|Agent Fox Mulder (i_want_2) wrote in heroes_fiction,|
@ 2008-10-10 00:19:00
|Entry tags:||au, peter/mohinder, rated: teen, slash|
Fic: Trust No One 1/1
Title: Trust No One.
Author: Lopaka Tanu
Disclaimer: I do not own Heroes.
Characters: Mohinder, Peter, Angela.
Prompt: Mohinder takes home a crazy man.
Warnings: Language, Violence, Murder, Paranoia.
Summary: A crazy man saves his life, that's the sanest part.
Author's Note: Through the rabbit hole.
Four cans of single serve soup, again.
A bag of salad to give him the prerequisite amount of dietary fiber necessary was tossed in his hand basket after the soup. It landed next to bags of dried fruit. That had become a bad habit of late, snacking on dried, salty things. Best to switch to fruit, at least it would be healthy.
The next section in the corner grocery was filled with freezers. They were so old, the doors would hang open unless closed. Pausing at the closest, Mohinder considered the selection of frozen pizzas. All of them had meat. Sighing, he grabbed two of them, then had to shut the freezer behind him.
So much for the Holy Days.
The last thing to go in his meager basket was a loaf of bread. There were worse things in life than lapsing. Certainly, he could think of several right off the top of his head.
Like dating the woman behind the counter, for instance.
Mohinder nodded in her direction, but kept his eyes carefully from meeting hers. The last thing he needed was for Merwa to think he was interested. It was bad enough his mother was insistent he meet her selection of potential brides. At least his moving to the United States put a buffer on her matchmaking.
Setting the basket on the counter, he began to unload it. While she rang them up, he pulled out his wallet.
"That will be twenty and five cents." Pushing back bleached curls while she bagged the food, Merwa tried to capture Mohinder's attention. It always failed, but she had to try. Her fingers slid over his palm as she accepted his money. "You are looking really tight."
"Thank you, Merwa." He pretended to be interested in the rolling papers over the cash register. The designs were at least eye catching. Drumming his fingers on the counter, he waited for a receipt.
Sighing, she snatched the paper from the register. Handing it over, she pushed his bag to him. "You will come back and see me."
"In three days, on pay day, like always." At least until the market two blocks from his hovel of an apartment opened up. Then it was bye bye Merwa and her amorous intentions. Grinning, he took his bags and walked out.
The walk to his apartment building was seven blocks, but given traffic, both human and machine, felt like hundred. Where most new comers were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of humanity, he found it comforting. Sure, there were less familiar looking people, but that was easily overlooked.
There was one major difference that he was certain he would never get used to. To think anyone even survived in a region where it snowed was sheer madness. Living here on proved that.
The streets were mostly clean. It was the back alleys that teemed with scum and vermin. He was certain he had seen more rats darting about in the alley he had just passed than in total at Karni Mata Temple. Given the history of the city and its pests, he was surprised they were so tolerated.
Still, he supposed one could learn to live with anything.
Not that he wanted to. Which was why he had called the building manager last week. Living beings or not, he was not sharing his apartment with a rat! May be there was someone protecting the rodents, as the manager had yet to get back to him.
Either that or the old fashioned cloth ear epidemic had struck again. He would see how well that stood up against Rent Day. His rental agreement specifically stated that all complaints to the manager would be answered promptly and dealt with. Ignoring was not, by legal definition, a response.
Mohinder was dragged out of his musings by something hard hitting him in the back.
Crying out, he went sliding across the ice and pavement. He came to a curling stop beside the remains of his grocery bag and its contents. Groaning, he wiped bits of snow and dirt from his face.
Mohinder tried to sit up, but a boot to his chest kicked him on to his back. The breath was driven from his lungs, leaving him gasping and seeing spots. Pain blossomed bright and sudden through out his body, bringing tears to his eyes. Unsure of what had happened, he tried to see what was going on.
A figure stood above him. Dark and brandishing a blade, the man grinned from behind silver shades. "Now, here's how this is going to go down. You'r..." his last word was cut off by a cry of intense rage as he was thrust forward.
