Ladies of Shalott


elle_icon.gif f_odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title Ladies of Shalott
Synopsis Only, they're not doomed to die because they finally saw what was going on. Some other people might be, though.
Date May 11, 2019

Unknown safehouse, Staten Island

Turns out Cat hadn't been lying about the date of departure for the time-hoboes being not far off. Those at Abby's place had only received short notice, but it had been enough. It's not as though they'd be moving furniture, after all. Elle herself had come along for the ride without saying much, either verbally or bodily, simply content to observe the hubbub around her without revealing much of what she'd been thinking.

At the moment, she and Trask have been moved in for a good few hours now, early evening having crept in without much flair. Norton is off checking up on something that needs to be settled outside the apartment, but otherwise, all the activity surrounding these few rooms has pretty much fallen still. What scanty possessions they have with them have been unpacked, laid down, or settled into permanent resting places for their occupants' stay of a few days. Elle is alone. The door of the apartment is shut, the atmosphere around it silent and cool, reflecting the building's bare, empty walls.

Kill Hiro Nakamura, he said. Go to the past, he said. Bring Elle Bishop, he said. Some orders are easier than others to follow. Odessa seems to simply appear in front of the door to the apartment. Her white-blonde hair is worn loose and ragged with two strands pulled up into pigtails on either side of her head, ratted and teased in a youthful sort of fashion, contrasting with the effect of her vermilion lolita-inspired dress and platform heels. A thin strap crosses her body, holding a tube covered in plush, black leather to her back, not entirely unlike something a bike courrier would carry in this city. The whole ensemble helps to keep the woman looking younger than her thirty-odd years.

A small hand raises and quickly raps on the door three times. Odessa swallows her contempt for this assignment and schools her features quickly into neutrality.

Expecting it to be Trask back from whatever errand he had been running, the lone, slightly exasperated voice of Elle comes through the door a minute later. "Don't tell me you lost the key already, Nort." And also what the hell is with that feminine handknock. The sound of approaching feet can be heard if Odessa strains her ears, though it's not exactly shuffling; the agent's footsteps are quick, careless, and cat-like. The door does not have a peephole, which is massively annoying.

It's jerked open finally, Elle continuing with, "…Honestly, we've only been here since—" even as her face and upper torso become visible some distance behind the widening crack. And then she stops. Stares, one hand still resting up on the newly shifted lock. She herself is dressed to relax, wearing a tanktop and sweatpants, hair resting in a ponytail at the base of her neck. Her hand drifts downwards slowly, fingers curling inwards as recognition comes in one swift looking up-and-down, hostility and surprise immediately replacing everything else. "The hell?"

"Hello, Ellie," Odessa greets when she can see the other woman's face clearly. "May I come in?" She doesn't wait for a response before pushing the door open wide enough to allow herself entrance into the room. It isn't as though Elle can really stop her, right? She at least shuts the door behind her before glancing about the rather bare apartment. "Be it ever so humble, no?" She turns back to Elle with a posture more casual than she really feels. "Arthur sent me."

It's the fact that she's still stunned, mainly, that prevents Elle from doing much to stop Odessa when she shoves her way through the frame. The floorspace that the doctor will see is clean, at least, and fairly large. There is a table setup with an open laptop directly in front of them, two stacked mattresses— constituting only one bed in the entire place— against the left wall beneath a gray window. A peacoat is also draped across that table (Elle's, clearly), with miscellaneous booklets and other items in random scattered places around the room.

As far as seeing Odessa goes, there's so many questions to ask that none of them actually really register in Elle's brain. "Yeah, well." It's a snort, wary and still kind of disbelieving. With arms folded, the electrokinetic places herself into a position where Odessa can't move farther into the apartment without uncomfortably pushing past. There's scorn in the set of her mouth. Her hand reaches down to adjust a fold of her sweatpants by her knee, conspicuously bare of sparks — for now. "If that's really what you're here for, make it snappy."

