Characters/Pairing: Charles Deveaux & Peter Petrelli, references to past Charles/Angela
Summary: Charles likes Peter very much.
Word count: 965
Notes: Written for a prompt by Anon: “CharlesD/Peter, Platonic – He remains her…” at heroeskink. Disclaimer: I have no idea if I interpreted the prompt correctly and there’s nothing kinky about this. Like it says; it’s platonic! :) Again, written very quickly because I happened to see the prompt and it spoke to me.
He remains her reflection… Yes, he does. It doesn’t matter that Peter is a young man. When Charles looks at him, he can see a reflection of Angela’s face.
Not the Angela of today. Not the Angela he has known during the past decades. No, but the young and still very innocent girl he had been dancing with for a minute at that diner that fateful night so long ago.
He had been drawn to her then, and later he had loved her with a heartbreaking intensity. She lost a sense of belonging when she lost her sister and her parents and she had been searching for it ever since. She had been holding on to him then and he had been trying as hard as he could to be everything that she needed. Every time they danced, he tried to recreate the playful feeling of that first dance but Angela had not found what she had been looking for in him.
Charles had lost her to Arthur, and to her sons. Especially to her sons. They had been her children and her parents and her sister and they had been the future she was fighting for and trying to protect.
Peter remains her reflection. What she once had lives on in him, only differently, because Peter is his own person.
Angela could never have been a nurse, she didn’t have that touch. Peter is gentle when he touches Charles, but firm, too. He is stronger than what he looks like; he would never accidently slip and drop an old man to the floor.
He tells Simone that he has never had a better nurse before and his daughter smiles, knowing without understanding that there is something special about Peter.
Charles wants to tell him that he loves him, but how could the boy understand? Charles could easily tell him everything. Charles could become his mentor and his guide. Tell me, son… You know that you are special, don’t you? You can feel it. You don’t have to be afraid. You see, we are all special – you, me, your mother, your brother… And there are more people out there, Peter, and they are waiting for something to happen… Don’t be afraid, just let it happen, and talk to me. Let me know what’s in your heart, and I’ll be here for you…
No, no. Charles sighs. Would Peter listen to the ramblings of an old man? The Petrelli boys don’t know anything yet, and Angela wants it that way.
So Charles does not say a word. He only asks Peter to take him out on the roof in his wheelchair, and Peter does that. They are standing there together, looking out on the city below them, and Peter puts his hands lightly on Charles’ shoulders, only for a moment. Just to say ‘I’m here, take your time, we don’t have to speak.’
Some dying men might want to spend the last of their time talking but Charles decides that it’s good enough like this. A comfortable silence.
He wonders if Peter can feel it, too. The connection. They share something, not blood, but something else. Peter likes him, Charles is sure of that. Not only because it is in his nature to be kind. Peter is the kind of man who will always give a person the benefit of a doubt. But he must like people sometimes, too. Like them for no other reason that that he just does.
Charles wishes that this is true. Now, during the last of his days on this earth, is he longing for a young man’s friendship like he hasn’t been longing for anything in ages. Why is that? Perhaps he hopes that something of Peter’s youth will fall off him and… No, that’s silly. But Charles wishes that he didn’t have to be dying. He would like to see Peter as a mature man, a family man, a happy man, a…
Or maybe not. Look what happened to Angela. Look what happened to all of them! So perhaps it is for the best that Charles will not see the changes in Peter as years go by. Things can change so quickly. Even five years gone from now, who knows? Peter and other young people like him could be changed beyond recognition.
Or maybe not? Maybe Peter will not change, no matter what will happen to him? Can the pure of heart go undamaged through life?
“Take me in now, please”, he says. “And then… would you stay with me a little while?”
“A little while”, Peter agrees; he rarely says no. “But then I’ll have to go. Do you want me to read something?”
Yes, Charles wants him to read. Peter is a good reader and he has a pleasant voice. It could have something to do with what appears to be an intuitive understanding of the characters, because he can always adjust his voice to the characters he’s reading, but without making it sound artificial, like some of those actors that read audio books.
Peter reads, and then he has to leave. For now. He will come back, that’s what he always says.
“See you soon, okay? Good bye!”
And he smiles that simply irresistible smile. He doesn’t know that somewhere in his smile is a reflection of her smile, and Charles loves him for this ignorance.
Peter knows nothing about the past, and yet seeing him is a constant reminder every day. A reminder, but also a small glimpse into the future.
The young generation will get it right this time. Charles only has to look at Peter to know it, and maybe one day he’ll say it.
He will say that Peter gives him hope and he loves him for it.