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Wish You Were Here

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Disclaimer: Heroes belongs to Kripke, NBC television; it is not mine.


We are so much of the time alone, he thought, lying under the covers of the motel room bed, awake as he tried to avoid counting the cracks in the plastered ceiling. Micah Sanderson knew he should get all the rest that he could manage because he and his father had an early morning start to be out on the road again, but could not sleep.

Light filtered in through the curtains and thought about getting up to stare out the window and look at the stars.

Scenes of how the last memory he had of his mother, is of his parents fighting, arguing really, and he while he knew that maybe his father had made the only decision that he could under the circumstances he still believed that they needed to go back and help her.

In the past few weeks Micah has noted distinct changes in her behavior, the sudden flashes when she caught her reflection in the mirror and the image that stared back at her was not the person he knew and loved. Something was quite obviously wrong, and he is observant and smart enough to pick up on those minute signals.

Micah thought about making a wish list, because he suddenly remembered the very first time his mother had taken him to see the mall Santa Claus when he was much younger, and his father had walked out his and his mother's life.

He could recall the framework house draped in garlands and decorations of green and red bunting, and ivy. He had been waiting in line with the other children, and then finally sitting in Santa's lap, and his mother snapping a photo as he told Santa what he wanted, aside from the asking for the usual building blocks, plush stuffed animals, and electronic gadgets, he had told Santa that all he wanted for Christmas was his family, back together again.

So when his father had come back into their lives, at first Micah thought it would be back to the way it was before. On the heels of that thought, he got out of bed, and crept past the other bed where his father slept, and crept across the carpeted room to the door without bothering to put on his sneakers. He went out and down the hallway to the exit, and then across the parking lot to where a lone payphone stood in its plastic casing.

A taped hand-written note had been tacked up to one side of the casing that read "out of order."

To Micah that presented no obstacle, stretching out one hand he reached inside the plastic casing of the phone, swiping his hand back and forth, and then took it out and picked up the phone and dialed his home number.

When his mother picked up on the other end of the line Micah felt several emotions sweep over him, relief to hear her voice, panic that he might get in trouble, and a slight tremor of fear, that when his mother answered he might not get her, but the other 'her' instead, the one who called herself Jessica.

"Jessica." That had been the one that had fought with his father and forced them to leave and hit the road. Micah thought he understood quite a bit about the situation, but there was a lot that he didn't, all he knew is that he wanted to be sure that she was all right, and he wanted to help her, no matter what kind of trouble she was in.

His conversation with his mother had been cut short when his father came out of the motel anxiously looking for him and then scolded him for running off in the middle of the night. While he understood why Micah still did not agree with what they were doing was the right thing to do.

One thing had stood out during the cross-country drive with his father, and their conversation about people with special gifts and heroes and what was expected of them. Heroes did not run away from the problems and troubles even when the problems seemed to be within their own family; heroes faced their troubles head-on, that was what made them so special.

So when he had run off to the bus station, with his backpack slung over his shoulder, he had convinced his father to go back and save his mother, no matter what happened after that. "Things will get better, you'll see; they just have to."

The next day, after a bright and early start Micah turned his father and asked, "You do have a plan for how we're going to save her, right?"

"Of course, kiddo, replied his father, "I just have to work out the kinks while we drive back, it's a work in progress."

"Okay, just as long as it's a good plan."

"Sometimes I wonder what I'd do without you, Micah. His father grinned and then reached down to tousle his son's hair. "You're one in a million, do you know that?"

"Thanks, Dad. Micah returned the grin. "You'll fill me in on the details of the plan on the way, right?"

"I wouldn't have it any other way, Micah. He grinned again. "You make a good wing-man. Now let's get going, we have a long way to go and daylight's wasting."

Micah got into the passenger side of the car and began buckling himself in while his father finished loading the remainder of their belongings into the trunk then coming came and into the driver's side. As they pulled out of the motel's parking lot his father reached over and offered him a wry grin, this one tinged with a little sadness. "I'm sorry I dragged you into this, kiddo. I think we both are, but we'll find a way to make it up to you, you'll see."

"Promise?" asked Micah with a slight catch in his voice.

"That's a promise."