Elle asks for two things before she leaves – her watch, and her necklace. Petrelli provides both without much argument, apparently unable to find a reason to deprive her of them. She notices Sylar's eyes linger on the watch as she fastens it to her wrist, but if he sees anything worth mentioning, he doesn't do so in front of Petrelli. He only listens silently as Petrelli hands him a cell phone and whispers something to him that Elle chooses to ignore. She also grabs the red hooded sweatshirt, though she doesn't put it on, instead tossing it in the backseat of the dark blue sedan to which they've been assigned, before grabbing the driver's door before Sylar can even protest.
Maybe as an alternative, he points to the gage as soon as she's turned the key in the ignition. "We won't make it there on that."
Elle knows better than to question this. But she's glad that he's the one to point it out.
As she pulls onto the highway, she nearly swerves off the road; he's reached out, and placed a hand on her shoulder, in a way she's come to understand from others as a reassuring gesture. In fact, it's only then that she realizes how tightly she's holding herself. Elle's about to ask if he thinks Petrelli's put a camera in the car when she bites it back – if that were the case, Sylar would be the one to know.
Instead, she relaxes her stance.
Without looking over to him: "You know that thing we talked about before?"
He doesn't answer. She switches lanes, and speeds up to pass the car in front of them.
"I was just wondering when you thought you'd get to it."
Sylar pulls away from her shoulder, his hand slipping down near the gear shift.
"I want to get this done."
It's something like a temporary truce. Elle slows into the left lane once more, and takes her right hand off the steering wheel, moving it to cover his. He doesn't return the gesture, but also can't force her away.
Something like a truce, anyway.
She stops ten miles out, pulling into an exit that boasts two gas stations and a pizza place across the road. He's obviously as relieved as she is to get out of the car, but after she's set the tank to fill and seen that Sylar looks distracted by staring at the car's closed hood, she slips off into the building itself.
What she'll need is apparent immediately – a woman with braided black hair is making her way through an aisle of car maintenance products, purse swinging loosely at her shoulder, and the tip of something plastic poking out of its front pocket. Elle glances once to the cashier, who's reading a fashion magazine behind the register, and the only other customer, a man pulling a soda from the refrigerated shelves at the back, before stepping quickly behind the woman.
The woman's phone pocketed, she walks straight for the restroom at the far end of the store, and locks the door to it behind her.
There's no time, barely any thought to it. Elle dials a number she's known since she was six years old, repeated over and over until there was no chance she would ever forget it.
A recorded message informing her that she's reached Primatech Paper barely starts before she hits star. And then, five numbers:
When she emerges, the woman is at the register buying coolant. Elle gives the station a cursory glance before passing the woman, slipping the phone back into her purse pocket as she does so.
Two steps from the door, she nearly walks into him. It's quick enough that she can't entirely hide a startled look up at him, but she recovers almost immediately, and moves past him to the door without saying anything.
But he doesn't hesitate to ask, "What were you doing?"
"I went to the bathroom." It wasn't even a lie. Elle feels his eyes on her as she reaches the car once more, and there, she turns back to him.
"What else could I do?"
Either satisfied with her answer, or simply unwilling to admit uncertainty, Sylar doesn't say anything else before he makes his way back, and takes over driving.
Sylar's not so keen on her suggested approach of leaving the car a few miles away and sneaking in through the garage entrance. Apparently he's feeling more like making a show of the whole thing. Which, while it may not be what she was trained for, would always be her own, private preference, as well. But she doesn't say or show that now. She doesn't even allow herself the tiniest hint of surprise when Sylar smashes the car through the closed gate at the front, and screeches to a halt in front of the main entrance.
However, once they've stepped out of the car, it's clear they have no audience. There are no guards near the entrance, no one in sight.
She can see that he's bothered by this, but takes the lead, making her way to the double glass doors at the front of the building. They're unlocked; she doesn't even need to put in the code at the keypad next to them. The lights are out in the hallway ahead of them, with still no one around where she knows security should be. But with no hesitation, she walks straight ahead, into the darkened hallway toward the small lobby that she knows lies beyond. She knows Sylar hasn't followed her, but keeps walking, until she's about ten feet ahead of him.
And then she turns. He's silhouetted against the daylight through the glass doors, but for the moment doesn't move toward her. Elle waits for him to say it, and slips her hand behind her back.
Quietly, "It's like they knew."
"That we were coming."
She doesn't answer. But she doesn't have to – finally, after so long, she lets her mind go.
And the dark hall is filled with light.