Characters/Pairings: One-sided Matt/Mohinder
Spoilers: Vague S2 spoilers
Warnings: Non-violent stalking, creepiness, sexual references
Disclaimer: Heroes belongs to Tim Kring, NBC et al
A/N: Vague AU, Matt’s still a cop in L.A., Mohinder’s working for the Company. That’s really all you need to know. Thanks to brighteyed_jill for betaing. Written for kethni for the Spring 2009 heroes_exchange.
Summary: When Matt goes to the Company for help, his doctor takes a very personal interest in his well-being…
Matt smoothed the Band-Aid over the small puncture wound in his elbow, and grimaced apologetically at the doctor.
“Sorry, I know it’s kind of stupid, me being a cop and all, but I really don’t like needles.”
Dr. Suresh only nodded absently, his eyes fixed on Matt with a very peculiar intensity.
“It’s perfectly all right. Seeing our own blood reminds us of our own mortality; your reaction is hardly uncommon, but you controlled yourself very well.”
Matt smiled nervously, accepting the compliment and trying to ignore the bit about blood and mortality. The Company doctor had been very professional throughout his evaluation, initially easing Matt’s fears about learning to control his abilities. He had to learn from somewhere, and muddling through on his own wouldn’t work. The Company had been something of a godsend, letting him know he wasn’t going crazy, and that there was help out there if he wanted it.
They’d started with a simple physical, then an evaluation by a Company geneticist, which had all gone perfectly well… right up until now. Matt had always had pretty good instincts as a cop, and those had only been augmented by his telepathy. His control wasn’t great, but right now he was starting to get a vaguely creepy vibe off of Dr. Suresh.
Matt gave himself a mental shake, and shook the doctor’s hand in thanks. The man had probably been working with people with strange powers all his life; maybe a little creep was sort of inevitable. It was sort of sad, really; the man was young and fairly attractive. Ever since Janice had divorced him almost six months ago, Matt hadn’t been too picky in looking, though he hadn’t dated since. Well, it was probably best that he not take this farther than a look. Dating your doctor had all kinds of B-grade thriller-movie clichés attached to it.
“I’ll call you with your results as soon as I get them,” Dr. Suresh promised, smiling broadly. “And I’ll need to schedule you for another appointment later this week.”
“Oh, sure. Do I just talk to the receptionist…?”
“I’ll take care of it personally. When are you free?” The man’s smile hadn’t dropped one iota, and while it was a very beautiful smile, it gave Matt the impression he was talking to a wax doll.
“Uh, Friday afternoon, sometime after five, if that’s ok,” Matt said after a second of thought.
Dr. Suresh wrote it down in his book, and then straightened to look at Matt, catching his gaze squarely.
“Matthew, I apologize if I’ve made you in any way uncomfortable. I know telepathy cannot be an easy power to deal with, and you’ve shown a great deal of trust to come to the Company.”
“I… uh appreciate that,” Matt said, surprised. It was the first time any one of the Company had acknowledged his ability as something abnormal. He supposed it was deliberate, to try to make abilities seem normal enough that people wouldn’t get stressed out, but it was refreshing to find someone who was willing to be somewhat honest about it.
“We haven’t had many telepaths through here, at least not in a while, but I do remember a few things. One of them is it’s pointless to lie to someone who can read your thoughts.” Dr. Suresh stepped over and put his hand firmly over Matt’s. “I know this is forward of me, but you’ll probably end up hearing it at some point soon, so let me be direct; I find you rather attractive.” He smiled again, and this time it seemed more sincere.
Matt swallowed quickly in surprise, but didn’t pull his hand away. It was the first time anyone had looked at him in that way in months. And B-movie thriller clichés or not, Matt didn’t want to let this opportunity pass him by.
“Thanks for telling me,” he said, feeling color rising in his cheeks. “It’s uh… mutual.”
“I’m glad. Perhaps coffee sometime?”
“Maybe after I’ve, uh… you know, gotten this under control?” Matt asked, feeling fluttery, first-date jitters he hadn’t had since high school.
“Of course.” Dr. Suresh patted his hand amiably, and took a step back. “Whenever you feel you’re ready.”
