Fic: Primatech 815 - Ch. 11
Fandom: Heroes (Crossover with Lost)
Characters: Ando, Bennet, Claire, Claude, Hiro, Isaac, Peter, Matt, Micah, Mohinder, Niki, Simone, Sylar (more to come)
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
Isaac sighed as he stuffed a few more plastic bottles into his backpack. Yesterday, while running in circles through the jungle of death, Peter had stumbled across some fresh water. The next morning he had asked if anyone wanted to come along to collect. The artist had been more than a bit stunned when Simone volunteered to go along.
"I've never been in the jungle before," Simone had argued, "and I wanna help out. Besides, you've gone on like two treks already. I need to catch up."
Needless to say, Isaac instantly volunteered to come with them. Even though Bennet was planning to help lead the group through the jungle, Isaac still didn't like the idea of Simone spending any time with Peter. He had seen the way the young nurse looked at his girlfriend and he knew that the other man was just waiting to make his move, but Isaac wouldn't let that happen.
The artist frowned as he looked up to see one of the Asian men standing next to him. The man was nearly a full head shorter than him and wore a pair of wire thin glasses over his round face. He felt his frown melt away into a smile when he noticed that the shorter man was clutching a copy of his graphic novel in his hands. Many of his fans had been displeased when he had decided to write and draw the 9th Wonders graphic novel, even Simone had warned him that he'd be alienating his fan base and encouraging the wrath of critics, but Isaac didn't care. As a child, he had loved reading comic books. He would spend many hours sitting in his room and copying the pictures, teaching himself how to draw perspectives and motion. The comic book might not have drawn in a lot of money, but it was very personal project to him and he was proud to have the small cult following that it had given him.
"You speak English?" Isaac asked, standing up so that he could get a better look at the little man. Now that he was paying more attention, he could see that Asian was probably several years younger than him. He looked like he was fresh out of college.
The Asian's smile faltered as he tilted his head to the side. Isaac recognized the confusion in his gaze right away. It was a look he was very familiar with. His grandparents had never learned to speak English and had to struggle most of their lives to get by in America, usually by having their children and friends translate for them. He felt a wave of sympathy build up inside of him as the Asian man produced a pen from out of his pocket and pointed it at him.
"Sign?" he asked carefully.
Isaac laughed as he took the pen and book. Who would have guessed he'd have fan right here on the island? "Sure thing. Who do I make it out to?" Isaac blushed in embarrassment. The poor kid probably had no idea what he'd just said. "Uh... Name?" he asked, making sure that he pronounced the word as clearly as possible.
The Asian man smiled, pushing his glasses up against his nose. "Hiro," he told him proudly.
He smiled as he wrote out a short message on the inside cover. He hoped Hiro knew someone who could read English so they would translate it for him. He capped the pen, carefully reading over what he had written. He had signed many autographs in the past and had been embarrassed by the small mistakes he had made. Satisfied, he was about to hand the book and pen back to Hiro, when a fist suddenly came out of nowhere and sent him stumbling into the hot sand below.
Hiro stiffened in horror when he saw Ando punch Isaac Mendez in the face. The wild look in his friend’s eyes chilled him to the core and he found himself completely frozen in place as he watched Ando continue to punch the artist, sending blood and sand flying everywhere.
'Ando-kun!' he shouted, finally finding his voice once one of the women on the beach started screaming. 'Ando-kun! What are you doing?'
The Japanese man felt his eyes widen in shock when the Indian came rushing towards Ando and tackled him to the ground. The scary looking man who had watched him search for his luggage came running close behind him, grabbing Isaac by his arms and lifting him off of the ground.
The nurse and a few others came rushing towards them a few seconds later. The Indian held Ando tightly as his friend thrashed and struggled to get free. They all took turns shouting at him, before the man with the scary eyebrows appeared and placed Ando in handcuffs, dragging him off of the beach.
Hiro stared after them, his mind buzzing and his legs feeling like lead. He glanced down at his autographed copy of 9th Wonder. It was currently resting forgotten in the sand next to his pen and a few drops of blood.
He couldn't help but wonder when his friend had turned into such a violent monster.
Hiro smiled up at Ando as he placed a bottle of beer in front of him. The music of the karaoke bar was loud, but Hiro and Ando were sitting far enough away from the stage that they could hear each other speaking without shouting. Ando only had one beer in him so far, but Hiro was hoping his friend would have at least three more. It always took four beers before Ando would be drunk enough to actually partake in the karaoke. Hiro's fingers were itching to get a hold of the song book. He wanted to pick out something fast and upbeat for Ando to sing. Those songs were the most fun to try while you were drunk.
