Little Sunshine


odessa_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Little Sunshine
Synopsis Sylar and Odessa do what they do best and discover their partnership may be more beneficial than they initially imagined.
Date November 26, 2008

New York City

Finding someone who deserves death is not so hard in this day and age. Also, it's a matter of perspective. One might say no one deserves such a fate, not at the hand of a murderer. Others might be a little more judgmental and use the law or religion for a sense of perspective and it's these guidelines that Sylar uses to make his choice. He doesn't have Amato's ability to really gauge out the baddest from the bad, but he's lived in this city for a long enough time to know. Besides, it doesn't really matter to him, how pure a soul is behind the sins. This is an experiment. Because to Sylar? They all deserve to die.

Prowling through the Lower East Side, the two probably look harmless, a neatly dressed man with a wide-eyed blonde woman just beside him. Perhaps that's the point. If Sylar can conjure some desperate soul out of the wood work without guess work, all the better. Do they appear to have money? Do they appear unarmed?

Someone believes so.

We have a tail, Sylar tells Odessa, voice projected in her head as he Listens to distant footsteps that so abruptly began, a stalker's distance behind them.

"What're you gonna do?" Odessa asks in a barely audible whisper. In addition to the footsteps behind them, the woman's heartbeat picks up. "Do we lure them somewhere?" She slides her hands into the pockets of her coat and hunches her shoulders a bit as though that might somehow capture more warmth.

Sylar arm comes up to drape across her shoulders in an unconscious adjustment of how, he assumes, young unsuspecting couples walk, his hand warm on her other shoulder. Somewhere, he agrees, gaze darting around for such a somewhere. While her heart picks up in anticipation or nervousness, his remains steady. It's in his gut that reaction takes place, a knife of predatory excitement. Different to what he can only describe as a hunger, something that transformed him from an unfortunate young man with a bizarre addiction to the serial killer he is. The difference between a victim and a bad man.

A corner comes up, but Sylar continues forward with Odessa, across the street, not wishing to throw their new friend off their trail. Incidentally, the streets only seem to get darker as they head away from the more popular areas of the city. A door, boarded shut, passes by them, a rundown old building that gets Sylar's attention. Let's let him catch up, he adds, and stops, pulling Odessa close in some sort of play acted pantomime, and he Listens. No one inside the building they linger in front of. It'd serve its purpose.

Odessa stiffens up momentarily beneath Sylar's arm, but forces herself to relax. It's Sylar. He wouldn't need to touch you if he wanted to hurt you. A thought that would make most people more anxious actually soothes the nervous doctor. She resists the urge to pick up her pace. After all, they aren't trying to outrun the man behind them whose shoes now clap softly on the pavement - a casual stroll at their backs.

In the facsimile of a lover's embrace, Odessa brings her arms up to circle around the taller man, admitting in a low whisper of lips that don't quite brush, "I'm scared." She tilts her head to one side and presses her cheek to his instead, a mimicry of intimacy she doesn't comprehend. At the killer's back, her finger's drum restlessly against the fabric of his coat. "What should I do? How long do we let him think he's winning?" Her heart pounds now, and he doesn't need to be tuned into his Hearing to tell. Their tail is closing in and even though they both know they're in capable hands, she's not quite sure how to entirely react to this situation. Truth be told, it's the fear of being caught that haunts her most.

His hand comes up to brush through her hair, going through the motions, although his hidden expression is calculating, listening, waiting, as if completely removed from what his body is doing. "I'll handle it," he murmurs, using his voice considering their proximity. There's still some time, and Sylar, as Odessa may be quickly learning, isn't the best of planners. So he doesn't run by what they're going to do. He doesn't give her an indication as to the next step. Instead, he asks, "What're you afraid of?"

"I don't know," Odessa answers honestly. "I've never done anything like this before. Following orders and directions was one thing. But this is something we decided on together…" She lets her voice trail off, tipping her head back to expose a long line of scarred (and bruised) throat, looking to the sky for answers that will never simply tumble down to grace her with their knowledge and wisdom.

