Disclaimer: I do not own Heroes or anything connected to it. And I don't own "Mighty Like a Rose." I don't think anyone owns it.

Author's Note: If you pay attention, there is a method to when I use "Sylar" and when I use "Gabriel." Just go with it. And I'm not in love with the summary. So if I change it, it'll still be the exact same story.

Just a Dream

Summary: As Elle fights for her life, she is thrown between a future with Gabriel and a present with Sylar.

Spoilers Through: 03x10—The Eclipse, Part One

"We can't take what we want anymore."

"Says who?"

Elle was shocked when Sylar kissed her. It really did not seem like the right time or place. But she was happy that he did it.

When she finally pulled away, she thought about what she was going to say to him. She knew that they had been on the wrong footing for a long time, and she probably never really said the right thing. So she wanted to choose her words carefully this time.

Before Elle had the chance to say anything, though, pain ripped through her left shoulder, and she fell to the floor. She lifted her head to look at her shoulder and saw blood running from a wound in her chest. After that, she lost consciousness.

Elle woke up in a bed with Sylar lying next to her. She frantically felt her chest, but there was no gunshot wound.

Sylar opened his eyes. "Is everything okay?"

"I don't know." She looked around the room and cursed.


She pushed herself up on her elbows. "It's a dream."

Someone started banging on the bedroom door. Sylar quickly got out of bed and pulled on some sweatpants. "I'll deal with Noah."

Elle started. "That's Noah?" She looked down at herself and noticed that she was not dressed. "Wait, I don't want him to see me like this."

On his way to the door, Sylar picked up a nightgown from the floor and tossed it to her. Elle knew that this had to be a dream because nothing made sense.

Elle had been feeling her chest at repeated intervals with her right hand. As she put on the nightgown, she looked at her left hand for the first time. She was wearing a wedding ring. She was so distracted by the discovery that she was married that she barely registered the small boy running toward her. She had forgotten all about the fact that it was supposed to be Noah Bennet at the door.

Sylar scooped up the boy. "Hey, Noah, buddy. Mommy isn't feeling well, so I'm going to get dressed, and then I'll make you breakfast." He sat the boy on the bed.

Elle wanted to think that she had misheard him. It was probably Noah Bennet who shot her, so she could not imagine that they had named their son after him. Or at least, she could not imagine why she would dream that they did. But Sylar had said the name twice now and she was pretty sure she heard right.

Little Noah looked up at her with wide eyes. "What's wrong, Mommy? Do you want me to sing you a song? That's what you do when I don't feel well."

Elle did not know anything about being a mother, and Sylar had left her alone with this child. She figured if he was singing, maybe that would keep him entertained until Sylar got out of the bathroom. "Okay."

Noah pulled her arm out from under her so that she was lying on her side. He clumsily tried to smooth her hair but it was more like he was wiping his hand off on her. "Sweetes' little fella, ev'ybody knows. Don't know what ta call him, but he's mighty like a rose."

His singing was horribly off key, and he was butchering the melody, but Elle recognized the song immediately. Before she died, Elle's mother always sang that song to her, changing the male pronouns to feminine. She had not thought about it in years, and at the memory, she teared up.

Sylar came out of the bathroom just as Noah finished his song. He took Noah downstairs for breakfast, saying that Mommy needed to rest. As soon as they were gone, Elle became drowsy and fell to sleep.

She woke up in excruciating pain. She was back in the abandoned house, and Sylar was pushing his hands onto the bullet hole in her chest. When he saw that her eyes were opened, he let out a half-sigh, half-sob. "The ambulance is coming. You're going to be okay."

Elle closed her eyes. "I don't want to be here. I want to go back."

"Back where? Where were you just now?"

She felt herself slipping away. "I think it was heaven," she said before everything faded to black once more.

Elle woke in the same room as before, exactly where she had fallen asleep. She got up and opened the bedroom door. She heard the voices of Sylar and Noah coming from downstairs. She sighed with relief; she was back.

She closed the door and went into the bathroom. She pulled down the neck of her nightgown and looked at her chest. There was a scar where gunshot wound was supposed to be. Now that she knew it was there, she could feel that there was a small indention there. She put her hand over the scar and wandered back into the bedroom. She sat on the bed, thinking, with her hand still pressed against her chest.

