Set to Kings of Leon's Only By the Night.

17.

(Oh, she's only 17.

Whine whine whine, weep over everything.)

This is the part Elle hates.

She picks at her thumbnail. Lets an electric blue spark flicker off the top, fizzle into nothing. Absently, she lifts it to her mouth and bites at the tip of the nail. Her blue eyes flash, flicker across the room, dangerous yet void of real understanding.

This is what will truly drive her crazy.

It's the waiting. The classes that drag on and on and on, the featureless students that surround her, the absence of power. The bland submission that echoes through every one of them. She feels her control thrumming through her, invisible electrical impulses firing rapidly. The heady knowledge that she could destroy everyone with one swift move, with a quick collection of power deep in her chest and an even faster release, and boom.

The place would be leveled. No one would survive.

Except for her.

Elle slides further down in her desk, her Chucks squeaking loudly against the linoleum. The teacher turns slightly, flashes her a disapproving look that shifts into unease, and then goes back to the board. Something about Elle's eyes makes everyone nervous- maybe they spark like her fingers, maybe they cut like her lightning bolts. Elle feels a trickle of energy slide down the back of her neck and her hairs stand on end. Her toes are tingling. She's angry, suddenly, almost uncontrollably. She's burning with energy. But her daddy's voice whispers behind her eyes, between her ears.

Patience. Put it all inside.

The energy fizzles back to a slow simmer. It's all she does nowadays, anyway. Waits, patiently. She stretches her fingers out to drum them against the hard desk, but then pulls them back, shoves them into her lap. She has to keep out of sight, away from the limelight, and it isn't easy for a girl who's been the center of attention all her life. It isn't easy for a girl who's never actually had free time.

She doesn't know what to do with herself.

So she watches her.

"May I go to the bathroom?" She raises her hand and smiles in a way she hopes is sweet. She's never actually smiled, either. In some ways, she misses the control of the Company, but there's this desperate little twitch inside of her that begs her to discover, to learn. Maybe it's a delayed childhood. Maybe it's some form of madness.

(It's a tick of our time and the tic in her head that made me feel so strange.)

She's wandering the halls, her bangs shielding part of her face, her eyes on the floor, when someone bumps into her.

"I'm sorry." The person sniffles, but doesn't stop. Elle glances up to see her. Her, with mascara streaks down her face and pained red eyes focused somewhere else. She keeps hurrying down the hall. There's a flicker of a grimace on Elle's face (she still doesn't understand tears, doesn't get how they can change anything) but it disappears. And she's left with a desperate feeling of lost control, and helplessness. Her body turns, following Claire.

"Are you okay?" Her voice disappears, caught in her throat. A tiny whisper barely breathed into the space. The second the words leave her lips, she has a desperate desire to draw them back in. But Claire doesn't hear her. Elle snaps her teeth on her bottom lip, hard enough to draw blood. Stills her body, hoping she won't be noticed again. She marvels at the whole fiasco for a moment, watches the blonde cheerleader disappear around the corner with her hand on her face.

Elle's eyes are wide.

Her life is a repeating of actions, of words and commands, and the only break in normalcy is her. Claire is the only thing that makes Elle feel and most of the time she doesn't even know what it is. She doesn't even know the words to classify it, or how anyone can tell the things apart. They're all just flutterings in her stomach, just changes in her blood pressure. It confuses the hell out of her.

But Elle's always up for a challenge.