|Primary Characters:||Mohinder Suresh, Matt Parkman, Dl, Niki and Micah, Molly, Claire|
|Spoilers:||Season 1, including the finale|
|Warning:||violence, adult themes|
|Description:||Mohinder goes to see Matt Parkman, the Saunders’ family, Molly and others at the hospital. Something unexpected happens which calls for extraordinary measures. That leads to something even more unexpected.|
Dr Mohinder Suresh was standing in his hotel room, packing up the last few things he would need on his journey. He was about to leave New York and continue on to the next phase in his work.
It had all happened so quickly towards the end, and now it was all over. One second, he was convinced he was too late to even save his own life, let alone little Molly or anyone else’s – the next, the imminent threat of a nuclear detonation was averted and New York and its teeming millions of people, were safe.
He was going to say goodbye to the Saunders’, Matt Parkman and – if the mysterious man was still around – Noah Bennet. Most of all, he wanted to see little Molly and say goodbye properly. It was stupid and unscientific of him, but there was a part of him that had almost begun to regard Molly as an incarnation of his sister. In the little time he’d been caring for the girl, he’d grown fond of her and out of all the carriers of the genetic mutations, he was going to miss her the most.
Mohinder glanced at his wrist watch – a gift from his late father – and found that it was getting late. If he wanted to have time to go to the hospital, before his flight left, he’d have to get going now. He took the elevator downstairs, then asked the doorman to hail a cab for him.
Ten minutes later, he was on his way to the hospital. If he wasn’t mistaken, Mr Saunders would still be there, and so would Matt Parkman and of course Molly, but they were all on their way to recovery. Mohinder had a feeling that Noah Bennet might be planning to take Molly away with him, along with his adopted daughter Claire.
For all he knew, maybe Bennet had the right idea. In fact, Mohinder would have liked to be able to study all the survivors, carrying the special gene but he knew that neither of them would be particularly keen on traveling with others like themselves or a scientist, eager to study their powers,
Well, he’d see. He could ask them. The worst thing that could happen would be that they said no and he was already prepared for that.
His cab pulled up outside the hospital and Mohinder paid the guy. It looked as if the man was of Chinese origin. Another Asian in New York. Mohinder smiled as he handed over the money, but the driver didn’t return his smile. Apparently, he saw no kinship between them. Fair enough.
Mohinder gave a mental shrug and entered the building. He went to the reception desk and asked if it would be alright for him to see little Molly and the others. The nurse glanced at her computer screen, then nodded. She told him at what floor he’d find them.
No change there. As soon as they’d been well enough to have visitors, he had gone to see them. He decided to look in on D L Saunders first, primarily so he’d get a chance to see and, hopefully, talk to the man who could open any lock, or so he’d been told.
DL’s wife, Niki – or Jessica – Mohinder wasn’t sure which one of the women inhabiting mrs Saunders’ body, would be present today. He was hoping it would be Niki. Interesting as Jessica might be, she might also be a little too much to handle.
Their son, Micah, who had a special connection with technology, would be another interesting object of study, in a manner of speaking. Mohinder was hoping he might be able to get Micah to do a demonstration. He didn’t want to risk his files, saved on his laptop, but he would let the boy use his mobile phone, if he would only demonstrate the extent of his powers.
He’d already spent enough time with Matt Parkman to study his gift, but he wanted to say goodbye.
To Mohinder’s relief, he found that not only was Niki the one in control of her body that day, but she was also in a good mood, and so was her family. Mohinder could hardly believe his luck, when he saw that Micah was watching the tv set in the room. Perhaps it was too much to hope for, but if he asked, the boy might do something to the tv.
“How are you, mr Saunders?”
“I’m fine. The doctors are saying they’ll let me out any day now.”
“That’s excellent news. And how are you, mrs Saunders? And Micah?”
Niki smiled, looking much more at ease than the last time he’d seen her.
“Oh, I’m fine too and so is Micah. Aren’t you, baby?”
Micah shot Mohinder a look that made him appear wise beyond his years.
“Yes, dr Suresh. I’m fine. Thank you.”
“Well, I’m going to leave New York and look for more carriers of the special gene I told you about. The one you all seem to be in possession of.”
DL tore his gaze away from the game going on on the screen. Micah seemed more moderately interested. It appeared as if the boy was merely watching, for his father’s sake. There might have been something else he’d much rather watch.
“Yes, so you told us. And that’s the reason me and Niki and Micah have our gifts?”
