Christmas Toys

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. Tis the season, dear friends, and no season is complete without Elle. R/R.

Elle doesn't really remember Christmas. She's been on so many drugs over the years and there's so much electricity in her that sometimes her brain is quite literally fried. She vaguely remembers Christmas from when she was a little girl. Her life started to lose all semblance of normalcy at age six when she started that fire and by age eight when she caused that blackout it was pretty clear nothing about her would ever be normal again.

"When's he gonna wake up?" Her voice is eager, childlike with boundless anticipation and impatience. She unconsciously fidgets in her chair, impulses screaming at her to go over and touch him. She and Bob brought Peter Petrelli in last night. Elle hasn't stopped thinking about him since then. She's an impulsive girl, quick and sudden like a bolt of lightning. She's childish in that way. She thinks in terms of instant gratification and she's completely fascinated by anything or anyone that's new. She remembers Christmas. She remembers how she used to love staring at the colored lights and still does. She could watch them forever, lost in that soft, warm glow of the bulbs and the rhythmic flashing that's almost hypnotic. She doesn't think about why colored lights fascinate her so much. Elle doesn't think about a lot of things.

"Considering the blast you gave him, I'm surprised he's still alive," replies Bob. Elle pouts, her mannerisms more like a ten-year-old than someone of her actual age. Then as quickly as the sulking begins it ends and she gives in to her impulses. She's mercurial at best and at her worst she's a complete sadist. Bob knows that's what makes her so dangerous. There's a very good reason she's been in this building for sixteen years. Elle may have the body of a twenty-four-year-old but her mind is sometimes stuck at age ten or below. Bob doesn't exactly enjoy thinking about what happens when ten-year-olds suddenly realize they can shoot lightning from their hands. He's seen the results enough.

"I told you he could take it," reminds Elle with a mischievous grin as she sits down next to Peter, completely disregarding all thoughts of personal space invasion as children are prone to do, "He's a tough one. Pretty too."

"Elle," warns Bob in a fatherly tone. Elle remembers Christmas for another reason. She loves presents. It's the act of getting something new that she enjoys. New things excite her. They're pretty and shiny and oh so fun to play with.

"We can keep him, right?" asks Elle, her eyes sparkling with glee at the prospect of someone new to play with, "I mean that's the reason you told me to zap him right? Don't we wanna keep him?" She claps her hands together enthusiastically at the thought. She loves new things and it gets so lonely here.

"Let him decide," hisses Bob as Peter begins to stir. Elle stares at him. She hopes he stays. He's so new and pretty and shiny. She can't stop thinking about him. She stares into Peter's eyes and suddenly nothing else matters. All her energy and enthusiasm is quiet for a moment and she finds herself completely transfixed. It's colored lights all over again. She feels her hand reach up to touch Peter's nose. He reflexively smiles a little because, despite her childishness, Elle is a pretty, young woman who has nice eyes too.

"Elle, he's not a toy," reminds Bob sternly. Elle doesn't care what Bob thinks. She remembers all those Christmases she had to spend in this place alone and isolated from the rest of the world. She never got any presents. All she got was drugs and doctors and other terribly un-fun things.

"But he could be," says Elle in a sing-song voice. She wants him to stay. She needs him to stay. She never got any presents. She never got new toys to play with. Now she has a nice, shiny, new toy named Peter and she wants so desperately to play with him. Her mind races with all the fun she could have with him and she giggles as a small arc of lightning snakes from her fingertip and connects with Peter's nose. This is her Christmas. This is her chance to have something for herself that no one else can play with or take away from her. She wants him to stay so badly. Elle remembers all those years of non-Christmas and realizes that having Peter Petrelli to play with makes up for all of it.