|Three Superteams That Never Took Off
Author: hiding duh PM
Matt/Mohinder; Peter/Claire; Adam/Ando. Hi, these things never happened.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Peter P. & Claire B. - Words: 3,141 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-26-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4036469
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Drabble. Um, I don't think it means what I think it means.
Three Superteams That Never Took Off and One That Sort of Did (M4,
P3, A2, S1)
Characters: Matt/Mohinder, Molly, Micah; Peter/Claire, Angela; Adam/Ando; Sylar—all platonic, I swear.
Summary: Hi, these things never happened.
Word Count: 2701
Two weeks later, Molly's screen flashes once.
asktronnicely96 (9:21:58 PM): I need you to find someone.
She should worry about this unfamiliar username, or at least contemplate telling Matt that someone apparently knows. Instead, she frowns at the keyboard and guesses.
ihave2dads98 (9:22:13 PM): send me a picture, micah
A grainy sketch pops up, and then Molly can visualize the canisters and the gasoline.
ihave2dads98 (9:27:43 PM): i don't think this is a good idea
But she gives him the address anyway, because if there's anything Molly understands, it's this. So she pulls on a warm sweater, combs her tangled hair, finds matching boots, and really, she's almost out the door when Matt pokes his head out of the kitchen.
"...are you sleepwalking?"
Molly huffs, and hoists her backpack higher. "I'll be back in a few days, okay?"
Amused, Matt stares at her for a moment, then grabs his jacket, muttering under his breath, "If Mohinder finds out about this, he'll put both of us up for adoption."
They're sitting on a plane three hours later.
"I don't know how to feel about this," Matt continues, hunched over a borrowed data terminal.
Eyes closed, Micah takes his hand away from the screen. "I've changed the logs and his record." His shoulders slump, curls matted to his forehead. "It's not enough."
Niki's car groans as Matt eases out of an alleyway. "You've put him away for life. In less than ten minutes." He hides a crooked grin. "Pretty sure that breaks my record." Under his breath, he adds, "And several laws."
With a faint smile, Micah presses his cheek against the window.
Matt isn't sure how it happens, but for the return trip, he buys three plane tickets.
Mohinder knows his apartment well.
So, when he unlocks the door and sees an extra pair of shoes by the rug, an extra coat on the rack, and an extra plate on the table, Mohinder wonders if he's broken into someone else's home.
Oh, yeah, drifts through the haze in his head. Forgot to tell you. I got us a new kid.
Matt most certainly wouldn't forget to mention something like that. But Mohinder carries Niki's favorite picture in his wallet and guilt in his heart, so he casually drops his duffel on the sofa, and offers a disdainful sniff.
"This is entirely unacceptable," he sighs, leveling his eyes with Micah's.
Uneasy, Micah glances at Matt and Molly, then hesitates.
"You cannot allow them to feed you this rubbish," Mohinder elaborates, motioning at the soggy slice of pizza hanging off Micah's plate.
Micah's eyes widen with relief, and he hastens to say I'm sorry, Dr. Suresh before Mohinder can offer even a remotely decent attempt at an apology.
So, to start, in the morning, he makes Micah waffles.
Molly focuses, drawing an imaginary line on a crinkled blueprint. "Second sub-level, fourth door on the left."
Matt's voice crackles on the other line. "Security system?"
Micah nods into the phone, scrolling through its flickering icons. "Deactivated."
Gunfire is raging in the background, but Mohinder's "Have you finished your homework?" sounds oddly clear.
Micah and Molly exchange a glance.
"Don't stay up late!" Mohinder quickly adds before disconnecting.
Worried, Micah pushes the phone across the table, then taps it back, then slides it up—
"They're just taking down the Company..." Molly reasons, but obsessively tracks two yellow pushpins across the map.
Micah shifts in his seat. "What if—"
She fidgets. "They could—"
"We should've gone with them."
When Matt and Mohinder return, exhausted and bloody, Molly and Micah are sprawled by the door, dozing off on a tiny fuzzy rug, barefoot and huddling together for warmth.