The game ended and suddenly the screen flickered and began to show a cartoon. No one had touched the remote. It was lying on a small table beside the bed, but Micah, who was sitting at the foot of the bed, hadn’t even touched it.
Mohinder could barely contain his excitement.
“Micah – do you think you could do that again?”
Micah shot him a suddenly too-innocent look.
“You mean change the channel? Alright.”
He reached for the remote control, but before he’d switched channels again, his mother stopped him.
“Micah, you know that’s not what dr Suresh meant. Put the remote control away. Do it the other way. It’s alright.”
Mohinder could almost read the boy’s mind. He seemed to be shrugging mentally. It was worth a try. Perhaps Michal had good reason to be wary of adults. In any case, Micah turned his full attention onto the tv screen again.
It happened too fast for Mohinder to follow. One second, the cartoon characters were trashing what looked like a china shop, the next, a herd of elephants were running across a plain, in what Mohinder guessed was Africa. A logo at the top of the screen announced that this was the Discovery Channel. It was amazing, but he was hoping he could see more.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out his mobile phone. The default language was English. It was more convenient for him, especially after his long sejour in the US, but he had kept the settings that way from the start. At the university, students came from all over India, and the language most of them had in common was English.
“Here. Could you change the language to -”
Mohinder considered. Micah wouldn’t be able to read Tamil or Hindi, so he’d better choose another language, one with a script more familiar to the boy.
“French or Spanish. Could you do that? Using your gift, I mean.”
Micah took the phone, but didn’t reply. After a few seconds only, he handed it back to Mohinder, who discovered that the default language was now Spanish.
“Thank you, Micah.”
“You’re welcome. I changed it back again.”
“That’s very good.”
Mohinder looked around the room, but couldn’t think of anything else for Micah to do. He was hoping he might be able to see a sample of DL’s powers as well, but wasn’t sure it would be polite to ask. Especially since the man was still recovering from his injuries.
To Mohinder’s surprise, DL began to grin widely.
“I suppose you’d like to see my gift in action as well?”
“Well, I wouldn’t want you to slow down your recovery, but -”
“It’s ok. I’m already allowed to get up if I want to. Right. How about this?”
DL went into the bathroom – by opening the door. Mohinder followed, eagerly awaiting the demonstration. DL made eye contact with him, then walked straight through the wall and back into the ward proper. He turned and walked through the wall again, more slowly this time. It was as if the wall was made of air. It didn’t seem to slow him down at all.
Despite his long years of study and observation, Mohinder felt awed by the demonstration.
“Do you think you could explain a little, how it feels, how you do it?”
DL frowned in concentration.
“I don’t know how I do it. It’s just like walking through an open door, really. Except I feel the wall as I pass it.”
“Is it easy to do? Painful? Do you experience any dizziness?”
“Yes, no and no. I can take someone with me. Niki or Micah? Would you like to help me demonstrate?”
Niki opened her mouth to reply, but Micah beat her to it.
“Take me. I want to go.”
“Ok, sport. Here we go then.”
DL put his arm around Micah and pulled him through the wall, even slower this time, then returned, still holding on to his son.
Micah giggled delightedly.
“That was fun. Dad, can dr Suresh try it too?”
“If you like. Dr Suresh?”
“Mohinder. And I’d love to. If it’s alright with you.”
This time, DL merely put his hand on Mohinder’s shoulder. He more or less pushed him through the wall. As long as DL’s hand was in contact with him, it would work, Mohinder reasoned. He tried not to dwell on what might happen if DL lost touch with him.
It felt – odd. That was as close as Mohinder’s scientific mind got to explaining the experience. The wall was more solid than air, but far from as solid as – say – a mud wall, before it dried. He kept thinking it would leave some residue on him, but apparently, that wasn’t the case.
“Thank you, mr Saunders. That was amazing.”
“DL. Well, I guess you’d rather not see Niki’s gift in action?”
Mohinder’s smile didn’t fade, even though he sensed that the American was teasing him. He’d seen that behavior before, in men who felt superior due to their greater physical strength. It didn’t bother him as much as it used to, when he’d been a student. Pretending not to notice, Mohinder smiled.
“Well, no. I’m hoping we won’t need your help, mrs Saunders. Thank you, both you. I’d better get going now. Perhaps some time you’ll allow me to study your powers further?”
A guarded look crept into DL’s eyes. His wife’s face tensed up. Oh, well. It couldn’t be helped.
DL’s voice didn’t sound promising and Mohinder hadn’t expected him to welcome his attention.
He said his goodbyes and left.
