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18 April 2008 @ 09:10 am
[fic repost] A Simple Twist of Fate, Chapter 6  
Title: A Simple Twist of Fate
Chapter: 6 of 7 (previous chapters are here)
Author: tiptoe39
Rating: The fic as a whole is NC-17; this chapter is PG-13 for language and violence.
Summary: What if Matt, not Janice, had picked up the phone when Mohinder called in Season 1?



When I step outside, Dale's sitting on the trunk of the car, his back to me and his mind a whirl. I hear the words mother, power, trust. I wonder how close I can get before he notices me. I stay where I am and listen.

And I hear the word murder.

What kind of guy thinks the word murder?

I already know the answer to that question.

"I can hear your heart pounding," he says aloud, jumping down from the car. Shit. Shit, shit, shit. I step around into his field of view. He grins and walks up to stand toe to toe with me. His eyes. They're completely different. Completely. I've never seen such eyes in my life.

"Were you reading my mind, Officer?" he asks, no, sneers.

I try to grab him, but I can't move my arm. I can't move anything. It's like I've been locked in a column of ice. Everything's numb. Except for the pain. What is he doing to me that hurts so badly? It's everywhere. And I can't even open my mouth to scream.

"What have you heard in my head, I wonder?" he says. Those eyes are full of fire. They're full of lust and greed. They're full of sin and crime. "Did you hear the name Zane Taylor in my head?"

"You said... that out loud," I force through my numb lips. I sweat and strain, but nothing else moves. "Sloppy."

"Oh?" Those gigantic eyebrows raise and for an instant his eyes are the round bowls of innocence they were before. "That was sloppy of me. All right, I'll concede you that point. What else do you know?" He grins. "Go on, Matt. Say it."

My voice has been made hoarse somehow. "You're Sylar."

"Brilliant." All at once my body is moving, pushed by an invisible hand strong enough to lift it in midair. I'm a big sandbag of a man and I'm flying backward onto a nearby car. It rattles with the impact. I can feel the bruises pooling under my immobile skin.

"So now that you know who I am," Sylar says, walking in a wide circle toward me. "the question remains: Why are you still alive? The truth is, I should kill you right now." For an instant I can feel a metallic hand like a vise on my throat, and I struggle but fail to breathe. My mind bursts into white-hot clarity and fades to dullness, and then it's over and I can breathe again. "I'm dying to see exactly how you work. Reading thoughts. How beautiful. Oh, how I've wanted to kill you and take a peek."

"But you didn't," I croak out, though it feels like talking with solid concrete in my lungs. This guy's more obscenely powerful than I'd imagined. He's constricting my airways. With his mind. And if what he's saying is true, and he can look at his victims' minds and somehow take their powers-- it makes the whole brain-slicing thing make sense. And it means I am way the hell out of my league.

Still, he hasn't killed me yet. And that means something.

"You're right," he says, tilting his head to the side like some demented Kewpie doll. "I didn't kill you. For two whole days I've been enduring your continued existence. And I'll bet you can tell me why. Can't you?"

The constriction gets worse. He must be enjoying my struggles to speak through the pain. "Mo... hinder. You want his... list..."

"Exactly." He climbs up onto the car I'm splayed against, and leans over me. For a moment I think he's going to rape me or something equally horrific, but instead, he just leans back and turns his head to face me. If I live a thousand years I will never forget that grin. "The only reason I've been keeping you alive is because he's fond of you. And I need him to trust me. I need him to give me the list. And now you've finally gone and picked the fight with him I'd been hoping for. So I'll just tell him you flew into a jealous rage and left. Just like he told you to." He smirks and taps his ear with one hand. "And here I thought that woman's power was completely useless."

That's it. After all this, I'm going to die in a godforsaken Minnesota parking lot. Mohinder will die, too, eventually, at the hands of this monster. I close my eyes and see his face behind my eyelids. Oh, God, please, Mohinder, you're a smart man, you're a genius. Figure it out.

"BUT."

The pain vanishes, and I'm gasping for the air I've been denied. He jumps up again and begins to pace. "You know what? I think I'm not going to kill you right now, after all. After all, Matt Parkman of Los Angeles, I can find you anytime. Instead, I think I'm going to take a little revenge on you first. You've been a pain in my backside for so long, I don't think I'll be satisfied if I kill you without repaying the favor."

