ellectrical: ([AU/Young] shadowed)
ellectrical ([personal profile] ellectrical) wrote2011-04-10 09:46 pm
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August 2007, I'd burn this whole building down

Well - who do you want to be instead?

Someone who didn't let that happen.

And then the testing began.

The brain isn't built to take
that much electricity.

You poor girl.

My father would never let that happen.

Your father was leading the charge.

I don't remember any of that.

No memories, huh? Kind of like someone took them away?

Why do you think

I worked so hard

to keep the Company away from Claire?

When Elle wakes, she wakes all at once.

And then she shrieks. Because it's on top of her – it's heavy and it's wet and it's dead and until she's shoved it off and scrambled against the wall she doesn't know if she'll ever get out from it. There's shouting and a few, rushed footsteps, blinking lights and a steady, pounding note around her, but more than anything her breathing, so much and she can't stop it. Her eyes stay the dead thing on the floor and briefly there's nothing but the creeping feeling like a spider crawling up her arm, like it will move toward her despite how plainly it can't –


The shift is immediate. The creeping feeling is gone, the alarm around them so much louder. Claire is on the other side of the hall, and it's Bennet, shouting at her to get away. Who knows what she'll do. Elle looks to the floor, to all the blood, the stain she'd spread across the tile to her right leg of her jeans; now the hole on her thigh doesn't go past the denim. And for the first time she really sees him – not something dark and empty that she doesn't understand. Just another body. The axe she'd pulled from the grandfather clock is lodged in the back of his head. Claire had struck him deep enough that it wouldn't heal unless removed. Her eyes move a few inches away, to the now empty syringe also left on the floor.

The feeling threatens again, a need to scream she can't place and a rush in her chest that makes it hard to breathe, but she doesn't so much as gasp. She presses her feet to the floor, then her back against the wall, and slowly straightens her legs until she's standing. One step, then the next, around the blood. It's easy enough.


This time, it's Bennet. Elle doesn't look over to him, just continues her steady steps toward Claire. The flickering light glimmers on her face, in a way she doesn't understand until she's close enough to see that the girl's eyes are wet. And though for once Elle doesn't feel confused by it, something new floods up inside her. It makes her move close to Claire, though Claire's looking beyond her, eyes fixed on the body across the floor. Bennet shouts at them again, but Elle barely hears it. The light, the way her hair falls and her hands curl and her shadow runs over the floor. It's all the same, but what she sees is different. She can't understand how she'd never seen it. Or maybe she'd forgotten it.

Because it all really is amazing to see it. All the same, but different. She'd spent so much time feeling locked out of everything and suddenly was overtaken by a sense of wonderment at it.

Claire turns at last, and starts when she sees Elle so close to her. It's Elle who looks to the body now, and she says only, "You killed him."

She watches Claire's shadow nod. And just after it, she moves again, this time walking quickly to the body, and putting her hand around the handle of the axe.

Bennet shouts her name again, but it's too late; Elle rips the axe out of the back of Sylar's skull, and lifts over her head. Just as the tiniest bits of bone begin to reknit themselves, she brings the axe down again, spraying blood up her torso and face. Claire has staggered back to the wall, and Bennet steps in between them, his hand on his gun once more.

"What was that about?"

Elle's not sure she can look at him. But it only has to be the once. Only once, and then they'll go. She releases her grip on the axe, and it clatters down onto the floor next to her feet. She looks up into his eyes.

"You didn't want her to be me."

And now, Elle was still the killer. She lets her eyes drop, but continues, "Go ahead. I'll finish it."

"Are you sure?"

"You think I won't do it now?" It's nearly spat back. Her eyes are the floor, so she can't see his reaction, but she watches his shadow motion to Claire, who steps over from where she'd flattened herself against the wall. They're still for a moment, before –

"What you told him wasn't true, Elle. With the Company gone like this, it just means no one can hide anymore."

It's not a lecture, not a correction: it's a warning. The world they were both used to, the one where they may be unsafe to each other, but at least could limit their enemies as well as their friends, had disintegrated as each abandoned attack grew out of control. There was no hiding it, no hope it would go unnoticed.

