Title: Three Parts Dead

Author: chocolatemooses

Rating: PG, eventual NC-17

Chapter: Prologue

Summary: "To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead." - Bertrand Russell. Elle is given a chance to start over but sometimes the past just can't stay buried. AU for 3.11 and on.

Author's Note: Another AU to add to the quickly growing collection of dissatisfied Heroes fans. I have planned out a good deal of this story already, so I should be able to have semi-consistent updates, as long as real life doesn't interfere too much. Please read, enjoy, and comment.

Elle was a creature of the light. She needed it like she needed air to breathe; the light from the sun, the light from a bulb, the light from a fire, but most importantly the light she could create between her hands. After the experiments, they used to shove her away, alone, in a little dark room. She once heard an orderly mutter to his friend: "Out of sight. Out of mind." A week later she electrocuted him so violently that the last she had heard he was still in a wheelchair. She walked around with a huge grin for almost a month.

But she feared being in the dark, feared being forgotten. Locked in that claustrophobic and shadowy room, she would cry for hours, a luxury she would have never allowed herself had there been another person present. She hated, absolutely hated, seeming weak in front of anyone, Daddy had always told her that only strong little girls get any love or attention, a girl like her could use all the love and attention in the world.

Yet, alone and afraid, in her dark little space, she would finally let it out. She would cry and cry until she simply couldn't anymore. If anyone had looked in on her, even once, they would have understood why she never shed a tear during any of the painful experiments (torture) she was put through. Scared and hysteric, she would shed every single tear in her broken little heart until she was empty of everything but lightning and fear.

Lying there on the cool California sand, more dead than alive, Elle found herself, once again, awash in a world of fearful black. The darkness encased her from all sides until she didn't what was up and what was down, she was slowly going out of her mind. She was frantic, trying to find even a pinprick of light in her dark surroundings.

There she is!

The sound of voices alerted her senses. They were calling for her, she knew it. She wanted to call back, to beg for help, to beg for forgiveness, to beg for vengeance, but she was too weak to even break through the darkness that held her.

Is she alive?

I don't know and I don't particularly care.

We need her.

No, we only need the child.

You know that's not true.

Suddenly, a small glimmer of light broke through like a triumphant ray. Elle felt herself slowly being pulled towards the beam. As she came closer and closer to the radiant glow, the magnetic pull she felt wavered and then flickered out all together, leaving her in a place between the two different worlds. It was her choice now.

For a moment she actually looked away from the light. Here in the dark, it didn't hurt anymore. Here she didn't have to face any truths that would hurt here. Here she could pretend that the only man she ever cared about (loved?) hadn't just killed her and that she wasn't a broken little girl with a broken little heart. Here it was quiet and maybe safe, even for a girl like her. The thought of peace, of closure, caused her to falter for a moment.

However, little Elle is a creature of light. And, yes, the light sometimes hurt her. Under the fluorescent lights of her daddy's scientists she had been poked and prodded and used until happy little Elle became angry little Elle who became crazy little Elle who finally became shattered little Elle. Under her own sparkling and dazzling lights she had hurt her pretty mommy, her strong daddy, her loving grandma, and even her sad little self. But, the light, the light was real, as painful as it may be, it was something true, something vital.

And so, Elle returned to the world of the living, with the help of a few drops of cheerleader blood. She was still hazy but, even in the fog that clouded her mind she could make out two very familiar figures.

The Haitian turned to Bennett, "How much should I take?"

A strange combination of fury, disgust, and even a tinge of regret in his eyes, Bennett stared coldly into the eyes of a damaged little girl. "She needs to live a normal life for a while….take it all. Everything."

The Haitian's head whipped around to face his partner. "Everything?"

The man in the horn-rimmed glasses was quiet for a long while. "Let her keep her grandmother," he paused and then added as an afterthought, "And give her back her mother." His gift to the girl he let down.

Elle, tired and splintered, didn't make any attempts to fend off the large man as he cupped her face and returned her to a world of black. Just before the darkness consumed her once again, the man bent and whispered quietly into her ear.

"I'm sorry."