Character(s): Mohinder and Peter
Prompt: Post V4, Mohinder and Peter try to form a normal friendship
Word Count: 1358
Author's Notes: contains references to season 3... thank you to babykid528 for her lightning fast beta
Summary: Four months after the events in season 3, Mohinder reaches out to Peter
..........................Peter hi....... this is Mohinder.... BEEP.
Hello Peter..... Are you free?.... to meet I mean. This is Mohinder.... BEEP.
Hi Peter, it's Mohinder... I'm in town for a few days and wanted to know if we could meet. Perhaps lunch? I'm staying in my old apartment... BEEP.
Peter stared at his phone as the voicemails ended. He sighed, pressing seven to erase them, and dropped the phone back into its cradle. He moved farther into his apartment, tossing his duffel on to the couch and collapsing next to it. He dragged his hands over his face and groaned, dropping his head back against the wall.
In the past four months his life had done a complete 180. He woke up, went to work, and came home. Sundays he had dinner with his family, and Thursdays he met up with Nathan for lunch. It wasn't quite the life he'd had before but it was close. It was... normal.
It was boring.
He hadn't spoken to any of the others since that night in Coyote Sands. Everyone had scattered to the four winds and returned to their lives. His mother refused to talk about anything regarding the past, and Nathan... well Nathan was seeming more and more out of it as the days passed. Peter avoided talking about anything remotely stressful around his brother. He needed someone to talk to, someone who could remind him that past two years hadn't been a product of his imagination.
But Mohinder? Who'd switched sides more times than he could remember? Who'd created the damn serum for his father, and then helped turn them all over to the government? Sure Nathan had done things like that too but Nathan was family. Mohinder was only a friend. Had been a friend. Sort of a friend? Had they really ever been friends? Between all the betrayals and running for their lives, Peter wasn't actually sure. But it'd be nice to have a friend who knew what he'd... they'd been through.
He found himself across the room, holding the phone and dialing before he could think anymore. He was startled when the phone picked up. "Oh hey, Mohinder? Yeah, it's Peter. Sure lunch sounds great..."
Mohinder fidgeted with his napkin as he waited in the small deli. He wasn't sure what had possessed him to call Peter; the first time he'd dialed the number before he even knew what to say, resulting in a quick hang up and a lot of self cursing. Finally he'd worked up the nerve to call again, and finally left a coherent message for Peter. Four months ago he couldn't even look Peter in the eye after everything he'd done, but now he thought he could. He hoped they could rebuild the small friendship they had started back before everything had gone insane. He missed having friends.
He jumped to his feet as Peter entered the deli, looking around as he pulled off his coat. "Peter!" he called. "Over here!"
Peter looked up at his name and nodded, making his way around the tables to join Mohinder. He stopped in front of him, dropping his coat on a chair. They stood awkwardly for a moment. Their eyes met and both broke into nervous laughter. Peter stuck his hand out for Mohinder to shake. "Good to see you Mohinder."
Mohinder shook it quickly and nodded his head as they slid into their seats. "Good to see you too Peter. Thank you for calling me back."
Peter shrugged, crossing his arms and leaning his elbows on the table. "It was nothing. It's good to see someone from, before, you know?"
Mohinder frowned slightly. "Do you not see your mother and brother?"
"Well yeah, but we don't talk about powers or what happened." Peter shook his head. "I think Mom likes to pretend nothing happened."
"There are times too, when I like to pretend nothing ever happened. That is normal, is it not?"
Peter laughed slightly. "Yeah I guess."
They fell silent, perusing their menus and risking quick glances at each other. Finally, after the waiter had taken their orders and menus, they broke the silence.
"So how's Mol-"
"Peter, I'm sorry."
Peter broke off his question to stare at Mohinder.
"I am. Sorry for working for you father, sorry for becoming obsessed with my research..." Mohinder sighed. "I'm sorry for a lot of things."
Peter studied Mohinder thoughtfully for a moment, before popping a chip in his mouth. "So how's Molly?"
Mohinder blinked in surprise and stuttered, "What? I mean... Molly? Oh, she's, well..." He stopped and took a breath. "Molly is well. She is still with my mother in India, though we talk often."
"You're not in India?"
Mohinder shook his head, taking a sip of his water. "No, I've been in Japan for the past few months. I've been doing research for Hiro, trying to discover why his power is killing him."
Peter's face softened into a fond smile as he remembered Hiro and Ando. "How's he doing?"
"Passable. As long as he doesn't use his powers. But he always finds a reason."
"Hiro always tried to do what was best for everyone else. Not himself."
Mohinder winced; tried to tell himself he was imagining the pointed barb in Peter's words. "Yes well, it's killing him. Faster, I fear, than I can find a cure."
Peter made a mental note to call Japan, promising himself that he'd actually make the call. He's always liked Hiro, even when their goals hadn't aligned.
The silence grew again as their food was delivered. Peter focused on his sandwich, chewing thoughtfully. Mohinder ate his food slowly, mind racing, trying to decide how to restart the conversation. His eyes landed on Peter's jacket.
"You are working as an EMT?"
Peter looked up in surprise, then followed Mohinder's gaze to his jacket where "NY EMT" was emblazed across the back. "Yeah. I did it before, everything, and I liked it. I like to help people."
Mohinder smiled tightly. "You always have. Do you still believe you're meant to do more?"
Peter's face closed off, and Mohinder backpeddled quickly. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked. It's not my place."
Peter wanted to yell and scream Yes, yes I think we're meant for more! We're supposed to be heroes, we're supposed to change the world! But he didn't. Instead he sighed, shaking his head at Mohinder. "Don't apologize, it's fine. I like what I'm doing. It's.... (boring) normal."
"Yes, I understand. Perhaps this is what you are meant to do, saving one person at a time?" Mohinder asked.
Peter shrugged, finishing his sandwich. " (NO!) Maybe."
The silence grew again, stretching between them tightly. Abruptly Peter pushed back from the table. "I should go, I need to get back on shift..."
Mohinder jumped to his feet. "Of course, yes, I should be getting back as well."
Peter paused in collecting his jacket, turning to stare at Mohinder. "How long are you in New York for?"
"Just a few weeks. I came to collect some research that may be helpful in my work with Hiro."
Peter nodded. "We should have lunch again."
Mohinder gaped for a moment. Relief washed over him in waves. "That would be... great. Wonderful even."
Peter nodded again, turning away as he pulled his jacket on. Mohinder took a step after him. "Peter." He swallowed hard as Peter turned back to look at him. "I truly am sorry. For everything."
Peter smiled slightly. "I know. Thanks for lunch, I'll catch you next time."
Mohinder frowned slightly in confusion as Peter headed out of the deli before looking down at the bill and laughing to himself.
Hi Mohinder, it's Peter. I was thinking the new Italian place that just opened in the Village for Tuesday before you leave. Give me a call.
Mohinder erased the message on his phone as he moved around the apartment. He dropped into his chair behind the desk, tapping a few buttons to shut his laptop down. He leaned back, dialing his phone quickly.
"Peter? Italian sounds great. My plane doesn't leave until five so we should have plenty of time..."