Vertigo Bombshells

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bryan_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title Vertigo Bombshells
Synopsis Bryan ushers Odessa home with him to share his secret. If he was hoping to find out hers, he should definitely be disappointed.
Date October 8, 2008

Le Rivage - Bryan Buckley's Apartment


In his office, Bryan is simply waiting for Odessa. He has all of this things already together and is sitting partway on his desk and twirling a dark wig on the tips of his fingers. All he needs to do is walk out the door in order to head home for the evening. There's just one matter of business left to attend to.

One hour on the dot and Odessa's heels can be heard in the hallway, heralding her arrival before she knocks on the door and lets herself in. "What did you want, Agent Buckley?" She blinks at him, confused.

"I want you to put this on," Bryan answers without missing a beat. "Not that I don't like the blonde, or that it will fool anyone inside this building. But we need to take precautions, nevertheless." He holds out the wig to her then, slipping off the desk to stand before her in the small room.

Odessa doesn't question. She simply readjusts her hairtie so that the blonde is twisted into a neat bun she can hide under the wig. She carefully pulls the darker faux-hair on over her head and tilts her head to one side curiously. "What does this accomplish?"

"The illusion of effort," Bryan says with the slightest of smiles as he pops out an elbow for Odessa to take. "You'll be coming back, of course, but not before we have a little chat."

Odess stares at the offered elbow as though she isn't quite sure what it's for. It must click to her after a moment, though, because she's taking it soon enough. "Where are we going?"

Bryan starts for the door once he has Odessa on his arm, not wanting to waste any time. "Seeing as I can't really take you anywhere exactly public and still weasel my way out of any consequences that may come?"

"My place."

His place. And he doesn't live here. So…

Odessa's eyes light up. "We're going outside??" She glances at her watch, and then back to Bryan. "Can you see the stars from your home? I tried to look at them the other night, but the lights of the city are so bright… It's as though there isn't any light in the sky at all."

"We can go to the roof for that, if you'd like," Bryan says with the ghost of a smile. "But we will talk."

Bryan's apartment is much like Bryan himself. Decorated with clean, simple lines and neutral tones, it reflects a strange dichotomy of warmth and hostility - like a burrow that has been picked clean by rather tidy scavengers. It is where the agent leads the doctor now, his manner as gentlemanly as in the days before the infiltration of the research facility and the escape of three inmates coupled with the kidnapping of Elle Bishop.

It is the sanctum of the snake.

Once inside the living room of his small yet relatively nice residence, Bryan leaves Odessa's side to slip over to a cabinet. If he owns a television, it is likely to be housed within the dark wooden piece. But instead of revealing what has become the domestic American altar, Bryan turns on a stereo to play the same sort of soft '3 AM' jazz that is - was - so often heard leaking out of his office door. He glances over his shoulder at Odessa, his face tinted with the faintest of smiles. "Would you like a drink?" In vino veritas, they say.

"A… drink?" Odessa looks around the room curiously, tracing her fingers over shelves and items that catch her attention, though she's careful not to actually disrupt anything except perhaps any dust that's settled. "I'll have whatever you're having, I suppose. It's not often I'm afforded the opportunity." She turns away from her shameless inspection to smile at her host.

"Precisely why I offered," Bryan clarifies as he retrieves a dark wine bottle from a small, hidden fridge and fills two glasses with the white liquid. Once the bottle has been returned, he brings both closer to Odessa. The shelves she runs her fingers along are filled with books of various kinds that lack any sort of formal organization. "That, and I imagined you'd take what I had to say a bit easier with some of this in you."

Odessa flashes Bryan a curious look as she take the glass graciously. Her smile, however, doesn't falter. "You obviously believe that I'm not working with Sylar, or you wouldn't have been foolish enough to bring me here where he could follow. After those sorts of accusations, I can't imagine what you would need to fill me with alcohol for before I would accept it." She raises the glass. "Cheers." Then she brings it to her lips.

Rather than drink along with Odessa, Bryan simply watches her for a moment before he responds. "You forget that I've been without that concoction of yours for weeks now, Doctor. And that New York's carrying laws are hardly still in affect. Perhaps I'm just confident that myself plus whatever it is you were able to do to keep him from killing you the last time you ran into Sylar will keep us both alive. But if you'd rather not go up to the roof, I'm happy to sit here where it is a bit warmer."

Well that wipes the smile right off Doctor Knutson's face. In fact, she looks like a child who's just had their dessert taken away from them. Her eyes get big and she positively pouts. "But I never get to see the sky. Can't we please?" Odessa holds her glass in both hands, close to her body. She glances down at it once before returning her gaze to Bryan.

Bryan rarely laughs. But it's been far too long since he's had a good chuckle. Thankfully, Odessa's behavior is funny enough to pull that mirth right out of him, and even some bottled-up stress in the form of a hearty, chest-rumbling laugh. He turns his head so as not to accidentally spray anything harmful on the doctor, should it get that wild, but Bryan lets the laugh run his course. At the end, he's gasping for breath. "Yes, of course. We can, we can." It really is a shame they don't let her out more, but that only makes the Mysterious Classified Doctor more mysterious.

