2007-05-28: You Can Stand Up Against Me


Niki_icon.gif Micah_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif

Summary: After D.L. has been laid to rest, Niki takes a moment to show Micah an important window into the past. Meanwhile, they have a visitor: Mohinder, who then offers his condolences and help as well.

Date It Happened: May 28th, 2007

You Can Stand Up Against Me

A cemetery somewhere in Las Vegas, Nevada

Death… to some, it is the end, but to the rest, it is merely the beginning. Who is to say that when we die, we simply go to heaven? Maybe we have a greater purpose in which our mortal bodies no longer have use for?

The memorial was everything it ought to have been. Everyone who matters knew that D.L. wasn't the criminal the papers, however briefly, made him out to be. Not at heart. It was held mostly outside; the day cleared up by late afternoon, grey skies breaking to let the heavens shine down. The mourners were mostly family, from Nevada, from New Orleans. Later, they'll all go to Paulette's house.

Niki, dressed in a crisp black blouse, tanktop and slacks, now stands in the grassy cemetery next to Micah, some distance away from where the other family mill about, after the coffin was laid to rest - it's ceremonial, she doesn't know what was in it. There wasn't much left, coroners said. She spoke at the ceremony, along with D.L.'s mother. So much imagery typical of death surrounds the day, it all seems so unreal. But not unfamiliar to Niki. "Hey," she says softly. "I want to show you something."

Dressed in a black 'suit', which consists of a pair of dark slacks, a button up white shirt, and a tie, Micah is staring blankly out over the rows, and rows of grave stones, which will soon occupy his father's name. He has broken down and cried at least a dozen times during the funeral, and has been a walking nervous wreck the last few days leading up to this day. Knuckling another tear from his face, the sullen young boy lifts his chin upwards to stare at his mother, taking in a stammering breath. ".. What is it?" He asks in a raspy tone.

Standing a respectful distance away from the mourners is Mohinder. In a dark suit of his own, he waits patiently to approach Niki and Micah. His presence might not be so welcomed, not after Mara's approach. He might be less welcomed, given the muscle behind him that he's not able to shake. Orders for his presence supersede that of the geneticist.

As she's done uncountable times in the past week, Niki leans down to kiss the top of Micah's head for comfort - for the both of them. Small comforts, but every little bit, right? She just hates to see him like this. She was a wreck too, but not anymore. Not where it counts, out in the open, in front of Micah. Now she's strong. Without answering - what she's showing Micah will need a visual - she rests an arm over the boy's shoulders, inasmuch as she can reach, and starts to stroll through the cemetery, off to the left of where D.L.'s grave is. She walks slow, not quite limping, but shuffling. Focused, she doesn't spy their visitor yet. She's headed for the slightly older part of the cemetery. It's a nice area, a few trees bursting with spring green leaves nearby. When she reaches a particular headstone, one she knows well, she drops to one knee, holding onto Micah's forearm.

Beloved Daughter
and Sister

1976 - 1987

"This is my sister," Niki explains quietly. "She passed away when I was juuust about the same age as you are."

Following after his mother, Micah slides his hand into hers, giving it a firm squeeze as his fingers wind up in hers. Though they may be small comforts, it may be a long time before the young boy can really be 'strong' again. But for his mother's sake, he will sure pretend. As they reach the new marker, he tilts his head down to stare at it, then squints his eyes for a moment. "If… if she's dead, then how… how is she in your head?" He asks, glancing upwards to his mother in confusion. "I.. I don't get it." Just at the name alone, he throws a glare down at it, if only for a moment. Just the thought of the 'bitch' who has ruined their family's life is enough to cause his blood to boil.

Mohinder maintains that respectful distance, even if he and his shadow move to follow. Not yet daring to approach, but keeping the Sanders' in their line of sight. He can't hear the conversation, and he's not sure he wants to. He already feels like an intruder at this particular time.. but Molly asked him to help, so that's what he's going to try to do.

Niki smiles faintly, to be heartening more than anything. "I don't know, baby," she admits, squeezing Micah's hand and reaching up to tenderly brush away a curl with the hand that's free. "It's not that simple." As she looks up at her son, the mother happens to catch a glimpse over her shoulder… and sees the Indian man standing at a distance. She makes no outward show of recognizing him; she takes her time here first. It feels important. She kneels and reaches out to trail her fingers beside the 'J' engraved on the headstone. It's a fond touch, gentle. And sad, all at once. "Even when we were little, she was really smart. Smarter than me. Nah, /super/ smart, just like you."

Nodding his head, Micah bites his bottom lip for a moment, then says, "If he died so young… then… " He trails off. "Why isn't she that way inside your head? Why isn't she young like me.. why is she mean, and crazy?" He asks as he picks up a pebble to lob across the grass half heartedly. He does not notice Mohinder yet, his limited attention span discombobulated by the events of the funeral, and this serious moment between a mother and her son. "I don't like her.. mom.. I don't like the version inside your head. I wish she'd go away..and… and let us be happy."

