ELLE

I know what you're thinking. You're wondering why I didn't fight back. After all, the first time he tried to kill me, I beat him. I won. It almost destroyed me and it caused a lot of problems for the company, but I won. I beat Sylar. To tell you the truth I don't know how I did it. Maybe it was a combination of fear, rage and grief that gave me the strength to short out the entire system. All I know for sure is that I survived only to spend the next four months in agony. The electrical grid at Primatech was a lot easier to put back together than the electrical system in me. It should give you a pretty accurate idea of how desperate I was that I went to Claire Bennett for help. If anyone out there had reason to hate my guts, it was Claire. What can I say? That little cheerleader just brings out the snark in me.

But she was helpful. I know it went against her better judgment but I think she felt sorry for me. I didn't even care. I just wanted the pain to stop. Even when Peter came flying out the window—yeah, not flying. Falling. When Peter crashed to the ground in front of us, I knew there was something terribly wrong. I liked Peter. Sure, he played me and I got in a lot of trouble over him but have you seen him? I defy any girl on earth to resist that guy. And try to remember that I lived my life as cloistered as a nun. If he had ever given me an ounce of encouragement…

I would've gotten bored with him in a week.

I respected him more for escaping than I ever did for pretending to like me. I really didn't expect him to like me.

No one likes me.

Anyway, by the time Peter landed at our feet at Pinehearst I really didn't have the energy to do more than try not to fry everything in sight and all my nerve endings with it. I felt kind of bad for ditching Claire (I kind of liked hanging out with her. Weird, huh?) but I was desperate. You have no idea! Stick your finger in a socket and hold it there for four fucking months and then you can judge me.

They kept me chained in that place for two days. Two days, with live current running through me, the chain and the floor. Two days alone in the dark with nothing to distract me from the pain and the memory of my father and how I'd let him down. He was so disappointed in me. I was too busy wallowing in my own misery to even be afraid.

When that door opened and Mr. Petrelli pushed him in, I didn't know what was happening. It took a moment for me to realize it was him. The hunter. The killer I had helped create. The man who killed my father and was responsible for the endless pain.

Sylar.

"How could you do that to me?" may seem like an odd question to scream at a serial killer. I knew he had done it to dozens of others but I took it personally. Must be because I had known him before. I knew him when he was still Gabriel and he was sweet and charming and remorseful and kind of dorky…there was something about him that just got to me.

That never happens.

Not to me.

Not that I ever got any chances for it to happen to me. Sometimes it really pisses me off. If I hadn't been a company girl, if I had met him under normal circumstances, if I had never brought him that pie and served up his second kill on a silver platter…I pushed him too hard. I was there when the monster rose up and blotted Gabriel out like a solar eclipse.

I was horrified at the time but somehow I still believed that the monster wouldn't hurt me. And then he went and murdered the only one I had ever loved. He took my father from me before I could prove myself. How could he do that to me?

If I could have killed him with my bare hands, I would have. I wanted to rip him into tiny pieces and stomp on the bloody bits. I wanted him to die the most painful death ever.

I tried. I hit him with everything I had. I focused the energy that was enough to black out Primatech on his body like a laser. I think he screamed but I'm not really sure 'cause I was kind of screaming, too. I disintegrated him.

And he healed.

The motherfucker healed.

He was talking, too. He never shut up. I wanted him to shut the fuck up and die but he wouldn't. He screamed while the current ripped him apart and he collapsed a few times but every time he healed, he kept getting closer to me.

I ran out of juice before he shut his damn mouth.

So I surrendered.

"Just kill me," I whispered. I had given it my best shot and failed. I couldn't save myself and I couldn't kill him and surviving his first attack had been the biggest mistake I'd ever made. I begged him to finish me off.

I still can't believe what happened next.

He was close now and talking softly to me. And with all my rage and terror spent, I realized that I had been wrong. Sylar wasn't there. It was Gabriel. I don't know how it was possible but Gabriel had made it back to the surface. He always knew how everything worked and as we lay there in my prison he explained it all to me. So I told him the truth. The truth about me and about himself. How I had turned the clock maker's son into a monster.

Like me.

And he forgave me.

He had killed my father, my entire family, stalked me, attacked me, destroyed my life and my career and then he forgave me.

And it was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.

When he reached for me, I didn't flinch. I thought he was going to kill me and I wanted him to! But he didn't. He put his hands on me, gently. When he lifted them off, the pain drained out of me. For the first time in months, I wasn't on fire. The current that had been burning me from the inside out was gone.