My body can move. I scramble to the ground, go to my feet. But I can't reach for my gun, can't grab him. He's keeping me upright and rigid. I'm being floated to our car like a puppet on a string. It's surreal. Then the trunk flies open, missing my nose by less than an inch. I try to yelp in surprise, but no sound comes out.

"Take off," he says. "Go find your friend in Texas. Get out of my way."

"Why should I?" I hiss, though my arms are reaching out to grab my suitcase of their own accord.

"Because in return, I'll spare Mohinder's life." He's moved right behind me, purring his silk-lined venom into my ear. "Stay, and I can't promise he or you will live to screw another day. He was generous enough to give you an out. Take it."

"I don't.. understand."

His voice goes from a whisper to a mad monotone, like a sick chant. "I want you to know every single day you're alive is a gift from me. And I want you to know that while you're in Texas, your boyfriend's with me. Alone. Hurting from your betrayal. Looking for comfort. Needing someone to lean on. And learning, very slowly, how to hate you."

He backs away. "But it's that or die. Your choice. What will it be? I'm waiting."

Time hangs as still as space around me. I'm reliving that awful argument, the things I said hurting worse than the bruises on my back ever could. And worst of all, the sword-stab sting of Mohinder's ultimatum.

If you mean any of what you just said-- if you don't love me-- then leave. Right now.

It's midnight. I'm far from any place I've ever called home. I'm being held hostage by a serial killer. My life is on the line. I'm gasping and panicking and struggling and agonizing. And with all that, I haven't shed a tear.

Until now.

In this moment, I know two things with perfect clarity.

One, Mohinder is right. I do love him.
Two, that's why I am going to leave.
Right now.

~~~

I hardly feel my arm raised to hail the taxi.

My name is waiting at the airport, on a ticket, just like Ted said it would.

My bruised body can't get comfortable in the plane seat.

The rest of me is on a cliffside overlook in Idaho, making love to a beautiful man in the dirt by the side of the road.

Please, God, let me stay there forever.




Matt and Ted take the Bennet family prisoner in their own house. Ted learns there is no cure. He nearly claims all their lives when his panic is accelerated by a gunshot. Their subsequent abduction breeds an unlikely alliance, and the three head to New York, intent on setting themselves and their loved ones free.

Mohinder continues eastward with Sylar. By the time he gets to New York, he is wise to the man's true identity. He poisons him and attempts to kill him, but in the end he is unsuccessful, and Sylar escapes. Mohinder reaches out to the man in the horn-rimmed glasses, but it is his former superior, Thompson, who answers. Mohinder meets him in the shadow of a building with a brightly painted sculpture in its front courtyard. Inside that building waits a simple twist of fate.





Molly.

Her name is Molly Walker and she is life itself.

I have been sleepwalking for days now. She is the key to my reawakening.

She waves at me from the other side of the glass as I continue to review her medical history. I've only spoken with her the once. She told me I was terrible at drawing blood. I'm sure she's right. But her smile. The dimple that puckers into view when she laughs. And her eyes! I've never been so captivated by a pair of eyes before. What Thompson says about her ability must be true. Those eyes must be able to see anything.

So when she tells me I'm different-- that I am special, even if it is just especially clumsy-- I want to believe her.

I want to make it as true as it seems to be in her eyes.

I've been fighting against things for so long-- fighting against my father, against myself, against love, fate, time, evil, despair-- that I'd forgotten what it was to fight for something.

I will fight for this girl's life. With every cell in my body.

Her name is Molly Walker and she has made me, for the second time in two weeks, fall in love.

~~~


I don't let myself sleep, because sleep only brings memories of warmth that drift away by daybreak. I don't let myself dream, because dreams are upside-down, echoing with the laughter of a man I was foolish enough to trust and the warnings of a man I was foolish enough not to.

Not a moment goes by that the two of them don't duel in my head, playing tug-of-war with my memories. Remember me, says Sylar, remember how dangerous I am and how I am still out there waiting to destroy you and everything you hold dear. Remember that you, like your father, are responsible for unleashing me upon the world. That is what happens when you are weak, when you trust.

