"I didn't take you for the type, Suresh."
"Whatever do you mean?"
"Well." Noah raised his shoulder in a movement so slight it could hardly be called a shrug. Fabric fluttered. "Scientists, I've observed, are methodical men. Not exactly… prone to such displays."
Mohinder's grin was very self-satisfied; he tightened his thighs around Noah's waist. "Have I actually managed to catch the great Noah Bennet off-guard? You'll have to excuse me; I'd like to note this momentous occasion in my records."
Noah's lips twitched. "My training didn't involve preparation for assault with a deadly libido, Suresh." He fingered the torn remains of a once immaculate dress shirt that was now mere tatters on his torso. "You could have at least left the buttons," he said dryly.
"How ever shall I make it up to you?" Mohinder's tongue echoed the question in a hot stripe up Noah's neck.
Noah raised his eyebrows. "I'm sure you'll find a way, Suresh." He hummed under his breath. "You always do."
She's all curves and motion and softness against him; under her breath she whispers his name, quiet at first, but escalating with each stroke of his hips against hers, each progressive thrust. She even feels beautiful, silken strength gripping him, her leg wrapped around his waist and pulling him in closer and closer. He shudders into her, faster, faster, kissing her until he doesn't know up from down, and when she says his name in a breathless release he loses himself utterly, white spots dotting his vision and every inch of skin and muscle tensing and crying out Maya, Maya, Maya.
"You… Peter, you didn't."
Peter grins, holding out his arms. "I did. Don't you recognize it?"
"Of course I do. I simply can't believe that you would go to all this trouble. I can't imagine how much it cost." Mohinder looks appalled.
"Mohinder." Peter tilts his head, hair falling into his eyes in a way he knows Mohinder can't resist. "It's romantic."
He rolls his eyes once, but relents with a smile. "It's ours for the entire day, then?"
"The entire day." Peter hooks his thumbs through Mohinder's belt loops, planting his feet wide and pulling Mohinder closer. "So what do you think we should do with it?"
"You were the one who insisted on commemorating our anniversary." He slides a hand up Peter's shirt. "It falls to you to plan the day's entertainments."
"In that case, Dr. Suresh," Peter says, walking backwards until he's leaning against the body of Mohinder's old cab, "I think there's a backseat right here with your name on it."
Mohinder watches the man take his drink with more than a little envy.
Three months they've been here, and Hiro still has no idea how to get them home.
Mohinder would kill for a good, hard dose of alcohol just now, though he's not a drinker. He just needs something to take the edge off; the latest discussion (read: argument) about temporal mechanics he had with Hiro didn't help matters, much. He gets more and more confused every time Hiro starts explaining the principle functions of his power.
He glances back at the man in the black mask, wondering how he intends to have his drink without removing it.
"What?" The man suddenly says, turning the entirety of his head and torso to look at Mohinder; he can almost sense a glare coming from behind the black specter. The man speaks more, but Mohinder only catches the odd word here and there from the stray bits of Japanese he's picked up; he assumes the gist of it is "what do you want?"
"I just want to go home," Mohinder mutters under his breath, looking down into his ceramic glass of water and hoping the man won't think to put that sword of his to use. The last thing he needs right now is to get Hiro embroiled in a fight to defend his honor.
"I say—did you just speak English?"
Mohinder's neck whiplashes back around instantly. There's no one else seated near them; the question definitely originated from the masked stranger.
"I—yes, I did. I wasn't aware there were any other English-speakers here."
The stranger lifts his hand and takes off his mask, revealing a most definitively non-native face. "As far I knew, there were not. You, my friend, are the first I have encountered in all my years here."
"I'm not… around from here. It's been quite the adjustment for me." Mohinder gestures at his face. "I'm afraid I don't blend in very well."
"I quite know the feeling. The mask I wear is not just for intimidation." The stranger extends his hand, laden with all sorts of protective gear. "Takezo Kensei."
"Mohinder Suresh," he says, clasping firmly.
"Mohinder." Kensei claps him on the back. "It is a damn pleasure to make your acquaintance. Now—what can I get you to drink?"
