Title: Recovery
Author: smithar
Movie: Krrish (and Koi Mil Gaya)
Pairing(s): Rohit/Nisha & Krishna/Priya
Rating: PG
Spoilers: BIG spoilers for the end of Krrish
Author's Note: Major spoilers for the end of the movie!
Summary: Rohit has to deal with the new life he has been granted, as well as the loss in his heart.

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Rohit missed his childhood home. When his son (His son! Imagine that!) had told him that he was there to take him home, take him back to India to see his mother, he was expecting to go back to the place he had grown up in, all fields of yellow wildflowers and sapphire blue lakes. But apparently, Ma had moved to this remote location to protect Krishna from the very forces that had stolen twenty years of his own life. The mountains were awe-inspiring, the snow was serene, and the rivers were tranquil. It was a beautiful place where he lived now, but he still yearned for the familiarity of the life he had once known, where he had met Jadoo, where he had met Nisha...

Nisha, Nisha, Nisha... Her name echoed in his head, ringing like a plaintive church bell. Like the church bells he had heard in Germany, back when he was working for Techtronics. Back when he thought Dr. Arya was a friend.

He didn't hate Arya for deceiving him about the purpose of the computer. He didn't even hate Arya for keeping him imprisoned for twenty years. Hate is a strong and terrible emotion that does not come easily to Rohit. It's not who he is. But because of Arya's lies, Nisha died. He imagines her last moments, lying in a hospital bed with baby Krishna in her arms, numb and full of sorrow. He asked Ma when he first came home if Nisha had suffered at the end, but Ma hadn't replied, only hugged him close and shed tears of regret.

Rohit hated Arya for this and this alone, for taking away the one woman who had made his life complete, who had loved him and respected him and believed in him no matter what happened. Rohit wanted to carry that hate to the grave, because it hurt to hate this much, and that constant pressure of hurting reminded him that Nisha was gone. He never wanted to forget that Nisha was gone.

---

His mind was still sharp, but the years of inactivity and low vitals had worn out his body physically, in spite of the powers Jadoo had bestowed upon him. Instead of the super-strength he used to have (the same strength that now flowed through Krishna's veins), he was merely average. Rohit didn't mind being average, at least physically. His daughter-in-law, however, had somehow fixated on his prematurely graying hair.

"You're not that old, Papa." The word sounded strange in his ears, coming from the young woman, but she insisted on calling him as such. Rohit didn't mind. "If you dye it, no one will tell the difference."

Krishna was sitting next to Priya, hands on his face and elbows on the table, eyes aglow and still enthralled with the fact that he had his father back. He opened his mouth to say something to Priya, but at that moment Ma called from the backyard. "Krishna? Come help me with the firewood."

"Coming, Grandmother." Krishna said, smiling happily at both his wife and his father as he bounded out the back door.

Rohit watched his son go and then turned back to Priya. "Why do you want me to dye my hair so badly?"

She looked down at her hands. "It'll make you look younger. And... I like the idea of having a father around for as many years as possible..." She looked at him shyly, the smile of a little girl looking at a father figure.

For a moment, Rohit didn't know what to say. So he just smiled instead. She smiled back. In their silence, he could hear Krishna and Ma in the backyard talking, the sound of an axe chopping wood periodically.

Nisha! Are you watching this from heaven? I have a brave son who adores me. I have a kind daughter who I'm growing close to. I have a caring mother who loves me very much. I have a such a wonderful family. Truly, I am one of the luckiest men on earth. I only wish you were here with me, that we could experience this life together.

Finally, he spoke. "Priya, you don't have to worry about me. Jadoo's powers made me strong. Whether I have grey hair or not, I'm going to stay with you and Krishna and Ma forever and ever."

She sighed. "I know. I guess it's a psychological thing, the grey hair. I just need to get past it."

Ma came in through the doorway with Krishna carrying a bundle of logs in his arms and the conversation moved on to different things. Rohit laughed as they talked about Krishna's childhood antics, so much like his namesake. Every now and then he would glance at the wall, where Nisha's garlanded picture was hanging. With her missing, things were just a little less than perfect. And that's just how Rohit wanted it to be.

---

Priya was rushing around the house like a madcap. Her mother was coming to visit at any minute and she was intent on delivering the proper impression.

"She has her own idea of what a married woman's household should look like. Clean house, good food, bright and gleaming altar-"

Krishna protested. "But I'm the one that cleans the house! And Grandmother does most of the cooking!"

After the first pillow was thrown, Rohit decided it would be best to get out of the way of the quarrelling couple. He wandered around the house looking at the childhood pictures of Krishna that he had looked at a million times already. He still felt deeply saddened that he hadn't been there to see Krishna grow up. Neither of us were there for him, were we, Nisha? Or maybe you were watching down on him. I was not that lucky.

Rohit noticed that the door to Ma's room was open. She was sitting on her bed, staring down at a framed photo of someone. Her eyes were red, as if she had just finished crying.

