Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine.
Spoilers: through first season
Notes: Thanks to archerstar for the beta, and for weirdofromafar for hand-holding and help.
Summary: It’s hardly a glance, just out of the corner of Mohinder’s eye, but there’s something, a catch of grey hair, a slumped figure, something, that makes Mohinder jerk, twist around trying to see. His heart jumps. Sylar—
- - -
Mohinder barely sleeps the first few nights after the nuclear explosion.
He dreams, vividly and emotionally, but after he wakes up, the dreams evaporate too quickly to remember, leaving nothing but an uneasy mist, a fog that hangs around Mohinder too close, a cold shroud on his waking hours.
Molly is usually scared, anyhow. She dreams about the Boogeyman, about Sylar, afraid of the dark, dreading the night when it comes. Keeping the lights on doesn’t help – her room may be visible, but the black outside her window is that much more impenetrable.
More often than not, his own light sleep is a blessing, so Mohinder can comfort Molly when she awakens.
But, after a time, it begins to take its toll, breaking his concentration, interfering with his research, his thoughts, his ability to function during the day.
“Molly,” he asks, one morning, “are you sure this is where you want to stay?”
“Yep.” Her legs dangle from the chairs in Mohinder’s kitchen.
Mohinder leans across the table. “I just don’t know if I’m the best to take care of you.”
“You’ll protect me,” she tells him. “You would have shot that man to protect me. I’m safe here.”
“Yes, but,” begins Mohinder.
“You want me to stay,” Molly points out. “Don’t you?”
“Well, of course,” says Mohinder, automatically, then he smiles. “Of course I do.”
“Well, then,” she says, as though that solves everything.
And Mohinder thinks that maybe, just maybe, it does.
It happens that night, when Mohinder is fogged with sleep, half-dreaming, half-restless against the tangled sheets of the bed. Still sleeping too lightly, not restfully enough.
The creak of the door opening slides across the surface of Mohinder’s mind, not deep enough to wake him fully, just enough to make him stir, his cheek brushing against the fabric of the pillow. The bed shifts behind him, the sheets move against Mohinder’s skin, and he murmurs, his fingers clenching.
“Can’t sleep?” comes a whisper against the back of his neck, the voice chillingly familiar.
“Sylar,” Mohinder breathes. He should be afraid, he thinks, in the part of his mind that can still form thoughts. He should be afraid—
“Sssh,” and there’s a kiss pressed to Mohinder’s pulse, delicate, enough to make Mohinder turn his head towards the pillow, exposing his neck dark and vulnerable to the light, sweeping touch of Sylar’s tongue. Mohinder inhales, deep and slow, and he eases into the mattress.
It’s a dream, it must be a dream, otherwise Mohinder’s heart would be pounding, he would be running. Or he would already be dead, lifeless, eyes frozen open – but he isn’t, he’s comfortable and warm and so tired…
Mohinder melts into Sylar’s arms, too far gone to wonder. “Sssh,” soothes Sylar, again, and Mohinder sighs to sleep.
- - - -
Mohinder blinks in the bright light, shaking his head to clear his mind. Bright light – it must be late. “Molly?” he asks, turning towards the voice that woke him up.
“Are you awake?” she asks.
“Ah, yes.” Mohinder sits up. “What time is it?”
“Almost eleven. Are you going to make breakfast?”
Mohinder scans the bed beside him – there’s a lingering suspicion, that there should be something there, someone there.
No, that’s ridiculous. There hasn’t been anyone he’s even considered, not since Eden, anyhow, and the hands, the stubbled skin, in an echo of Mohinder’s memory don’t belong to Eden anyhow.
An illusion, though a strange one. Mohinder blinks again, pushing the covers away, moving to his feet.
“Sure,” he says, forcing a smile. “I’ll make us something to eat.”
When Molly is occupied watching television, Mohinder dials the phone, and listens anxiously to the buzz of the other side. “Pick up,” he murmurs, “pick up.”
“Hello?” comes a voice.
“Ah, Claire?” Mohinder asks.
“It’s Mohinder Suresh,” says Mohinder. “Could I speak to your – ah, Mr. Bennet?”
“Sure, just a second.”