Then I saw that he had it. The blue flame glowed in his hands now. He had taken my power but I was still alive. I was so relieved that the pain was gone I didn't even care if it wasn't mine anymore. For a second or two, I thought I was normal. Before I even had a chance to be scared by that thought, I realized Gabriel hadn't taken it away from me, he had duplicated it, like Peter. I still had it but I could control it again.

Gabriel had fixed me.

He fixed me and I fell in love with my father's murderer.

Given my upbringing, what did you expect?

The next two days were the best days of my life. For the first time, I knew what it felt like to love someone for who they really were. I knew Gabriel. I had known him before his powers took over, I knew what killing did to him, I knew why he did such terrible things. And I loved him for all of it. I loved him for being the only one who had ever been kind to me. When he looked at other specials all he saw were powers to be taken but when he looked at me, he saw me.

That might not seem like much to you but for me it was everything. He understood me and I loved him for it. So he's a killer. Who isn't?

When the eclipse stole our power, I was really scared. Hell, we'd just gotten the shit kicked out of us by Bennett and we were lucky to be alive. I couldn't understand why Gabriel wasn't as concerned as I was.

Then he kissed me.

He kissed me and for the second time in two days, my entire world changed. Call me easy but I would've done anything for him. I would have brought him victims and killed them myself or I would've walked away from it all, powerless and happy. I would've been anything and anyone he wanted me to be. Gabriel always told me the truth and nothing he ever said to me was truer than when he told me everything I wanted.

Leave it to Bennett to ruin it.

I was more afraid that Gabriel would leave me than I was of Bennett killing me. If Gabriel left me, I didn't care if Bennett killed me.

I thought I would die when Bennett slit his throat. I had thought that the grief I felt when my father died was the most I could ever feel but it was nothing compared to how I felt watching Gabriel's blood drain out of him while I was trapped, and all I could think was that if I hadn't seen the scope laser on his head, at least he would've died in my arms. And I would've died in his.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

When the eclipse passed and he healed again…it was better than when he had ended my pain. I'm telling you; best two days ever.

So it didn't last very long, so what? Seems to me like most people live their 78 years or whatever and never get what Gabriel gave me. If you can have all that in two days, why would you need another fifty years?

But that's not why I didn't fight back.

Lying on the beach, looking up into his eyes, I saw…Sylar.

As he spoke to me, I knew what had happened. I searched his eyes but I could see no trace of Gabriel.

I knew that Sylar had killed him.

And I started to cry.

SYLAR

What? You want to know why I killed Elle? Why did Romeo kill Juliet? Oh, wait, he didn't. My bad.

Seriously…I had my reasons. I don't kill just for fun. I mean, yes; it is fun. Hell, anything you're that good at is bound to be fun but that's really not a good enough reason to take a life, is it? I have my standards, after all. I would've killed Hiro's sidekick for information or leverage but not just for the hell of it. I was sincerely distraught by the idea of blowing up Manhattan and killing millions of people I would never even look in the eye. Where's the fun in that?

Look, I mean absolutely no harm to the vast majority of mankind.

I just need all the powers. So I take them from those who don't deserve them, those who can't defend them. Lately I've even left a few people alone. Some aren't even worth bothering with. I can conduct electricity, I can go nuclear and I can melt shit, why on earth would I have gone to the trouble of killing Luke for his pathetic little power? If I had let him hang around any longer I may have killed him just for being so fucking annoying but I didn't, did I?

And my father…killing that old shit would've been a kindness. I have no intention of ever being kind to him.

Anyway…Elle.

Elle was a lot of fun.

I was pretty mad at her for a while. She was the embodiment of false hope. The day we met, she stopped my suicide. At the moment of my darkest despair, this beautiful girl just appeared out of nowhere and saved my life. I thought that had to mean something, you know? Back then, I really thought there was a chance for me…see what I mean? False hope. There was never a chance. It wasn't real. She didn't appear out of nowhere, she didn't rescue me. I thought for a while that she represented a different kind of life for me.

Gabriel Gray never had a girl friend.

I didn't know how to talk to girls. Girls didn't want to talk to me. I was a watch maker. Being able to tell that a clock is running three seconds slow really doesn't impress them. I know. I don't get it, either. It wasn't until after…Knowing that you could kill them with a flick of your wrist does wonders for your confidence.

