Making a Move
She has dreams about him. About catching him, locking him up deep beneath the company, making him pay for all the wrongs he's done. She likes those dreams.
Other nights she dreams he catches her. Sometimes he kills her immediately, taking great pleasure from the moment. Most times he drags it out, leaving her powerless, and unable to break free.
She doesn't like those dreams.
Her father keeps a small apartment in the city. Two small rooms, and a tiny bathroom. Her room at the Company is bigger than the whole floor, but she feels more at home all alone here, then she ever did at the Company.
After she failed to stop Sylar, her father had benched her, she had been given a sabbatical. Elle always come here when she could. She'd go to the shops, and buy all the junk food she could. She would lock herself in, do nothing but eat horrible food, and watch reality television.
She had no interest in anything beyond these walls for however long her father thought she needed. The only time she would go out was for more food, or to go for a walk through the park. To surround herself with ordinary people, whose lives were no more complicated than wondering where they were going to have dinner that evening.
They didn't have to worry about the fact that they had let a killer get away.
There was a coffee shop on the corner that she was fond of. She would head down there most mornings after Tyra finished, and she'd buy a chocolate milkshake. The girl behind the counter was used to her after several days of the same routine, and Elle didn't even have to order it anymore. They made small talk as they waited, she was a nice enough girl, apparently she wanted to be an actress.
Elle kept it superficial, and incredibly light. There wasn't much of her life that this girl would understand, she was polite and friendly. The friendlier she was, the more cream on the top of her milkshake.
She never thought that she was being foolish, keeping such a routine.
It was at the beginning of the third week that she realised someone knew where she was, someone who shouldn't know where she was.
Katherine was all smiles as she walked in, leaning over the counter to beam at Elle.
"Hey missy," she grinned, clapping her hands on the countertop. "How are you doing today?"
"I'm fine," Elle said slowly, slipping onto one of the stools.
"Fabulous!" She moved around the counter, busying herself with Elle's drink. "I've been waiting for you to come in all morning. The most incredible thing happened after you were here."
"What was it?"
"You, have a secret admirer," she giggled, bouncing on her feet. "As you were leaving, I noticed this guy watching you from the corner. I went up to him after, clearing his table, and said 'she's cute'. He sort of nodded, asked if you came here often, and after I said most days, he was gone."
Elle didn't know how to respond, she had no experience when it came to dating. The two examples she could claim to have had were so little compared to what she heard the girls on television talk about.
"It's odd though, I never noticed him before, but then all of a sudden he was there, only to disappear not long after I noticed him."
Her heart slowed as Katherine continued to talk. Elle had noticed an empty table with a coffee cup yesterday, but she just assumed that she was slow in clearing it as usual. "What did he look like?"
"Really nice," she smiled. "Dark hair and brown eyes, you could do a lot worse girly."
"I doubt it," Elle said to herself.
The next day Elle didn't go to the coffee shop. After spending most of the night thinking that Sylar was going to burst into the apartment, she hadn't slept well at all. She had to be sure that it was him, in a city like New York there were quite literally a million guys who could fit that description. But only one that could appear when he wished, only one who before she had left the Company for her break spent some quality time with someone who could camouflage themselves. He could have been hiding there all along, in plain sight.
Not long after the sun had risen, Elle had entered the small park that looked over the coffee shop, sitting in some thick bushes. She had a perfect view of the entrance to the shop. If he came in, she would see him. If he left through the door, she would see him.
Part of her felt like a fool, hiding like this waiting for him. He could easily disguise himself - he had spent quality time with Candice after all.
She would wait for him, all day if she had to.
She never saw him. All day long ordinary people came and went for their coffee. He could of course disguise himself, but there was something incredibly ordinary about them.
Elle didn't sleep well that night, every time she closed her eyes she saw him. It was in the back of her mind as she entered the coffee shop, that he could have been there, but there was only a young couple having breakfast, and an elderly lady with a cup of tea.
She slouched onto one of the stools, shaking her head when Katherine started to make her usual. "Coffee, strong as you've got."
"Okay, rough night?"
"I couldn't sleep at all," Elle explained, taking the offered cup with a small smile.
"Thinking about your admirer?" She grinned, leaning against the counter.
"No I wasn't thinking about an admirer, not by any stretch of the imagination."
"Well that's too bad, he's sitting over there."
"What?" The word coming out as a squeal, Elle turned on her stool to look at who was here. The couple was still there, but in the place of the old lady, was a young man. The sly smirk in place, the same one that he had given her a month ago when all the police officers were between them.
"Yeah he's been here since I opened, waiting for you I imagine," she whispered in Elle's ear.
Elle stood, throwing some change on the counter. "Thanks for the coffee, I have to go."
Ignoring the befuddled expression on her face, Elle raced from the shop to the street. Without looking back to see if he was following her, she ran all the way to the apartment, triple checking all the useless locks once she was inside.
Stupid foolish girl.
She rang her father when her heart stopped beating erratically in her chest. Elle wasn't sure what she expected, but she certainly expected more than for him to fob off her claims, and tell her that she was surely imagining it. Sylar was a murderer, and he had his powers back; he was hardly going to be drinking tea at 8am in a small coffee shop in Brooklyn.