After a minute, Sylar came in. "I just wanted to check on you. Are you feeling any better?"

"Yeah," she said tentatively. She felt fine, but she was still confused. "Hey, Sylar, can I ask you a question?"

He narrowed his eyes. "What did you call me?"

Elle froze. It had not occurred to her that he might not be who she thought he was. "Are you at least Gabriel?"

He sat on the bed and felt her forehead. "Yeah, I'm Gabriel. Are you sure you're okay?"

"Does the name Sylar mean anything to you?"

He dropped his hand. "Of course, it means something to me. I'm just not that person anymore."

"I'm a little confused. I mean I was shot." She showed him the scar. "Probably by Noah Bennet. And yet we named our son after him. And I just want to know, am I dead?"

He stared at her. Then he shook his head slightly. "Do you—Do you think you're in heaven?"

Despite what she had said before, Elle did not actually believe in an afterlife. Also, if there was one, she could not think of any reason why she would end up in heaven. So she needed to think about it. Unfortunately, she passed out before she was able to answer.

Elle knew she was in an ambulance before she even opened her eyes. She could feel the bumping of the road and the prodding of the paramedics.

"She's awake."

"Oh, thank God." Elle turned her head to see Sylar. He looked so relieved.

The paramedic was speaking again. "Miss, can you tell me your name?"

"Elle." Her throat was so scratchy and dry that it hurt to speak. "Elle Bishop."

"Do you know what day it is?"

"November twenty-first, two thousand eight," she said wearily.

"That's good." The paramedic smiled. "Just stay with us."

"No," Elle said. "I'm tired. I'm going to-"

She heard the paramedic tell her to try to stay awake, but she drifted off anyway.

When Elle opened her eyes, Gabriel was still sitting on the bed, watching her. "Do you know what the date is?" he asked.

Elle gave him the same answer she had given the paramedic. He laughed. "So you got shot today, and you came here."

Elle sat up. "Well, I'd rather be here than in an ambulance bleeding to death." She felt her wedding band. "I like it here. I have a family, and Noah, he sang me the same song my mother used to—Is she here? If this is heaven, are my parents here?"

Gabriel did not respond, but his eyes were so sad that she knew the answer anyway. That was okay though. They were not back in the real world either. She conjured a ball of electricity in her hand to see if she had her ability back, and she did. "I like it here," she repeated.

He took her hand in his. "You need to realize that this might not be real. If it comes to a point where you have to make a choice, choosing to stay here might mean that you're in a coma."

He seemed really concerned about this, so she did not tell him what she was thinking which was that if this was what a coma was like, it didn't seem so bad. "We're married, and we have a son?"

Gabriel nodded. "Yeah."

"Are we happy?"

He smiled, but he hesitated. "Mm, yeah. I mean, it's difficult times, but we're happy."

"Then what would be so horrible about being in a coma?"

"How long do you think this is going to last? If it's all a figment of your imagination, how long can your mind sustain this level of happiness? And if you stay here, you'll miss the wedding, you'll miss three years of Noah's life, you'll miss a lot."

Elle was starting to feel tired but she fought it. He must have seen her struggling to keep her eyes open because he said, "You have to go back to the real Gabriel. He needs you."

Elle heard his voice echoing in her head. "I need you. Please don't die," he was saying. She sighed and closed her eyes.

She woke up in a hospital bed. As far as she could tell, she was in the emergency room, which was to be expected. Sylar was sitting next to the bed with his head down and his elbows resting on his knees. "Hey," she croaked.

He looked up. "Hi." He stood and took her hand. "You're about to go into surgery, and then everything is going to be fine. They are going to make you all better."

He did not sound as though he believed his own words. Elle realized that she still had barely said anything to him since he kissed her, and she did not know what to say to him now. She opened her mouth to say something at least, but a hospital worker of some sort came in and told her it was time to go to surgery. Her bed was whisked away before she even had a chance to say good-bye.

In the operating room, Elle was told to count backwards from one hundred. Within seconds of the anesthesia being administered, she fell unconscious again.