And remember me, says Matt, remember that for a few moments in the middle of this madness you and I were happy. That happiness exists. It's just that it never lasts. It will never last for you. And you will never love as fiercely as you loved me. We had only a few days, and you will never recapture them. So remember them. It's all you've got left.

In the end, I'm torn apart. I am sure I'll never allow myself to feel again.

And then comes Molly and I begin to see light.

It doesn't matter if I allow myself to love again. I love her immediately. She compels me to.

~~~


It's not the proudest moment of my life when she comes in after I've unceremoniously dumped the entirety of the day's paperwork onto the floor. Since when have I been so violent? First Sylar. Now this. I feel as though I'm falling into something complicated and dark. I want someone to save me.

"You look sad," she says.

"I'm sorry. I'm not sad. I am just..." I sigh. "I want to help you."

"You will. I can tell."

The faith in her voice is heartbreaking. I turn to her. "Yes. Yes, I will."

She picks up a piece of paper. No, it's a photo. "Who's this?"

There are others in the photograph I know, but they might as well be invisible. I stare at the smiling face, the buck teeth, the twin pigtails of the girl in the center, and I realize who I'm looking at. "It's my sister. I've... never seen a picture of her before."

"She's very pretty," says Molly. "Is she why you're sad?"

I should say yes. Instead, I just look at her dumbly.

"It's something else, too?"

I never realized children could be so perceptive. "No," I tell her. "I just want so much to help you. I was too late to save Shanti. But I won't be too late to save you."

"But who's going to save you?" she asks, and I'm dumbfounded. Again. How does she know...? "Here." She hands me a folded slip of paper. "It'll protect you."

I unfold it. It's a crayon-drawn gold star.

Such a simple token, and it fills me with warmth. I know exactly who's going to save me in that moment. She's saving me already.

For a long time that night, I gaze at that star. I think of my father. I think about love. How simple the concept is, really. Why do we complicate it so? All it is, at heart, is people wanting to live for each other. Take care of each other. Help each other.

Save each other.

I scramble to my feet. There's love radiating from my father's face in that picture. My mother is holding her belly-- me-- with pride. And hope. Because I'm the answer to her prayers.

~~~


I let myself sleep that night for the first time in too many nights. Of course, I dream. I dream of a California highway plowing straight through an endless ridge of jagged mountains. I'm driving with Molly, and she keeps telling me to look at the beautiful highway. I protest to her that it's not the highway that's beautiful, but the mountains. But my arguments make no sense even to me-- the road is pristine, gleaming concrete, and the mountains are ominous, blood-red and parched. I can't get her, or myself, to see reason.

Just before I wake up, I think I'm on the ceiling of my apartment again, looking down at Peter Petrelli and gasping a warning.

