Friendship Versus Survival Value


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Scene Title Friendship Versus Survival Value
Synopsis “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” — C.S. Lewis
Date October 30, 2008

Calvary Cemetery

Here Lies Virginia Gray - Died November 6, 2006

Devoted Mother — May She Be Somewhere That's Green

It's late at night. It makes the graveyard look expected, like right out of the set of some sort of horror move. The light from both the moon as well as light pollution bouncing off the smoggy cloud above gives this place a glow that doesn't require lamps, though there are a few nearer to the words. Sylar is not nearer to the roads, because in this horror movie, the monster is wounded.

Find Virginia Gray's grave, he told her. Bring medical supplies. That was all.

He sits on the headstone, which is disrespectful, but he's tired, he's in pain, and he's had an interesting past few nights. No, really, he has. Sylar's head is bowed as he waits, eyes shut so he can listen better. He's dressed all in black, a heavy overcoat opened to reveal a black shirt, along with dark slacks and almost elegant patent leather shoes muddied from the grass and dirt of the graveyard. One hand stays clasped protectively over his arm, and besides the gentle rise and fall of his shoulders… he's almost as still as the monuments he's surrounded by.

The later-heard footfalls, he attributes to his own fatigue, looking up when she comes within sight. "Hello, doctor," Sylar says, despite her professional straight-to-the-point non-greeting - but he does as she says. Standing up, he sheds his outer coat, then sheds the button-down, leaving the white wifebeater he was wearing underneath in place. There's bandaging around just under his shoulder, amateurish, really only there to stop the blood from soaking his clothes through. He unravels his work, hissing just a little once it lifts off the wound and letting the blood-soaked fabric fall to the damp grass below. The wound is messy, but could be worse - no bone is broken. Either he was too quick for the shooter, or the shooter was panicked. Perhaps a mixture of both.

Odessa is entirely nonplussed by the injury. It's mundane compared to most of what she deals with. She frowns and gently places her hands on either side of the wound, inspecting it. "I don't suppose you dug the bullet out yourself, did you?"

"I didn't have to. Forensics will no doubt fish it out of the wall behind me," Sylar says, watching her hands and what she does with the injury. It's not that he doesn't trust her, he's just vaguely interested. "You know, that power you gave me - the one for pain. It only works on other people." There's some irritation in his voice, the kind one adopts when food at a high class restaurant isn't up to their standards - almost snooty.

"I know," Odessa responds quietly, eyes flitting up to glance at her patient's expression. "That isn't my fault, though. I can give you some anesthetic, if you like." She circles around to the other side of Virginia Gray's headstone so she can examine where the bullet came out the other side of Sylar's shoulder. "…You're going to want it."

Sylar glances back at her, before settling his gaze forward once more, lips pulling back into a silent snarl as he fights back a reaction to the pain of her touching even around the wound. "It's always worse where the bullet leaves you," he sighs, lamenting an irritation. "Anesthetic would be appreciated. Thank you for coming out to meet with me, Odessa. I trust you didn't bring any friends along. I'd be able to hear them, you know."

"Yes, I'm well aware. And I don't have any friends." Doctor Knutson circles back around and stoops down in front of her bag. "We can do this one of two ways. I can give you a localized anesthetic for while I work and stitch you up, or you can make my life much easier and allow me to put you under. It's a small dose. You'll be awake again by the time I'm cutting the thread after the last stitch. I promise you, the second option is better." She lifts up two syringes, holding one in either hand for the choice to be made. "If I wanted you back in a cell, you'd be there already. They didn't exactly let me out." It's hard to believe that Odessa could sneak through the hallways of the Bronx facility without the spindly little heels of her teal shoes echoing throughout, but she's here, so she must have done something right. "So, what'll it be? Bliss while I stitch? Or are you going to make things difficult?"

Sylar regards her for a moment, before closing his eyes, listening as far as he can for any heartbeat that sounds nervous, that's not accompanied by casual footsteps, the purr of a parked van nearby - anything suspicious. He opens his eyes again, darts his gaze around in a slow and deliberate way - it's dark, telescopic vision is only so effective, but finally, he seems satisfied. But not entirely happy about it. "I called you here because I trusted you," he says, which might even be true, who knows. "I'd be very disappointed if you did something to make me regret it. But I won't make things difficult for you."

"I took an oath to do no harm," Odessa reminds him gently, sliding one of the needles back into her bag. "Besides, I know what you'll try to do to me if I double-cross you, and trust me when I say that neither of us wants that." Carefully, Odessa administers the injection, so gentle that he barely feels the prick of the needle. "Okay. Should take maybe thirty seconds." Her heartbeat picks up just a little, but it always did when she was about ready to engage in her craft. Medicine is to her what murder is to him. "So you might want to sit down on something more stable. I don't want to treat you for a head injury."

The heartbeat makes him glance at her face with a hint of suspicion, but there's really little he can do now that the drug is in his system. Sylar will just have to hope that his instincts were correct. Standing up, Sylar moves towards what appears to be a joint grave, a wide slab of concrete rising some inches out of the damp soil and grass. An adequate makeshift surgery table, if a little low. Already, he can feel the chemical tug at his consciousness as he lays back, wincing when he puts weight onto that arm. "Just like old times," he comments to her - not that he recalls his time as her patient with much fondness, if only due to circumstance.

