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13 February 2008 @ 07:28 pm
[fanfic] Legacies: Part 7 (PG-13)  
Awright! I'm on track to post the last bit of this on Valentine's Day! (Or the day after, since I will probably have a 14-hour day at work tomorrow.)

Title: Legacies
Chapter: 7 (of 8)
Author: tiptoe39
Characters/Pairings: Matt/Mohinder; Maya; Elle
Rating: The fic as a whole is rated R; this chapter is rated PG-13 for language.
Warnings: Spoilers for all of Season 2 so far; slash. (The slash is integral to the plot, but it is not the plot itself.)
Summary: We are given legacies by those who leave us, but also by those who stay by our side.
Author's note: Thanks to ilsaluvsrick for her amazing beta work on this!

Previous chapters: Prologue | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six




One week ago

She was glowing, looking like a dreamy teenager, when she came over. Wearing an outfit Matt hadn't seen her wear before. Thinking wildly in Spanish. Matt couldn't make any sense of the words, save a few "yo" and "esta," but the tone was unmistakable. Maya was hoping for something.

He thought it was about time to start mending fences, now that he knew he had a claim to Mohinder that she didn't know of. So he greeted her, battling to shrug off the flood of mistrust that wafted off her thoughts like smoke or dry ice. He'd invited her in, served her a drink, smiled pleasantly as he explained the Mohinder had taken Molly to the movies and would be back shortly.

And then, unexpectedly, Maya had turned to him and clasped his hands. "Tell me," she asked, as sincerely as she could muster. "What kind of person does Doctor Suresh like?"

"What kind of person..."

"Woman. What kind of woman."

Matt was dumbstruck. How could he answer that question? Sorry, kid, I've singlehandedly turned the good doctor bi and he's all mine, so cut out? Perhaps that would be the easiest answer, after all. But Mohinder cared for her, and Matt, try as he might to act tough, wasn't that callous. He sighed. "You know, I really don't know. He likes nine-year-olds with red hair named Molly, if that's any indication." She chuckled appreciatively. "But I really have never seen him date anyone. I'd say he's pretty much married to his work."

"I see." Her face fell, and he prayed that that would be the end of it. No such luck. "Do you think... he..."

"No," Matt said bluntly. More so than he meant to be, but he couldn't be so nice as to encourage someone else to pursue the man he was secretly seeing. It was a line he couldn't cross, even for the sake of protecting their still-clandestine relationship.

"What? Why?!" All of a sudden her fists were balled up, and she was on fire with defiance.

And Matt was torn. Why should he protect her, protect Mohinder, at his own expense? What on earth entitled her to stand there and glare at him? Was this just the perennial fate of the nice guy-- to have to suffer all sorts of indignities simply because he hadn't spoken to his erstwhile boyfriend about the possibility of the two of them coming out of the closet? God, what utter idiocy, he thought bitterly. And the worst part was, he had no intention of changing now. Nice guy it was.

Besides, that night Mohinder took his hand and placed it under his shirt, on his stomach, and allowed Matt to explore his skin, and Matt swore right then and there that he was damn well going to put up with a few minor annoyances if it meant he got to keep touching this man.

And why worry the chronic worrier even more? It wasn't as if anything could come of Maya's crush, besides Mohinder feeling endlessly guilty. No. He didn't need to know.




Last night

He was regretting that conclusion now. All traces of the brat Mohinder had described to him were gone, and Elle was panicked, ghost-white, breathless. Matt could only imagine what sort of situation could turn the supposed ice queen into a panting, stammering mess. Perhaps he should say something after all.

Then she pointed to Matt's half-buttoned shirt and said, "I totally interrupted something, didn't I?" in a voice that couldn't conceal a bit of sadistic glee. And Matt's jaw snapped shut.

The man beside him was still staring down at the floor, as though he was having trouble deciding which of the myriad bits of information he should deal with first. Finally, his head snapped up. "You've been spying on her?" he hissed. Not the opening Matt would have gone with, considering he was always spying himself, only half of the time on purpose.