When I awaken, I'm still disoriented, and I don't know which way is up and which is down.

~~~


She's brilliant again today. She looks healthy. More importantly, she feels healthy. So much so, she says, that she can find people again. She demonstrates by finding me. At least, that's what I think she's doing; her pushpin goes right to the building we're in. Quite frankly, it's not a terribly convincing demonstration, although it still has one leg up on "Let's go see my friend, the heroin addict." (Wow. This girl has truly revived me. I think I might have a sense of humor again.)

"Is that supposed to be me?" I ask, indulging her.

"No," she says. "It's my other hero."

Oh, well. Isn't that sweet. I suppose that means I'm one of her heroes. And I wonder who the other may be.

"He's the police officer who saved me from the boogeyman," she explains.

What?

"If he's here, can I see him?"

I can't even process her request. My heart just sunk through my shoes and now I think I can hear it careening off the walls several floors below.

The odds are astronomical. It can't be. What are the chances that the one other person she thinks of as her hero could be the same person... But he said Sylar had killed a couple in Los Angeles. And she's from Los Angeles. And Sylar killed her parents. What are the odds, given all that, that it wouldn't be the same person?

I'm clutching for a foothold. I can hardly breathe. How bizarre, how hopelessly convoluted can life get? Can the strings of history truly be so unbelievably twisted and knotted and tangled that this coincidence can possibly happen?

And then my eyes fall on the gold star she's given me. The gold star she said would protect me. And a singular thought occurs to me.

What if it isn't complicated?

What if it isn't even coincidence?

And at that moment, all the strings of history are pulled taut and fall into perfect, parallel alignment. Laid end to end, they reveal they were never knotted in the first place.

It explains why I haven't been sleeping. It explains Molly. It explains the excruciating pain that's been gnawing at my heart all this time. It explains everything.

I've had it upside-down all this time. Loving Matt was never a complication. It was supposed to happen.

Everything else that happened-- the psychopath who insinuated himself into our lives, the mind games he played, the tortured logic I managed to confuse myself with -- those were the complications.

Loving him was simplicity itself.

Perhaps it was even fate.

"Doctor Suresh?" She's looking up at me. I must have tears in my eyes, for I can barely see. All I want to do is gather her up in my arms and thank her. What a gift she's just given me. I blink, and a handful of tears fall. "Are you OK?"

I don't know if I'm OK. He's here. I will get to see him again. I will have to see him again. I'm petrified. Hope and fear and anger I've kept asleep for days now are all awakening at once. I have so much to tell him. Will he listen? All I can do is have faith. Ironic. Faith, like fate, I've never been able to embrace before. And yet it is the simplest answer.

But then it all goes topsy-turvy again. Thompson comes in, and we're being told she's in danger, and he's off again with a gun in his hand and a gun in mine, and I'm in front of a monitor with my thoughts in a whirl. It's the man in the glasses. Bennet.

"What does he want?"

"Molly," says Thompson darkly.

He heads out of the room. I remain staring blankly at the monitor. Bennet has a look in his eyes I recognize. At first I think it's the crazed look of Sylar. But then I realize it was my own. The moment I pulled the trigger, thinking justice was being done. And I know exactly what Bennet has come here to do.

I'll be damned if I let anyone lay a hand on her after all that. But then Thompson's on the monitor, and he's pointing a gun.

At Matt.

Matt's with him.

I want to scream. I want to close my eyes and have it all go away. Can't the world stay still for one moment? I've finally figured out which end is up, and now there's new evidence to reverse it all. Will Matt kill her, too? Is it possible that he's decided that is the way to set himself free? Then Thompson's got a gun pointed at his own head and he's dead and Matt doesn't even look back as they hurry in this direction.

I could try to talk to him. Reason with him. If he's anything like the man I thought he was, he'll listen. And if he isn't...

My God... if he isn't, I will have been taken in by one too many men. I will never trust my own judgment again.

Bennet I know I can't stop with words. But Matt I don't know if I can trust. I can overpower him if I don't think, if I take him by surprise. Or I could believe in him and risk him possibly warning Bennet. The two of them together I will never be able to stop.

I have a choice to make and no time to make it.

I stagger back as they approach the door. My fingers clutch the wall. Something large and bulky. A fire extinguisher. I grab it, slink backwards into the shadows, and try not to breathe. Keep my mind blank.

They come bursting in. He passes by me, so close to me. I can very nearly smell him. Then they're through, bursting into the small bedroom, and the Bennet man's got his gun on her. It's time to make my choice.