Looking down, the man saw the sharp end of a piece of rebar sticking from his chest. Six inches poked out from the center. Hand slowly coming up to touch the metal pole, his fingers came away drenched in dark red. His face twitched as he sank to his knees. Falling over, he began to whimper.
Standing just behind where the man had been, another man stared down upon his handiwork with wide eyes. Pale and unshaven, he had a wild look about him. Long, dark hair cascaded over his eyes, further increasing the primitive appearance. Breathing heavily, he looked to the sky.
When, after several minutes, he did nothing further, Mohinder came back to his senses. The horror of what had just happened hit him like a tonne of bricks. Sitting up, he clutched at his sore chest, knowing there would be a bruise there later. Right now, he needed to get his groceries home before the police came.
Speaking of which, Mohinder glanced about to see if anyone had called them. It was then he realized that there was no one about. The time was late, but there were usually people about, even in the alleys. Given the low class neighborhood, there should be vagrants about.
He cast a glanced back to the man who had saved him. Apparently there were vagrants. Violent, homicidal ones.
Gathering the groceries out of the snow, Mohinder stuffed them in one sack, pocketing the cans. That done, he eased himself up off the ground. His legs were shaky, making his chest hurt, but he remained standing.
Mohinder glared down upon the now dead attacker. The rebar had more than likely pierced his heart. His savior had very good aim. Thinking of him had Mohinder turning back to the man.
He was young looking, even with all the facial hair. Probably a few years younger than himself. Staring up at the sky, he continued to blink unfocused eyes.
Examining him, Mohinder didn't think it was drugs. There weren't any of the usual signs of abuse. Aside from bad hygiene and torn clothing, he looked healthy. Most like a mental patient, having gone off his medication.
Mohinder snapped his fingers. This drew the stranger's attention.
Blinking, the man focused on the source of the noise. Finding Mohinder, he gave him a brilliant smile. "Hello."
A part of Mohinder told him to just go. There would only be trouble if he remained. Still, he wanted to do the right thing. "You saved my life."
"I know." The stranger glared down at the dead man. "You're welcome."
He wasn't sure to which of them he meant. Before he could ask, a siren split the freezing night air. Mohinder knew it was crazy, but he didn't think the man should suffer for doing the right thing. Grabbing the stranger's hand, Mohinder tugged on it gently. "Come with me."
Nodding, the man allowed Mohinder to lead them away. "Where are we going?"
"To my place, it's safe there." Ducking out of the alley, Mohinder did a quick check before leading the man on to the street. Moving at a more reserved pace, he crossed the street and continued on.
Following along, hand still clutching Mohinder's, the stranger continued to smile.
Letting himself in to the building, Mohinder's thoughts were racing. The very notion of bringing home a complete stranger was in itself, completely insane. There were just some things one did not do. Hell, he never trusted even those he knew from work with his home address, let alone invited them up.
Yet, he wasn't thinking straight. There was no other explanation for it. Like it mattered much since he had nearly died just twenty minutes before. Pausing on the steps to the first landing, Mohinder had to lean against the wall.
"Oh dear god." Resting his head against the wall, he released the stranger's hand. It had really happened, he had nearly died. Some lunatic with a four inch blade nearly killed him! Strangely, the only thing that came to mind was his mother's warning that this might happen.
Snickering, he balled his fist. He hit at the wall ineffectually, alternating between banging it and his head. "Stupid!" Mohinder should have known, he had been living in the city long enough to know that shit happened every day.
His self flagellation was suddenly silenced by a hand upon his shoulder. First using his eyes, he looked down upon the fingers. Then, he turned his entire head to see them. Glancing over his shoulder, Mohinder found the stranger watching him with a sad expression.
Wiping at his face, Mohinder tried to offer him a reassuring smile. After all, it wasn't his fault that he had been stupid. That laid entirely at Mohinder's feet. Unfortunately, all he could manage was a bitter expression. "I am sorry, this has been a little trying."
"It's okay. I used to fight with my brother. He's dead." He moved his hand from Mohinder's shoulder to the center of his back. Patting him twice, he let it rest there. "One day this will only be a dream too."