"Of course we have! What are you, stupid?" Elle exploded, blue static turning her hair into a frenzied mess. "She's a walking bomb! You think we're going to just drug her up and let her be?"

"Actually, yes, I did," Mohinder retorted. "She is a grown woman, and she deserves her own life and her own privacy. For your information, it is perfectly legal in this country to spend a night away from home. She may have met someone, you know."

"You think she's out geting LAID?" Electricity hissed along the lines of Elle's fingers. "You are possibly the stupidest man in the universe, you know that!?"

"All I know," Mohinder said through gritted teeth, "is that the woman you're talking about is a human being, not your doll. I have told you to stop treating her like one. Now go back home. We'll talk about this in the morning."

"You're gonna be sorry," she said, and stomped out the door. "You better be at work tomorrow!" And she slammed it so hard the doorframe shook.

"Oh, for goodness' sake." Mohinder ran an anxious comb of fingers through his tousled hair.

"She does have a reason to be concerned," Matt said. He buttoned up his shirt the rest of the way, and Mohinder looked at him with more than a little regret. An opportunity lost, he thought. Matt smiled briefly as the thought hit him.

"I think she's overreacting," Mohinder said, shaking his head.

"Actually." Matt took his hand loosely. His voice was quiet. "There's something I kind of didn't tell you."

Mohinder looked down at their interlaced fingers. His brain seemed to be processing all of this far too slowly. He wanted to knock himself against a wall until it all made sense. "Wait. What are you...?"

"I told you I heard what she was thinking sometimes." Matt sighed, and when he looked at Mohinder, his eyes were penitent, as though the confession were his own. "Your friend's got a reason to worry. Maya's in love with you. You probably broke her heart today."




Five weeks ago

Bob Bishop could be a very scary man when he wanted to be. He preferred to stay unobtrusive, but there were situations in which being scary was to his advantage. And facing down a wayward daughter who could shoot lightning out of her fingers was a situation in which it behooved him to be very scary. "Elle, I am very disappointed in you," he said.

"Daddy, I'm sorry." She was suitably scared. Thank God he'd gotten to her when she was very young. Someday she'd realize she could probably take his head off with impunity. But not yet. Right now, the tilt of his head and the blase tone of his voice was enough to keep her in line.

"Sorry is not going to cut it, I think you know that much. You're lucky I still keep you on staff."

Her eyes were full of tears. "What was I supposed to do? I saw him and I zapped the hell out of him!"

"Thus enabling his escape. Along with the blood of Claire Bennet, whom you also allowed to escape." Bob sighed the sigh of the patient, put-upon saint enduring great hardship. He spoke a slow crescendo up to a shaking, shattering breaking point. "Elle, I have had a very bad week. I have lost all my samples of the Shanti virus, I have had to order the assassination of a public figure in broad daylight. And I, frankly, cannot handle any more incompetence!"

"But Daddy!"

"Enough!" He slammed an open palm down on his desk. "You're benched. I don't want to see your face here anymore." He crossed his arms in a gesture of finality.

But her eyes had followed his hand to the desk and stayed there. Lying on the surface was a manila folder with a photograph of a familiar-looking woman. "Hey, who's that?"

"'That' is none of your concern." Bob said wearily.

"But I know her. I know where--"

"What?" This was not the response he was anticipating. She should be panicked by now, cowering in a corner, simpering. Bob wondered once again if his control over her was weakening. This had to be the doctor's fault. He'd make sure to limit their contact in the future.

But by then Elle had snatched the file and was reviewing it with great interest. "Maya Herrera, huh? Interesting file. She'd be useful to you, Daddy, wouldn't she?"

Bob forgot himself for a moment and panicked, grabbing the file back. He adjusted his glasses as Elle raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Hands off her," he said, a trace of fear in his voice. "She's not someone you want to deal with." He sighed. "This woman is my last hope, and I cannot afford to have you messing this one up, too."

Strangely enough, the girl seemed to soften at this admission of vulnerability. "I could at least bring her in," she offered.

