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04 February 2008 @ 07:48 pm
[fanfic] Legacies: Part 3 (PG-13)  
Title: Legacies
Chapter: 3
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.
Previous chapters: Prologue | One | Two

Would you believe they didn't talk about it for another two days?

They even went back to their usual hanging-out-in-the-same-room schtick. After Molly's bedtime, every night. Just hanging out. Mohinder typing. Matt cleaning. Or reading, or looking at photographs of crime scenes, or listening to talk radio through headphones. Sometimes pacing. Back and forth behind Mohinder's chair. Mohinder tried not to notice. Tried not to wonder when those hands would come down like giant drumbeats on the back of his chair and it would be Time To Talk again.

He was not getting a lot of work done. He was doing a lot of polishing his glasses and rubbing the bridge of his nose, however. His glasses were very shiny. His nose was starting to get bruised.

It seemed to be a specialty of Matt's, unsettling him. Because after those two days, when he finally thought they would be able to go on and forget about it, the big hands came down.

"Aren't we going to talk about this?"

He turned. The broad frame of him, shoulders over elbows over the back of his chair, was all too near. "Talk about what?"

He blushed like a junior high school student. "You know. What happened."

Mohinder turned back, pushed his glasses up on his nose for the thirteenth time. "I don't see what there is to talk about," he said clinically. "You obviously regret it, and I don't see any problem with simply forgetting about it. We all make mistakes in life."

This had its intended effect. Matt recoiled as if in shock. Mohinder sighed resolutely and resumed typing.

Then the hands were down again and this time they were on Mohinder's shoulders. It was all warmth seeping down into him from such hot hands and Mohinder had chills all at once. And Matt's voice was almost right in his ear. "All I know is, I am lying in my room at night and all I can think of is that. That moment. That..." A little stutter. "That k-kiss. And I don't know what to make of it."

Mohinder almost threw a prayer of thanks to the gods when Matt released him, suddenly pacing back toward the opposite wall. "And here's the thing that really drives me nuts," he said. "If it were anybody else, if I were having any other problem, guess who I'd want to talk about it with? You've become my go-to guy for everything. I want to ask your advice on what the hell is going on with you. So I'm up a creek here. I don't know who else to talk to. What do I do about this?" Mohinder hadn't realized it until just now, but he'd stood up and turned. Matt had about-faced as well, and was staring him down plaintively. "How do I figure this out?"

Was he actually asking as if Mohinder had an answer? He shook his head. "I can't afford this," he snapped. "This is not who I am. I am not a family man. I'm certainly not a-- a--"

Matt nodded. A thankful respite. The words didn't need to be said.

"I am an academic. A researcher. My work is important, and I can't afford distractions or interruptions, much less a crisis of identity, which is what this is threatening to become. So leave it alone, Matt." Words like daggers. "Just leave it alone."

He sat back down. His back felt stiff and his joints ached, like he was coming down with the flu. Matt sat as well, putting his headphones back on, but he could feel the eyes boring into him like twin drills.

An hour. An hour passed like a few seconds like this. With heat on his skull and ice in his mind. Just being stared at.

When he heard Matt shift, remove the headphones, and rise, he stiffened.

But "G'night" was all he said as he stalked off to his bedroom.

Mohinder tried to ignore the sudden itching in the soles of his feet. It was almost as if.. don't think it! ...as if he wanted to follow him.

"Oh, God," Mohinder said, putting his head in his hands. He couldn't concentrate on work. The blobs on the slide looked like nothing but blobs to him. He knew he should be writing down their approximate size and the texture of the cell walls, but he kept thinking about Matt. The hands. The look. The terse "g'night" and stiff shoulders. Somehow the memory of that stung.

He was at an utter loss. What was he supposed to do in this bizarre limbo they'd landed in? "Oh, God," he repeated.

"He's not here right now. Can I take a message?"

He bolted upright. "Elle, for the love of all that is holy, can you please knock?"

"First with the God, then with the holy. I thought you were an atheist!" She sauntered in like a queen across a red carpet, declaring her ownership of the room inch by inch. "So what's eating you, doc? You're hitting the higher powers pretty hard for this early in the morning."

"Nothing is eating me, I'm just... frustrated, that's all."

"Uh-huh. Defined by many as being eaten." She snapped her jaw. "You want me to demonstrate?" She tossed a spark to Mohinder's shirtsleeve, and he jumped at the static pop.

"Ouch..." He sighed. "Look, quite frankly? My personal life is my business, and I'd just as soon not discuss it with you."

"Suit yourself, then," she shrugged, dragging a stool up to the table and plunking herself down on it. She perched her head on her upturned palms and waited for him to get annoyed.

