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10 February 2008 @ 11:09 am
[fanfic] Legacies: Part 5 (PG-13)  
Title: Legacies
Chapter: 5 (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 and innuendo
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 | Three | Four

When Matt came sleepily out of his room the following morning, he yawned good morning to Molly, but stopped, blinked, and smiled before shyly repeating the words to Mohinder. He answered in kind, also shyly, looking up at Matt from beneath nervously fluttering lashes.

"Did you, uh, sleep OK?" Matt asked, eyes darting between Mohinder's and the floor.

"Yes." Mohinder laughed a little. "Thank... you for asking."

"What are you two laughing about?" Molly demanded from the table, her spoon clutched in one fist insistently.

"Nothing," growled Matt, suddenly his cranky morning self again. "We saw a funny movie last night. Eat your cereal." He stuck out his tongue at her. Mohinder laughed. The awkwardness persisted until, on Matt's way out to drop her off at school, he lagged behind. For a moment he wavered, then iron glinted in his eyes and he leaned forward to plant a soft kiss on the corner of Mohinder's mouth. "It's OK," he said, looking at him seriously. "We're doing fine."

"How can you be so sure?" Mohinder asked, his cheeks pink with the sensation.

"I'm not," admitted Matt, his tone light but his face serious. "I'm just hoping if I say it enough I'll convince both of us." He half-smiled and left the apartment. Mohinder's heart made a noise like butterfly wings. He clutched his chest and fell to his knees. And it scared him even more to realize he was smiling.

A handful of tasks required Mohinder to shuttle himself back and forth between the midtown location of his laboratory and the Brooklyn outpost of the Company that day. He preferred work in the lab-- although he knew he was being watched, his supervisor had to fight traffic or board the subway in order to actually chase him down. It wasn't something a guy like Bob had the time or energy to do.

Of course, his flighty daughter wasn't nearly as busy. "Gooooood morning, Doctor S!" she chirped at eleven a.m. "Broughtcha a scone! You're a scone kind of guy, I can tell."

And he was, at that. Rather pleasantly surprised, he turned to smile amiably at her. "Thank you," he said, "and good morning."

She looked surprised, but then smiled and settled in. "So how are you? How's your boyfriend?"

"Fine and fine..." It took a moment for Mohinder to jump into full panic mode. Had he just said that so easily? And why wasn't he asking "What did you say?" Why was his mouth moving without his mind and asking, "How did you know?"

"Scientific deduction," she said, winking and smiling broadly. "Number One: you didn't look at Niki and you don't look at me. Number Two: you're too handsome to be asexual. Number Three: you are waaaay too happy today."

His hands flew to his face. He could feel the hotness even before making contact.

Elle just shrugged, amused at the reaction. "We all figured it was a matter of time before you and your roommate shacked up. So when was the blessed event?"

Mohinder found his tongue again. "We're not shacking up! For God's sake." He buried his head in his hands. "We've barely touched. We don't even know what's going on."

"But you like it, right?"

He peeked from between his fingers. "Yes," he admitted.

"So when was it? Come on, the office pool's up to, like, twenty bucks." She squealed and ran for the door, not even sticking around for the answer.

The pleasant butterflies in his stomach turned to wasps as the day wore on, however, and that night Mohinder felt like he was stepping into a minefield when he got home. How they managed to put on a normal front for Molly's sake was anybody's guess, because the doomsday clock was ticking down toward her bedtime. At that magic hour, all the pretenses of nothing having changed would be gone, and they would be two regular people alone together. Mohinder tried to envision what would happen once that light clicked off and that door shut. He couldn't. His mind was blank, like someone had turned off the lights in there, too.

So he decided to pretend he hadn't noticed when Matt emerged from her bedroom. He figured Matt was the one who wanted this enough to make the first move, so he'd want it enough to make the second. If he hadn't regained his sense and decided this had all been a big mistake. Mohinder buried his nose in a book and waited.

