Summary: Adam and Peter head out to a bar. Adam has a solution to Peter's inability to get drunk.
Spoilers: set during season 2
Original Story: Preventative Maintenance by brighteyed_jill. This was a really hilarious and fascinating look at Adam's power, what it means, what one can do with it, etc. But I decided to think about what Adam really might have been up to.
Another day, another drink. Adam needed it after the previous few days he’d had. Hell, he needed it after the previous 30 years. The bar he and Peter were sitting in, nestled just outside Washington, DC on the way from Maine to Texas, was not ideal, but it was necessary for the evening.
Not that drinking actually did any good, but sometimes pretending to be drunk helped to put him in a better mood. Once the happiest drunk in Japan, Adam Monroe had lost the ability to become intoxicated. At first, he’d been annoyed by what appeared at the time to be a solitary negative side-effect to an otherwise wholly positive development. How else was he supposed to get through the monotony of endless time? But on the other hand, it served as the final kick in the pants that his young and frivolous self had needed to pull it together and get serious.
The reason Adam needed something soothing right now lay in the mouth-breathing twat sitting next to him. He’d been worried for a few days when the boy had disappeared from right under his nose, but as with all things, he’d quickly moved on to a Plan B. Peter Petrelli was convenient, yes, but not the only way of getting what he wanted.
But then, just as suddenly as he’d disappeared, Peter was back with a preposterous story of Irish gangsters and shipping crates, and Adam quickly switched back to Plan A. However, the plan didn’t go without a few aggravating hiccups. Peter had balked at the idea of outright stealing a car, so Adam had had to go through the trouble of actually renting it with one of his fake IDs. Peter wanted to visit his brother and it had taken all of Adam’s silky-tongued powers of persuasion to convince him not to. Peter wanted to whine… all the fucking time. He whined about his family, he whined about his brother, he whined about his lost girlfriend, he whined about how hard it was for him to have all of those powers.
It was enough to make Adam scream. Peter didn’t appreciate, didn’t even realize how powerful he was, how special. Even worse, it made Adam cringe to hear in Peter’s rants the same innocence that he had so long ago shared. Peter didn’t even see the fact that he could destroy Adam any second he wanted to. He didn’t even want his godforsaken abilities. The things Adam could have done with what Peter had… It was lucky that Adam possessed good sense---something Peter would never acquire like a sponge---and could keep Peter strung around his finger.
What Adam wanted was for Peter to stop fucking talking. What he needed was for him to release his metaphorical hold on Adam’s coattails long enough for Adam to get some actual business done. His appointment had arrived, and if he were still capable of getting a headache, the kid would have been giving him one right now.
And so, Adam proposed a plan for how Peter might get very drunk, indeed.
It hadn’t taken many days talking through the wall for Adam to glean that Peter was dense, but only now was he realizing the true extent of his young pawn’s naïveté. It was all he could do to keep himself from rolling his eyes as Peter actually swallowed the load of claptrap Adam was showering him with. About how it was ‘dangerous’ for him to heal whenever it was convenient for his body to heal. About how regeneration was a power to ‘control’ just like anything else. About how there was a way for Peter to get drunk if he really wanted to.
It wasn’t complete rubbish of course; the best lies are always based in truth. However, while for Adam it was true that regenerating in public was a bad idea, it was almost shocking that Peter didn’t realize it wasn’t a problem for him. So what if someone tried to haul him off to an experimental facility? The boy simply had to break out telekinesis, or radiate his foes, or fly away, or use any of the arsenal of abilities he had stored in that feeble brain of his. And anyway, despite Peter’s proclivity for getting into scrapes, no one had yet seemed to notice him doing anything extraordinary. Adam had learned over the years that people never saw what they didn't want to process.
At any rate, living was always better than dying, so Adam didn’t care who might see. Anyone who did was usually dead by his hand within days. Sobriety was also to be maintained; one never knew what could happen. He wasn’t the same carefree mercenary anymore, and hadn’t been for a long time.
And so, Adam could barely restrain himself as he spouted ‘guidance’ on ‘control’ and watched Peter lap up his advice like the good puppy he was. However, he found a way to get both of his goals accomplished in one fell swoop.
Smiling to himself at his own cleverness, he rounded his lecture off with, “Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to get in a bar fight, and you’re going to get trounced.” It wasn’t quite necessary, but Adam was going to get a kick out of watching the world’s most powerful man get… kicked. He pointed out exactly whom he wanted Peter to get beaten up by, and simultaneously caught the eye of pretty blonde sitting next to Peter’s ‘target’. She didn’t wink or give any signal, but Adam could tell that she’d understood the meaning of his gaze.
