Classified Trust Issues


bryan_icon.gif claudine_icon.gif niki_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title Classified Trust Issues
Synopsis Niki gets a clean bill of health. Odessa proves she's either telling the truth, or that she's a very accomplished liar.
Date October 8, 2008

Primatech Research — Exam Room

It's been a day since getting cut loose from the cell. Now it's time for all the essentials of moving from "prisoner" to "employee". Claudine took her to get clothing, which is a step in the right direction. But she's still been told she has to get cleared medically. So it's off to the doctor's office.

Niki's met Doctor Knutson once or twice before. Never has she been described as subdued. But here she is, dressed in a plain white sun dress with her lab coat over the top, hair pulled back in a simple ponytail. Even her heels are a plain shade of tan. She looks up when Niki enters, looks down at the chart in her hands, and then back to the other blonde. "Oh. Hello, Miss Sanders. …Am I speaking to Niki?" It never hurts to make certain.

His back against the far wall and arms folded across his chest, Bryan too looks up when Niki Sanders enters. The line of questioning he had just been leading the doctor through hadn't proven to be very effectual in gaining the information he needed, but he's not about to continue it in the presence of anyone else, including the Sanders woman. "You'd better be," he half-growls, eyes narrowed at Niki. It's nothing the new 'agent' has done that deserves this treatment — Bryan has just been increasingly irritable lately, and this situation with Knutson hasn't helped matters in the least.

The tall blonde moves in, and looks a little surprised at Bryan's hostility. She knows Odessa, having seen a bit of her from the earlier incarceration. "Yes. I've been told I need to get cleared medically before I can proceed. So I'd like to get all that taken care of."

"Sure," Odessa murmurs softly, pulling a pen from her coat. She points it toward the table in the middle of the room. "Hop up." She shoots a look to Bryan. "I told you, I told him he didn't want to to kill me, so he didn't want to kill me. People listen to me."

Niki walks over, and climbs up onto the table. She sits there, looking back to the conversation with curiosity. "That's what passes for water cooler chat here? Talk about killing people?"

"Who said it was water cooler chat, or any of your business for that matter, Miss Sanders?" Bryan's voice is terse if not downright snappy. As for Odessa, Bryan narrows his eyes anew at her as he watches, rolling through the things he'd heard about the doctor in his mind. If he can solve this himself, it's one less thing to approach Bob Bishop about. Bryan may have been put on point in the case of Elle and the escapees, but the rest of the Company's operation lies thankfully out of his grasp.

The chart is set aside and Odessa approaches Niki with a tongue depressor and one of those nifty magnifying lights. "Open," she instructs simply. When she does, she takes a quick look at the back of the woman's throat. She then replaces the wooden stick over the tongue with a thermometer under. "I don't care who knows, Buckley. I haven't done anything wrong. It was just my misfortune to be found by him." She takes Niki's wrist in one hand and rests two fingers from the other on her pulse point, watching the seconds tick away on her watch with a faint smile.

Niki looks a bit annoyed at Bryan. "I'm not sure what you have against me, but—". And then Odessa's sticking a wooden thing in her mouth. "Aaah." is all she can manage.

Click clack click clack. There's patients to check in on, and Miss Sanders is high on her priority list. The young Filipina doctors heads on it and just waits by the door, not really wanting to interrupt.

Bryan turns his head away, looking the picture of teenage angst despite his years. "I'm afraid you don't have any pull in regard to what is and is not considered classified, Doctor." Looking to Niki, he adds, "Don't strain yourself figuring it out, Sanders." It's then he notes Claudine, and Bryan's expression actually softens for a split second. Find out what happened with Sylar, he thinks pointedly at the psychiatrist, glancing sharply from her to Odessa. Find out why he didn't kill her. Why she didn't run.

"Go ahead and pry into my head all he asks, Salonga. My story isn't going to change." Odessa releases Niki's wrist and jots down some notes on her chart before pulling the thermometer strip gently from the woman's mouth and writing down that reading as well. "So far so good, Miss Sanders. Unbutton your shirt for me so I can check your heartbeat and lungs." She turns to Bryan and Claudine in turn, gesturing toward the door. "Out. We'll be done in just a few minutes."

Claudine looks towards Bryan and raises her brows, not quite sure what to do as she runs her fingers through her hair. She takes a deep breath and nods as she starts to delve into Odessa's mind, not even asking for permission this time. She just remains quiet. What is Odessa hiding? What was the conversation? All those memories and more, she wants to see it.

Bryan doesn't put up a fight, but he does give the doctor a well-deserved glare as he leaves the room, opting to lean against the wall beside the door as he waits.

Claudine is still focusing, staring intently towards Odessa as she continues delving deeply. From the beads of sweat forming on her features, Bryan should be able to see that she's concentrating.

Bryan would see, if he were looking. He's actually thinking himself, and although he is doing his best to block his thoughts from Claudine by thinking of several things at the same time to muddle her, he doesn't do such a good job today. Chalk it up to stress or something.

Dammit -…- attacks the walls of blood vessels -…- she's not being honest with me -…- death in minutes without medical attention.

And Claudine tries to just keep Bryan's thoughts out of her head. She's still quiet. Eerily quiet. She's concentrating, trying to sort out various memories..