The running of water. Matt was doing the dishes. Doing the dishes? While Mohinder was in hell? Then again, the dishes did need to be done. Mohinder peered over the edge of his book and stared at him.

From Mohinder's vantage point on the couch, Matt was a pleasing blur of motion. Something solid and heavy seemed to hover around him. If he were a home, he would be red brick with oak doors. Something familiar and traditional. Not avant-garde, perhaps, but beautiful nonetheless. Mohinder found himself wanting a better look. He stood and walked toward the kitchen.

His bare feet were silent on the tile, not that it mattered. Matt was running the water anyway, and humming "Stairway to Heaven" under his breath. His voice lilted and lapsed with the in-and-out of his breaths. Mohinder's eyes traveled along the line of his jaw, set in concentration. His fingers itched as though feeling the gravelly scrape of stubble on his chin.

Was this what it felt like to be attracted to a man? Was it about feeling he was very touchable? Was it wondering about textures and surfaces he'd never laid hands on before? How different from attraction to women it was. Or wasn't it? Mohinder couldn't remember the last time he'd looked at a woman. His life had no room for that. Romantic attraction involved an effort he didn't have the energy to make. And yet this was completely organic. Completely natural. Instinctive, nearly to the point of being unconscious. So much so that he didn't realize he'd walked right over to stand next to him, staring into his face mutely, until Matt turned off the water and turned to him, his hands dripping wet.

On instinct still, Mohinder reached up and touched that chin, with the scratchy stubble. Matt's eyes went dark. All expression left his face. Mohinder realized Matt was looking at his mouth. A word trembled on the edge of his lips, but he didn't know what it was. He wondered confusedly if Matt could see it. His heart was hammering. A wet hand found his outstretched one, dampening the cheek he touched.

Mohinder shivered and looked at him through wide eyes, as though he'd just awoken and discovered he'd been sleepwalking.

They kissed. Just once. Briefly.

"H-how was your day?" Matt asked in a voice that was just barely a croak of a whisper. His voice caught and flew up to soprano on the last syllable. Mohinder smiled. They both grinned. "I sounded totally stupid just now." It was a statement, not a question.

Mohinder nodded. "Sort of."


"We're doing fine, right?" Mohinder thought wildly to himself that his voice sounded so weak.

"Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for the reminder." Matt wiped his hands on a towel and walked over to the couch. "So, uh, you want to watch some TV or something?" Mohinder couldn't answer before Matt slapped his fist to his forehead. "That sounds lame too. Oh, God, I'm just hopelessly lame tonight."

It was the most casual, the most honest Mohinder had ever seen him. He looked nervous. He looked human. Mohinder felt a flood of warmth. He walked over and, taking a deep and very long breath, sat next to him and took his hand.

Matt turned red up to his scalp.

"TV sounds all right," Mohinder said.

The days that followed were strange, but pleasant. In the evenings, they had dinner as a family, and when Molly was in bed they sat on the couch and talked, sharing bits of their childhood and their lives before a little girl who could find people dropped into it and changed everything. Matt talked about tough cases he'd been on and how his marriage had begun and ended; Mohinder explained how he'd come to New York in search of his father's legacy. The nights always ended with some kissing and exploration; they learned how to cuddle, which was utterly bizarre because, as Matt said, "I'm not sure if we should take turns being the girl, or what." The same thought occurred to both of them when he made that comment, and they blushed and spent the rest of the night on opposite ends of the couch.

They didn't sleep together. It was too new and raw a thing for both of them to even know how. Mohinder bought a book on the sly, hoping to gain some know-how; he managed to read part of it at work without revealing its contents to an increasingly intrusive Elle.

Mohinder was getting sick of her constant questions, which sometimes bordered on the obscene. One morning he decided to head toward Brooklyn at a time he knew she'd assume him to be at the lab. He hoped to throw her off, to strand her on the street waiting for him to show up. Instead, he was the one who was surprised at whom he saw waiting in the hallway outside one of the cavernous research rooms.


