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Tiana/Naveen

starrdust411 in hiro_ando

Fic: Primatech 815 - Ch.8

Title: Primatech 815
Author: starrdust411
Fandom: Heroes (Crossover with Lost)
Characters: Ando, Bennet, Claire, Claude, Hiro, Isaac, Peter, Matt, Micah, Mohinder, Niki, Simone, Sylar (more to come)
Rating: R
Summary: A plane crash unites a group of strangers.
Disclaimer: I do not own Heroes or Lost.
Warnings: AU, Violence, Action/Adventure, Drug use, Het, Slash, Crossover/Fusion

Previous Chapter

Chapter 8

Bennet barely raised his head when he heard the door creek open followed by the familiar sound of keys jingling. He already knew it was Sandra. She was the only person who came to see him and the only reason she did so was most likely out of guilt. Forcing herself to come visit him once a week helped her sleep at night.

"Noah?" she called. He could tell from the slight strain in her voice that her arms were full, no doubt with grocery bags. "You here?"

He wanted to yell at her, bitterly reminding the woman that he had nowhere else to go and no one else to be with, but he held his tongue. "Yeah," he said. "I'm here."

She barely had to take more than three steps from the door to peek around the corner into the "bedroom" area of his apartment. He hated this apartment. The cramped dingy little space had all the warmth and appeal of a prison cell. He didn't bother to clean (no one came to see him, so there didn't really seem to be much of a point), so stacks of empty food and drink containers littered the floor. When Sandra came by for her weekly visits, she usually tried to pick up bits and pieces of trash, but the apartment would soon return to its typical state of clutter soon after she left. He had tried decorating once, placing pictures of happier times around the room, but they only made him feel empty and alone so they came down as quickly as they were put up.

"My God, Noah," Sandra chided, just as she did every week. "This place is a right mess!"

Bennet rolled his eyes and shifted his weight on his lumpy mattress. He clicked off the radio that rested on his bedside table as he prepared himself for Sandra's weekly chatter. At least this time she hadn't brought that dog, Mr. Muggles, with her. She'd adopted him soon after their separation and Bennet had always resented the fluffy little Pomeranian. He liked dogs -- big dogs, the useful kind, not tiny lap dogs -- but whenever that creature gave out a high pitched yap, he felt sick inside.

"Have you eaten yet?" she asked, heading towards the kitchen to put the food away.

"I ate," he told her.

"Cereal?" she guessed (accurately, he was ashamed to admit). "That's not dinner. I'll make you some real food."

"I'll give you a hand," Bennet suggested, shifting himself towards the edge of his bed.

"No no," she told him pleasantly. "Let me do it."

A knot formed in the pit of his stomach. He could read between the lines. He knew that "Let me do it" really meant "You
can't do it."

+-+-+-+

"Mr. Bennet? Mr. Bennet, Niki's hurt!"

Bennet panted heavily as he lay on his back, trying to catch his breath. The boar had knocked the wind out of him, causing the former paper salesman to slip and bang his head on the root of a tree. He gasped, craning his neck up and looking down at his feet. A wave of comfort washed over him as he watched his toes wiggle back and forth from inside his shoes.

"Mr. Bennet? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine, Sandra," Bennet gasped, picking himself back up carefully. "I just got the wind knocked out of me."

Niki howled in pain as Claire tore off a piece of her shirt and wrapped it around the other blonde’s leg. "Sandra?" she repeated, confusion clear in her tone. "Who’s Sandra?"

"Claire," he corrected himself, feeling a light blush spreading across his cheeks. "I meant Claire." He frowned, looking around at the broken branches and snapped twigs that the boar had left behind in her hurry to get away. "I think the boar headed this way."

"No way," Claire said. "Niki's hurt. We've gotta get her to Peter."

Even as she defied him, he found himself liking Claire more and more. She was a head strong and confident girl. Her parents must have been proud of her.

"Okay," he shrugged, waddling towards where the boar had disappeared to. "You two go back. I'm gonna go get that boar?"

"By yourself? You can't!"

