How Hard Can This Be?


elisabeth4_icon2.gif bf_odessa_icon3.gif

Scene Title How Hard Can This Be?
Synopsis It depends on the guy!
Date November 11, 2017

Resistance HQ

They've been here a couple of days, getting the lay of the land. Elisabeth has had a fair share of meeting people and trying to wrap her head around where we are and what's going to happen now. But… there is one person to whom she wants to speak that she's not sure how it's going to go. Because she knows this isn't her Des.
Seeking out the woman who saved their asses on the roof, though, seems the least she can do. "Odessa?" she asks quietly, standing far enough away that if the other woman doesn't want to speak with her Liz can leave her in peace. "Can we talk?"

Odessa turns her head when she hears her name. She’s taken up a seat outside on a broken chunk of concrete, staring out at the ruins of the city. The world, for all she knows. Offering a weak smile, she waves the other woman over. “Sure. Come on over. I don’t bite.”

Not right now, anyway. Her sword is still strapped to her back. With the way things have been so far, she’s been reluctant to set it aside, lest they have to move quickly and she’s forced to leave it behind.

Elisabeth grins faintly. "Well…. I wouldn't know what you do when I'm not looking, lady." The tease is gentle. She moves forward and leans her hips back against the same block of concrete, crossing her arms as she surveys the landscape that Odessa's been observing. "You doing okay?" She slants a glance at the other woman. "You weren't supposed to get sucked through. I'm sorry." The apology holds genuine regret — she knows what this Odessa left behind. Or at least, she assumes that Woods was left behind.

“I made my choice,” Odessa assures. “I had nothing left. My mother’s in your world and my husband—”

The blonde’s eyes close heavily. Her throat is suddenly too tight to speak. It takes the space of a long, slow breath to pull herself back together. She doesn’t cry. “I’m hoping to find him here,” she admits in a soft voice. Mateo and Lynette found each other again. She has hope she can do the same with Woods.

A frown creases her brows together and Elisabeth ponders that. "Was Woods out at Geopoint when it blew?" she asks softly. Because she's uncertain where else Odessa's husband would have been killed, and that's what it sounds like happened if he didn't get sucked into the portal. And then she pauses again. "Wait… your mother is in my world? With Des?" Ohboy… now she's confused.

The answer is simple enough. “Yes.” Odessa’s gaze is distant, unfocused. The explosion at Geopoint was some time ago, but she had the task of revenge to keep her busy before. With that complete, she has nothing left. Nothing to keep her from having to process her trauma and grief.

She glances over at the mention of the other Odessa. She nods her head once. “There was an incident, and somehow she… crossed over. I’ve seen her there. I came with all of you so that I can try to find my way back to her. She’s all I have left.”

Biting her lip, Elisabeth nods slowly. She would reach out to hug Odessa, but this is not her Des… and then mentally she seems to decide 'to hell with it' and leans over to hug the other woman with one arm around her shoulders. "I'm sorry." It's all she can say to the loss of the other woman's husband. "I don't know how the hell we'll do it… But if it can be done, we'll figure it out," she assures Odessa softly before releasing her. Pulling in a long breath, she lets it out slowly and then nods.

"I know about the incident. The other Des… she came looking for me. She … " She shrugs just a little. "It was an interesting year." Elisabeth has no idea that for this Odessa it was only a few weeks. She doesn't want to think about what this Odessa may have done back home to keep her own cover — she doesn't know exactly what the relationship between Des and Richard is, except that there's a lot of at least one-sided attachment going on. And she didn't ask — it's not her place to deny either Richard or either Odessa what happiness they can find. "She tried real hard to make sure your life didn't get disrupted too much."

Odessa stiffens when that arm loops around her shoulders. She doesn’t pull away from the condolences, however. Simply, she is unused to affection from anyone outside of her immediate family. “I couldn’t think about going back to—” To her empty apartment where their bedroom still smells like his aftershave and his coat still hangs by the door.

She sighs and stares down at the ground now, nodding her head at the confirmation of what she already knew. That Des had spent a year living her life. Robbed her of that time with her husband. One hand balls into a fist. “I know,” she says softly. “Nobody seemed to realize anything had been wrong.” What the hell does that say about how well people really knew her? “I spent two weeks in her life. I thought I was going to be trapped there… I was told we might have an opportunity to make things right again come Christmas.” She smiles thinly. “Next Christmas. All of that hasn’t even happened yet from where we’re sitting.”