Her mouth was open even before she turned. "I am here to get my medication," she blurted out, as though he'd cornered her at gunpoint rather than just saying her name.

"I.. I'm sure," he said, recoiling. "How are you?"

She looked sheepish. "Good. How are you, Doctor?" She paused, adding shyly, "You look... happy."

Mohinder pinked. She was the second person to say as much. Was he acting that much like a schoolboy with a crush? It was embarrassing to think about. "I. Well. I'm happy to see you." Not entirely a lie, he told himself as she grinned, pleased.

Then the voice came like a siren. "Maaaaayaaa! I'm commmmiin'!" The click-clack of heels on the linoleum sped their way toward them. Elle came into view, skidded to a halt like a cartoon character, and gaped a moment before recovering. "....Oh, Doctor S, wassap? Thought you were at the lab today." She glared at Maya, who responded with a glassy-eyed, pleading stare.

Mohinder watched the silent conversation between the two of them unfold. How he envied the power to read thoughts at a time like this. "You two are...?"

Maya turned back to face him, her mouth opening and closing several times. Mohinder was reminded of Japanese carp at feeding time. "Ah," she started nervously, "Miss Bishop is... we are..."

His amusement was giving way to suspicion. "You are...?"

"Buddies." Elle grabbed Maya by both shoulders, hugging her and rubbing their cheeks together, grinning. "Yeah. Gal pals. That's us. We kinda clicked back in detox, you know? We went shopping the other day. When was it? Sunday. Yeah, Sunday. Went shopping, bought tons of stuff, ended up sacking out on the couch watching 'Lost' all night. You ever see that show? Weird stuff. You'd like it."

The last hint of amusement had gone. "Well, that's very good, then," Mohinder said coldly. "For both of you. I'm glad." He turned and stomped away.

It was not the last time that day he'd see either of them.

The visit from Elle came first, if you can call it a visit when you're followed halfway across the city. She didn't have to say a word for him to know she was there. She was not so good at tracking people subtly, especially tracking people all the way into Manhattan, including short-circuiting the turnstile so she didn't have to pay subway fare. With the first footstep into the loft-turned-lab, he took a deep breath and spoke before she could. "You're lying."

Her clicking heels stopped, and he heard her swallow. Finally, she started walking again, sidling up to his desk, where he sat, making notes. "Am not," she said casually, grinning. "What would I be lying about?"

"Maya was at my place on Sunday evening," he said.

She elbowed him, throwing a spark into the mix just for fun. "Why Doctor S, you big tease, I thought you weren't shopping in that aisle!" She put hands on his shoulders, leaning over him and flashing a sunny smile in his face. "Does this mean there's a chance for me?"

"No, it means you're lying." He stood up, knocking her backward, and scowled. "What are you two up to?"

"Nothing!" she scoffed rebelliously. "We're up to nothing. A big fat zero." She held up her hands in a bubble shape, letting a spark jump along the lines of the ring.

"Does your father know what you're doing?"

All movement stopped. The spark flew into the air and disappeared with a pop. Elle looked for a moment like she was going to fall down. He had a sudden urge to run over and catch her if she did.

She ran to him and grabbed his sleeve, looking up at him with panicked eyes. He'd never seen her so desperate. "Doctor S, please," she begged. She was like a paper doll of herself, willowy and wavering against him, her face pale. "Please. Don't say anything to Daddy. I'm begging you."

He stared at her a long moment. She'd never begged before in her life, he was sure. Her hands on his sleeve were whiter than noon sunlight.

This is why he'd invited her to come to the lab, after all. This was the opportunity he'd been waiting for. Elle, caught being sloppy. Desperate and vulnerable and willing to tell him anything he wanted to know. He could demand she level with him, or he'd go to Bob with the news that his daughter was sneaking around. He could find out the truth, ugly as it may be, and somehow deal with the consequences.

But he was afraid. Too much had happened recently to shake up his world. He was afraid of the bottom dropping out of this part of life, too.