"Very well," the older woman acquiesces. "I'll be heading up the team that travels back to your time. You can have whatever revenge you want on whomever you want, but you'll be answering to me ultimately. Is that understood?" Odessa's eyes roam over the room casually, a brow quirking once at the loan bed before she returns her gaze to settle on Elle's eyes, waiting for her response.

Excuse me, biotch, but no wai. Elle's mouth actually parts, slowly coming back together into an angry set of her lower jaw. The look in her eyes instantly becomes a bazillion times more combative, and she doesn't take her gaze away. "I have never answered to you," she starts slowly, each syllable distinct, "and furthermore I don't plan to. Not for the Company, not for this." Anybody but Odessa. Seriously, anybody but Odessa.

Whyyy, Arthur?

"No, you have not answered to me in the past." There's a play on words there somewhere. "But this is how it's going to work this time. I don't like this any more than you do, I suspect. But let me tell you something, I hate the Company just as much as you do. We need to unite on our commonalities. Just this once. Then you can go back to whatever it is your little heart desires in your own time and I'll be back to mine. Everyone will be happy." Odessa's tone is flat, almost too much so, betraying the undercurrent of annoyance.

There is a pause, no less unfriendly. Elle's lips press swiftly together as she surveys the other woman, giving her a second and more thorough glanceover. She hadn't bothered to look too closely at Odessa's face when she came in, but now, after that prompt, she can see it rather easily what she had missed in passing before. Ten years' worth of change in that skin. "You are from here," she confirms casually instead of answering what she had been addressed with, perhaps putting it off just to be annoying. "And here I was thinking you'd somehow wormed your way through the rathole after the rest of us."

"If I have, I'm not aware of it," Odessa responds coolly. Nor, would it seem, is Arthur. "Mister Petrelli explained the Company's crimes against you, did he not? I can help elaborate." She roams the room slowly, unperturbed by the way she has to brush past Elle in order to turn one of the chairs around at the table. She slides herself free of the harness holding the parcel on her back and takes a seat.

Elle curls her lip when Odessa knocks past her, pivoting patiently on the balls of her feet to face her when she sits down, but otherwise doing little else in the way of shifting her position. Arms stay folded across her abdomen. "I don't doubt you'd love to. If you're wondering whether it was enough to keep me from getting out of line, I wouldn't worry about it." Her flat expression flicks over to the window, a square of pale light but otherwise completely opaque, before returning. The corners of her mouth are turned up ever so slightly. "As long as you've decided to camp out in my living area, let me ask you something."

"Of course, Ellie," Odessa responds pleasantly enough, crossing one leg over the other and smoothing out her skirt. "Anything." Her lips turn upward in a patient and serene smile. She's no more thrilled about this idea of Elle tagging along on her mission, but she's coming to accept it little by little.

"Why did he prefer you?" There's no real indication that Elle has become any angrier, save for the way the look in her eyes has intensified; perhaps the fingers buried in her folded arms have become a little tenser. Her voice is still as it is. Conversational. The stare she aims at Odessa's face might be a little unnerving. "Of all people. Anybody in the world. Why you?" Bit by bit, disbelieving disgust makes itself audible.

Odessa's brows raise and then knit in confusion. "I'll gladly answer your question once you clarify one for me. Who? Arthur? That can't be it." Understanding dawns on her features. "Oooh… You mean your father." Odessa leans forward and shakes her head, "Listen, Ellie. There was no preference involved. We just meant different things to your old man. We both presented different benefits to him. Believe me, he milked us both for all we were worth to him."

And that's no doubt true, now that Elle thinks about it. But nevertheless she tilts her head, eyes narrowing somewhat. "Whenever it was just us two, it was always Dessa this. Dessa that. Good job, Odessa, but never me. It doesn't matter what he did with you too; he treated you more like his kid than he did me." She sucks in an intake of breath, letting it out in equal measure after a beat. "I'll bet you've never had a single memory stripped from you. Not ever. You've never had to." This is sour.