Mohinder waits, sparing a glance for Molly, giggling at the cartoon on the screen. A smile quirks at the corner of Mohinder’s mouth.
Mohinder turns back away. “Ah, yes, Mr. Bennet?”
“Mohinder,” says Bennet, evenly.
“Listen, I need a favor.”
Mohinder can hear Bennet’s sigh, over the phone. “Mohinder, I’m hardly in a position to—”
“No, listen,” Mohinder interrupts. “Molly has told me that she wants to stay with me, and Linderman is dead, so we’re safe enough for now. But the moment someone else finds out about her ability, she’s in danger again.” Mohinder catches Bennet starting to speak, again, but he presses on. “Can you imagine what would happen to her if she went into this city’s social care system?”
There’s a brief pause on the other end. “What is it you’re asking for?” asks Bennet.
“I need to adopt her, and I need it to be official,” explains Mohinder. “Or, at least, good enough to pass under official scrutiny. We don’t just need physical protection, Mr. Bennet, we need legal protection.”
“I hardly have the resources I used to.”
Mohinder bites his lip, waiting. He’s made his case; it’s all that he can do.
A brief exhalation. “I’ll do what I can.”
“Thank you.” Mohinder hangs up the phone slowly, his eyes drawn back towards Molly. He takes a breath, easing the pressure in his chest. He feels well-rested, for the first time in days.
“Molly,” he calls.
Molly twists back to look at him. “What’s up?”
“We’re going to go shopping,” Mohinder announces.
“For what?” she asks, crossing her arms over the back of the couch.
“That’s not the right question,” says Mohinder, crouching in front of her.
“Then what is?” she asks.
“For who,” Mohinder tells her. “And the answer is that we’re going shopping for you. For whatever you need.” He straightens up.
Molly’s eager grin is the only answer Mohinder gets.
- - - -
“Here,” says Molly, holding up the bag. “You carry it.”
“Ah, excuse me?” asks Mohinder, indicating the bags already in his hands. “You need to pull your own weight around here, missy.”
Molly shakes her head primly. “You’re a guy, you have to carry all the bags.”
“Oh, do I,” says Mohinder. “Where did you learn that?”
She shrugs. “Everyone knows it.” She holds his gaze for a moment longer, and Mohinder shakes his head.
“Well, all right,” and he folds her bag, putting it inside one of the others. “Now, let’s –”
It’s hardly a glance, just out of the corner of Mohinder’s eye, but there’s something, a catch of grey hair, a slumped figure, something, that makes Mohinder jerk, twist around trying to see. His heart jumps. Sylar—
— “Can’t sleep?” comes a whisper against the back of his neck—
“Mohinder?” Molly questions, looking concerned.
“Ah, what do you say we head home?” suggests Mohinder, shifting the bags to one hand and reaching out to take hers in his other. “It’s getting near dinner time.”
“Okay,” Molly agrees, still a little uncertain.
- - - -
That night, Mohinder expects to toss and turn, sweaty, without rest, as he has ever since Peter’s death, but instead he falls asleep almost immediately, not dreaming, but instead dropping into a comfortable, restful darkness.
A darkness that ends abruptly, with a feather brush across Mohinder’s cheek.
Mohinder twists awake, heart pounding. He flicks on the light, half-expecting Sylar to leap out of the shadows, wincing against the expected pain.
There’s nothing. The room is empty.
Mohinder brings his fingers to his own cheek, following the path of the touch he barely felt. A shudder dances up his spine, despite Mohinder’s attempt to shake it off. He won’t be able to go back to sleep now – his heartbeat is still heavy, from the adrenaline rush.
God, is it always going to be like this? Even the bare memory of Sylar, enough to send him into paroxysms of fear, unable to sleep, unable to function?
Mohinder slides to his feet, tossing the covers aside, and steps gingerly across the cold floor. One glance in Molly’s room shows that she’s still sound asleep; Mohinder closes the door quietly behind him, and moves to the main room of the apartment.
As he steps past the threshold, the kettle, on the kitchen counter, starts whistling.
Mohinder’s hand jerks to the drawer next to him, yanking it open, closing his fingers around the pistol inside – but the second he grasps it, it’s torn from his fingers. The lights flick on.
“Sylar,” breathes Mohinder.
