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14 October 2007 @ 08:54 pm
[fanfic] Take Me Out (heroes, matthinder, PG)  
Title: Take Me Out
Pairings: M3 and Matthinder
Rating: Gooey, gooey, sticky PG for a small amount of innuendo and undercooked French toast.
Summary: Matt takes Mohinder on a date, despite a bit of a limitation. Unbelievably WAFFy.
This is the end of a ficset I have written all week this week. Each part should be more or less readable on its own, but I think it goes best together, so I hope you'll take some time to read the rest. The set is as follows:

Prologue (PG)
One: White Noise (NC-17)
Two: Not a Mistake (PG-13)
Three: Destiny (NC-17)
Four: Take Me Out (PG)

I hope to post the completed ficset to fanfiction.net this week. Any suggestions for how I should title the whole set would be much appreciated.

And now on with the fic!

Take Me Out

It was three o'clock and forty-eight seconds at the precinct on Friday. Matt tried not to concentrate on the second hand. Had it always taken so damned long to get to forty-nine? He squinted at the clock on his desk from across the mass of used styrofoam coffee cups, incomplete accident reports, and other paper products so old that by now they were probably crumbling to compost beneath that pile. Matt was sure that if he ignored it all long enough, it'd just melt away.

Maybe if he squinted really hard at the clock, he could make time speed up? Or slow down, or stop? But no, that seemed out of character-- for him, at least. Might as well tough it out until the weekend finally arrived.

He had promised Mohinder a date. A real date. And although he still had no idea what they would do, he couldn't help but be excited about it. It was his chance to see whether this strange connection they'd formed could stand up under the light of day. Was it just some trick played on him by bedroom shadows and the threat of a family snatched away, or was it something more honest, more real than that? Matt wasn't sure which of the two he preferred. Sometimes it seemed things would be a lot easier if these feelings just disappeared into the morning sun.

But nothing ever seemed to be easy. Among other things, Mohinder had told him the other night that there was no luck finding a babysitter. In those times when they had to leave Molly somewhere other than school, they stuck to a handful of sitters they knew and trusted. There was too much of a danger that Company operatives-- or something even worse-- would find an opening. So it looked like Molly would be tagging along on the long-awaited date.

Whatever it is they ended up doing.

Around him, some of the other cops were starting their weekend early. They were yakking away at the water cooler, oblivious to the racket they were making. "And then she tells me my mother-in-law is in town tomorrow!" one complained. "Right behind home plate, for God's sake, and it's 'You made this commitment a month ago, I told you she was coming in'-- hey, Parkman, you got a bug up your ass or something?"

For Matt had stood up suddenly.

He smiled shakily. "So, uh... how much you want for those tickets?"

Mohinder was making French toast in the kitchen when Matt came to breakfast. (Molly was busy drowning hers in syrup.) "Good morning," he said with that dazzling, infectious smile. It was almost too much for Matt at this hour of the morning.

"Matt! Matt! Mohinder says today's special! What does he mean? What's so special?" Apparently Molly had begun to feel the effects of all that sugar before even touching her toast. She rocked back and forth in her seat, eyes wide and sparkling.

"Hm, I wonder," Matt teased, pulling up a chair. "You going to have any toast with that syrup?" Molly shot him a reproachful look.

"I have to admit, I'm rather curious myself." Mohinder came to the table with the final plateful of French toast and sat between the two. "What do you have in store for us today, Matthew?" He was teasing, calling Matt by his full name. Matt had warned him long ago that only his schoolteachers ever called him that. And Mohinder did not want to be put in the same class as a schoolmarm with bifocals and a hair net.

"A treat." Matt bit down on a mouthful of the sweet, sticky yellow toast and nodded approvingly at Mohinder, who beamed.

"What kind of a treat?" Molly begged.

"The kind," Matt announced, "that's in the fourth row behind home plate."

No reaction from Mohinder, but Molly's eyes lit up. "No WAY!" she squealed. "Oh, wait... it's not the Yankees, is it?

"I'm not an idiot," Matt said, holding up the small book of Mets tickets. Molly whooped.

"That sounds fun," Mohinder said pleasantly. Matt hadn't expected him to be quite as pleased as Molly, but he found himself quite disappointed at the lukewarm reception. This was not how he'd wanted things to go. Especially after the guys at work had raped his wallet for those tickets.

Maybe he was just too blue-collar for Mohinder after all. But honestly, what did the guy expect? A moonlit walk on the beach? Matt couldn't manage something like that with a woman.

Peeved, he jammed his fork downward and it screeched across an empty plate. Molly had stolen his last slice of toast.

"I don't see any reason for you to be grumpy," Mohinder shouted after him as they left the subway station. "It was your idea, after all."

