual safely nestled within the palms of his hands; each lone heart beating as boldly and brightly as the city itself, which lights itself up with energy and vigour and a cacophony of never-ending sound.
All is not as it seems. -the words whisper themselves across his skin, touching him with chill fingers that rake prickling goose bumps across the flinch of his body, wracking him with uncontrollable shudders. He gasps, as if for breath, and in the palms of his hands he feels the sudden stillness- a city of souls pausing in life for one terrifying moment as hearts collectively stop in the second before life is cruelly snatched from them.
He feels the loss of every life taken. A flash of blinding light, a sea of deafening sound, an explosion so terrifyingly real that it stops his own heart too as he watches- wide eyed and staring- as the bulge of power expands outwards with shocking speed, eating at everything in its wake till all is turned to dust and bone and hereafter the city lives no more. This he sees. The final moments of millions before the very same power that snatched their lives rips through him, tearing him apart with thrashing screams till a darkness complete takes over and he knows no more.
- - -
“Sammy!” Dean’s yell echoes out across the clearing as he charges his way towards his baby brother; guns drawn and aimed unwaveringly at the foul creature hurtling its way directly towards Sam.
“Sam!” Dean’s cry seems to fall on deaf ears. His brother stands there unmoving, unheeding of the danger- the target- he presents.
“Look out!” Dean watches with wide eyes, his face contorting with protective rage as Sam sluggishly turns his head to the side, his arms rising a moment too late to block the scrape of claws that score their way across the side of his face, the slash of the impact enough to tear a hoarse scream from Sam’s slackened lips a moment before his legs buckle in a thoughtless attempt to avoid further attack.
The sounds of bullets shoot their way across the sudden silence. Dean’s ears are ringing with fury whilst worry clenches at his gut, twisting his insides till acid burns up his oesophagus, coating his throat and mouth with a sickness he refuses to give into; his nausea turned to a scream of wrath as he guns down the foulness that dares touch his baby brother.
It takes seconds but feels like hours, the torturous slow of time half ticking as he watches, as if through another’s eyes, the rips and tears of his bullets cleaving apart flesh and bone, an unnatural cry of keening death filling the air before the creature thumps to the ground without so much as a twitch; blood and gore spreading out across the dampened earth.
He’s on his knees before he knows it, with Sam’s head cradled in his lap as he smacks his hand lightly across his brother’s cheeks in a bid to wake him; the bloody slashes across Sam’s face tinge his fingers a deep and dangerous red, the likes of which send stomach rolling with sickness and dread.
“Sam? Come on, Sammy, wake up…” There’s a tightness to his voice, an unnamed emotion that chokes him at seeing his brother unconscious and hurting, a sight too often encountered in their line of work but one which never fails to lodge his heart in his throat, suffocates him with sentiments he’d never otherwise voice.
“Don’t you do this to me, Sammy,” Dean coughs, fingers moving to shake and clench in their hold at his brother’s shoulder now.
“Don’t you dare give up on me! Fuck, Sam…” And he doesn’t know what to do. Doesn’t know what to do because Sam isn’t moving and it was only a goddamned scratch and oh no oh god oh fuck he- Dean’s breath leaves him in a strangled gasp as he presses fumbling, blood slicked fingers to Sammy’s neck, trying desperately to find- oh fuck oh no he isn’t-! why isn’t-? he’s not breathing-! oh god oh- oh!
Dean pushes his brother off his lap and back onto the crumple of the leaf-strewn ground beneath them, grasping his own hands together to press against Sam’s chest, compressing at the spot his daddy always told him to go for if…when… oh god oh god… he counts to five. Counts, two, three, four, five- then, then…
“Come on, come on,” Dean mutters harshly, talking himself through the grip of hysteria as he pinches his brother’s nose shut, tilting his head upwards whilst pulling his mouth open to seal their mouths together in an instinctive kiss. Dean breathes out, holds, pulls away only to fill his lungs once more when Sam is suddenly thrashing, gulping for air with frenzied eyes.
“I’ve got you,” Dean grabs at Sam’s reaching arms, pulling his brother close and holding him tight and fuck. Dean sighs heavily; his heart a frenetic beat against his ribcage as he waits for the harshness of Sam’s own panic to slow. Fuck.