'I got fired today.'
Hiro blinked, studying his friend’s morose face carefully. 'Fired?' he repeated, worry clear in his voice. 'Why?'
This was the second job Ando had lost in less than a month. He needed the money. His parents had cut him off a long time ago, and for some reason, Ando refused to move in with him. He claimed it would seem 'too weird,' but Hiro couldn't see what would be so strange about two friends living together.
'Because my boss was a total jerk,' Ando snorted bitterly. 'I come in late a few times, and he flips out at me!'
Hiro frowned, shaking his head remorsefully at his friend's comments. Ando had always been the more stern of the two, but he was never able to take his work very seriously. Ever since they had hit puberty and Ando had discovered girls, he spent most of his free time (and time when he should be working) day dreaming about women or visiting adult websites. Hiro didn’t doubt that his friend was probably tardy for work because he slept in late after spending the night chatting with women in foreign countries.
'Yamagato is looking for people,' Hiro offered.
Ando scoffed as he took a sip of his beer. 'Your dad's company? No way! Do I look like the kind of guy who would work in a cubicle?'
'Do I?' he snapped. It was still strange to think of themselves as grown men who needed jobs and drank beer at karaoke bars to relieve stress, yet here they were. They were too old to be reckless and too young to really be settled down. At least Hiro thought so. His father was already pushing him to get married, but it just seemed too soon. He was only in his mid-twenties. He wasn't ready for a wife just yet. 'Father likes you. You've always kept me out of trouble. He'll give you a job if you just ask.'
His friend frowned thoughtfully, playing with his now empty bottle of beer and weighing his options carefully. Hiro already knew that he didn't have many. Besides, he wasn't lying when he said his father liked Ando. The man had compared the two in the past and Hiro always found himself falling short to his friend. He had a feeling his father would probably even give Ando a higher position in the company than him.
'I suppose I could go in for an interview,' Ando shrugged.
The Hispanic artist scowled bitterly at Matt as Peter gently touched his cheek, studying his broken and bruised flesh. "Why are you asking me?" Isaac snapped. "I was the one who was attacked remember? He jumped me!"
Matt sighed, crossing his arms over his chest. He could understand the other man's frustration, the victim always had a tendency to be defensive when questioned. "I'm not accusing you," Matt reminded him. "I just want to know if you remember doing anything that might have provoked him into attacking you."
"What did I do?" he barked. "Nothing! I've never even talked to this guy before! I was just minding my own business when his friend came up to me and then the next thing I know, this guy is wailing on me! So why don't you go talk to him!"
"Calm down, baby," Simone whispered tenderly, placing a gentle hand on her boyfriend's shoulder.
"I'm afraid that won't be possible," Mohinder sighed, glancing over his shoulder to watch their prisoner. The Asian man was currently handcuffed to a rather large piece of the wreckage, struggling to free himself while his worried friend whispered something into his ear. "He doesn't speak English."
"And he's a lost smaller than you," Gabriel pointed out, a smug smirk spreading across his face.
"He's right," Claude chuckled. "For such a little guy, he sure did a number on you."
Isaac's scowl deepened as his face quickly turned bright red. The artist clutched at his swollen cheek indigently as he shooed Peter's careful hands away. "He caught me off guard," the young man grumbled bitterly, yet that did nothing to stop Gabriel and Claude from laughing at his misfortune.
"Real sensitive," Simone snapped, tightening her grip on Isaac's shoulder. "Don't you two have anything better to do than laugh at people?"
"This is our seventh day stuck on a deserted island," Claude pointed out. "Not much entertainment ‘round here."
Without warning, Isaac suddenly sprang to his feet. He hunched his shoulders and lowered his eyes to the sand as he retreated back to the beach and away from the small crowd. Simone soon followed after him, calling his name and asking if he was alright.
Matt sighed, scratching the back of his head idly. As usual, nothing was getting resolved. "We can't leave him chained up like that all day," he pointed out.
"We can't let him out either," Mohinder countered. "We can't risk him possibly attacking Isaac again."
"Well Isaac and I are going into the jungle to get water," Peter announced. "You two can deal with him however you want. Maybe try talking to his friend?"
"Doubt he speaks English either, pup," Claude pointed out causing the nurse to glare at him bitterly.
"Well we still need to figure out why he attacked Isaac before we let him go," Matt stressed. He was getting really sick of being brushed off by the others. They acted as if he were unimportant just because he hadn't been foolish enough to go wandering around in the jungle or underhanded enough to go rummaging through the fuselage for goods. He was a cop. He could contribute. He wasn't just going to sit around and watch while a nurse and a college professor took charge of the island. "Now, does anyone have the keys to the cuffs?"