"I'm not being grumpy!" Matt insisted. "I just had to stand up for a half-hour straight next to someone without deodorant, listening to the crap on his iPod, and all on an empty stomach!"

"Look, you're the one who said let's be economical. I told you we should have taken a cab."

"Boo-hoo," Molly added. She was holding Mohinder's hand. He laughed with her, and Matt stomped ahead of them several steps, grumbling to himself. But as soon as the huge white mammoth that was Shea Stadium appeared, he promptly forgot all his anger.

The smell of roasted peanuts and cotten candy had greeted him just like this many years ago, when he and his dad made the long trek over the footbridge to Camden Yards. It was like a circus: The sideshow started blocks and blocks before you ever got near the center ring. College kids on cars (back then, the cool ones all had fins) carrying coolers and smoking cigarettes; vendors with caps and pennants, their singsong hawking barely even English, it was so loud and distorted; a clown, juggling bottles for tips; and so many children and adults of so many shapes and sizes that Matt was sure the entire world must be coming to the game. Back then, baseball tickets were affordable, even for a blue-collar Baltimore pipefitter and part-time department store clerk on weekends. And the players were still heroes rather than overpaid jerks. A lot had changed since those days, but the smell was the same, and that in itself was enough to make Matt decide, right then and there, that the tickets were worth the price.

And watching Molly run from place to place, her eyes flashing all the bright reflected colors of balloons and banners, filled Matt with a deep satisfaction. He looked back at Mohinder, who caught up to stand beside him as they watched their little girl. Their fingertips touched briefly in a shared parental moment of joy.

Newly decked out in a brand-new cap with a METS #1 pennant in one hand and a spindle of cotton candy in the other, Molly led the pair through the turnstile proudly. "Section 17," she declared to the usher, who smiled. What a cutie, Matt heard him think, and he nodded in agreement, grinning ear to ear.

This had to be what it was like to be a father. This is what Sanchez in the department was feeling when he temporarily let down his tough-guy persona and begged Matt to take a look at his walletful of pictures. ("She was in the school play!" he'd enthused before reddening and lowering his voice.) And this is what Matt was anticipating all those nights he lay awake, pondering the two heartbeats next to him, wondering what it would finally be like. All of a sudden, he missed Janice.

He made a habit of calling, of course, and had gone out to see her at least once a month since the split. It was his kid, too, and he was determined to do right by him or her. That meant keeping things civil with Janice, no matter how many nasty things he heard her think to herself or how unwarranted he felt they were. Who wasn't bitter who had seen a marriage die? Matt was one of the lucky ones. He'd been thrown headlong into a new family, and that had staved off some of the loneliness.

He'd have to tell her at some point about Mohinder and him. What a conversation that would be.

"You're gonna eat all of that now?" Molly wrinkled her nose.

"No." Matt stuck out his tongue at her. "I'm gonna drink some beer, and then I'm going to eat it all." He handed a twenty to the vendor, who gave him not very much in return. Laden with nachos, a soft pretzel, and a trio of hot dogs with all the trimmings, he walked across the mezzanine to where Mohinder was waiting, his own arms full with two beers and a lemonade.

"What is that green stuff?" Molly eyed the hot dog suspiciously as they made their way down through the bleachers.

"It's relish. And it's good. Eat it." Matt shoved the tray under her nose as she grunted and tried to avoid it.

"It does look rather foul, doesn't it," Mohinder commented.

"Oh, right, thanks," Matt pouted. "You're the one who's always adding weird things to perfectly normal food."

"It's called seasoning." Molly giggled at that reply.

"Oh. All right!" Matt threw up his free hand. "I see how it is. Go ahead, you two. You little traitor," he mock-sneered to Molly, who laughed uproariously and dove behind Mohinder for protection as they filed into their seats. "Run away while you can."

That was ingenious, he heard Mohinder think all of a sudden. How did you manage that?

"Huh? Manage what?" Matt started to say. But when they sat down, Molly on one side of Mohinder and Matt on the other, the two men's fingers intertwined between the seats as Molly oohed and aahed obliviously. And he knew the answer.

"Come O-N-N-N!" Molly screamed at the top of her lungs. "Strike him OUT!" The count was 3 and 1.

"You know," said Matt, leaning over, "if you want the batter to strike out, you have to distract him. Like this." As the pitcher went into his windup, Matt took a deep breath and bellowed, "BatterbatterbatterbatterbatterbatterSWINGbatter!"

Mohinder looked distinctly disturbed at this outburst. But swing the batter did, a long, wide arc, and the ump called the second strike. "That was cool!" Molly said.

"OK, one more time," Matt said. This time he and Molly stood up and sang out in unison.


It was a base hit. "Oh well," said Matt. "Can't win 'em all."

