matt_icon.gif maury_icon.gif

Scene Title Eclipsed
Synopsis The apple truly does not fall far from the tree…
Date August 17, 2009

Mount Sinai Hospital

There's something dehumanizing about the eggshell white appearance of a hospital, something crushing about the medicated stink of the rooms and the oppressive sensation of disease that clings to the walls and floors despite attempts at disinfectant; you can't cleanse away the idea of death no matter how much bleach is used.

On the fifth floor of the Mount Sinai Hospital, room 509, a patient listed as Douglas McAdams is recuperating from several surgeries that spared his life, following a car accident that left him with life threatening abdominal lacerations. No flowers adorn his private room, and only the steady beep of the EKG he's hooked up to provides him company. That steady, rhythmic beep provides tempo to his recovery; slow and steady.

But the old man laying in that bed in room 509 isn't Douglas McAdams, he wasn't in a car accident, but he did nearly die several weeks ago. The balding old man laid up in that bed, eyes open and focused up at the ceiling tiles goes by a different name, one connected to a history that — if his identity were made public — could cause more harm than his death ever did. That man, is Maury Parkman. In some ways, surviving the attack by Adam Monroe changed things for Maury, and inevitably changed the path that the future would take; yet another ripple in now tumultuous waters.

That more present potential harm is why Maury is here under an assumed name and why his only son worked so hard to set up the alias. It is a matter of National Security, after all. That can't be denied. Still, strings are strings, no matter which direction they are pulled in.

Maury's dinner has already been served and removed by the time Matt arrives, his tie loose around his neck, jacket unbuttoned, and shirt tails untucked. He peers cautiously at the man propped up in the bed, looking between the haggard body and the machines he's hooked up to with wary ignorance.

"Dad?" he finally says after a moment, stepping toward the single bedside chair. Matt keeps his voice low. Despite the number of pressing questions that he may have, none of them are going to be answered if Maury isn't allowed his rest.

For a time Maury just stays focused up on the ceiling, eyes distant and lips pressed together in an uncertain expression. Those eyes fall shut, and when they reopen, he's looking in the direction of his son wordlessly. Then, after a silent internal struggle, his voice — rough as ever — finally rumbles out into the room. "Hey there, Matty…" A touch of softness comes to his features, but it's the feigned softness of a death row prisoner; it's the look of someone who feels that they have been resigned to a fate not of their own choosing.

Given the environment, his own infirm state, and the secrecy of his presence here, it's unlikely that he thinks anything other than that his son has plans for him, plans that involve bars. But yet, the man who's mind can sway others to bend and flex as he wishes has not made an escape, has not tries to sneak out of the hospital. Maybe, after as many decades, Maury Parkman has finally decided to stop running.

But that's the trouble with telepaths. One can never know what the other is truly thinking, or what the actual motivation is behind a choice. They remain a mystery to each other, though the minds of the world lie open to them like so many books.

"Hey," Matt echoes, though the softness in his voice comes with exhaustion as much as it does a sort of relief. He may be relatively freshly shaved and groomed, but it's still easy to tell that the younger Parkman's had a tough day at the office. Though, of course, such things are usual in such times. "How're you feeling?"

"Like an old man who got stabbed," Maury says with a crooked smile, head shaking from side to side as his weathered hand moves down to the bed's controls, pressing a button that slowly elevates his head and shoulders. "M'still sore, but the doctors said that's normal. I'm medicated," he notes with a raise of his brows, "so it's bearable. I'm not going to be going out jogging any time soon though…" Not that he seems much of a jogging enthusiast.

Giving Matt a long stare, Maury cuts through the polite dance of asking his son how he's doing. "What's going to happen t'me?" His gray brows furrow together, eyes wandering away from Matt, instead staring at the venitian blinds drawn closed on the windows of the room.

