Characters: Matt Parkman, Mohinder Suresh, Molly Walker
Keywords: slash, M3
Spoilers; Mostly for 'Kindred'
Disclaimers: Not mine. Not mine. Not mine.
Summary: sometimes people make too many promises
Author's Notes: It was the look on Matt's face when Mohinder told Molly he was never leaving again that spawned this. That look so clearly said (to me) that Mohinder shouldn't make promises he couldn't keep. Thanks to Azar for the beta reading and feedback.
Matt watches from the bedroom doorway, listening as Mohinder finishes telling Molly the bedtime story she'd begged for almost as soon as they tried to put her back to bed. At first, she'd been too excited to sleep, too happy to see Mohinder again. Her thoughts raced with a child's glee and despite himself, Matt found himself sharing in her sentiments. An hour later, however, when a very tired little girl was clinging to her other savior with all her might, not wanting to sleep for fear that she'd awaken to find him gone, things had been different. Mohinder had had to repeat his promise not to leave several times before she'd accept it, and when he tucked her into bed, she made her plea for a story. "The one you told me before you left, Mohinder, please?"
"All right, sweetheart," Mohinder had agreed, though he himself was visibly tired, and smoothed the hair away from her face as he sat on the edge of the bed.
Matt hadn't meant to stay and listen. There were a mess in the kitchen he could be cleaning or sleep he could be getting. And he supposed someone should lay out Molly's clothes for school tomorrow. But instead, he was drawn back to the doorway and Mohinder's story. It was a tale from his childhood, one his own mother had told him as a boy, and when Mohinder told it with such love and tenderness in his exotic voice, Matt could almost see the scenes unfolding in his mind.
He was transfixed in the door, staying there even after Mohinder ceased to speak and was placing a solemn kiss on Molly's forehead. Reiterating his promise to be there in the morning, Mohinder rose from the bed. As he passed Matt, he touched his shoulder, drawing him out of his thoughts and back to reality.
"You shouldn't do that, you know," Matt said as he followed Mohinder back down the hallway.
"Do what?" Mohinder stopped just inside their bedroom and turned towards Matt with curious, expecting eyes.
"Make promises you don't know if you can keep."
The words were loaded. Matt hadn't meant to, but he'd heard Mohinder's thoughts a little too loudly tonight as he was tending to Molly. He knew that Mohinder didn't know what the future would hold or if he was staying all that long. For now, maybe. But neither of them knew what the Company would do, what they would ask of Mohinder now that they'd finally taken him in.
"You aren't talking about just Molly, are you?" was Mohinder's softly accusing question as he closed the door behind them. "Matt -- "
"Don't say it. Just -- don't say it." You don't know them the way I do, Matt thought sadly.
"Ahhh. I don't have to be a mind reader to know what that look's about," Mohinder told him. "I know, I know… I don't really know what they'll do if they become desperate. But I promise, I'll be most careful."
"Another promise," Matt countered, but he was already reaching for Mohinder's shirt, pulling it away from the waist of his pants.
One I will do my utmost to keep, he heard Mohinder say in his head.
"Don't," Matt said, answering the unspoken words rather than the spoken ones. There was sadness in his voice as he reached out and caressed Mohinder's cheek. The stubble was a paradox of rough and smooth against his palm. It felt kind of like irony.
I'm not Janice, Matt. I won't leave you … just like that.
"I never said you were," Matt replied. "And could you stop doing that. We're not supposed to be using our powers and you know that."
"I'll try to remember next time," Mohinder said, sounding like a reprimanded child. Mentally, however, he protested I know of no other way to show you how much you mean to me, Matthew Parkman. I trust you with my innermost thoughts. It's more than she did, and it's patently unfair of you to compare my promises to hers.
"I'm not --"
"You are," Mohinder said aloud. He placed his hands on Matt's shoulders, holding him still. "I know you don't mean to. I know that. And I also know you probably have not done so intentionally, but you have. You are."
"I don't really want to have this conversation, Mohinder," Matt said, finally, but he did nod in acknowledgement of what the other man had said. He moved both hands up to Mohinder's cheeks, completing the circuit between in effect. "At least, no tonight." It was late, they were both ratcheted up quite a bit, and having Mohinder close enough to touch was doing things to Matt he'd rather not set aside for a long, drawn out 'heart to heart.' Talking was Mohinder's thing. "Tonight, I really just like to… I don't know… enjoy not having to listen to your voice over the telephone."
"Is that so?" Mohinder asked, a teasing glimmer chasing the exhaustion out of his eyes now. Anything in particular you'd like to hear me say, I wonder?
"Yes," was Matt's answer, and he pulled Mohinder in for the kiss he'd been dreaming about for months on end. His dreams didn't do it justice.