“Welcome back, Sleeping Beauty.” Dean speaks softly as he pulls away enough to look at Sam. Sam who gazes intently up at him, looking two shades too pale and sickly with his face painted red with his own blood. He doesn’t so much as blink at Dean’s words, seemingly unhearing of them as he continues to take gasping pants of air.
“Sam?” Dean’s touch is one of worry against his forehead. He’s not sure what else he’s supposed to do now… now that Sam’s…
“Dean,” Sam breathes, blinking hazily at a point over Dean’s shoulder and Dean tightens his hold on his brother just a fraction.
“I’m here, Sammy” Dean’s face breaks into a sudden grin, relief spreading across his features as Sam calls his name.
“Duck,” Sam says and Dean frowns; uncomprehending.
“Duck!” Sam shouts hoarsely shoving at Dean, forcing his brother away enough to avoid the rake of claws that seem to come out of nowhere as another of the creatures they hunt swoops down upon them in their distraction.
“Son of a bitch!” Dean curses, diving back from Sam. He scrabbles away, needing to get back to the guns he’d so carelessly thrown aside in his need to get to his brother’s side.
The creature turns mid flight, a screeching cry as it angles itself for another swiping swoop at the pair of them. Dean’s fingers scrabble against cool metal just as its shadow falls over him. He rolls swiftly onto his back, gun clasped in a two handed hold and aimed directly at the bird-like form that approaches. Just seconds before he pulls the trigger, the creature stills- frozen mid flight, an unnatural death-cry torn from its throat- before it falls heavily to the floor, an ornamentally handled blade sticking out from between awkward shoulder blades.
Dean looks up, surprised. Sam’s hand is still raised in a throw, his face looking paler than before, if such a thing is possible.
“I’m really glad you don’t throw like a girl.” Dean says, hurrying back to his brother’s side. Sam offers him a shaky sort of half-smile, allowing Dean to pull him to his feet and grasp him close.
Another cry reverberates through the air and the brother’s share a look, a mutual agreement to leave now whilst they still can.
- - -
“You want to tell me what that was all about?” Dean asks, dabbing meticulously at the cuts sliced across his brother’s face. He was lucky not to loose the eye, Dean notes with a barely disguised grimace.
“Huh?” Sam cringes against the touch, hissing as Dean finishes up with the stitching and cleaning of his wounds.
“Out there today,” Dean begins, voice turning breathless and heavy. “You were just standing there-,”
“Vision,” Sam answers, trying not to frown or crease his face into any sort of expression as Dean applies swabs of gauze to his face. He says the word as if it should explain everything.
“What?” Dean doesn’t think it explains anything.
“It- I- I think I had a vision.” Sam repeats, less sure of himself now.
“Of all the times,” Dean’s words are a bitter growl. Sam doesn’t need to look at his brother to know that Dean is scowling at him, as if it is his own fault he’s afflicted with the ability to see into the future.
“Well?” Dean asks after a moment of straining silence, moving back a couple of paces now that he’s done with patching up Sam’s face.
“Well what?” Sam asks carefully.
“Was it a vision or not?” Dean prompts and Sam just looks at him. Dean raises his eyebrows enquiringly and Sam shrugs, shakes his head and winces, closing his eyes against the questions he isn’t sure he can answer.
“You were just standing there, Sam.” Dean sits close beside him again. “It swiped at you, cut you good. And then you went down. You weren’t breathing, Sammy.”
“I-,” Sam wet his lips, his mouth tasting sour. “It’s complicated.”
“Why don’t you try me?” Dean asks and somehow it’s more of a demand.
- - -
-a sprawling city landscape, a birds-eye view of a city lit up at night by the glare of racing cars below. The writhing heave of the populace is suddenly paused, muted by a sudden explosion; a burning red that spreads itself across the city, tearing at every life it touches till it lives no more.
This is a sign of things to come. –death and destruction stretch as far as the eye can see. A roaring fills his ears. A deadening sound that soon becomes a screaming, rasping and fear-filled- help me help me help me- a young man, his dark bangs falling into his eyes as he stares with fear at his hands, hands that glow and crackle and somehow, somehow cause the death of millions…
“You want to go to New York?” Dean stares at his brother, unconvinced where Sam is full of conviction; persuaded by a vision and a voice, a narrator on destiny and duty.