Matt Parkman looked more pleased to see him. Parkman was a good man. Though it was getting a little late, Mohinder sat down anyway and had a chat with the ex-cop. They discussed the fact that Sylar seemed to have made his escape. They were hoping he had been so badly injured he’d merely crawled into a sewer to die, but neither man felt very confident they had seen the last of the insane serial killer.
“It was good to see you again, Matt, but I really need to go, or I’ll miss my plane. Will you return to your wife, when they let yout out of here?”
“I hope so. Uh – when you get back, I’d like to offer you dinner some day.”
“That would be delightul. Thank you. I’ll get in touch when I return. Take care.”
“You too, Mohinder.”
He’d saved the visit with Molly for last. It would be painful to see the last of the little girl, who reminded him of his lost sister. Or at least she made him think of Shanti. Unless you counted the visions he’d had, he’d never seen his sister in real life. But it wasn’t any physical resemblance or even a similarity in behavior that called her to mind. It was the blood he’d shared with her, that bound them together. His blood, Shanti’s blood and now Molly’s too.
He wasn’t surprised to see Noah Bennet and his daughter Claire in Molly’s room. So it was as he’d suspected. The Bennets’ would be looking after Molly. In a way, that might be a good idea. She’d need a family and more than that, people would be prepared to protect her, against Sylar or against the people Bennet used to work for.
“Hello, Molly. How are you feeling?”
Molly flashed Mohinder one of those smiles that made him feel young and vulnerable again.
“I’m fine, dr Suresh.”
“I hope the nurses are much better at giving injections than I was.”
“They are, but they didn’t save my life. You did. So you’re still my hero. Just like officer Parkman.”
“I just saw Matt Parkman. He sends his best.”
“He told me he’d come to see me soon.”
“That’s great, Molly. If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to have a word with mr Bennet.”
“Anything wrong, dr Suresh?”
“No. I’m just wondering where you’re taking Molly.”
“Come along and find our for yourself.”
“Or you could come along with me. I have to find the other carriers of the gene -”
“I know. But first we’ll need to keep Claire safe. I have been trying to impress on the Saunders’ how vital it is that we all stick together. The people I worked for – you know what they’re capable of.”
“And they’re still out there? Just like Sylar?”
“I’d be surprised if they weren’t. But as for Sylar – your guess is as good as mine. I’m serious, dr Suresh. We could use your help. Claire and Molly and I.”
Mohinder considered Bennet’s offer. He didn’t fully trust the man, but what he was saying made sense. In fact, the Saunders’ and Matt, should all find some safe place and lie low. He wasn’t sure what might be termed safe, against a man like Sylar, but at least they’d stand a better chance if they stuck together.
“I hope you have a good plan, mr Bennet. And a safe hideout.”
“Give me some credit.”
“Alright. I will delay my trip. If you’ll excuse me – I’ll just cancel my plane ticket. If it isn’t too late.”
“Excellent. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll take Claire to get a soda or something to eat. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but she’s upset about her biological father and her uncle. The Petrellis.”
“There’s been no news about them, then?”
The somber look on Bennet’s face told him what the reply would be. Bennet shrugged, then lowered his voice.
“You know what kind of energy levels we’re talking about. Do you really think anything could survive that?”
No, Mohinder didn’t have much hope of that. But still – Claire’s power of spontaneous regeneration had been communicated to Peter Petrelli. If Peter had managed to tear himself out of his brother’s grip and Nathan had been far enough away at the moment of the detonation – The truth was, they had no idea what these powers could achieve.
“Don’t get Claire’s hopes up, but frankly – you’ve seen what Claire can do. Now Peter Petrelli can do it too. We can’t be sure of anything yet. Can we?”
“You’re right. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open. I’m sure the Petrellis will make themselves known, if -”
“Indeed. Well, I’ll just -”
Bennet nodded, then ushered his daughter out of the room. She looked far less exuberant than her usual self, Mohinder was betting. He’d seen teenagers that subdued before, of course, but Claire had been through a lot in the past couple of months, especially in the last few weeks. Even if she was older than Molly and Micah, she was little more than a child still.
Mohinder was standing at the window, trying to reason with an uncooperative employee at the airport, when a slight noise from behind him made him look around. For a second, he was frozen to the spot. A man was standing over Molly’s bed, pointing his finger at her head. Sylar. So the sick bastard had made it.
Before he was aware of it, Mohinder had launched himself through the air. He called out for help, as he barrelled into Sylar, knowing far too well that his pathetic physical strength was nothing compared to Sylar’s. Even so, he was determined to do anything in his power to save little Molly.