"That depends," Matt admits with a brief, humored smile, rubbing his hands together and looking at the dimly lit linoleum between his feet. "It's up to you, Dad." He looks to Maury again, then to the blinds for a moment with vague interest before he continues. "I need to know what happened. And I need to know where Monroe is. You tell me that, and we get him six feet under where he belongs, and I'm pretty damned sure Petrelli might just put his name to a pardon for you." Less have earned more, after all.

There's an exasperated quality to Maury's voice as he sputters out, "I don't know where Adam is." To a point, there's bitterness in that. "He was at Pinehearst the night the building blew. I— I was trying to help Peter and Lewis get out before all hell broke loose. Adam caught us off guard, and I thought I might be able to buy us some time, but he just— he's lost his mind, Matty." This, coming from a man who allowed Adam to be locked up for three decades, is quite profound. "I only barely got away, I don't know if he even— " there's a swallow, dry and angry, "no… no I know he made it out of that building alive. It'd take more than Arthur Petrelli to kill Adam Monroe…"

Looking to Matt, there's guilt in Maury's eyes. "Matty… you can't protect me. It's not right, it's not something you should have on your conscience. I'm not a good person. I don't— " he closes his eyes, turns his head away. "I don't deserve forgiveness, especially not yours."

But despite his father's confession of sorts, Matt looks otherwise occupied. "If I know the Petrelli's, the simple fact you tried to help Peter," assuming he survived, which is easy enough, "will be enough to get the President on your side." It's a mumbled statement with a fair bit of something akin to resentment in it, but resentment not aimed at Maury.

Matt blinks, looking to his father as if he were the one pushing through a bitter haze. "You said something that night, when you came to my building. Who have you been trying to protect me from? Arthur? Who?"

"I don't know…" He admits again with a bitter reluctance, head shaking slowly. "There's someone out there, someone powerful, someone who can see into the minds of sleeping people, and has been haunting them for years." Reaching up to rub at his forehead with one hand, Maury's own expresson takes on a haunted visage as he looks to Matt. "He can kill that way, Matty. Molly found him, knows him, but she can't find him… I tried to protect her from him, but things get so tangled in her mind, in my mind. I think she figures it was me. I just— " Maury swallows, "I don't know anything about him, but he's haunted me before. He's gotten inside my head, and I was powerless against him."

Swallowing dryly, Maury looks back up to his son. "Whoever he is, whatever he is, I've never felt anything like it before. He knows things about you when he gets inside your head, turns your worst fears against you and turns you inside out with them."

"The Boogeyman," says Matt with furrowed brows, utterly unconvinced. He's silent for a moment as he ruminates. Of course, why would Molly want to find Maury completely on her own and with out any incentive from him? That made less sense then some telepathic, dream-stalking madman.

With a reluctant grumble, Matt rises from the chair and starts to pace the small room. "There has to be a reason. Even those… those Vanguard nutjobs had a motive. Petrelli had one…and you…" But Matt falters there for some reason or another.

"Matty, if I knew— trust me, if I knew anything that'd protect— " There's just the briefest of hitches there as he considers addressing Molly, "your little girl…" But ultimately Maury's voice fades away, eyes closing as he gives up on that fight of convincing. "If you want information from me, you're going t'be disappointed…"

The admission comes with a wincing shrug of Maury's shoulders, eyes wandering the walls — anything except make eye contact with his son. "Arthur's gone, I don't know where Peter or Lewis got to. I think Dr.Meier is dead, the Chesterfields… god knows what happened to them after Arthur was done with them. I just— everything's gone so wrong, Matty. This wasn't supposed to happen, I was— it wasn't supposed t'end like this. I wanted t'build a safe future for you and Molly."

Matt stops nearer the window and braces himself against one half of the metal frame, staring through a thin slit in the blinds. He's silent for a long time after Maury gives his defense, but the tension in his arms and shoulders doesn't bode well.

"No," he breathes.

When Matt turns, his face is twisted in disgust, his eyes as close to locked on Maury's own as is possible without the older man's cooperation. "You didn't care about me. You didn't care about Molly. All you've ever cared about is yourself. It's why you run. It's why you hide behind people more powerful than you are. You think that if you can hide in their shadow, you won't get hurt. You don't want to build anything. You just want to be on the right side of the damned wall when hell breaks loose."