Interesting. Perhaps this was a new tack. He didn't often play on her affections rather than her fears. But it promised to be more useful than in the past. Perhaps he should encourage association with the young doctor instead. "Fine. Bring her in. But that's where it ends."

She threw her arms around him. "Thank you!"

"And Elle? Screw this one up and you're fired."

After all, he thought as she winced, scare tactics couldn't be discounted entirely.




This morning

Elle was perched on the windowsill when Mohinder arrived at the lab. She looked awful, like she hadn't slept in weeks. It was the least put-together he'd ever seen her, and he had a sudden sinking feeling, which only worsened when Elle jumped down from the sill and slapped Maya's file onto a table.

“Daddy doesn’t know I've been keeping her file. I haven’t told him yet that she’s disappeared. I think he’s gonna kill me.” She opened the file. A pair of magnified photos showed amorphous gray cells squirming on microscope slides. Beneath each, a chart of scrawled digits and symbols scrambled in an uneasy hand across the pages. Mohinder gazed at them with growing concern.

“This is the first week she was here,” Elle said, pointing to the left-hand picture. Her hand slid across the file. “This was last week.”

“Even by the first week the structure was beginning to change,” Mohinder mused, chewing on his lip. “But here... the rate at which the change must have happened... My God. Was it you? Did you do something to her?” His eyes shot upward to her face with such ferocity that Elle whimpered.

"Of course we didn't do anything to her," she said. "You think we're gonna mess with that? God, we learned when we couldn't hold onto Sylar that you neutralize it or you kill it, or it will get out of control. I wish we'd just killed her, to be perfectly honest."

"Elle, for goodness' sake..." But the data on the charts was more shocking even than her bloodlust, and he turned back to it, drawing his thumb under the data, line by line. "This must have doubled each day to reach these levels."

"No," she said, holding back a sheaf of pages to show him another chart. "It went up 500 percent within three days."

"That's insane!"

“Why are you so surprised?” she hissed back. “You know that these powers change suddenly. What about your boyfriend, huh? Didn’t he just all of a sudden start being able to mess with people’s heads? No baby steps there.”

“But...” Mohinder was torn between his anger and his skepticism. “Matt was traumatized; he had a life-altering experience.”

“Doctor S. Please.” Elle rolled her eyes so wide Mohinder was sure he could hear the ball bearings rattling around in her skull. “I know you’re not a girl, but you have to know how awful it’s got to be to fall madly in love and get your heart stepped on. Twice. Especially when Boy Number One is a serial killer and Boy Number Two is gay.“

“I’m not-—” He was embarrassed at how quickly the reflex kicked in.

“Riiiight.” Again, the eye roll. “Look, the point is, to make the story short? You need to find her. She’s Death Walking. In new enhanced deluxe mode.”

“Why do I have to find her?” Mohinder demanded. “Why can’t you go—-zap her long-distance, or something?”

“You’re the one with the tracking system at home, Doc,” she yawned.

He slammed the file shut. “Don’t you dare drag her into this.”

“Why not?”

“Because she’s a child and there is no reason to traumatize her any further!” he bellowed, leaning over the table. "Ask your father. He has considerable resources at his disposal..."

Elle turned pale. Mohinder thought she was going to fall over. “You don’t understand,” she said. “I can't. You need to find her. Now.”

“Why?”

She shrank back, shaking her head.

"Elle." Something occurred to him that scared him silly. "What have you been doing with her?"

His eyes slid down over the chart again. This time, they hit a number he hadn't seen before. When he looked back at her, she recoiled as if he'd hit her.

His voice was a low, slow burn. "How long has she been off the medication?"




Four weeks ago

Maya was sobbing.

She'd done a lot of it recently, and it was a good thing they gave her plenty of water, because she had to be dehydrated by now. But in these long, silent moments, the enormity of everything she'd done and seen came back to her in a huge lump, and she was overcome by doubt and loneliness.

She'd lost her whole family. She'd killed. She'd run for her life. She'd met a stranger and been fooled by him. She'd betrayed the only person who ever really cared for her, and she'd lost him, too. She'd even died.

