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Of Light and Shades (5/?)

Title: Of Light and Shades
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Characters: Elizabeth Porter, Sylar, Mohinder Suresh, Kara Wycliffe, Aaron Gray 
Disclaimer: Heroes is not mine. Elizabeth's character is, though.
Rating: R
Summary: Elizabeth always thought her ability to be more a gift than a curse. But she never imagined it could make her dangerous.

A couple of months had passed since Sylar’s game started, and Elizabeth was close to the breaking point. Just a couple of weeks earlier she had suffered a panic attack after being stalked by the killer for an entire day. The ER doctor that had looked after her wanted Elizabeth to speak with a psychologist, but she used her powers on him to convince the doctor to let it go. Still, he had given Elizabeth some drugs to keep her anxiety under control, and Elizabeth had clung onto that bottle of pills like a life-safer. She couldn’t sleep, she was afraid of leaving the house, and she perfectly knew that wherever Sylar was, he knew he was winning the game.
Elizabeth was really close to take the phone and call Peter to tell him everything. She lost count of all the times she picked up the phone with that intention, but she just listened to the line signal without ever dialing his number.
If Sylar wanted to kill her, no one could protect her. She liked to think she was helping her friends this way. Keeping them safe was the only thing that kept her going.
And then one evening Mohinder called her out of the blue.
“Hello, Lizzie. It’s been a while since we last spoke… I was worried about you.”
He didn’t need to say why he was worried about her. Elizabeth sighed and faked cheerfulness.
“No need to be, Mohinder. I’m perfectly fine. How’s your job? You sound tired. You are tired. Stressed.”
“You could say this of every person here in this facility.”
“I don’t care about the others. I’m talking to you.”
“Yes, I’m tired. Things are… complicated. Something is happening but they don’t tell me much.”
“And something tells me it’s better this way.”
“By the way, I’ve finished examining your blood. I think I’ve found the genetic traits responsible for your ability.”
“Good. I mean, good for you. It doesn’t change much for me, right?”
“I’ll see to it. I don’t break my promises.”
“Neither do I,” Elizabeth whispered. Then a familiar darkness flooded her, and Elizabeth shivered. No. It couldn’t be. Oh God…
“Lizzie? Lizzie, are you alright? What’s wrong?”
Elizabeth wasn’t listening to Mohinder anymore. She slowly put down the receiver on the table.
“Hello, Lizzie.”
Elizabeth shivered, but she didn’t turn to face him. Her heart was racing like never before in her life.
Sylar smirked. “Are you talking to Mohinder? Tsk-tsk… that’s against the rules, Lizzie. Now I’ll have to punish you.”
“I didn’t look for him. He looked for me.”
“You could’ve ignored the call. Instead you answered… what should I think, Lizzie?”
Elizabeth didn’t reply. She slowly reached for the paperknife on the table, but before she could clutch it in her hand, she felt Sylar’s telekinetic grip on her. She was like frozen, completely helpless. Elizabeth heard the killer walk until he was right behind her. She was grateful his telekinesis was holding her; she would already fall on the floor otherwise.
“Don’t think I like doing this. Killing you won’t give me any pleasure. But it’s… imperative. Evolution is imperative,” he said, stroking Elizabeth’s hair. “And your empathy is a gift too rare, too special… You’ll be a wonderful addition to my collection.”
Elizabeth felt his hand move lower on her, circling her waist. He inhaled the scent of her hair, and tightened his grip.
“I’ve always wondered what would’ve happened if I had been like this before. What could’ve happened between us if I hadn’t been so scared to take what I really wanted. I was so hopelessly in love with you, my beautiful ballerina, and you never noticed it… Maybe I can delay your death a little longer, after all,” Sylar said, grazing Elizabeth’s skin beneath her shirt and moving higher. “What do you say, Lizzie? What are you willing to do to live a little longer?”
Without his telekinesis to hold her still, Elizabeth involuntarily leant against his chest. Sylar’s hand moved on her breast, but before he could do more, Elizabeth grabbed the paperknife and stabbed Sylar in the leg with it, twisting the blade inside the wound. Sylar screamed in pain and Elizabeth took advantage of the moment to get away from him.