Watching from afar, Mohinder slips his hands into the pockets of his dress slacks. His gaze drifts over Niki, Micah, the tombstone that they are in front of.

"I'm showing you 'cause I want you to see that she's…" Niki half-smiles, but it's wistful, sad more than happy as a smile ought to be. She swings Micah's hand to and fro. "It's not like that," she tries to explain gently. "My sister was a good person. She was just… this shining light, always looking out for me. She woulda been your aunt. Now, I think it's a little more complicated, you know? I just wanted you to see that." She stands up - with some effort - and hugs Micah close to her from the side. Slowly, she tries to turn him around. "Hey. Look who came to show his respects," she says softly, managing a small smile for Micah. I see you, Mohinder.

Curling his arms around her, Micah lets out a soft breath as he gives his mother a fierce hug in return. "I wish I coulda met the real her." He says as he closes his eyes, fluttering his long lashes for a moment. As Niki fills him in on their new guest, he leans back and turns to look over to Mohinder. A smile breaks out across his face as he lifts a hand, waving it in his direction. If he's here, maybe Molly is too? For a moment, a familiar feeling of happiness creeps up into him, anticipating. Though, the muscle lingering just near by gives him pause. "..Molly said they would help us.. mom."

Mohinder inclines his head, acknowledging Niki as she looks his way. He takes that as his cue to proceed further. His steps are leisurely, in no hurry to meet the woman and child halfway. Once he's within speaking range without having to raise his voice, he greets the pair, "Niki.. Micah.. I wanted to come and express my condolences in person to the two of you."

Niki has her reservations about how Mohinder may be able to "help," but with an arm around her son, she starts walking toward the man and his protectors. "Let's go see what he has to say." Since her steps are slow as well, she doesn't quite meet him halfway, either, before she answers. "Thank you." The thanks may be sincere, but her words are ever-so-slightly aloof, wary. He must be here for more than condolences. Still, she manages a tired smile for Mohinder. It seems to say, 'I'm holding up'.

"Hi Mohinder." Micah says, offering up a quick smile to the Indian man, then shifts his gaze to the body guards. Furrowing his brows for a moment, he leans in a bit closer to Niki, his hand tightening around hers. For now, he remains quiet, to let the adults talk.

Mohinder offers a restrained smile for Micah. "Molly passed your message to me." Obviously. "I thought it best that she stay behind in New York with Matt." There goes Micah's hope that Molly's here. "She can't wait to see you again Micah. We were very worried when we got the news." Expression sobering further, the brief smile fading, "What can I do to help?" Not what can we do, as in Company, but him, personally.

Niki can't help but stand even closer to Micah as she listens to Mohinder. None of the man's words should warrant suspicion, he's so genuine, but it can't be helped. He works for the Company somehow. Protective hovering: on. "It means a lot to us, that you'd come all this way," she says, and while earnest, it's just a touch… practiced. A habit she's been building up all day during the services, no doubt. Hi, thanks for coming. Her time at Enlightenment Books well used? "But you don't have to do anything."

Mohinder doesn't look put off or deterred by the politely phrased kthxbutbai. He inclines his head in a nod, "Will the pair of you be returning to New York City, or stay here in Las Vegas?" While he's addressing Niki, he is paying attention to Micah's behavior. Molly was incredibly concerned for her friend, so by proxy, Mohinder is concerned for the boy. And for Niki's mental well being. An upset Niki means not fun or good things.

It seemed that Micah was earnestly looking upwards at his mother, trying to gauge her reaction to all of this. Shifting from foot to foot, he lets out a soft breath, then bites on his bottom lip. "We're going home, to New York." He says, adamantly. With a roll of his shoulders backwards, he gives his mother a nudge. "Right?"

Niki hesitates in her answer, but Micah's quick response prompts a ghost of a fond smile and she lays a hand on his head. "We're going home, to New York," she repeats, even though she hardly sees New York the same way most of the time. "We can't really stay here. It'll be… better, that way." She only half believes that.

"Niki, I understand that this is a very difficult time for you and Micah, grief.. it affects us all in different ways. You know Dr. Eames will see you at the first sign of you wanting his services." Mohinder nods to both Niki and Micah as they explain their destination. "Anytime you need help, either of you, please, don't hesitate to call me."

"I wanna see Molly when I get home." Micah says softly as he wrings his hands together for a moment. Despite the two of them both being young child prodigies with powers, they also share something more deeper in common. No, not hormones. They have both lost their fathers to tragedy, and so, the young man may just want to have a normal talk with someone who knows what he's going through, without adult coddling. With another nudge to Niki, he says, "Maybe.. you should talk.. to the doctor." He says with a swallow. ".. Maybe I should too." Therapy for the family? They probably need it.