So Elle let me believe that she saw something in me. She did, of course, it's just not what I thought. My point is that I was at a cross roads when I met her and she made damn sure that I took the path I'm on. No one should be surprised that it ended the way it did.

I meant to kill her at Primatech. Her power was useful, I was pissed at her, blah, blah, blah. The truth is I was impressed that she beat me. No one had beaten me. Not even Peter. Hell, especially not Peter! I've killed that little fuck twice and I could again but why bother? There's no longer anything to gain by it, it never seems to stick and anyway, I kind of like knowing he's out there; the anti-me. Kinda restores my faith in humanity.

I didn't kill Elle because she lied to me when we met and I didn't kill her because she practically forced me to kill again. She thinks she turned me into a monster but she's wrong. I was ready and willing to become a monster. She just happened to be there. I never blamed her for that. I may have pretended to blame her but that was just cover…

I never lied to her. When I said I never wanted to kill any of them, that is the simple truth. I don't kill from a sense of want, but from a sense of need. There's a difference. At least, to someone who can tell if your watch is running a half a second fast, there is.

During what I have already come to think of as my Second Great False Hope, I was really trying to be something I used to think I should be. I honestly thought that I could be a part of a family. It made sense to me; I could see it. I fit into that snake pit of a family a hell of a lot better than Peter does!

So I bought Arthur and Angela's story hook, line and sinker because it made sense and because I wanted it to be true. I thought they were opening up a whole new possibility for me.

Elle was part of that possibility. If I had a family, if I belonged to that family, I thought I could have everything that they had. If Arthur and Angela could do it, surely Elle and I could do it, too?

Arthur showed me that compassion wasn't a weakness, but a strength. What happened between Elle and me was proof that he was right.

That was absolutely wonderful.

I've never thought of myself as having masochistic tendencies but I loved it when Elle unleashed herself on me. It hurt so bad I damn near shit myself. But when you're me, all pain is temporary. I knew she couldn't really hurt me. I knew that I had hurt her terribly, not only by killing her dad, although she really should've thanked me for that, but that she had shorted herself out when I tried to kill her the first time. So I meant it when I said I would take everything she had.

I also meant that I was going to take everything she had. She didn't seem to mind.

It was cathartic for both of us.

When I finally collapsed in front of her, I felt closer to her than to anyone else I've ever known. In her face, I could see all the pain and aguish I'd ever felt. She had been diagnosed a sociopath when she was just a kid, whereas I've been working very hard to become one. It's not that easy, you know. I knew she understood me. No one else did, but Elle…Elle knew me.

For a little while I thought she had saved the world.

My mother loved me but she never knew who I was. She loved a figment of her imagination. She loved something called Gabriel.

Elle made me feel like Gabriel was real. She made me feel like I was enough.

And then there was an eclipse and Gabriel was real.

I never lied to her. I meant every word I said that afternoon. Losing my power and with it, the hunger, was like having the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. Standing in that empty house with her, I felt…absolutely…light hearted.

After she fixed my shoulder, of course. That hurt like a bitch.

I can honestly say that it was the best afternoon of my life.

Right up until the moment Bennett cut my throat. That sucked.

Where's the justice? Where's the poetry? After the strides Elle and I had covered over the last two days, the things we discovered, to have it end in a pool of blood in the back room of a fucking Piggly Wiggly?

I really hate that guy.

But I learned from him, too.

Standing alone on that beach Hiro dumped me on, I came to some hard conclusions.

It doesn't matter who I feel like or what I want. The fact is that I am a killer. No matter how hard I fight it, this hunger will make sure I remain a killer. Bennett, or someone like him, will continue to hunt me for as long as I live, which, if I play my cards right, could be forever. If I don't stay on my toes, one of those hunters may find a way to actually finish me off. Emotions make you sloppy.

I could say that I killed her because when all my powers came back, the hunger that came with it hit me so hard I couldn't resist and she just happened to be there when I needed to express myself. I could say that in the rush of all that power I forgot how she made me feel. I could blame her for lying to me, for being their pawn. I could claim that I manipulated and used her the way I used Maya. That she was just a shiny new toy. I could say I doubted her affection but that would be a lie. I know she loved me. I could say I killed her because of a thousand complicated reasons, but let's not over think it.

Isn't life complicated enough?

I killed her because I loved her.

And I just can't have that.