"I have this inexplicable urge to give them puppy treats," says Matt, crouching down.
"Fight it," Mohinder agrees.
At the park, Micah knows they blend in.
But it's the little things that stand out. If an abused Dell miraculously reboots after Micah strolls by a cramming college student, it's probably because computers are just weird that way. And if an old lady gets to keep her purse when Matt steers a desperate drifter away, it's nothing extraordinary 'cause crime is down in New York anyway.
And if Mohinder promptly finds a curious toddler, ma'am, probably best to not let him wander off, it's not like it's because Molly saw him by the lake or something.
"Really," Mohinder tells Micah, clasping his shoulder. "Next you'll want costumes."
"Oh!" Molly perks up, pointing at her skirt. "I call purple!"
"And I want a cape," Matt grins.
And though there aren't any medals in his backpack, Micah thinks he was maybe meant for this.
"Make mine green."
On occasion, Claire reminds Angela of Nathan.
Sometimes, she reminds her of Peter, and always of Adam.
"So single-minded," she tells her, hands steepled.
Claire looks up, fingers digging into the fine mahogany table. "It worked once. It can work again."
Expressionless, Angela glances at the pulsing vein Claire is presenting for her. "That won't bring Nathan back, Claire."
Teeth clenched, Claire seems to understand. She leans back and asks, "What will?"
Angela suppresses a smile.
Claire, she knows, has no talents other than her genetics. But she is tiny and flexible and fast, and most importantly, she is willing.
Angela can work with that.
Peter keeps to the shadows.
He hesitates, from time to time. He's gentle with his prey, pauses to listen, finds justification for this person or that, so one morning, Angela puts down her pen, and drawls, "I know you're here."
He appears in the chair across her. "Even if I find who's responsible for Nate's—"
"I think you should take Claire next time."
Peter freezes. "I'm not—"
"Peter. Don't deny her a chance to avenge her father."
Contemplative, Peter says nothing.
When they return, Claire makes a beeline for the nearest faucet, scrubbing her hands raw.
"Progress?" Angela asks coolly.
"Another dead end," Peter replies, running bloodied fingers through his hair. "Did you know they'd be waiting for us, Ma?"
Angela slides over to Claire, gently patting her hands dry. "Consider it training."
Claire bends over the sink.
This is the last time Peter will hesitate.
The guard automatically reaches for his holster, then reconsiders. "Oh. Is your class touring the paper company upstairs?"
A tiny sad smile plays about her lips. "Yeah."
"Well, let's get you—"
Frowning, Peter inspects the body, then flicks his collar. "What was that?"
Claire shrugs, pigtails curling against her neck. "You're not the only one with cool powers."
Peter walks off ahead of her, muttering, "Attracting pedophiles isn't a power, Claire."
She rolls her eyes, but can't keep from grinning.
The surveillance tapes aren't incriminating.
Claire's faster, stealthier, quicker to heal. Peter's unstoppable, calculating, obedient.
But they smile a lot. Sometimes, they even grin up at Angela.
"You should come with us, Ma," Peter says, one corner of his mouth twitching upwards.
Claire scrunches up her nose, pulling on her boots. "That'd be pretty unfair."
Angela hovers by the doorway, lips thinning.
You seem to have forgotten about Nathan, she should tell them. Focus. We have things to do.
"To the guards," Claire amends, "not you, Grandma."
Peter tilts his head imperceptibly.
"Grandmother? Gran? Nana?" Claire frowns at the floor, still bent over her boot. "Granny?" She looks vaguely nauseous here, so she straightens and decides, "Sometimes I wish I had some of your powers, Peter."
Peter ushers her out the door. "What, time-travel?"
Angela watches them descend the stone steps. Bits of their fading conversation reach her ears.
"—what about silver bullets?"
"You're not a vampire, Claire."