Over the next few days Matt had to put Dr. Suresh’s offer on the back burner in the face of the other work he had to do. After all, there were still perps to catch, beats to patrol, crimes to solve, and Matt literally couldn’t afford to take a vacation. Besides, working himself into exhaustion kept him from “overhearing” or inadvertently projecting.
As he flopped into his chair at home after a long day at work, Matt groaned and opened up a cold beer. He intended to turn on the TV to a baseball game and think of precisely nothing at all. That’s when the phone rang. Defiantly, Matt took a long swig of suds before picking it up.
“Parkman,” he answered brusquely. Matt’s few remaining friends would get past his version of “hello,” and any stranger that called him really had to want to talk to him.
“Matthew, hello. This is Mohinder.”
Matt had to take a second to process that. There was only one “Mohinder” that he knew, but he hadn’t exactly expected Dr. Suresh to get so informal over the phone. The Company could be monitoring their outgoing calls. If Matt had been in Dr. Suresh’s place, he’d be counting on it.
“Uh, yeah, Dr. Suresh, right.” Matt winced at his tone. He knew he sounded brusque, but if Suresh wasn’t going to remember he worked for a secret organization, then Matt had to.
“I have the results from your exam. I’m pleased to report all of your medical tests are within normal range, though you do have a slightly elevated cholesterol level, and your weight is-.”
“I know, I know, I need to lose like fifty pounds. Believe me, I know. I’m trying,” Matt broke in.
Damn, this was frustrating. He didn’t need to hear the same thing he’d been hearing from his regular doctor for the past five years, especially from someone he was vaguely sort of considering trying to date! It was just hard for him to give up his favorite foods, not when he was under constant stress. And cops didn’t exactly get to pick the healthiest places to eat. If a taco stand was all that was near when you had a moment for lunch, then that was where you went.
“Well, I would say your body mass index is less than ideal, but it’s really not a problem for me.”
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” Matt asked, hoping he hadn’t heard that right, and sort of hoping he had. Lord, he did not want to have Suresh taken away as his doctor because someone thought Suresh was violating the Company’s sexual harassment policy. On the other hand, it was refreshing to hear Suresh didn’t seem to mind that Matt wasn’t perfect.
“Your body mass index is less than ideal, but it’s really not a problem,” Dr. Suresh repeated calmly.
Matt relaxed marginally; he must be more tired than he thought to have imagined that last part.
“I would recommend changing your diet, however, to get your cholesterol under control. I think you will find clearing your body of certain chemicals will allow greater concentration on using your ability effectively. Reducing the stress on your body from excess weight will also help immeasurably. It will certainly allow you greater control and range,” Suresh continued soothingly.
Matt sighed and took another swig of beer. He needed to lose weight if he was going to get firm control over his mind. Great. Suresh was probably right; Matt knew he was mentally “leaking” slightly, and he definitely “overheard” more than he should, despite trying as hard as he could not to. If he didn’t want to go stark raving mad over time, or have his co-workers figure out exactly what he could do, he would have to get a firm handle on his telepathy, and fast.
“Are you drinking something Matthew?”
“Uh, just having a beer. It’s been a long day at work, you know?”
“Matthew, I’m going to have to ask you to cease and desist immediately! Alcohol is a very bad combination with your ability,” Suresh said sternly, with just a hint of pleading.
Matt thumped his head softly into the back of his chair. No beer, and a future of diet and exercise in front of him before he could get his ability under control. There had to be some kind of compromise; his life had been going steadily downhill for a while. And he certainly didn’t need to justify himself to Suresh! Well, ok, he didn’t need to, but if he honestly wanted to go out with Suresh, he needed to do everything he could to help himself. So he took a deep breath and justified.
“Doctor Suresh, I have maybe one beer a day. I’m not an alcoholic. You can check with the force; I don’t even go to the bar anymore!” Matt said, rubbing his aching temples with one hand. Dating was never this hard in high school. And this technically wasn’t even dating yet. This was pre-dating!
