2007-03-06: Lies and Lists

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif

Summary: Mohinder meets up with Mara to discuss the situation with Sylar.

Date It Happened: March 06, 2007

Lies and Lists


Lower Manhattan

Mohinder has called ahead at the station to check in with Mara. Despite Sylar's loss of powers, how badly he was beaten on top of being shot, the scientist can't exactly relax about the incarceration. Instead of meeting the detective inside the station, he agreed to meet her outside. Appointments were thankfully thin for the day, so it was no issue at all to move things around to make this time. Frankly, this is rather important to him. It's difficult to take it easy when he knows Sylar is capable of breaking loose.

Detective Damaris can be found almost a block and a half away from the police station, obviously placed to intercept Mohinder. She's leaning up against the side of a building near an alleyway, a menthol cigarette between the vee of her fingers. There are at least four more crushed out on the pavement by her feet. Her hands shake as she brings the cigarette to her lips with one and runs the fingers of the other through her hair. That shakiness has nothing to do with the cold.

Mohinder is bundled up against the cold with a heavy jacket and the blindingly colorful scarf of his wound around his neck. After hoofing it for several blocks, it's a relief when he approaches the designated meeting spot with Mara. "Officer Damaris?" he calls out in a cautious manner as he doesn't see her immediately. His eyes are sort of focused in the direction of the police station, as if he's looking through the walls, seeking out Sylar's presence.

"Over here," comes the quick reply as Mara pushes off of the wall, blowing a stream of smoke into the air over her head. "Thanks for meeting me. I couldn't be in that place any longer. It's like I can feel his eyes on me no matter where I am."

Mohinder tears his gaze off the station and heads in the direction of Mara's voice. "It's not a problem Officer Damaris. I completely understand how you feel." Shoulders hunched as he tries to ward off the chill, he notes the cigarette butts on the ground and the current one held by the officer. "I take it that holding him hasn't been entirely pleasant?"

"That's putting it mildly," Mara mutters as she takes another drag. "He is /obsessed/. I can't… I'm trying to keep my head together. But…" She closes her eyes and expels some smoke through her nose. Incredibly unladylike, but somehow therapeutic. "I've dealt with psychopaths before. I've had them threaten me, my family, my friends. But they've never scared me. He shouldn't be so different."

Mohinder doesn't say a word about Mara's smoking. That's her choice and whatever helps her. "Yes, that he is. He is obsessed with the abilities of other people. In killing them and taking their power." He moves to lean his back against the wall of the building as he lowers his head to stare at the ground. "You should be afraid of Sylar. He has a very violent and unstable history." Which is putting it oh so mildly. "I hope that extra precautions are being taken with his imprisonment?"

"As much as can be, without my revealing too much." Mara leans against the building again and peers at Mohinder out of the corner of her eye. "If I told them what I know, they'd either think I'm crazy, or somehow in on it. Neither option is terribly appealing, I'm afraid."

"Right," Mohinder mutters to himself. "I'm not comfortable with the idea of him being held here, to be perfectly honest. He's broken out of better confines, specially made ones. Granted he was in full control of his abilities at the time. I just, I'm having a very hard time relaxing about this."

A shudder runs through Mara as she drops the spent cigarette to the ground and crushes it under her boot. A fresh one is immediately fished out of a pack sticking out of her coat. "I should have killed him. I should have /just killed him/." She places the cigarette between her lips and procures a lighter. "Forget what kind of person it makes me. It'd make me a bloody hero is what it would make me."

"Perhaps," Mohinder begins as he mulls over Mara's words. "In a way, killing him is giving him what he wants. He would die with a look of satisfaction, knowing that his killer would be doing just what he wants them to do." He looks up and over at Mara, "I wish I had the answers." As it is, he's playing the waiting game with what the Company wants done about the man.

"When do you want me to come in for more testing?" Mara shields her flame from the wind and lights up another cig. If she's lucky, cancer will claim her before Sylar can. Wishful thinking. "I need to get this under control." She looks down at her boots. "He confessed to killing his mother. My partner and I are trying to get more names out of him so we can close more cases."