Save the brother, save the world.
“I want to go to New York.” Sam confirms. His lips are pressed tight, long arms held in a stubborn fold across his chest as he stares imploringly at Dean and dares his brother to deny him this.
Dean wants to scoff at his brother, but something about the plea in his large brown eyes stills the scorning words before they can be voiced.
“Do you have any idea how big New York is?” Dean tries, pressing his fingers to his temples, the argument as old as the day as it creeps now into twilight. “How do you expect to find some random guy before this apocalypse is supposed to happen?”
“He’s not random.” Sammy says. And that is pretty much that.
- - -
New York is big. Bigger really than either of them remember.
“I still don’t see how we’re meant to find this guy.” Dean mutters, irritation growing through the heat and stifling press of bodies going in every direction but the one he and Sammy are trying to shove their way in.
Beside him, Sam is silent. Not even knowing his brother is right will make him agree.
Hours slip by them and agitation grows. Dean is hungry and tired and sulking beside him. Sam is the same though he’ll never admit that either. He thinks, not for the first time that day, how foolish this whole endeavour really is. He has nothing to go on but a desperate face and a-
Sam stops suddenly, mouth turning slack as he stares ahead- an artistic stairway moulded around a fountain. Kirby Plaza he reads and points the landmark out to Dean whilst hiding his elation behind a relieved smile.
“This is where is all happens.” Sam nods towards the fountain whilst his hands move to encompass the rest of the square.
“Just how do you expect to stop this?” Dean growls, his mood far from being lifted.
Sam finds he cannot answer.
- - -
It’s not the type of establishment one generally finds well dressed, well bred individuals. Dean should know; he’s frequented many of them in his lifetime. He swirls his finger of whiskey, not paying much attention to the amber liquid as it sloshes against the sides of his glass. His eyes are drawn to a sight far more pleasant than any drink could be this evening.
“Is this seat taken?” The new arrival asks, sitting beside him before Dean can draw enough breath to answer either way. He rakes his eyes over the crumpled suit the other man wears, seeing the lines of worry and stress marring his strong brow. The stranger slants his gaze to Dean and the look burns him more wholly than the whiskey’s ever done.
He's not entirely surprised by what happens next.
“You don’t seem like the kind of guy who usually does this.” Dean breathes against his neck as they stumble out back. His hands are a hurried fumble against the buckle of the other man’s belt as he is pushed up against the side of the building.
“You do.” The man replies, his words are honestly spoken and meant without insult.
“Oh, I am.” Dean looks up with a grin, wide and ferial; his eyes alight with mischief as he leans in to nip a kiss to the fullness of the stranger’s mouth. He tastes of money and power, of expensive aftershave and a thirst for authority. It makes Dean heady.
“Should I be paying you for this?” He asks and Dean laughs, pressing his lips to the other man’s in a harsh kiss.
“I’m not a whore.” He clarifies, moving to nip at the other man’s jaw. “Think of this as being mutually beneficial for the both of us, and we’ll leave it at that.”
“No marks,” The other man says instead, his hands hot and ready as they slip down the back of Dean’s pants. Dean grins wickedly and bites sharply at his neck.
- - -
“Don’t look at me like that.” Sam is scowling. His face is pale in the dull lamplight; the puckered scaring across his face seeming to stand out more boldly in the half light.
Dean turns away, shucking his clothes down to his boxers and his socks, before falling onto his bed with a heavy sigh. He smells of sex and sweat and alcohol and he wonders if Sammy can smell it too. He turns his head to look at Sam; watching the awkward flush of his baby brother’s cheeks.
“A ‘flying man’ will save New York?” Dean repeats, feeling a need to break the growing silence.
“His name is Peter.” Sam presses, keeping his eyes steadfastly upon Dean’s face.
“Whose is? The flying man’s?”
“No,” Sam’s scowl deepens; answering as if it should have been obvious all along. “The exploding man’s.”
Dean looks at Sam as if he’s all kinds of crazy. Sam seals his lips and turns off the light.
