Mohinder dreams of pain and blood and death.
He is tied to the kitchen chair, his father's murderer standing only inches away from him. He feels woozy, sick, and he can feel the blood that flowed from the wound on the back of his head congealing on his neck. The smell of copper is in his nostrils and the taste of cotton in his mouth; when Sylar forced his head up to meet his gaze and leers at him, his stomach lurches, and bile burns up his throat. His hands and feet are bound to the chair, and he can see signs of a struggle, of destruction, everywhere.
He can't remember the attack that must have happened, has no memory of what day it is, no way of knowing the time. Had Molly been at home when he arrived? Had Matt? Had they survived? Did they even know Sylar was here? Would they just walk through the door and into this ambush? The questions swirl through his mind as Sylar taunts him; jeers about the reversal of fortune (Was it only six months ago he had the killer at his mercy? It seems like a lifetime ago.), jibes about power and control.
He is utterly powerless, useless in this situation, unable to determine whether or not his family was in any immediate danger, and he'd never felt so low in his life. Then the pithy remarks come; the callous comments about never needing to look for the keys again, how he can now tell exactly what is on Mohinder's mind.
He sees the bodies at this point, slumped in the shadow on the couch. Two skullcaps are stacked neatly to the right, Molly's inside of Matt's, and a dark bloodstain is seeping into the runner. His corpse is twisted around hers, as though he vainly hoped that his bulk could protect her. Mohinder's stomach lurches again, and he starts to shake.
"I killed her first," Sylar whispers in his ear. "I killed her right in his arms. He tried to keep me from cutting open her skull with his hands, but I sliced right through his fingers and into the bone with no trouble at all."
It's a close thing, but he doesn't scream when he wakes up. Matt mutters in his sleep, shifting slightly as Mohinder pokes his head into the den on his way to Molly's room. He spends the rest of the night watching her sleep, making unworkable vows and impossible promises to her unconscious form with every rise and fall of her chest.
Matt dreams of betrayal and loss and deception.
His dreams start out happy, ridiculously happy. Molly is bright and cheerful and nightmare-free, her face full of smiles and her babble full of normal pre-teen nothingness. Mohinder kisses his cheek on the way out to work, meets him for lunch, talks to him about his day, frustrations, and work, then listens when Matt does the same. The days melt together in Matt's dreams, untold weeks and months of domestic bliss marching by within seconds, settling into a routine of contentment
And then it happens. He reads their minds.
It's normally when the three of them are together during a weekend outing, a dinner, or a lazy afternoon. It's just the family, having peaceful, quiet fun in a way that would never happen in real life. Maybe Matt lets down his mental shields, maybe he could sense that there was something wrong with this oh-so-right scenario, but somehow he catches Mohinder's thoughts and sees the truth of the matter.
This Mohinder, the one who curled up next to him on the couch last night, the one who agreed to let Molly have a sleepover last weekend so they could have the night alone, the one who whispered 'I love you' to him that very morning, was a projection, a shadow puppet Matt unknowingly created from his own selfish desires. The real Mohinder is locked inside his own mind, screaming to be let out.
A quick peek into Molly's shows a similar situation.
There's no thought process, no need for one. His family is in danger and he has to stop it.
Things move quickly after that: the screaming he deserves, the tears he causes, the apologies that mean nothing, nothing in the face of what he's done. The end result, the only result there ever could be, is Matt Parkman, alone after driving away his family yet again.
He wakes up silently, searching instinctively for Mohinder and Molly's familiar thought patterns. Oh, how he misses the days when he could bring himself to feel guilty about this, how an invasion of privacy would strike him as an abuse of his ability. Now he has bigger fish to fry.
Molly is asleep, her mind blank and devoid of even a flicker of thought. Mohinder is awake, keeping watch over her, making almost frantic promises for her safety and well-being. Matt settles himself deeper into the mattress of the pull-out couch, and does his best to strangle the voice that wonders what would happen if once, just once, he let the illusion persist.