Everyone was going to know the truth now.

Elle finds she can do little more than nod at this. She lifts her eyes just enough to see Bennet grasp his daughter's wrist, and begin to pull her away, toward the doors; nothing so different from what he'd done only minutes before. But Claire doesn't move with him this time, and after a few seconds, Elle can feel the girl's eyes on her.

She can't make herself look up again. Instead, she lowers herself to the floor, and picks up the handle of the axe again.

"Thank you," she mumbles, as she stands once more. "For the deal."

Bennet mutters something to Claire, and this time, Elle can hear her footsteps follow his to the door. She knows her voice had cracked, and it still needles her, but the feeling, the sensation she's fighting as she lifts the axe again is very, very different from some annoyance at exposing weakness. She knows Bennet and Claire are gone by the time she lifts the axe again, and continues until she's convinced there won't be any putting this back together again.

Five minutes later, she walks back into her father's old office, blouse and face splattered with blood. It's coming off as she wipes her cheek with the back of her hand, but not the reason for it. Elle lowers herself the sofa at the side, and for the first time in nineteen years, she cries. And screams. She doesn't want to break anything, or hurt anything; she just wants to do this until she physically can't any longer.

But she doesn't have time. Elle allows herself a minute and a half before a switch flicks in her mind, and the tears stop. One sense shut off, another flicked on. She wipes her face with her hand again, and then stands, moving silently to the desk.

With the last codes put in, she had seven minutes to leave the Facility before the process began. Elle walks out the front door through which she had entered, the car from Pinehurst still waiting outside. She takes the time to pull the red hooded sweatshirt from the backseat and put it on over her head, drawing up the hood and tugging its hem down nearly halfway to her knees. Then she slides in to the driver's seat, and begins to pull away from the building.

She watches it fall from her rearview mirror. It's an implosion, with explosives strategically placed within the walls so that it could be destroyed in a hurry if necessary. There is no visible fire, barely any loud sound. The building just seems topples into itself.

Elle's been on the highway for twenty minutes before she sees a long line of siren-blaring vehicles heading in the other direction. It's when she decides that Company or Pinehurst or not, she's abandoning the car the first chance she gets.

All in all, it's not too different from the last time she ran away. She leaves the car in a convenience store parking lot, this time carrying nothing but a twenty-dollar bill in her pocket. The red sweatshirt is large enough that she can pull it over her upper thigh, hiding the hole and bloodstain on her jeans. Much like at Pinehurst, no one really looks at her, not even when she gets on yet another bus with no bags slung on her back, or sits alone near the back, pulling her knees into her chest and completely covering herself with the sweatshirt. She leans her forehead against the window, but doesn't let herself sleep, not even for a moment.

There's no telling what will happen now.

From its stop in Chinatown, she walks to the subway, using the little money she has left on her to get to Queens. The path here is familiar, past the coffee shop and the Pakistani restaurant, to the short building with what is now truly a broken buzzer and one-short list of apartment numbers at the door. She doesn't wait for someone to make her entrance less conspicuous – it's already dark now, and she curls around the door to hide the light of the few sparks she sends into it.

There's someone standing by the mailboxes when the front door pops open. Though she gets a curious glance, Elle closes the door and slips up the stairs without looking back. The noise of low talking and droning televisions creeps from the walls, up until she reaches the door she's looking for – not even a creak comes from the other side. Elle tries the knob to find it locked, then unhooks her watch, slipping its latch into the keyhole, her only real option given that her hair is loose beneath her hood.

She's been fiddling with this for only a few minutes before the door slips open – not because she'd even remotely succeeded, but because it's opened from the inside.

They're silent, Elle's eyes down. She puts the watch back on, and her hands fall to her sides.

"I don't want to forget."

He doesn't answer, but she looks up, and meets his eyes. It's not defiant, or challenging, or threatening. She doesn't even have to work at keeping such hints from her face. It's not for show anymore, when she doesn't allow herself to feel anything.

"I just need to sleep."

This was to fix you.

He stands aside, allowing her to step through, and closes the door with a quiet click after her.

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