This is the last thing I need -…- Sylar -…- Dammit, Bob.

Bryan grits his teeth and closes his eyes tightly as he sucks in air through his nostrils. "The hell is taking so long?" he snarls with that soft, subdued anger.

As if on cue, Niki Sanders opens the door to the exam room, fastening the top button of her shirt. "The doctor will see you now," she says with a grin and then walks off down the hallway without any further fanfare.

Inside the room, Odessa is seated on a rolling stool, making the last of her notes. He just… let me go. I can't explain it. She looks up, locking eyes with Claudine. I asked him not to, so he didn't. The thoughts are focused, interspersed with the stray scrap of information from Niki's examination.

Claudine hrmms for a few moments, wrinkling through her nose as she runs her fingers through her hair,not having found anything that she wanted. She sighs a little and runs her fingers through her hair, seeming quite uncomfortable about the whole thing and just gives Bryan a look.

"Don't listen to what she tells you," Bryan barks. "Dig yourself." He is soon stepping back into the room, right on Claudine's heels. His fingers grip his arms so tightly that he digs deep furrows into the fabric of his shirt.

Wonder where I can find a flower shop. Can I use the credit card I borrowed? What if they ask too many questions? Odessa turns to Bryan now. "Why are you so suspicious? Haven't I devoted myself to the Company for my entire life? Why would I step out of line now?"

"Gabriel Gray let you live. He doesnt do least not very often." Claudine says matter of factly, still trying to dig through ODessa's memories, wanting to know exactly what happened with her and Sylar afterall.

Bryan visably stiffens at the accusation. "Remember who you're talking to," he warns in a thin whisper of bridled rage. "Just because no one but Bishop and Thompson know what you have doesn't mean that you don't have something. The absence of evidence is far from evidence of absence. And if you could get that close to Sylar, it makes no sense that you haven't been used to bring him in before. Now do. Not. Lie to me." Bryan regrips his arms and shivers with deep breath, an attempt to calm down. "If you lie to me, Odessa…" What would Bryan have left here?

Odessa gasps and closes her eyes tightly, flinching away. He threw me up against the monument. I told him not to kill me. But I knew he wouldn't. I wasn't afraid of him. Maybe that's why he wouldn't. "He likes his victims to be scared of him. I had no reason to be scared of him." She had every reason to be scared. She just doesn't realize it. "I'm not lying." Make him stop, Claudine. I'm scared. Odessa's fingers spasm restlessly in her lap. Fists open and close. Fingers splay and come together.

"I still do not believe that he would simply let you go, Odessa.." Claudine admits ruefully, knowing of the various rumors afterall. She sighs a little and takes a deep breath while running her fingers through her hair.

"I can't tell you what I was doing! I'm not allowed to tell you why I was there or how I was able to use my ability to avoid getting killed! Bishop would have my head." In her head, Odessa starts reciting the different parts of the brain. Amygdala. Hippocampus…

It doesn't take a mind-reader to tell that Odessa is frightened. Bryan looms larger for a moment before he recedes, letting his hands fall to his sides, his own fingers curled to create fists. "Bishop is currently lying in a damned hospital bed. But if you won't tell me how," Bryan breathes once more, doing his best to keep his tone level. IN this case, Claudine is nothing more than a polygraph for him. "Tell me why you called me and not Blakely, or anyone else who's job it is to clean up after this sort of thing?"

"I was afraid," Odessa explains. Afraid they'd never let me outside again. "And I told you, I don't like Blakely. I like you." Trusted him enough to let him almost kill me. "If I didn't trust you, I wouldn't have let you bite me. You could have pumped me so full of poison, I wouldn't have had the time to inject myself. I didn't have the time. But I trusted you to do it for me." Thalamus. Hypothalamus.

Bryan is silent for a moment, and if one were to look closely enough, they would be able to see his face soften anew while still remaining guarded. "You need to earn my trust again," he says in a quieter voice, slipping his fists into his pockets before he unfurls them. "Meet me in my office in an hour, if you still trust me." He turns to go then, but lets his eyes settle on Claudine for a moment. "I expect a full report on my desk as soon as fast as your fingers will fly." Bryan may not have his own fingers around all of this facility of The Company's reins, but he has enough of a grip to make such a request of Claudine.

And that's when she just stares at Bryan for a bit. She's been with the Company for a decade now, and this is just pointless. "There is nothing. I have found nothing. There, you have your report." she says matter of factly, definitely annoyed.

Odessa's been with the Company for twenty-five. But then again, it's not like that's much of an achievement. "I'll be there," she tells Bryan quietly, finally opening her eyes again. She wraps her arms around her body, grabbing the loose fabric at the arms of her white coat.

There is an actual, if silent snarl on Bryan's lips as he double-takes at Claudine. "Perhaps you didn't hear me correctly, Doctor Salonga. I would like a detailed report of what you heard in her head, in writing, on my desk. A. S. A. Fucking. P. You know as well as I do Bishop doesn't need disciplinary reports on top of everything else he's dealing with — from his bed."

Bryan has been with The Company for twenty-six years — only a year longer than Odessa. He's confident his seniority will carry, and so doesn't wait around for a response from Salonga.

And Claudine just turns around, the click clacking of her heels being heard as she walks off. No comment. No nothing.

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