He ignored her deliberately despite her creeping Cheshire-cat grin. After a few minutes, it faded, and she began sending little charges leaping across the table. "Tell me!" she whispered as he jumped back. The microscope slide rattled in its tray.

"What?" he finally demanded. "What do you want to know?"

"You look upset," she said, giving him a mocking pout. "Let me help."

"I do my best not to ask advice of sociopaths, thank you very much."

"Now I'm upset!" she said, shoving him with a stronger shock. He cursed; part of his shirt was singed. "C'mon, Doctor S. You're awfully cute when you're pouty. Tell Auntie Elle all about it."

"If you're my aunt, I do so hope I'm adopted," he muttered.

She walked right up to him, looked up his neck into his face. She was pressing her body into his suggestively. "Elle, please stop that."

"Too hot to handle?" she giggled.

He slammed his hands into her shoulders and pushed her away firmly, cursing as the static crackled against his hand. "I feel sorry for you," he said, his jaw set. "You don't even know what you're doing."

"Sure I do!" She tried to approach him again.

He shook his head, firmly enough that she knew to stay back. "No, you really don't," he sighed.

She looked at him circumspectly. "Well, then tell me. What am I doing?"

"You're trying to be altruistic, I think," he shrugged, looking back at the slides. His eyes pressed into the microscope, he kept talking, looking at but not seeing the jumping cells before his eyes. "I assume you think you can provide me with some comfort."

Elle was silent for a moment. "Can't I?" she said innocently. The question of a girl who really didn't know the answer. There was a quiver in her voice.

Mohinder looked up, decided the slide was a lost cause, put it in the sink, and walked over to her. "I'm afraid you can't," he said. "As far as I can tell, you simply don't have the maturity to understand relationships."

"I HAVE had boyfriends, you know," she said, bristling. "And not crappy ones, either."

He sort of wanted to ask how many of them were still alive, but he restrained himself. "I'm sure. But there is a difference between having a boyfriend..." he blushed, and hastily added, "...or girlfriend... and having a real relationship. Not that I'm a terrible genius at it myself. As I seem to be proving." He ran a hand through his hair and promptly got a shock-- some of the static from earlier was apparently still leaping around. He put a hand on the sink to ground himself.

"What's the difference?" Again with the innocent voice.

He leaned against the counter wearily. "The difference?"

"Between a boyfriend and a relationship."

"Well," he started, regarding her thoughtfully, "For example. What happened to your previous... encounters?"

"Most of 'em? They pissed me off, so I ditched 'em." She shrugged. He wondered sardonically where the ditches were.

"Did you miss them when they were gone?" She shrugged again, shaking her head. "Ah," he said. "That's what I'm talking about. A relationship means you can be hurt and move on, move forward with someone. Not just say 'That's it, it's over.'"

"Why?" she asked. "The way I figure it, who could be so great that he's worth just saying 'Go ahead, hurt me'? I can't imagine..."

"Exactly," he explained. "It's a power play for you. The minute someone does something to hurt you, you just hurt back. If you ever meet someone you really care for, you're going to destroy him, because it will scare the devil out of you to realize that you can either have power or passion, but not both."

She was gazing at him very seriously now. "What do you mean? Why not?" Her look was so confused.

"Because caring about someone means being scared. It means having no control over what happens to your heart," he explained. "Because you have to open yourself up to get hurt. But as for you, you're the sort of person who will hurt someone before they hurt you, so you'll never give anyone the chance to get close to you."

"And you would?"

The innocence with which she asked the question nearly killed him. What a sad girl she was, really, he thought. Might she really go through her life not understanding that she couldn't just take what she wanted? Someday she'd be hit with an emotion that she wouldn't understand, and when that happened, she'd be so lost. She might shut herself off and deny it. She might lash out and destroy it. But he hoped, for her sake, that she learned to embrace it.

"Yes," he said quietly. "I would. I... I think it's worth it."

"Then," she said, grinning, "that solves your problem, doesn't it?"

His jaw dropped. He stared at her.

There were two options here. Either Elle was, for all her cool and shallow facade, a remarkably insightful person, or she was a complete stark raving loony.

Mohinder decided the loony option was much more plausible. Or, at least, more comforting.

Maya was waiting in the kitchen for his return. She and Molly had prepared dinner, and they were chatting animatedly at the table. Mohinder waved sunnily, but he felt disappointment swell inside him. It wasn't the face he was expecting to see. As much as he was dreading seeing that face, dreading the awkward silences and cursory words, at least he had been expecting it. He felt like the rhythm of his day had been unforgivably interrupted. Irritation rippled through him, and he fought it down, greeting her extra warmly to make up for any residual hostility he might be showing.

