Disclaimer: I own neither Heroes nor Kyle XY. All rights retained by their owners.

Hiro Nakamura sneezed and vanished from the carnival.

Somehow he vanished from his entire universe and into a parallel one, where a scientific organization called Latnok was attempting, through somewhat questionable means, to improve humanity. He only didn't consciously know it yet.


"Achoo!" The cold and flu season in North America was not leaving Hiro particularly happy. He wiped his handkerchief and glanced around. "Uh oh," he said to himself in Japanese.

He had thought he'd regained control over his power in the last few weeks. Apparently it wasn't entirely the case. He found himself in front of a little restaurant named The Rack, which seemed not particularly busy at the time. Sensing he needed to know where he was – and what year, month, and day it was too – he walked inside. With a quick glance he noticed this was primarily a drink establishment, a place of slushies and other noxious concoctions, but thankfully non alcoholic ones.

There was a very pretty blond haired girl standing at the counter who said, "Hi, can I help you?" He glanced at her nametag; it read Amanda.

He composed his broken English in his head before speaking. It made him look as though he hesitated before every sentence. This girl was very pretty, made him think of Charlie, his love trapped in time and space by the Evil Butterfly Man, Samuel.

"I am Hiro Nakamura. May I ask what city I am in? I have traveled a long way it seems." He was pleased that his English was coming along so nicely.

The girl named Amanda looked at him somewhat curiously but smiled a radiant smile, just like his Charlie. "You're in northern Seattle. Where are you from?" She didn't have the immensely pleasant Texan drawl of his sweet Charlie, but her voice was very sweet in its own way.

"Seattle… West coast of US?" With all his travelling he was quickly learning about the world at large. It also helped things that he seemed to teleport primarily in the United States of America, with the exception of that time in Africa. He decided a long time ago it was easier to say where his home was instead of exactly where he'd come from, especially when he teleported as he just had. "I come from Japan."

"Japan has always been such an exotic country to me," Amanda said.

Not that he planned to do anything but get back to the carnival, but a drink and a little conversation wouldn't hurt, especially with such a cute girl. "I take it you have never been?"

"Oh no! I've barely ever left Seattle!" She blushed.

"That's too bad," he said. He meant it too. It appeared that many cute girls in America didn't get to travel like him. The cheerleader was cute but she traveled – she seemed the exception. Thinking about it, maybe it was because he was the son of a very powerful man in Japan, the late head of Nakamura Industries. Perhaps he had a skewed view of life instead of the other way around…

His smile faltered for the smallest instant but Hiro was an optimist nearly to a fault. Had he still been in the prime of his power – before the tumor – he might have stopped time and found the paper to make this girl an origami crane as a souvenir of Japan, but now he conserved his energies unless it was to be a hero.

Back to business Amanda asked, "Do you want something to drink?"

"Yes, what do you recommend?" He was always polite this way. Besides, it was his experience that cute waitresses always knew the best things on the menu. His heart panged for his Charlie but he didn't let it show.

She smiled brightly. "I'm partial to the strawberry kiwi smoothie myself."

"That's what I'll have!" he said with a broad smile of his own.

The front door opened with a bell, and Amanda's face darkened at the sight of the customer, a dark haired, fair skinned man with bright blue eyes. She got to work and made a point of ignoring the newcomer.

The young man's brow was bunched together into a truly pathetic look. Hiro sensed this was a lover's quarrel and not a bad man generally. In fact, the man smiled back to him after he'd frowned at Amanda without saying a word.

Hiro felt a tickle in his nose. "Oh no," he muttered in Japanese, drawing Amanda's and the new man's attention.

The new man said in fluent Japanese, "Hello sir, what's the matter?"

Hiro rubbed his nose, trying to subdue the tickle that was growing.

Amanda looked up to the man and said, "Kyle, since when do you speak Japanese?"

Hiro replied to this nice man named Kyle, but this time in English. "I have a cold."

Amanda nodded, "I just had one last week; it was terrible." She said this while cutting fresh kiwi. Hiro noticed the strawberries were already in the blender with a few more ingredients, including to his surprise ice cream! How he loved ice cream.

Kyle replied belatedly to Amanda. "Amanda, I've known Japanese for two years; I just don't get to use it."

Hiro, again in English, said, "You speak it very well, like a native speaker."

Amanda rolled her eyes and said, "Kyle does everything naturally, even walking off roofs."

Kyle said loudly, exasperatedly, "Amanda!"

"What Kyle?" Amanda's face was flushed red. "You picked Jessi and you expect me to be nice all the time? I'm human you know!" She muttered something unintelligible to Hiro just before throwing in the kiwi and turning on the blender.

Kyle competed with the sound of the blender. "You deserve to know the whole truth Amanda, but not here, and not when you're angry."

"I think I'll be angry for a while Kyle." She almost spat his name.

Hiro concluded this was certainly a lover's quarrel and something he should not get involved in. Having forgotten his nose, it surprised him and he started a huge sneeze. "Ach –"


Kyle said "Bless you," to the Japanese man at the exact same time as Amanda. His gaze never left her though. He did notice her glance the man's way, and a frown instantly formed on her face.

She never even turned to him but called his name, "Kyle?"

He turned to the Japanese man and a frown appeared immediately on his face.

The Japanese man was in mid sneeze, seemingly frozen in place. Had it not been such a strange sight, it might even have been humorous.

"What just happened?" Amanda asked him.

He was just as bewildered as she. "I have no idea."

Her heart beat increased dramatically as the blender's motor continued to whir. The smoothie had been done seconds ago. He reached over and turned it off for her.

"What's wrong with him?" she asked again, starting to panic.

It looked like the man was in the middle of a sneeze, but frozen there, stuck in the act of sneezing while time flowed around him. Had this man been sent by Latnok or something? He didn't seem like a bad guy in the short time they'd talked.

While Amanda stood frozen, thoroughly panicked, Kyle touched the frozen man. Somehow he had thought maybe the man would be cold to the touch, but he was certainly warm. In fact he had a very mild fever, common for the flu, which he seemed to have. He closed his eyes and tried to sense inside the man's body but felt an unnatural resistance to his probing. On second thought, he didn't even hear the man's heart beat, nor his breath, or his blood coursing through his veins and arteries.

An idea struck him, absurd by itself, but this man could not be dead as he was. His mind was awhirl with possibilities, and he quickly revisited the moment it happened, played it back several times before coming to the only suitable conclusion.

He told Amanda his only hypothesis, "He's frozen in time."