Their stalker can appreciate the supposed lovers' need for privacy. All the better for him that they've sneaked off to a part of town where people simply bolt their windows up all the tighter if they hear screaming. For the moment, he'll wait. Determine their movements. They're both just a little too alert yet for his tastes, though that doesn't stop him from rolling the handle of the knife in his palm, movements concealed by the sleeve of his coat.

Sylar can almost feel him lingering, and now his heart starts to pound, as if anticipating something more intimate and exciting than brutal and bloody. Knowing full well they're being watched, Sylar moves to press Odessa against the wall in a feigned misstep of supposed drunkenness, a hand coming out to catch himself against brick just beside her, leaning. An act he learned from Ethan, really. "Believe me," Sylar murmurs. "This is so much more fun." There's something to be said about diving in without a plan, just like the old days, feeling too powerful to care about consequence.

Beneath him, Odessa tenses and grunts quietly when she unpreparedly stumbles back against the wall. He could have warned her he might do that, but then it would not have looked so natural, would it? The girl holds stark still, save for the smirk that now tugs at the corners of her mouth as she locks eyes with the man in front of her, "I'm already having fun." The breath of laughter that escapes her lips is shaky and nervous, but no less genuine. "Are we feigning powerlessness?" She'd almost think that'd make the game more interesting.

And it is a game.

For both parties. The man shoves off from his observational post against a streetlamp. He approaches the two, making no attempt to conceal himself. Though he looks rough around the edges and Doctor Knutson and her companion feel they know better, their stalker appears harmless. "Excuse me," he says gruffly, though not unkindly, "do either of you have the time?" His eyes are already expectantly drifting and shifting between the wrists of the couple.

Sylar's barely met Odessa's eyes throughout, too caught up in Listening to the would be cut-throat, but now he locks his gaze with hers, a spark of kindred electricity at least in the prospect of the hunt only emphasised by their closeness, and a smile tugs at his mouth, a wolfish one. "Yes," he murmurs. "But do you feel powerless?"

His head snaps up to regard the man as he approaches, letting his expression become docile, unsuspecting, and he backs up from Odessa just enough to check his watch, swaying back on his heels. "Ah, late, I guess, can't you see we're in the middle of something?" he asks, a touch of a slur to his voice, tone full of impotent indignation, as if he were just a regular joe trying to act tough in front of his ladyfriend.

"Don't be silly, darling." Odessa pushes up her coat sleeve and frowns at her empty wrist before she reaches for Sylar's hand and pushes up his sleeve so she can gander at the time. She ducks under his arm then, like a woman grateful for the distraction, and approaches their would-be mugger. "It's only half-past six." But the darkness comes earlier and earlier this time of year. It feels much, much later.

"That's a nice watch," murmurs the rough-looking man. Quick as a whip, his arm lunges out and he ensnares Odessa expertly - he's done this before. His knife is to her throat before she has a chance to gasp. "I think I'd like it. And your wallets, too."

Odessa freezes at the blade against already marred skin and with her back pressed against the attacker's chest she flickers a grin to her companion, just enough so that he knows it's all part of the game. Quickly, she falls into the act. "Oh, no! Please don't hurt me! Oh, Gabriel! Help!" Her voice pitches up, sounding breathy and reminiscent of someone far more empty-headed than she. The perfect damsel in distress.

As Odessa maneuvers away from him, Sylar makes a show of rolling his eyes, a folded arm up and leaning against the wall, as if he needs the support, and then when the mugger drops his own facade, Sylar maintains his. His hands go up, a look of what seems to be honest to god confusion dawning on expressive features, although it's the fear that he has trouble with conveying. "Now we don't want any trouble," he says, although the slur is gone from his voice, and, arms stilled raised, he tugs his sleeve down to show off his watch, the glass face flashing in the light of a nearby streetlamp. "You want this?" he asks, as if about to hand it off to him, but instead, he asks further, "You're prepared to slit a girl's throat for it?"

Odessa gasps sharply, a hiss between clenched teeth. Blood trickles down her throat from where the knife parts her skin just enough to bring a genuine flicker of worry to her eyes. "Don't fuck around with him!" Only the artificial airiness of her voice cues to Sylar in to the continuation of the ruse. Odessa's very good at playing a part.