"Not…" Odessa lifts her hands to about waist height, a gesture that makes it seem as if she's fishing for words. "Quite."

True to her word, Sylar regains consciousness as the physician is cutting the surgical thread she used to stitch up his clean, disinfected wound. "That wasn't so bad, now was it?" She smiles warmly and packs up the needle and thread, procuring fresh bandages now instead. "The hard part's over. You should heal up just fine, so long as you don't overdo it. You were incredibly lucky, Sylar."

It's incredibly relieving to see the nighttime setting of the graveyard when he opens his eyes. Sylar, using his uninjured left arm, pushes himself up to sit, before bringing a hand up to rub at his face as the effects of the drug slowly wear off. "If I overdo it, it won't be my choice," he says, which is about as close to a 'yes ma'am' as he can manage. "And I wasn't lucky, I was just fast." He looks to her, now, eyes narrowed. "Tell me, how close do government agencies like the FBI work with your organisation?" A seemingly abrupt, unrelated question, but it's a tangent that makes sense to him.

Odessa actually blinks at the question, pausing as she's measuring the right amount of tape to keep her bandaging down. "I don't really know. I'm not privy to that sort of information. I suspect that if I've treated any FBI agents, that I was told they were civilians. That's about as close to that as I would have come."

Not the answer he wanted, but he doesn't press it any further, gaze traveling down to where she finishes up her work on the wound. "It's all so…" Sylar begins, and trails off. Still somewhat sedated, and he shakes his head, as if to clear it. It doesn't really work. "There are no loyalties," he says, a little grimly. "Everyone shifts behind different names and faces and titles but really, all anyone wants is to survive. Even the bad guys. Even the heroes." He looks at her. "Don't you think it's stupid? The act of— shaking hands, making friendships. 'The enemy of your enemy is your friend' and all those lies."

"I see it as a necessary thing. That doesn't mean it isn't stupid, but it's definitely necessary." Odessa finishes her patch work and returns the excess materials to her bag, which she closes up carefully. "I can't go back anymore, you know."

Necessary. Sylar suddenly shivers, violently, the fall weather of the setting reminding him of how much skin is exposed to the elements, and without bothering to get up, he summons his clothes into his hands with a little telekinesis, wincing as he draws his shirt back onto himself. As he buttons it up, he casts a glance to her. "Why not?" he asks.

"They'll take away my ability. I'll never see the sky again." It's difficult to say how much truth there is to that in reality, but Odessa believes it, and that's enough. "I can't…" There's a look of panic that's slowly beginning to settle in, evident in the girl's racing pulse. She takes a step back, forcing herself to breathe evenly as the consequences of her actions seem to come crashing down on her all at once.

Trying to shake off the last of the drug's symptoms, Sylar gets to his feet, stepping off the raised platform and onto the grass, nearest to Odessa. "If you walked out, you can walk back in," he says, pulling his overcoat back around himself, buttoning it up again, adjusting the cuffs. His demeanor is casual in contrast to the panic she's experiencing. "But then again, why would you want to?"

"That's just it. But…" Odessa looks around herself slowly, eyes wide and frightened. "I don't know any other kind of life." That doesn't mean she wants to go back to it, however.

"That's because you don't have one," Sylar points out, mildly. Perhaps others would respond sympathetically to fear. Sylar just seems to study it, for a moment, before backing up a step, moving to walk. He has what he came for - stitches in his shoulder. "Go home, Odessa," he advises, almost condescendingly - but maybe that's just his effort to be kind. "Use that sharp mind of yours to sneak back through the bars. I'd like to know I have a friend on the other side." Because friendships are necessary.

"A… friend?" Odessa watches Sylar's back, confusion in her expression. His cold demeanor doesn't bother her in the least, as Lord knows she has a reputation for being frosty herself. "Don't think you can just call me up and expect me to come running again the next time, Sylar. I won't keep risking my own freedom with nothing in return." Survival is necessary.

Sylar stops, looking back at her, almost thoughtful. "What freedom do you have to risk, Odessa?" he says, simply. "I didn't order you out here. No one did. That was your choice." He does, however, turn back towards her, posture guarded. He's had more than enough deal-making to last someone like him a life time, but still, he says, "What could you want from me?"

There's the rub - She doesn't even know. But somehow, the words slip from her lips as though speaking someone else's thoughts. "You could teach me. I could help you." Odessa purses her lips, furious for saying what she didn't mean to say, but too proud to backtrack and recant. "It would be a smart partnership. I'm useful for more than just bullet wounds."

"And I would call on you for more than just bullet wounds," Sylar agrees smoothly, head tilting a little as he watches her. There's a silence as he thinks, head suddenly twitching to the left as if hearing something that draws his attention, but he only relaxes again. False alarm. His gaze travels back to her. "I also don't need another reason to look over my shoulder right now. You'll have to be patient." Rather suddenly, his form fades away, as if invisible - but only because he's not moving. "Count on me," he says, and now words in her head finish this sentence, as I have counted on you. There's a shimmer where he stood as he does move, colours of his surroundings delayed in keeping up the illusion of invisibility.

Odessa seems entirely unsurprised by this display of new abilities, though the voice in her head causes her eyes to widen marginally. "Don't keep me waiting long," she demands in a soft voice. She turns and starts to head back the way she came at a brisk pace. Maybe if she hurries, no one will even know she was gone…

October 30th: Home
October 31st: Be Creative
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