And no, he honestly didn’t go to the bar anymore because even though Matt had never said anything, people had gotten wind of something. If nothing else, the fallout from the affair between Janice and his former partner had caused plenty of problems. The only friends he really had left were a few die-hard old classmates from the academy, and they were all in different precincts.
“I would still recommend cutting it out of your diet. It would be terrible if you needed your ability ‘after hours’ and were unable to concentrate fully. I need you sober, Matthew.”
“What?” Matt demanded.
“You need to be sober, Matthew.”
I’m losing my mind. I swear, this thing is driving me crazy, and I’m losing my mind, Matt thought tiredly. He was reading further into this conversation that he should.
He was lonely and alone, hadn’t had a date in months, and every now and then his body wanted to remind him that his right hand wasn’t a substitute for actually going out and meeting someone. Which now somehow included him imagining Suresh inserting personal comments into what was supposed to be a professional phone call.
“Just let me ease into this, all right? I got divorced six months ago, discovered I could read minds, and now I’m just trying to hold things together, ok? I’m supposed to be in on Friday, so I guess we can talk about it then, all right?” Matt asked desperately. He knew he was talking too much, saying too much, but just didn’t want Suresh to think he was being obstinate on purpose.
“I can’t wait to see you Matthew.”
There was a click and then a dial tone. Matt looked at the phone for another long moment, and then hung it up.
If he’s still willing to see me after all that, maybe I should consider myself lucky.
“All of this?” Matt said dejectedly, running his finger down the list of foods he should avoid. He couldn’t read it all right now, but the list was decidedly long. The thought of having to make and compare lists to go shopping was thoroughly dejecting, not even considering that things like bacon and EZ-Cheez were probably at the top of the list of forbidden foods.
“These are the major ones. There’s a smaller list on the last page that recommends certain types of fats and ingredients to avoid, along with a list of things that would make excellent substitutes for the sorts of things you’re used to eating,” Dr. Suresh said, flipping several pages to point to the paragraphs in question.
Matt’s head started to swim at the endless lines of text, and he felt a faint pain start behind his eyes.
Of course he’ll be able to follow this, I tried to make the instructions as clear as I could. I know he’ll like it; I paid attention to everything. He’ll be in shape in no time. I can certainly recommend a gym, and he will be perfect in no time at all…
That thought had the flavor of Dr. Suresh’s accent, and Matt quickly stopped “listening.” Suresh had apparently taken a personal interest in Matt’s case… albeit, perhaps a bit more personal than Matt was used to. On the other hand, Matt’s normal doctor could barely make the time to see him for more than fifteen minutes at a time every year or so, and frequently forgot his name. Having personalized care wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. And besides, both Suresh and him had a vested interest in making sure he was as healthy as possible. This might be the closest they’d get to dating for a long time.
“Uh, Dr. Suresh, I-. Uh…” Matt said, stalling a bit and flushing as he tried to get the words out. He wanted to be able to do this, to get control, but the long list was going to be pure, unmitigated torture to read. He hadn’t mentioned his reading problem to anyone at the Company yet.
He’s very caring, in touch with his feelings. I know he’ll love this.
Matt’s eyes widened and he plunged on, talking louder than normal to keep from overhearing more than he should. He hadn’t wanted to date Suresh while he was still learning; it would be like cheating. Suresh would be at a disadvantage, and that was the last thing Matt wanted. He’d already bungled that up spectacularly when he’d tried with Janice, and didn’t want a repeat.
“Look, don’t tell anyone, but I really… I have dyslexia,” Matt got out. “This list… it’ll take me all day to read that. Could you just give me the highlights?”
For a second, Matt could have sworn that Dr. Suresh’s eyes lit up at his question.
“I can do better than that.”
I can do better for you.
“I’ll record it for you and drop it by your apartment. Would that be all right?”
Matt swallowed and smiled a bit nervously. He hadn’t had anyone, friend or no, anywhere near his apartment since he moved in. It felt like he was letting Suresh in, get close, even when it wasn’t even at the coffee stage yet! Lord, he was bad at this dating thing. “Uh yeah, that would be fine.”
