Even Score


eileen_icon.gif odessa2_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Even Score
Synopsis Odessa comes to deliver a warning to Eileen, and spits a little vitriol at Raith. She's not a candidate for Miss Congeniality.
Date September 17, 2009

Speakeasy Hotel and Casino — Room 201

There is character to the room, if in the way that 'character' carries negative connotations. The paint is peeling off the skilful wooden moulding, the carpet is faded and the bedding looks old and tired. The painting hung behind the bed is so old as to be retro and the bathroom sports a clawfoot tub and a pedestal sink. Both leak and have hard water stains. The whole place carries a faintly musty smell, though it's clear the staff have attempted to keep it at least somewhat clean. The sheets are stain-free and the bathroom is always stocked with little bottles of toiletries. The windows are thin and let in a fair amount of traffic noise. The one good thing is that the old radiator keeps the room toasty warm in winter.

There are only so many rooms on the second floor of the Speakeasy Hotel and Casino in Brooklyn's Red Hook district, and while Peter neglected to give Odessa the number belonging to the appropriate suite, the process of elimination should easily determine which door Eileen Ruskin is hiding behind.

Or she can just listen. Her choice.

The walls do little to muffle sound, and like a permeable membrane they allow noise to filter both in and out. In Room 202, the occupant has left the radio on, filling the hallway with Renee Fleming's powerful soprano, though even Le nozze di Figaro fails to drown out the hoarse sex happening in Room 205 or the argument reverberating through Room 201. Assuming the latter interests Odessa more than the former — and it may not — there's something familiar about both of the voices taking part in the snarled exchange, though not all the words are distinct enough to be audible.

"Hey, thanks for — … Really. I'm so fucking glad to know — … apology is worth to you. Maybe next time I'll just — … all over your — … because that's apparently less offensive!"

Operatic tones stir something within Odessa that she can't quite explain as she creeps past them down the hall, listening so intently. Her lip curls in disgust at the sounds of unashamed coupling. It reminds her of why she always thought she would avoid it her whole life. Until…

The thought is pushed to the back of her mind as she picks up her pace to try and find something else to drown out the cries and grunting, and her own thoughts. The argument in 201 serves that purpose quite nicely, and even gives her the sense that she's found what she came for. Blue eyes lid as Odessa listens intently, not quite placing her ear to the door, lest she discover it to be violently opened as one side shows the other the way out.

It's not a voice that Odessa hears next. Not immediately, at least. The sound of glass smashing is the next noise that punctuates the air around her, and judging just by the loudness of it, it smashes right near the door. "You could put an eye out with that!" If nothing else, the conversation is practically clear as day now. And the voice presently shouting clearly is not Eileen's. "The fuck is wrong with you! Is this how birds accept apologies? By throwing bottles? Is that how your people communicate? Fine, I get it. C'mere, I got something to say!"

Odessa decides she's heard just about enough of that, thank you very much. She thought she was so clever, nicking the master keys from the office, but she hadn't really counted on the chain on the door. While time's held still, one skinny arm is squeezed through the gap between the door and the frame as she blindly tries to remove the chain. "C'mon," she mutters in the stillness.

"I owe you a new chain, Muni'. Sorry." Odessa leans against the window sill with her head cocked to one side, watching the two others currently occupying the space in the room.

The sudden appearance of another body in the room is enough to catch everyone off-guard. It definitely catches Raith off-guard. Apparently about to make good on his implied threat, he'd only managed to seize Eileen's wrist, but not to start throwing things at her (most likely, his fists). But if there is nothing else to be said, it's that Raith does not react well to surprises like this. On pure reflex, he whirls to face Odessa at the same instant he yanks his pistol out of its holster and whips it in her direction. Where the air was split by words and shattering glass before, it's now broken by the crack of a 9mm bullet as it jumps from the barrel of the weapon and punches into and possibly even through the wall just inches from Odessa's face.

Mr. Supersy missed and is plainly losing his edge. But a couple more inches to his left, and that would've been the end of the line for Dr. Knutson. His edge has dulled, but only just. He still keeps his weapon trained on her, even though he knows that, if she really wanted to, she could just take it from him without much of a fuss. In a world where more and more evolved seem to appear everyday, getting by on being really, really good is getting harder and harder.

This sucks.

Odessa's eyes track over slowly to her right where the bullet struck the wall next to her. "Are you always so jumpy?" She looks coolly back at Raith and quirks a brow. "I suggest you let go of the lady."

"I suggest you get the fuck out of my room," hisses Eileen, her voice thin and strained to the point of breaking. Fingers flex in Raith's grasp, the tendons in her captured wrist bulging against his callused palm. Whatever altercation she and Raith had been in the middle of is no longer a priority; strange women seemingly popping into existence have shifted her focus from the man whose hand clasps her arm to the Company physician standing by the window mere feet away.

Light filters in through the curtains behind her, illuminating the tiny shards of twinkling glass that cover the carpeted floor by the suite's front door. Whatever bottle she threw, there's not much left of it or its contents, though the wall next to the door is covered in a glistening sheen of transparent liquid that smells strongly of alcohol.

It doesn't take Raith too long to get a handle on the situation. And the first thing he does is set Eileen free; they may still be pissed off at each other, but he knows her, and doesn't know Odessa except by word of mouth, and that common bond is enough to make him realize that whatever problems they had with each other before, they have a brand new one now.

He lowers his sidearm only enough so that it's not pointing at Odessa's head or chest; lowered enough so that it's not immediately threatening, but raised enough so that it can quickly become threatening if he needs it to be. "Run and play, sweetheart," he says, his voice a menacing growl, "Mommy and daddy are talking about paint swatches."

