I Need You, Ellie


elle_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title I Need You, Ellie
Synopsis Elle returns home after her last days with the Company. Odessa does her best to console her, and stress something very important.
Date September 1, 2010

The Octagon - Elle's Apartment

The apartments of the Octagon are among some of the most prime pieces of rental real-estate in New York City. Bright, open, and clean, these apartments are all painted an eggshell white and feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a sweeping, unobstructed view of the East River and Manhattan skyline. Hardwood floors spread from wall to wall and through the spacious bedrooms and private laundry rooms complete with washer/dryer utilities.

The open-concept kitchen in the apartment features stainless steel appliances, polished granite countertops, cherry finished cabinets and ceramic floor tile with all the convenience of a modern kitchen. The bathrooms are finished with classic subway wall tile and porcelain floor tile in bathrooms with elegantly designed corner-set curved showers providing more spacious shower area along with porcelain pedestal sinks.

Each apartment comes in two or three bedroom designs, each with spacious walk-in closets with individually controlled heating and cooling. The apartment is also set up with free Cable TV and Internet hook-ups in multiple locations.

While Elle's original absences were only her disappearing for work and not coming back home until the next evenings, the past few days have been different. On the 29th, she went into work, with promises of being home later that evening after her visit with Dr. Sheridan. She left for work, cheerful as she can be, and being fairly pleasant to Odessa.

She never came back. She never even called.

It isn't until tonight, nearly four days after she left for work, that the familiar sound of the key can be heard in the lock, and Elle makes her way in. She's not wearing the same clothes she had on. She's not even wearing her clothes. Instead, she wears a man's pajamas. From the looks of it, a tall man's pajamas. A pair of soft sleep pants is around her waist, the drawstring pulled tight so they don't fall off; the legs pool around her sock-covered feet, and over her torso is a man's shirt that she positively swims in.

She drops her purse and a pair of pure gold high heels just inside the doorway, closing the door and leaning against it. The little blonde looks like death warmed over, pale and exhausted, as she slowly slides down the door, ending up sitting right up against it with her head on her legs.

Where there was empty space next to Elle by the door, suddenly there is a woman. In another life, they were possibly sisters. In this life, their circumstances seem a mirror of each other. Perhaps it is that they find it so difficult to get along. They're too similar. "You left for work on Sunday morning. It's almost Thursday."

Odessa turns her head to her left so she can look at Elle with her good eye. "Where have you been for four days?" She doesn't even sound annoyed. She doesn't quite sound concerned, either. Just slightly exasperated at the way her roommate has disappeared for days on end. It's disconcerting to her, the thought of losing her only familiar ally at this stage.

The little blonde is silent and unmoving, even when Odessa suddenly is sitting next to her. She's awake, certainly, staring at the floor between her knees with tired eyes. She's silent, even as Odessa questions her. After a moment, Elle slowly, tiredly, raises to her feet, adjusting the oversized clothing. After a moment, she turns to stare down at her white-haired room mate.

"Dead." This is all that is offered as Elle quietly makes her way into the kitchen, opening the fridge and searching for something to drink.

Odessa pulls herself to her feet a few moments after Elle. Her bedclothes are much less ill-fitting, if only because they were taken from Elle's closet. Her thoughts race in a pocket of time that is wholly hers. To Elle, it seems that Odessa's words come easily.

"Can't I have any major event to myself?"

The one-eyed woman shakes her fingers through her hair as she follows Elle into the kitchen. Her marabou heels - because bare feet just don't feel right - click on the tiled floor. "What happened?" she asks, a bit more gently. "Are… Those aren't your little boyfriend's clothes," she observes. She can picture Warren Ray's shape well, and she doesn't see that shape in the oversized pyjamas Elle wears. She stops in the kitchen and leans against the counter, watching the blonde closely. Almost warily. "How?"

Quietly, Elle pulls out a pitcher of tea, grabbing a glass out of the cabinet. As she pours her tea, she turns a brief glance to Odessa, before looking back to the glass that she fills. "Believe me, I didn't die by choice. I would've happily let you have the back from the dead event all to yourself." She puts the pitcher back in the fridge, turning to lean against the counter as she drinks her tea.

"Been watching the news? If not, you really should. It's all over TV." She gestures to that nice television she has. "Project Hammerdown. The Company is dead." She then pushes her way past Odessa, moving to that black leather couch and flopping down to enjoy her tea.