“Of course. Now, I have the results of your genetic screening here as well.” Dr. Suresh opened another file fold and laid it out on the table, tapping a long finger against several complicated-looking charts and graphs. “Other than the headaches, which seem to be brought on by strain and stress, there seems to be no potential physical problems from your telepathy.”
Matt breathed a small sigh of relief. He had “overheard” a few things from some of the staff here… things that made him glad that his ability was so relatively unspectacular. The horror stories he’d “overheard” in fragments made his blood run cold. That had been a major impetus for him to deal with the Company in the first place. Matt didn’t want to turn into some kind of monster.
“So, it’s just the weight thing, then,” Matt concluded.
Dr. Suresh smiled again, that odd wax doll smile. “Also, if my projections are correct, and they inevitably are, your power does have great potential to grow and strengthen with practice. There’s no reason to think you’ll be constrained to simply hearing thoughts. I expect eventually you’ll be able to pick up images, and project your thoughts into the minds of others.”
And how amazing would that be to see. I would like to be the subject of that experiment, to have him read my mind and discover my innermost desires for himself…
“Whoa!” Matt said sharply. There was probably some kind of protocol for accidentally reading someone’s mind, but that hadn’t exactly been covered yet. “Dr. Suresh, uh… look, I’m really sorry, but you’re thinking sort of loudly.”
“Ah,” he said, not sounding at all discomfited. “And did you like what you heard?” Suresh’s voice sounded lower and far warmer than normal, as if trying to approach sultry.
Matt gaped at him for a long minute. Objectively, his answer was somewhere around hell yes, but his conscience yammered at him otherwise. He didn’t dare say anything out loud, not here.
“Dr. Suresh, we can’t-. I mean, not here! And I’m not-. I’ve barely started getting control!” Matt sputtered, trying to explain himself.
Ah. Of course. He’s quite entirely correct. This isn’t proper.
“I apologize, Officer Parkman. You intrigue me but-. I apologize.” Dr. Suresh’s voice had lost its faint warm tone and was back to brisk efficiency.
Matt heaved a purely mental sigh of relief. “It’s flattering, but I really need to get a handle on my ability first.”
Well, it was actually more than flattering. Suresh was pretty, damn pretty, and to have someone like that wanting him was heady stuff. So heady, in fact, that Matt had to rein himself back until his conscience gave him a whack across the head. No, it wasn’t “proper” on several levels, and Suresh was moving awfully fast, particularly on a patient. Matt sternly told himself he’d better keep them both on a short leash before they did something they’d both regret. Once he was done with the Company and had his ability under control, they could meet at equals, and then take things from there.
“Of course. Here, these are your medical test results for your own records; we’ll keep the genetic tests here for privacy purposes. And this is a membership and schedule for a gym near your apartment. You’ll be starting with a personal trainer tomorrow. A healthy body guarantees a healthy mind.”
Matt was sorely tempted to try to pry into Dr. Suresh’s mind to double-check his intentions, but stopped himself. Overhearing was one thing. Prying was something else entirely, and not a line Matt wanted to cross. Even if he wanted to.
“I hope it does,” was all Matt said, and he accepted the papers, stuffing them into his bag before slipping out the door.
This is not the proper setting for this kind of carrying on…
Matt only walked faster, and wished he hadn’t heard that. Him and his hand were going to be very busy tonight.
In the early morning, Matt dragged himself out of bed, threw his gym clothes into his bag, and almost stumbled over a package on his way out the door. Curious, he took the time to look inside, and found a small digital recorder with several interchangeable memory cards. Inside was a handwritten card.
I trust you’ll find this list easier to process. Yours Truly, Mohinder.
Matt looked at the recorder for a long minute, and wondered if this was where he should cut it off. Mohinder had probably spent several hours recording this for him. That was probably several hours too many, all things considered. Mohinder had signed the card “yours truly,” and had hand-delivered it, considering there were no stamps. Yeah… damn it, this was where Matt had to draw the line for now. Anything closer and they both risked doing something stupid.