“Not so fast, bitch!” Sylar said, using again his telekinesis to shove Elizabeth against a wall. He took a moment to look at her – helpless, scared, completely in his power – and then he tore her shirt apart. Elizabeth shut her eyes when she felt again Sylar’s hands and mouth on her. She didn’t want to know, she didn’t want to see… the absolute terror she was feeling in that moment was overwhelming. It was too much for her, she couldn’t bear it…
It was like a nuclear bomb exploded within her. And before she could realize what the hell had happened, she felt Sylar scream in agonizing pain. Elizabeth watched the killer crawling on the floor, clutching his head. A quick check made her realize he was feeling the same emotions she had felt minutes ago…
Elizabeth had nothing to lose anymore, and decided to try and do that again. She concentrated, trying to feel again that energy within her, and thought of all the most recent painful memories: what she felt when she had found Rafe’s body, when he almost killed her in his shop… when he tried to rape her. The more he screamed, the more Elizabeth kept on using that new power of hers. Rage and hate ruled her. And she was feeling so good in torturing him for all the sins he had committed she almost didn’t notice when he stopped screaming. Sylar laid prone on the floor. completely still, staring at the void. He looked like a broken doll, so helpless and unable to do harm…
Just then Elizabeth started to realize what she had done. She retired in the farthest angle of the room and she let herself fall on the floor. Elizabeth hugged her knees and hid her face against them, crying.
Mohinder and a team of Company agents arrived a few moments after. As soon as he had realized that Sylar was attacking his friend, all the promises he had made to keep Lizzie away from the Company were forgotten in an instant. He gathered the field agents available plus the two from the Connecticut branch, and they immediately left Hartsdale with him without asking questions. As soon as he saw Elizabeth on the floor he moved towards her but Kara stopped him.
“I’ll take care of Elizabeth,” she said. “Go to help Aaron with Sylar, Doctor.”
Mohinder hesitated, but he did what Kara said. Kara reached Elizabeth, and knelt before her.
“Elizabeth? Can you hear me?”
Elizabeth slowly rose her head. Kara smiled.
“Why don’t we sit on the couch? We’ll be more comfortable there,” she proposed. Elizabeth nodded weakly, and Kara helped her onto the couch, sitting down beside her. Elizabeth clutched the plaid throw draped over the couch and wrapped it tightly around her.
“Elizabeth… My name is Kara Wycliffe. I’m here to help you. Can you tell me what happened here?”
Elizabeth was staring at the void, and she didn’t seem to have heard the question. Kara touched her hand, but Elizabeth jerked away from her touch, frightened.
“Elizabeth… I know it’s hard and that you don’t want to talk about it, but I have to know. I can’t help you otherwise.”
“I don’t want to be helped,” whispered Elizabeth. “I deserve this pain. I can’t believe what I’ve done to another human being.”
Kara bit her lower lip. Maybe it was her training, but the words ‘Sylar’ and ‘human being’ didn’t add up well in her brain.
“Whatever you did, you just defended yourself.”
“I don’t know what happened. I felt this sudden burst of energy coming from inside of me… and then I felt drained for a second or two, while… while he started screaming.”
“Doctor Suresh tells me you’re an empath. I don’t have any direct experience but… could it be possible you projected your feelings in Sylar’s head?”
Elizabeth shrugged. “I don’t even know what that means.”
“A monster’s nightmare is to be confronted with all the bad things it has done. It doesn’t surprise me Sylar couldn’t take it.”
“Did you met him before?”
“No. I’m one of the lucky people in this world that never had to face him. I teach children how to use their powers in Hartford, when I’m not doing things for the Company.”
That name rang a bell in Elizabeth’s head. Was that the organization Peter told her to stay away from?
“You are a Company agent.”
“I am. We all are. Mohinder heard what was happening on the phone and we came running to help you. It’s what we are for… helping other people like us.”
“Peter told me how you help people. How you helped him. I shouldn’t talk to you.”
Kara frowned. “I don’t know what are you talking about. It’s the first time I come here in New York.”
Kara was 80% sincere, Elizabeth realized. And she really want to help her. But she was lying on something. She knew about Peter, or about the way used to find other evolved humans. Before she could ask, another agent came by them. He was tall and good-looking, and presented himself as Aaron Gray.
“How is he?” asked Elizabeth.
“Whatever you did, sweetheart, it worked. Sylar won’t kill anymore, and all thanks to you.”
Did I kill him?!?” shrieked Elizabeth, hyperventilating.