"That's how you remember it?" Odessa seems genuinely shocked. "You're right, I suppose. Whenever it was us two, he commended me. Because he wanted to push you. He wanted you to strive to do better. He loved you, Elle. In his own sick, twisted way. When it was just me, he would glance at me. Tell me to work harder. Remind me that the world outside was too dangerous. He would remind me that you were better equipped to handle it, with your fantastic ability. He played us against each other." It's a revelation to her. All those years she spent jealous of the woman in front of her, and it was exactly what the man had wanted. "If we continue to stay at odds with each other, he wins." She sits back in her chair slowly, mulling over Elle's words in her head.

"I wouldn't know if he stripped memories from me. I'll never know. But, really, what was there to take? He never let me have a life. I had no family, and thanks to him, no friends." There's a meaningful look cast up to Elle. "I didn't see the outside until I escaped to try and find you and Monroe. I hoped if I could bring you both back, I'd prove myself capable and worthy. I had never seen the sun, Elle. Tell me… Does that sound like he cared for me at all?" Odessa closes her eyes. For a moment, it looks as though she might lose her temper. But when her eyes snap open again, she's calm.

"He did that because he cared about you. Because you were so precious you could never be hurt," Elle says disbelievingly, unmoving. "That's what I always thought; you and your fantastic ability. It didn't matter if I ever proved myself, you know, because I could do better. Didn't matter if I almost died, because I could do better. There was one point when I wanted to be you, if just to catch a break." If only she had known that apparently, Odessa was once envious of her for the opposite reason.

She doesn't miss Odessa's look, snorting humorlessly in response. For those few seconds, the sense of being cheated is shared, and she shuts and reopens her eyelids. "Don't talk to me about him loving me, Odessa, or like having a dad by itself is some kind of big special deal. It isn't. I've never had it better than you." Thanks to him. Obvious, that's always seems to her. It hadn't occurred that someone else might see it differently.

Without pausing long, she tips a look at the parcel formerly on Odessa's back. "What's in the tube?"

Odessa seems genuinely puzzled by Elle's assessment of her father's feelings toward her. "Maybe he always knew we'd be a dangerous pair if we put our heads together," she theorises. "We both had it bad. We just had it bad in different ways." Her gaze shifts as Elle makes her query, eyes coming to rest on the parcel at her side. "This?" She uncaps the top, and slides her prize from the depths. The light from the window catches the blade of the sword, casting a pale glimmer on the wall opposite. "The sword once owned by Adam Monroe. It's mine now."

Elle's eyes follow the glittering arc of the sword as Odessa unsheathes it, arms slipping off her chest at the name. "Why do you have it?" she questions, honest curiosity in her tone, but also a sense of minor, malicious hope. "Please tell me that it means something horrible happened to disco boy in this time. —You know, you might have a point going. You could just be telling me a bunch of shit so I'll tag along behind you without complaint, but it wouldn't surprise me if you were right. About my dad being like that." And about the other thing, too. Her head stays angled, watching the hovering light cast by the blade. Her expression is critical.

Perhaps surprisingly, Odessa shifts the blade so the flat of it rests against one palm and the hilt in the other so that she can hold it out to Elle. "You can look at it if you like." She fondly brushes her thumb over the symbol in the hilt, glancing back up to the other woman after a moment. "I didn't take the sword from him, but something unfortunate did happen to the previous owner…" Her lips twist in a wicked smile. "I could be playing you, but I really have nothing to gain. If I thought you'd be too much trouble, I'd simply kill you now and tell Arthur I found you that way." She shrugs as though this might be the most casual topic in the world.

Mild surprise does register on Elle's face, but she reaches out to take the hilt nevertheless, testing its heaviness against her palm as she briefly hefts it free of Odessa's grip. The movement is rather conservative; she doesn't know much about swords, obviously, and hence doesn't swing it about more than strictly necessary. "Impressive. You've had time to kill over the past ten years," she remarks offhandedly, letting Odessa take it back. A small but scornful smile appears in response to the comment about killing her. "You could try it. But let's not start this again. You can run back and tell Arthur you got what you came for."

"He'll be very pleased — with both of us." Odessa takes back her prize and again conceals it in the innocuous packaging before standing and slinging it back across her body. "I think we will do great things together, you and I, Ellie." She grins. "Be seeing you." Without further fanfare, the woman is gone.

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