Sylar turned slightly and laughed, then raised his hand in the air and Mohinder felt as if he’d slammed into a wall. The next moment, he was whirling through the room, hitting the window so hard, the impact made the glass shatter. As the last shreds of consciousness left him, he felt the wind tear at his hair.
The sounds of Mohinder’s frantic screams called Noah Bennet back to Molly’s room. He and Claire had only been at the end of the corridor. Noah’s hand was already in his pocket and when he burst into the room, he didn’t hesitate. He pulled the trigger, spraying the man towering over Molly’s bed with bullets.
Matt Parkman too had heard Mohinder calling and he wasn’t far behind Bennet. He had no weapon, but he grabbed chair in the corridor and wielding that, rather clumsily, he did his best to fend off Sylar’s attack on Molly. Just like Mohinder, he’d sworn he’d protect the little girl and he would, even if it cost him his life.
The commotion brought the hospital’s guards, but they were far too slow to make a difference. When she heard the noises, Niki instantly knew who was responsible and what was at stake. She hissed a warning to her husband and son, and to her relief, DL did as she told him. He grabbed Micah and began to make his way through the walls, in the opposite direction to where the sounds were coming from.
Niki never made a conscious decision, but seconds after she’d set out she sensed Jessica take over. Her alter ego was able to move her body faster and more importantly, she might actually be strong enough to defeat Sylar, despite his great strength.
When she entered the room, she saw dr Suresh lying halfway through the window – ten floors up. Matt Parkman, the cop, was lying sprawled on the floor at the other end of the room, winded or unconscious. Another man was still standing, but he was bleeding from a dozen or more wounds. Niki – or rather Jessica – couldn’t tell how badly he was injured and in any case, she didn’t have time for that.
She barrelled into the man standing over Molly. It was obvious that the little girl was still alive, because Jessica could hear her crying, in fear, possibly in pain.
The man she was fighting was much stronger than any of the ones she’d killed before. Worst of all, his face was split by a grin that told her he was well aware of who – or rather – what – she was. He kept trying to get his right hand free of her, and she had a bad feeling about that gesture. She would make sure he never got that far.
Two armed security guards arrived at the same time. They aimed at Sylar – and by necessity at Jessica. That was a complication, but she couldn’t stop now even if she wanted to. She was the only one who had the slightest chance of defeating this man. It had to be that serial killer, Sylar. Dr Suresh had told them a little about him so she knew exactly what she was dealing with.
Sylar’s attention was on her and the security guards. He seemed to have no idea that a man was coming through the wall. DL was able to get so close he could do his creepy stuff. Putting his hand inside the madman’s chest, this time. Ugh. Jessica wasn’t squeamish, but she knew how it felt to have someone’s hands pawing through her internal organs. It wasn’t pleasant. On the other hand, the thought of Sylar experiencing that was exhilarating.
While DL did his thing, she focused on knocking the killer unconscious, in case DL wasn’t successful.
Their combined forces seemed to daunt even Sylar. He made one last superhuman effort to push both attackers away, then when their respective grips on him slipped, he made a dash for the door. Before anyone could stop him, he was gone.
Jessica made eye contact with DL.
“I’ll go get him. There’s no way that sick bastard could find him. Besides, I don’t think he even knows Micah exists.”
“He’d better not. Take me with you.”
DL didn’t waste any time arguing, he just put his arm around Jessica’s waist and pulled her through the wall. Fortunately, the guards were pursuing Sylar, so no one who didn’t already know about DL’s powers witnessed them in action.
Matt wasn’t seriously injured. The second he got his wind back, he was on his feet, checking on Molly. During the altercation, she’d slid off the bed and was cowering on the other side of it.
“Molly, sweetie, are you alright?”
“Yes, but the bad man -”
“I know, I know. It’s alright.”
“No, it isn’t. Look. Dr Suresh – is he dead?”
Molly’s eyes were wide with terror. She pointed a shaking hand towards the window. Not until now did Matt fullly take in Mohinder’s condition. It couldn’t be much worse, as far as he could see. There was blood everywhere, though Matt guessed some of had come from dr Bennet and probably Sylar too. Most likely DL and Niki – no, Jessica as well. He’d heard of mrs Saunders’ dangerous alter ego.
He got up and carrying Molly in his arms, he called for a doctor. The entire hospital must have heard the commotion, because less than a minute later, a team of nurses and a doctor showed up. They took one look at the carnage inside and one of the nurses turned and ran away, presumably getting reinforcements.