He looked away, shaking her off. "What would I have to tell him, anyway?" he said, walking toward one of his filing cabinets. "I don't know anything."

He heard her step toward him. stop, and fall to her knees on the floor. The sound of skin against concrete made him wince. She whispered weakly to his back.

"Thank you. Thank you."

It was much later-- after dinner, in fact-- that Maya made her reappearance. He invited her in, poured her a cup of tea, but she held it without taking a sip, her dark lashes fluttering as she gazed at her reflection in the cup, then his. "I want to be honest with you," she said first.

He wasn't sure he was ready to hear it from her lips, either. But what could he do? He'd given up his first chance at the truth.

"I have been meeting with Miss Bishop," she said. "But you know that."

Vaguely he heard Matt puttering around in the background. Like a jealous lover, he thought, and heard the footsteps falter and a sputtering of breath. He tried not to laugh. "Yes. Yes, I got that impression," he said to Maya.

She took a deep breath. "I wanted to tell you why."

He leaned forward, fighting back the urge to run away.

"It's about Sylar."

He blinked, spilled his own tea. "What?"

"Gabriel. The man you call Sylar." She seemed to have trouble with the name. Of course, she had known him for so long as Gabriel, where Mohinder had only known him by aliases. He beat down the strange jealousy that she'd been allowed a glimpse into his world that he'd never gotten. "Miss Bishop's father was very upset that she allowed him to escape." She set down the mug and shrugged at him plaintively. "She thought that I might help her understand who he is. Because I spent so much time with him. So I am talking with her... so she can catch him."

Mohinder took in a breath and held it. Of course. She'd been with him so long that she really might have some clue as to how he worked. He felt a rush of chagrin at not being the one to realize that. What did Elle know to do with that information? Besides get herself and Maya killed?

Irritation tugged at the corners of his mouth. He paced. Damn that girl and her stupid, devilish schemes! Was she always so eager to drag others down into her sadistic little plots? When he spoke, it was in clipped tones. "That is potentially the most ill-advised..."

"Please." She grabbed his hand, warm from the imprint of the teacup, and he stopped. Her eyes were big licorice-colored marbles. "Don't be angry. You understand? She wants to make her father happy."

It was perhaps the only explanation he couldn't shrug off in a haze of rage. Elle was a foolish young thing, making boneheaded decisions out of some irrational desire to see her father, a cold, distant man with his own agenda, look at her kindly for once. Mohinder could think of another young fool who'd done the same. And had inadvertently brought death to more innocents than he'd imagined he could. Was he any less diabolical than Elle, in the end?

He couldn't help it. A swell of hapless sympathy buoyed the words out of him. "Yes. Of course I do."

When he'd fastened the chain and turned the deadbolt in her wake, Mohinder leaned against the door and sighed. "What?" he asked. "Just say it."

"More daddy issues." The voice behind him was a low rumble with a touch of amusement, but Mohinder was not in the mood for humor. It had been a long, tense day, and he was feeling the strain of having all his assumptions challenged. It was not an easy burden to bear.

He turned to him. "Matt, please, don't."

The man put up his hands as though to wave away hostility. "I'm not, I'm not," he said. "I've already told you how I feel."

Mohinder just sighed again. He was well aware of Matt's mistrust of Maya. He thought it was sadly misplaced. If anyone was the villain here, it had to be Elle. "Yes, you have."

"I just--" Matt put a hand on his hip, biting his lip and looking for the words. "I hear what she's thinking sometimes, and it's not what you think."

Mohinder glared. "Don't," he said, flint in his voice.

Matt reached for him. "I just... I want you to know that--"

"I said, don't." It was meant as a forceful push but somehow became a shove. Matt staggered and stared at him incredulously.

"Just because you routinely invade her privacy doesn't mean I need to," Mohinder lectured. "Keep it to yourself." He walked past Matt without looking at him.

"So that's it?" How easy it was to fall into the old patterns. Voices raised, tempers aflame. "You care more about her privacy than..."

"Than what? Than you? I thought you were over being jealous," he scoffed.

