Summary: “The only difference between the two of them is their own personal sense of what's moral and ethical. That's it, you know.” - Heroes Unmasked: The Dark Angel Gabriel
Warnings: AU, implied character death, violence
A/N: Written for the mission_insane challenge AU Table - prompt: What if…?
It had started off with wanting to know more about what was happening to him. A book had led him to Dr. Suresh’s abode, and then everything seemed to take a turn for the worse.
A killer was on the loose; a failed case of the doctor’s that had almost led to his death. He hadn’t meant to get involved, but how could he not when innocent people were dying? It wasn’t right to walk away when he could do something to put a stop to it.
The brains - they were the important part. He couldn’t stand seeing people mutated like that, even though there was no other option.
There was the problem of finding the killer though. The man was amazingly hard to track down and always managed to escape him no matter how hard he tried. Dr. Suresh and he had almost given up hope, but a miracle had saved their mission.
Molly Walker - a quiet young girl who escaped the killer’s touch that had the most extraordinary power. She could find him, no matter how hard he hid.
Now the only problem left was defeating the man who had killed so many.
The chosen victim - a women this time - screamed as Peter flew backwards to slam against the wall with a sickening thud. He collapsed to the floor in a tangled heap of limbs and blood. The woman ran for her life, a smart move considering what was about to occur.
Peter looked up as a tall figure emerged from the shadows and turned to face him, while his skin healed over until there was no trace of an injury. “The woman got away. Isn’t that disappointing?”
“I’m not disappointed in the slightest, but you probably are. You didn’t manage to kill another innocent person this time.” Gabriel said, eyes locking with Peters’ in an intense battle of wills.
A scowl distorted Peter’s face, “I’ll get her once I’m finished with you, Gabriel. I may not have been able to kill Miss. Walker, but her powers are still mine to use.”
He lashed out at the watchmaker, the unfortunate furniture in his way were torn to pieces at the fury behind his attack. The only things that saved Gabriel were his superior telekinetic techniques that allowed him to redirect Peter’s power and the ability he took from a dead cheerleader’s brain.
Peter laughed as Gabriel’s wounds healed over, “You call me a murderer, but at least I don’t desecrate the dead for their brains.”
“I’ll do what I have to in order to gain the abilities I need to stop you.” He stumbled to his feet, “I think if it as letting the dead help bring down their killer.”
Before Gabriel could move Peter was on top of him, hands burning red hot with as he went for the other man’s throat. Gabriel cooled his body down, matching the extreme temperature of Peter’s body in the opposite direction.
Steam originated where their flesh met, obscuring the vision of both men. “I don’t want to fight you, but why must you insist on killing? You have no need to Peter; their abilities are yours either way.”
“Always trying to play the hero, aren’t you Gabriel?” Peter chuckled darkly, forcing him backwards. “You’d never understand my needs.”
Gabriel shifted on his feet, flinging Peter back with a sudden burst of strength. “Try me. I want to understand.”
Peter straightened his coat out as the steam dissipated around them, “I’m special now, and no one is going to have the same gifts as me. You’re going to die with the rest of them tonight.”
“I wanted to be different too, but you don’t have to kill everyone else to be important.” He gestured towards himself.
There was a faint rustle of cloth against cloth as Peter shifted, fading from view in front of Gabriel’s startled face. Apparently he hadn’t managed to locate the bodies of every human that Peter had killed.
A disembodied voice echoed throughout the room, “I do, no one noticed how special my talents were until I began to kill. I’m the maximum potential of the species, and all of you are nothing compared to me.”
Gabriel glanced back and forth across the room in search for some kind of movement. “Dr. Suresh knew you were special. Isn’t that something?”
“Chandra didn’t even believe me when I first came to him, thought I was psychotic. He’s so lucky to have survived my first attack. I was still so inexperienced then.”
The only thing that saved Gabriel’s life was the distinct sound of something cutting through the air. He ducked, just in time to see Peter fade back to visibility wielding a broken piece of furniture.
Peter growled, “Why don’t you just stay still and let me kill you? I want to open up that head of yours and see why you are so much better at controlling your gifts than me.”
