Peter Petrelli, portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia, is a fictional character on the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes. He is a hospice nurse-turned-paramedic in his mid-20s with the power to absorb and mimic the powers of other people with special abilities, or powers. Sensitive and compassionate, the character was initially defined by his complex relationship with his older brother, Nathan. Since that time, Peter Petrelli has had to deal with the outcomes from the decisions that his abilities force him to make.
In the premiere episode, Peter Petrelli is a hospice nurse living in New York City. Differences between Peter and Nathan, an ambitious politician focused on his congressional campaign, cause tensions between the two, which are exacerbated when Peter starts having extraordinarily vivid dreams of flying. He confides in Nathan, who passes them off as a sign of psychological distress. Peter summons Nathan to witness as he jumps off a building to prove he can fly. However, it's Nathan who flies, catching Peter as he falls. Peter blacks out after the brothers lose their grip on each other, waking up in the hospital with muddled recollections of what happened. Nathan claims neither of them flew and Peter is led to believe he's going crazy. To discover the truth, Peter threatens to jump from another rooftop if Nathan doesn't tell him what really happened. Nathan admits that they both flew. Peter first thinks Nathan is only telling him what he wants to hear, until Nathan points out that Peter is levitating as they argue. Peter's later attempts to fly, when away from his brother's presence, are initially unsuccessful.
Peter decides to quit his job as a nurse. He confides to Simone Deveaux, the daughter of his dying patient, Charles Deveaux, that he has loved her ever since he first saw her. The two of them spend a night together, even though Simone doesn't know how she truly feels about him.
The first hint of things to come arrive in the form of Hiro Nakamura, a man with the power to manipulate time and space, who travels back in time to give Peter a message: "Save the cheerleader, save the world." He urges Peter to be "the one we need". He tells Peter to go and visit Isaac Mendez, a painter and ex-boyfriend of Simone. Hiro notes how strange it is to see Peter without his scar.
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