"It's not about being jealous. Mohinder!" He was walking past him into the hallway now. Matt turned to follow him. "Why are you acting like this?"

Mohinder stopped for just a moment. There were a lot of answers to that question. Because he was being kept in the dark. Because he was sick of being the only person around with no insight, no special power, no reason to be except for those that surrounded him. Because he could see control of his life slipping away, and the reason for that was currently behind him, staring him down. Because for a while he'd felt happy, and he'd forgotten that he wasn't supposed to be happy. He was supposed to be serious and earnest and always striving for the unknown, and he was losing that day by day to the placid mediocrity of domestic life. Because the man behind him was real and true and brave and strong enough to face up to the truth. And because Mohinder was nothing but a coward.

But he didn't give an answer. He just entered his bedroom and slammed the door behind him.

Next: Things heat up
00smut on February 10th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
First of all I love Elle. Also, the boys... squee! It gets me with the touching of the face, and am goo... ^_^

Awwe to the plot, and am in agony waiting for more!
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
:scoops up the goo: mmm, gooo.

more tomorrow most likely... :)
shara50 on February 10th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
Great addition to the series and I am looking forward to the next part!!
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
thank you!!
Samanthor: Matt & Mohinderkleenexcow on February 10th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Awww. I love the scenes after they put Molly to bed when they sit around, talk, and explore. So many fics just go the route of first kiss---->sex immediately following. Which I guess is great for fics, but something that never strikes me as indicative of the beginning of a good, mature LTR. But this? Is slow and real, and is so much sweeter for it.

The second-to-last paragraph was amaaaaaazing. I was thinking about line-commenting on it, but it's a little long. Just know that I love it because it rings so true for Mohinder to me. <3
Tiptoe39: lovetiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, I've *done* that one a couple times so I'm glad the more realistic route is working.

Thank you for your love <3
A Troop of Rogue Trained Monkeys from LJ's Searchhanuueshe on February 10th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
The boys...remind me a little of how dating was in middle school, when you just discovered that boys having cooties might not be the worst thing in the world, but still weren't entirely sure. I like that- I imaine that must be exactly like a 'well, you just kind of made my sexual orientation flip' relationship would be like.

And the cuddling...so cute! As is Mohinder going around smiling because the man seriously needs to grin more. And get laid, preferably by Matt.

I...am not sure what to think about the whole Elle/Maya thing. Originally, I thought Maya was up to something with Bob, but if Elle wants to cover it up...

You know, I'm almost hoping that whatever it turns out to be Maya's idea.

Great job; I can't wait for the next part.
Tiptoe39: mo mayatiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
Oh good. I'm very glad I got the middle school vibe down. That was just about precisely what I was going for.

As for Maya/Elle, there are things Elle knows that Maya doesn't know and there are things Bob knows that Elle doesn't know and there are things that nobody knows yet and it's all going to get very twisty in the last two chapters.
JLB: noah chokes a bitchbaehj2915 on February 10th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
but... but...

MOHINDER!!! Get back out here right now and stop it!!!

*shakes head at Mohinder for putting off the smexing*

Tiptoe39: mattmo sexiertiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
He's mad at you for posting mylar. :laff: ;-D

(Which was hothothot mind you, but...)
Carmexgirlcarmexgirl on February 10th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
The awkwardness in this is just perfect! And Mohinder desperately trying to get his head around everything. I wish he's stop beating himself up about the whole thing though, and go with the flow. He'd enjoy himself a lot more if he did!

Wonderful, as ever!
Tiptoe39: mattmo sexplztiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
eh heh heh. He will enjoy himself a little bit more in Chapter 6....