“No! No, Elizabeth… According to Mohinder he’s catatonic, but it’s not dead.”
Unfortunately, he thought. And Elizabeth didn’t miss the regret inside of him.
“Elizabeth, why don’t you come with us? You’re still shaking like a leaf. You might want to talk to someone… we have a good psychologist at the Harsdale facility.
“And a lot of people might want to congratulate you. You’re, like, our heroine.”
“I don’t feel like a heroine.”
“But you are,” said a male voice coming from the door. Elizabeth didn’t turn, but she could see that Kara and Aaron weren’t so happy to see that man. And from what she could feel, she wasn’t happy either. It was… shady. Like he couldn’t be trusted, ever. Bob gave a distasteful look at Sylar, and joined Kara and Aaron. He was feeling… fatherly towards Kara, but Kara didn’t reciprocate the feelings. Quite the other way around. And she was really surprised to see him there, everyone was. Bob stretched his hand in front of Elizabeth, but Elizabeth didn’t take it. Bob let his hand fell on his side.
“I’m Bob Bishop, miss Porter. On behalf of my organization I’d like to say… thanks. You succeeded where everyone else has failed. We owe you eternal gratitude.”
“How did you know we were here, sir?” asked Kara.
“Kara, I think you already know the answer.”
“Of course. Well, If I wanted to live inside the Big Brother house, I would apply for the game.”
“It’s just a precaution, my dear. And the security section doesn’t abuse of its power. But now we have more important things to discuss. Miss Porter is clearly traumatized, and after the service she rendered to our people is only fair we take care of her wellbeing. Kara, Aaron, please bring her to our doctors in Hartsdale. I’ll take care of Sylar.”
Kara and Aaron gave a quick glance to Mohinder, who sighed and nodded slightly. If he couldn’t take care of his friend, at least he knew she was with a couple of the few Company agents that weren’t heartless bastards.
Elizabeth tried to protest, but the truth was she was relieved. If someone would take care of her, that would mean she could shut off her brain and stop thinking. She tried once again to concentrate and stop feeling other people’s emotions, but the only thing she could achieve was to keep them all at the lowest level possible without falling in a catatonic state again. Kara and Aaron didn’t leave her for a second. They got her examined by a doctor, and watched behind a glass while a psychologist tried to break inside the wall Elizabeth built around her, without success. Everyone wanted to see the girl that annihilated Sylar, but Kara, fearing an emotional breakdown, kept her away from the crowd. The only thing that seemed to shake her a little was Mohinder’s arrival. He immediately hugged Elizabeth, and Elizabeth started to cry.
“Shh… it’s ok, Lizzie, it’s ok… no-one will harm you. You’re safe now,” he said, stroking her hair.
“What happened to me, Mohinder? What happened to him?”
“We’ll figure it out together, Lizzie. Don’t worry.”
“Mohinder… how is Gabriel?”
Mohinder couldn’t understand how Lizzie could ask about his conditions, after all he had done to her, but he kept his thought for himself.
“Sylar is… is not there. He’s empty. I don’t know how to describe it better, Lizzie. Can you describe me what happened during your fight?”
Elizabeth didn’t reply, so Kara did it for her. She could see the girl and Mohinder talk, but she couldn’t hear them. She was too busy analyzing what Mohinder had just said to her.
At first she feared she had taken a life, but what she did what worse, a million time worse. She took a life without killing her victim. She wasn’t an heroine, no matter what the others said. There was a person now that thanks to her was just an empty, soulless shell. It didn’t matter he was a killer, it didn’t matter he tried to kill her. She let her dark side rule her and use an ability, a potential she didn’t know she had inside of her. Elizabeth always thought her ability to be more a gift than a curse. But she never imagined it could make her dangerous.
After she had heard Peter’s tale, Elizabeth always thought that she would never have a valid reason to trust the Company, if they would ever cross path with her. If that encounter had happened a couple of months before, she would’ve immediately run away like hell without looking back.
Ironic how things could change in so little time.

Comments

dana_serenity
May. 1st, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
OMG! Sylar!! NOOOOOO!!

LOL. I love this hun, and I'm kinda glad that Lizzie is feeling guilty, it means she's different from Sylar. Great work doll ;)
jademacgrath
May. 1st, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
And don't worry, you haven't seen the last of him ; )