Odessa's confused by the laughter, mistaking it at first for something more condescending or malicious if the frown on her face is any indication. But when he agrees, her whole face lights up again. "C'mon! C'mon, c'mon! I want to see!"

Waving a hand, Bryan then tucks it into his coat to pull out a napkin with which he wipes his face. Just because it is his house doesn't mean his little off-med eccentricities aren't indulged. "Alright, it's this way" With that, Bryan is leading Odessa out of the apartment and into the elevator.

The roof itself is not unlike any other roof of any other apartment building in New York City. It's a bit colder, but given the hour and the season, that's to be expected. Thankfully, there is plenty of light coming up from the street lamps below and the smog-shrouded stars above, not to mention the various lighted windows of the taller buildings around them, to see by. Bryan takes a seat near someone's attempt at growing vegetables, on top of some sort of metal box. He's silent for now, letting the doctor take in the rarely-seen sight.

Odessa's entranced by the twinkling, if clouded, stars in the sky. "It's beautiful," she says quietly. "Is it always like this? Everything just feels different. The air is different. The sounds. The scents. Is this characteristic of the City?"

"Of this part of it, yes," Bryan says with a slight smile. "Every patch of sky on every apartment is different, and no, I don't feel like taking you to experience each one." His smile twinges a bit bigger then, showing the glinting tips of his fangs. "Not tonight."

Odessa's brows knit together momentarily, an inquisitive sort of expression that passes quickly. "That's all right. I can't be too greedy. It may take me all night simply to study this patch here."

Bryan's eyebrows lift at that. "I thought we were going to talk Odessa. I haven't lost you to constellations so soon, have I? Besides, if you spend too long out here, you'll have a cough to explain to the others." But that might be the least of her worries.

"Oh, I don't suspect anyone will be concerned by a cough. They'll merely chalk it up to my insufficient immune system and sudden exposure to the outside world." Odessa tears her gaze away from the sky finally and gives Bryan a pointed look. "It isn't, though. I'm not going to develop a cough from a little time spent outside. Being exposed to everything brought in by the lot of you," you agents, "I'm not so lacking in the exposure department." She slowly ambles over, sipping at her wine. She hesitates, not quite sure she's supposed to take a seat next to the snake or not.

Though he has his handy handkerchief in hand, Bryan has yet to have any of his own wine, though he holds the glass casually in one hand. He waits until Odessa is near, in that moment of hesitation, to drop his bombshell. His secret plan.

"I made a bargain with Sylar," he says in a deadpan as if he were informing Odessa, for whatever reason, that the milk had gone bad or that they were out of bread and eggs.

Odessa blinks several times before she's able to find a response to that. "What… sort of bargain?" Can it be much different from her own?

Despite the fact that Odessa and Bryan are each about as morally gray as they come, perhaps due to their similar histories with the Company, the older employee of Primatech had expected a slightly different reaction upon his news. When he doesn't get it, his eyebrows indicate that much in how they rearrange on his forehead.

"A bargain regarding Elle," Bryan continues, tucking his chin to adopt a more scrutinizing posture and expression as he watches Odessa. His voice drops a few notches in volume, as it nearly always does when he mentions the missing agent by name. That is, of course, unless he's otherwise agitated.

"I don't understand." Odessa takes a long drink from her wine glass. Perhaps the answers are in the bottom? "What did you do?"

"Do?" Bryan frowns at the accusation, despite it's minuscule nature. "I didn't do anything. I simply made a deal. An exchange of words. A verbal contract, the validity of which remains to be proved." He sighs then, and after a roll of his shoulders, Bryan finally takes a drink of the wine, wiping the glass in turn. It's such a practiced movement that it almost comes off like a magician doing sleight of hand. "I promised a trade. One body in good, healthy condition for another."

"It isn't me, is it? Because I'll honestly surgically remove something you might actually need in order to function if you did something so stupid." Odessa narrows her eyes just a smidgen. You don't mess with your doctor. "Who did you promise him in exchange for Bishop? I wasn't aware he had her."

"He doesn't," Bryan admits with a shake of his head and a shrug of his shoulders. "But he's more able to get in touch with Adam Monroe than we are, especially since he's working with the terrorists now. At least, 'get in touch with' in such a way that getting Elle out in one piece is a likely event." Bryan narrows his eyes as he smiles again, taking mock offense at the suggestion. "Believe me, Odessa, if I were to trade a doctor, it wouldn't be you. I like you."

"So take your medication," Odessa chides. "I don't prescribe those things for no reason, you know." It's Doctor Knutson's job to give her patient a hard time for not taking his meds, even if she does perfectly understand why. She does frown again after another sip of wine. Getting in touch with Adam Monroe is something she'd very much like to be doing. It seems the doctor and the agent's goals align in that much at least.