"Not as much fun when it happens to you, is it?" Odessa smiles blandly at Eileen. "I'm not here to threaten. I'll leave that to the experts." Yes, I am looking at you, Munin. "I'm actually here to give you a warning. Not that my presence alone isn't indication enough for you, but you may not be safe here." Her blue gaze sweeps Raith up and down. "Not that the company you're keeping is much better than your neighbours."

Eileen lowers her wrist once released and does not pause to rub tenderly at the red ring created by the pressure Raith's hand had been exerting on it. "The company I keep is better'n anyone's," she tells Odessa even as she steps away, careful to avoid cutting the toes of her bare feet on the slivers of broken glass. A pair of dark gray sweatpants and a fitted black top are visible beneath the white cotton bathrobe she wears, its sleeves bunched up around her elbows. There's a cigarette tucked behind her left ear, unlit, held in place by a short black braid with a crow's feather woven into it. "Get to the point."

Odessa flexes her fingers at her sides slowly, eyes scanning about the room in a slow, but alert sort of manner. "Peter Petrelli knows you're staying here. I don't know about you, but he's not somebody I want showing up at my front door. Especially if you've gotten a look at his eyes lately." Casually, she pushes off of the sill she was leaning against and begsin to cross the room. "That's all." She settles her eyes on Raith's. "If I find out you've hurt her," she purrs, "you aren't going to like the consequences." There's a brief flicker of anger in her expression. "Keep your hands off her."

Raith, in reply, only turns his head slightly to the side, looking at Odessa out of the corner. When he does finally speak, it's simply to say, "Oh, don't you worry about little Eily. Or…

"Oh, you did, didn't you?" It's only now that Raith takes his weapon completely off of Odessa. He seems unusually relaxed, given what she's perfectly capable of doing to him. "You missed it. The part where she outgrew needing a protector. That's just too bad. You missed a lot of great moments. No, don't worry about Miss Ruskin. I don't scare her. Not anymore. That honor belongs to…."

The sentence dies a natural, but slow and seemingly agonizing death, ushered in by nothing more than a lopsided, predatory grin that spreads across Raith's face.

"It isn't any of your bloody business whose hands I allow on my body," Eileen sneers with a curled lip and a pearly flash of tooth, though she isn't looking at Odessa or Raith when she says it. She's pouring a glass of water into a tumbler that she keeps on the nightstand furthest from the window, ice tinkling against its sterling sides.

"Of course Peter Petrelli knows where I live," she says, and as loath as she is to admit it— "Those eyes of his have been looking out for me, whether I need a protector or not." Glass of water in hand, she turns around and faces Odessa, dark brows knit into a surly expression of quiet consternation that only deepens when she sees the grin shaping the curve of Raith's mouth. Scared is the wrong word, but the tension between them is still so thick she could carve it with the knife she keeps on the nightstand beside the pitcher. "I trust him. If he shows up on my doorstep, so be it. Even if it's with that fucking cane."

"I never said you scared her," Odessa responds derisively, eyes flicking over Raith once as if sizing him up once more. "I'm just telling you how it's going to be. You touch her again, and I'll take a fuckin' kidney. Try it again, and we'll work up to other organs that you're going to have a lot harder time functioning without. Do you know how much it sucks when your body can't produce or process insulin? You don't want to find that out at your age." Teach you to come into my place and scare me in the dark. I'm prepared this time! Creepy McCreeperson.

Odessa may be more bold this time, but she's not stupid. She's repositioned herself that when she addresses Eileen, she can still keep Raith and his actions in full view. The way Eileen says 'whose hands she allows on her body,' gives Odessa an inkling of something she'd rather not have the faintest knowledge of. "You remember how he…" Odessa's lips press together, blood draining from them. "Just be careful. I don't want to see you dead. I'd still like to be friends someday. I mean, if we can stop pissing in each other's Cornflakes long enough to do so."

His organs, huh? That tells Raith exactly what the score is: 1-1.

His move.

But he doesn't vocalize this, or even hint at it, even going so far as to holster his sidearm. There's no fight here. Not today. But in regards to anyone or anything, Raith doesn't speak. Odessa is here to deal with Eileen, and not him; if she really is 'Miss Ruskin' instead of 'Little Eily,' he's got to let her deal with her own social problems.

"I could've sworn you said that you weren't here to threaten." Eileen does not raise the glass to her lips or move her mouth around its rim as she speaks. It's something to occupy her hands. Something to squeeze. "You're in no position to tell anyone how it's going to be, Odessa. Apart from Monroe, you have no allies, no friends, no one who's willing to stand at your back and protect you from spears. Kidneys. Lungs. Livers. You won't be taking any of it, not from him, not from Ethan, not from anyone."

Odessa's jaw clenches. Why does Eileen always have to be so difficult? "You say this to me like it's news. I may not have allies, but at least I'm not letting anybody beat on me." She sneers with distaste at Eileen just as much as Raith. "Give Ethan my love." With the wave of her hand, Odessa simply vanishes. Only the broken chain swinging from the door signifies her true point of egress.

A quick glance around reveals to Raith that Odessa has left them. With that hurdle dealt with, that only leaves the one he was leaping over before she arrived. But now all that rage is, well, changed. It's more of a quiet simmer now, and that means, of course, there is only one reasonable course of action for him to take.

"I'm going to get some noodles," Raith announces. And then, it's his turn to move to the door. "If you want some, meet me in the lobby. You've got five minutes." Ball's in Eileen court, now, and Raith simply leaves the room. Turbulent relationship? Definitely. But at least it's consistent. In five minutes, both of them will know whether they'll be talking to each other again.

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