Summary: Sometimes, Gabriel has nightmares.
Original Story: Bizarro World by aurilly
Normal Life (Red Raspberries Remix)
Gabriel Gray never thought he'd wind up with someone like Mohinder. He doesn't get lucky, at least not like this. Not with other people. He was used to just going through life trying to keep his head down and avoid trouble, but that all changed when he met Chandra Suresh.
And Chandra's son.
Now, he wakes up to sun on his pillow almost every morning and Mohinder asleep next to him, or already in the kitchen making chai lattes with just the right amount of bitter tea.
Gabriel is away from his mother, away from his watches, and away from his past. He's even working through his awkwardness, although that's a long, slow process. Besides, he likes the way Mohinder's eyes crinkle when he laughs at Gabriel's clumsiness around people.
All of it is amazing, and he's still used to thinking that it's only temporary.
Maybe he's a terrible pessimist, but he doesn't think so. He's just used to life failing to work out for him, time and time again. This might be a chance at something better, but he's not about to let his guard down just yet.
He can't seem to get it through his head that this is normal. This is what normal people do every day, and Gabriel should have been living like this all along. He shouldn't feel like this is better than he deserves, either, because a normal, decent life is probably what most people deserve.
There are things in his life, though, that are better than normal. He has access to some of the most cutting-edge scientific discoveries out there, especially in the field of genetics. He tries to follow Mohinder and Chandra's work with “special” people, as Gabriel calls them in his own head. They know very little of Gabriel's powers, except that they're somewhat unique. He doesn't mind being unique. It quiets his unease about his perfectly ordinary life.
Every Wednesday for an entire autumn, Mohinder brings home fresh raspberries before he has to go to work in the city. Gabriel eats them slowly, thinking about powers and science and the life he would have had if he'd never met Mohinder.
Sometimes, Gabriel has nightmares. He dreams about a different world, one in which he's been given free reign to use his powers to their fullest extent. He can blink invisible with a thought, create illusions of anything and anyone, melt objects with just the touch of his hand. The most extraordinary power of all, though, is one with which he can create alternate universes with the power of his mind.
Before he can wander into any of these universes, he always wakes up.
Mohinder is always lying next to him, eyelids fluttering almost imperceptibly with a dream, one arm sometimes flung wide against the pillow. Gabriel watches him until he can blink the dreams away.
On a Friday in the middle of summer, they're having slow, lazy sex on the couch, and Mohinder keeps whispering in Gabriel's ear. Gabriel's always loved that clipped, precise accent, and when Mohinder's trying out dirty talk it's a wonderful mix of amusing and mind-blowingly hot. Gabriel arches up against Mohinder, gasping out his name.
His glasses lie forgotten in a pile of clothes on the floor. He squeezes his eyes shut, pretending he can see clearly without them. Sometimes he feels like he should be able to.
The fabric of the couch is rough under Gabriel's back, and it grounds him. He needs something to, or else this will all start to feel a little unreal. Mohinder's hands on his skin certainly aren't enough to remind him that this is him, this is now, this is his life. Sometimes he wonders if this was meant to be his life at all.
When Mohinder slides down and takes Gabriel's cock in his mouth, Gabriel shuts his eyes. Sometimes the stark reality of his life is a little too much, and he'd rather not look. He'd rather pretend he's in some hotel room somewhere being blown by a blonde woman, an eager kid, a desperate woman with black eyes, anyone from his dreams and no one from this careful little world of his.
When he comes, he sees fucking stars and lights and just a hint of the power he could have had.
Shrugging all that off, he tugs Mohinder toward him, fitting their bodies together on the couch. They aren't a perfect match and they don't slot together like they were born to it, but maybe it's better this way. Maybe it's more natural to be a little off.
“I love you,” Gabriel whispers in Mohinder's ear. “I love this.” It's simple, and it's something he hasn't said a million times before, but it still feels pathetically necessary. It's a reminder that this world is solid through and through. He can say these things and his life won't go away, won't vanish before his eyes just because he's normal and happy and willing to settle for just that.
Suddenly, there's a click as if a shutter has gone off.
“What was that?” Gabriel asks, looking around nervously. He's still paranoid, after all this time.
Mohinder half-turns, but he seems too exhausted and happy to care much. “I've no idea,” he says softly, turning back to Gabriel.
Gabriel doesn't sleep that night.
The next day, Mohinder comes into the living room, cheerfully sorting the mail. “Something odd,” he says, looking up at Gabriel.
Something inside Gabriel lurches. This, this is it. This is when it all goes wrong. “Hm?” he manages.
“This was under the door.” Mohinder waves a large brown envelope. There's a note on the front. Before Gabriel can ask what it says, Mohinder tears it open and takes something out. It looks like a photograph. Mohinder frowns, looking at Gabriel. “What is this?”
Gabriel reaches for the photos.
“It's us,” Mohinder tells him. “Us, from yesterday.”
Gabriel adjusts his glasses, staring at the images and wondering who and how, but mostly, more than anything else, feeling relief because his normal little world is finally falling into place where he's always feared it belonged.