"She … worked really hard to make it that way for you," Elisabeth says quietly. "I can't imagine how unsettling that is. But she was very much afraid to get you killed. And she skated a very fine line for a long time, trying to make sure that we didn't get killed." She knows what Des's mission was supposed to be. And then she pauses. "Wait…. You only spent two weeks there?" What?

"Oh God," she breathes quietly. "We're dealing with some kind of time differential?" Can that help them? Or is it a hindrance? Elisabeth doesn't even know how to work with that thought. "Jesus, Odessa. I'm so sorry." What else can she say to the other woman, really?

Odessa had to play it safe to avoid getting Des killed, too. She isn’t sure which one of them had to try harder, even if one of them had to work at it longer. “I don’t understand it. Something… about my ability, I suppose. Something about what she did in 2011.” That’s when everything went wrong.

“It all is what it is,” is a resignation as well as acceptance. She can’t change what’s happened, and Odessa has plenty to lament without adding that to the list.

"Well… there are a lot of variables at play here, but… honestly, I'd be much obliged if you were willing to help out, Odessa." Elisabeth looks at the other woman. "I can't say we're exactly friends. We've been… allies. Friendly." She smiles a little. "Other Des was my friend. And I know you'd do anything you can to help your brother and your nephew. So… I'm definitely interested to see if we can sort out what the hell to do from here." She tilts her head. "Your brother's power is dimensional portals. Yours is freezing time. I wonder …" She trails off. She doesn't know enough about all of it to put her wondering into an actual set of words. There's just… a sense that maybe there's something there to consider.

“Of course I’ll help.” Odessa taps her nails lightly against the concrete she’s perched on, restless for no real reason. “Our best chance of getting out of this mess is working together. If you’re worried I’m going to stab any of you in the back, don’t. There’s… just no reason to.” It seems Odessa knows better than to cite her own sense of decency as a reason to trust her. It makes more sense to cite a lack of benefit to betrayal at this juncture.

“It would probably help,” the temporal manipulator surmises, “if Mateo were in possession of his own ability. I’m not sure if Lynette can control it the way he can. Not yet anyway.”

Elisabeth chuckles quietly. "Odessa… if there's one thing I've always appreciated, it's that you read situations so well. And I count on the enlightened self-interest." It's not an insult — she merely seems to accept that part of Odessa, even if the woman she spent a year in the company of is trying so hard to become the better version of herself. The honesty is refreshing. "I think we have a little time for Lynette and Mateo to learn one another's abilities… We're just going to have to keep it really low-key, with the fucking robots on the loose around here."

There's a faint grimace. "I need you to start keeping your ear to the ground. If time has inertia, someone in this world is still trying to get Looking Glass functional. And we can't let it happen, if we have the opportunity to stop it." Elisabeth looks at her. "That fucking machine has done so much temporal damage, it's not even funny."

If she’s offended, Odessa doesn’t show it. She’s well aware what people think of her by now. Even when she was turning her life around, building something normal for herself and James, she was still an assassin. Those that knew also knew exactly in what way to treat her. Her loyalty to Arthur was unshakable.


That damned Looking Glass is what destroyed her life. Odessa’s face hardens at the mention of it, but she doesn’t spit any vitriol. It’s swallowed down, her lower lip drawn between her teeth and worried at a moment. “I know. If you hear anything, you let me know. I’ll be only too happy to take care of it.” No one else is going to be hurt by that device if she has her way.

Looking at the woman she's sitting next to, Elisabeth studies her quietly. "Thank you is not enough for what you did for all of us." Because Odessa didn't just save Ruiz and his wife and daughter. She saved the rest of us too. "I don't know if I can ever repay you for helping us, and I certainly can't make you any promises about what you'll find. But… I wanted to tell you that if you need anything, let me know. If it's in my power to help you get it, I will."