She waits for the inevitable sound of Odessa's footsteps following her over the hardwood floor before continuing. "I was there. I wasn't supposed to be…I was trying to leave when it started." She pauses, peering over her shoulder at Odessa. "Bryan Buckley and my father were in the lobby when the helicopters and vans arrived." She sips the tea, closing her eyes. "I stopped them from escaping…I betrayed Daddy." Sounds like this is going to be a long story. She gestures for Odessa to join her.

"And no. They're not Warren's clothes. They're Harper's." This is said matter-of-factly.

Pale lips part in shock at the news Elle imparts. Her face grows similarly bloodless after a moment. Wide eyed, Odessa fixes her surprised gaze on Elle. She stops at the fridge herself to pour herself a glass of lemonade, but adds something stronger to it, pulling a bottle of vodka from atop the refrigerator and pouring generously. Only then does she make the walk over to the couch to listen to Elle's story.

Ordinarily, she would find herself bristling at the confirmation of her suspicions that the clothes Elle wears belong to Agent Harper, but that's the furthest thing from her mind right now. Speechless, Odessa lets her look do the imploring for Elle to continue.

Elle waits until Odessa has seated herself before she continues, sipping at her tea. "Bryan…he tried to grab me, to get me inside for Escape. I wouldn't let him…zapped him and threw him against the wall." She tilts her head. "Soldiers were coming in, and Daddy turned the floor, and my shoes, into gold." She gestures to those pure gold shoes by the door. "He got them with my electricity…then they set off the sprinklers, got me." She frowns, closing her eyes as she recalls the scene in such acute detail.

"Daddy was about to tranquilize me, or something. He was going to take me with him, kidnap me…but Harper stopped him. Shot him in the shoulder, knocked him down." She is quiet for a long moment, her eyes still closed, shaking her head at the memory. "I…I had my gun out…I couldn't shoot him, but I had my gun." She frowns, opening her eyes and looking at Odessa.

"I remember…telling Daddy that he stole my life…so why shouldn't I take his?" She frowns. "Then…Buckley had me."

Odessa stares with her good eye wide as a saucer as she listens to the story of how Elle died. After a long moment of silence, her mouth half open already, she finds words.

"Buckley got you? I had… always liked him." Odessa's shoulders slump and she doesn't quite pout as she brings her glass to her lips for a sip. Make that a very large gulp. After coming up for air, she asks, "Are they dead? Bryan and your father?"

The girl nods slowly. "Buckley got me, yes. I always liked him, too…" She frowns. "He bit me. I felt the poison. I lost control of my electricity for a moment…but it was like it was clear. Like, even though I couldn't move…everything inside was crystal clear." Elle sips at her tea for a long moment, closing her eyes. "I killed Buckley…electrocuted him. He died before I even did."

Elle quietly stares down at the amber liquid. "Daddy got arrested." She looks back up to Odessa…and there are tears glistening in her eyes. "When I died, 'Dessa…I saw my mom. I remembered her, 'Dessa…I remembered building a sandcastle on the beach with her."

Odessa winces. "I've felt what Buckley can do." She once held out her finger to him in the presence of Peter Petrelli and let him pump venom into her veins to prove the existence of abilities. And the miracle of an injection of Adam Monroe's life-saving blood. "We've really got to stop copying each other," she says somberly. If it's an attempt at levity, it's not even approaching half-hearted.

When Elle says she remembered her mother, Odessa leans forward to put her glass on the coffee table and scoot closer to the other girl, one arm held out in a gesture for the blonde to rest her head on her shoulder. "Consider yourself fortunate," she tells her in a quiet voice. "That's one experience I couldn't share." Even as she was sure she was about to die, Odessa had no memories of a happy family.

In fact, she saw nothing. Only the certainty that nothing would swallow her up and that would be the end of her. There was only terror. The thoughts of a dying atheist. Odessa wraps her arms tightly around the little blonde. A tear slides past her cheek. Another is trapped beneath the patch over her ruined eye, unable to find a gap between the convex form and her cheekbone. She stares at a middling point over Elle's golden head, her thoughts guarded.

After a moment, Elle seems to relax, suddenly, meeting Odessa half way and wrapping her arms around the other girl's waist as the tears begin to flow much more freely. And then…a breakthrough, perhaps? Elle's form begins to quake with silent sobs as she begins to cry against the other girl's shoulder, quietly at first, but then it escalates into sobs.

She's been doing so much crying lately.