'It affects all of us in different ways.' The blonde isn't stupid. She can read subtext. Mohinder thinks she might snap, that one of her personalities might take over, /deal/ with the grief in their own way. She tenses slightly at the suggestion of therapy, and when Micah pipes in, she looks mildly surprised - like she doesn't know what to do with that information for a second. "Micah…" she frowns as she looks down at the eleven-year-old; it obviously pains her that he feels he needs a shrink. God, but why wouldn't he. "I'm gonna talk to Mohinder for a minute. We'll make plans to go see Molly when we get back, okay? I promise." She ruffles Micah's hair. "Now go find your cousins' Nana. She has to leave early and she wants to say bye."

"Dr. Eames would be eager to assist the two of you." In fact, Mohinder really should get Molly into sessions with him. To Micah, he nods, "Just let us know when. Molly can't wait to see you again." Of course Mohinder couldn't help but imply that Niki might snap. It's a concern, and a great possibility. Dr. Eames was suggested as he has spoken with Niki in the past, and is a familiar face, if not trusted. As Niki nudges Micah off, he waits patiently to see what she has to say.

With a soft breath, Micah gives his mother another hug, then bounds off to say goodbye to his cousins, and grandparents. He really doesn't want all the hair ruffling, and cheek pinching, but, for now, he'll suck it up.

Things have changed since Niki had any trust in the Company. "I don't need therapy," the woman says to Mohinder now that Micah's off running among the tombstones. She's quiet, but insistent, on her point. "Especially not from them. If Micah needs to talk to someone, I'll /find/ someone. I'm sorry, but I don't want any help from the people you work for. Not anymore."

Mohinder doesn't appear to take any offense at what Niki is saying. "I don't blame you Niki. They give very little reason for anyone to trust them. I do feel however, that you can trust Dr. Eames, which is why I suggested him." His words are sincere, as he himself has his moments of doubt as to his affiliation. "I do ask.. that you call me if you feel that you need someone. I would hope that you can trust me, although I wouldn't blame you if you didn't."

"I don't know how much you know about me and my life," Niki says, first of all. She steps in beside Mohinder, crossing her arms and looking out over the green, tomb-flecked cemetery to where people are still gathered, thinning out. "But when I was staying at the hospital, the Company's, I already tried the therapy. They said they had the answers, they could /fix/ me— turns out, it doesn't work that way." She turns to face the geneticist. "But you've never been anything but nice to me and Micah. Thank you."

"I only want to help," Mohinder states quite plainly and honestly. "And to do what I can." It would be very egotistical to say 'That's because he wasn't working on Niki's case', but he's thinking it. "If you ever change your mind, I would like to see what I can do for you, and for Micah. I don't believe that there is a 'fix' out there.. not yet. But there is help."

"I'll think about it," Niki says with a frank and honest smile. Maybe she really will think about it. Every smile of hers is an effort as of late, but the meaning is there. She touches Mohinder on the arm, holding it for a moment. "Seriously, thank you for coming. I didn't know Micah called Molly until this morning. I guess it caused kind of a stir."

Mohinder nods, and that will have to be enough of an answer for Mohinder. Niki should know that if anything goes amiss with her, there will be no hesitation to bring her in. "You're welcome. I had to make an attempt at least. Molly was so upset and worried she was crying." And a crying Molly has his undivided attention. A brief smile is made at Niki, "I think I've imposed long enough, you have family to attend to. You know where to find me." With that, he pulls back and walks away, back to the rental car.

With a faint nod and polite smile, Niki turns away from Mohinder as the man makes his way off, after having travelled such a long way. It's a little overwhelming, these people coming out of the woodwork. Her smile fades, defaulting to somber, and she cuts a path through the cemetery toward the others until she eventually finds Micah and pries him away from an elderly woman she doesn't even recognize. "Let's go back to Grandma's house. We gotta make sure we have all our stuff ready. In the morning, we can say goodbye." She could be talking about saying goodbye to the family, everyone who came out to pay their respects - but it's the man they're paying their respects /to/ that Niki is talking about.

What if… our spirits simply watch over us? Like a pair of gazing eyes in the night, whispering quiet words of encouragement in our own quest to find the journey's end? Every tickle on the back of our neck could be the soft breath of a loved one, holding us as close as we once did for them. Perhaps… it is our destiny. To free ourselves from the shell of man, and become peaceful guardians of the stars, forever monitoring, judging, and waiting… to once more cling close to those we have only temporarily misplaced. For, if there ever was a true, loving God, surely, he wouldn't allow us to struggle through so much turmoil, and strife on our own.

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