"I'm not not taking it because you prescribed it," Bryan assures Odessa with a teasing smile. It's strained, though, and soon it is gone altogether. "I'm not taking it so that if I need to jump into action, I have more than a nine millimeter at my disposal." Odessa didn't ask for more specifics regarding the trade, and so Bryan doesn't provide them. He does, however, take another sip from his glass. Sip and wipe.

"I know," Odessa says simply, turning her head skyward to gaze at the stars again. She's lost in thought, or at least at a loss for words.

For a few moments, Bryan is still. He slowly gets to his feet, leaving the glass behind on the nondescript metal box as he moves toward Odessa. His own neck is craned as if trying to pinpoint which bit of his patch of sky she's particularly interested in right now.

Odessa circles around behind Bryan and rests her chin against his shoulder to better get a feel for his line of sight before pointing out the constellation. "That one, right there. I've only ever seen it in photographs."

But Bryan glances down at Odessa before he looks back up again, following her finger. "This isn't why you went to the cemetery, is it?" he asks in a softer voice, hoping that the more intimate volume will afford him a more intimate look into Odessa's rhyme and reason.

"I wanted to see what a cemetery looks like," Odessa responds honestly. She drops her arm to her side and steps away with a bit of a huff. "You think it's so funny. And I get it - none of you understand. Let me put this into the simplest terms possible for you." The young doctor's brows furrow in an angered expression, hands on her hips only adding to it. "I haven't been outside." Each word is enunciated clearly, as though they each carry an equal, heavy meaning behind them.

Taking a step back, Bryan turns to face Odessa with narrowed eyes. "No, I get it," he says quietly. "You'd never seen one. You wanted to." He shrugs. "What's not to get? If it weren't for those meds you put in those little orange bottles for me every month, they'd keep me that close too." Now that Bryan isn't taking them, well… only a few people know about that, and hopefully Peter hasn't spilled the beans to anyone important or who likes to make important people extra happy by giving them such information.

"Is the world as sick as they say?" Odessa's voice lowers, barely above a whisper. Her expression is almost concerned. She steps out toward the edge of the roof as though she'll somehow have a better view of everything. She wavers for a moment, as though she's lost her balance.

For obvious reasons, Bran is close behind Odessa as she nears the walled edge. "It doesn't have the best prognosis, no. Not exactly. But the world's always been sick, Odessa. It always will be sick." Tentatively, but in part to ensure her safety, Bryan tucks his handkerchief back into his coat and lifts his hands to Odessa's upper arms. "But not even you can fix everything, Doc."

Odessa leans back against Bryan quickly, eyes shut tightly. She waits for the wave of vertigo to pass, helping it along with another drink of wine. "I'm supposed to be able to make sick things well. I'm a doctor, it's just what I do."

"You help sick people get well," Bryan clarifies with a smirk that is audible in his voice, "and while in the long run that might help a sick world, it's sort of like… trying to dam up the Hudson, one pebble at a time. Besides, one could argue that everyone is in some way sick, and that the only cure is death. But that's a pretty bleak world view, don't you think? I mean, I know I'm not perfect - who is? - But I rather like being alive."

"You can't fix dead people," Odessa reasons in return. Slowly, she opens one eyelid to peek out beyond the edge of the walled rooftop. "We're awfully high up," she murmurs.

"We are," Bryan concurs. "Three stories." He chuckles lightly, then adds in a whisper. "Maybe someday I'll sneak you out to Dorchester." Looking up, his smile widens. "Plenty of buildings taller than this one. It's too bad I can never get you to Chicago."

"Taller." Odessa repeats numbly, hazarding another glance before squeezing her eyes shut tightly again and leaning back. I feel like I'm falling already. Oh God, don't let me fall! She tips her head up before opening her eyes again. It even strikes her as ironic that she can have such a fascination with something so high up, yet cannot bring herself to look down again.

Chuckling amusedly, Bryan does his best to gently pull Odessa away from the edge. "We could always go back downstairs. I'm on the third floor - so it's not too far from the sky. And you can sit by a window for as long as you'd like."

"Windows." Odessa nods and takes another - big - step back from the ledge. "Yeah, that sounds fine. More wine, too, right?"

"Of course," Bryan says as he continues to lead Odessa. He has to pick up his glass on the way down, after all. "So long as you aren't hung over tomorrow, of course. I mean, if I'm going to expose you to the world tonight, I might as well pull out all the stops, hm?"

"The world, huh?" Once away from the dangers of ohmigoshfallingtoherdeath! Odessa is much more herself. She smirks at her companion. "That sounds like a pretty big undertaking."

"It's not as extreme as wanting to heal the world, now is it?" Bryan retorts as he retrieves his wine glass and takes a sip. The wiping portion of this ritual takes a bit long, as he has to also get the handkerchief back out again. "I think I'll find myself far more successful than you, Doctor."

"We'll see about that," Odessa murmurs around the lip of her glass before taking another drink. "I'm a damn good doctor."


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October 8th: Classified Trust Issues
Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

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October 8th: New York's Full of Weirdos
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