nick_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Consolation
Synopsis Behind Door #3 is sympathy from the devil in white.
Date June 6, 2011

Old Dispensary: Second Floor - Nick's Room

The second floor of the Dispensary features long, narrow corridors with large glass windows, some of which are broken and have been boarded over even though climbing up the side of the building to gain access to it is probably more trouble than it's worth. The majority of the rooms have been locked with only a small handful in use, including a bathroom with a claw foot tub that supplies hot water for bathing when the generators in the basement are on, and while it isn't the only one in the Dispensary with a working toilet, it's the only one with reliable shower, which means that it sees the most use.

Time has little meaning in the sickroom, except for the feeling of it slipping away along with the omnipresent blood that stains eyes and mouth and sheets and pillow. Waking to the a copper-salt warmth on his lips, Nick brushes his hand across his face to discover the nosebleed that luckily woke him before he could drown in his own blood.

Sitting up, the spartan room's white walls seem to spin as he swings his feet to touch the ground. The supplies are kept in bulk near his bed, sheets and towels and pillowcases and pajamas; Nick reaches for a towel, then tips his head as he applies pressure. Though feverish, he has the presence of mind to do this much for himself; after all, he'd had more bloody noses than he could count as a kid.

One shaky hand reaches for the bottle of water kept at his bedside, bloody fingerprints smearing the plastic as he lowers the towel and takes a swallow of the water that in turn leads to a railing cough.


The greeting is quiet, and out of place. Because this is quarantine, and the woman speaking is definitely not Nick's sister. The first giveaway is a lack of accent. When he turns to look, she's standing near the window. Small. Thin. Fair skin. White hair.


"I heard you haven't been feeling so well." Odessa smiles and pushes away from the wall, hips swaying in her nurse's uniform… "I thought you could use a visit from the doctor." She approaches the bed, coming to sit down next to her patient. "Where does it hurt, Nicky?"

He makes a lunge for the bedside table where normally he'd have left his gun — but someone had the foresight to have moved the firearm. The water spills onto the floor as he drops the bottle, pooling around his feet.

"What the fuck are you doin' here? I told you if you came near her again, I'd kill you," Nick mutters, his raspy voice low — perhaps in respect for other sleepers in the house.

"Get away," he snaps, looking around the room for any clues that this might be a dream. It feels real, but then… dreams often do. He swipes his arm across his face, where his nosebleed has begun anew.

The woman's single eye rolls skyward, terribly bored. "I'm not here for her." Odessa eyes the water on the floor, lifting her high heeled feet as the pool expands. She tucks her legs up onto the bed, one hand wrapped around an ankle to steady.

Maybe she'll melt if he gets water on her.

"I'm not here to hurt anyone," Odessa insists, tone suggesting she might actually be feeling wounded. "I'm just here to help you. I worry so, you know."

That bloody shaky hand rakes through his hair and Nick turns away to cough into his shoulder at the same time. His reddened eyes narrow at her, and he finally shakes his head. "Worry," he echoes, picking up the towel to spit into it, folding it before she can see the blood.

"Just why d'you care what happens to me, Gale? We weren't anything to one another but some fun in bed and a couple of other favors now and then. I almost got killed doin' one of them for you; you almost got killed. Let's call it even, yeah?"

He glances at the door. "The others won't be so understanding if they find you here, ya know?"

"You grew on me, baby." There's a smile for him then, a wide spread of scarred ruby-painted lips. "You're special." Odessa reaches over to wrap an arm around Nick's shoulders. "You did go out on a limb for me. You didn't know what you were getting into, and you went and risked your neck. You did that for me." Her head tips against the side of his briefly. Maybe it's the heat of his skin that doesn't keep her there long.

"Don't lie to yourself. You feel something, too."

When her head dips toward his, his eyes close, and he brushes his lips along the side of her jaw, breathing in her scent, clean and strong, much stronger than it should be given his congestion. His lids flutter closed and he reaches for her before his eyes open wide again, and he shoves her away. Standing, he backs away from the bed, bare feet nearly slipping in the water on hardwood floor.

His hands rake through his hair again, and he wheels, looking for something — a weapon? — before turning his narrow-eyed gaze back upon her.

"Why? What the fuck is wrong with me, that I'd still want you?" he growls, though he doesn't deny her words.