Gabriel shrugged casually. "I don't," he said.
"I do," Mohinder admitted. "I'll hold onto them until we know for certain he's not going to attack anyone again."
Matt nodded, yet he couldn't help wondering why Gabriel would be carrying the marshal's handcuffs if Mohinder had the key.
'You could have helped me back there,' Ando grumbled, pulling at his restraints, trying to see how strong the metal bar they were attached to was. It wouldn't budge or bend no matter how hard Ando tugged, and Hiro had a feeling that his friend would be staying out in the hot sun all day if he kept up his attitude. 'I was trying to help you, but you didn't even try to defend me.'
'I was surprised,' Hiro admitted. 'Why did you attack Isaac-san anyway?' The young man chewed his lip thoughtfully as he broke apart a small piece of aloe he had found growing in the jungle. His mother had been very fond of plants and she had taught him all about different kinds of plant life as a child. Most of those lessons had slipped away, replaced by memories of comic books and video games, but they were still there in his mind. This island was bringing them back.
'I thought he was trying to steal your book,' Ando told him, slumping down against the white hot sand, resigned to his fate.
'Steal it?' Hiro repeated. 'Ando-kun, he wrote it!'
'How am I supposed to know that,' his friend snapped. 'I've never seen his picture before! How was I supposed to know that that was the same Isaac Mendez?'
'Then tell the others,' he suggested. 'If they know that it was all a misunderstanding-'
'How the hell am I supposed to do that?' Ando barked. 'They don't speak Japanese, Hiro! And we sure as hell don't speak English!'
Ando hissed as Hiro carefully began rubbing the aloe against his tender, red flesh. The slightly taller man flinched, pulling his restrained hand away, but Hiro managed to grab it and hold him gently in his grasp as he continued to rub the soothing herb on his abused skin. 'You have to sit still,' he chided. 'It'll only make things worse if you move around.'
'And you have to stay with me,' Ando told him. 'Don't leave my sight Hiro. I'm going to protect you.'
'Your father offered me a promotion.'
Hiro blinked in confusion as he spun around in his desk chair to look up at his friend's face. A promotion? It seemed so sudden. Ando had only been working for Yamagato Industries for a few months and already his father was offering him a higher position. Hiro had to admit that, although he wasn't really surprised, he was jealous. He had been working for his father's company since he had left college and he still hadn't been promoted past his dead end cubicle job.
'That's good,' Hiro told him. 'What position did he offer you?'
He tried his best to flash Ando an encouraging smile to show that there were no hard feelings between them, but he couldn't help feeling worried as he considered the possibility that Ando's new position might take him away from him. These past few months had been wonderful. Seeing Ando everyday made work that much easier for him. It was like high school all over again. The two eat lunch together, slipped away into each other's cubicles, and often just goofed off by the water coolers, killing time until the clock ran out. What was he supposed to do if Ando became a supervisor in another department? Hiro couldn't go back to staring blankly at his computer screen for nine hours every day. He'd die of boredom!
'I'm going to be working directly under your father,' Ando explained, leaning against the half wall of Hiro's cubicle. 'I'll be his personal assistant.'
Hiro felt his eyes widen in horror. He had seen his father's other assistants. They were all large, grim faced men with hard eyes and a menacing air that surrounded them constantly. Whenever they would pass him by, Hiro would always bow his head and shrink away in fear. He could not imagine his friend in that position. It wasn't him at all.
'That's a big step up,' Hiro muttered, trying to mask the dread growing inside of him.
'Hey, don't be jealous,' Ando teased, patting his friend on the shoulder playfully. 'One day, you'll be running this whole company, and I'll be your assistant.'
Hiro smiled at the idea. He knew that Ando was just teasing, but he liked the image of the two of them working side by side years into the future. It put his mind at ease to imagine that their friendship would never change, even as the years went on.
'What exactly are you going to do for my father?'
His friend shrugged indifferently, although Hiro could see the worry that he was trying to keep out of his expression. 'Whatever he asks me to do.'
"How much further is it?" Isaac grumbled for what seemed like the tenth time since the group had left the beach. The artist had been in a foul mood all day, although Peter couldn't really blame him. It was bad enough that he'd been attacked for seemingly no reason at all, and Sylar and Claude mocking him about certainly hadn't helped make him feel better. He was surprised that Simone had managed to convince the painter to come along on the trek in spite of the incident, but he had a feeling part of his reason for coming was to get away from the judgmental individuals back at camp.
"Not much longer now," Peter assured him.
"Didn't you say you were wandering around the jungle blind in the middle of the night when you found this place?" Isaac asked. "How do you know you'll even be able to find it again?"