“Hello, Mohinder.” Sylar catches the gun from midair, releasing the clip and setting the unloaded gun on the table. “Would you like some tea?”
Mohinder feels his breath catch in his throat. “What are you doing here?” he forces out.
Sylar’s eyes tilt up to meet his, and Mohinder’s heart stops. “Come over here and sit down,” offers Sylar, steel coded beneath the tone of his voice.
Mohinder swallows, and he moves, one step at a time, easing so cautiously into the chair across from Sylar. His eyes flick to the phone – maybe if he can get to it, dial before Sylar can stop him, the police can – no, not the police, Sylar would rip straight through them. But maybe if he called Bennet, or Hiro, someone still left in
“I wouldn’t call for help if I were you,” says Sylar, conversationally, as he pours hot water into a mug, dropping in a teabag, sliding it in front of Mohinder. “I don’t think it would go well.”
“How are you alive?” Mohinder lifts his chin. “Hiro stabbed you. You should be dead.”
Sylar almost flinches – and that surprises Mohinder more than anything. He sees Sylar’s hand drift to his middle, and all Mohinder can remember is Sylar’s form, crumpled and bloody, staining the concrete below.
“It doesn’t matter,” Sylar deflects. “Drink your tea,” he suggests, nodding to the mug. “You know you’re not going to get back to sleep without it.”
Mohinder looks up to him, in surprise.
Sylar tilts his head. “You do remember how long I’ve had this hearing, haven’t you?”
Mohinder bites his lip. Sylar, with extremely sensitive hearing, on the road trip with Mohinder. In the hotel room next to him. And he could hear everything…
Mohinder consciously unclenches his jaw, looking to the mug, his fingers curling around the handle. “It’s drugged, I assume?”
A smile flits across Sylar’s face. “Hardly,” he says, softly, “if I wanted to drug you, I could have a dozen times over,” and his eyes flick back to Mohinder’s, “last night.”
Mohinder freezes. “I thought it was a dream,” he says, though stiff lips.
Sylar sets down his own mug. “I wondered if you remembered,” he murmurs.
“You were there,” says Mohinder suddenly, “you were at the mall today,” and in an instant, Sylar is behind him, hands on Mohinder’s shoulders, a grip just a little too hard for comfort.
“I could hear your heart pounding,” Sylar whispers in his ear, “all the way across the room.”
Just like his heart is pounding now. Mohinder tries to get his breathing under control – oh, god, Sylar is so close, his breath hot on Mohinder’s skin, the blunt sliver of his nail digging in just above Mohinder’s collarbone.
“What do you want?” asks Mohinder, in desperation, “what do you want,” trapped under Sylar’s fingertips, helpless – and Molly, sweet and innocent and so young, in the next room over –
“This isn’t a dream,” breathes Sylar, pressing a kiss under Mohinder’s jaw, in an echo of sensation from the night before. Mohinder closes his eyes, his throat working, a shiver dancing up his spine. “I’ll be watching you,” Sylar continues, so softly. “Sleep well, Mohinder.”
The hands release, as suddenly as they held, and Mohinder hears the creak of a window. He whirls, and the window, the way to the fire escape is open – the room, empty.
Mohinder shudders uncontrollably, falling from the chair to the floor, a hand clenching on the table leg.
He leaves the tea untouched on the table.
- - - -
Near , Mohinder still hasn’t stopped shaking. He’s managed to get Molly occupied, playing in her own room, but the tea – it’s still on the table, cold, the surface of the liquid shivering with the pass of Mohinder’s footsteps, back and forth, back and forth.
It’s proof that Sylar was here. Proof that Mohinder’s home was invaded the night before, proof and a threat, all at the same time.
I’ll be watching you.
Mohinder seizes the mug and drops it, face-down, in the sink. The light-brown liquid swirls, drains away, and Mohinder’s hands clench on the edge of the sink.
The knock on the door makes Mohinder jerk, turn around too quickly. His elbow makes contact with a glass on the edge of the sink, toppling it to the floor. It doesn’t break, luckily, and he takes a long breath, steadying his nerves.