- - -
“So, you’re running for congressman then?” Dean’s voice is a shock to the system; a low purr of amusement and delight.
It’s been almost a week since their tryst together. Nathan is sure he shouldn’t remember, but Dean’s grin tells him that he never forgets a face.
Nathan’s eyes appraise him for a moment. Taking in Dean’s attire- dirtied jeans and a battered leather jacket- with something akin to approval. He finds his mouth suddenly dry.
“I might be.” Nathan answers slowly, warily. He watches the laugh as it spills from Dean’s lips.
“I think you are.” Dean answers, nodding his head quite purposefully at a spot just over his shoulder. Nathan is slow to turn, his face clearing of all emotion as he sees the ‘Vote For’ posters pasted around them, his smiling face staring down at them both.
“Okay.” Nathan purses his lips, his gaze turning critical.
“Okay?” Dean asks, cocking his head to the side.
“What will it take to keep your mouth shut? You want money?”
Dean grins at him some more and Nathan thinks of putting those pouting lips to better use.
“I thought we agreed it wasn’t your money I wanted?” Dean says. Nathan raises an enquiring eyebrow, pleased with the colour that suddenly touches Dean’s cheeks as they both realise what his words could imply.
“I don’t want your body either.” Dean reassures softly, though his very tone is a denial of his own words.
Dean shakes his head. “Nothing.”
Nathan looks unconvinced. He reaches into his immaculately pressed suit, pulling from an inside pocket a campaign card, printed with his smiling face and an office number. On the back, he scrawls his personal contact number.
“If you find yourself temped to tell anyone else…” He presses the card to Dean’s hand, holding a second too long, his body close enough to taste.
Dean’s fingers curl around the card just as Nathan pulls away.
- - -
“Dean,” Sammy’s skin is hot, feverish in his excitement as he kneels beside his brother’s sleeping form. “Dean wake up!”
“Wha-?” Dean swats at his brother’s urging fingers as they shake him to consciousness. “What time is it?”
Sammy’s hands leave him for a moment. “A little after two,” He answers before shaking his head. “That isn’t important though…”
“Two?” Dean groans. “Christ, Sam, couldn’t this have waited till morning?”
“It is morning,” Sam points out and Dean takes an awkward swing at him.
“A bloody decent hour of morning, you ass!” Dean rolls onto his side; dislodging Sam’s precarious kneel with the motion and sending him sprawling to the floor with a satisfying thump and yelp. Dean smiles and closes his eyes.
“Dammit, Dean! It’s going to happen tonight!”
Dean is suddenly wide awake and cursing, his fingers scrabbling for the beside lamp as Sam babbles on about his latest vision- two brothers flying towards the heavens, the explosion contained to the ethers instead of the city- wondering just how the hell they were supposed to stop this and frantically contemplating knocking Sammy out and hightailing it out of the city.
“We need to find Peter,” Sam is gripping at his knee. “Peter Petrelli.”
Dean jolts at the name. “What did you say?” But he doesn’t wait for an answer. With another curse he’s scrambling from his bed, pulling on yesterday’s jeans and t-shirt whilst scrabbling for his cell phone.
“Dean?” Sammy is frowning at him but there’s no time for questions. He’s dialled the number on the back of the campaign card he flicks in Sam’s direction.
“Nathan Petrelli?” Dean asks on the answer. Sammy’s eyes grow wide. “It’s Dean Winchester, we need to talk.
- - -
He pulls the Impala to a slow halt down some neglected back alley, scratching his hands over his eyes as he kills the engine and waits. It’s the crack of dawn on Election Day and he’s not entirely sure Nathan will turn up. He isn’t even sure what he’ll say to the guy if he does.
How do you tell someone their brother’s about to bring about the apocalypse? How do you tell them you’ve no idea how to stop it?
There’s a tap at the passenger side window, knuckles rapping across the glass a moment before the door is jerked open and Nathan climbs in. He looks tense, tired and entirely unwilling to be here.
“You said you wanted to talk?” Nathan asks; his face tight as he turns his head to look at Dean. Dean nods his head.
“It’s about your brother.” Dean says, and if possible Nathan tenses a little bit more.
