Disclaimer: I don't own Heroes. If I did, Sylar would have been the hero a lot earlier on in the story rather than right at the end. Nor do I own Ke$ha, or the song "Dirty Love."

Warnings: Disturbing and explicit descriptions, slight language, OOC, OC, way post-Brave New World, M for a reason. Told mainly through flashbacks. Mohinder-bashing, because for some reason, this wouldn't leave my head.

Blah = thoughts

/Blah/ = memories

/"Sylar...Sylar's evil. It doesn't matter if Peter think's he's changed, he hasn't. Stay away from him."/

As Michael came to, he couldn't help but remember that sentence. That warning had come the same day he had come to live with Mohinder.


"Do you know what happened to Mom?" Yeah, he knew the story the cops had given him, but it felt...wrong. Off. It didn't make sense.

Mohinder froze, staring at the wall across from the door they had just walked through. Michael felt a vague satisfaction that he had caught the man off guard.

"She got hit by a car, Michael. You know that." Interesting, that Mohinder wouldn't turn to look at him.

"I was told that," the teen corrected, starting to carry his bag to his room. The man had to know he wasn't stupid; Mohinder had, after all, donated half his DNA to him. He had seen the body; it didn't quite match up with "hit by a car." Sure, it looked like she had been run over-but if he was any judge of these things, it looked like it was done after she was already dead. There was blood, but it looked like it had been from what looked like a gunshot wound.

"Meaning what?"

"Meaning, why was she shot?"

Mohinder stiffened. Michael wondered briefly if he knew what had actually happened.

"You noticed that?"

"It was covered up after the fact, but I saw her before that. So yeah, I noticed."

After a moment, Mohinder blew out a breath and seemed to decide it wasn't worth getting worked up over. He shrugged. "She had Intuitive Aptitude."

No big deal. Casual. Like that made it justified. Like the two years of marriage they had had before they divorced meant nothing.

"Isn't that Sylar's ability?" Yeah, he knew about Sylar. He knew it was possible to control the urge to kill. Sylar had been doing it for years now, and he had noticed his mother's obsession with running, dancing, studying, working...she was almost never home.

"Sylar...Sylar's evil. It doesn't matter if Peter think's he's changed, he hasn't." Then, almost as if the older man expected Michael to run out and track the former killer down, he added firmly, "Stay away from him."

[End flashback]

He could feel his wounds knitting back together. Thank God Claire had stopped by those few weeks ago, allowing him to accidentally copy her ability.

Thank God he hadn't had to kill her for it.


"Hey Dr. Suresh. What's up?" Claire greeted when Mohinder opened the door.

Michael quietly snorted. Yeah, some doctor he was...he was still trying to find a way to "cure" people of their abilities, not seeming to understand that maybe he shouldn't be trying to. He slipped quietly into his room while they made their way to the table to chat, closing his door firmly. Then, with a spark of mischief, he fired up his computer, finding the song he wanted and blasting it as loudly as he could without ruining his speakers.

Suck on that, he snarked silently. Mohinder hated Ke$ha, for whatever reason. So he was playing one of her songs, one he hated the most: "Dirty Love." Let them make whatever they wanted of it.

He could almost see Mohinder's lips purse, jaw tight. He didn't quite have the heart to put the song on a loop, though.

Just, you know, letting the computer run through all the songs on that particular album. And yeah, it was the explicit version.

He snickered and starting attempting to work out the issue in his programming homework.

The class was interesting. Much more interesting to him than biology, to his father's disappointment.

He was staring at a section of code, eyebrows furrowed, eyes narrowed, head slightly turned. He knew the error was there, somewhere. He was supposed to be making a simple little calculator, basic functions of adding and subtracting. Anything else added to it was extra credit-which he didn't really need, but it would be fun to try for anyway.

But it wasn't working; he could put in all the numbers he liked, but it wouldn't pop out an answer like it was supposed to.

Line by line, he worked through the code, recalling everything he could, then-

-the something in his head clicked, and he could see-

-see the error for the assignment, how to add in the functions for multiplying and dividing, square root, exponents-

-how the computer itself worked-

-how people worked-


-then it was gone.

He stared at the screen in shock, feeling the brief revelation slipping away. He felt the loss acutely.

And just as quickly, he understood that he could get that feeling back, if he could figure out someone else's ability. And there were two in the other room...

He stood, pausing his music in time to hear his father's ringtone.

"Mind if I take this?" There was a pause. "I'll just be a minute-hello?" He heard Mohinder's bedroom door open and close, muffling the conversation.

He stumbled out and over to the kitchen, knowing that if he could just get to Claire, he could have her ability. It was a bit more complicated than that, he knew, but it was a start.

He got out the cutting board and a knife as casually as he could. He pulled out the celery from the fridge, trying to think how he could get access to Claire's brain without killing her, because he really didn't want to unless it was absolutely nece-

"Whatcha makin'?"

