AUTHOR'S NOTE:

Forgive me I started writing this AGES ago.

It's pretty much completely AU.

I'm doing my own thing with it, so it changes like every storyline.

And introducing the amazing Sylar!

****

Ariel Sands ran her hands through her chocolate brown hair and then pulled it back in a tight, high ponytail, scrunching her face up in the mirror. This wasn't entirely the look she had been going for, but it was because her bangs needed a good trim. They had just started to hang in her face and every time she moved she felt the need to push them back with her manicured fingernails and let her espresso colored eyes actually be seen. Biting her lip, she brought her hand up to her bangs, running them between her thumb and other fingers, heating them up and smiling as her hand acted as a flat iron, making bangs rest on the left side of her face in a much neater fashion.

"Why is it that men always run for us?" Elle asked her best friend since childhood, walking into the room, her blonde hair bobbing up and down, lightly curled and loose.

Ariel turned to Elle and smiled. "They're intimidated by our charm?"

Elle scoffed. "I understand why they're intimidated by you, Ariel—you're even more powerful than Peter is. Peter…I miss him."

Ariel laughed a little, completely aware of Elle's attraction to Peter Petrelli. When she was a baby, Ariel had shown great promise with her natural born talent of absorbing and using other people's powers. Working for the company because of her mother, Ariel had not only met and befriended the beautiful lightning-wielding Elle, but she had come into contact with so many different people with special abilities that she had more than she thought at one point she could handle. Her most useful skill? Her ability to counteract everyone else's powers.

"I miss Adam." Ariel told Elle with a sigh, grabbing some nail polish to paint her fingernails with clear nail polish. "He was so much more fun than some of the others in Level 5."

Elle nodded, about to say something else when her father called her. Elle leaving to tend to Bob's needs gave Ariel time to think about what had been happening with her lately—what she had to remember while she and Elle had been on their last assignment. Killing came easily to Elle and Ariel—almost too easily. The power had gone to their heads, but Ariel hadn't minded the surge of power that it brought her. The rush of power that she got from being able to control when someone lived and when they died had made everything that much easier for her…if only she could get a solo mission soon—she was itching to be her own boss again.

"Ariel? I think we could use you to do something for us." Mohinder told her, poking his head into her room.

Ariel smiled a little at him and Mohinder couldn't help but feel his dark eyes betray a hint of admiration for her. Even though he knew that coy smile of hers all too well, he was quite aware that if she asked something of him than he would do it with no questions asked. Ariel had that air about her of softness and beauty—and deadly strength. Maybe it was a power she was using against him, but he couldn't be sure…he just had to trust that she would be on his side.

"You normally don't ask me for favors, Mohinder." She told him plainly, blowing on the fingernails of her left hand to dry them as she sat on her bed.

Mohinder nodded. "Well I don't want to ask you for this favor either, but I have to. I mean out of everyone, I think I know what Sylar's capable of."

Ariel couldn't hide the excitement in her eyes this time as they lit up expectantly. Out of every man that anyone in the company talked about, Sylar was by far her favorite. She had adored Adam and his thirst for revenge—not to mention his golden hair and beautiful eyes—and he was the first male that they had brought in that she'd allowed herself to get attached to. Then there was Peter, but since Elle had called him and Ariel had never been allowed to be close enough to Peter for fear of what them obtaining each other's powers could do, she had simply not gotten to know him. But Sylar? Sylar was the one 'hero' that she had wanted the most to unlock—the one 'hero' with a power she didn't actually have.

"What about Sylar?" Ariel finally asked him with absolutely no forced interest or excitement.

Mohinder sighed loudly. "Bob wants you to find him, befriend him, betray him, kill him—I think it's too dangerous."

Ariel nodded, trying to keep the smile at bay. "I would be more than happy to do that for the Company."

"Good—you haven't been on an assignment in a long while, have you?" Bob asked.

Ariel turned to look at Bob and shook her head as she finished painting the nails on her right hand, trying to ignore Elle's eyes boring into her since her father had benched her. Ariel had loved going on assignments with Elle, but she had been waiting so patiently for her chance to branch out and spread her wings like a bird, that she just couldn't seem to feel as guilty as she knew she should feel. This was her chance to not only prove that she was a capable agent, but to figure out the mystery of the man behind the killer once and for all—that had been one of her dreams for quite some time now.

"I'm completely up for it, too. Where is this Molly so I can absorb that power of hers?" Ariel asked nonchalantly, knowing that in order to find Sylar, she'd need that ability.

"Here." She said.

Ariel looked at the little girl and she smiled at her in a loving way that she'd seen mothers use with their children. Molly could see right through the smile but smiled back, knowing that not only was Ariel trained with her powers, but she was a trained killer. Still, Molly found softness behind her eyes, and knew that Ariel was simply trying to survive in a life she'd been brought up into and so she dared to ask a question that Ariel had not been expecting at all.

"Why would you want to have a power like mine?" Molly asked strongly.

Ariel smiled a little more. "Your power is remarkable, Molly. I need it to find, Sylar—and if he gets away from me, I'll need to find him again and not drag you into this anymore. Can you teach me how to use it?"

Molly nodded, and the others left the two alone. Ariel watched Molly closely, studying the brunette girl with the kind eyes that showed sadness and fear, and she watched as Molly pulled a picture of a man out of her pocket. Ariel looked closely at it as Molly began to explain how her power worked, and Ariel nodded slowly as Molly then proceeded to tell her where the man in the picture was. Ariel found herself amazed by the talents of the little girl, and then looked Molly in the eye as Molly looked directly at her.

"Just look at it, focus on it—then focus your mind and you will know where he is." Molly explained. "Try it."

Ariel looked at the newest picture. "Do I always have to have a picture to look at?"

Molly shook her head. "You have to know what they look like."

Ariel nodded and then tried out the power on a few pictures, feeling satisfied that she had it after fifteen minutes, Molly heading out with Mohinder and Elle returning. Elle sat down on the bed and crossed her legs, staring at Ariel with a little bit of jealousy. It had nothing to do with the fact that Ariel was going to be hold up with a man—a psychopathic murderer even—it had to do with the idea of a solo mission. Elle had let her feelings for Peter get in the way of the logic in her mind, and now she had to live with it…and she hated being benched when Ariel got to go out and have her fun.

"So you're really going to go through with this?" Elle asked Ariel as Ariel turned to look at her, leaning on her vanity mirror after pushing her bangs out of her face.

Ariel nodded. "Yeah. Bob asked, and since you're his daughter…you're not going to get sent out. I can't call…"

"I know, Ariel." Elle told her with a nod since she knew protocol just as well as Ariel did. "But when you can call, please do. It gets lonely here and you know how much neither of us likes that."

"Yes…I do understand that." Ariel said and sat down next to Elle, taking her hand in hers. "I'll call as much as I can."

The only love that Ariel and Elle had ever gotten had been from each other, so they wrapped their arms around each other and stroked each other's soft hair. They whispered that they would miss each other, and after a joking, 'Don't get yourself killed' from Elle, Ariel watched Elle walk out of the room, listening to her heels clank down the hallway before she realized that this was her last time being around the only friend she'd ever known for awhile. As great a solo mission as this was, finding Sylar would take some deep cover that she didn't know the she was ready for or not. Finding him wouldn't be so hard…but befriending him would take some serious acting.