“What is it you think you know about my brother, Mr Winchester?”
“He’s special, isn’t he?” It’s almost a question. One neither of them really expects to have answered. “My brother, Sammy- Sam- he’s special too.”
Nathan narrows his eyes at him but Dean looks straight ahead, staring down the narrow length of the alleyway.
“Sam, he sees things. He has visions of things that have yet to happen.” Dean pursed his lips, taking a moment to organise his words before turning to look at Nathan. “He saw your brother… die. Tonight. He causes an explosion that will wipe out over half of city’s population.”
Nathan says nothing for a long moment; his silence reading as if he’s taking in Dean’s words, making heads and tales of such a bizarre statement. Dean supposes he should be grateful the other man has not scoffed at his words and left already.
“My brother has visions too.” Nathan says eventually and Dean can do no more than blink at him.
“Then you know about this already?” Dean gapes at him, almost disbelieving as Nathan nods his head.
“So, how do we stop it?”
Dean frowns at his words. He wants to ask what that’s supposed to mean but he can’t quite bring himself to believe Nathan meant that the way it sounds. Nathan shifts awkwardly.
“I don’t know how to save my brother.” Nathan offers quietly, his gaze lowering and Dean can almost imagine he’s as upset as he seems to be. Something isn’t ringing right with him as he watches the crumple of Nathan’s face.
“Did you never think to take him out the country?” Dean asks, because he has to- he needs to- know.
“And what good would that do?” Nathan looks at him. “Wherever I take him, wherever we were to go, we’d only delay the inevitable.” Nathan presses at his eyes. “He told me… he says the only way to stop it is to kill him. Could you do that, Dean? Could you kill your brother if he asked it of you?”
Dean swallows heavily, remembering the times Sammy’s asked him to take his life. Every single time he’s refused. Every time because he knows he’ll do anything, anything, to keep Sam alive. Even if that means giving his life up so that his brother may live.
“Could you?” Nathan’s voice pulls him back to the moment. The other man is leaning closer, a kind of desperation in his eyes. “Could you do it, Dean?” He asks and Dean shakes his head, feeling apprehension at the very idea. He needs to get Sammy out of New York.
Nathan reached out then, winds his hand round the back of Dean’s head and tugs him forward into a desperate kiss. Dean eases his grip on the steering wheel and grabs at Nathan, pulling him as close as he is able. He needs this. They need this. This one moment for everything to make superficial sense before the world falls into chaos.
“You-,” Dean pulls his mouth away with a wet sound, groaning softly as Nathan’s hands tug hurriedly at the zipper of his jeans, pushing his legs apart as he reaches into his pants to stroke him hard.
“You wouldn’t happen to know any flying men, would you?” Dean manages between gasps. Nathan stills enough to give him a curious look before bending his body and putting his sweet mouth over Dean’s growing erection.
Coherent thought fails him from that moment onwards.
- - -
“Have you found anything?” Dean drops into a seat beside his brother who looks up at him from beneath his bangs. He shakes his head.
“Not really. You?” Sam flips the laptop closed and turns his full attention on Dean. If he notices his brother’s lips are swollen or that his clothes are more dishevelled than normal, he doesn’t say.
“Nothing we didn’t already know.” Dean answers and Sammy sighs.
“We’ll just have to set up base around the Plaza than.” Sam says and starts packing up his stuff.
“What? Sam that’s ridiculous!” Dean scoffs at him.
“You have a better idea?” Sam challenges, his gaze turning to a glare.
“Yeah I do actually.” Dean throws back. “How about instead of sitting around waiting to go down with the rest of this city we try getting the hell out of it?”
Sam glares at him, his jaw tensing. “I’d hardly call that a plan.” Sam grounds out, bristling at the very idea.
“In case you haven’t noticed, we don’t actually have a plan. Short of shooting this guy, the city is going to blow and there isn’t anything we can do about it.” Sam looks away. “Sammy, we should be miles out of town by now.”
“He needs our help!” Sam snaps.
“We can’t help him, Sam. There isn’t anything we can do!”
“I refuse to believe that.” Sam is too stubborn to see the logic in this situation and Dean finds himself wanting nothing better than to smack some sense into his brother.