One look through the peephole shows Mohinder who’s outside – not that not that he expected Sylar to come in through the door anyhow, or to announce his presence by something as obvious as the doorbell. It isn’t Sylar; it’s Niki Sanders. With her husband DL, her son Micah. Safe enough.
Mohinder unfastens the chain, eases the door open, forcing a smile. “Hello.”
“Hey,” greets Niki. “You remember us, right?”
“Of course,” says Mohinder, relaxing a little. He gives a cursory glance, up and down the hallway, before he steps aside. “Come in, please,” and he opens the door wider.
“Is Molly around?” asks Micah, almost immediately after the door is shut. Mohinder smiles more easily, and nods toward the hallway. “She’s in her bedroom, second door on the left.”
Micah looks to Niki and she nods, gesturing for him to go ahead.
“Ah, would you like to sit down?” offers Mohinder, gesturing to the couch. “Something to drink, maybe?”
I’ll be watching you.
“Is everything all right?” asks DL.
“It’s fine,” says Mohinder, automatically.
“Okaay,” drawls DL, glancing at Niki.
Niki shares the glance, then turns back to Mohinder, taking a breath. “Well, Micah’s been asking about Molly, you know, if they could get together again,” she explains. “We were wondering if you two wanted to go out with us today, let the two of them spend some time together. We’re not heading back to
Mohinder shakes his head. “I’m sorry, but I have some work to do.”
Niki looks taken aback. “Oh, I see,” she says. “Well, then—”
“But,” says Mohinder, with an upraised finger, “I’m sure Molly would love to.”
Niki breaks into a grin. “We’d be glad to take her off your hands for a day or so.”
“Excellent,” says Mohinder.
Before they leave – for an overnight visit, which Mohinder agreed to, perhaps too easily – he pulls Niki aside. “Keep an eye out for anything unusual,” he murmurs, “I think Sylar may have survived.”
Niki’s eyes widen. “What have you—”
“I haven’t seen anything specific,” Mohinder lies, “but just be careful, all right?”
Niki nods, once.
- - - -
Mohinder doesn’t notice Sylar come in. He’s too absorbed, too focused, intent on his computer screen. No, the first thing he notices is the hand, burning into his back between his shoulder blades. Mohinder stills abruptly, his spine stiffening.
“I could have loved you, you know,” says Sylar, conversationally. “As Zane.”
“Zane Taylor was a lie,” says Mohinder, through gritted teeth, “and if you’re looking for the list, it’s not here.”
“I don’t want the list,” Sylar tells him.
“I’m not going to just let those people’s names into your—” Mohinder stops. “You don’t want…?” He turns, lifting his eyes to Sylar’s. If Sylar doesn’t want the list, then he must be after –
“What did you think I was after?” asks Sylar, with a smile. He moves in closer, dropping level to Mohinder’s face.
“Molly,” starts Mohinder –
“I don’t need her power,” says Sylar, cutting him off.
Mohinder turns half-away, but Sylar’s hand catches his jaw, turning him back to Sylar’s eyes – too intent, too piercing.
“I’m not going to hurt you, Mohinder,” says Sylar, in a bare whisper of air.
The reality of Sylar’s intentions hits Mohinder like a sack of bricks against his stomach, sudden, debilitating. He flattens his hand against Sylar’s chest. “Don’t do this,” and he hopes it comes out strong, steady, not as though he were pleading.
Sylar’s eyes darken. “You wanted me once,” and his hand slides to the side of Mohinder’s neck. “You looked at me, you watched me, and when you were alone –”
When he was alone, the room next to Sylar, in between cool sheets, with his hand clasped around straining flesh, the vision of Zane Taylor’s – Sylar’s – eyes and his hands was all Mohinder could see. And the brief stab of pleasure, semen on his fingers washed away by the flow of the hotel room sink – he must have gasped, Mohinder imagines, at the very moment of climax, and Sylar could hear every sound.
“Sylar,” but the man just moves closer, and somehow Mohinder can’t find the will to pull away. His fingers tighten, a little, in the cloth of Sylar’s shirt, painfully aware of his own racing heartbeat, the warm proximity of Sylar’s body.
Mohinder closes his eyes just before the kiss, tilting his head to bring Sylar in, parting his lips just enough to feel Sylar’s tongue sliding against his own. It’s dizzyingly intense, and Mohinder can barely manage to gasp for a breath of air against Sylar before Sylar’s tongue is in his mouth.