What would have happened if that man-- be his name Gabriel, or Sylar, or whatever-- had never come into their lives? Would she still have her brother there to speak sense to her? Would she have learned to listen to him by now? So many questions and all of them futile, thanks to that man and his awful lies. She scowled at the ceiling. If only she could get him alone. Just once.

"Yow, if looks could kill."

Maya scrambled to her feet. Elle was in the doorway, hip cocked and head tilted, with a half-smile of lazy interest sprawling across her lips. "Miss Bishop," she said politely. "G-- good morning."

"Afternoon, actually," Elle said, sauntering into the cell. She held a small plastic cup, its opening flush against her palm, the handful of pills inside jangling with every step. "Hard to keep track down here."

"Oh. I'm sorry. Good afternoon, then." Maya was reminded of why she didn't like this girl. She turned up her nose in the haughtiest expression she could muster.

Elle wasn't even shaken. She sat down on the plain pallet, turning the cup right-side-up in her hand, shaking the medicine inside and patiently watching the pills jump with every motion of her wrist. Maya watched her watching them and finally approached cautiously. Elle looked into her eyes briefly, then at the mattress beside her. A wordless invitation to sit. Maya obeyed, digging her nails into the bed for support as though Elle might try to pounce on her.

Instead, she just turned her head to stare at Maya's eyes. She let the stare settle a moment, then grinned. "You've been thinking about the Big Bad, haven't you? How he used you?"

Maya held out her palm. "May I have my medicine, please?"

"But you don't want it, do you?" challenged Elle. "You want to find him and kill him."

Silence. Maya blinked.

"I can see it in your eyes." Elle elbowed her. Her sinister smirk was laced with saccharin. "You've got vengeance in mind. It's a good look for you."

The implications of her challenge finally hit Maya full-on. "What are you saying? I would kill many more people than just Gabriel if I..."

"That's funny," Elle interrupted, "I thought you'd said you were starting to learn some control." She rose to her feet, stood a few feet from Maya as though about to perform for her. "What's to say you can't learn more control?"

"I don't understand."

Elle smiled broadly. "Here. Watch this."

All at once a shower of blue sparks burst from her hands, crackling and fizzing. They flew to every corner of the room. An edge of the bedsheet caught fire, and Elle was quick to stamp it down. Maya cried out and shielded her eyes. Finally the sparks fizzled, and Elle rubbed her hands together, wincing as smoke rose from her fingers.

"That," she said, "was you before. And this is you now."

She held out one hand, and gingerly, a loop of lightning rose and arced in the air before petering out gently and without a fight.

"See the difference?" Maya nodded. "Good." Elle leaned forward as though about to tell a great secret. "But this, chiquita..."

She stood back and pointed one finger. A blast issued from it, and Maya jumped and flinched. When she peeked out from behind her hands, her eyes opened wide in wonder.

Against the floor of the cell, in long arcing lines and glittering, were eleven letters made of lightning: ELLE WAS HERE.

And then Elle closed her fist and they were gone. "This," she explained triumphantly, "is who you can be."

Maya was silent, staring at the floor where the message had been. Elle watched as the gears shifted into place in her brain, as she realized the implications of what Elle was offering her. Finally, she looked up at Elle with a pleading look.

Elle smiled the smile of a crocodile lying in wait. "All you've got to do is trust me," she said, slinging a casual arm around the girl. "I can help you. And we'll kick his sorry little ass from here back to Argentina."

Maya started.

"Or wherever," Elle added hastily.




Now

"...but by then her blood was changing." Mohinder tried to nod evenly as he finished Elle's sentence, but he was white now, too. To think she'd never been medicated, that she'd been a danger to his family the whole time-- it was unbearable. He felt a fresh wave of guilt. He should have insisted on testing and monitoring her himself, instead of standing back and letting the Company take care of her.

"I took her blood again yesterday," Elle said, rocking back and forth as though in a trance. "Look at the last page of the file."