Mohinder shrugs. "Whatever you're having."
When Mohinder's drink is poured, Kensei smiles broadly, holding his own aloft. "To new friendships," he toasts, watching Mohinder steadily.
"New friendships," Mohinder agrees, tapping their ceramic glasses together, and flushes as much from the wine as Kensei's curious and blatantly warm stare.
"I'm surprised they would let you come in here alone," Adam comments idly as Mohinder slides the needle into his vein.
"And why is that?" Mohinder depresses the liquid at an incremental pace, shooting Adam one of his patented I merely ask questions to humor you expression.
Adam leans forward, breath brushing Mohinder's earlobe. "I have, in the past, been known to make unwholesome advances on the attractive doctors."
Mohinder doesn't, as might be expected, flinch away. "Is that so, Mr. Monroe?"
"If you don't remove that needle, you will very soon find out."
Mohinder shifts his face perceptibly closer to Adam's. "Well, if it's comfortable where it is, then who am I to dislodge it?"
Adam's lips curve into a smile that reflects the arc of Mohinder's ear; he puts his hand under Mohinder's shirt, index and middle finger advancing up the length of Mohinder's spine. It evinces a satisfying tremulous and tightening response in the warm skin.
"Your logic is impeccable, Dr. Suresh." He murmurs, fingers gripped at the base of Mohinder's neck. "I anticipate that you and I shall get along very well."
"You don't have to worry about hurting me, you know," Niki said with a touch of ironic amusement, sliding her palm down his back, coming to rest at the small.
"I'm sorry." His forehead dropped to hers. "That was rather stupid presumption on my part. I wasn't sure, with the medications they have you on…"
"I'm fine." The back of her calf slid against his. "And I can show you exactly how fine, if you'd let me." Her smirk, lips pursed in amusement, issued a challenge.
Mohinder met her eyes, cupping her face, his thumb tracing her cheekbone. His smile grew at a gentle incline.
"By all means," he said, moving his palm down her side, around the swell of her hip and into the soft warmth inside her thighs. "Please do."
Her fingers dug into the expanding column of his ribs, legs locking around his waist, and in a fast and tumbling move, she had him flipped onto his back, and pinned that arm that wasn't between her legs above his head.
"I'll try not to hurt you," she said with a promising grind of her hips downward.
"Now that's more like it," she said, cocky grin on her face as she watched him surge against the restraints. "Little Niki spoiled you. I won't make that mistake."
"Get away from me, you monster," he said, hips bucking into the air as he heaved his whole body in an effort to break the padded cuffs.
"Since you asked so nicely."
She grabbed the side metallic railing and straddled the bed, slamming him back down against the mattress.
"Playtime," she purred, tearing his clothes to shreds.
The noise of the shower is loud, loud enough to cover the scritch-scratch of their skin, but Mohinder knows the sound well enough by that he can pick it out, even beneath the pound of the water, and seeks to, because it's a kind of eroticism unto itself, to know the sound of his body against another's so well that he can recognize the unique rhythm of their friction and sound.
It isn't the same, and both of them know it: the ghost of another person between them doesn't make him real again, doesn't bring him back to life in their mutual grief. Nathan kisses him like he wants to take, and Mohinder kisses him back like he wants to be taken. Nathan's thrusts are long, stuttering apologies that Mohinder hears, and echoes in every muscle that meets them.
"I've never done this before." Ando gulps a little, his eyes very wide and deceptively innocent.
"Of course." Mohinder plays along with the lie, thinking of how many times he's caught Ando sitting in front of the window with the sword in his laps, watching the sky as if his friend will fall out of it at any moment.
"This is just practice. For when he gets back."
Mohinder nods, understanding perfectly. "You will give him a true hero's welcome."
"So you're the one Thompson's got his panties all in a twist over."
Mohinder steps back from the microscope, startled by the disembodied declaration. "Excuse me?"
A woman saunters out of the shadows of the lab, cat-like, her black combat boots making surprisingly little sound on the linoleum floor.