:runs away:
teecub on February 10th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
This is awesome! Mohinder is so adorable, angry and confused. Matt is strong, a comfortable force but ALSO confused and lost. Mmmm, I love it! Thanks for sharing! <3
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading hon!
imeru on February 10th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
This is perfect! Mohinder's doubts and questions, his will to be special among special people, while he's been living with his being - seemingly - ordinary for months or, perhaps, years, the bit of angst at the end, it's all so realistic, I love it!
Tiptoe39: thankyoutiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
thanks so much :)
boymommytotwo: thoughtful mattboymommytotwo on February 10th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
--- The nights always ended with some kissing and exploration; they learned how to cuddle, which was utterly bizarre because, as Matt said, "I'm not sure if we should take turns being the girl, or what." --- WIN!

i LOVE. l - o - v - e the akwardness growing into more thing. and totally conquer with kleenexcow about the angsty-ness of the longer road between first kiss and sex. bravo! (as long as it's always balanced "you know where" with enough smut to satisfy...)

the next best thing is i pretty much don't like that you've made me believe mohinder has these pity-me-becuase-i-don't-have-a-power feelings... how'd you do that???

Tiptoe39: mo srslytiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not exactly pity me because i don't have a power. It's sort of pity me because i'm completely emotionally stunted and can't deal with ANY of this and why does everyone else in the world seem to be braver than i am angst angst angst mope mope mope.

Sorry you don't like it... I hope the rest of it made up for it tho :)
imeru on February 10th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, actually I didn't like the idea of posting this here, because it'd seem like I want to publicize myself, but I've made a fanart about this piece, so when I'll get back my scanner I'll post it somewhere, if you're interested in it. Thanks for inspiring me *luv*
Tiptoe39: wowtiptoe39 on February 10th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
zomg fanart?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

:please post post post post:
(Deleted comment)
Tiptoe39: matthindertiptoe39 on February 11th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
You'll get some of what you're hoping for next chapter. Just some. ^_^

Elle irritates me too, and I fear I am writing her kinda of OOC, but what the hell, I like how she's coming out so phooey. :D
(Deleted comment)
The Soul says: - tiptoe39 on February 11th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Easy To Amuse, Hard To Pleasestarlingthefool on February 11th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
SOOO much love for this story. The pacing is perfect, and I love the way you're building up the suspense. I can't wait for the next chapter.
Tiptoe39: lovetiptoe39 on February 11th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like! putting the next chapter up in a few minutes!
crystal_mkcrystal_mk on February 11th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
OMG, pity for Elle! It hurts!

I feel bad for Matt. Mohinder was kinda pissy with him there.

Honestly, I don't know how you do it. I can barely wrap my mind around your twisty and intricate plots much less even think of writing one. Kudos!
Tiptoe39: xellostiptoe39 on February 11th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
the twisty and intricate has not even yet begun....

:eats the kudos:
boudecia7boudecia7 on February 11th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
I love Mohinder expecting Matt to be the one wanting to make the first move, and then not being able to stop himself from creeping up on him while he does the dishes. That whole scene's made of win :D They're so darn cute.

I love this series, but there's no surprise there 'cos I love everything you write. Great work, as usual!
Tiptoe39: chaotiptoe39 on February 11th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
aren't they adorable tho? :hugs the boys:
Renéerogueslayer452 on February 12th, 2008 11:35 am (UTC)
Have I mentioned I'm loving this series? Because I really, really do.

I like the combination between the dramatics between Matt and Mohinder's growing relationship and the suspicions with what's happening with Maya and Elle. It connects and flows nicely.

Awww, flustered!Mohinder is all sorts of adorable, and I like that he's all glowy and that he and Matt are getting used to the idea of being inside an established relationship. Of course, there has to be tension between them and poor Mohinder in the end. All the emotions and confusions of what's happening is starting to really get to him. As for Elle and Maya, I suspected it had something to do with Sylar, but it's nice to see that Mohinder isn't one to be duped by either one of them. He's firm with Elle, and allows Maya to open up to him. I do like your Elle-voice, a great mixture of playfulness and vulnerability in all the right places.

Anyway, each chapter is getting better and better. :D
Tiptoe39: eviltiptoe39 on February 12th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
I haven't yet told you the whole truth about Elle and Maya. Just saying. :)