“Let’s just please try and find the guy who can help?” Sammy pleads with him, his shoulders slumping. He’s too tired to fight.
“What, the flying man?” Dean taunts, not willing to give this up without a proper fight.
“Yes.” Sam answers harshly. “The bloody flying man.”
They glare at each other, hackles raised as they wait out their frustrations, each determined not to be the first to back down. Dean surprises himself by being the first.
“I asked Nathan if he knew any flying men. He just looked at me like I was crazy.”
It wasn’t strictly true, but the comment was enough to get Sam to relax a bit.
“I’d meant to ask, who is this Nathan Petrelli?”
Dean frowns at his brother. “Aside from being Peter’s brother you mean?”
Sam frowns then shrugs and Dean looks at his brother with something akin to astonishment.
“Nathan Petrelli, the guy running for congress? Posters up all over the city? Tell me you haven’t been walking around all this time with your eyes shut!”
“In case you missed it, I’ve been buried in research trying to find someway to stop this thing from happening. Which is more than I can say for you.” The last part is a muttered accusation Dean prefers to let slide.
“Have you still got that campaign card I gave you?”
Instead of answering, Sammy digs into his shoulder bag, rummaging through the papers and journals he’s crammed inside it till he finds the slim piece of card with the cell number on the back and the smiling face of Nathan Petrelli on the front.
“Oh!” Sam’s eyes grow comically wide as he stares at the picture. The crease of the eyes, the curve of his smile- Sam finds that he recognises this man’s face. He’s seen it only once before but it’s not a face he’s likely to forget.
“What is it?” Dean snatches the card from his fingers, twisting it around to check for anything he might have missed. “Sammy?”
“That’s…” Sam looks at him “Dean, that’s the flying man.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Dean’s response is automatic, but something in the way Sammy keeps looking from him to the card and back again makes Dean believe him.
- - -
He’s been trying to call Nathan for the better part of the afternoon but the other man isn’t answering. It could be for a million and one reasons- the Election being the main thing to spring to mind- but Dean has a niggling feeling that Nathan’s not answering has more to do with who’s calling than anything else.
“No luck yet,” Dean heaves a sigh, hanging up only to immediately hit redial. He can’t even get through to the answering service.
“I’ve set up the trace,” Sam looks up suddenly from the laptop. Dean snaps his phone shut and snatches up the car keys.
- - -
Dean is shaking. Fury racing through his veins as he crouches down beside Sammy in the semi-deserted parking lot and listens to the cock and bull story Nathan gives his brother. It’s only his brother’s fingers, gripping tightly at his arm that stops him racing up to sock Nathan across the jaw. The man doesn’t deserve to have a brother that devoted to him. It twists his stomach to see the way he’s treating Peter.
“What do we do now?” Sammy’s voice is softly hesitant and for the first time his eyes are showing fear. There’s not enough time enough to escape the city now.
Dean reaches out and slings an arm about his brother’s shoulders, drawing him close.
“You follow, Peter. Do whatever you gotta do, Sammy.” His face is set to seriousness and Sam nods frantically, believing in the strength of Dean’s voice.
“What will you do?” He asks hesitantly.
“I’m going after Nathan. If he’s really the only who can save Peter, and this city, then I’m damn well going to make sure he knows it.”
“Be careful.” Sammy says and Dean hugs him like it’ll be the last time.
- - -
Nathan stares out of his office window, head falling forward to hit against the cool glass as he heaves a bitter sigh. His mother’s words echo in his ears and he hates himself for succumbing so easily to her manipulations. She speaks as if the death of her youngest child will be for a noble cause. Nathan knows only that it’ll kill his baby brother and he hates himself, hates himself for thinking- even for a moment- that it’s in any way the right thing to do.
“You don’t deserve him.”
Nathan twists at the sound of the voice, his breath catching in his throat as he watches Dean step out from the shadows of the room.
“I- how did you get in here?” Nathan straightens himself, trying to calm the erratic stammering of his heart.
“You don’t deserve him.” Dean repeats instead of answering.
“Your brother,” Dean clarifies, though Nathan feels he should have known. “You don’t deserve to have someone that devoted to you.”