Odessa lifts her head finally and really looks at Elisabeth for the first time since she sat down. “You’re welcome.” It’s a simple response, but no less sincere. She doesn’t say that she didn’t do it for her, or for any of the rest of them. Doesn’t say that she stopped Goodman because he had tried to manipulate her into attacking them in the first place. It ultimately doesn’t matter what her motivation had been, she did the right thing. And it felt right, even if she still grieves the loss of her former friend. If he’d had any sense, he would have had a med team on standby. He may have lived. It may be better for everyone if he didn’t.

“Right now, I think I just need to find my courage.” They all need a lot of it in this place.

"Lady," Elisabeth assures her quietly, "You've got more courage than I think you've ever given yourself credit for." Stepping up, facing Goodman, betraying Arthur… if those things aren't courageous, then Liz doesn't have a clue what might actually count. She shoulderbumps Odessa gently. "And it's nice to have you at my back." If Odessa knew the history of Elisabeth Harrison and Dessa, it might shock the hell out of her to hear it… but right here, right now, it is nothing less than the truth.

Looking out over the blasted ruins visible through the broken wall, Liz says quietly, "We're going to have to do some serious regrouping. Eve's already mentioned that when we go to ground it has to be in smaller groups. If you're sticking with Mateo and Lynette," which she kind of assumes is a given, "keep a careful eye on Lynette? Mateo's lived in this kind of hellhole before — he'll know how to hide, to scavenge, to go to ground when he needs it. She hasn't." Her blue eyes are turbulent as she glances toward Odessa. "We'll all keep in contact. I gotta figure out the criteria for making another attempt… if there even is a possibility. This attempt was tied to a solar storm of some kind."

Her tone is worried. "I don't even know if we have the capability of predicting such a thing. And if what Ray of your world told Magnes is right… there's at least one more jump we'll make before we can actually try for home." She grins a little, despite the worry, as she looks at Odessa. "Maybe… we can have a Merry Christmas finally?" Maybe not this year, but in one more? May as well pin her hopes on something.

“We’ll figure something out.” Odessa isn’t sure if they can find anyone with the equipment to predict a solar storm, but she has faith in the seers. Perhaps Eve will be able to help them figure out when their next window of opportunity is. For now, she’ll keep her focus on December 2018.

“The next jump has to be better than this, right?” Odessa knows she’s tempting fate a little by saying something like that, but looking out at the ruined buildings, it’s hard to imagine much worse. Then again, she never saw the world her brother came from.

She may not be able to comprehend where Elisabeth’s faith in her comes from, but Odessa is grateful for it all the same. “I’m glad someone thinks I’ve got a spine. Because every time I look in his direction, I want to fall into jelly.”

"Courage isn't an absence of fear, Odessa," Liz says softly. "It's what you do in the face of it. And in my book, lady, you've pretty well hit the ball out of the park with what I've seen of you." Her smile is soft, a little sad. "And no one's brave all the time, either. You're doing great." There's little she can do to make any of this better for anyone, but she can certainly offer what little reassurance and faith she can give.

She doesn't say anything about that next jump not being worse… because who the hell even knows what the world flooded over will be like? She hopes to hell Virus and this hellhole are as bad as it gets, though, if only for the sake of the children they're dragging along on this crazy rollercoaster. "Eve will have some ideas — she always does. Whether they're good ideas?" Liz snorts a soft laugh. "Well, I guess that is up for grabs. But they're always entertaining, if nothing else." There is genuine affection in her tone for the (semi?-)insane seer.

Odessa smiles ruefully. “I guess I don’t know how to solve a problem I can’t kill.” She has a very specific set of skills, and that applies to her coping mechanisms. “I suppose I just have to… go talk to him.” She rolls her eyes at herself as she admits, “I’d kind of hoped we’d just lock eyes across a room and go running to each other’s arms like some kind of sappy romcom.”

The blonde deflates a little at that. “I miss romcoms.”

It makes Elisabeth giggle suddenly. "I miss Die Hard movies," she admits. "I haven't watched them in years." Not since the last Christmas she was home. She glances at Odessa and admits, "That was our version of romcoms." Her giggle are stifled, as if she totally understands exactly how silly that might sound.

“That makes perfect sense.” Odessa’s smile grows, tears glassy in her eyes. “It must be nice to know he’s waiting for you. He hasn’t given up hope.” She’s afraid to have any herself. “We used to watch zombie movies. I always said they were unrealistic because nobody fell into cobbler.”