Staring at him, Mohinder felt bereft of even the sick dread. All he had left in him were the remains of lost sorrow. His heart twinged, making itself known. There had to be more than this. Reaching out with a shaky hand, he clasped the stranger on the shoulder. "Come on."
"All right." Nodding, the man offered up his hand again.
Mohinder felt a little foolish. Half smiling, he accepted the hand. Tugging gently, he started to lead the way up to his apartment.
On the stairs, he began mentally counting down the steps to his apartment. Ten per case, twenty between each floor. He lived on the forth floor, which meant there were sixty stairs to climb. At fifty-one, he glanced up to the floor door.
There was still no lock, only a hole where the dead bolt had been. So much for the tenant's association's lists of demands. Just another reason to hold back his rent. Feeling his already erratic emotions swinging towards pissy, Mohinder growled to himself.
The stranger squeezed his hand in an attempt to comfort him. Following Mohinder in to the hallway, he glanced idly about the doors. "It's just as I remember."
"Hmm?" Glancing over his shoulder, Mohinder raised an eyebrow in question at the man.
He just smiled.
In keeping with the feeling that this was a bad idea, an unsettling in his gut told Mohinder that something was really off. The sooner he got rid of the man, the better off he would be. Viciously tamping down these feelings, he pressed on to his door.
Shutting the door behind him, Mohinder watched his guest walk about the small apartment. The light from 'Mohinder's' tank and the lamp in the corner were the only illumination in the apartment. "It's not much, but it's home. I'm afraid it would cost too much to ship most of my possessions from India, so I am bereft of everything but what my father left me."
"There is no need to apologize." Stopping by the aquarium, the man bent down to examine the lizard. "We all live in sand castles, only the tide determines how long we stay." Reaching up, he tapped gently at the glass. "I used to live on Park Avenue."
"Where do you live now?" Mohinder couldn't say what kept him at the door. He knew it was best not to get between a crazy person and a viable exit unless you were prepared to fight.
Pausing, the man looked over his shoulder towards Mohinder. A slight twitching of his lips was the only sign that he was smiling. "A sand castle."
"Of course, it's so obvious. I can't understand why I didn't think of it before." With a sigh, he pushed off the door. There were plenty of other ways to die. Blocking the exit wasn't one he wanted to try. Besides, his pizzas were starting to defrost.
Let the crazy man play with his lizard. The pizzas were broken in a couple places, one even all the way through. Didn't matter, they would taste the same when cooked. Putting them in the ancient freezer, he put the salad and bags of dried fruit in the fridge. The bread when in the tupperwear box on the counter.
After pulling out the cans of soup from his pockets, he examined them for damage. He snorted when he found them unharmed. Not even the labels were smeared. The cans went on the small shelf next to old boxes of some hamburger helper dinners. They had been in the apartment for the past four months, would probably still be when he moved out.
Apparently, his father had given up the taboo against meat too. This didn't surprise him, as the man had clearly lost his mind by the end.
Little green men indeed.
It was no wonder he had been working as a Taxi driver. Not that he himself was much better. But, at least he still had a reputation to go back to, when he wanted it. When he got over his current 'phase'. That was how his mother called it, not that she knew any better.
A snort was his usual response. Now was no different. Snickering, Mohinder started to look about the cabinets for something that looked appealing.
"Do you like living here, Mohinder?"
"It's fine." Mohinder froze. Turning slowly, he tried to keep the surprise off his face. Finding the man still next to the tank, he swallowed. "How did you know my name?"
Facing Mohinder, the stranger held the lizard across his chest. He was busy scratching at its chin. "You're Mohinder?"
"Yes, you asked me..." He glanced over to the light. Taped to the Formica top was a yellow piece of paper. Mohinder. His father had named the damned lizard Mohinder. Snorting with relief, he felt his cheeks heat up. "Right, the lizard. I'm sorry."
"That's okay." Facing the lizard again, the stranger went back to scratching it along the belly. "I bet he really would have freaked had I called him Chandra again."
The embarrassed humor slipped from Mohinder's face. A chill went down his spine. "Who are you?" As he spoke, he began to back towards the knife drawer.