"He keeps going on and on about this scientist who's going to 'save the Company,' the big wet dream we've all been waiting for. So I decided to come by and check you out for myself."
Mohinder straightened his lab coat, ahem-ing a little at the back of his throat. "Here I am. Now, if you're finished—"
She moves fast—faster than seems possible—and grabs him by his white collar. "Actually, Doctor, I'm just getting started."
And the way she kisses him leaves absolutely no doubt as to the veracity of her statement.
Sweat, under normal circumstances, is not one of Mohinder's favorite bodily fluids. He hates the sensation of clothes clinging and bunching in places they aren't supposed to, the regrettable sheen on his forehead and neck that surely makes him look oiled playboy.
But he's coming to appreciate its finer points. It gathers in the crooks of his elbows, coats his chest; he bites into the join of Eden's neck and shoulder and tastes salt and skin, the heat of the summer in the palette of her curves. She glides her hands all along him, tracing wet patterns, and the friction is smooth, liquid, easy to speed up, so easy to slide, slide, slide against her and into her.
Afterwards, they sprawl on his couch in a panting mess, hair tousled and damp, sated.
"May your apartment never have air conditioning, Mohinder," Eden says, licking along his jawline with laugh.
You are not my angel, Sylar's fingerprints bruising into his neck write, you are not better than me.
But you're everything I need, Gabriel's cheek to Mohinder's heartbeat says, you're the only one who can understand.
I could have loved you, Zane whispers, slipping his t-shirt against the headrest of the car seat to cushion Mohinder as he sleeps. We could have had it all.
For weeks, Alejandro notices but says nothing. He thinks it would be ungrateful, rude to this man who's given them shelter, who's working so hard to help Maya.
But one afternoon he can't take it any more, and when Maya steps into the other room for the scans, he approaches the doctor.
"What are your intentions toward my sister?" He asks, arms crossed over his chest, prepared to stand his ground if necessary. He won't back down until he has an answer.
Mohinder's brow furrows as he watches the readouts. "Your sister?" He says absently. "I'm going to do everything in my power to find a cure for her condition, naturally."
"No—your intentions, Dr. Suresh. You cannot look at her the way you do and mean nothing by it."
Mohinder straightens up, turning a knob; the machine's beeps level out. He's smirking, dark curls falling over his forehead just above his warm brown eyes.
"If you're referring to, the, ah, rather extended stares that have been occurring in the last week…"
"…those were directed at you." Mohinder takes a step closer, placing two fingers on Alejandro's crossed arm, just above his wrist, like a physical anchor to cement the statement.
"You." Mohinder's smirk grows into a large but gentle smile. "And I assure you, Alejandro, that my intentions are completely honorable."
Nathan stumbled backwards, knocking over a stack of research papers, looking wildly around Mohinder's apartment. "How—how the hell am I here?"
Mohinder dropped the paper he'd been holding, eyes widening with shock at Nathan's sudden appearance. "Nathan? I didn't even hear you come in. Are you all right?" Mohinder came forward, grabbing Nathan below the elbows to steady him.
"I… you…this can't be…" Nathan's face was like a flat plain of dried mud, just on the verge of cracking into a thousand patterned splinters.
"It's all right, Nathan." Mohinder rubbed his hands up and down Nathan's arms. "It's all right."
Instead of cracking, the angles smoothed in dawning relief, and he grabbed Mohinder's face in both his hands, laughing, rusty and unused, as if he'd gotten out of practice.
"Jesus. You couldn't be more right." Nathan said, smiling a smile that put even his politician's grin to shame, one that lit him from within. He pulled Mohinder into a crushing hug, burying his face in Mohinder's neck. "I'm home, Mohinder. I'm home."
Steady as faith, you told him, and it was truth. His blood moves through you as he grips against your hipbone, and you feel alive, restored in every sinew and breath and bone. His touch heals other rifts, things you have long wished you could forget; the blank faces dissipate with his low groans in your ear and you are, for this moment at least, in the present, held by this man who does not fear the touch of your hand.