Sylar’s hands close around Mohinder’s biceps and he hauls Mohinder to his feet, pinning him against the wall.
Mohinder’s eyes widen. “What are you doing?”
“Trust me,” says Sylar, and Mohinder feels the world spin. For a moment, he thinks Sylar drugged him, maybe applied telekinetic pressure to his brain itself, but then he realizes that he’s lying flat on his back – on the wall. With Sylar on top of him.
Mohinder fights the sudden wave of dizziness. He feels the brush of Sylar’s hands as they move to the buttons of his shirt, the jerk of cloth as each button comes undone. Sylar’s hands spread his thighs more open, Sylar’s fingers drifting across his skin. Mohinder squeezes his eyes shut, arching a little against the hard wood of the wall.
And then he feels it – like the uncontrollable twitch of a muscle, deep inside him. It’s like he’s touched a hot stove, a jerk of sensation almost too fast for his mind to catch before it’s gone. His blood pounds, and he hardens against the enclosure of his pants, the warmth of Sylar’s palm just barely bleeding through the denim.
“What,” Mohinder manages to gasp, but it happens again, again, as though there were hands deep inside him, tongues of cold and hot entwining through his center. “Oh, god,” twisting underneath Sylar’s body in a kind of desperation he’s never known before. It’s everywhere, like a ghost, pressing just there, drifting up, stroking between his legs, inside his trapped erection – inside.
Sylar is barely touching him now, his hands steady just below Mohinder’s arms, his eyes fixed on Mohinder’s face.
Mohinder cries out, with an amazing hunger, and he curls – but no, Sylar’s hands are there, pressing him back – down? – against the wall. “Relax,” soothes Sylar, “just feel.”
Feel – feel. Mohinder chokes and a painful, drawn-out rapture floods his insides, like an orgasm, but so slow, so long –
Sylar moves up, bringing Mohinder close, and Mohinder turns his face into Sylar’s neck, clutching at him. He shrieks the force of it into Sylar’s shoulder, barely aware of the hands stroking, easing, soft and gentle. He doesn’t understand how Sylar can do this, can hold him right here, on a peak so exquisite Mohinder can’t think, can only feel – and they weren’t even skin-on-skin, this hadn’t taken any time – what more could Sylar do to him, given the chance?
“Mohinder,” he hears, just a whisper against his ear, and then there’s a new surge of pleasure, liquid lightning, and the finality of the orgasm shatters through Mohinder’s being, leaving him limp and shivering in Sylar’s arms, his sweat cloying on his skin.
Mohinder might have blacked out for a second, because the next thing he knows they’re in Mohinder’s bed, Sylar holding Mohinder close, spooned behind him. The same way they slept, when Mohinder thought it was just a dream –
A wave of heat rolls over Mohinder’s body.
“Too warm?” murmurs Sylar, and then his hand strokes up Mohinder’s stomach, leaving a cool trail in its wake.
Mohinder reaches, sliding his hand over Sylar’s, feeling it turn, feeling their fingers tangle together. Mohinder clasps tighter, and he closes his eyes.
Sylar is silent, as though struck dumb, and all he does is kiss Mohinder once, on the temple.
- - - -
When Mohinder awakens, it’s dark outside, and Sylar is still snug against him, under the covers. Mohinder turns his head slightly, and he sees Sylar’s eyes come open.
Of course, with that hearing, maybe even the minute change in Mohinder’s breathing would awaken him.
Mohinder shifts so that he’s facing Sylar, trying to find a hint of Sylar’s thoughts in that face, even shadowed and calculating as it is. But, no, he can’t see a thing; Sylar’s eyes are veiled, shrouded. Even so, Mohinder’s not afraid. He should be, he thinks, but he’s not – Sylar could kill him with a thought, but he hasn’t. He hasn’t, which means there must be something else at stake here.
Mohinder’s fingers trace the line of Sylar’s jaw, barely visible in the darkness. He sees Sylar’s eyes close, feels more than hears the soft noise from deep inside Sylar’s throat.