Truth hurts, worse so when it's delivered from his own son's sharp tongue. Maury swallows noisily, jaw trembling as he looks away from Matt, then up to his son with lowered brows. "All I've ever had was your best interests at heart, Matty. I was— when I left you and your mother, I was terrified of what I'd become. I was terrified of the man I was, what I'd done to your mother's mind what I— " he swallows back hurtful words, head shaking from side to side slowly.

"Matty," this time, Maury's voice is more pleading. "Matty, you gotta' believe me, all I've ever done, was look out for you, look out for what matters to you. You know… I never stopped carin' about you, I never woulda' gone along with the things Arthur made me do if I thought it'd hurt you. I— " and yet he's caught in his own deeds, in the tangled web of kidnapping Molly, of allowing his own son to be attacked by Arthur. How is that protecting anyone but himself?

The fact that Matt's, ultimately, correct terrifies Maury.

"If you cared so much, why'd you let him make you do anything in the first place?" The room is a hum of intense, passionate whispers so as not to wake the night nurses, but it's a difficult balance to keep. Taking a moment to pinch the bridge of his nose between two fingers, Matt tries to concentrate.

Past the room to the nurses station. The hallway. The sounds coming from the machines eyed through open doors. The red glow of a shift clock. Room 509 is nothing special in the whole scheme, despite the fact that there is a visitor inside. Or is there? The poor man who suffered a car accident is just resting peacefully in there, the lights of his television playing softly on the aged folds of his weathered and pained face.
Unsuspecting fish fall so easily for bait. Soon Matt doesn't have to keep up the illusion at all - the nurses are eager to have less to really think about.

"Why'd you disappear? I can think of a dozen times when I needed you, even when I didn't want you there. If you were all about protecting me and had my best interests in mind, where the hell were you when the same damn things started happening to me, huh? Off being Petrelli's stooge?" Matt presses his lips together, swallowing for a moment to steady himself before he adds, "Or…or Linderman's?"

"Matty," Maury's voice toes that line between pleading and frustrated, some of that old anger he always had coming rumbling back. "Matty I sided with Arthur because he had a plan, he was gonna' bring down the Company, he was gonna' make everything better. I— something went wrong, Matty. He lost it— he just lost everything. I tried, I tried to do everything I could to make sure that you wouldn't be caught in the crossfire when Petrelli got taken down. Matty, everything was supposed to get better and it— it just got worse."

He swallows, head shaking from side to side. "I know I was a bad father to you, I know I— I was just afraid of what I'd do to you an' your mother, what my power'd make me do. I— I was terrified you'd learn by my example. I was so scared of what'd happen if you had me as a role model." Swallowing tightly, the old man sits his bed up just a bit more. "I wanted you t'hate me, even if it killed me, if it meant you'd turn out nothin' like me."

But he never says where he was, who he ran to, or why.

"I am nothing like you," Matt - Matty - says with so much venom that it twists his face. The already dim lights flicker, as if something was going wrong with the power. But the machines Maury is attached to still beep away with vibrant life. "I'm not a coward, and," but there is a pause as Matt swallows and steadies himself. "And I'm a good father." Even if he is far from perfect, he's better than Maury.

"And I care about more than just me." Matt takes another deep breath which makes his shoulders rise and fall. His fingers curl toward his palms, but they don't close into fists. Not yet anyway. "From what I saw, what Petrelli was doing was ten times worse than anything I've ever seen over at Primatech."

"It had a purpose Matty," Maury's tone steels, "abilities for everyone, no us and them anymore. We were going to change the world and protect it from psychopaths like Humanis First. But Arthur— he— he lost focus," some of that venom begins to slide away, "he became obsessed with figuring out what the people who came here from the future knew. He just— Matty you can't believe that the Company is the lesser of two evils after everything they've done."

