Title: Four Minutes
Characters: Elle-centric, Gabriel/Elle [semi-established relationship]
Summary: Elle waits for, what seems like, longest four minutes of her life. Or, how Elle found out she was pregnant.
Author's Note: So I think we can all generally agree that Elle is the baby Noah mama. Yes. Good. So I was thinking about what Elle and Sylar's reaction would be to the news of Elle's pregnancy. I wrote this short little one-shot about Elle's reaction and thoughts to finding out she is pregnant. I am also thinking about writing a Gabriel reaction piece but I'll have to see how well-received this fic is. So if you like comment!
Four minutes to change her life, to get it right, to grow up. Elle disgustedly threw down the pink stick, she refused to call it what it was (pregnancy test), and gripped the edge of the sink, breathing hard. Her hands shook and she could see her fingertips begin to glow with errant strands of electricity flickering out across the marble counter. She could feel her control slipping, slowly ebbing away, taking the stability and strength that she had worked so hard to find. She clenched her hands tighter around the cool sink and willed her control back, using every bit of power in her body to reign in the wild emotions that were sending her ability into a frenzy.
After a moment, just a few seconds, the blue sparks pulled themselves back into her, safe, controlled. She sighed and could breathe once again, looking up at her reflection in the mirror.
Her eyes were blood-shot, her crying jag at the convenience store leaving its mark, and her face was drawn and pale. She looked like a woman who had no business bringing a new life into her fucked up world. Tears once again filled her eyes but she refused to let them fall, knowing that she wouldn't be able to stop once she started.
Still staring into the mirror, Elle realized who was looking back at her. A girl. A scared little girl who got in way over her head. She violently pushed herself away from her daunting reflection and let herself slump onto the toilet seat. She tilted her head upward and stared into the fluorescent light that flickered and winked at her in such a friendly way.
What the hell was she going to do? They had been so stupid, so careless. Something she would have never expected from herself, let alone him. He, who is always so precise, so careful. What had they been thinking?
The truth is they hadn't been thinking. It was pretty hard to think clearly when the room was charged with more sexual tension than electricity. It's even harder to think when he towered over her, body warm and pressed up tightly against her. It had been too much, too fast, to really think about the next day.
She scrubbed her face with her hands, not caring if she messed up her make-up which was already smudged from her tears. She couldn't do this. Raise a kid alone. Even if Gabriel wanted to be a part of the baby's life, she knew she couldn't live like that. He didn't love her and she was pretty sure she didn't love him. Although there were moments; legs wrapped around his waist, hands tangled in his hair, bodies melted together as one, when she was could feel it. Love. Just on the tip of her tongue, just one more thrust away, a cool breath on her neck that disappeared the moment she turned to greet it. But those moments always seemed to end as soon as their passions were appeased, the hurt and betrayal always rushed right in, filling the spaces that their needs and wants had, only moments before, occupied.
Oh, sure, they were civil, even friendly to each other, a common bond forged out of common mental instability and the drive to be better. It is only natural that they got along. Yet, it was always there. The lies, the guilt, the deception, the murders. The water may be under the bridge but she could still hear it rushing past.
There was no way either of them would ever be fit parents. A surge of pity rushed through Elle as she thought of her unborn child. Poor kid, a serial killer and a sociopathic bitch are never going to win any Parent of the Year awards.
This baby doesn't stand a chance.
Standing once again she retrieved the stick that held her future. It felt so small between her fingers, barely anything. Yet it had the power to destroy her entire world and force her to re-build, what took so long to create, from scratch.
Elle went over her options.
The word adoption ran through her mind. It would be easy, both she and Gabriel had plenty of connections to adoption and its agencies. She could find her baby a nice, normal family who could love and care for a child the way it needed to be cared for. No powers, no apocalyptic visions of the future, and definitely no psycho-murderers for parents.
She tried to imagine it. Her child in another family, growing up without any knowledge of his real mother or father. Living a happy life, not a care in the world. It was a beautiful image, probably the best she could give her baby. What any good mother should give her baby. But then again, Elle wasn't exactly a normal woman and sociopaths aren't exactly known for their ability to share. The thought of another woman caring for her child, loving her child, being loved by her child; sent a rush of anger and jealousy through her body. There was little chance that, once birthing and actually seeing her child, she would be able to easily give it up. Even less of a chance that she would be able to stay away from her baby after, her possessive instincts would be too strong.
The thought flashed through her mind like a lightning bolt. Maybe she should terminate the pregnancy. With its family's track record there was no way the kid was going to live a normal life, let alone a happy one. Maybe it would be better for everyone if she just ended this disaster before it even really started. Maybe…
No, she shook her head violently. She knew already, that trying to take her baby away would be too much for her. But ending its life, it would kill her. Elle knew if that happened she would lose herself, forever, to the darkness that resided so deep in her heart. She couldn't live, not seeing her baby's sweet smile, its bright eyes, not feeling its tiny heartbeat thump in time with hers. She felt, deep in her heart, that she needed that, that connection, more than life itself.
God, she wasn't ready. She was just a child.
She couldn't do this, this responsibility thing. How anyone could was beyond her. Happy, perfect mothers were only real on "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Brady Bunch", but life, really real life, didn't work out like it did on television, even she knew that. Gabriel wouldn't suddenly become a perfect father, wouldn't start making waffles and wearing aprons while he barbequed in the backyard. And she, she wouldn't suddenly lose her sadistic tendencies and become Joan Cleaver, baking cakes and doing mountains of laundry. She knew, that's not how the world works.
The world still works, it still functions despite dysfunction, it still keeps on spinning, and people keep on living. And maybe, just maybe, the same could go for her.
Maybe Gabriel won't want a part of their child's life, maybe he will. Maybe they won't be a normal family, maybe they find a nice halfway point. Maybe their kid will grow up to be just as messed as its parents, maybe it won't. And maybe she won't get her happy ending but maybe, just maybe, she will.
And the truth is, she has never really had a maybe. Never had that slim glimmer of hope at the end of the dark road. Her life, for so long, had been so predictable, so static, so complacent. She took her life at face value and never delved deeper into the possibilities of tomorrow, too frightened of the pain and hurt it could bring to ever allow herself to imagine more. And she realized, she wanted more, needed more and was ready to take more.
It will be starting soon, this new life of hers.
It will probably end in heartbreak, she felt it, somewhere deep in her heart.
Maybe it won't.