Any other time, Bennet would have thought of the little girl's concern as sweet, but right now his mind was set on one thing and one thing only: getting that boar. "Don't tell me what I can't do."

+-+-+-+

"I'm not useless," he grumbled. "I'm not a child. I can do things by myself."

Sandra sighed, opening the cabinets and putting away the dishes she had just washed and dried. "I know you can," she whispered. "It's just... I worry 'bout you."

"You don't have to. I'm capable." He frowned, remembering how different things used to be. When they had first met, Sandra was the one who had relied on him for everything. When they were still dating, she would always play up her vulnerability just to have him give her attention. "Oh Noah!" she'd say, batting her eyes and placing a delicate hand on her hip. "My hands are so tired! I can't open this darn jar!" Yet it'd all changed. He'd changed. "Do you remember that Aboriginal Walkabout?"

"'Course I do." He could practically
hear her eyes rolling wearily. "It's all you've talked 'bout for years! Said you were gonna..."

She stopped herself from finishing that thought and he was grateful for it.

"Well, I bought my ticket," he announced. "I'm going to Australia."

A series of thuds and bangs echoed from within the tiny kitchen and Bennet knew right away that Sandra had dropped
something. "What?" she gasped. "Are you joking?"

"I leave in a week."

Silence fell as the woman quickly walked towards his bedside, staring at him skeptically. He flashed a tired smile as he reached over and showed her his plane ticket. She took it from him, her hands trembling as her wide eyes studied the printed information.

"Noah," she practically whispered. "You can't be serious. You could get killed!"

"I won't," he sighed, frustrated by his ex-wife's skepticism. "I'll be fine. I was meant to do this."

"Don't start that 'destiny' stuff with me, Noah Bennet!" she snapped, her voice dripping with weariness. It was like a scene from their marriage.

"Norman Croucher."

Sandra blinked, not at all following his logic. "What?"

"Norman Croucher," he repeated. "Norman Croucher, double amputee, no legs. He climbed to the top of Mt. Everest. Why? Because it was his destiny."*

She laughed, a strange bitter sound that she only made when he said something she knew was absolutely crazy. "You're a middle aged man, Noah," she told him. "You don't have a 'destiny.' Just look at you! Your little day dreams could get you killed! You can't do this."

He clenched his hands into fists as he stared up at her. His heart was like a jackhammer in his chest as his skin turned bright red. At that moment, he would have rather died than stay in this pathetic life he’d been trapped in for one more second. "Don't tell me what I can't do."


+-+-+-+

Claire grunted as she supported Niki's weight. It was awkward and slow moving through the jungle like this, the older woman was a good half a foot taller than her and it was difficult for the two blondes to find a comfortable rhythm as they made their way back to the beach. The teenager sighed in frustration as she looked around her, trying to spot a tree that would be tall enough to place the antenna she had been carrying around in her backpack. She smiled as she came across one that looked to be just the right height and was suitable for climbing.

"Okay, let's stop for a minute," she suggested as she came to a halt.

"Shouldn't the injured lady be the one to say when we stop?" Niki joked as she moved herself to rest against a tree. She frowned when she noticed Claire taking off her backpack and setting it down on the ground. "What are you doing?"

Claire smiled as she pulled out Mohinder's makeshift antenna and a rope from her bag. "Trying to boost the transceiver’s signal," she explained simply. "I'm gonna climb to the top of that tree and attach this antenna."

"You're gonna climb that?" Niki repeated, quirking a quizzical eyebrow as she studied the massive plant shooting up towards the sky.

"Yeah," she shrugged. "I used to climb trees all the time when I was little."

Niki sat down on the ground as she watched the blonde teen climb up the tree. Claire grunted, pulling herself up with a bit of difficulty. She hadn't been lying when she told Niki that she'd climbed trees all the time when she was younger. Growing up in Texas she had been a bit of a tomboy, always trying to outdo all the boys in their little games, but once she had hit thirteen things had changed. She had suddenly become focused on makeup, clothes, and making sure her hair looked just right. It had been a while since she'd actually done something like this.

