But It's Better If You Do


ethan_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title But It's Better If You Do
Synopsis Ethan and Odessa go on… a date?
Date November 26, 2008

Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge, owned by the mother of Senator Nathan Petrelli, is an Asian-inspired martini bar lit by candlelight and the soft glow of wall sconces spaced evenly throughout the room. Although there aren't any employees at the door to check for identification, it's unusual to find anyone in the college-aged crowd at the Lounge, which caters to young professionals with plenty of extra money to burn. During the day, the plush burgundy drapes affixed to the windows are used to filter out the sounds of traffic and at night are drawn back to allow passersby a glimpse inside.

Seating is simple: clusters of rectangular tables fashioned from white marble, each with two leather benches parallel to the longest sides. Silk pillows in varying shades of red, brown, yellow and orange lend a splash of colour to the Lounge, vivid against the pale walls and black-painted cement floor. On one wall is a giant mirror with an intricately carved frame that reflects almost everything in the room and makes the space appear twice as large as it really is. Clearly, the proprietor of this establishment wanted to get her money's worth - real estate in this part of town isn't cheap!

Music plays softly in the background as the two are seated. Though the night started with a rather foreboding rain, Ethan has been quite the gentlemen throughout this play at social interaction. An umbrella held for her here, a quick bound to the other side of the car to open it for her. At least he's pretending to be chivalrous. He even took her coat for her.

He is in fact, quite dapper tonight. A black jacket over a white shirt and royal blue tie, tucked into his black vest. A pair of freshly pressed black pants, and the shoes and the man is ready to go. Unfortunately his hat was taken at the door, thus revealing the bandage that is still wrapped around his head.

Once at the table, the Wolf goes to pull the seat out for the woman then tuck it back in once she is seated. Only then would he proceed to take his own seat. "There we are." He says with a bit of a puff of air. "All settled in."

Odessa's pale face is coloured with a healthy pink blush as she smooths out the ruffles of her short tube dress, the colour of which actually - coincidentally - matches Ethan's tie. Her heels are actually more subdued than her attire tonight, shiny and black accented by matte ribbons over the toes. "Is this what… dates are like?" she asks quietly. She looks about with wide, curious eyes. "This is a very nice place. Kind of seems almost like a movie."

"I think so. Kathryn didn't really like the posh places. She preferred.. other things. Come to think of it we didn't go on a whole lot of dates." A shrug of his broad shoulders as he gives her a genuine smile. "You look lovely, Odessa." He says slowly, as if the words are difficult to come by. "We can go to a movie, after, if you would like? Dates include that sometimes as well. But they don't 'ave to. Up to you."

"Thank you," is murmured sleepily before Odessa brings the back of her hand up to cover up a small yawn. "I'm sorry. I had a really big day. I don't know if sitting in a dark room for a couple of hours will actually result in my watching the movie. I'd like to sometime, though." She smiles faintly and rests her hands in her lap. "Kathryn… What was she like? I'll bet she was pretty."

Nodding, he smirks as he takes up the menu. "Next time." Ethan says quietly after she declines the movie option. Then she talks about his wife. For a moment, his heart pauses and his lips stop. But then he starts to speak again, "Nah, she was an ugly bitch." Ethan says promptly, and lets that sit in the air for a moment. Before grinning and shaking his head. "No, anything but an ugly bitch. She was.. 'eavenly. Short. Very much so, she 'ad eyes to die for. The deepest fucking blue you'll ever see. And she was 'ilarious. I know, every fuckin boy when 'e declares 'is love includes 'smart, and funny, and beautiful'. But she made me laugh like no one else ever could. That morbid 'umor. Jokin' bout 'er even when she's dead. She would do that type of thing.. She was.." A pause as he takes a deep breath. Then decides the conversation does not be pursued and instead studies his menu. "You're welcome… For me callin' you lovely, that is. I mean— for me sayin' you look lovely. I mean."

"I'm sorry," Odessa says quietly, her eyes dropping to her fingers where they fidget in her lap. "That was.. so stupid of me. I didn't mean to…" She picks up her menu and all but hides behind it.

"You're fine Odessa. It's been a few years. I can 'andle that." Ethan assures her as he looks on the menu. "I don't know. I just really thought my days of fighting were over. But.. it turned out that they 'adn't even begun. I can't always be sure. Katy and the kids deaths were either the grea'est thing for 'umanity or the worst." A shrug as if the answer isn't all that important. "What looks good?" He says with a small smile.

