Author's Note: You have no idea how much work I ignored to write another installment. Unless this fits in perfectly with the next episode (and that's very very unlikely) there will not be any more.
When Elle woke up, she was starving. Literally. She had barely been able to eat since the tremors started. She looked around the lab area to see if there was anything at all to eat, but there wasn't.
She got out of the bed, and started to wander the halls. The building reminded her a lot of the Company, only brighter and less prison-like. Knowing that Arthur Petrelli was involved, Elle thought about what the implications of Pinehearst might be. She wondered why he was starting a new company.
Elle turned the corner and found herself in a large area that was open to below. She saw Sylar walking down a parallel catwalk, and she backed up so that she was behind the corner again. Sylar seemed to have free range, and that caused Elle to have more questions about Arthur Petrelli's motives. She had never thought of the Company as good or bad, just necessary. Now, she realized that this company, where Peter Petrelli was stripped of his powers by his own father and thrown out a window, was decidedly bad.
She went back the way she came and ran into a young woman with a dull, blank stare. Elle smiled, although she found the woman disturbing. "Uh, hi. Is there any place around here I could get food?"
The woman smiled back at her, but her eyes remained lifeless. "Are you Miss Bishop?"
"Yes," Elle said cautiously. She was aware that, with no powers, she was probably about to wear out her welcome.
"Mr. Petrelli mentioned you might be hungry when you woke up." The woman put her arm around Elle's shoulder and led her back to the room she had left minutes before. The woman sat her forcibly on the bed and promised to return with food. Elle determined that just because it did not look like a prison, it did not mean it wasn't one.
The food came shortly, and it was delicious. Of course, considering that she had not had any food in days, she would probably think anything was delicious. Elle finished the food and tried to think of what else the tremors had prevented her from doing.
Showering. Elle had forced herself to shower only once after the tremors started, just as she had forced herself to eat occasionally. But that shower had been as short as possible and unbearably painful. The thought of a long, hot shower seemed heavenly to her. She did not suppose that Arthur Petrelli had arranged for her to have one of those. She made an inquiry to the disturbing woman.
"This is a place of business," the woman said with reproach. "We don't have showers scattered about."
"That's fine. Then I'll just leave."
"No!" The woman pursed her lips. "Mr. Petrelli was very clear that he wanted you to stay." She shook her head. "I'll see what I can do."
Elle was torn at the idea of staying. On the one hand, she had nowhere else to go, and she was really curious about what was going on here. On the other hand, she would have to deal with Arthur and Sylar sooner or later.
It turned out she would have to deal with one of them sooner rather than later. The woman brought Sylar into the room and left.
"So, you need a shower," he said slowly.
She pulled her legs up so that she was sitting cross-legged. "Are you, like, running this place?"
"No, my father does that."
Elle tried to remember the reports she had read on him. She had not thought that there was a father in the picture. "Who's your father?"
He hesitated. "Arthur. It turns out I'm a Petrelli."
She tried not to look surprised. "Then you are running it, as the heir apparent. I assume, since he let you get rid of Peter."
"Peter didn't understand. He still sees things as black and white, but I think you of all people understand how many shades of gray there are."
Elle shrugged. "That woman wouldn't let me leave. She said that Mr. Petrelli wanted me to stay. I assumed she meant Arthur."
"Yes, he thinks you still may be of some use."
"Is that why you're not trying to kill me anymore?" She made this remark in a flippant way, but she really wanted to know.
"No," he said. "I'm letting go of my anger. Trying not kill anymore."
Elle remembered again the glimpses she had of Gabriel the night before. "I tried to stop killing people once. It didn't take." Sylar genuinely laughed. She continued, "Although I guess it will now. So what are you going to do about this shower situation? That's why you're here, right?"
Sylar looked her up and down, but it seemed unintentional. "I'm here because Margo said you were being difficult."
Elle rolled her eyes. "I had malfunctioning electric shockwaves going through me at uncontrollable intervals. I haven't showered in quite a while."
Sylar was silent for a long time. At one point, he looked away from her as though embarrassed. Finally, he said, "I have a room with a bathroom on the top floor. I guess you could use my shower."
Elle was conflicted again. Between hating him for what he took from her and really liking that he was embarrassed at the thought of her in his shower, she did not know what to feel. She wanted to taunt him a little, make him more uncomfortable, but she did not want him to take back his offer for her to use his shower. So she said, "That would be great."
On the walk to his room, she decided that if he could give up his anger and stop killing people, then maybe she should try to give up toying with people and stop hurting them. She thought about telling him so, but then she realized that he had never known that she was a bit of a sadistic sociopath. "That joke about killing people, I didn't really kill that many. And I never tortured small animals like Ar—your father said." Both of those statements were lies, but she did not want Gabriel to think of her that way. She wanted to believe he was still the monster Sylar in order to hold onto her anger, but if he was really trying to change, he might be becoming more like the man she had known.