He jumped a mile and looked up, eyes wide. How did she-? Without him hearing her, too! Sneaky!

"Just a snack," he said casually, smoothing over his shock.

"Was that Ke$ha, earlier?" He nodded, surprised when she giggled. "I thought Mohinder was gonna have a heart attack for a minute, there. Good job."

He was even more surprised that she seemed sincere. He felt himself warming up to her.

Then he realized that up until that moment, he had been subconsciously planning on hurting her, maybe even killing her. He turned away quickly, using the excuse of getting the peanut butter to hide his guilt and panic.

/Sylar's evil./

Yeah, he could see how people would think so, if this is what he had to deal with on a daily basis.

"Claire-" -can regenerate, the dead and damaged cells replaced so quickly, she doesn't even age-whoa, what's with the click?


"Um..." Now what did he say? "You know my dad-" -obviously, you dope- "-how'd you guys meet?"

Claire seemed glad for a reason to chat. She didn't question his hesitation, just started telling the whole tale, and honestly, Michael was glad.

[End flashback]

Oh, God, now what was he going to do? He couldn't stay, after what his own father had just done to him, killing him-twice!


"You-what?" Mohinder seemed to be having a hard time comprehending what his son was saying to him.

Michael, after a few weeks of quietly panicking about the almost-incident with Claire, had finally decided to tell his father what happened, figuring if anyone could help him, it was him...

...but that didn't look like it was happening anytime soon.

"She let you hurt her?" Wait, what? That wasn't what I said, Michael screamed silently.

"No! I never touched her!"

But it seemed Mohinder wasn't in a listening mood. Michael could see the disgust on his father's face.

"You had to have done something to her," Mohinder hissed. "I know how this ability works-you have to see the brain to understand the ability!"

But that wasn't true, was it? Sylar could copy abilities just fine without hurting or killing anyone. It might have taken the killer longer to figure that out than it had for Michael, but it was possible, especially with these powers changing as constantly as Mohinder insisted they did.

"I didn't hurt her," Michael insisted calmly. He drew in a deep breath and let it go slowly. One of them had to keep a clear head if they were going to reach an understanding of any sort, and it clearly wasn't going to be his father.

That thought disappointed him immensely-Mohinder was the scientist, shouldn't he be willing to look at the evidence? More so than other people?

Then the thought scared him. -incredible strength, capable of smashing walls, crumpling steel-and there's that click. What does it mean?

Mohinder was giving him the oddest look. Well, odd to Michael, because he had never been on the receiving end of it before, by anyone, much less his own father. It took him a moment to register it as pure, unadulterated loathing.

/"Why do you hate Sylar so much? I mean, I know a lot of people are still afraid of him, but..." Michael trailed off, shrugging.

"Sylar killed my father. He blamed him for what happened after activating the Intuitive Aptitude."/

Michael came out of the memory just before Mohinder's fist smashed into his face. He felt his neck snap as his head snapped to the side, felt as much as heard the sickening crunch of the bones breaking, splintering, a sharp pain in his neck as well as his mouth as a couple teeth came loose in his mouth-

-oh, shit-

-he spiraled into blackness.

He woke up for a brief second, feeling his neck realigning itself automatically. He started to turn his head back forward, slightly confused-

-what happened? Oh, yeah. Bastard-

-then feeling a hand on the side of his face, keeping him from quite facing forward. He felt a thumb brush across his cheek-

-Mohinder? You're sorry?-

-and then his head was shoved back sideways, so hard his neck broke again, along with his jaw this time. Just before the dark claimed him again, he heard a strangled shout, felt something hit his shoulder, feeling the bones give way, though the nerves were already deadened to the pain-

-black again.

[End flashback]

Michael could feel the rest of his wounds healing. Apparently, they wouldn't heal until the life-threatening one did, and since that had just happened...

He looked around cautiously. Their fight had been in the living room, but Mohinder was no longer there. A glance at the clock showed that it was about eleven at night, forty-five-ish minutes since he checked last-just before they had gone from conversing to fighting to-

-whatever the fuck that just was. Assault. Murder. Did it count as murder if he had regeneration to bring him back?

A quick look at the kitchen showed Mohinder wasn't there, either. His closed door didn't really tell him anything; it was always closed.

So is he sleeping or out?

Michael felt his rage building. His father had killed him, not once but twice, and hadn't even stuck around to make sure he was okay.

It didn't take him long to pack what he wanted to take with him. Took him even less time to decide to find the only other person he knew had this ability.

Ha. Just don't kill me.

A/N: Yeah, so. I warned you about the OOCness, didn't I? I don't think Mohinder would have actually done that, but for some reason I couldn't get this out of my head. It was begging me to write it. So read and review, brownies for all!