There was a reason Matt hadn’t gone to a regular gym in years. In L.A., the city of beautiful people, you didn’t see fat people at the gyms. Gyms were where the beautiful people became more beautiful, where they met and ogled each other and laughed at the ordinary people outside the windows. Matt had enough to deal with without purposefully setting himself up to be heaped with scorn. He worked out at the academy gym when he remembered to, but even that was sometimes embarrassing, trying to compare himself to the rookies that worked out like they were competing in Mr. Universe contests on the weekends.
He was infinitely relieved when this gym seemed to be low-key, semi-private, and filled with more middle-aged businessmen and women trying to fight the battle of the bulge than aspiring starlets looking to keep their bodies in top working order. His trainer, a pleasant brunette woman a few years his senior, started him out with basic weights and stretches, nothing Matt figured he couldn’t handle.
Matt was even starting to enjoy himself by the time he got to a cool-down jog. He was a little sore, but it wasn’t too bad, and he’d managed to completely tune out everyone in the building the entire time. He guessed Suresh had been right-.
Matt suddenly got distracted by the guy next to him stripping off his shirt to start his own time on the treadmill. Glancing surreptitiously in the mirror, Matt was surprised to see the man’s incredibly tight and muscular abs, definitely not the usual around here…
His brain came to a screeching halt as he turned to look at the man full-on. Mohinder. Dr. Mohinder Suresh was jogging next to him, shirtless. Matt clutched the side-guides so he wouldn’t face-plant into the treadmill, and kept jogging in a numb daze. Suresh only caught his eyes seemingly casually in the mirror, and winked.
Now this could be a place for carrying on…
That overheard thought was clearly in Dr. Suresh’s accent, and Matt prayed for strength.
“Mohinder, what are you doing here?” Matt hissed, wheezing slightly over the sound of the treadmill.
“I just wanted to see you. I know this isn’t something you usually do, but the buddy system works wonders for those trying to lose weight,” Mohinder said brightly, as it were the most normal thing in the world for a geneticist at a secret company devoted to helping people with abnormal abilities to personally attend the exercise sessions of one of their patients.
Matt started to get a very faint chill going through his brain as he went over that mental statement a few times. He began to realize he had made a major mistake. Why would the Company geneticist be the one to discuss his exercise and nutrition plans with him? Why would Mohinder personally devote several hours of Company time to record a list for Matt? Why would Mohinder show up at the gym? Because it was outside Company grounds, on neutral territory. Because here Mohinder wouldn’t feel compelled to keep his thoughts to himself.
Because the Company should have insisted a budding telepath probably stay inside the Company until he was fully in control, and not let him loose on the outside world with only a bare start on containing his brain. And particularly they shouldn’t have let him loose on the police force. Matt should have seen that.
Mohinder had interceded because he liked Matt. And now that he’d interceded, he was moving in without regard to Company policy. Because he liked Matt. He liked Matt a lot. Too much.
“Uh…” Matt stalled, trying to find something intelligent to say, and quickly dialed his treadmill down to a walk. “Mohinder, it’s-. Look, this is just a little too much for me right now, ok? I need you to back off a bit.”
Mohinder blinked, seeming to be astonished, and furrowed his brow in way Matt found disturbingly sexy. Damn it, this would be a hell of a lot easier if the man wasn’t so damn attractive. Matt had been too distracted by the idea someone as beautiful at Mohinder could ever want him to have noticed the signs of his obsessive behavior earlier.
“Oh. Oh, I’m sorry Matthew. My apologies.” Mohinder leaned over, as if wanting to pat Matt on the shoulder before he left.
Matt all but leapt off the treadmill, out of range, and headed for the locker room. He absolutely could not handle this right now. He’d shower at the precinct.
Matt desperately wanted to call the Company and lodge an official complaint about Mohinder, but he knew he couldn’t. He couldn’t take the risk that the Company would want him to stay until he’d gotten his ability under control; and that would put him in constant contact with Dr. Suresh. But just before quitting time, when Matt finally returned to his desk to drop off his laboriously-written reports, there was a vase of red roses accompanied by a hand-written brown card.
My apologies for interrupting your gym time. I promise it won’t happen again. Remember not to lean on the handrails when you jog! Yours Truly, Mohinder
Red roses. The man had sent him red roses like he was a Valentine’s Day crush. Matt stared at the card like it was a poisonous spider, and dropped the roses in the trash next to his desk. There was no way in hell he could keep those. No way. The only way to stop someone like Suresh was to cut him out of Matt’s life completely.
