Title: System Shutdown

Author: stangerine88

'Verse: Heroes

Characters: Micah Sanders, Monica Dawson

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Spoilers for Season One and Two, mentioned character death, implied suicidal thoughts

Disclaimer: Heroes belongs to NBC and Tim Kring.

Summary: He'd known, when the beeps and whirls of the machines around him had started to sound less and less like a conversation and more like noise that he'd be seeing his parents again soon.

Table/Prompt: Mental Illness Table/ Depression

System Shutdown


Micah Sanders isn't stupid, he knows what the word means better than most adults. Forgetting the legal and social cling-ons of the word, boiled down it means single. Solitary. Alone. Unwanted. Micah could list synonyms all day.

New Orleans was hot this time of year, the people nervous about the return of Hurricane season and phantom remnants of disaster. Micah could care less what came as long as it stopped this horrible heavy feeling of being alone.

The only one left.

His grandmother had taken him to the doctor time and time again, worried sick over her poor, orphaned grandson. The one who didn't eat properly, didn't play with the other children anymore, always had a headache.

She refused to see that he was broken.


Monica walked by his doorway- he'd yet to get out of bed, although it was well past non- humming and getting ready for her next shift at the restaurant. Micah said nothing as her cheerful song halted and she stepped back, eying him nervously.

"How're ya feeling today, Micah? Headache gone? Are ya hungry?"

Unkempt, greasy curls barely shook with the turn of his head. He didn't talk to her; he didn't want to talk to her. For all their similarities, Monica wasn't like him.

She wouldn't understand.

The bright colors of her uniform poked at him, irritating his eyes and mind like a hibernating bear slowly waking to find a bunch of idiot kids stabbing at it with a stick.

"You haven't been on your computer very much lately. Or messing around with the TV. Grandma's gone out for some milk and Damon's at school. You could go mess with them for a bit- I won't tell."


Monica tried not to wince at her little cousin's voice. She'd heard answering machines with happier voices. Even those creepy computerize helpers with the phone companies were better at conversation than Micah these days.

It was plain as the nose on her face what was wrong with him, no matter what those quack doctors had to say or what kind of drugs they put him on. Micah was depressed and unless someone somewhere could bring back his parents, nothing short of a miracle was saving that boy.

"Are you sure you don't wanna go and tinker around with the television again?" Monica asked timidly, wring her hands in her apron. Micah simply stared out the window listlessly.


A lip was bitten in nervousness. "Are you sure?"

"I said no!"

Monica isn't sure if she's hurt by his harsh tone or relieved that the vacant, apathetic expression has been wiped off Micah's face by his anger. It wasn't anything new and always short lived as the fury dropped from the technopath's face and morphed into complete and utter sadness. "I can't."

She had no idea what that meant- her college hopes had been tourism and hospitality not psychology- but Micah had already turned away from her and Monica still had a job to get to.

He waited until he was sure she had left- the door closing was like a bomb going off in the quiet, dead house- before stretching out to touch the remote control at his side. There was no warmth, no beeps or pulses or the familiar tingle of electricity. The small, ancient television sitting on his battered dresser didn't even flicker as Micah called out to it and he knew.

He'd known, when the beeps and whirls of the machines around him had started to sound less and less like a conversation and more like noise that he'd be seeing his parents again soon.

And Micah couldn't seem to care.

A/N: This reading that most children suffering from depression have attempted suicide or at least had suicidal thoughts by age 12. Scary stuff.