One of the nurses kneeled before Bennet, pressing her fingers to the side of his neck. She said something to one of the other nurses, but Matt wasn’t paying attention. Molly shouldn’t have to see this. His eyes fell on Claire, who was standing in the doorway, her hand pressed to her mouth.
Matt scrambled to his feet and made his way to the door, still holding on to Molly.
“Claire, please come with me. Sylar came for Molly. Could you -”
He decided to play the inept man, completely at a loss as to what to do to comfort the little girl in his arms. If he wasn’t mistaken, Claire had a younger brother at home, or somewhere. She’d know how to comfort a child. At least he hoped so.
Of course he realized that if Bennet didn’t make it, Claire would have lost two fathers and an uncle in just a few weeks. That would be rough on any kid, so he wasn’t sure that Claire would come along, but before he had a chance to find out, DL, his wife and Micah showed up in the doorway, behind Claire. Matt took advantage of Claire’s momentary inattention and pushed her more or less into Niki’s arms.
Niki, who had been aware of the situation, ever since she chose to let Jessica take over, realized what Matt was trying to do. She grabbed Claire by the arm and helped pull her along.
Matt began to sway on his feet, so DL took over Molly. He glanced uncertaintly at the ex-cop.
“Do you think you can walk, mr Parkman?”
“Don’t worry about me.”
They made it as far as DL’s room, before Matt passed out again. Niki called for a nurse, while keeping an eye on Claire. She seemed to have accepted her new role as babysitter for Molly, for the time being, but the look on her face indicated that she wasn’t going to play along for much longer. Her lower lip was quivering.
Niki was so glad Micah wasn’t a teenager yet. At least he still obeyed her instantly, when necessary. In fact, he seemed to have sensed something of Claire’s state of mind and began to speak to the older girl.
“Is it true that you can heal, like really fast?”
The look on Claire’s face didn’t encourage any idle talk, but in the end, she spat out a reply.
“That’s really cool. I can make computers and other electronic stuff do things. You know. Fix them if they’re broken or – change the channel on a tv without touching it or the remote control.”
“Bully for you.”
“So, could you show me how your gift works? I’ll show you what I can do.”
A nurse showed up, began to examine Matt, then turned to Niki and DL. Not until now did Niki realize that she probably looked a sight. Sylar had managed to get in a few good blows on Jessica. DL didn’t look much better, even if he’d entered the altercation later.
“Are you alright ma’am?”
“Yes, it’s nothing.”
“I’d better take a look at that, all the same.”
Niki submitted to the nurse’s care, then watched her tend to DL’s cuts and bruises.
“What about your son?”
“I’m fine. I wasn’t there.”
The nurse caught sight of Molly, lying curled up on the sofa, looking pale and terrified. Possibly in a state of shock, if Niki knew anything about medical matters.
The nurse frowned.
“What’s Molly doing here?”
“We thought it would be best to remove her from the scene -”
“Right. I’ll get another bed ready for her in a minute.”
“What about my dad?”
“And you are -”
“Claire Bennet. How is my dad, Noah Bennet? He was bleeding. I saw it.”
“I don’t know, miss Bennet. I’ll find out. Just stay here. If you could keep an eye on Molly -”
Claire glowered at her, stared pointedly at Niki and DL, then sat down beside Molly.
Micah sat down on Claire’s other side. DL sank down on his bed and Niki did the same. Niki couldn’t help smiling. Micah was trying his best to distract Claire, but she could tell it wasn’t going to work. Still, it was sweet of him to try.
“Claire – please. Could you show me how your gift works? It sounds really cool.”
“You know, I have a brother who’s only a little older than you. He’s just as annoying. My dad might be dying. My biological dad is probably dead already and my uncle too. So you’ll excuse me if I don’t get all worked up about anyone’s powers right now.”
Niki thought that would silence her son. Normally, she wouldn’t like to hear anyone speaking like that to her child, but under the circumstances, she couldn’t blame Claire. In any case, she found that she’d been mistaken. Micah had only started. He fell silent, but he fastened his big, brown eyes on Claire, pleading with her.
Claire rolled her eyes and threw up her arms.
She raked her fingernails across the soft inside of her lower left arm. The red stripes that shot up, made Niki wince. Claire had really scratched her own skin deeply. Blood was oozing out of the deep ridges she’d made in her own flesh. But as they were watching, the blood dried and the skin closed. It was over in a matter of seconds.
“Will that do?”