"I wanted to ask you today about what I do," she said after dinner, when Molly had retreated to her bedroom, excited about playing her new video game. "Is it very different from what Miss Bishop can do? Or do you think it is the same?"

It took him a moment to realize he was talking about Elle. "Well, you share a genetic marker," he said. "The manifestation of the abnormality is very different, however."

"How is it different?" she asked.

The question flummoxed him. "I.. I'd think that would be obvious. She has the ability to conduct and generate electricity, whereas you have a sort of pheromone or poison that you seem to emit..."

"No, not that," Maya interrupted. "I mean... let me start again." She thought for a moment. "Miss Bishop does her power... through her hands, no?" Mohinder nodded. "Does mine come through my eyes? Because my eyes change."

"That is a good question," he said. "Yes, I'd say that is very possible."

"But it is not just people I look at. It is everyone around me that is... killed." Her lip curled in disgust. "But Miss Bishop can... what is the word? Target."

Mohinder remembered his first exposure to Elle's power, in California. He shuddered slightly. "Yes."

Maya leaned forward. "Why can I not target too?"

For a moment he just stared at her. Was her interest in this purely academic? "I don't know that you can't," he said finally. "It may be a matter of learning appropriate control. Of course, it may also be the case that what you do cannot be targeted. If it's a pheromone, perhaps it is carried on the air."

She nodded. "But maybe I could learn how to..."

"Maya!" The loudness of his voice shocked even him. He found himself standing, leaning over the table, gaping at her. "I thought you wanted to be rid of this! I thought you were rid of this." He shook his head and sat again. "The medication you're taking is still neutralizing your ability. So why are you asking these questions?"

She hung her head. "I'm sorry. I was just... curious. I'm sorry."

"Maya." He said her name with purpose, leaning forward intently. "Have you been going back there?"

There was no question what there meant. Her eyes went round and white. She shook her head wildly. "No, I am not... I ..."

He rose, took her hands, trying to force her to look him in the eye. "What is it?"

She burst into tears. "I cannot talk to you about it. I was told not to talk to you!"

Next: I like you.
shara50 on February 5th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
Mohinder is kinda stupid when it comes to some things isn't he? Great chapter!!
Tiptoe39: mo prettytiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
Stupid but pretty. Ehehehe. The way I like 'em. If they're stupid, they don't complain as much when you slash 'em. :D
00smut on February 5th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
Tense, tense, tense with the boys and the suspense of that!

Elle is, as always, phenomenal. I can't wait to see that the Company is up to.
Tiptoe39: creativetiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
I think you'll be quite surprised. :D
boymommytotwoboymommytotwo on February 5th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
these are my few of my fav lines of this installment...

-He was not getting a lot of work done. He was doing a lot of polishing his glasses and rubbing the bridge of his nose, however. His glasses were very shiny. His nose was starting to get bruised.-

-"If it were anybody else, if I were having any other problem, guess who I'd want to talk about it with? You've become my go-to guy for everything. I want to ask your advice on what the hell is going on with you. So I'm up a creek here. I don't know who else to talk to. What do I do about this?" -

i also love your elle... i was not so in love with her since she appeared, but i am coming to like her more through your fic.

and the (yes, agonizingly) slowness of your m/m... again, i appreciate the journey you're taking instead of just giving into the (as bad as i want it) kissy-face... very very nice and i can't wait to see what happens next now that mo realizes he's willing to risk matt getting close to him...

and one more thing... this maya... i don't trust her. i'm not buying her poor me routine yet...

toodles and :loves: - a
Tiptoe39: mo mayatiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
yes, the poor dear's nose has finally healed and now it's getting all bruised again! 0.o

there's more kissyface in the next installment, i promise.
crystal_mkcrystal_mk on February 5th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
Oh wow, I love Mohinder's speech to Elle! It was really heartfelt and insightful and true. I actually feel bad for her now.

I feel really bad for poor Matt! Mohinder needs to make up for it.

Can't wait to see what happens next!
Tiptoe39: mattmo justkisstiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
matt really comes off as the better-adjusted one in this fic.... of course that's cause most of it is from mohinder POV... but yeah. it's fun.
Moral Whiplashbkwyrm on February 5th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Oh, Mohinder. You're so cute when you're dumb.
It's a pity he's cute so often, you know?
Tiptoe39: sendhiltiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
oh. yeah. a real pity. i'm sorry, what were we talking about? :stares: :wipes away drool:
carma_baby: wake up gaycarma_baby on February 5th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
You are always managing to amaze me with your ability to delve into emotions and situations and come up with something new and thought-inducing.