There's a moment where as she meets Odessa's eyes, the searing loneliness is evident in Elisabeth expression — her mask slipped for just a moment, given the nature of the conversation. And then, despite sudden tears, she can't help but chuckle softly. "Well, now, you were totally off base there — cherry fucking cobbler is totally a thing!"

Talking about whatever might be waiting at home, or how it could have changed over the years, Liz can't seem to quite bring herself to do.

“Sorry,” Odessa says softly, this time wrapping her arm around Elisabeth’s shoulders in a hug. “I shouldn’t have said anything. It’s not my place.” She lets her arm and the subject drop, staring out again at the ruined horizon.

“I wonder if I can knock over a drug store for some Maybelline.”

Elisabeth leans on the proffered arm for a long moment, a rare admission for her to anyone. "It's not your fault. I just… part of me wants to believe he's waiting for me. And the other part is horrified by the idea that he might have waited all this time and been as … alone as I feel most of the time." She shrugs a little and her laugh is a bit watery. "I didn't ask her when she was here… if she was sleeping with him. It's not my place. And I'm just as confused about whether I would want the answer to be yes or not as I am about whether I'd want him to be waiting. How stupid is that?"

She waves it off, sitting up, though. "I'm sorry. Totally out of line there." She reaches up to swipe at the tear-filled bottom lashes. "Don't tell me you're one of the girls who can't go ass-kicking without her lipstick on?" she teases lightly.

“I couldn’t tell you if they were. I was up front about who I was. He treated me like a stranger in his friend’s skin.” Which she believes to be fair, since that was essentially the case. “He seemed well, all things considered,” Odessa offers, hoping it serves as some kind of salve. “But he definitely misses you.”

Life, whether they like it or not, goes on after their loved ones are gone. Whether it’s permanent or not.

To the question, Odessa grins. “Eyeliner is like warpaint,” she says. The smile decays slowly as she also admits, “I want him to think I’m pretty.”

Perhaps it helps… something passes behind her blue eyes that might be a kind of pleasure in that news. And then sympathy crosses her features. Elisabeth reaches out to push a lock of Odessa's hair back off her shoulder. "You're fucking gorgeous. And I'm pretty sure it's not the eyeliner that he'll see when he looks at you," she tells the other woman. "It … may not be what you hope it is," she warns gently. She's been exactly where Odessa is right now — in two other worlds. "But I can't blame you for hoping. Or for trying." A soft sniffle brings her hand up to wipe the back of it against her nose a bit. "If he hurts you, you lemme know… and if you want I should kick his ass into the next dimension, well…." She grins a little. "I'm your girl, 'kay?"

Odessa smiles sadly. “I’m trying not to hope for too much.” Still, she has a heck of a role model in her brother and his partner. “But I have to try.” She hugs Elisabeth again, tighter this time. “Thank you. I’m sorry, we… We barely know each other and I’m burdening you with this.” But she just can’t bear to talk about it with her family right now. They’ve already gone through so much. They don’t need her woes on top of their own. “I’m sure he’ll be a perfect gentleman. With the most colorful vocabulary anyone’s ever heard.”

God, she hopes that last part’s true.

Elisabeth cannot help it. She hugs Odessa back and laughs her ass off. "Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick eating popsicles." She sagenods, drawing back. "If that one does not come around at some point…." She grins cheekily. The tears still sparkle and it's clear that the pain they've both had is still there, but… the brunette audiokinetic has clearly figured out that you take your good moments when they find you. "You do have to try. Believe me, I understand that way better than most," she agrees softly. "And sometimes it's a hell of a lot easier to tell someone who isn't emotionally invested one way or the other." She messes with Odessa's hair one more time. "Go get 'em, lady. Whatever happens? You'll be okay."

Odessa laughs even as tears roll down her face. She misses her James so much. In this pain, she and Elisabeth are equally matched. “Thanks. I’ll let you know how it turns out.” Tugging at the sleeve of her jacket, she wipes at her face until the tears are dried away. “I’m going to go find him.” Pushing to her feet, she takes a deep breath and steels herself. “He doesn’t even have a sword. How hard can this be?”

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