Mohinder flipped through it. "My God," he breathed. "This pattern... it's acting less like a poison and more like a pathogen at this point." He scanned the data quickly. It was shocking how virulent the mutation had become.

It suddenly occurred to him that her elbow had been bandaged when he spoke to her early that day. When Elle had taken the sample, Maya hadn't yet known about his relationship with Matt. These changes, monumental as they are, were merely the legacy of her changing feelings. And if he had truly broken her heart, as Matt said...

He suddenly understood why Elle was so afraid. "At this rate-- it could kill her, too."

"That's not the issue," Elle said under her breath.

"What did you say?"

Elle bit her lip. "Nothing," she muttered.

"Is there something else you're not telling me?" He shut the file, fixing her with a piercing gaze. She shrank from it.

"Don't," she pleaded. "Don't."

"What? What is it?" Mohinder asked her several times, but Elle shook her head silently back and forth several times. Biting her lip as though she didn't trust her own tongue.

"Elle!"

"It's your fault!" she lashed out. "You're the one that led her on and broke her heart! How was I supposed to know she'd turn into Typhoid Maya?!" He could see her control cracking, and little blue bolts were leaping from finger to finger at the edge of her curled fists.

"I'm not blaming you," he said, trying to keep his voice even. "But you need to tell me what you know or there's no way I can help her."

And then Elle did something he'd never seen her do: she burst into tears. "It's just that Daddy was so mad about it-- and I thought it was like anything else, if I can teach her how to control it-- then we could get Sylar, and then Daddy could get back what he lost and--"

"What he lost?" He risked the shock and grabbed her shoulders with both his hands, cursing when the pops of static hit him. "Elle, what are you--"

Then his cell phone rang.

He leapt back, frantic. "Maya!?" he gasped as he opened the little device.

"Mohinder? Oh, thank God. No, it's me." It was Matt's voice, with a high tinge of anxiety coloring the words. Nobody was having an easy time of it today, apparently.

Mohinder went into panic mode. "Matt, what's wrong? Is it Molly?"

"No, she's at school, she's fine. It's me. Mohinder, I... I don't know who else to call. Can you come meet me? I'm down near Union Square, it's... I'll text you the address, it's..."

"Matt." Mohinder squeezed his eyes shut. "What is it!?"

Matt lowered his voice to little more than a rasp. "Something's wrong with me," he said. "I... I can't do it. I can't hear anyone's thoughts. It's just gone!"

Next: Love conquers all
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Some Strangerbloodyfandom on February 14th, 2008 07:14 am (UTC)
I totally don't blame Maya for being in love with Mohinder, because I am in love with Mohinder! But seriously, woman, get over it and have crazy lightning lesbo sex with Elle and let our boys live happily, guilt-free ever after!

OMG YES!! ;D I was thinking same thing!

And Matt's powers???
Tiptoe39: cmere youtiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
No Sylar, sorry.... final chapter coming tomorrow evening...
shara50: nakedshara50 on February 14th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
Oh God, Poor Matt and Mohinder! Also someone needs to kick Elle's ass. Great job!
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
:volunteers:

thanks
crystal_mkcrystal_mk on February 14th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
I knew Maya was up to something! I knew it! I bet she's the one who took Matt's powers away!

Ignore my paranoid conspiracy theories, this was great. Great twist too, although I'm confused again. Can't wait for the next part!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
i have no comment and can neither confirm nor deny anything... final chapter tomorrow
Aurillyaurilly on February 14th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
I agree with the above comment. I really want to hate Maya for causing so much bother, but I just can't because I am in love with Mohinder, too.

I was annoyed all chapter with the girls (and they got a whole lot of airtime this chapter), but then the twist at the end was AMAZING. I hope Bob bites it. I sort of feel sorry for Elle here.

I really enjoyed Matt's 'nice guy' dilemma and the result. Great work!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
i am glad you guys are feeling for the chars, that means i'm a'doin' mah job

god i'm so tired tonight...

final chapter tomorrow.
Dee00smut on February 14th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
Typhoid Maya for the win.