"Seafood," Odessa responds, letting the subject of the man's family drop entirely. "There's eel on the menu. I've never had eel before." She peeks over the top of it and it's clear she's wearing a smile just from the look in her eyes. "I think I'd like to try it. Is that strange?"

Ethan shakes his head at her question. "If you're feelin' adventurous, go for it.You bet'er choose your drink as well. They ask for that first."Ethan informs before continuing on casual conversation, "I ear eel makes a man more sexually potent." A shrug of his shoulders. Just a FUN FACT! Studying the menu he gives another shrug. "'Ell. I'll try the same thing. If it's terrible we can suffer together." With that he closes his menu.

"I- I heard that's a myth," Odessa stammers nervously, taking refuge in the menu again as she turns to the drink portion. "Ooh. This one sounds interesting. Chocolate martini? It seems sort of… counter-intuitive, I think. I'm going to have to try it."

"Maybe." Ethan says with a shrug. "I'll 'ave a mojito. It's a tad fairy, but I like it." The Wolf confesses. And then the actual waiter is present. "Roight. She's going to 'ave a chocolate martini and the eel thing, I'll 'ave a Mojito and the same. If that sits with you?" Ethan asks of Odessa before confirming the order.

"Aaaaactually," the doctor breaks in sheepishly, "make mine a strawberry mojito?" Odessa shrugs at Ethan, "If it's good enough for you…" She smiles and hands her menu off. She's seen enough films to know how this part works, at least.

"As the lady says." Ethan insists before handing over his own menu. Then the waiter is off and they are just left the two of them. "So." He says, focusing on her. "Only life you've ever known is working for these people. This Company? What are they like?" He asks, leaning back in his seat to listen attentively.

"I don't know where to begin to answer that." One hand reaches up to scratch underneath the wide ribbon worn around her neck to cover up the scar. The bow tied at the hollow of her throat does make her look vaguely reminiscent of a gift all wrapped up. Makeup has made the majority of her bruises fade to something she's at least not afraid to show in public. He's got a head injury and her chest is a blossoming bouquet of bruises. They're clearly a well-matched couple. "They're… not all together unkind, I suppose. The directors have both been sweet to me. I know they only look out for me. But… a prison is a prison, no matter how well intentioned, no?" Odessa's hand slips back to her lap after ensuring her necklace is still in place.

A nod. "You don't wish to go back. Ever?" Ethan asks softly, as he gazes across the table, his features rather indifferent as of now. "'Ow exactly do they make it a prison? You don't 'ave to wear an orange jumpsuit, roight? They just keep you in their facility? Is that it? Why are they so scared in lettin' you out?"

"Because of my ability," Odessa whispers softly. "I could do terrible things. I could do amazing things. Sylar's starting to suspect what I can do, and even he's afraid of it." It isn't spoken like a brag, but there is the barest hint of pride. She sees herself as powerful, and she sees that as a good thing. "I just always accepted that I could never leave. The told me the world was terrible and that they were only protecting me. I believe that, but… who protects the rest of the world? I just want to be as normal as possible. Is that too much to ask?"

"No, lovely." Ethan says softly. "That's not too much to ask." Ethan assures her, tilting his head a little bit at her. "Why do you feel you need to keep it such a secret? You don't even let Sylar know, as far as I can tell 'e's your main squeeze. But not even 'e knows." He shakes his head as if its not important. "We are all capable of terrible and amazing things Odessa… No one should be locked up for their potential."

"It's like being held prisoner because I might someday have a thought about doing something bad." The woman's gaze flits away from Ethan in an unfocused stare past his shoulder. "They were right to worry. I've done terrible things. Maybe I never needed to be protected from the world." Odessa meets the man's eyes now. "Maybe they were always protecting the world from me."

A small smile crawls up his lips. "You've done terrible things?" The bandages wrapped around his hand and head are evidence that he has done his fair share. "Who 'asn't? But 'oo are they to decide the world needs protecting from you. It's all about balance. The Evolved have thrown off the balance in our world, just like Jesus did. 'E brought something different that threw off the natural world order. That's just like the Evolved. Someone has to bring balance." His hands spread wide. "Per'aps, it's you and I."

"Just you and I?" Odessa leans forward, propping her elbows up on the table and her chin in her hands in turn. "That sounds like a pretty big undertaking. I thought you were all about the Work."