Between them, Mohinder was munching sedately on a pretzel, trying for all the world to look like he wasn't even there. Molly would have none of it. "You do it too!" she insisted, and tried to pull him to his feet.

"Oh, no," he protested. "That's all right. You two go on."

"No way. Get UP!"

Matt snickered as Mohinder reluctantly got to his feet. "What am I supposed to say again?" he asked.

"Batterbatter, batter batter SWINGbatter!" she demonstrated, tripping over the words.

"That's ridiculous--"

"Ready?" Molly pulled hard on his arm. "GO!"

And all three, including a red-faced Mohinder, chanted the magic words as hard as they could

The batter struck out.

"Yahoo!" squealed Molly, bouncing up and down.

"See?" Matt gave Mohinder a smug smile. "That wasn't so bad."

"Oh, yes, it was." Mohinder glowered. But his eyes were dancing.

"He's going to throw a splitter," Matt whispered. "You think I should warn him?"

"Stop reading the catcher's mind," Mohinder lectured under his breath. "You're setting a terrible example for Molly."

"It's a splitter!" Matt stage-whispered, making Molly giggle.

Mohinder playfully whacked him on the side of the leg, grinning. But his hand lingered, pressing against Matt's thigh for just a few seconds.

Their eyes locked, and a moment of heat flew between them. Matt swallowed hard. He feared he needed a cold shower, and fast.

Molly inadvertently obliged as her empty lemonade cup overturned, dumping ice in both men's laps.

As the seventh-inning stretch began, Molly squirmed over between the two men and grabbed their hands. "It's time to sing!" she announced. As the organ puffed and tooted in the background, she raised her voice gaily:

"Take me out to the ballgame..."

Matt joined in. "Take me out with the crowd..."

Grinning at each other, they went on. "Buy me some peanuts and" (Molly shouted) "Crack! Er! Jacks!"

Turning to Mohinder, they put on twin plaintive pouts, emoting like a pair of D-list actors. "I don't care if we never get back!"

The act was too much, and Mohinder burst out in an uncontrollable fit of laughter. He doubled over, giggling hysterically, nearly crying. The song was over long before he regained his composure. As he straightened up, wiping tears from the corners of his eyes, Matt heard a thought go flying through his mind. He wasn't sure who it was for or about, but there was no mistaking the strength of it.

Dear God! I love you so much!

They had to carry Molly half the way home, she was so sleepy. Matt held on to her souvenir program, the half-empty plastic popcorn bowl with the Mets logo, and the Polaroid of her next to a cardboard cutout of Pedro Martinez, among other mementos; Mohinder toted her up the steps to the front door. As he lay her down onto her bed, she murmured, "Thank you best day ever" and was fast asleep.

Matt was waiting on the couch. "She really enjoyed herself," Mohinder said as he sat down.

"I meant to tell you I was sorry," said Matt. "I know a family trip to a baseball game wasn't exactly the most romantic idea for a date. I wanted to take you out, but not to the ball game, I guess." He groaned at his own pun.

"Actually, it was perfect," said Mohinder, smiling. "I didn't expect it to be quite so much fun. I was rather surprised."

"That's good." The conversation died away and they sat side by side, gazing straight ahead. The safety net called Molly had been retired, and all of a sudden they were two adults at the end of a date that had not gone entirely as planned.

"So," said Mohinder hesitantly, "what now?"

"Now?" Matt looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Well--" He looked at Mohinder's profile, trying to decide what was supposed to come next. What did he want to happen now?

The answer was almost surprisingly obvious. Biting his lip hard as though concentrating, he shifted his body on the couch to lean in toward him. And with a great effort, he lifted his arm and stretched it across Mohinder's shoulders.

"Can I," he choked, "can I kiss you?"

For once in his life, Mohinder was lost for words.

They kissed sweetly, not passionately-- a kiss that was more about emotion and sharing than desire or possession. But their lips lingered, and Matt stroked the eager face beneath his, feeling completely at peace and completely belonging to this undimming moment in time.

He surrounded the man's shoulders with his arms, kissed his hair and temples. "I don't really know what I am now," he confessed as Mohinder leaned back into his embrace. "I mean, I was married. And I really thought that I was--"

Mohinder didn't have any trouble saying the word that seemed to flummox Matt. "You shouldn't worry too much about whether you're gay," he said. "It doesn't really matter, in the scheme of things."

"Doesn't it?" Matt mused. "I mean, shouldn't I know who I am?"