"Werewolf, you dork. Silver bullets only work on werethings. Like wererabbits and, um, miscellaneous other lycanthropes. Gosh, that's an awfully big word. Lycanthropes. Lycanthropes. You try it. Peter. Lycanthropes."
"...no more cable for you, okay?"
Angela draws the curtains together. And, surprisingly, the smile pushing at her lips isn't bitter or disingenuous or condescending.
She supposes they can keep Claire a little longer.
"Are you using us?"
"You don't sound surprised."
Claire crosses her arms, narrowing her eyes in defiance. "I'm not an idiot."
"Believe what you will," Angela tells her, rounding a corner. She walks by a cell, then another one, and offers, "I'm merely protecting you from the truth."
"I don't need—"
The cell door swings open.
Time probably freezes, because one second, Peter is there, fingers wrapped around a familiar neck, and the next, the cell is empty and Peter is standing there, looking guilty and vindicated at once.
A silent look passes between him and Angela.
Then, he pockets a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, and hands Claire a cell phone.
Suspicious, Claire dials, switching to speakerphone. "Where are you?"
Parkman's voice echoes in the hallway. "Second sub-level. We cleared it."
"I feel like we're playing Mario Kart or something," she muses, then flips the phone. "So... who was it?"
Peter isn't a very good liar, so Angela wraps an arm around Claire's shoulder. "Company peon." She glances briefly at Peter. "Now, come along, dear. The world is waiting."
Angela watches Claire rise from the ashes of both her fathers, and tells Peter what a good boy he is.
He doesn't believe her, and Claire believes too much.
But at least this way, they'll both stay by her side.
Little Hiro doesn't speak English.
He can probably only say Gēmu Bōi and K.O.! and sūpāhīrō.
So when Adam sees him scamper by his cell and says, "Here, carp," Hiro ignores him.
With a faint smile, Adam flattens his tongue against his teeth and waits for the words to come. They lodge in his throat, lost in translation.
"Ando-kun," Hiro whines, waving a comic book. "Hurry. I don't like this place."
A small boy shuffles forward, wary but curious. "Someone just called you something weird, Hiro."
Both boys pause to glance about.
Quietly, Adam retreats deeper into his cell.
Weird, he thinks.
The smile fades.
Sometimes, Hiro returns.
Adam never sees or hears or feels him, of course. But there's maybe a bento box, crammed between his chest and the coffin, or a flask in his pocket, or a lingering scent of waffles.
Most days, the silence is almost tangible, but today, there is a soft thud, and then another one, and a few more. He sleeps through most of them, until something heavy and sharp scrapes across the wooden lid above him.
He's awake and clawing at the silk lining so hard that splinters pierce his nails, and though his voice is gone, he tries to say things. Like maybe fuck you, or thank you, or I'd kill for some waffles.
What comes out is a hoarse, "You?"
Ando grips the shovel with both hands, knuckles turning white.
Disoriented, Adam sits up and squints at the splintered coffin. "Did he send you?"
"Then how—?" he asks.
Ando offers a dirty hand. "I know everything about him," he replies with a hint of warning.
Adam doesn't doubt him.
It doesn't take long.
"He found out."
Adam arches an eyebrow. "And yet you live." He searches his internal lexicon for an appropriate nickname. "Tuna? Trout? Flounder? Indeed. Flounder."
Unamused, Ando clenches his jaw. "I want the old Hiro back. If you fail, Kensei, I'm putting you back in the ground."
Adam smirks. "I've had months to rethink my... methods," he lies. "I'm a changed man."
Eyes narrowed, Ando gives a reluctant nod. "He should know this."
"I'd gladly visit the carp and tell him," he gestures with his chin at the bindings, "but I seem to be a little tied up at the moment."
Ando contemplates, then carefully starts undoing one of the knots. "You speak Japanese, don't you?"
Adam shrugs noncommittally.
The rope loosens. "Why 'carp'?"
"It's a pest of a fish," Adam offers, but his voice falters.
He's never seen Hiro look so enraged. And betrayed. And relieved.