“That was really cool. Want me to show you my gift now?”
Claire took a deep breath, and bit back a sharp reply.
“No, thanks. Maybe later. If my dad makes it.”
“I’m sorry about what happened.”
Unexpectedly, Molly spoke up.
“I think your dad is ok now. He’s in another room, two floors down. There are doctors with him.”
“And you’re sure he’s alive?”
Molly frowned in concentration.
“I think so. I’ve never been able to track anyone dead, so I think so. Dr Suresh is still alive too, but I don’t know how he is. I think officer Parkman is ok too. He’s still on this floor.”
Claire drew in breath. She got up and made for the door. In the doorway, she stopped, struck by a sudden thought.
“Molly, can you tell me where my biological dad is? And my uncle? Are they still alive?”
Molly screwed up her face, seemingly making a great deal of effort.
“I don’t know where they are, but – they’re alive. Quite far away. Not in the city. If you had a map, I could have shown you.”
“It’s ok. Thank you.”
And to the surprise of everyone present, Claire pulled the little girl into her arms and hugged her briefly, before turning on her heel and vanishing into the corridor outside.
Molly made a gesture as if she wanted to hold the older girl back.
“Wait. Watch out for the bogeyman.”
Claire slowed down a little, then picked up her pace again.
She, better than anyone, knew who Molly was referring to, but before she knew that her dad – Noah Bennet – would be ok, she wasn’t going to let anything hold her back.
But Molly had been right, most of the bullets had miraculously missed Noah Bennet’s vital organs. He had sustained only flesh wounds and was lying quite comfortably in a hospital bed, when Claire was allowed to see him.
Matt Parkman turned out to be more or less ok too. The doctors were keeping him for observation, in case he’d sustained a concussion, but other than that, he would be fine.
When the doctor had got to work on Mohinder Suresh, she hadn’t had much hope for the patient. There was blood everywhere and most of it came from him. He’d been pierced by hundreds of glass shards, and though none of them had penetrated his heart or any other vital organs, the blood loss alone made his condition precarious.
Despite the severity of his injuries, Mohinder came to after a while. His whispered request to the doctor was at first interpreted as a sign of confusion, due to the shock.
The doctor tried to calm the patient down.
“Dr Suresh. Is there anyone we can contact for you?”
“My mother is in India. Listen to me. If I need a blood transfusion -”
“It seems likely, yes – so, are there any religious taboos we’ll need to take into account?”
Mohinder didn’t have enough strength to deny that preposterous suggestion. He was a man of science. His mother might observe all the hindu traditions, but he would never let religion stop him, if there was a medical procedure that could save his life. And there might be.
“My blood type – very rare. Molly. Give me some of her blood. Doesn’t have to be much. Antibodies. Please. A blood tranfusion is fine. Not religious.”
Exhausted by the effort, Mohinder blacked out again. The doctor shook her head in bewilderment. Blood from another patient? And a child at that. That was unheard of. As far as she could tell, the child in question couldn’t even be a blood relation. But the mention of antibodies made her reconsider. She didn’t have access to dr Suresh’s medical charts, but if Molly’s blood type matchs dr Suresh’s, there could be no harm in making the attempt.
Not quite sure why dr Suresh had made the odd request, the doctor still began to make the arrangements for the procedure. After all, as long as it could do no harm to either patient, there was no reason why it shouldn’t be worth a try.
It felt as if he’d been asleep for a long time. Mohinder turned over in bed and gazed at the window. Something about the light struck him as odd. He frowned and tried to remember what had happened. The memories returned slowly. Before it was all clear in his mind, he dozed off again, but when he came to, he knew that the threat against the city of New York had been averted.
That was good, but what had happened afterwards to put him in a hospital bed? An image flashed in his mind. Molly. Sylar. The insane killer had been trying to steal Molly’s powers.
Mohinder realized that he recalled very little after that. He’d tried to protect Molly and Sylar had – It was no use. He couldn’t remember. But he did know that he’d asked for some of Molly’s blood. His blood too. The antibodies. Or in any case, his rare blood type. It was amazing how the mind could work under stress.
Apparently, it had worked. He felt fine. There was no dizziness, or nausea, even if he felt weak. He was hoping that would pass soon too.
A little later, a nurse looked in. Later still, a doctor showed up. He told Mohinder that he was on the mend.
By now, Mohinder had remembered about Bennet and his offer. He was wondering if the others were still waiting for him or if they’d all left. At the moment, he felt too tired to worry much about that. In any case, he had his answer soon enough.