"That and the wallet." One thick-fingered hand, covered by ratty gloves, turns over, open-palmed. "Be quick about it. Hers wouldn't be the first."

The red trickle at Odessa's throat causes Sylar's eyes to flicker down, following it's path. Well, if this man wanted to be the one to draw first blood… His hand held up stiffens a little, fingers curl, and instantly, the man's hand, his arm, is under Sylar's control, and he can feel it as if it were an extension of his own body. The slightest gesture of his fingers causes that arm to stretch out, the knife away from Odessa's neck, out as if in offering, and Sylar smiles, taking the weapon from the mugger easily. "Thank you," he says, politely, and his other hand comes up, twitches two fingers— wood breaks, and the boarded over door of the building they stand just out front of swings open with a BANG on its hinges.

The man's eyes grow wide as he finds his arm out of his own control. "You fucking freak," he growls, scrambling back a few paces after loosing his grip on Odessa entirely.

"Oh, you really shouldn't have called him that," Doctor Knutson sneers, voice pitched lower now, a more dangerous tone to match the narrowing of her eyes as she reclaims her place at Sylar's side. "Two of us, one of them. I like these odds." Odessa smiles widely at the man who seems to want to retreat. "Don't you run. We're not done! Can't you tell? We've just begun."

His arm is released quite readily when Odessa slips out of his way, and the man wastes no time in his retreat, although it doesn't get him very far, Sylar's hand reaching out to hold him still by the back of his neck. "What's your rush?" he sneers, and with a flick of his hand, the mugger goes sailing through the open door. "You're not having fun?" A soft, pained groan floats out the door, and Sylar looks down at the knife in his hand, turning it against his palm contemplatively. "Watch the door," he instructs Odessa, voice low, and moves to step inside the building, dark and broke-down as it is, but empty - and that's the main thing.

Odessa steps into the building behind Sylar, taking a look at their surroundings before poking her head back outside. She takes a deep breath and, standing in the doorway, throws her hands out to either side of her, fingers splayed wide. She takes in a couple slow, deep breaths. All sound outside has simply stopped. Nothing rustles in the breeze. No rats scurry in the alleyways. It's as though nothing exists outside the door. "He's all yours," Odessa assures. "Take your time. No one will hear him scream." She turns her attention from the street and leans her back against the frame of the door, watching Sylar with very keen interest.

Sylar turns, partially, towards the doorway, noting the lack of sound save for the heartbeats of three people, intakes of breath, everything seeming more amplified from the lack of ambient outside noise. Time and cause and effect only move through this space, as if the entire world were condensed into this one room. He wasn't lying when he told her he feared what he'd do with her ability and right now is no exception.

But then the sounds of someone getting to their feet catches his attention, and Sylar simply stands and watches. The only way you're getting out of this alive is through that door, comes the simple instruction, projected through the man's head, Sylar simply standing, knife held loosely in his hand.

Odessa doesn't hear it, and so she's caught off her guard when the man makes a desperate run toward her. Her eyes get wide and fingers pulse twice, sound in the world beyond faltering into existence for a moment as the woman catches herself. She casts one glance toward Sylar with a 'You really don't expect me to clean up this mess?' sort of look to her. She's a little busy here!

Sylar moves as soon as his victim does, despite the fact he could easily throw him back inside with a flick of his hand, control his movements with a pointed thought. That's not entirely the point. One broad shoulder rams into the man's side before the criminal can quite make his way towards the door, both men going down in the tackle. Not only will the man feel the floor suddenly coming up to meet him as Sylar bears down, but a good inch of the knife spears his side as well, not a killing swipe but one to injure, to hurt. In the sudden clash, he misses both the flicker of sound as well as Odessa's look, focused only in the feel of a knife in his hand and the struggle that ensues.

Odessa relaxes when it's clear Sylar has everying under control, watching him with a smirk. She hadn't expected something so… base, but it seems to make sense to her on some level. She's taking mental notes, to be sure.