For a moment I'm in Idaho on a cliffside road. Then I'm being taunted with poisoned words by a madman. Then I'm being given a gold star by a girl who trusts me to protect her.

And with all that, I choose to believe.

I close my eyes and think as loudly as I can. Matt. Duck.

He does. I slam the fire extinguisher into the back of Bennet's head.

Next: Tis a gift to be simple

Comments:

14th-Mar-2008 11:56 pm (local)
starlingthefool
(70.56.64.64)

OH OH OH ....

This chapter made me a sad, goopy mess. And that it made me a happy, squealing mess. I have lost all my dignity, thanks to you.

*hearts you madly for it*

15th-Mar-2008 12:49 am (local)
boudecia7
(72.208.141.72)

Oh, wow...just amazing. I still can't believe how seamlessly you work this over the plot from season one; it's just incredible. And your Sylar is soooo creepy. I love creepy Sylar :D

Poor Matt--at least he didn't have to take the fire extinguisher to the back of the head this time; Bennet has it coming to him anyway. Now the 3Ms can run off together and live happily ever after, right? with lots of sex for the boys, please

<3<3<3

15th-Mar-2008 02:11 am (local)
rosiecotton95
(24.78.224.137)

Oh this was good. I'm on the edge of my seat, I can't wait for the next part.

15th-Mar-2008 08:16 am (local)
teecub
(192.207.76.43)

Mujahahaha! I LOVE IT! Sylar is so evil. I hated it when Matt left. The poor boys! Ooo, and Molly being brought in. Brilliant! <3

15th-Mar-2008 09:52 am (local)
carmexgirl
(86.144.105.149)

This was so lovely but heartbreaking at the same time - you had me blubbing and smiling all at once! The interweaving of actual plot and your own is really clever. I felt so sorry for Mohinder, being made to look a fool (again!) and realising that something he thought was so complicated is actually so simple - he loves Matt, Matt loves him, and that's that. I really can't wait for the final chapter to see how it all ends up hopefully with lots of hot smexin' You're doing such a great job with this, I'll be really sorry to see it end!

15th-Mar-2008 11:34 am (local)
hanuueshe
(68.195.92.216)

*incoherant whimpering noise*

Matt- owies. Lots and lots of owies. I cringed through his entire part. Poor man, we give him so much physical and emotional abuse.

Mohinder- even more owies. How he thought Matt had left him, and Sylar kept making him hate Matt and finding people on the list and how it worked so well with the canon scenario.

Molly- is full of win. As usual.

So, to sum up: I think you broke my OTP. Now go fix it: I hear sperm makes a good glue.

15th-Mar-2008 12:15 pm (local)
tiptoe39
(72.192.252.174)

> Now go fix it: I hear sperm makes a good glue.

I laughed so hard at this. Oh my god. Seriously. Scared the neighbors.

15th-Mar-2008 01:08 pm (local)
hanuueshe
(68.195.92.216)

Turnabout is fair play :D

15th-Mar-2008 01:39 pm (local)
saharafic
(68.253.48.8)

WAH! SO intense!! I love the way you play with the canon scenes...made it that much easier to watch inside my head!

So, hurry with the next -oh noes last! - chapter!

15th-Mar-2008 03:24 pm (local)
crystal_mk
(72.95.156.77)

Oh Mohinder, how lucky you are to have Matt back!

"Her name is Molly Walker and she is life itself."
This line just kills me, kills me.

I love how you kept so much of what happened the same but changed alot too. I'm glad it was Bennet who got the fire extinguisher to the back of the head.

16th-Mar-2008 11:41 pm (local)
jessi_br00t4l
(71.243.228.238)

Okay, I just read this whole series - save the missing last chapter - and OMG it's incredible. I love everything about it: your Matt, your Mohinder, the way you've established an entirely believable connection between them and an equally believable timeline of events to keep it all pretty canon. Ugh, and all the romantic moments (and smutty moments) betwen the two of them were so intense I thought I was in love with (one or the other of) them. Oh my, you've made me want to ship them. And omg! Your Sylar? Spot on. I don't even know what else to say except that this series is amazing. I'm looking forward to the last chapter. I hope they work everything out. *squees and goes in to anticipation mode* ^_^ ♥

16th-Mar-2008 11:56 pm (local)
tiptoe39
(72.192.252.174)

You're adorable. This is like my third or fourth major series with this ship, so I hope you'll pop back to the memories and read some of the others!

And, erm, I just posted Chapter 7 :P


17th-Mar-2008 02:43 am (local)
jessi_br00t4l
(71.243.228.238)

Aw, am not! *blushage*
and UMMM I most definitely will pop back in the memories. :D
I totes loved chapter 7....
as you will see in the comment I left on chapter 7... heh.


17th-Mar-2008 01:25 am (local)
arabella_w
(200.57.22.253)

I can't describe how nervous I was at the beginning of the chapter \o/, I thought Sylar was going to hurt Matt really bad. I love the golden star Molly gave Mohinder, it was cute and so appropiate.

I can't wait for the next one... good thing you already posted it. n_n

21st-Mar-2008 06:10 pm (local)
saavikam77
(71.114.87.215)

Oooooohhh!!! As much as the first part of this ripped my heart all to shreds, the ending was *perfect*!! I want to cheer for Mohinder for finally getting his head out of his ass. :p

Bravo!!! *applauds*


 
 
 
Shoneéscarletfbl on July 20th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
Matt's disdain for Sylar's eyebrows is really quite amusing. I'm glad that Mohinder came to his senses.