Sitting up of his own volition in th ebed, Maury's eyes divert to that flickering of lights, then go back to his son. "You should let me go, Matty… I think— " he swallows, just asking, "I think you should let me go. I made a mistake, coming to you, tryin' to get you to understand. You're angry— I understand that— but Monroe's still out there, and I've gotta' do something about him."

It starts low in Matt's chest, but the first place it climbs is the back of his throat. The snort grows from there to a voiced chuckle, scornful and snide. "What are you going to do, Dad? Beg him not to finish killing you? He's insane. Getting in his twisted little brain isn't going to help anyone." Matt turns and sits on the windowsill, folding his arms across his barrel chest.

A moment passes in silence before he speaks again, but when he does, it is low and brooding. "You know what he kept asking me about when I was in that basement? Hell, he even called me once before I'd found you."

"I'm gonna' kill him, Matty. I'm not going t'try an' reason with him." Maury's response is more in line with the man Matt remembers; cynical and angry at everything. "I know I can't do it, so I'll find someone who can. I understand you're mad at me, Matty. I understand, an' m'not going to try and change that now. I tried, I can't." Maury's eyes divert to the door, then back to his son.

"Just let me walk out that door, Matty, and you won't see me ever again…" He says it like it's a boon, like it's what his son wants. Once again, he's going to walk out this door; this time he's making his son open it for him.

"Convince him to cut off his own head?" Matt snorts again. "Convince his brain his heart has stopped beating?" Assuming Maury's even capable of such a thing. "Good luck. And good luck finding him. Primatech can't even do that.

"You're not just going to walk out that door." Matt's tone moves from that of an angry son to the professional law-man. "You're here to get patched up. After that? Well. Let's just say there are plenty of ways to dig into your head to get information."

"I don't have to find him, Matty. He'll find me." But Maury's not trying to convince his son with those words, having listened to that last line, having realized that he's no more free here than he was in Arthur's shadow, Maury sits up straight and looks at his son with furrowed brows. "I'm sorry, Matty…"

The immediate sensation of pain comes from Matt as Maury's mind jacknifes into his, heedless of the telepathic feedback that resonates between them. But Maury delves deep, his head tilting to the side and brows furrowing in an expression so familiar to anyone who has seen his son at work. Maury's taughtness of brow comes with a lulling sensation and a cessation of conscious thought, as dark walls begin to form in around Matt, and Maury begins doing what he's done to so many others…

Building a prison of the mind's eye.

Tension spreads like wildfire through Matt's limbs. Burning, consuming tension. His jaw clenches and his eyes pop, and a moment later he's screaming. He'd have to be a chump to not recognize what's happening to him.

And Matt's anything but.

It's not real. It's not real. It's not real.


The roared name isn't a plea for mercy so much as it is a demand, not that Matt expects it to do much. He presses his lips together and furrows his own brows, bearing down on what needs to be done. Nose to the grindstone.

Matt pushes against those walls of obligation and self doubt with the only weapon he has against them, forcing them back until he can see his father again.

Maury. Maury sitting. Maury poised. The room goes dark, and the beeping machines flutter until their music becomes nothing but a gruesome groan.

The beeping fades away entirely, a muted sound that drifts off into the distance, then slowly begins to come back into crystal clarity for Matthew Parkman. Light fills the room again, and the suffocating shadows and grimy wallpaper of the prison of the past his father was designing for him is gone, replaced with the eggshell white walls, tubes and hoses of the hospital. Laying in the bed instead of sitting up, Maury Parkman stares up wide-eyed at the ceiling, mouth open slightly, unmoving.

His EKG continues to beeo softly, fluttering with his average heartbeat, but the spikes on his EEG indicate rapid brain activity, even if none of it seems to be outwardly showing. It's hard to say exactly when Matt Parkman's ability eclipsed that of his father, when the son overcame, when the weapon of his mind became so honed that it could do as a father did.

But evidenced in the subconscious prison Maury Parkman now lays trapped in, Matt is presented with a horrible truth. He isn't the man his father is, he didn't become like his father at all.

He surpassed him.

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