Matt dropped his two lonely duffle bags on the floor beside the couch and looked around the apartment where he'd be staying for the time being. It looked too small for all three of them, but he didn't dare say that in front of Molly, who was more than overjoyed to have him there. Happiness radiated off the little girl like sunshine and even if Matt did have doubts about this whole thing, he couldn't help but bask in the warmth of it while he could.
He spotted the folded blanket and pillow at the far end of the couch and chuckled ruefully. "Well, it wouldn't be the first time I've had to sleep on the couch," he commented, earning himself a puzzled look from both Molly and Dr. Suresh.
"You're silly, Matt!" Molly informed him and grabbed his hand, dragging him towards the back of the apartment. "You just got home from the hospital. People who've been in the hospital don't sleep on the couch."
She pulled him into a room on the left side of the narrow hallway and announced that this was where he would be staying. A cursory glance told Matt that this was Dr. Suresh's bedroom and he felt a stab of guilt go through him, especially when the Indian geneticist followed them into the room carrying his bags.
"You really don't have to put yourself out for me," he said to the man. "I'm fine with sleeping on the couch." He had expected as much when the offer to stay with them had been extended in the first place.
"Nonsense," said Mohinder. "Molly and I won't hear of it. I'll take the couch for the time being." He said it with an air of finality, like he knew that Matt wouldn't protest once 'the Molly factor' was thrown out there. He probably did know. Wasn't that why Matt was here and not in some cheap motel? Because of Molly, whom he had been unable to resist from the moment he'd first laid eyes on her? She had a way about her – an ability to wrap him so tightly around her little finger that he would do anything for her. Anything at all.
When the question of sleeping arrangements was settled, Molly went back to her room to draw and Mohinder excused himself to go make tea. Matt figured this was an excuse to leave him alone but he didn't pry. Even if Dr. Suresh's thoughts did have a habit of leaking through sometimes, he had learned the hard way with Janice that people did not like it when he listened in.
Picking up his bags, he dropped them on the bed and started to unzip one of them. Then he stopped, shaking his head. He wasn't going to be here long enough to unpack anyway, so why bother?
Instead, he wandered out of the room and back down the hall way. He could hear running water and then the click of the igniter as Mohinder turned on the gas range. Approaching the small kitchenette, he found the other man placing two tea cups on the table.
"Would you care for some tea?" Mohinder asked.
"No thanks, Dr. Suresh. More of a coffee man myself."
"I see." Mohinder's expression deepened into thoughtful concern. "Matthew," he said cautiously, setting down the tin canister, which Matt assumed was the tea, and taking a step out of the kitchen area. "I believe it would be more comfortable for all of us if you would call me Mohinder."
Matt shifted uncomfortably. He had heard Molly call Mohinder by his name enough times in the past few weeks and sometimes he even caught himself doing it in his own mind, but only on those occasions when he'd spent too much time with the little girl. So much had happened in the past year, hell, the past few months alone, and much of it had shaken his trust in other people. He couldn't keep Molly from wiggling her way into his heart, but she was it. He made that vow after Janice's betrayal.
"Matthew..." Mohinder began again and Matt could tell he was about to pull the Molly card. He didn't even have to be a mind reader to see her name leap to the tip of the other man's tongue.
"I know, I know... do it for Molly, right?" He sighed. "I'm sorry, doc, but you don't understand," he said, and then stopped to consider the fact that when he met Mohinder, he was working for the people running tests on Molly. "Okay, so maybe you do. It's been rough lately, you know?"
Mohinder nodded and motioned for Matt to sit down at the table. When Matt joined him, he said, "Indeed I do know that sentiment, Matthew. I came to the United States to settle the loose ends left by my father's death and have since had my entire life turned upside down. Trust is a priceless commodity for each of us and I am well aware that I have given you no assurances that you can place your trust with me."
"Yeah," Matt echoed, summing up all that he was feeling in that one word. "Exactly."
An awkward silence followed in which Mohinder's thoughts once again leaked their way into Matt's brain and (once again) Matt was thankful that they were in another language. At least, some of them were. Towards the tail of a rather lengthy discourse, he caught fragments of "... name was on father's list..." and "... need to ask about it before it turns into another Sylar..."
However, the sudden whistling of the tea kettle broke the heavy silence and Matt mercifully heard no more as Mohinder was suddenly too busy fixing his cup of tea to think anything else. When he returned to the table with his steaming cup, however, his expression was all the more serious.
"So I guess the whole name thing isn't the only little chat we have to have, huh?" Matt tried to joke and failed.
"Something like that, yes," Mohinder answered with a curt nod. "Matthew, when you were in the hospital, you said that you were there when Sylar killed Molly's family."
"You are aware of what Sylar is? Was, I should say?"
One look was all it took for Matt to see what Mohinder was driving at. Did Matt know that the serial killer known as Sylar was really a monster with horrendous and unexplained power? "Yeah, I know what he was. I know what he did to those people." And what he might have done to Molly, he didn't add.
"And you know about the things Molly can do, as well?" Mohinder pushed.
When they met, Matt had been part of a team sent to destroy the Walker Tracking System. He had no clue at the time that it wasn't a machine or computer program but the little girl he had once promised to protect. "Yes," he answered more seriously this time. "Look, Mohinder, I'm not going to kill her. I'm not like Sylar." I'm not a monster, no matter what my wife might think.
"I was not suggesting that you would, Matthew. It is quite evident that you are as fond of Molly as I am. I don't believe you would willingly do harm to her." Mohinder's words were soothing and friendly, though his voice still held a note of urgency.
"Then what? Why the Twenty Questions?" Matt asked.
"There really is no delicate of putting this, is there?" Mohinder questioned, mostly to himself. He sighed as he looked at Matt. "My father was the late Dr. Chandra Suresh."
"I've heard of him," Matt responded, leery.
"Through Bennet, I would suspect." Matt nodded and Mohinder continued, "then you might know that my father was trying to locate the people whom he believed had been gifted with certain genetic... enhancements."
"Enhancements? That's one way of putting it, doc. Lemme guess, my name was on your old man's list?'
Mohinder confirmed this with a grim expression and a nod of his head. He explained briefly how he had been taken in by Sylar and duped, not finding out the true nature of his traveling companion until the very end and then concluded with, "I was hoping, Matthew, that you could see your way clear to tell me the nature of your own ability. If we are to live together, for all our sakes and safety, there should be no secrets in that department."
The absurdity of the request alone was enough to make Matt burst into laughter. "Secrets, doc, are the least of our worries."