When they got to the door to his room, Elle paused. It looked nothing like the door to his apartment in New York City, but she still had a wave of nostalgia. She wished she could go back to that time when she brought him pie and baked him ziti. She wished she could redo everything, explain it all to him away from the spying ears of Noah Bennett. Until that moment, she had never thought about how much she had needed Gabriel. She knew that she was going to betray him, so she never allowed herself to think about the fact that he was the first real friend she ever had. She had partners before and her father, of course, but she had never had a friend or any kind of relationship before Gabriel. And she had not had any since either, except possibly Claire.
Sylar opened the door, and any hope of changing the past disappeared. He showed her the bathroom, and she closed and locked the door. She realized that he probably had a way, if not several, of unlocking the door if he really wanted to, so it was a mostly symbolic gesture.
She felt really awkward as she undressed. She stepped into his green granite shower and turned on the water. At first, she just stood under the showerhead and let the hot water run over her. After a few minutes of that, she smelled his body wash. It had a musky, masculine smell. With no loofah or washcloth, she did the best she could. He had only a utilitarian shampoo and no conditioner, but again, she made do. Without putting too much thought into why she would possibly be doing it, she used his razor to shave her legs.
Elle wrapped herself in a towel. She did not want to put her dirty clothes back on. She cracked open the door, hoping that Sylar would not be there and she could steal a shirt or something. However, he was there, sitting on his bed. When he heard the door open, he turned to look at her. Then he quickly looked away.
Elle decided to bite the bullet. "Can I borrow some clothes?"
He kept his eyes averted. "I don't have many clothes. I haven't been here long."
She wanted him to look at her. She walked out of the bathroom in only the towel and stood in front of him. "Are you sure you don't have anything?"
He looked at her again. "What are you doing?"
In that moment, she needed him to want her. She realized it was part of her problem. She flirted incessantly with men in order to form some kind of a connection to another person. Yet, the men rarely responded to her. She needed Sylar to be different. Even knowing that he blamed her for turning him into what he was, she needed this. Gabriel was still in there, and she needed him of all people to actually want her. So, she dropped the towel.
Elle had not had sex with Gabriel back when they were dating. This was because of two reasons. The first reason was that she knew she was going to betray him, and she did not want to get that invested. The second reason was that she was working for the Company, and she was not willing to lose her virginity like that. That was all changed now, though. She did not have her job with the Company anymore, and her betrayal was in the past. Now he was the man who killed her father, the reason she was dead inside. The least he could do for her now was make her feel wanted.
It turned out Elle really liked sex. She had always thought that she would like it well enough, but it surpassed her expectations. This was partly because sex had entered her life at exactly the right time. The feelings it caused were not quite electric, but they filled a void left by her power. For that brief time, she no longer felt dead inside.
Her whole life, Elle had embraced her power, almost to the point of being addicted to it. Now it was gone, and the only thing that came close to filling that need was the man lying next to her. It might have felt the same with any number of men, but she did not want to find out. Once the afterglow had worn off, she propped herself up on her side. "I'll never forgive you for killing my father. Never."
He stared at her, and she had no idea what he was thinking. In fact, as much as she had needed him to have sex with her that day, she did not know why he had done it. It was clear from before that he hadn't forgiven her for her part in his downfall. He did not say anything at all, so she asked him, "So where does this leave us?"
"You know, I didn't kill your father to hurt you. I did it for a lot of reasons, and I never even thought about you. The fact that you'll never forgive me for it is the only thing that made it possible for me to... not forgive you exactly, but be this civil to you. As far as I'm concerned we're kind of even now."
"I could have love you. I mean, I can't now, but I could have then. And I did think you were special, far more special than Trevor." She made a gun with her finger and thumb. "I just had a job to do."
He sighed. "So where does that leave us?"
"Well, I hate you. And you haven't forgiven me exactly. And we're both trying to change. I think that's kind of perfect."
"Perfect for what? For this?" He gestured at her naked body.
"For now." She jumped out of bed, and picked up his shirt from the floor. "I'm just going to borrow this until I can get some other clothes." She went to the bathroom to retrieve her jeans and came out dressed. "And just so you know, we won't be even unless I kill your father, which is apparently harder than it looks. And I'm guessing he has Peter's ability to heal, so we'll never be even."
He pulled her down so that she was sitting on the bed. "What if I could give you your power back?"
Elle had trouble even finding her voice. "How?" she whispered.
"There's a formula. I don't really know the details, but Mohinder Suresh is working on it. And it is supposed to give powers to anyone."
Elle's mind was racing. She tried to remember anything she had heard at the Company about a formula. At just the thought of having it back, her hands were tingling with phantom electricity.
Sylar was still talking. "I lost my powers once, too, but I didn't lose the hunger for them. I know how it feels to be dead inside. So if I can give you back your power, will we be even?"
Elle looked at her hands and thought about her father. She mimicked zapping Sylar with a bolt of electricity. "Maybe," she said.
Author's Note: I know that's not quite an ending, but it's up to you to decide whether she is able to get her power back and whether she ever forgives him.