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10 February 2009 @ 11:36 pm
[ficlet] If It Had Been Me (gen, Matt & Mohinder, PG)  
Sadficlets eat me on the train. This fucking broke my heart.

Title: If It Had Been Me
Author: tiptoe39
Rating: PG
Summary: Matt's not there. Mohinder goes looking. This is *gen.*
Warnings: Spoilers for 3x15; warning for character death.



It's night, and they're camping out, safe for now beneath the Midwestern woods' cover. Tomorrow they'll go their separate ways and head out on their assigned tasks. But for now they lie in a loose semicircle, trying to forget two days of trauma in sleep.

Mohinder wakes up when an owl hoots from a nearby bough. He surveys his companions. Ando and Hiro, curled together like brothers and both murmuring in their sleep. Peter, tossing from side to side besieged by bad dreams Mohinder can only imagine.

And Matt, but Matt's not asleep. He's not even there.

Mohinder steals away from the group and treads lightly through the woods, following a ghost of a trail that nobody else would ever see. His instincts have softened since their peak, when he first took the serum, but he's still able to perceive the tiny signs of recent movement through this passage.

And Matt's been making no effort to conceal his trail. He's thrashed blindly through the brush and fallen branches, not hearing the rustle and snap he doubtless caused. Mohinder knows already that Matt was exploding with grief, that his rage and sorrow had been too big to keep contained in that quiet ring of people. He went in search of a place big enough to hold it all.

He's kneeling in a clearing, his head down, with his back to Mohinder. Around him are scattered branches and twigs, many of them snapped cleanly in half. As Mohinder watches, Matt grips another and strains until it breaks. In the moonlight his hands seem to be tarred black.

Matt becomes still, sensing his presence, but he doesn't turn. Mohinder continues to approach.

"I loved her," Matt says.

Mohinder stops.

"You weren't around, you didn't know, but I loved her. We were happy. We--"

His voice breaks, and his shoulders jolt as though electricity has coursed through his spine. Mohinder feels a sympathetic ache in his own bones.

"It should have been me," Matt says. "If it'd been me she'd still be here."

"Don't say that." Mohinder is finally able to get the words out.

"It should have been me!" He pounds the ground. "If it had been me I wouldn't have done all that. Those people, they'd still be alive, and Daphne would still--"

He can't finish that thought either, and Mohinder can't keep still any longer. He hurries to Matt, drops to his knees just behind him and wraps his arms around those shaking shoulders.

Matt sobs high and loud. His head lolls back onto Mohinder's shoulder, his chin tilted upward so he can stare at the sky. "She'd never forgive me," he whispers. "If she knew what I'd done, and in her name."

Mohinder holds tight and watches a thousand permutations of pain flash through Matt's profile. Tears run round and glistening along Matt's cheeks. His hands come up to clutch Mohinder's arm.

"Matt. Matt." Mohinder whispers when the silence has persisted long enough. "She would forgive you. She would." His thoughts drift back to a time when he'd longed for someone to say those same words to him. The memory pierces his gut, and he fights it back.

"She was strong enough to give up her whole life, everything she'd known, to take a chance on me," Matt said. Red blotches were beginning to mark his cheeks where the tears had been. "And I couldn't even hold on to my sanity without her."

Mohinder shakes his head. He can find nothing else to say. He leans his head against Matt's and rocks him gently. The owl hoots again, in time with his back-and-forth, and the wind sends a wave of sound through the trees in the same rhythm. For a while it seems the whole forest is a boat. Mohinder, Matt, the owl and the woods, all rocking gently on a dark ocean.

When the last of the quakes is gone from Matt's body, he straightens up to look at Mohinder for the first time. Mohinder tries to smile. "It'll be all right," he says. "I promise you, it will be all right."

But Matt is deathly pale. "No, it won't," he whispers, and his voice is more chilling than the night. "Nothing will be all right. Because I'd do it again. I'd do it again right now."

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10% literal, 90% metaphor: just hold on : Matt/Mohinderspeccygeekgrrl on February 11th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
Oh god. That last line.

*heartache*


(bitty-beta: "more chilling than the night" and that line still did me in so don't take that as criticism)
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 11th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
thank you bitty-beta! fixed! :D
i don't take it as crit, m'dear, that's what I do for a living :)

hugs!
Sheila!: Detective Parkmanmsbhaven on February 11th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
Oy!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on February 11th, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
did i hurt you? sorry :(
saavikam77: Matt/Mohinder - Minesaavikam77 on February 11th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, MATT! >_< This was so perfectly heartbreaking, hon. Wow. Watching the ep last night, my jaw just dropped during that scene. Matt's gonna have a long road ahead of him to recover from what he did. Man...
Tiptoe39: matttiptoe39 on February 11th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
i know, that was a total killer. and he's not flinching from it. which means inside he must be absolutely torn up.

poor mattybaby :(
boudecia7boudecia7 on February 11th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
awww, Matt! So sad. I like the reaction story though, since we probably won't get that on the show. :)
Tiptoe39: matttiptoe39 on February 11th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
I know, the harder-nosed he gets on the show, the more I'm positive he can't sleep at night. He and Nathan are kind of doing the same thing on opposite ends. Oh, the shippiness, it kills me. Whoops, sorry, got distracted. The point is OH MATT <3 <3