"Peter Petrelli." Sighing, the man reached over to place the lizard back in the tank. After he set the lizard on the rock, he began to stroke its back. "I used to have a nursing job with a hospice. Of course, my brother was elected to Congress once upon a time too."
"Nathan Petrelli," Mohinder whispered, suddenly horrified. He had heard about that, read the stories in the paper, just like every other person in New York. "You're Peter Petrelli! You shot your brother!"
"I shot a man, he wasn't my brother." Standing up, Peter spun to face Mohinder. Any sign of mental illness was suddenly gone. Aside from the shabby clothing, he looked like any normal person on the street. He pushed the hair from his face behind an ear. "I need your help, Mohinder."
Having reached the knife drawer, Mohinder quickly grabbed the handle of the first blade. Jerking it out of the drawer, he brought it to bare in front of himself. The serrated edge of the bread knife glistened in the street light flooding in through the kitchen windows. "Stay back, I will defend myself!"
"From what, a French loaf?" Snickering, Peter's expression was bitter. "Now that you know who I am, there is no sense in delaying. Your father's theories are correct, Mohinder."
"Is that a fact?" Reaching behind him, Mohinder came up with a better knife. Gripping the handle, he brandished the large cutting knife. "Get out of my apartment. I am going to call the police right now!"
"That's not a smart idea." Taking a step towards him, Peter held up his hands. "They're in on it, even if they don't know it."
"On what?" He eyed the phone. Another step and he would be upon it. Swallowing, he glanced looked quickly back to Peter. "This is your last chance."
"Yes, you are." Reaching in to his jacket, Peter grabbed something. Holding it aloft, he pointed it at Mohinder and took aim. "I can't let you turn me in."
Mohinder cackled. "You are mad."
"I wish I were, my brother might still be alive." Pulling back the hammer, he cocked the gun. "Step away from the phone and put the knives down."
"You'll have to shoot me." Mohinder prayed for all he was worth that Peter was bluffing. He knew the man was dangerous, his instincts had told him from the start. Why in hell had he brought him home with him.
"That won't be necessary." Raising his other hand, Peter pointed two fingers at Mohinder. He twitched them left, then right. A second later, he lowered the gun.
Mohinder continued to stare at him with wide eyes. What the hell was that about?
Going still, Peter smiled at him. His glazed look had returned.
Just to be safe, Mohinder remained where he was, standing stalk still. After a full minute, he carefully edged the last step to the phone. Reaching behind him, he set the bread knife down. Then, just as slowly, he grabbed the phone and dialed nine, one, one.
Lost in his own thoughts, Peter continued blinking off in to thin air.
"Nine, one, one, emergency operator. How may I help you?"
He felt almost sick with relief. Clearing his throat, Mohinder licked his dry lips. "Yes, I have a madman in my apartment. He has threatened to shoot me with his gun."
"All right, hold on. I have your location."
"Please hurry." Mohinder kept his voice low in the hope of preventing Peter from being woken from his fantasy. "He says his name is Peter Petrelli."
"All right, sir, two units have been dispatched to your..." the line went dead.
Eyes nearly popping from their sockets, Mohinder looked at the receiver. The cord was now missing. Moving his head slowly, he found a gun pointed directly in his face.
"I told you not to do it." Clicking the hammer, Peter stared down the end of the barrel at him. "You didn't listen."
"Time to wake up."
Shivering, Mohinder curled on his side. His head hurt and his stomach felt like it was threatening to rebel. He tried to remember where he was, until he realized he couldn't remember leaving his apartment. It was then he recalled what had happened.
Opening his eyes, he found a familiar figure kneeling beside him. Mohinder raised his free hand to his forehead. A wrapping of gauze covered what felt like to be a nasty gash.
Glancing down, Mohinder found out why he hadn't been able to use his other hand. Handcuffed to the metal frame of the bed he was laying on, he tried to move. The range of his freedom was limited to the length of the bed rail. "Why have you brought me here?"
"You need to listen." Rubbing at his forehead, Peter scowled. "There isn't much time, they'll be coming for me soon."
"The police know where we are?" Mohinder couldn't keep the hope from his voice. There was just too much stress and not enough will left in him.
