Matt Parkman wasn't anything like a doting mama. Not one bit: He was a manly man, in fact. Most Autumn Sundays found him yelling at referees, balls-less offensive coordinators, and the New England Patriots. He liked his steak just this side of burnt, had no idea what a full pedicure entailed, and sometimes dreamed of power tools.
And yet. Here he was, his sewing basket agape on the kitchen table, secretly stitching lacy bits to a leotard and spangling faerie wings.
He frowned at the needle as he tried to shove the thread through, and he didn't dare look up when Mohinder came into the kitchen and closed the door quietly.
"She's sleeping. Finally," Mohinder announced. Molly's dreams had become so frightening lately that she had developed a long and intricate ritual before she could sleep at night. Part of that, Matt knew, involved locating both Matt and Mohinder, even if they were in the next room, to reassure herself that they were still alive and unharmed.
"What is that?" Mohinder asked casually, unscrewing a water bottle and gesturing at Matt's pile of lace and bangles.
"Costume," Matt muttered, finally threading the needle. He grasped the short end of the thread and knotted it hastily, so the sucker couldn't slip back through the needle while he wasn't watching.
Mohinder watched in silence for a few minutes, and Matt didn't like guessing at Mohinder's thoughts.
"I shudder to think of you in that," Mohinder said.
Matt scowled and looked up.
"It's not for me. It's for Molly."
"Ah," Mohinder smiled.
"Halloween's coming up," Matt explained. "Don't know what they do in India, or if they do anything, really, but over here, kids dress up in costumes and go around to neighbors who give them candy. 'S called 'trick-or-treating.' I figured a bright, happy costume might, you know, distract Molly from the scary stuff." He pulled a face, knowing his explanation was dorky. He knew this whole plan was dorky; Matt Parkman was a man who understood dorky. Good thing, though, that Mohinder Suresh was a man who understood Matt.
Mohinder pulled up a chair, sat, and drank his water in silence. Matt continued to set stitches in the lavender and green skirt panels. A clock ticked; an ambulance drove by outside; blessed silence streamed from under the door to Molly's room.
"We can't let her go, uh, trick-or-treating, you know," Mohinder said at last. "It isn't safe."
Well, yeah, Matt knew. Molly was too precious a thing to loose on the streets of New York to pander for candy.
In just a few months, Molly Walker had become central to his world. She'd grabbed him round the heart and squeezed, in fact. He had a hunch that this faery costume might make her smile, at least. And if Matt could bring even a semblance of normalcy to Molly's life, he was damn well gonna do it, even if it did involve ribbons and thread and stuff.
Matt muttered under his breath, and Mohinder set the water bottle aside.
"Give me the wings," Mohinder said. "I'll glue on these flowers."