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28 April 2008 @ 11:22 pm
Heroes Fic: Some Nights  
Written for remixredux08 2008 Ficathon - Remix of Some Days by puckkit
Crossposted to heroes_fic

Title: Some Nights
Pairing/Characters: Mohinder
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: Sometimes Mohinder gets homesick for Chennai
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Other comments are housed at remixredux08.

Some nights Mohinder gets homesick.

He catches a whiff of curry on the air as his cab turns a corner and the streets of Chennai play out before him for a second instead of the gritty, dark unfriendliness of New York City - a place bereft of the bright colors that infuse everyday life in India. He misses the rich yellows and lively reds of the marketplace vendors, but all he gets here are traffic lights and stop signs.

As he waits for a fare he journeys back in his mind, seeking the comfort of an ordinary day. He lectures to a classroom of distracted grad students - half listening, half daydreaming in the somniferous afternoon heat. He discusses theories walking in the university hallways with fellow genetics professors, always expounding on how his father's research has merit, has worth, has meaning. Those discussions would be manna to him now despite their dissenting opinions. He craves the presence of even one soul who understands the momentous undertaking before him, but the one who could truly understand is the one whose absence brought him here. Ironic how the very project that could have brought them together is now how his father communicates to him from beyond the grave - a voice made of code and notes and string on a map.

Yes, he had friends once upon a time, but now they seem more myth than reality - their infrequent emails growing shorter and less personal with each delayed response to his updates. He's become the pariah his father was - in a caste by himself, disdained by nonbelievers or to be more precise they believe him to be the heathen - parting from the religion of science into the realm of fantasy. If he could only show them a man who flies or a girl who heals from any wound... But such thoughts are folly. The work is all that matters, not his reputation. His father understood that and Mohinder... Mohinder has accepted this onus, this albatross, with full understanding of the cost.

He imagines Ketana laughing over a cup of chai, although his memories of her are diminishing with time. He remembers how she always pushed a lock of hair behind her ear, but can't seem to remember the perfume she always wore. Vanilla? Sandalwood? Sadly the Ketana in his mind is no match for the witty conversationalist in reality so his cheap imitation pales against the flesh and blood woman who is fast becoming only a figment of his fading memories. He thinks some times that he might never see her again and that phrase, having been imbued with new meaning since the sudden loss of his father, resonates with him almost enough to pick up the phone to call, but he knows what she'd say if he woke her in the middle of the night just to reassure himself he hasn't completely forgotten the sound of her voice.

He rubs his eyes, craving sleep, and pulls over in a rare parking space for a quick catnap. Exhausted, he drops off quickly despite the traffic noise all around him, shouts from the tenement floors above and the caterwaul of sirens in the distance.

He dreams the map as a living entity - brightly colored strings winding their way across disparate continents like serpents in search of apples. They beckon to him, leading him always a step behind his father, a step behind the special ones... A step behind a young girl skipping gaily in sandals, grinning with a huge smile filled with crooked teeth. She has a buoyant laugh that's both familiar and unheard yet completely infectious with joie de vivre. She calls out to him, impatient, yet he can never seem to catch up to her no matter how fast he runs. Cities rise up from the paper map fully formed with skyscrapers piercing the heavens, ripping rain from the clouds - rain that obscures the map, renders it a sodden unreadable pulp in his hands as he desperately tries to salvage what's left of his father's life's work. He scrambles to try to put it all back together again, but it disintegrates at his touch, slipping through his fingers as he frantically attempts to keep it all from falling apart.

He winds up on his knees in an alley in a downpour, all alone with empty hands: failed.

He wakes as a horn blares next to his taxi and straightens in his seat, massaging his aching neck and stretching his too tall too sore frame behind the wheel.

He shakes away thoughts of all he's left behind. He's not an esteemed faculty member anymore. He's a cab driver, trying to make ends meet in the big city like everyone else. He hates it - every moment of it - and he wants to go home, eat his mother's home cooking and settle down like she always told him he should.

But he can't.

Not now.

He has a purpose.

His future is his father's past, his mission written in blood before he was born and his place in the world is yet to be realized. There is much work to do and he's made his decision. There's no looking back now. History will one day lay its claim to Mohinder Suresh, but for that to happen he has to devote himself to the present and to the future of people he hasn't even met yet. They don't know who he is yet, but he assures himself of his importance, the importance of the task laid out before him. They are out there and he must find them. This is his duty. This is his raison d'etre and he must not waver.

Some nights are better than others. Some nights the rear-view mirror doesn't reflect back a son who failed his father - it just shows a man, tired but getting the job done. Some nights the gods give him a moment of peace - sleep without dreams, rest with true respite.

But most nights he just wants to go home.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on April 29th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
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