The following morning, Matt Parkman looked in, right after breakfast. He looked more relaxed than Mohinder had seen him so far.
“Hey. You’re looking a lot stronger than the last time I saw you.”
“Thanks. How is Molly?”
“She’s fine. Thanks to you.”
“And you and – oh, how is Noah Bennet? I seem to recall seeing him, before I passed out.”
“He made it too. They’re all fine. Molly’s been asking for you. I think the doctor’s going to let her visit you any time now.”
Mohinder smiled at the thought of Molly’s solemn intensity.
“What about the Saunders’? Did they stick around?”
“Yes. I was surprised myself. They seemed so jumpy. Between you and me, at least the wife is up to her neck in Linderman’s business. DL too, I expect.”
Mohinder nodded. He wasn’t surprised. There was a sort of restless strength implied in their every move. Their son was different. He seemed such a placid, well-behaved child. And brilliant too, quite apart from his other gift. Mohinder was familiar with the signs. He’d had a few students like that in India. Prodigies. His sister Shanti would have been one as well, he was sure of that. Personally, he had had to struggle just like the average student.
Matt stayed a while, then left. Not long after he left, Bennet looked in. He was looking rather pale and Mohinder wondered how badly he’d been injured.
“I believe I have you to thank for my life.”
“You give me too much credit. It was the Saunders’. Very interesting, really. If Sylar had been your average serial killer, we wouldn’t have had to worry about him anymore. Mrs Saunders would have torn him to bits. Very neat, as Claire would say, not quite appropriately. But the real virtuoso was DL. He put his hands inside Sylar’s chest and, well – I should say that was what made him take off.”
“Now we’re all waiting for you to get well. Molly is already up and walking.”
“I could leave tonight, if that’s -”
Bennet smiled benevolently, or at least seemingly so.
“No, no. Take your time. I have made arrangements for us to leave at the end of the week. There’s no rush.”
When they did leave, no one made any trouble about them taking Molly. Mohinder was wondering how Bennet had managed to arrange that, but he knew better than to ask.
They left in two rented cars – the Saunders’ in one, the rest of them in another.
Mohinder noted that Claire seemed much more cheerful than the last time he’d seen her.
He had no idea where Noah Bennet was taking them, but it didn’t seem to matter, as long as it was somewhere safe.
Their destination turned out to be some sort of military base, clearly abandoned, but still in relatively good condition. They never entered the dusty buildings up on the surface. Instead, they rode an elevator several floors down, into some kind of old missile silo. It seemed to be extremely defensible.
The first night, there was only time to divide up the available rooms. In the morning, Noah Bennet left and didn’t return until late in the evening. He brought his wife and son and a tiny dog. The last person who jumped out of the car, turned out to be Parkman’s wife.
Mohinder was impatient to begin his work again, but Bennet seemed strangely calm. For the first couple of days, all they did was stock up on food and other supplies. Bennet and Parkman armed themselves rather heavily.
Then one morning when they were having breakfast in the canteen, Peter Petrelli appeared in the doorway. Mohinder wasn’t sure if he’d flown in, walked in invisible or merely arrived by car as the rest of them. He couldn’t wait to find out.
Without finishing his tea, he ran over to stare at the man who by rights should have been vaporized. He had to wait his turn. Claire threw herself into Peter’s arms and hugged him for so long, her adoptive father returned to his table to finish his coffee, rather than waiting her out.
Mohinder contented himself with making visual observations. It certainly looked as if Peter Petrelli was in good health. He looked more relaxed and at ease than Mohinder had ever seen him. A touch of doubt crept into Mohinder’s mind. What if this was Sylar in disguise? Or someone else?
He was hoping Claire wouldn’t be disappointed. Rather than telling anyone about his suspicions, he waited until Claire at last let go of her uncle and sat down to finish her cereal.
Despite his preoccupation, Mohinder noted that she was seated at the same table as the children. Lyle, Micah and Molly were still there, eating and talking.
“Mr Petrelli -”
“Peter. Won’t you sit down? Can I get you anything?”
“No, I’m good.”
“Right. Can you tell me a little about what happened?”
Was it Mohinder’s imagination or did Peter flinch a little at his question? A second later, it seemed as if he was perfectly at ease, so Mohinder assumed he had imagined things.
“I don’t remember much. We – my brother and I – were trying to get as far away as possible. I broke free of his grip and lost sight of him. After that, I don’t really remember anything. Heat. A buildup of energy, then nothing, until I woke up in a field. It was scorched, and hot, but cooling fast.”