Suspense! You are killing me... which is ok as long as Matt will be ok. Wibble.
Tiptoe39: spoilertiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
she will keeeeeell youuuuuuuuu

matt will be ^H^H^H^H^H^HH^H NO CARRIER
Easy To Amuse, Hard To Pleasestarlingthefool on February 14th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC)
Ack! And OMG. I cannot wait to read more. Cliffhangers, for the love of all that's holy... *grumbles* *secretly loves you for it*
Tiptoe39: xellostiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
:hangs you off a cliff and watches you love it, you kinky biyotch:
JLB: captain wowbaehj2915 on February 14th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
super crazy twisty twist, tippy!!! wowzers, plotastic!

also, I have to say, Typhoid Maya = ZOMG!FUN

JLB
Tiptoe39: eviltiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
hee hee hee, i am so twisty i am like a waterslide.
Renéerogueslayer452 on February 14th, 2008 10:29 am (UTC)
And so the plot thickens even more. Interesting twists with Maya and Elle, and at the end with Matt's abilities being gone. Wowza, awesome tension buildup and revealed information in this chapter.

Bob was certainly scary with how you wrote him, making me pity Elle for her attempts to please her father even if she tends to screw up. I did like the interaction parts with her and Mohinder, their dialogue together. But I feel horrible for Maya, even with her reaction of storming off from being heart broken she is without the medication and can do serious damage. I quite liked that, since anyone with a deadly ability like Maya's should NOT be emotionally imbalanced. Like, Mohinder wasn't even recognizing the hints that Maya was crushing on him because he was so wrapped up with realizing his happiness and love for Matt. Oh man, this is intriuging.

Looking forward to what's next, and hopefully Matt is okay! *crosses fingers*
Tiptoe39: eviltiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
as i was trying to say above matt will be perfectl^H^H^H^H^H^H^H THIS IS THE NSA ALL YOUR COMMUNICATIONS ARE INTERCEPTED AND ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US so now that you know i'm sure you won't even come back for the final chapter tomorrow night.
imeru on February 14th, 2008 11:21 am (UTC)
There's so few MattMo in this, but the plot getting more and more intriguing just fills the gap. Quite.

I want to know what haaaaaappened ;____;
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
come back tomorrow and everything will make sense i promise, thanks for reading
Carmexgirlcarmexgirl on February 14th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh Matt! He HAS to be okay, okay?

Other than leaving me a gibbering, clueless wreck, this was awesome! I love the way you managed to paint Elle as having a little bit of humanity - she is only trying to please her father after all!

ZOMG I can't believe I just sympathised with Elle. Oh man, what's going on?
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
the clueless part is intentional, sorry about the gibbering.... ^_^;;;
boudecia7boudecia7 on February 14th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Oooh, good surprise at the end! For whatever reason I've always had a soft spot for stories being told out of chronological order, and this was really well done, working to build suspense and give us just the right background info at the right moment.

Also, I just found this line incredibly hot:

Besides, that night Mohinder took his hand and placed it under his shirt, on his stomach, and allowed Matt to explore his skin, and Matt swore right then and there that he was damn well going to put up with a few minor annoyances if it meant he got to keep touching this man.

Great story! Can't wait for more!
Tiptoe39: mattmo sexiertiptoe39 on February 15th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
ilsa liked that line in beta, too, she said it was very high school ^_^
boudecia7boudecia7 on February 15th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
It *is* high school...that word "allowed" does it. From the time you're in preschool you get "keep your hands to yourself"-this and "do that in the privacy of your boudoir"-that (heh), so the first time someone actually *lets* you do stuff to them it's immensely cool. And every time thereafter :) Still love the line!
flwrpwr_vampyre: Niki Herosexualflwrpwr_vampyre on February 16th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Yikes, Poor Maya, she's being manipulated by a crazy person. I love how Matt and Mohinder are dealing with all the crazy and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.
saavikam77: Clark Jimmy Photosaavikam77 on March 20th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Gaaaaaahhhh!!!!! O_O *whimper*

Holy crap, this is crazy! O_O

...

Just... damn. O_o