And bringing in the girlies and the bizarre tension they create... So much fun and also another way to engineer situations, emotions, and those exquisitely painful, beautiful moments that simultaneously overjoy and break our hearts. I bow down before your skills and look forward to the next installment. Have a great night!!!
Tiptoe39: goodnighttiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
you too honey! (or, i hope you HAD a great night!)
Carmexgirlcarmexgirl on February 5th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Oh the tension and the slowness are just unbearable! I love your take on hurt and love - so very, very true.

And Mohinder - I don't know how Matt puts up with him! :looks: Oh yeah, duh.
Tiptoe39: mo prettytiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, Matt's not that shallow. Just because *we* are... :)
flwrpwr_vampyre: Do I look Gay?flwrpwr_vampyre on February 5th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this chapter. I really like Elle dispensing advice and Maya trying to figure out how to use her power when she doesn't actually have it.
Tiptoe39: mo prettytiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Hey, thank you. A comment from you is a rare bird and I am happy to see it. :)

also, your icon is full of the lolz.
The Soul says: - flwrpwr_vampyre on February 5th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - flwrpwr_vampyre on February 10th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
JLB: rock onbaehj2915 on February 5th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Very good! I really have to hand it to you. Normally when I'm writing slash, I don't bother with other character very much, and certainly not developing them. But you've done an excellent job with Elle and Maya. I love Elle in general, but particularly here. But making Maya sympathetic to me is a giant feet indeed.


Tiptoe39: mo mayatiptoe39 on February 5th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
If I managed to make her sympathetic I'm better than I thought. To me, she's a gigantic plot device. Even in this fic. But that's just me. :D
A Troop of Rogue Trained Monkeys from LJ's Searchhanuueshe on February 6th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
*tries to think of a way to love this fic without repeating everything said above*

*fails miserably*

lessthanthree :D
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 6th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Repetition is a good thing :giggle:

what's lessthanthree?
The Soul says: - hanuueshe on February 6th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 6th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
Renée: Mohinder. Science.rogueslayer452 on February 6th, 2008 08:30 am (UTC)
I really, really liked this chapter, for several different reasons.

First of all, I liked the awkwardness between Mohinder and Matt after their kiss. A realistic way to handle it when it's an uncertain thing between them, and Mohinder trying to not give into it and being confused and actually talking with Elle about relationships. That was a nice transition, by the way. Going from the tension with Matt to genuinely talking with Elle, despite feeling nervous when she is around. Him figuring things out through that little speech he was giving her was wonderful, sort of answering his own questions to things he already knew but didn't want to accept.

Maya, oh poor Maya. Actually, I've always wondered about if Maya took control of her ability that she could target just one person in particular and no one else. This is a nice chapter that really adds a lot to Matt/Mohinder's relationship and the storyline of Maya and the Company. Me likey. :D
Tiptoe39: mo mayatiptoe39 on February 6th, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Wow, a Maya liker. It's hard to find one on this here int4rw3bz.
The Soul says: - rogueslayer452 on February 7th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
boudecia7boudecia7 on February 6th, 2008 08:42 am (UTC)
It's been bugging me all day that I didn't have time to sit down and read this, and now that I finally have I'm kinda glad it took me so long because that means I'll have less time to wait for the next chapter! Incredible work, as per your usual. :) I love your dialogue. And the tension between Matt and Mohinder came across so well. I really enjoyed it; can't wait to see what Maya's up to! ::blinks in surprise at self taking any interest in Maya at all::
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 6th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
::blinks too::

thanks so much for reading!
The Soul says: - boudecia7 on February 6th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 7th, 2008 12:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - boudecia7 on February 7th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 7th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Soul says: - boudecia7 on February 7th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
imeru on February 6th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
Oh God, this was so pretty. You teached me how to love Elle, srsly. And I obviously already adored Mohinder, but, if possible, after this my obsession even grew up. Thank you *_*
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 7th, 2008 12:37 am (UTC)
yay, I teached!

thank you!
you_ravish_meyou_ravish_me on February 6th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
I adore this series. Amazing jog. You have to be one of my favorite writers. I am so looking forward to the next chapter, you have no idea:)
Tiptoe39: kensei & hiro singtiptoe39 on February 7th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Hi there :waves: have you commented on my fic before? I love your username ^_@
The Soul says: - bloodyfandom on February 6th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Tiptoe39: cmere youtiptoe39 on February 7th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Eee hee hee, matt's ickle heart :snerks:

thank you!
The Soul says: - bloodyfandom on February 18th, 2008 08:12 am (UTC) (Expand)