He shrugged, a puzzled look in his eyes. Mohinder thought he could guess why. Peter was astonished to be alive.
“And your brother?”
“He found me the day before yesterday and took me into a town. Mr Bennet had given me a number where I could reach him in an emergency. He gave me the directions to this place. And here I am.”
“Remarkable. Could I run some tests on you?”
Peter nodded absently.
Mohinder hurried back to his quarters and returned, bringing his kit. He took the saliva test, then drew blood. When he was securing the samples, Bennet was suddenly there, with a geiger counter in his hand. Judging by the sounds it made, there was no trace of radioactivity on Peter’s body.
Mohinder frowned. Could that mean Peter had healed so soon? Or was this someone else? Sylar? But the way Peter had readily agreed to provide the samples made that unlikely.
It didn’t take Mohinder long to process the samples. To begin with, it was clear that this couldn’t be anyone other than Peter Petrelli. Secondly, his body seemed to have regenerated completely. The radioactivity hadn’t left any permanent damage. So far, so good. It didn’t at the moment help Mohinder in his research, but it was still interesting.
Noah Bennet had a whole set of questions for Peter, once Mohinder was finished with him and after that, Claire showed up and monopolized her uncle for the rest of the day.
Satisfied with the safety measures, Mohinder went to bed, hoping that in the morning, Bennet would have decided to open up about his plans. Mohinder felt that his first duty was to the remaining people with gifts like Claire’s and Peter’s.
That night, he had a vivid, haunting dream. In part, it was a repetition of the vision the boy in India had shown him. His father being murdered in the cab. This time, though, Mohinder saw Sylar’s face quite clearly and though he tried in vain to wake up, the sequence of images continued to play out before his eyes. It was too painful and Mohinder tried to cover his eyes, but to no avail. The scene continued playing itself out, until the end.
Not even then did he wake up. He felt himself being transported into the past, to a time before he had been born. In this sequence he was forced to watch his parents sit by Shanti’s bed, watching them watch her die. His body was shaken by his mother’s sobs and felt his father’s desperation at not being able to save his child.
It was heartbreaking to watch the little girl fight for her life and failing. What was worst was that Shanti was aware of what was awaiting her. He even saw her comforting her parents.
At last, the dream, or vision lost its grip on him and he awoke, to feel tears streaming down his face. His throat was dry and he was lying curled up with his face buried in his pillow. He breathed in deeply and rubbed at his eyes. Even though he knew the dream was over, it took him a long time to break free of it. The images kept replaying themselves before his eyes, though with less poignance than during the night.
It took him a while to figure it out. The boy from earlier hadn’t been anywhere to be seen. Either this was a genuine, ordinary dream or – the idea was too frightening to contemplate. What if he’d now acquired the power to revisit the past on his own?
Was this – could this be caused by Molly’s blood that had been injected into him? His mind set to work on this new theory. What if somehow the antibodies he had had in his blood – or rather the DNA in his blood – that he had injected into Molly, to cure her, had reinforced what traces there were of whatever it was that had made Shanti so unique?
Had he in fact developed one of the gifts the mutation caused? More excited than terrified by now, Mohinder jumped up and began to take samples of his own saliva, blood and hair. The analysis took longer this time. After all, he wasn’t just trying to find out if he was who he said he was or if he’d been exposed to radiation.
Eventually, he found the genetic marker he’d been looking for. He could hardly contain his excitement. Even so, it was tinged with regret. He would have given anything for Shanti to have been here herself.
Apparently, he had developed another power, not the Shanti’s – or Molly’s – at all. That was odd and it would require further study before he could explain that deviation, but at the moment, he could only note that from now on, he shared something with the rest of the people here. Or rather most of them.
For some reason, he decided to keep his knowledge to himself. This wasn’t, at present, anything of immediate use. He would wait and try to figure it all out first.
In the meantime, he was still as alone and apart from the rest of them as he had been from the start. In a way, he felt as if it had always been the odd man out. To some extent, that was only to be expected. A scientist would often by necessity be forced to stay apart from others.
Despite that, Mohinder momentarily allowed himself to regret his situation. He was alone in a strange country, a country where his father had died. Even if his work had contributed to saving millions of people’s lives, much stil remained to be done.
Enthusiasm mixed with trepidation, but in the end, he was able to set his emotions aside and continue his research. After all, that was his duty. There were still lives to be saved and discoveries to be made. He would find a way of coping with this new ability, just as he had coped with everything else that had happened since he’d received the news about his father’s death.