Rohit went into her room quickly and knelt before her. "Ma? Is everything okay?" He looked down and saw that she was holding a wedding photo of herself and his father. She looked impossibly young, beautiful and regal. His father, a man he had never known, was brimming with happiness.

She didn't say anything, just looked up at Rohit for a long moment. "We're both widowers." She said it quietly, as if she were realizing it for the first time.

"I know, Ma. I know." He hugged her consolingly. At least, Nisha, my son will have the opportunity to know me.

---

"Tell me about Mom." Krishna's eyes were alight with curiousity. "What was she like? How did you meet her?"

Rohit laughed at Krishna's eagerness. His son was grown up yet still so much a child. "Didn't Ma tell you anything about your own mother?"

Ma turned around from where she was cutting vegetables in the kitchen with Priya. "Arre, there is only so much a mother knows about her son's prem ki kahani. He knows she was a kind and beautiful woman. The details are best left to you." There was a slyness in her voice that Rohit was delighted to hear. It warmed his heart to hear her speaking with such amusement in her voice. Sometimes, she seemed so weary.

"Your mother was... amazing. Even before Jadoo came and gave me these powers, she was a dear friend. Stood up for me, respected me. She was so much fun and full of life. And she was beautiful." Rohit went on with a grin. "And after Jadoo gave me my powers, she couldn't not fall in love with me."

Krishna laughed and looked over at Priya. "I'm sure." Priya turned around and stuck her tongue out at him half-heartedly.

"I met your mother when I was going to the cinema with my friends." Rohit said to Krishna. Remember, Nisha? A few weeks after we were married, you told me how shocked you had been when I called you Didi just like the other kids. The next day I had the florist send a dozen roses to our house, each flower tied with a ribbon that said "Pyaari" on it...

"Dad?" Krishna looked at him with concern. "If you're still sad about it, I won't bring Mom up."

Rohit shook his head. "No, it's alright. I'm just remembering..."

"Remembering what?"

Rohit glanced at Ma, feeling a little flustered. "The night you were... conceived."

The combination of Rohit's delivery and Krishna's distraught expression sent Ma and Priya into a fit of riotous laughter. Rohit wrung his hands together self-consciously for revealing something so personal. Yes, it hurt to miss her this much. But seeing his mother and his new daughter-in-law laugh so hard that tears came to their eyes brought him an equivalent amount of happiness. It was happiness like this that kept him going.

---

In order to earn some extra money for the household, Krishna had decided to start running a wildlife tour. He had a natural affinity with animals, and Ma hadn't objected. He would wake up early in the morning and meet up with the local guide Babuhar. Together, they took groups of tourists out to the rivers, to the jungles, to the mountains. Krishna would call down exotic birds for the tourists to marvel at. He would call down the monkeys to calmly accept pieces of banana from the tourists. And he would call out Toofan (who apparently loved an audience, said Krishna) to prance around and do a few tricks. It was a wildly successful endeavor, and soon Krishna had earned a sizable sum of money. Enough to build an extra addition onto their house, to compensate for the fact that their family had suddenly doubled in size.

They brought in builders and of course Krishna helped out, carrying materials and hammering away on the roof.

Rohit decided he wanted to lend a hand as well. Life between the jungles and the mountains had been good for his health, and he was recuperating well. His strength was beginning to return, even through his hair was still stuck in its premature grey.

Krishna did not like his dad helping out with the labour.

"Dad, I don't think you should be doing this." Krishna looked at the planks Rohit was carrying with reservation.

Rohit waved him off, cheerful to be actually doing something for once. "It's okay, I'm fine. As soon as I feel tired, I'll take a break."

"But Dad, you're not you're old self! What they did to you..." Rohit flinched as the memories came back and he saw Krishna look down uncomfortably. "Sorry. I shouldn't have brought it up."

"Krrish, I know you're worried about me, but I'm fine." Rohit was the only one who called Krishna by his onetime alias. His son was a hero, his hero, who had saved the world and saved Rohit from a shameful death. He only used it when it was the two of them alone. The nickname made Priya squirm with what seemed to be guilt, so Rohit had stopped saying it in her presence. And he didn't want Ma to happen upon the fact that the nickname for her grandson was the same as a masked man who had gallivanted around Singapore. All she needed to know was that Krishna had brought her son back.

Krishna relented. "Okay, but if you're going to be working here, I'm going to work with you."

Rohit was grateful for the company, to be able to speak to his son in comparable privacy. They were in desperate need of some father-son bonding. Rohit talked about his experiences in his childhood home (ignoring the pang that came from missing it) while Krishna talked about how he had helped built this home the first time around, back when Ma had decided to hide him away from the world.

Rohit smiled as his son handed him more nails. We're building ourselves a new home, Nisha. We're building a new life together from the pieces we have left. And I think we will be just fine.

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