Author: Jacqui, wily_one24.
Prompt: #053: Faded
Word Count: 687.
Spoilers: Let’s say… everything they’ve shown for Elle.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
For as long as she could remember, Elle had wanted to be free of her ability.
It held her back. She knew this, knew it deep inside. Despite the flashy blue lights and the thrill of power sparking through her veins and the knowledge of power and control over others, there was always something wrong. It showed in the slight ache in her belly, that tightening of her abdominal walls when she watched movies or saw people on the street or read books.
Early on, it began as an itch, a desperate wanting whenever she saw families on the television. People holding hands, the simple touch of skin on skin. Simple for others, strictly forbidden for her. Later, as awareness developed with age, it grew like a hunger, like an aching pit of need.
Touch, contact, skin, sex.
She watched, a sinking low pit of guilt oozing in her belly, as actors played parts on the screen. A hand would brush a thigh, lips would graze a neck, a cheek, a breast. Elle would gasp, breath bitter with longing, and her finger would hover over the remote, ready to flick the screen off at any sign of interruption.
Her teeth would grind, hard and aching inside her jaw when she watched people, mere strangers, shake her father's hand, grasp his elbow in greeting, a casual pat on the shoudler or back. Careless and thoughtless and nothing they would remember five minutes later, but the image was always burned into her brain, her memory.
What she wouldn't give to touch people, hug her father, shake someone's hand, be held. She could only imagine a man, tall, with large arms that would fit all the way around her, like the pictures, someone that would lie next to her and surround her. Smell and taste and touch and...
Sparks would fly out of her fingertips, sizzle across her eyes.
She had to control herself a lot of the time.
And none of it would be a problem if she didn't have that power. If she didn't short circuit everytime she forgot herself and let her emotions get the better of her, if she didn't fry an entire building if she took a shower at the wrong level of calm, if she didn't get nervous and burn holes in the clothes of anyone who ever dared get close enough to touch her.
She wanted to be free of her ability. She wanted to be free of a life where the only use for her was in hurting others.
As she lay on the hot, desert ground, hard packed sand under her back and dust gritting its way into the bullet wound in her thigh, Elle was struck with a realization.
She had gotten everything she had ever wanted or wished for.
For a short time, she had been normal. Blessedly free of pain, of the blinding spams that cramped and cracked and burned her msucles. She could walk the street and talk and run and do anything, if she'd wanted, gone up to anyone and shaken their hands. She could have found a house with a garden (that she could water on her own), a swimming pool, a job where people smiled and nodded at her and treated her like an equal. Could have, maybe.
She had been touchable and maybe Gabriel hadn't covered her with kisses and slowly peeled her clothes off and spent hours and days running his hands everywhere, maybe he hadn't just held her, maybe it had been quicker and harder and rougher than she had hoped for, but it had happened and she had felt it, felt him, and that was what would stay with her.
And maybe her father had loved her.
Lying in the dirt, feeling Gabriel hold her down, knowing that she would get maybe one or two more lungfuls of oxygen before the white hot gash in her head became unbearable and things would go dark, Elle knew with sudden clarity that there was something worse than being untouchable and unloved and in pain.
Elle had never wanted to be powerless.