"No." Peter shook his head. "The others. They'll know I'm missing and come searching. When they do, it won't be hard for them to find me."
That sounded really bad for Peter. He hoped these others were real, so they could handle this lunatic and get him free. Still, until they arrived, Mohinder had to worry about his own skin. The best way to do that was humor him. "Why do they want to capture you?"
"I'm one of them. That's all the justification they need." He sounded bitter, like it was an old argument. His lip twitched as he shook the hair from his face. "They are trying to take over the world, Mohinder. Your father found this out. One of them killed him before he could expose them."
"You will leave my father out of this!" Sitting up, Mohinder felt his suppressed rage lash out. Ever since his father's death, there had been a faceless entity he had been angry with. Peter's actions were only adding fuel to that fire.
"Why? He has everything to do with why we are here!" Standing up, Peter gestured around them with wide arms.
It was then Mohinder noticed. They were in a poorly lit, ground floor apartment. The walls, floor, stairs, and support columns were all made of cement. Scattered over these were drawings, hundreds of them. On paper, on canvas, on sheets, even on the walls themselves, they covered every surface. "What is this place?"
"This is the center. Everything started here." Peter pointed to a spot on the floor in the center of the room. "Look at it!"
That did it! "No." Mohinder had had enough. His refusal seemed to set Peter off.
Storming towards him, Peter's hair fell back in to his face. He reached out to grab Mohinder by the collar. Half dragging him off the bed, he jerked him around to face the spot. "I said look at it! You will see! You will know."
Chuckling, Mohinder kept his eyes locked on Peter's now ruddy face. The belligerence was no longer scary. There was a very real chance he would die now and all he could do was sit there and laugh.
Face screwed up with disgust and rage, Peter shook Mohinder one last time. With a growl, he shoved the other man away. "Fine! Forget it!" Stepping back, he ran his hands through his hair. "It doesn't matter anyways, let them win."
"That's right, Peter, let your delusions win."
Both Peter and Mohinder whipped their heads around towards the new voice.
Standing in the doorway, she was dressed in a prim fashion. "Make this easy on all of us, give in to dreams and go back to sleep."
Swallowing, Peter tried to shake his head. Having difficulty controlling the shake, he stopped. "No."
"Yes." She took a single step in to the apartment.
Peter took a step back. He tried raising a hand to point at her, but this fell short. His entire body swayed. "No. I won't..."
"Sleep." Her voice took on a dreamy quality. "Everything will be all right when you close your eyes."
"Please." His breath hitched, eyes welling up with tears. "Please." Swaying again, he seemed to trip, falling to his hands and knees.
"Time to go to sleep, Peter." As she spoke, she took another step in to the room.
Taking one last breath, Peter dropped completely to the floor. He hit like an empty sack, the breath leaving his body in a single rush. Laying there, he sighed a last time. His eyes blinked, then started to glass over.
Mohinder could hardly believe his eyes. This couldn't be real. "What the hell just happened here?"
The woman turned to look at Mohinder, as if noticing him for the first time. Raising her eyebrows, she let a tiny smile pinch her lips. Snorting, she turned and walked back out.
It was then Mohinder realized the windows. He couldn't figure out why he hadn't before. Through them, only a thick fog was visible.
Mohinder blinked. The world around him started to grow hazy. On a whim, he looked over to Peter again. Much to his surprise, the man was no longer there. He wasn't any where in the apartment.
The world was dark. Not even the dim lighting was enough to keep the shadows at bay.
His head feeling heavy, Mohinder cast a quick look to the center of the room, where Peter had bade him. In the center of the floor was a large mural. Fading quickly in the dim light, he could make out something, just barely...
Shaking his head, Mohinder blinked.
In his hand was a can of soup, single serving. There was something about it, very familiar. Frowning, he put the can back on the shelf. He no longer felt like having it.
Glancing down at the basket in his hand, he found several bags of dried fruit. He suddenly no longer felt like buying them. Or anything else for that matter. Walking back the short distance, he put the fruit on the rack.