“You don’t know anything about this.” Nathan sounds angry, but Dean doesn’t for one minute believe that anger is directed towards him.
“I know you’re willing to let your brother die.” Dean begins, stepping forward till they’re but paces apart. “I know you’re willing to let your baby brother die even through there’s a way you can save him. I think that’s knowledge enough, Petrelli, don’t you?”
“It isn’t like that!” Nathan swallows thickly, his face paling several shades.
“No?” Dean raises his eyebrows.
“No! It… it isn’t all about him.”
“It isn’t all about your brother?” And here Nathan nods his head sharply. Dean feels his nostrils flare as a wave of fury washes over him. “It damn well should be!”
“I do!” Dean snaps at him, jabbing an accusing finger into Nathan’s shoulder. “He’s your brother!
I’d do anything for mine. I’d die for him if it meant he would live. I’d have torn the world apart to find a way to save him. Because he’s my brother. That’s what brother’s are for, Nathan. They protect each other; they’d give their lives for each other. You’ll never have the same connection with anyone else. Not ever.
You really don’t deserve him.” Dean is breathing hard by the time he’s finished. His eyes glaring into Nathan’s own, daring him to contradict a word he’d spoken.
“It’s his destiny.” Nathan says quietly once Dean is finished.
“Fuck destiny!” Dean growls, swinging his fist back. The blow sends Nathan stumbling, falling against his desk with a cough of surprise. Dean is upon him before the congressman can gain his feet again, grabbing at his shoulders and pulling them chest to chest.
Instead of the defiance Dean is expecting, he sees instead the pain that flashes in Nathan’s eyes a moment before the man’s face crumples and he pushes away enough to lean himself against his desk.
“Oh god,” he mutters, more to himself than to Dean. “What have I done?” He looks up at Dean with suddenly pleading eyes.
“Nothing you can’t still put to rights.” Dean says, folding stubborn arms across his chest.
- - -
Dean stumbles away from Nathan as they land, his eyes franticly searching for his own brother even as Nathan steps towards his, uncaring of the crackling heat emitting from the youngest Petrelli brother.
“Sammy!” Dean finds Sam lying crumpled a few paces away, his head cradled in his hands. His face is bloodied as he looks up through unfocussed eyes at the shout of his name.
Dean falls to his knees beside him, fingers already feeling and probing his brother’s head for any injuries he might have sustained but Sammy smacks his hands away with a grimace. His stitches have split; the blood comes from nothing more sinister.
“‘M alright,” Sammy mutters, blinking his eyes to focus. He starts suddenly, grabbing at Dean’s hand as his eyes land on Peter and the crackling glow of radiation that is flickering about him. Dean’s head whips round to watch in petrified anticipation as Nathan steps the final paces towards his brother.
The whole world seems to stop, to hold its breath for one long and terrifying moment as Nathan faces his brother and Sam shudders, feeling the echoing heartbeats of a million souls as they beat in ignorance.
“I’m not leaving you, Peter.” Nathan says simply, “There’s another way to end this and you know it.”
Dean squeezes at Sammy’s hand as he sees the pained look flash across Peter’s face.
“I can’t let you die.” Peter pleads.
“And I can’t let everyone else.” Nathan’s smile is somewhat wry and he turns his head to look at the girl standing behind him. Dean notices the gun held limply in her hand and thinks that maybe they weren’t the only ones trying to stop this after all.
“You saved the cheerleader, so we could save the world.”
Save the brother, save the world.
“I love you, Nathan.” Peter breathes softly, the words spoken so openly and honestly it tugs at Dean’s heart.
“I love you too,” Nathan smiles, before taking a deep breath. “You ready?”
And there really isn’t any other way to reply to that.
Sam buries his face against Dean’s neck and Dean holds him, cradles him close even as he turns his eyes heavenwards and watches- with his heart in his throat- the sudden explosion of colour that lights up the night and he finds he cannot breathe for the shock of it.
“They live,” Sammy breathes softly, his mouth lifted to Dean’s ear.
Dean pulls away just enough to meet his brother’s eyes a moment before Sammy too looks skywards.
“They live, Dean.” He repeats softly, “They both live.”
Dean just smiles. Smiles and pulls Sammy tighter against him.
- - -
- End -