He missed Gabriel once again as the watchmaker ran to the other side of the room. “You won’t learn how I control my gifts by looking at my brain.”
A sneer graced Peter’s face, “I’ll have fun doing it anyway.” He lunged at Gabriel, bringing the wooden limb swinging towards his adversary’s head.
“What about Nathan?”
The wood stopped inches from Gabriel’s face. “What about him?” Peter snarled, anger clearly growing at the mention of Nathan’s name.
Gabriel’s hand shot out, ripping the wood out from Peter’s hands and flinging it across the room. “You have a family that cares about you! Why would throw that away?”
“Do you really think they care about me?” Peter laughed loudly, the sound tinged with madness. “My mom wanted me to explode and kill more people than I’ll ever manage to at the rate I’m going now. Nathan was even worse. I loved him, but my dear brother abandoned me when I needed him most. I’m suicidal,” He grinned, “I’m homicidal.”
In that one moment Gabriel could see a hint of the despair that was usually hidden in Peter’s eyes. The grin did nothing to hide the pain Peter was feeling as he talked about Nathan, and the sick joke barely covered up the hitch in his voice as he spoke.
The empath was almost identical to him, and Gabriel knew that if his life had been a little different he’d be the villain and Peter the hero. But the past was set in stone, and now all he wanted to do was help the broken soul in front of him.
Peter flung Gabriel back, pinning him to the wall as he continued his tirade. “I didn’t mind that my family always played more attention to Nathan, that I was a ‘disappointment’, but I expected to get away from that after I left. Simone though, brought me right back to those days of imperfection.”
“She used you to replace him so you killed the both of them.” Gabriel pointed out, the loud echoes of Peter’s thoughts completing his tale before he could verbalize it.
“Oh, you got the cop’s brains along too. Isn’t it wonderful to read other’s thoughts?” Peter raised his hand, pointing at Gabriel’s forehead. “Alas, you won’t be enjoying it for much longer. This is goodbye, Gabriel.”
At the first sign of pain Gabriel struck, pushing through the weaknesses in Peter’s telekinetic touch. He flew backwards, crashing into the bookshelf and collapsing onto the floor. Gabriel followed him, trapping Peter between his body and the floor.
Peter chuckled, “Are you going to kill me now, Gabriel - turn into an avenging angel for the dead?”
“No.” Gabriel pressed Peter harder to the floor, careful to leave no openings. “You had your chance to talk; now I’m going to have mine.”
The killer continued to struggle against his hold, but to no avail. “And what could you have to say to me that would have any meaning?” He asked.
“I know how you feel.” Gabriel whispered, meeting Peter’s gaze as it snapped up in surprise. He could see it clearly now, the fragments of the caring man Peter once was before his descent into darkness.
Gabriel leaned closer, their noses almost touching. “You can feel the truth in my words, Peter. I know that deep overwhelming loneliness which threatens to consume you. I know the desire to have a connection with someone that wants nothing from you. Do you think I’m any different, that it doesn’t hurt me too?”
Peter tried to shrink back from him, but the floor stopped his movements short. The soft puffs of Gabriel’s breath ghosted over his face, sending a shiver up his spine.
“I want to fix you.” Gabriel murmured, voice dropping several octaves as he drew even closer.
He stopped short as Peter turned his head away. “I’m not a watch for you to fix, it’s not that easy.”
Fingers tenderly grasped Peter’s chin and turned his head so they were facing one another again. “I never said you were a watch; you‘re more precious. I have no desire to take revenge on you Peter, because I would have done the same thing if I was in your shoes. It’s still there in me as well, the loneliness that haunts a human’s soul.”
“You’re just as broken as I am.” Peter whispered, finally realizing the truth as the desire to fight back left him.
Gabriel’s lips brushed over Peter’s in a ghost of a kiss. “Why don’t we fix each other?”
A nerve-wracking silence greeted his proposition; the tension thick in the air. Peter was searching Gabriel’s eyes for something, a reassurance that this wasn’t just another trick.
Finally, Peter nodded and sealed the deal with a proper kiss.
For those of you who want to know, the next Deception Series should be up tomorrow too. ^_^