A contented sigh escapes Odessa's lips, tilting her head to bare her throat to Nick's lips. Then he lays his hands on her and shoves, catching her by surprise. The false sense of security tactic seems to work well for him when it comes to her. She shrieks and goes toppling from her precarious perch on the bed, hitting the floor hard enough to knock the breath from her lungs.

Dazed, Odessa lifts her head slowly, still in a prone sprawl as she attempts to shake the stars from her vision. "I didn't judge you. Not once. That's why you like me. Because you know everything you've done in the past, and anything you could do… I'll never judge you for any of it."

His eyes flit left and right as if he doesn't know where to look, breath coming in short breaths through his nose so that his nostrils flare. Jaw tenses and Adam's apple bobs. Indecision reigns in every choppy motion, as if he were a cat swishing its tail.

"You don't know enough about me to judge, Gale. You think you're so good, so merciful, because you let a fuckin' smuggler screw you once in a while, because you gave me supplies without asking, because you didn't ask questions when I showed up fucked up? You don't know bloody 'ell about me. Would you forgive me if you knew-"

His words crescendo to a speaking volume instead of that rasp and he suddenly cuts it off, glancing at the door. "I don't need mercy or acceptance from you," he finally growls, the effort of his exertions making him sway slightly; his shaky hand grips the dresser to hold himself steady.

Odessa stares up at Nick warily as he rants on. "I do. Forgive you. For all of it. For not asking me what happened. Why I did what I did. For drugging my drink, and threatening me." Slowly, she pushes herself up to sit, rubbing gingerly at one hip.

"But it isn't me you want forgiveness from, is it?" She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and looks down almost sullenly. Dark lashes fan out against prominent cheekbones — On both eyes as she reaches up to peel away the patch over her eye, tossing it off to one side. When she looks up again, there isn't any scarring or blindness in that one eye. And it isn't that dark blue he's come to know, but the grey-green of someone else.

"You want to hear it from her." Odessa lifts her brows, doe eyed gaze fixed on Nick's form again. "But even that won't be enough, you know. Her forgiveness won't change anything." The Nightingale reaches out with one hand, looking for help to her feet.

"I don't want your forgiveness! I'm not sorry for what I did to you," Nick hisses, then turns away as a cough racks his form again, and he leans against the dresser wearily.

But then his red eyes fall on those too-familiar gray-green, the color of the Thames he grew up near.

"I don't deserve it from her. I don't deserve it from anyone, and you offering it is a bloody fucking joke," he spits out, reaching up to rest his head against the butt of his hand, fingers curling into his sweat-drenched hair. "Fuckin' consolation prize, like a case of HP Sauce on a game show or sommat like that. The mercy of a murderer doesn't mean fuck-all to me, Gale. Get the fuck out."

The vitriol that comes from Nick has its cost, and his knees buckle; he sprawls backward against the dresser, weak hands failing to catch him.

Odessa climbs to her feet on her own and scurries over to Nick, reaching out to catch him. "You were so young, and so angry. All you've done is directed that anger inward. That won't fix anything." Then, she starts to guide the man back toward the bed. "And you won't fix anything if you get yourself worked up and die. Back to rest with you. Come on.

"Don't make poor little Lee have to bury you."

Wincing, Nick limps back toward the bed, arms and back already bruising from the collision with the dresser. "I deserve to die. I deserve to go to hell. Don't tell me otherwise — 'ts why you like me. We're alike. We're both damned," he says tiredly, making it to the bed and collapsing into it.

Dried blood on his mouth, shirt, hands and sheets, he looks like he might already be dead, a victim of violence, once his eyes flutter closed; only the bubble of fluid in trachea and lungs with each breath gives away his vitality. "You need to go — before they find you. They'll kill you," Nick murmurs wearily, without looking up to see if she goes.

"You're right. We both deserve to die for the things we've done. Yet the two of us? We seem to have a penchant for doing the opposite when it looks as though our time has come." Odessa helps Nick settle back into bed, rubbing her hand over his brow. "It's okay, though. We all get what's coming to us eventually. In due time. Until then… It's best to just accept that we must be here for a reason. Maybe to atone a little bit longer."

She blinks, and her eyes are once again her own - apart from the fact that both are intact. "I knew you still cared," Gale purrs sweetly. "I'll see you again, love. Be well." She dips her head down as she reaches up to brush her fingertips over his eyes to close them, and presses her lips to his softly, heedless of the blood.

He doesn't feel her withdraw, or hear her depart. When Nick opens his eyes, Odessa is simply gone.

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