ellectrical: (leaning in)
ellectrical ([personal profile] ellectrical) wrote2013-07-10 03:36 am
Entry tags:

Days 290/293/297

She realizes that he's about to leave. There's nothing obvious about it, she just knows. She's watched so many people walk through, stayed silent and still when they entered, did whatever they were there for, and left through that door again. Locking her in again. They knew what was happening. She understood that. And any one of them would probably tell her father what she said. But it doesn't change the fact that she's been working up the nerve all day to say it. It plays out in her mind at such a distance, but she feels constantly on the verge of it. Like she'll be crossing through to some different world.

Elle doesn't know why she chooses him. Maybe because his glasses make her think of her father.


She's barely murmured it, but somehow it seems so loud. His back is turned to her, but he stops, facing the metal door.

It feels as though it's taken everything she had just for that one word. But with her elbows, she pushes herself up very slightly off the cot in the center of the room. As much as she can, anyway.

"Can you – wait –"

The man with the glasses turns now, enough so that Elle can see his face, and it works immediately, giving her a new sense of strength.

"He's coming back."

She's afraid to sound as though she's complaining. Or, for that matter, as though she's afraid. The light glints over his glasses and she can't read his face. (She's begun to forget how.)

"I just –"

Sparks begin to crackle quietly over her palms, and she curls her hands into fists to try to hide it.

"He'll come back and I want – someone else –"

The electricity spreads to her small shoulders, and she slips back down again. But the sight of this hasn't sent him running for the door, the way she'd seen it do with others. And she thinks – maybe – whatever his expression, he doesn't seem afraid of her.

It's what gives her the nerve to whisper, "I don't want to be – alone. With him."

His head tilts, just enough for her to see the edge of his glasses angle down. Elle glances down, as well – down to the metal restraints on her wrists. She knows why they're there, just like she knows why flashes of electricity hum over her skin. It's not that she wants to be free – she doesn't expect that.

But some part of her still dares to want to feel safe.

When she looks up again, his back has turned.

"Please – "

This time, he doesn't stop. The door slides shut before she finishes the word.

"Elle –"

He's standing in the doorway. The moment she sees the edge of his glasses in the hallway light, she jumps up, her shaky footsteps running her up against the back wall before she's even really woken.

She doesn't relax at all as the silence between them lingers, but eventually, he tells her –

"Suresh is here to see you. Upstairs."

Elle still waits until he's closed the door before she moves away from the wall

Hiro's getting frustrated. He won't say anything, but she can by how he swings the sword, taking less care to ensure that if he does manage a hit, he won't take any part of her with him. But she can redirect the angle of each swing as though she had her own sword, and each time she takes just one step away, leading Hiro in a wide circle around the concrete room.

"So it's only as strong as you are?"

Elle whips to the side, this time slowing the blade to give her time to step away rather than forcing it aside.

"Suresh said 'indirect strength.'"

"Which means?"

She stops, and lifts her hands. Hiro's blade stops in the air, as though it's run into some invisible wall, though Elle's arms immediately begin to tremble.

"I don't move your sword."

It goes on for nearly a minute, as Hiro tries to shove his sword and toward her, and Elle struggles to keep the field in place, before she finally relents, jumping out of the way but also causing him to slip to the floor. He somersaults up from it so quickly one might think he'd fallen on purpose, and Elle takes a step back, keeping her distance from him.

"So you couldn't stop a speeding bullet?"

She shakes her head. "But I might knock the gun away."

Just as she says it, Hiro's sword tries to tear itself out of his hand. He keeps his grip on its handle, however, and again, Elle relents.

"Does this happen a lot?"

Elle's eyes stay on the sword, though she gets a small smile.

"You don't think you have enough?"

"That's not what I meant."

She meets his eyes, but doesn't speak again until he continues. "Will something else happen to me?"

It's been less than two years since the day Mendez painted of Hiro in Times Square. What can I do has already become what will happen to me.

Elle's smile fades, and she answers, "I think you're done."

Hiro vanishes. A moment later, his sword is on her throat. Now Elle does grab the blade, as small sparks crackle up over her skin.

"She's sure?"

"She saw him." Bennet rubs his forehead. "A kid that matches the description. Apparently it's being kept under wraps even inside, but she wouldn't have reported if she wasn't certain."

All at once, it seems, everyone in the room goes still. It's as though they could have put it out of mind, dismissed the whole thing as impossible, until this moment, when putting him on a map had made him real. Elle's eyes stay down on the map, or more precisely, on the red pushpin that's been placed there.

"Does she know anything about his condition?"

"I think she would have said something more if it were immediately serious." Bennet folds his arms. "But what she can say is limited."

Elle still doesn't look up. But after a short silence, Hiro speaks.

"Are any of you going to say what that place is?"

She closes her eyes, and is silently grateful when Bennet decides to answer.

"It's Odessa. There used to be a Company facility there."

"Which means –"

"- that the hunters must have rebuilt it. You're right, Hiro."

Hiro nods, then looks around the room, as though expecting someone else to speak. When no one does – "Then you'll know your way around."

This ends the silence very quickly.

"Whoa, what?"

"Hiro –"

"You're going to show them what you can do?" Bennet's voice rises above the others, and Hiro meets his eyes.

"It's better than just hiding down here," he answers.

"Don't you think that's a little reckless?"

"He's right, Hiro," Cynthia Sakamoto speaks up from behind him, but Hiro's already shaking his head.

"No, he's not. We've been hiding down here and it hasn't helped us at all. No one knows who we are, so they don't care when we disappear."

"If we do this, they might start wanting us to."

"We're not you," Hiro snaps back at Sakamoto. There's a moment of tense silence before he continues, "We're not the Company. We don't let this happen."

When Elle looks up, it's to meet Hiro's eyes. Then she blinks away, glancing around the room, and realizes he's not the only one who was looking at her.

She'll think about what that means later.

Elle looks back to Hiro, and when she does, he holds out his hand toward her. One ally to get things started, anyway.

Without speaking, she rises up, and takes it.

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