"You're back."

Elle sat up. "They put me under for surgery."

"Oh." Gabriel nodded. "That's going to take hours."

She shrugged. "I guess."

He stood. "Then I think you should get dressed, come downstairs, and meet your son."

Elle got out of bed and went to the closet. "Did Noah Bennet shoot me?" she asked as she looked at her clothes.

"Probably. I'm sure you'll find all of that out eventually."

"Why would we name our son after him?"

He sat back on the bed and watched her get dressed. "Because you always wished that your father had been more like Noah Bennet. All he ever did was try to protect Claire, and maybe, as parents, we could learn to admire him for that."

Elle scrunched up her nose at the thought of admiring Bennet, although secretly, she did think he was kind of a good father. Dressed, she opened the door to leave the room. Looking over the banister, she realized something. "This is the Bennet house, Noah's house in Costa Verde."

Gabriel came up behind her. "That is a long story for another day."

"I don't have another day. I only have a few hours."

He pushed her forward. "Then let's go."

In the kitchen, Elle took a seat at the counter next to Little Noah. He was drinking the milk from his bowl and spilling it on the floor. The Bennets' yappy little dog came over to lick it up. Elle decided not to ask.

Gabriel placed a bowl of cereal in front of her, and Noah started chatting happily about iguanas. After breakfast, Noah convinced her to watch a video with him. Elle sat through the entire thing, even though it was mind-numbingly inane. Of course, it was intended for three year olds. Noah was so excited and kept telling her things that had already happened. She asked him questions to which she already knew the answers, and he delighted in responding.

When the movie was over, Elle was not sure what to do next. She had no idea what three year olds did all day. She always found it difficult to know what was age appropriate with children, and she had pretty much avoided them up to this point. Gabriel had left them alone again, probably because he did not want to watch that stupid movie. "Do you want to find Daddy, so that we can do something as a family?"

"Yeah! Can we go to the park?"

Elle shrugged. "Ask Daddy." Noah got up and ran off. "Don't run," she called after him because it seemed like the right thing to say.

Gabriel agreed to take them to the park, but only for an hour. When an hour had come and gone, he gave Noah fifteen more minutes, but that was it. "You're going to wake up from surgery soon," he said to Elle. "And I think you should be at home when that happens."

His sense of timing turned out to be impeccable because it was only a minute or two after they arrived at the house that Elle fell unconscious one last time.

Elle woke up in a hospital room, feeling like hell. Just as every time before, Sylar was at her side. He sighed deeply when he saw her open her eyes. "You're alive!" He took a couple deep breaths. "Don't worry; I'm going to take care of Noah."

At first Elle was confused, but then she remembered that it was Noah Bennet who shot her. "I think we need to forgive Noah."

"He tried to kill you."

"I shot Claire. And you tried to kill me once, too. I forgave you."

He narrowed his eyes at her, skeptical. "So what was heaven like?"

"It was just a dream." She tried to remember exactly what happened, but the memory of it was fading.

"Well, I've had a lot of time to think since you got shot. And I know that this is really soon, but this whole time, I've been thinking that you might die before I ever got the chance to tell you. So,... even with the stunt that you pulled at the rental car place, and all of it..." He paused. "I think I might be in love with you. But please don't let that freak you out."

"No, I think that's what my dream was about." It was now really difficult for her to remember anything solid, but she knew that she loved Sylar, or Gabriel, in the dream. "I think I might love you, too."

In Costa Verde, Elle Bishop Gray woke up. She saw her husband and laughed. "It wasn't a dream. This whole time I thought..."

Noah came running up to her. "Mommy, what happened? You fell over."

"I fainted, but I'm okay. I know that Mommy's been acting weird all day, but I'm okay now. Mommy's back."


Author's Note: If it isn't clear, the end scene is future Elle returning for the future to continue to go on. This future is set several days before Sylar blows up Costa Verde, if it's even still that timeline. I picked the date randomly, as well as the song. (Although my mother used to sing that song to me, and Elle (Kristen Bell) does have blue eyes. I checked. And that's only important if you know the song.) Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. Feel free to ask questions if you're confused about what happened.

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