Carrying the basket to the front of the store, he slipped it back in the stack of them. A cleared throat over to his right drew his attention. Looking up, Mohinder found Merwa smiling at him. He started to return it, then stopped. Frowning, he nearly backed up a step.
It wasn't Merwa.
The woman looked like her. Wore the same clothing, had the same earrings. She even smiled like Merwa did, right down to the small dimple in the corner of her cheek. But, it was very clear, this woman was not Merwa.
He must have been staring too long, because she started to lose her smile.
A hand went up to check her hair. "What?" She snickered self consciously. "Do I have something in my teeth?"
"No. You like fine." Unable to break his gaze away, Mohinder headed for the door. Her voice brought him up short.
"You're not going to buy anything?"
"No. I've changed my mind." Then he dashed out before she could say anything else.
Hands deep in his pockets, Mohinder tried to keep his head down. Every so often, he would glance up as he passed people. Most of them were real, they felt it and smelled it.
Others, like the rich woman clutching her bag as he passed, she was fake. Something about her, aura was the only word he could think of, it just felt false. Like the image she was trying to portray was not her own.
He had balked at her, nearly throwing himself in front of a late night driver. Mohinder felt like he was losing his mind. There was definitely something wrong with the world around him. Images on billboards now felt fake. A woman's face on a magazine cover had made his skin crawl.
He wanted to shout at people, point to the fake ones. They weren't real, they didn't exist. It didn't make sense, this was all going very wrong. Stumbling to avoid another false person, he caught himself on a public phone.
Mohinder decided to rest there, letting his eyes close. His heart was racing a mile a minute threatening to kill him if he didn't calm down. This was exacerbated by the sudden ringing of the phone.
Jumping back, he held his hands up to ward off the device. Upon realizing how silly he looked, Mohinder stumbled back to the phone. The moment he got close enough to touch it, the phone rang again. He looked about him, trying to locate whom it might be ringing for.
Finding no one, he took another step towards the phone. He reached out and picked up the receiver. Clearing his throat, he held the speaker up to his ear. "Hello?"
"Peter?" Mohinder stared at the receiver in shock. He quickly put it back to his ear, searching the buildings for a window where someone might be watching him. None of them had any lights on in a window that he could see through clearly. "Where are you?"
"It doesn't matter. Listen closely."
"No! You listen!" Clenching his fist around the phone, Mohinder felt it creak in his grip. "I don't know what you have done to me, nor care what little games you're involved in, but leave me out of it. I do not care for your sick ideas or humor. I will report you to the police if you come near me again. Am I making myself clear?"
"They're all around you." The voice came over the line in a whisper, but echoed in the night.
The hair on the back of Mohinder's neck stood up on end. Turning around slowly, he expected to find Peter. What he found were two kids.
The smaller of the two held up a cap gun. Pointing it at Mohinder, he pulled the trigger. Two flashes appeared as the hammers smashed the caps. The smell of sulfur filled the air. "You're dead."
Clutching the phone, Mohinder held on to it for dear life. They weren't real. "What is happening to me?"
"You are finally seeing." Peter sounded almost apologetic. "I'm sorry, but it was the only way."
Mohinder went back to scanning the night. "Where are you?"
"I can't protect you any more."
"This doesn't make any sense! What are you doing?" He felt like slamming the phone down. The frustration of everything was finally getting to him and he couldn't take it any more.
"They used to say the greatest threat came from within. That we were our own worst enemy. That's all changed now." The line started to crack. "Look up, Mohinder, that's where they'll come from. Chandra was right about that."
A chill went down Mohinder's spine. Numb, he held out the phone with a shaking hand to hang it up. Glancing about him, he wandered down the street. His apartment wasn't far.
The lights were off. Something about them irritated his ears.
Wrapped in the blanket, Mohinder flipped through the channels. They were on every network. Watching the cameras, speaking out to the public. Not a single one of them were real.
He could tell.
"Tonight's meteor shower promises to be a spectacular event."
"That's right, Sharon. If you are anywhere within the northern hemisphere tonight, you are in a for a spectacular treat. From midnight until around one in the morning, a light display the likes of which have never been seen will be most visible."
"Wow! Sounds like fun."
Mohinder turned off the set.