[ooc: Sylar is heroslayer, Peter is youngerpetrelli and Claire is girl_ofsecrets and all are used with the kind permission of their muns. Mohinder is witnessof_fate and Sark is elementof_risk and both are mine to use and abuse as I please for purposes of the prompt. ;-)]"My home is not a place, it is people."
- Lois McMaster Bujold
Sark had chosen the restaurant after Adam insisted--repeatedly--that he didn't care where they ate, and that it had been Sark's choice was frighteningly obvious. Dear god, but his puppy had expensive and extravagant tastes. But they had his favorite wine, though the sommelier tried to tell them that they didn't until Sark either dropped a name or a threat and then they suddenly had not just one bottle of the 1982 Château Pétrus Bordeaux, but two, and Adam had to chuckle at just how smug the puppy looked, the frightening chill in his blue eyes melting away as it it had never been. He insisted on pouring for everyone even Claire, and the restaurant was the sort not to have to worry about their liquor license, or whatever Sark had murmured either kept the eyebrows from being raised, at least.
Adam had worried, a little, about this first gathering in such an intimate setting. True, they'd all been at the party, but this was Peter and Sylar and Claire and Mohinder all at the same dinner table, with blood under it, metaphorically, between them, soaking their history together, all of them with their pasts. He'd done his best to assure Claire she was safe, and it was a testament to her trust in him that she'd come, that she seemed to be enjoying herself. That she was here meant more to him than he could say, more than he had
said to any of the rest of them--their little secret. Sylar knew and Peter knew what the girl was to them, of course, but what she was to him they kept between the two of them for fear of how Peter would react. Secret upon secret laced tighter inside of the blood between them all, but it bound them, too. They weren't just his friends, then. They were his family, too. And that, he was finding, was a precious thing.
If things started out somewhat awkward, with glances back and forth like everyone was waiting to see if someone would lunge for a steak knife and slit someone's throat, a few dry comments from Sark and a couple of well aimed shots back from Mohinder, the two outside the familial bonds, yet pulled back in by their own ties and twisted up in their own ways, eased it and by the time the waitress cleared the salads, they had eased into a few cautious stories being told around the table. By the time they opened the second bottle of wine and started on their entrees there was even teasing, and by the time dessert was served, outright laughter had broken out more than once. Adam was feeling very warm, and he didn't think it was the wine.
Going back to the flat instead of parting ways seemed almost natural, and looking around, seeing his four favorite people--and Suresh who, really, he had nothing against--Adam couldn't stop the grin. Thirty birthdays passed in cold, sterile rooms with an occasional visit by Elle if she remembered the date and could get past security as the only thing to hope for, and then this...for a moment it didn't compute. It did not seem possible that life could change this drastically in one year, that anything could change this much, could be this different, could be this right.
He was shaken from the reverie by a glass of wine being thrust into his hands along with a pair of sunglasses.
"Sunglasses, puppy?" he asked, arching an eyebrow at Sark.
"Oh, I believe they are de riguer," Sark replied with a smirk, before moving and handing them out.
Sylar was busy rooting through the box with a grin, setting things up and bickering with Peter over the drum set, and Adam watched for a moment to make sure they weren't going to hurl each other across the room and start the blood bath he'd half expected when the evening had been proposed, but Peter finally threw his hands up and shrugged. Mohinder had retreated to the chair with a glass of wine, staying far out of the way, but Sark thrust sunglasses at him as well. "Everybody plays, Suresh."
"I don't sing..."
"Yes, you do," Sylar corrected him.
"Not for this!" Mohinder protested. The two of them held each others' gaze and Adam got the sense there was some sort of silent communication going on--a sense heightened by Peter's sudden blush, and he had to smirk. Sark was watching them, too, before suddenly getting very busy with the Wii. He wandered to join him.
"Nothing. You're singing to start."
"I do better on keyboard..."
"There isn't a keyboard. It's Guitar Hero...and you need to learn it first, so...singing for first round, because you can sing... Most of these you're going to have to learn, because they're a bit after your time being out but this..." He cast Adam a smirk, put on his sunglasses and picked up the guitar. "Peter, you're up next with Suresh and Claire. Bad guys against the good guys should work I think, yes?"
Adam laughed, shaking his head. "What are we playing?"
Sark flicked on the TV, and flicked on the game. "Just listen and keep up..."
"Sweet Home Alabama"--very loud--filled the room and Adam grinned, waiting for his cue, and forgot about looking silly, pretending to be a rock star with as much abandon as he could muster."Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin..."