It didn't take long before the girl reached the top of the tree, but she was still disappointed in herself for being so worn out. At least being trapped on this island was going to keep her in good shape. The girl sighed as she grabbed the antenna and made to place it in the tree. Her hands stilled, however, when she noticed a row of trees in the distance being knocked over as the familiar mechanical roar echoed through the jungle. She trembled, clutching at the tree and barely registering as the antenna slipped from her grasp and came tumbling towards the ground below. Her mind was too busy reeling with the knowledge that the Monster was now heading straight in Bennet's direction.

-+-+-+-

Hiro smiled as he watched Micah flip through his manga. He had been nervous at first when the blonde woman, Niki, had left her child in his hands, but the unease had quickly lifted away when Micah's eyes lit up when he noticed the volume of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure he had been flipping through. He had smiled and allowed the child to borrow it along with his iPod. He didn't mind much, he still had another mint condition issue back at home and the iPod's batteries had been fully charged before they'd taken off. It still had a few hours of life left and he didn't mind sharing as long as it gave someone else a little bit of pleasure.

'What's with the kid?' Ando grumbled when he noticed Micah's presence on the beach beside him. 'I thought you didn't like children.'

Hiro blushed, squirming uncomfortably as he searched through his bag for another graphic novel to read. He could have sworn he had packed volume thirty of Dragon Ball in his suitcase. 'I never said that,' the Asian man pouted.

'Then why do you always look so uncomfortable whenever you're around a kid?' his friend mumbled.

The younger man bit his lip as he turned to stare at Micah. The boy was studying the pages more than actually reading them -- all the words were in Japanese after all -- but his eyes were still sparkling with joy just to be doing something that could be considered normal.

'Children aren't so bad,' he said. 'You just have to know how to handle them.'

'Well, I'm glad to hear that, because now that you've babysat once, that blonde is going to expect you to do it again and again,' Ando warned. 'That's how it always works. You do someone a favor once and they'll take advantage of you forever.'

Hiro pouted, not liking how Ando was making him feel. In truth, he didn't really mind if Niki were to ask him to keep babysitting Micah. At least then he would have someone else to talk to.

'At least I'm helping,' Hiro muttered to himself.

'I am helping,' Ando snapped. 'I'm making us a shelter! You're just sitting around playing with a kid.'

Hiro wanted to argue that he was helping other people while Ando was only thinking about himself, but he didn't bother. Ando always knew how to twist things around and make it seem like he were the one in the wrong. He missed the old Ando. The Ando who would just sit around watching movies with him and laugh. His friend had changed so much in the last few years. He really wished he hadn't agreed to go on this trip with him.

-+-+-+-

Sylar frowned as he tied together the stalks of bamboo he had gotten from the jungle and attached them to the metal siding he'd salvaged from the wreckage. He wasn't used to working outdoors, especially not with such primitive materials, but he was a quick learner and determined not to spend another night sleeping in the sand.

"What are you doing?"

He glanced over to his side and saw a very displeased Mohinder glaring back at him. The serial killer smirked at the genetics professor. The man had been a ghost of his former self ever since he'd asked him to shoot Audrey, so for the first time, Sylar was actually glad to see anger in Mohinder's eyes. At least he was feeling something besides guilt.

"I'm making a shelter," he told him. "I managed to get tons of supplies."

The Indian man frowned, studying his partially built tent. "You're making it awfully big."

"Well it's got to have enough room for two," he shrugged, returning his attention to his task. "I've even managed to get a few seat cushions to make into a mattress. It'll be nice to sleep on something other than sand."

His words soon trailed off as he waited for Mohinder to reply or make some sort of sound in response, but nothing came. He turned back to the Indian man and saw that he suddenly looked furious. Mohinder had never looked at him that way before and it was a bit unnerving.

"What the hell makes you think we're going to be sharing a bed, let alone a tent?"

"Well aren't you supposed to be my shadow?" he reminded him. "That was part of our deal."

"No," Mohinder corrected, a disgusted look creeping onto his features and Sylar had to wonder just who the other man was disgusted by. "We agreed that if I kept your secret, you wouldn't kill me or anyone else on this island. And what the hell is that?"

