Rating: R for violence, mentions of sex
Word count: 1100
Summary: Adam challenges Peter to get better control over his powers.
Note: For heroesfest. Prompt: “Come here, pet,” he whispered. Thanks to redandglenda for the beta.
“It’s not fair,” Peter complained. He regarded the glass of amber liquid with disdain. “I used to be able to get drunk.”
“You used to be able to get syphilis as well.” Adam threw back another tumbler of bourbon—his fourth—and shook his head. “Dear Peter, always creating all your own problems.”
“Creating--? How is this my fault? If you weren’t sitting there regenerating, I wouldn’t be either.”
“Oh really?” Adam raised one sardonic eyebrow and nodded to the waitress for a refill. “It’s all about control. Other powers you are able to manipulate, aren’t you? The ones that make you…” He waved a hand toward the ceiling, vaguely. “…Dangerous?”
“Well here’s a bit of news,” Adam said, leaning in to whisper. “Regeneration is dangerous as well.”
Peter looked at him skeptically. “But on the plus side, it’s saved my life. Lots of times.”
Adam sat back in his chair. “What if you’re injured in public, and someone sees you heal?”
“What are the odds of that?”
“You want to play odds with me, Peter?” Adam accepted a fresh glass of bourbon and a sultry smile from the waitress before he turned to Peter for his answer.
Adam spread his hands as if to say, “Well, there you have it,” and sipped his drink.
Peter took a swig of his beer and stared out at the bar, at all the oblivious patrons who would react with fear (or worse) if Peter suddenly healed before their eyes. This wasn’t the type of place he and Adam usually frequented; Adam had a taste for finer things, and this biker bar, with its cheap beer and watery liquor hardly fit the bill. Still, Adam had insisted they come here, and Peter hadn’t objected. The place had a certain homey, almost romantically rustic quality about it. Best of all—no one he knew would come here. He and Adam could be alone.
Peter stole a glance over at Adam, who was making a horrible face with every sip of his drink and silently studying the crowd. “Control,” he’d said. When Adam had a point to make, there was no distracting him until he’d reached his goal. If he expected anything more from Adam tonight, he couldn’t ignore what Adam had to say.
“I don’t even know if it can be controlled,” Peter said softly. “If it happens even when I’m dead, doesn’t that make it, like, reflexive?”
Adam shrugged. “Perhaps. But if you’re not dead, you should be in control of your own body, Peter.”
“Easier said than done.”
Adam gave a contemptuous “hmph.”
“What do you know about it?” Peter snapped.
“I know you have the discipline to control a potential nuclear explosion, but you think you can’t prevent yourself from healing a paper cut? Sometimes, pet, you are remarkably dense.”
Peter wasn’t sure whether to be insulted or flattered by that. “If you have an idea, just tell me.”
Adam smiled, and Peter could tell he’d just been waiting to be asked. He pulled his chair around the table to sit beside Peter, facing the crowded bar. “Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to get in a bar fight, and you’re going to get trounced.”
Peter stared at him.
“Are you listening, Peter?”
“I’m listening, I just…”
“A fight. You know how to start a fight, don’t you?”
“Of course not.” Adam jerked his chin toward the near end of the bar, and Peter’s eyes followed. “The man in the brown shirt is with that blonde bint. He’s had six shots of tequila in the past half hour, and his buddies haven’t done much better.”
Adam sighed in exasperation. “So go over there and try to pick up that girl. Be obnoxious. I know you know how. Do I need to draw you a map?”
“I’ll be back at the apartment.” Adam stood and grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair. “Don’t come back without a black eye.”
Adam strode out the front door of the bar, but came around the alley and let himself in the back way. He stood in the shadows by the gents, watching Peter gulp down his beer and stare at the blonde girl Adam had pointed out. He stared so long that Adam began to wonder if he was going to make a move after all.
Finally, Peter swallowed the last of his beer and stood, striding purposefully over to the blonde and smiling his best come-hither smile. Adam turned and slipped out the back. He didn’t need to see the action, only the results. Peter would be back at the apartment soon, and he would be waiting.
It was more than two hours before Adam heard the jingle of keys at the door. He made no move to get up from the sofa, just waited patiently. Soon enough, Peter appeared in the doorway. He looked terrible: black eye, a split lip, a smudge of blood on his mouth, his shirt ripped, leaning all his weight on one foot.
“It took me a long time to walk home,” Peter said apologetically. “I think my ankle’s broken.”
Adam stood, drinking in the sight of his lovely, damaged boy. “Come here, pet,” he whispered.
Peter limped forward to rest his head on Adam’s chest and wrap his arms around him. Adam took Peter’s face gently in his hands and examined it. The black eye wasn’t too bad, yet. If he left it, it might be swollen shut in the morning. “Good boy,” Adam said. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”
Peter shook his head. “Not hard to start the fight. Hard to keep from healing.”
“Did it hurt?” Adam asked. He wiped at a smudge of blood on Peter’s face, and Peter flinched. It was a cut—maybe one of the men had been wearing a ring when he hit Peter.
“Still hurts,” Peter admitted.
“It’s alright,” Adam soothed, pulling Peter close to his chest. “You did it. Let it go.”
With a sigh of relief, Peter stopped doing whatever it was he’d been doing. A moment later, he pulled away from Adam, standing hale and whole.
With his thumb, Adam wiped away the blood from Peter’s lips. “Now you can control it, whenever you want to.”
“I think so,” Peter said.
“Good. Because I want to try something else.” Adam leaned close to whisper in Peter’s ear. “Tomorrow morning, I want there to be hand-shaped bruises on your hips. I want your arse so sore you can hardly walk. I want your throat raw from screaming. Do you think we can manage that?”
Peter’s mouth was suddenly very dry.
“Yeah,” he whispered. “Yeah, I think we can.”