Peter laughed nervously at the other man's words, but a faint blush spread across his cheeks anyway. A part of him was a bit worried that he wouldn't be able to retrace his steps, but so far everything looked familiar... maybe.
"Don't tease him," he heard Simone whisper from behind him.
"We're heading in the right direction," Bennet informed them, a far too peaceful look on his face.
"How would you know?" Isaac snapped. Apparently he was intent on picking a fight with everyone today. "You weren't even with him when he found the water."
Bennet turned and flashed Isaac a condescending smile, and Peter could tell that it only served to anger the other man further. "Because I can hear the water falling in the distance," he told him simply. "It won't be too much further now."
In no time at all, the quartet arrived at the spring that Peter had discovered. The group quickly got to work filling up their bottles while Simone volunteered to look through the luggage scattered across the cave floor for anything that might be of use to them. The nurse hadn't filled more than three bottles when he suddenly realized that his group was one man short. "Where's Isaac?"
Isaac huffed as he crept carefully away from the others and slipped into the thicket of trees. Life on this island was just one big issue after another. Polar bears, jungle monsters, wild boar who gored him for no reason whatsoever! Now even the other castaways were starting to turn on him. Isaac had grown up in a very spiritual family so he was more than certain that all of this was a sign from God that he was doomed to live a long, miserable life.
Even his stash was starting to dwindle. He scowled, pulling at the small brown baggie that he had brought with him. There wasn't much left, so he'd have to be conservative with it. He had promised himself to use it only one he was feeling absolutely miserable, but in this place, misery was a permanent state. He sighed, untwisting the top and sticking his fingers inside the pouch's opening.
"You okay, Isaac?"
The artist froze when he heard Bennet's voice come from behind him. His hands fumbled clumsily as he quickly closed up his supply of heroin and stuffed it back into his pants pocket. "Fine," he said hurriedly. "Just fine. Just needed... fresh air."
Bennet chuckled softly as he took another step closer to him. "Well you couldn't have picked a better spot," the older man joked.
Isaac frowned, pressing himself flat against the tree he had been hiding behind. He suddenly didn't like where this was going. "I just wanted some time alone," Isaac told him, hoping he got the hint.
"I know you."
His heart hammered in his chest as Bennet fixed him with a careful gaze, studying him at all angles. "What?"
"You're Isaac Mendez," he said. "The painter."
The Hispanic artist's whole body must have turned to jelly as understanding finally dawned on him. "Oh! You know my work," he sighed. "You're a fan?"
Bennet laughed politely as if Isaac had just told some joke that even he wasn't aware of. "I know I may not look like the most cultured guy, but I dabble in the art world a bit. I'm a big fan of your early work, although I must say -- and I hope I'm not being too forward..."
"No, not at all," Isaac said suddenly. He loved getting constructive criticism from fans. Most people bristled and got offended easily when others commented on their work, but Isaac saw it as a challenge. A chance to improve himself.
"... I feel your most recent paintings, while vibrant, are not nearly as deep and involved as your original pieces. You'd probably be better off if you quit the drugs."
The young man felt his face lose color as Bennet's words slowly sunk in. He never would have guessed that his fan base knew about his heroin addiction. He'd always tried his hardest to keep it a secret, although in spite of his best efforts Isaac was starting to get the feeling that even Simone was well aware of his problem. "What are you-"
"Give me the drugs, Isaac," Bennet told him calmly. "You're going to run out of them sooner or later. At least this way, it'll be your choice to quit."
Isaac scowled, his whole body tensing up as he took a challenging step towards the taller man. "Back off geezer," he snapped. "You don't know a thing about me! Just because you've seen a couple of my paintings-"
"She's going to leave you."
His heart stopped dead in his chest. A lump began to form inside of his stomach as took in Bennet’s words. "What?"
"Simone," he clarified. "She's going to leave you." Bennet sighed, taking a few steps closer to him as if to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation. Yet Peter was still at the spring and Simone was deep in the caves. No one could possibly be listening to them. "I've seen the look in her eyes, Isaac. She loves you, but she's tired. Tired of worry about you, tired of being ignored, and tired of being over looked in favor of your heroin. You have to make a choice, Isaac. Which is more important to you; your drugs or Simone?"
Hot tears began to well up in his eyes. Simone meant more to him than anything else in the world. Everyday he'd spent with her felt like a gift. He knew his addiction was hurting her and he'd always intended to quit, for her if not himself, but he hadn't been strong enough. Maybe now, he could be strong for her.
Without another thought, he reached into his pocket and handed Bennet the heroin.