Mohinder's gaze darkens. "Appeal to his pride in his work. Let him think that he's right, that he's the one to fix everything that's broken. He should brag about the names to you then. As for the testing, are you sure you're ready for more? So soon? Even with gloves, they do nothing to dampen your reaction. I thought for sure that the barrier would lessen the reaction, or cancel it out entirely."

"I don't have time to rest." Mara holds her cigarette on the opposite side of her body from Mohinder once she turns fully to face him. "At least if we're working on my abilities, I feel like I'm doing something productive. Anything to keep my mind occupied. Off of him."

Mohinder nods at Mara. She's right on that point. "Very well then. Give me a call when you've got free time, come to the lab. I'll make time for you, have more items.. You can't very well go the rest of your life picking up items with tongs, or just not touching things." Maybe work on more theories and try to get rid of this roadblock that's stumping him.

"Thanks." Mara drops the cigarette to the ground, though it's not even half finished. "Every time I close my eyes, I see him. I see him /smiling/ at me." She swallows back the lump in her throat. Maybe it's bile. "I'll make a point of calling you on my lunch breaks. Let you know how things are going." She slowly crushes the smoldering cigarette under her foot, grinding its tobacco guts into the sidewalk. "If I don't check in with you…" She lets the implication hang.

"I appreciate that. A lot." Mohinder pulls his hands from his pockets to blow on them and rub them together for warmth. "That mental image, it takes awhile before it goes away. If I don't get a call from you on your break, then I know something's gone wrong. I hope that I'm simply being paranoid this time."
Mara takes a deep breath, considering how to phrase her next question. No, no fancy words. No dancing around the issue. "He says he's looking for 'her'. Any idea who he's looking for? He was implying she'd fix his face, I think."

There's no surprise on Mohinder's face as Mara says that. "No idea," he flat out lies as he tries to keep his expression neutral.

Mara reaches out and grabs a handful of that colourful scarf. She yanks him forward just enough to jar him when she pushes him back against the wall. "Don't lie to me, Suresh. I've put my goddamn life on the line for this, too. Don't you /dare/ lie to me."

Again, there's no surprise, even at Mara's outburst and reaction. Mohinder stares her straight in the eye and makes no move against her. "Fine, I won't lie to you then." He just won't say anything either. "I know your life is on the line, and it's not the only one."

"I can't protect her if I don't know who she is!" Mara leans in, pressing herself against Mohinder's body to keep him pinned against the wall. "Talk to me, dammit. We're on the same side."

Mohinder still isn't attempting to fight off Mara. As she gets angry, he stays cool under fire. "She's as protected as she's going to be, just where she is. No offense to New York's finest, but there is little they can do for her."

Mara actually shakes for a few seconds as she tries to get her anger under control. Her eyes slide shut and she steps away, letting go of the scarf and holding her hands out in front of her with her fingers spread as if to say 'I'm done'. "I'm sorry. I'm scared and I don't like not knowing all the details."

Mohinder doesn't show it, but relief washes over as Mara lets go of him. An inaudible exhale of breath is made. "I know." He takes a step away from the wall and straightens out his coat and scarf. "I'm not at liberty to discuss.. You have my apologies."

"Not at liberty to discuss… You sound like the department." Mara scratches at her nose and winces. She's got quite a few bruises on her face and her nose is even bandaged on one side. "You aren't what you pretend to be, Suresh…" If he chooses to expound upon her observation, that's his choice.

Mohinder can't help it, he looks guilty at the accusation, even remorseful. "Officer Damaris.." He looks at Mara, then past her to the street. "This young woman.. her life was in danger before by Sylar. He desperately wants her power. Her family, they're in a better position to continue keeping her safe from him. It's.. best that I not give you names, or further expose her.. I've probably said too much as it is."

Mara seems to accept this explanation, with a grateful nod. "I won't breathe a word to anyone." Her determination to keep that promise is quite clear. "Thank you for being honest with me." She pauses and stares out at the street, "It's /detective/, by the way."