"Now, now, carp," he drawls, putting his hands up in a placating manner. "Lesson learned. What do you say? Truce?"
Hiro turns around to gesture wildly. "Ando-kun, how—why—you don't understand!"
Ando looks sheepish, but determined. "It wasn't right, Hiro."
Hiro briefly hesitates.
That's all that Adam really needs.
While Hiro is away, in the year 2525 or something, Ando makes Adam tea.
"D'you get the feeling you're a housewife, flounder?"
Ando calmly takes a sip of tea. " 'Flounder' is never going to catch on, Kensei."
Adam can't help but agree. "Ten letter word for woodpecker?"
With a snort, Ando takes a look at the crossword puzzle. "That's a children's practice book. Never mind. You only had four hundred years to learn."
"Three letter word for fish."
Ando is suddenly serious. And very Japanese. "Hatsukoi? Koibito? Koi ni ochiru? Koisuru? Try Koigataki."
"Those aren't fish," Adam accuses, but his chest tightens.
"No, they aren't," Ando agrees.
Adam is busy rattling off translations in his head—from first love to love rival—when Hiro pops back in.
A quiet "Yatta!" followed by an inconspicuous fist pump precedes the scrunched up frown Hiro sends his way.
"Welcome home, carp."
Hiro says nothing, then quickly beams at Ando. "I brought you a robot cricket! From the future!"
Ando makes a face.
Quietly, Adam glances at the crossword puzzle, and grins.
Bring it on, flounder.
When he's five years old, Gabriel's teacher makes him play a game.
He holds hands with two pretty girls and his palms are sweaty, and though he's never played before, he seems to know what to do.
"The King has sent his daughter," one girl chants, pigtails bouncing off her cheeks, "to fetch a pail of water" The circle of children sways. "Ashes, ashes—" A giddy pause, and then: "All fall down!"
A soft breeze sweeps through his bangs.
He, alone, stands.
A group project in seventh grade earns him detention.
Shows initiative, his official record says; however, has difficulty incorporating others into assigned activities.
"Do you understand why we're doing this, Gabriel?" the principal asks softly, signing off on a note.
Gabriel nods, but honestly doesn't understand.
When he returns to class, and his lab partner, a model volcano is just sitting there, already completed. The plaster is realistic, the sand convincing, and the baking soda is bubbling away. Lips curling, Gabriel reaches for a scalpel and scratches out his partner's name.
When the teacher passes by, it's Gabriel Gray's Science Project, and it's a glittering A and a blue ribbon that he brings home to Mother.
After all, he deserves it more.
"Do you like being Patient Zero, Gabriel?" Chandra asks him once.
Sylar looks out of the window, bottom lip pursed. "I'd prefer Patient One."
Surprised, Chandra puts down his pencil. "And why is that?"
"Zero isn't a number," Sylar replies patiently, voice unnaturally soft. "And I don't like what it implies."
Chandra chuckles. "It is a number. We use it before we start counting the others, since we must assume the result to be zero." He jots down another note before adding, "Because, sometimes, there is nothing more to be counted. And zero remains the final result."
The corners of Sylar's mouth quirk up.
"How many others like you do you think are out there?" Mohinder asks, eyes bright and focused on the horizon.
Sylar smiles, turning dark eyes to Mohinder. "Oh, I don't think there's anyone quite like me."
He can't stop smiling.
The world is quiet, empty, as he looks ahead with both feet planted firmly on a familiar rooftop.
His coat billows behind him in the darkness, brushing against a withered rosebush.
Even the sun is afraid to rise in his presence.
A small blur on the horizon zips closer, and Sylar's smile fades. He leaps off and catches the man mid-jump, landing into the thick dust.
Beneath him, Hiro squints one eye open, clutching some ridiculous toy. "You—but—dead?"
"Sorry to disappoint," Sylar smirks, rising to dust himself off.
Hiro blinks out of existence a millisecond later.
Unconcerned, Sylar draws on a long-forgotten power and teleports back to the rooftop.
The smile grows.