Sylar followed Mohinder's line of sight over to the blue wheelchair he had found on the beach and was currently using to hold his supplies. "Nobody was using it," he reasoned. "And whoever it belonged to is in a better place than us."

"It's disrespectful," Mohinder snapped, marching over to the chair and removing his supplies from the seat. "It should be burned with the rest of the plane."

The serial killer shrugged as Mohinder dragged the wheelchair across the beach and back towards the plane. Mohinder was still having trouble sorting out his feeling. Sylar understood that he'd have to give the other man space, he'd just work on their shelter and wait for Mohinder to come around.

-+-+-+-

Claire bit her lip and slumped her shoulders sheepishly as she approached Mohinder. The Indian man didn't seem to be in the best mood as he dragged what looked like a beaten up blue wheelchair across the beach. She and Niki had just gotten back from the jungle and she had decided that it would be best to go see Mohinder and give him the bad news right away instead of dragging it out. Although, just looking at the scowl on his face was making the teen reconsider.

"Hey," she greeted weakly, barely managing to get the man's attention. She made sure to look apologetic as she handed him the broken antenna. "I'm sorry. I guess I should have gotten the warranty."

Her little joke didn't seem to have any effect on the man as he grasped the broken equipment in his hands. She could see the anger slowly building behind his deceptively calm demeanor. "I suppose I'll just try again," he sighed wearily. "Of course, I have no welding iron, no rivets, scorched wiring, and it seems I must continue to lie to anyone who asks me what it is I'm actually doing!" With that, the older man took the damaged antenna and threw it down on the sand.

Claire shifted uncomfortably as she witnessed the man's break down. "Hey," she whispered, trying to keep her tone as soothing as possible. "We'll try it again."

Mohinder sighed, gathering up the smashed antenna. "We'll try again," he repeated, although Claire was certain that it would take more than a few comforting words to lift the Indian man's spirits.

"You're back."

The teenager turned around and saw Peter approaching her. Claire smiled warmly at him, although the blonde girl suddenly felt like the bearer of bad news since she knew she was going to have to be the one to tell him about Bennet.

"Yeah," she shrugged, dreading what she was going to have to say to him next. "Uh, Bennet's gone. That thing, it was heading right for him. He couldn't have gotten away." The nurse fell silent as he took in this information. Claire may not have known Peter for very long, but she knew right away that he wasn't going to take this well. He'd blame himself for Bennet's death and then go running into the jungle in another attempt to get food for the starving survivors. She fidgeted as she thought of a way to change the topic. "So how's the fuselage going?"

"It's pretty much ready to be burned," he shrugged. "Simone said she wanted to lead a memorial service. I guess they're going to say a few things, read off some names."

Claire smiled secretively at the mention of the tanned woman's name. She had seen the two interacting and knew that Peter had a crush on her. It was sweet in a strange way, but she knew that Peter was far too noble to ever admit it. After all, Simone was dating Isaac and he seemed like a pretty nice guy. It wasn't the sort of relationship that Peter would want to get in the way of.

"That's good," she said. "I guess we should add Bennet's name to the list as well."

Peter nodded thoughtfully, although Claire knew he wasn't paying attention to her anymore. It was just then that she noticed as Peter's eyes widened to nearly twice their normal size when something strange caught his attention. The girl turned around and followed his line of sight. She was shocked to see Bennet, looking completely worn out and drenched with sweat, dragging a dead boar from the jungle.

-+-+-+-

The memorial service began at sun down. Simone had stood a few feet in front of the plane, smoothly reading off a list of names that she had assembled with the help of Isaac and a few other people on the beach. Niki felt a knot of sorrow well up inside of her as she clutched Micah's shoulder protectively. So many people had been killed in the crash, more than she had realized. It really made her appreciate just how fortunate she and Micah were to have survived without any serious injuries.

She shifted slightly, taking a casual glance over her shoulder to look at the boar that Bennet had caught. The man had taken it upon himself to skin and gut the pig and it was now roasting over an open fire and waiting for the hungry castaways to consume it.

