There was a coffee machine like this one on Hartsdale, in a lounge on the second floor. Others were scattered around the building, but Elle remembers this one because of its blocky shape and good reputation among the employees that used it. It was how she learned that many don't drink coffee until their late teens (Matt Neuenberg had refused the drink she'd be given since she was nine years old), and the first machine she used to make coffee, though most avoided handing her this task, as she usually forgot at least one step. Now, Elle hasn't gotten that far. This machine is in an almost entirely empty storeroom, and she's climbed up onto the table by the wall where it's been left, peering down inside it as she flicks a switch on its side, which seems to do nothing at all.
It's what she's doing when he enters. The sound of the door makes her still, though she'd known it was coming, who would step through. But Elle meets his eyes, and doesn't look away as she slips down from the table, back onto the floor. Her movements are stiff; she can feel herself dangling on a hook. But he doesn't move any closer.
"What are you doing here?"
He hadn't expected it. Or he's acting that way, at least. Elle doesn't look away.
"It's kind of weird, isn't it?" she answers, without inflection. There's a short silence between them, as Sylar seems to expect something more that she's not going to give, and Elle moves back to the table and reaches toward the coffee machine again. Before she can touch it, however, it's lifted into the air, and smashed into the concrete floor, so close to her that she has to jump to avoid shattered pieces of plastic and steel.
Her eyes stay down on the remains of the machine. She doesn't look up or answer when he asks, "What did that mean?"
And then, she's the one lifted, and slammed down again. It's not unexpected, and she tries to suppress the automatic sense of panic that claws in her stomach, every inch of her body screaming for a fight or flight (or mostly just fight). But her mind is quiet; she does neither. One moment she's standing, the next she's on her back, on the table a few feet behind her. It's enough to hold her, though her legs fall over the edge at the knees, and the back of her head aches. Her fingers brush the table at its edges. It's the most she can move.
"What," he repeats, and once again, she can hear his steps approaching her, "did that mean?"
Elle's eyes linger on the ceiling. She doesn't speak until he's stepped into her line of sight, and then meets his eyes without any hesitation.
"They keep doing it, don't they? Sending all these broken people to you."
Her tone is flat. Fear doesn't occur to her. What difference could it make. She lets her voice twist up into a question as she continues.
"What do you think that means?"
People have called her strange. Or mysterious. They say they don't know what she's thinking. But they don't know how to read her because she doesn't know how to be read. Now, whether Sylar's expression is inscrutable or she just can't see it is yet another thing she doesn't know. Elle takes it like she's learned to take such things – that she's on the brink of another attack. It's always only a matter of time.
It's not restlessness that makes her say it. It's off her tongue before she's thought about it; maybe she's just curious.
"Aren't you going to try again?"
He steps away, out of her sight. She looks back to the ceiling, but his footsteps continue to recede. By the time he's lifted the telekinesis keeping her down, he's at the door. She raises herself in time to see him move back into the hall, his steps edging into a run.