Sylar’s hand moves to cup Mohinder’s cheek, guiding him down to a kiss – one with an edge of want, just want, the likes of which Mohinder has never felt from anyone, much less Sylar. Mohinder greets Sylar’s tongue, feels the shyness in Sylar’s touch and he pulls back.
“What do you want from me?” Mohinder asks, something broken in his voice.
Sylar doesn’t answer, just regards him, for a long moment. “Come with me,” he says, finally, guiding Mohinder to his feet, leading him to the bathroom.
Sylar flicks on the shower, bringing Mohinder with him under the spray. A little too warm; Mohinder flinches at it, and the temperature dims, without either of them reaching for the tap.
Sylar kisses him, once, twice. “Do you want to feel it again?” he whispers, against Mohinder’s mouth.
Mohinder swallows – but the ‘no’, reflexive and automatic, dies in his throat. Sylar’s hand slides to Mohinder’s waist, and again, Mohinder feels the tug inside him, the rush of pleasure. Gentler than before, somehow, and Mohinder lets Sylar press him to the tile, arching his neck just so that Sylar can lick, lick to his pulse.
Mohinder shivers, convulsively. Oh, god, Sylar could have killed him a dozen, a hundred times over, each time they’d been alone, each time Mohinder was defenseless against him.
Sylar brings Mohinder’s knee up, fingers drifting lower, and Mohinder’s hands clench, unclench on Sylar’s arms – the whisper inside him, scraping along raw nerves, a twist of pleasure that he’s helpless to control. It’s not nearly as rough as earlier that night – it’s just enough, just barely enough that it makes Mohinder strain for a tiny bit more, spine tightening against the tile wall of the shower.
It’s then that he feels the stroke of fingers, against the puckered ring of muscle. Mohinder shudders at the stimulation, from inside, from out, just everywhere, surrounding him, and invading him, and all he can do is give himself over. To Sylar…
Sylar’s fingers slip inside him, Sylar’s voice crooning in his ear, and Mohinder closes his eyes, mouth barely open. This is a killer, a murderer stripping away all of what Mohinder is, leaving barely the core, and Mohinder wants nothing more right now than to trust Sylar – with everything.
Mohinder feels the skin of his neck grow cold, then numb, the water beading to ice on his skin. He gasps, in surprise more than anything else, and then he feels Sylar’s tongue licking, cracking the ice. The skin tingles in the sudden heat, and Mohinder arches mindlessly, so hard he can barely believe it. Fingers along with the strange pull inside him, twisting him too far, too much and too slow, all at the same time.
He can feel Sylar’s hands opening him up, tilting his hips, and in the part of his mind that still retains the laws of physics, he knows that this shouldn’t be possible, that the mechanics aren’t right and that he shouldn’t be able to hold his own weight, but then that’s just Sylar’s magic, isn’t it?
Mohinder keens, low and long, as Sylar slides inside, deeper and deeper, until the stretch is all Mohinder can feel, and the burn of possession is all he can taste. Sylar stills, then, holding Mohinder steady, letting him whimper it out, letting the pain fade. It doesn’t take long – it feels like the hands are still inside him, stroking along the inside of his body, finding the tight muscles and easing them, finding the hurt and soothing it away.
“Say my name,” says Sylar, raspy, barely audible over the soft rain of the shower water.
Mohinder bites his lip, trying to pull back to reality, trying to keep some modicum of control.
“Say it,” hisses Sylar, and he bites, worrying soft skin with hard teeth.
“Sylar,” Mohinder pleads, and as soon as he does, the trickle of pleasure widens into a flood. “Sylar,” he gasps, again, and he cries out, fighting against the ecstasy that threatens to pull him under. Every touch against his skin, every drop of water, every brush of Sylar’s fingers or contact with the tile against his back – it flares, brighter than the sun, drowning out Mohinder’s mind, Mohinder’s self.
And then Mohinder is over the edge, convulsing and collapsing, the last of it sweeping through him faster than a tsunami.
Ever so careful, Sylar slips out of him, and Mohinder falls to the ground shaking.
“You are so beautiful,” breathes Sylar, and his voice isn’t steady either, but full of something Mohinder doesn’t quite understand. “So beautiful,” and no, Mohinder doesn’t understand it now, but he will. He will.