Matt swallowed hard, and crushed the beautiful hand-written card in his hand. Damn it, why the hell did every good thing in his life have to turn against him?
It was four days later before anything else happened. Dr. Suresh thankfully hadn’t shown up at the gym again, or Matt would have found another place to go. Apparently his speech to Mohinder had gotten some kind of results, barring the rose incident. That was good on his part, because Matt wasn’t sure what alternative he had to the Company. It wasn’t like anyone else specialized in training abilities.
He’d been ready to chalk it all up to a life lesson, his first stalker, when he got home on Wednesday. That’s when he’d found an entirely new set of groceries in his cabinets and his refrigerator, along with some kind of casserole baking in his oven.
And there was another hand-written card in the middle of his kitchen table.
I noticed you hadn’t gotten your new groceries yet, so I took care of that for you. I hope you like the casserole! Yours Truly, Mohinder
The phone was in Matt’s hand before he’d even finished slowly reading the card. Screw the consequences of calling the Company, he had to stop this immediately, before it escalated, and using official channels was the one weapon he had left. One speed-dial to the Company, and Matt was off and ranting as soon as someone picked up.
“…and he broke into my apartment!” Matt finished, nearly at a shout as he capped off the list of Dr. Suresh’s stalkerish behavior. “He took all my groceries, left something baking in my oven like he had every right to it! You need to keep that man on a leash, or I’m going to find some way to manage this on my own!”
There was a moment of silence from the end of the line as whatever Company peon Matt had just lambasted tried to gather him-or-herself.
“But did you like the casserole, Matthew?” came a familiar accent.
Matt slammed the phone down with frantic strength. He’d called Suresh. How the hell had he managed to call Suresh? He didn’t have his number on speed-dial! He only put important numbers in his phone so he wouldn’t accidentally mis-type them by hand. Warily, he tried another speed-dial, one that should have rang him through to his precinct.
“I learned the recipe from a magazine. I tweaked the spices a little, made it a little more my own, but I think it came out quite flavorful.” Suresh continued as if Matt hadn’t hung up.
Matt slapped the receiver, ending the call, and stabbed another speed-dial at random.
“I think the leftovers will keep well, and then you can take them for lunch so you don’t have to eat that dreadful food from street vendors.”
Matt hung up again, sweating, fearful, and furious. This was not happening to him. He pressed another number.
“Really, did you like it?”
“Suresh, stop it,” Matt said, keeping his voice even, neutral, and authoritative. “I’m going to hang up the phone, and then I’m going to change my locks. You are going to leave me alone and stop bothering me, do you understand? Don’t come over to my apartment. Don’t call me. Don’t leave me packages or buy things for me. I am not coming back to the Company. I’ll follow your diet, I’ll do the physical and mental exercises, I’ll keep this thing of mine under control, but I am not going to meet or talk with you again, do you understand me?”
The only thing that kept Matt from threatening Suresh with arrest was the simple fact that the Company didn’t officially exist. He couldn’t exactly explain Suresh’s existence, or why he’d been going there in the first place.
“Is that what you really want, Matthew?” Suresh sounded sad and disappointed, but Matt couldn’t make himself care. He was too busy trying to remember all the stalker cases he’d ever heard of and how they’d turned out…
“Yes, just leave me alone. This isn’t helping me.” Calm, polite, no screaming, don’t get passionate, don’t give him the reaction he wants… Matt recalled.
“Ah. Well… I… see. I-. I love you Matthew, but… I’ll stay away.”
The phone went dead from Suresh’s end, and Matt dropped his phone back in the cradle, wiping the sweat from his head with the back of his hand.
Christ on crutches, Matt thought in bitter relief, looking around his apartment with a slightly skeevy feeling, knowing Suresh had probably been over every inch of it. Then he called the locksmith. And tried to find a way to scan for wireless cameras…
Six months later, Matt was still Suresh-free. Though his few interactions with the geneticist had been anything but healthy, in a strange way, they had actually made him much better than he had been before. Paranoia about Suresh showing up in his life again had honed his concentration to a fine point. Further guilt and paranoia about keeping to the Company’s expected regimen of diet and exercise lest Suresh try to get back into his life kept him on the straight and narrow.