The blonde woman turned to her opposite side to stare at the man in the horn-rimmed glasses, who was currently staring blankly ahead and not saying a word. No one had really thanked him for what he had done for them, and she felt that she owed it to her son to try to be nice to the man.

"Nice work," she offered, causing the middle aged man to glance down at her in confusion. "Catching the boar, I mean. Nice work with... killing it."

Bennet smiled at her, although it didn't really seem kind or even polite so much as it was condescending. "Thank you," he said, before turning his attention back to the fuselage.

Simone was now talking about an engaged couple who had been happily awaiting their wedding day until the plane crash had disrupted their plans.

"That thing," Niki began again, gaining Bennet's attention. "The Monster, or whatever, Claire said she saw it heading right for you. Did you see it?"

The man frowned, as he turned to what was left of their plane. "No."

+-+-+-+

Bennet clenched his fists angrily as the travel agent began running his fingers through his hair nervously. He knew right away that he had unsettled the man from the second he had come through the door of his agency, but he didn't care. All he cared about was the fact that his bus would be leaving soon and he needed to get on. Yet the agent seemed intent on blocking him at all cost.

"Mr. Bennet," the Australian man began nervously. He was trying to keep his voice as sensitive and reasonable as possible, but it only served to make Bennet even angrier. "The Walkabouts we arrange here are not just some stroll through the park. It's trekking across vast stretches of desert, rafting bloody treacherous waters-"

"I'm well aware of what is involved," Bennet cut in. "I've been preparing for this for years. I probably know this subject better than you."

The travel agent scowled at him, clearly insulted by his careless statement. "In any case," he started over tensely, "it's an extremely trying ordeal, even for someone in peek physical condition."

"I booked this trip months ago," he argued, trying to keep his voice as calm and even as possible and failing miserably. "You already have my money, now I demand a place on that bus!"

"Mr. Bennet, you blatantly misrepresented yourself-"

"I never lied."

"You failed to mention your... condition."

"My condition has never been a problem,” he stressed. “I've lived with it for four years, it's never kept me from doing anything!"

The Australian grew quiet, tightening his hands into fists. Bennet knew he could be rather stubborn and unreasonable when he wanted something, but he didn't really care what the travel agent thought of him right now. All he cared about was the fact that he was about to be cheated out of completing his destiny.

"I'm sorry, but it is a problem for our insurance company," the man told him as he got up from his seat. "I can't keep the bus waiting any longer. It isn't fair to our other customers."

"Don't talk to me about
fair!" He all but screamed the words as he punched the travel agent's desk with his bare fists. Fair. What did anyone know about fair? Life had never been fair to him, not since day one.

The Australian man fell silent as he looked at him with pity in his eyes. He hated that look. It was one he was all too familiar with. Ever since the accident, whenever someone looked at him it was either with pity or sorrow. It made him sick to his stomach. "I can get you on a plane back to Sydney on our dime," the man offered. "That's the best I can do."

"I've been preparing for this for years, please," he begged pathetically. "Just put me on that bus, right now. I can do this. I know I can."

"No, Mr. Bennet, you can't."

Something inside of him snapped at the man's words. Can't? No. No! He could do this. He was meant to do this! It was his destiny. "Don't tell me what I can't do!" he hollered as the man turned his back on him. Bennet clenched his teeth as he reached down and turned himself in his wheelchair, trying his best to catch up with the tour guide as he walked out the door and towards the bus waiting outside. "Hey! Get back here! Don't do this to me!"

Tears sprang to his eyes as he watched the man get on the bus full of would be adventurers and drive away.


+-+-+-+

Noah watched with a happy gleam in his eyes as the painter sent fire to the fuselage, making sure to touch down on the blue wheelchair that had once been his prison. He had always known he had been meant for something, something more than a meaningless job at a paper company. He had thought he'd found it with Sandra, but now he knew better. This place, this Island had healed him, had made him whole again. This was his true destiny.

*According to Lostpedia, the whole "Norman Croucher" thing is incorrect. Croucher never climbed Mt Everest.

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September 2010

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