Mohinder catches Sylar’s mouth, kissing him – and it’s not sweet, it’s not perfect. Sylar is a little too rough, isn’t quite right, but Mohinder lets it go. It doesn’t do to lie to himself about who this is, anyhow.
Afterwards, this time it’s Sylar who’s curled into Mohinder, snugged against his shoulder, eyes closed. And it’s Mohinder who pulls Sylar close, and who can’t seem to imagine what it would be to let him go.
- - - -
Mohinder wakes up at the noise of someone pounding on the door.
“Oh, shit,” is the first thing he thinks to say, then he’s on the floor, pulling clothes together. Sylar is awake, Mohinder is sure, but he doesn’t spare a glance, rushing to answer the knock.
“Who is it?” he calls through the door.
Niki’s voice. Mohinder glances back over his shoulder, to the entrance to his room, but Sylar isn’t there. Not yet, anyhow. He looks through the peephole – Niki, DL, Bennet, Matt Parkman, and even Claire. But not Molly or Micah.
Mohinder’s stomach sinks.
He eases the door open partway. “Where’s Molly?” he asks, hand drifting to make sure his shirt is straight.
“You know, it’s funny,” says Niki. “After you warned me I asked her to find the Boogeyman, just to make sure.”
“And she said he was in your apartment.” Niki’s eyes are intent on him; to the side, Mohinder can see Bennet ease a gun all the way out of a holster at his hip.
“Is Sylar here?” asks Bennet, lowly. As though that would make any damn difference.
Are they insane? Five of them, against Sylar – and Mohinder would put it at slightly uneven odds, in Sylar’s favor. They’re taking a huge gamble, and putting themselves at an amazing risk –
“Mohinder,” says Bennet, drawing Mohinder’s gaze back to him. “If you need help, you don’t have to say anything. Just nod.”
Mohinder senses more than hears the creak of the floorboards behind him. Sylar is there. Waiting. Danger, his mind screams at him, but Mohinder can’t tell anymore if the danger is in front of him or behind.
“He’s not here,” says Mohinder, finally, and he unwittingly makes contact with Parkman’s eyes.
Of course – the man is a telepath. Mohinder winces.
“He’s lying,” says Parkman.
And then it’s too late. Mohinder stumbles, tugged off his feet, and the next thing he knows Sylar’s arm is around him, something cold and sharp just barely brushing against the skin of Mohinder’s neck. Mohinder’s pulse threads – Sylar’s hold gives him no way to break out, but he’s still not afraid, he still doesn’t think Sylar is going to kill him.
The others, the five, spread in a semicircle, guns at the ready.
“Let him go,” demands Bennet.
“I don’t think I will,” Sylar shoots back. “Drop the guns, or he dies, and all of his research with him.”
Mohinder swallows, holding Bennet’s gaze – just do it – and finally, after an agonizing pause, Bennet nods, points his gun to the ground.
“You don’t think I could beat you?” taunts Sylar. “Even with five, you don’t stand a chance.”
“Don’t hurt them,” says Mohinder, so soft it’s barely vocalized, entirely too soft for any of the others in the room to hear.
Sylar’s arm tightens, just a fraction.
“Please,” Mohinder whispers.
A pause, uncertain, then “as you wish,” in a breath of air against Mohinder’s ear. “Be seeing you, Mohinder,” murmurs Sylar, then he shoves Mohinder away from him, violently, suddenly. Mohinder ducks from the hail of bullets, and by the time he looks up, Sylar is gone.
Parkman rushes to the window, and hisses through his teeth. “I don’t see him,” he says.
“He can’t just have disappeared,” snaps DL, moving up beside him.
Parkman looks to Mohinder. “What happened here? What did he want?”
Mohinder’s mind races, to every science fiction book he’s read, every technique for blocking telepaths that fiction writers have conjectured. Disciplined thoughts, he remembers that, or nursery rhymes, nonsense patterns that occupy a telepath and render them unable to get to the thoughts underneath –
“What are you trying to hide?” asks Parkman, his brows furrowed.
So much for that. “I have no idea what he wants,” says Mohinder, honestly. “But we haven’t seen the last of him.”
“No,” admits Bennet, “I’d expect we haven’t.”
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Go on to the next part, here.