"I know you won't," Mohinder states and it's the honest truth this time. "My apologies then, Detective Damaris." Silly things like rank, varying with countries. "I'm.. just in a very delicate position myself these days."

"I gathered," Mara admits. "It's more than just fear of Sylar. More than just protecting this girl. More than just helping Mister Nakamura. I can tell there's so much more going on than what you're allowing me to see. More than Nakamura's letting on." She lets out a quiet sigh before locking eyes with Mohinder, "He's been trying to get me to keep my distance to protect me from Sylar. Now that that's out the window, what's your excuse?"

Mohinder looks away from Mara. "There is far more going on than you realize.." A dry and humorless laugh escapes. "There's more going on than even I'm aware of. Half the time I wonder why I bothered continuing my father's work, why I got myself involved, as I'm clearly in over my head.. Then I remember.. I do what I do, because of people like yourself. People who need to know the danger that they face, to come to terms with their abilities, to understand what it means." His hands ball into fists at his side as he resumes looking at the detective. "My excuse? Purely selfish reasons, mainly, I wanted to continue my research.. and I lacked the necessary funding and facilities."

Mara reaches out almost timidly to wrap one hand around one of Mohinder's fists. "I told you you're a remarkable sort. Even if you're helping me to continue your own research… you're not entirely selfish. You could have kept me in the dark. Made me believe everything was okay and I was just this curiosity. That there's no… bogeyman." She rubs her thumb over his fingers gently. All the same, she can't let the last line go without pursuing it. "Where do you get the funding?"

"I shouldn't have told you that.." Mohinder starts as he raises a hand to run through his hair, mussing the curls. Now he's just backing himself further into a corner. "A private organization. I doubt their goals are the same as mine. Yet we do have a common interest. I'll leave it at that."

Dark brows furrow with concern, correlating with narrowed hazel eyes. "Common interests aren't always safe." Mara's grip tightens just a little. "Is that why you use the codes? Why you dismissed everyone from your lab? To keep my identity safe from your financial backers?" Worry mingles with skepticism. She finally asks, "Is there something to hide us," meaning people with abilities that Mohinder's been testing, "from?"

"So I'm starting to see," Mohinder states in a rather dry tone. "I'm not entirely sure," he says, bending the truth around. "But to be on the safe side.." His plan with Noah, it sounded so good at the start, but now? It's like he's in a trap that he's not sure how to get out of, or whether he truly wants out.

For a brief second, Mara's eyes widen as though she's had some realization. But as quickly as it came, the moment's gone and the gentle concern has resettled. "I appreciate your caution." Her hand withdraws finally to retrieve a tube of lipgloss from one pants pocket and apply it. "Tell you what, Suresh…"

Mohinder blinks and looks at Mara, puzzled slightly. "I'm glad that you do." Curious, he cants his head a little to the side as he waits for her to finish what she was saying.

"If you're ever in any trouble, any kind at all, and you can't say it…" There's almost a look of distaste in her mouth as she continues, and it likely isn't due to the vanilla gloss on her lips, "You just address me by my given name. Call me Kaydence, and I'll drop everything to come find you." So that would be the 'K' of the 'K. L. Damaris' on her badge. "But for now… You can call me Mara. 'Detective' feels a bit too formal after I've asked you to punch me in the face."

Mohinder laughs, and it's a strained sound. "You've a fair point, and I still feel horrid for doing so. Even as I know the reason behind it. Thank you.. for the offer of assistance, Mara." He holds out his hand to shake, "You can call me by my given name, or surname." He answers to both and isn't partial to either. "I think I've taken up enough of your time for now, and I do have an appointment to keep. Remember what I said in dealing with Sylar.." In his hand, should Mara take it to shake, is a folded slip of paper. On it, a list of names.

Mara smiles faintly as she feels the slip of paper in the geneticist's hand. She shakes and takes it without any other indication that the exchange took place at all. "Mohinder." With a nod of her head, the detective bids him farewell, heading back toward the police station. "I'll call you tomorrow," she says over her shoulder.

"Very well, later." Mohinder keeps his expression even throughout the small exchange. As she heads to the station, he goes back the way he came.

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