No further words escape Elle Bishop's mouth for the time being, as she cries into the shoulder of perhaps the closest thing to the only real friend she's ever had. The tears she sheds…they're for Buckley, who she didn't want to kill. They're for the Company, once her entire life, which is gone now. They're for her father, who is in a prison cell somewhere, still under the belief that his daughter is dead.

When words do finally return to Elle Bishop, they're nearly hysterical. "Oh god…oh god oh god, what have I done?!"

"Ssshhhhh…" Odessa rocks Elle back and forth gently in her arms, resting her cheek against the top of the other girl's head when the worst of the sobbing begins. An extra reassurance that she's not in this alone. "We can't undo what's been done… But you didn't act alone. This isn't your fault."

After allowing Elle a few moments more, Odessa gently reaches to tip the blonde's head up so she can see her face. "We can't restore the Company. But we can do everything in our power to make sure their mistakes aren't repeated."

White hair tickles against the side of Elle's face when Odessa leans in to kiss the tears away from her face gently. "We can do this, you and I. We can make things better than they were." It's what Elle needs to hear right now. It's what Odessa needs to convince them both of.

"I don't give a shit about the Company." It's the truth. She's not crying over the Company…over all of the people she betrayed yesterday. "We're just fucking pawns, there for whoever comes to use us to use." She sobs into Odessa's shoulder, shaking her head. "Nobody will ever stop using us, Odessa, for as long as we live…no matter what, it's just going to be the same story."

She collapses into soft sobs, shaking her head as she squeezes at the closest person she ever had to a sister's midsection. "I know I shouldn't be…I know I shouldn't, after all he did to me…but I wish I hadn't betrayed Daddy! The look on his face…the way he was begging me for help…it killed me more than Buckley's venom ever could…"

Odessa wants to tell Elle that she's done the right thing, but… She isn't sure of that. "He isn't dead," she tells the grieving girl. "Start from there. If you hadn't betrayed him, you'd be sharing a cell with him. You won't do any good to anyone locked away in some plastic room like you spent your childhood."

Elle may not be concerned about the fall of the Company, but Odessa is terrified. It doesn't quite bring her voice to quake, or her long fingers to tremble as she runs them through Elle's hair reassuringly. She needs this bond. They were both important enough to the Institute to be brought back from death. They can only be stronger if they stick together.

One hand comes up, making a sweeping gesture outward. The white noise of the room ceases suddenly, save for the quiet ticking of the watch on a red leather band around Odessa's wrist. "Ellie, I need you to look at me." Again, she urges the girl's head upward gently.

Elle nods quietly into Odessa's shoulder, eyes red and flowing with tears. She's a mess right now, crying over her father as she is. "He's not dead…he's not…but…he thinks I'm dead. I was the only thing he had left of Mom…and even if he treated me like shit and tortured me and lied to me and never even praised me once…I fucking love my dad. And now he thinks I'm dead, and he's sitting all alone in a plastic cell, and…" She shakes her head, the tears soaking into the shirt that Odessa has borrowed from her.

As Odessa urges her head upwards, Elle sniffles, wiping at her face with the sleeve of Harper's shirt. It is with a quivering lower lip and tears still flowing down her cheeks that she looks at Odessa as she requests, trying to keep herself from going into another sobbing fit.

"I need you to trust me in the coming months, okay? No matter what the Institute asks us, or tells us to do, we need to stay loyal to each other." Odessa leans forward again to drop another soft kiss on Elle's cheek, halting a tear in its path down her face.

"We're the only ones who know what it's like. Above all else, you and I have to face what comes together. We need to help each other. Things can only get worse before they get better." Odessa leans back and looks Elle in the eye. "Do you understand? I need you, Ellie."

Elle listens carefully to Odessa, still wiping at her tears with the sleeve of Harper's shirt. She blinks a few times, tilting her head toward Odessa for a long moment. Then, her hand reaches for the girl's, taking it and squeezing it tight for a moment. "Okay…"

She sniffs a few times, then offers a much more confident nod, pushing her tears back. "And I need you to trust me, okay, Odessa? You're my only friend," she squeezes the white-haired woman's hand. "and I won't ever leave you behind, okay? I promise."

What exactly she's referring to when she says that she would never leave Odessa behind remains a mystery, however…

Odessa seems a little uncertain, but she bobs her head up and down once, holding Elle's hand tightly in her own. The little sounds and noises of the apartment resume again, the suddenness of it where there was nothing making it almost as deafening as the initial silence.

"Come on. Let's go to bed. I'll stay with you tonight." Carefully, she guides the other girl up and leads her to the bedroom, where she'll hold her close and let her cry until sleep claims them both.

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