After several seconds of looking at the phone, hearing the dial tone, Elle put the phone back on the cradle. For a moment she considered that maybe she had misheard him, and he was telling her to come back to the Company right away. But he didn't, he told her to continue her vacation, and he'd see her next month.
He wasn't going to do anything. He was leaving her alone to face Sylar.
She went onto the roof after that, without a second thought she blasted the feathers off several pigeons before they realised it would be safer to get away. Elle couldn't walk down the street when she was like this.
All her life she had believed that no matter what may happen, her father loved her, and would do anything to protect her. He wasn't though - he wasn't going to do jack to save her from the only real threat. She knew it wasn't a coincidence, why the hell would Sylar be in New York, two blocks from her apartment?
There was no conceivable way it was a coincidence.
Elle didn't sleep again that night. Moving between the window and the door, her nerves were frayed as she waited for him to appear. He would eventually, and she was going to be ready.
He didn't come that night, or the next three days.
Elle ventured out to the street when it became a necessity. There was no food in the cupboard, and the walls were driving her crazy. The air outside was fresher than in the apartment, the faces of other people a relief from her growing worry. She couldn't help but study every one she passed, looking for him, looking for something.
The coffee shop was empty when she opened the door. Elle chose a table in the back corner. One with a view of the whole space, Katherine slid into a seat opposite her, immediately starting to chat. It became clear that Elle didn't have to do anything but smile or nod occasionally to placate her. There was only one thing that Elle wanted to know.
When she stopped to breath, Elle took her chance.
"So that guy, from the other day. Did he ever come back?"
She shook her head slowly, "Hmm, no. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen him since you ran out of here like a rocket. What was up with that?"
Elle decided to stay somewhat close to the truth. "He wasn't a stranger, or an admirer. I used to know him, and he's not a nice guy. If you ever see him again you have to stay away from him."
"Is he... Did he..."
"He tried to, but I got away, he's never hurt me, but he wanted to. Promise me..."
"Of course, should we ring the police or something?"
"They won't be any help."
Elle contemplated later, not for the first time, just going back to New Jersey. Her father may not have believed her, but Sylar was here, and he would kill her in an instant.
There were two things Elle had always wanted from her father, his approval, and his love. If she got the first, she would get the other. She just never managed to be good enough. Maybe this was a test, to see how she coped when it was all on her. She had to use her initiative.
It was all up to her. She couldn't leave.
Days passed without a sign of him. Elle wasn't foolish enough to think that he would leave her alone. It was all a part of his game, there was no part of this that wasn't thought out for him. He was going to come back.
It was just a matter of when.
Nearly two weeks after he first appeared he re-entered her life. After spending all night awake again, Elle had taken a shower, a long hot shower. Stepping out from behind the curtain she wrapped a towel around herself, taking the brush off the vanity she looked up at the mirror. The brush fell to the floor as she raced from the room, looking quickly around the small apartment.
Elle walked slowly into the steam filled room, unable to take her eyes off the fogged up mirror.
See you soon, Elle.
Beside it was a silly little smiley face. She wiped it away quickly. Son of a bitch was in the bathroom while she was two feet away, oblivious.
The rest of the day passed slowly. Elle paced the apartment after she dressed, the sparks ever present in her palm. He wasn't going to catch her by surprise. She was going to be ready, and he sure as hell wasn't going to get away this time. He wasn't going to get the better of her.
She was watching the street below; it was full of people coming home from work. How he did it she will never understand. She didn't hear the locks turn, or the door open and close.
She didn't hear him walk across the floor, but she felt the slight movement of her hair as he came up behind her.
He stopped her before she could do anything, spinning her, and pressing her against the window sill. "Did you miss me?"
He'd managed to constrict her throat as well as holding her still. She couldn't say she missed him even if she wanted to.
"Speechless? Have to say I prefer you this way, less lies."
The pressure lessened as he trailed off, "I had to, I didn't want to, Bennet..."
"Enough." His head tilted as he stopped her, "Do you think I care for your reasons? I really should thank you. It's because of you that I am who I am."
Elle shook her head as best she could, her eyes closing. She wouldn't panic. He would notice. She slowed her breathing, her heart rate dropping back to as close to normal as she could manage.
When she opened her eyes he was watching her closely, the smirk he often wore gone. "You aren't scared, why's that?"
She dropped her gaze down to her throat, moving her lips slowly.
The pressure disappeared again, "I'm not scared, I can help you. You don't have to hurt me."
"It's going to hurt Elle," he said quickly. "How can you help me? Haven't you done enough?"
"There are files, about you, every single thing about you. Who your parents are; what they could do. I can help you find them."
"Why would you do that?"
"I have a file too; my father hid it from me. I imagine it's in the same place, but I can't get to it. You could, I can get you there, but I can't get into the room. Don't you want to know? All the answers are right there."
He walked away from her, leaving her in place, she couldn't move. She could feel it pulsing inside of her, but she couldn't do anything.
Sylar turned back to her, "You do anything, and I will..."
"I just want to get into that room," Elle said quickly. Then I'll deal with you.