"I said per'aps. It's a bit vague, innit?" Ethan asks with a grin. Tilting his head at her, he gives a shrug. "I don't know what I'm all about Odessa. I really don't know." He says softly. "But I 'ope it's not in vain. Whatever I'm doing, I 'ope it's not in vain." He looks down for a moment. "Why do you keep it so secret?"

"Lying's the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off," Odessa responds after a moment's thought. She's been watching DVDs on Ethan's television again. She doesn't finish the quote. "Ever since I first discovered what I could do, I was told to keep it to myself. Fortunately, I was old enough by then to know how to keep a secret. Old enough and bitter enough not to share with anyone. It was always the one thing I had that nobody else could have - my secret. I suspect people would exploit it if they knew. Exploit me."

Ethan allows a long moment of time to pass in silence as he watches Odessa. His hands go onto the table as he links his fingers together. "Out of curiosity, do you think I would exploit you, Odessa?"

"Not out of some malicious need or desire, but yes." She doesn't shift her gaze. This conversation is too serious for Odessa to allow herself to do that. "Perhaps in that case, exploit isn't the right word. But I have no doubt you would take advantage of it. Anybody would. I'd be lying if I said I don't take it for granted myself."

A slight nod. "So you won't trust me, still?" Ethan asks, bringing his elbows up on the table. "Even though we're 'aving this wonderful date?" A grin, he's playing now. "Per'aps that's for the best. Per'aps. There's that word again. It's vague." Ethan grins across the table at her.

He may be adept at derailing her thoughts, but two can play at that game. Or at least one of them can play and the other can make an attempt. "Are you picturing me without my dress?" Odessa asks, casually as you please… except for the blush that's crept into her cheeks.

A brow arches as Ethan flashes an inquisitive glance at the woman. "Do you want me to be?" He asks in counter. No blush, just a question with a look of curiosity painted on his features.

Odessa gasps and recoils. "Oh, you're good at this, aren't you?"

"Depending on what this is referring to, I may be an expert." The man says with a grin at her recoil, bringing up his hands, he places his chin atop his fists. And then dinner and drinks finally come. Woo!

"Bon appetit," Odessa murmurs as their meals are left in front of them and the waiter's been assured that they need nothing else for the moment. She takes a sip of her drink and nods after a moment. "That's… different!" The woman probably didn't have too many mixed drinks in captivity, as it were.

A little chuckle is muttered after her exclamation. "Do you like it?" He asks as he takes his own drink and starts to sip. "Something can be different and you can 'ate it. Do you 'ate it? We can get something else if you'd wish." The Wolf offers, setting down his glass he picks up his fork and starts to eat.

"I think I like it," Odessa dithers. After another sip she frowns thoughtfully. "Kind of like how I like beer, but I hate it. Except this tastes much better than beer. So, I think I like it." This time, it's a longer drink when she brings the glass to her lips. "I think it's an acquired taste! I'm liking it better every time!"

"That's 'ow it works. Muscle past the gag and you 'ave something beautiful. I think that's 'ow Kathryn described our relationship at one point." A little smile as he brings up another forkful. Tilting his head. "It's weird, but it's alright I suppose."

"The eel," Odessa quips, "or your relationship?" She keeps her drink aloft in her right hand and plucks up her fork with her left. She takes a bite and, unlike after the first sip of her strawberry mojito, looks instantly appreciative. "Oh, no. This is good."

"The eel." Ethan clarifies. Then grins as she seems to so quickly love it. "Good. I'm glad you like it." Ethan murmurs as he continues to eat his own. He may not like it as much as she, but he will still eat it. A smirk as he looks up to her. "I don't think it's a myth." A playful face, and then he flashes a wink across the table.

Odessa flashes Ethan a smirk when he clarifies his words. It's wiped right off her face and results in her choking on the bite she had just taken when he declares that he finds truth in the legend.

Laughter rings out as she chokes, and his shoulders bounce a bit at the hilarity of her plight. "I'm just messing about wit' ya." Ethan says, grinning broadly as he continues to chuckle. Then takes another bite.

For a moment, it seems as though Odessa might actually choke, but one cough manages to finally - violently - dislodge the seafood from her throat, tucked surreptitiously into a napkin. "You're very good at it," she affirms.

"Sorry bout that lovely." Ethan says, motioning to the napkin. He continues to eat.

Odessa shrugs her shoulders delicately. It's fine. She steers the conversation to safer topics for the remainder of their meal.

November 26th: Home-Hunting

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 26th: Ditcher
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