"You're Detective Matt Parkman," Mohinder replied calmly. "You're a police officer, you're a surrogate father and a father-to-be. You're a decent human being, and you're a person who happens to be in love with a--"

He shrank away. Modesty and mortification played across his face, trembling eyelashes and flushed skin suddenly replacing the placid expression of a few moments ago. He looked as though he might melt away. His hand was clapped loosely over his mouth. "I'm sorry," he said. "I assumed too much--"

And watching him, watching those features wracked by guilt and fear, Matt felt a rush of affection and gratitude for this man. Matt may have been the policeman, the one who was supposed to be brave. But this was the man who always took the risk, who took the first and bravest step to bring Matt a kind of happiness he had never dreamed of having. "No," he said, taking Mohinder's hand. "You didn't."

Mohinder gasped and held in the breath, eyes like bright black buttons. His lips quavered.

You love me?

The sureness of the truth was like a halo on Matt's heart. He couldn't help but smile. "Yeah," he said in a low, steady voice. "Yeah, I do."

Mohinder buried his head in his palms, shoulders shaking. Matt held him tight and just listened to the sounds of relief and catharsis running through his mind.

...have been in love with you for so long...
...this week was like a dream...
...so afraid it would all end tonight...
...please let it be true...

"It is true," Matt reassured him fervently. "I'm here. You don't have to worry any more. I'm not leaving. I'm going to protect you and Molly no matter what. As long as you'll let me." He tilted Mohinder's face up, wiped the tears from his eyes. It didn't matter then what he was doing, whether it was odd to be treating someone so tenderly. All that mattered was that he connect with this soul who had been longing for him and who he'd finally been able to see. "I love you."

"I... love you too, Matt." Mohinder whispered brokenly. "Thank you. Thank you so much."

"Thank you," Matt smiled, tears springing to his own eyes. "I would never have known if you hadn't had the courage to tell me. To think I would have missed all of this!" He laughed through the tears. "I will never," he said forcefully, "miss anything again. I will be right here. And when all of this is over with, and we're free, I will take you out anyplace you want. Just the two of us."

Mohinder was silent. Matt feared he'd said too much.

But then a smile that was not entirely pure and innocent came to Mohinder's face. "I'll hold you to that, Officer Parkman," he said slyly. "But before you take me out, I can think of a place you can take me first."

Matt's grin widened. And wordlessly, they stood up, walked hand in hand into the bedroom, and shut the door behind them.

*the end*

(Note: the author is a Red Sox fan, thus the Yankees dig. Sorry if I got any details wrong about Shea Stadium, my researcher's name is Mr. Google, blame it on him.)
Tags: ,
DINOSAURlovemyfaceoff on October 15th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
Veet Voojagig: Grunberg Dancingveetvoojagig on October 15th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
Awwww. So sweet. *Grins*
SalvadorianBelleza: M3Fandomsalvadoriangirl on October 15th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
This series has just been great in going through what Matt is feeling and him learning to deal with something unexpected and totally new for him.

Great work.
ilsaluvsrickilsaluvsrick on October 15th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
Moly's a Mets fan. Knew I loved that kid.

And I know you said this is the end, but come one. You can not dangle the glorious awkward awesomeness that would be M&M coming out to Janice in front of us and then not follow through on it!

*makes pouty face that would do matt and molly proud*
Tiptoe39: washuutiptoe39 on October 15th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
I, uh, have to admit that's still in the realm of possibility. It'll probably be a one-shot, though.
dios_os_bendigodios_os_bendigo on October 15th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
Oh, I do love this. And I very much hope tomorrow's episode doesn't completely screw this possibility.

You are fantastic!
Jules: Boyfriend [David Wright]blueeyelinerx on October 15th, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
I loved this! M3 at a baseball game is gold (and a Mets game is obviously icing on the cake!) Great job, I've enjoyed the whole series
oh hayyyyyyy bwian bwoyle: heroes - m/m never leavingsopdetly on October 15th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
M3 + baseball = SQUEEFUL ME.

Even if you do root for the wrong team. ;D
Tiptoe39: redsoxtiptoe39 on October 15th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well, nobody's perfect.
Xandri the Gate-pirate: Masi Oka!xandri on October 15th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
I am so full of glee now! Seriously, this whole series was DELIGHTFUL. <3
Kristie: MattHinderLobsters-illiriahrisingilliriahrising on October 15th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
What a lovely ending to your little series. So much sweetness and family togetherness. If only we could see all this on the actual show...sigh.
priscillafilms: jake is my heropriscillaf on October 16th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
"Oh, wait... it's not the Yankees, is it?

Red Sox nation, unite!

great fic.
i loved it
Cedara: Heroes:M3=familycedara on October 19th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
So cute.
Dana Norram: mattxmohinder chibisdana_norram on October 19th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
*melts and dies of cuteness*
redorchard13redorchard13 on October 20th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
*bounces all around*
that was so awesome! love it. i die of squee.