Blackout

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Just some random speculation about how tomorrow's episode could play out. R/R.

He waits until the staff is gone and the halls are dark and quiet. Peter Petrelli appears like a ghost, shimmering into existence from thin air. There is no noise in the room except the slow, steady tick of the heart monitor. He stares at the woman lying in the hospital bed. No, not a woman. Peter isn't sure because quite frankly everyone sees Elle as some childish little girl when in reality she's a woman. No, she was a woman until Peter took that away. He took too many things away from her and never gave her anything in return.

Peter can't count how many times he's watched someone die. It used to be his job. He used to take care of people while they waited for death to come. Peter used to believe a person could die with dignity. Elle would be lucky if that were to happen now because quite frankly Peter thinks death is a pleasant alternative to being in an indefinite coma that borders precariously on total brain death. Yet all those times Peter saw someone die he never once expedited the process. He never pulled any plugs. He just sat there quietly day in and day out while time marched forward and death grew ever closer. Then came the whole "world-saving" thing and suddenly Peter was tired of waiting patiently for death to do its thing when he knew he could stop it. Why should anyone have to die at all?

Peter knows he's always been a naïve idiot. He's heard all the knocks over the years from his brother to his mother to his friends about how he simply refuses to grow up and become an adult. Peter has always been a fool, a gullible and naïve fool who thought he could save the world. Now Elle is the one paying for those mistakes and the only thing Peter feels he can do is what he's best at: sit and wait for death to release her from this torturous existence he's condemned her to. It's all his fault. He shouldn't have helped Adam. He shouldn't have fought with Hiro, Nathan, and the others. He shouldn't have hurt her.

Peter can remember standing inside the Primatech building in Odessa and seeing Elle there to confront him on behalf of a company who thought of her as a weapon and at the order of a father who never loved her. Peter can't remember the exact words but he remembers the anger and the betrayal both of them felt towards the other. The two of them volleyed angry words at one another as hard and fast as they did with bolts of lightning. Peter matched her insult for insult and zap for zap until both of them were deadlocked in a literal power struggle that threatened the entire facility and the lives of everyone in it. The actual outcome of that battle, however, was far more devastating as Peter will now attest to. The proof is staring him right in the face.

Peter's fingers dance across Elle's cheek and he desperately checks the EEG for signs of activity. There's nothing to be found but dead, empty blankness. The electrical overload from their fight short-circuited Elle's brain, quite literally frying it. She's still technically alive but Peter doubts there's any hope that she'll wake up at all much less soon. Peter feels the guilt eat him alive. He just can't seem to get it right. He tries to save the world by blowing himself up but he comes back. He tries to disappear and start a new life in Ireland but he just can't let his past stay forgotten. He tries to save Caitlin from an ugly, grim future and certain death but he backs the wrong man and almost becomes a killer in the process.

"Please," whispers Peter as he takes Elle's hand in his, "Just do something, Elle. Just smile for me or zap me or yell at me. Just . . . do something." Deaf ears and dead brains don't answer pleas. Peter can't accept this. He won't accept this. He can make things right. He has to. He looks at Elle's IV and suddenly he has a plan. No more delusions of grandeur about saving the world. Peter just wants to save someone he cares about. He quickly moves to find a syringe. Adam's blood could heal people. If that was true then is it possible his blood can do the same if he copies Adam's power? Can he be the one Elle needs?

"Hope this works," mutters Peter as he concentrates. He tries not to think about Elle. He tries not to think about how infectiously adorable her smile is or how he misses seeing that little childlike spark in her eyes. He tries not to think about how horrible he was to her. Peter's good at shifting blame although he usually shifts it onto himself. He thinks about Adam instead, thinks about how much he despises the man for what he almost turned Peter into. Peter lets all the hate and anger burn in his veins and he scrapes the needle across his arm, watching the cut heal instantly. Peter hangs on to that rage as he sticks himself with the syringe. He lets the hate fester and rot while he draws out as much blood as he can. He'll bleed himself dry if necessary.

"Please work," whispers Peter as he puts the blood into the IV. He doesn't know what will happen. Even if his blood heals the brain damage there's no guarantee she'll regain consciousness. He has to try. He can't sit around and wait for death. He has to fight. Peter watches the blood run through the tubes and into Elle's body. He sits in a chair, pulling it up to her bed, but he never takes his eyes off of her. She's beautiful when she's at peace and asleep. It's like the calm before the storm or the eye of a hurricane. She is beauty and power all at once. Peter took that energy and power away from her and now he hopes with all his heart he can return it.

"Work," pleads Peter as he takes Elle's hand and stares at the EEG, "C'mon and work." The lights inside him are dying, flickering out one by one. He thinks about pulling her plug. Anything is better than this. Anything is better than just waiting in limbo for the chance to die. Peter waits for Elle just as she waited for him those long, lonely months while he was gone. He places his hope in the hands of some higher being because Peter Petrelli is no god no matter how hard he tries. Peter Petrelli can't save the world. Peter Petrelli can't even save the girl.

"I tried," whispers Peter, "I tried." He squeezes Elle's hand and just when he thinks all hope is gone he feels something. She squeezes back and a tiny spark shoots through his hand. Peter's never been so happy to feel pain.

"Told you . . . you'd like it," says Elle weakly as she slowly but surely opens her eyes. Peter kisses her hand and smiles as Elle looks up at him.

"I'm so sorry," whispers Peter, "I never should've hurt you."

"Can't," begins Elle but there's not enough energy in her brain to form the rest of the words. Peter gently kisses her forehead.

"Just rest," he whispers to her, "It'll be okay. I'll make it okay again."

"Stay," pleads Elle.

"I will," assures Peter as he strokes her cheek, "Just rest." He holds her hand while she slips away into sleep. She's not fully healed but Peter can wait. He'll give her another infusion tomorrow night and he'll keep giving it to her until she's fully recovered. He'll bleed himself dry for the chance to see her smile again. Until then, the only thing Peter Petrelli can do is sit patiently and wait. This time he's not waiting for death. This time, he's waiting for life to begin again.