“That woman… she looks kinda familiar…” Peter began to murmur.
Jolted out of his flirty gazes, Adam turned quickly and suspiciously towards Peter. “She does?”
Peter kept staring. Luckily for Adam, the asshole she was with noticed Peter’s stares, but not Adam’s. After another swig of his beer, Peter muttered, “No, not really, actually.”
Insecure, as always. Still, the possibility was interesting…
As he watched Peter bow-leg his way over to the swarthy drunkard and his attractive blonde date, Adam regretted having joked about Peter trying to be obnoxious as a way to start the fight. He should have simply told Peter to be himself.
It didn’t take long for the brawl to start. It turned out that Peter did a beautiful job of being obnoxious when getting drunk was the goal. That was something to remember for the future. The blonde threw a fit at the unsightly behavior of her companion and picked up her purse, about to storm out. All was going well when Adam slipped out of the bar into the cool and blessedly quiet night. He’d only walked to the corner when he heard steps behind him.
“How’d you know I’d be able to get away like that? I gotta say, when I got a message telling me to look for a blonde guy who’d wink at me and then find a way to get me alone… I didn’t really believe it.” The blonde from the bar had her hands in her pockets and was looking at him as though trying to read to the depths of his soul. Nice try he thought.
“I always know what I’m doing,” Adam bragged, even though he’d only just come up with the plan five minutes before.
“Who was that jerk?” she asked conversationally.
“Who? My friend or your date?” he quipped back at her.
Barbara simply pursed her lips at him, not appreciating the joke.
She had grown up beautifully, a change from the mewling baby he’d seen thirty years ago, just before his incarceration. He wondered what her ability was, what had come from Zimmerman’s formula. Whatever it was, it was fierce, because this woman carried herself with a self-assurance that bordered on aggression.
“What is a beautiful woman like you doing with such a boor?” he asked, stepping close---too close---to her, practically sniffing her hair. Here was a change to Peter’s prattle of the past few months. Not that Barbara was particularly interesting, but there was a relish of life about her that Adam had missed. Sadly, or perhaps luckily for him, she was all business.
“He’s my boss. I take care of whatever… whoever he wants me to take care of.”
“And yet he decided to take care of my young friend himself,” Adam noted.
She grinned, and it was a terrifying sight. “Sometimes I let him fight his own battles. Don’t wanna emasculate him. Plus, your little buddy didn’t seem that dangerous.” She shrugged. How little she knew.
“I sincerely hope that he will get the worst of the fight… for all our sakes. And now,” he added, finally getting to business despite her quizzical look at the remark, “do you have the package?”
She reached into her overcoat pocket and pulled out an envelope. “I got all the info I could find on the folks you’re looking for. Not too hard. Actually, it was a piece of cake. Apparently, I look exactly like some broad who works for a senator. Someone named Tracy. So, I just waltzed in as her and asked to see a lot of stuff. No problem. Crazy, right?”
Adam thought back to that day in Zimmerman’s laboratory. Three girls. Niki, Barbara, Tracy. The hands of destiny… or was it coincidence?... always working. “Indeed. That is a startling happenstance,” Adam replied evenly, storing the fact away in his brain for later use. Not that either Barbara or this Tracy woman were likely to survive what Adam had planned.
“Do you have the money?” she asked.
“Of course,” Adam answered and handed her a large envelope full of cash.
“So, why do you want to know about these people anyway? Most of them are dead. One just last week, too. Someone threw him off a building.”
“I heard about that. And I have my reasons,” Adam replied mysteriously.
“Alright. Well, thanks for the job, and the cash, and for getting me the night off. I think I’m going to head back to my place rather than waiting around for Roger. If there’s anything you want done in the future, you know where to find me.”
“I will,” Adam promised, although he knew that he’d probably not have any use for her. She stuck her hands back in her pockets and disappeared into a parked car along the sidewalk.
Left alone again, Adam sighed and began to stroll back to the hotel. He’d be there for Peter, just as he’d promised. Barbara’s business-like demeanor and resistance to his, admittedly less than half-hearted overture, had left Adam horny and just slightly disappointed. At least if he was stuck with the Petrelli brat, he could at least get something out of an otherwise dull evening. Peter was gorgeous, up for it, and good. Given their power imbalance, a drunk Peter Petrelli seemed like the only way to get to a dead Peter Petrelli anytime in the future. Adam would get his fill out of him, and then one night, once he’d released the virus and had no more need for the kid, he’d get him drunk---just like he’d finished showing him how---and stick something in the back of his head.
In the meantime, at least he would get laid. If nothing, that should shut Peter up.