That had the unexpected beneficial side effect of getting him into much better shape than he had been for years. Shape enough so that the force slowly stopped looking down their nose at him for wanting to be a detective. So, despite the undeniably creepy couple of weeks, Matt had to reluctantly give the doctor some credit for changing his life for the better.
Suresh had pretty much shot Matt’s dating life to shit though, so he wouldn’t thank him for that. Matt hadn’t dated since; he was too paranoid these days.
It was at the tail-end of his shift when his second domestic disturbance call of the day came in. Sighing, Matt’s partner, a rookie called Daniels, called in their response. The day had been plenty long already, but cops didn’t clock out early. Someone had to protect the public at all times, even from each other.
But when Matt pulled the cruiser up in front of the address, he sincerely wished he had gone home early. The husband had his battered wife in front of him like a shield, a gun to her head and a crazy gleam in his eye. This was one of those psychos who’d blow her brains out right in front of them, just to deny them taking away what was his. He’d only stop when one or the other of them was dead.
The husband screamed at them, and Daniels tried to reason back, neither of them getting anywhere but hoarse. Matt was silent, trying to concentrate on using his ability, to get the man to calm down, to find some piece of information to use as leverage so this wouldn’t turn into a gun battle. He’d had several successes that way already, and this was far preferable to a shoot-out.
Damn bitch… The stray thought was all Matt needed, and he followed it to its source, trying to find a way in.
He should have been more careful, should have checked his six, as the crazed man’s mind burst over his and held it in a grip of madness and rage. Matt felt himself gasping, blood draining from his face, as he desperately tried to pull his mind away from the perp’s. He could feel his hands tightening on the grip of his gun, searching for the trigger, though he wasn’t sure if he meant to use it on the husband, the wife, Daniels, or himself. A tidal wave of violence and anger was poisoning his mind, and he just couldn’t find an anchor-!
You look beautiful, Matthew. After all this time, you’re more beautiful than ever. So dangerous, so strong…
Dr. Suresh’s accented voice cut through the red and black turmoil in Matt’s mind like a laser through smoke. He was here, somewhere, the crazy bastard, and he’d inadvertently given Matt the anchor he needed to pull his mind free. Only someone equally as obsessed could have overpowered the husband’s all-consuming fury. Matt used that, turned and crushed his will down on the man’s mind, forcing him into unconsciousness. Daniels and the wife watched, dumbstruck, as the husband slumped to the ground for no apparent reason.
Matt clung to the door, now mentally and physically exhausted, and searched for Suresh in the crowd. He was easy to pick out; that beautiful but disturbed face was unique even in L.A. When he inadvertently locked eyes, Suresh gave him another of his brilliant, white, wax doll smiles, and Matt shivered involuntarily.
He wrenched his gaze away, and turned to help Daniels with the blessedly unconscious perp.
Matt woke up the next morning feeling conflicted and wretched. The after effects of having his mind nearly trapped had given him horrible dreams, not the least of which had been dominated by the reappearance of Mohinder Suresh. The damnable doctor had promised to stay away from him, yet had managed to be right there, exactly when Matt had needed an obsessed fan in his court. How the hell had he known?
Feeling the need for a beer in every cell in his body, Matt reluctantly shoved himself upright, and then paused, disgusted, when his hand inadvertently slid across some white goo on the side of his bed. It was still warm, and when a familiar brown card fluttered down from Matt’s bedside, he knew exactly what it was.
Reluctantly, Matt carefully read:
I’m so glad you accepted me back into your life, Matthew. Watching you sleep and knowing you were dreaming about me was the greatest moment of my life. I assure you, I intend to help you and aid you in any way that I can, as I always have. I love you. ~Mohinder
Matt began to frantically rub his hand clean on his sheets, but knew, with a horrible sinking feeling, that he was never going to be able to cleanse Mohinder Suresh out of life.