Beneath Sylar, the man gives a pained grunt and then a sharp cry as the knife sinks into his side. The stream of profanity that slips from his lips as he attempts to wrestle his attacker off of him causes the lady in the room to tip her head in a curious fashion, amusement etched in her features.

It's not particularly graceful - even when Wu-Long and Sylar would descend to blows days later in a sparring match, that was at least somewhat artful. This is far more awkward, grittier, and somehow more painful. There's a sharp, meaty sound as the man brings up his knee in a sudden and desperate move to get Sylar off him, the half-kick sending the killer sprawling back with a gasp, the knife skittering away.

They both scramble to their feet, the victim reaching for the door and Sylar only reaching for him, a hand grasping the back of his jacket and shoving him towards the wall, skull loudly bouncing off plaster and brick. Not a man of preternatural strength, he never did get a chance to cut through Niki's head, there's still a sort of unnatural violence in the way Sylar moves, characteristic of those in the Vanguard - people who simply don't care what damage they deal. As the man recovers from his head injury, Sylar moves back to collect up the knife the manual way, holding it as one would a dagger before he approaches again.

It's nothing Odessa hasn't seen before. Occasionally a prisoner manages to stay lucid long enough to cause a scuffle, the aftermath of which the doctor always dutifully would attend to. That being said, it's been some time since she's been this close to one, and never has she had any emotional investment in either participant. Of course, she only cares about the well being of one fighter in this case, which makes matters a little easier, even if her mind is far from easy. She narrows her eyes as she watches. Why isn't he using his abilities?

Still a little dazed, the man only seems to register Sylar's re-approach long seconds after he should have, through blinking, bleary eyes. "Shit," he mutters. "I'm sorry, man! Let me go! I'll never do it again."

"Oh, you are sorry," Odessa muses, a grin touching the corners of her mouth again, melting away some of that worry. "But I really only see half of that coming to pass." And it isn't the part where he gets to go free.

"Guess which half," Sylar says, glancing down at the weapon in his hand before tightening his fist around it. His arm moves in a wide swing so as best to plunge the knife deep into the man's body, jerking the weapon out again as the man's cry bounces off the walls. And again. And again.

The man isn't entirely helpless, though he struggles and screams like a trapped animal, body twitching and finally his head snapping forward to catch against Sylar's. It works. Mildly stunned, Sylar staggers back, a smear of blood bright and shining at his brow, but his skin isn't split - it's the man's blood from his injury that spattered there, barely a bruise blossoming beneath the surface as Sylar backs up, touching the spot with the tips of his fingers as he narrows his eyes across at his victim. The man is beyond words, at this stage, replying only in too-wet breaths, sliding down the wall with the grim knowledge that he would die where he landed, blood soaking and making heavy his clothes as his hands grip futilely at the torn fabric.

The knife falls to the ground with a heavy sound of metal, and Sylar's soft, dark chuckle unfurls through the silence, resting a hand against a knee as he recovers from his own sparse twinges from the scrap, watching intently as the man bleeds out in front of him.

Odessa watches the body slide to the floor, a hint of confusion in her eyes. "You stabbed him," she states dumbly. "You could have done… so many other things. You wouldn't have even had to touch him. Why'd you stab him?" She frowns faintly, analysing the situation the best she knows how, as she is wont to do. She takes one step into the building to get a better look and winces faintly before stepping back again. "Not that I'm complaining. Either way, he's just as dead, but… Why this way?"

"I needed…" Sylar trails off, attempts to regain his breath, bring his heart rate down to a normal level. His back straightens again. "I needed to see what it was like." He doesn't explain much more than that, gaze broken from the dead man once his heart ceases to beat. A contemplative pause as he wonders what to do with the body. "We could burn the building down."

Odessa takes in a deep, hissing breath. "Someone's coming. I'm having to drop the radius. Whatever you're going to do, do it quick, or it's going to be real obvious that something's amiss here." She pokes her head out the door, hands still held out to either side, one in and one out of doors. "I need to resume," she informs him before she scurries inside and drops her arms, taking in a deep shuddering breath. "If we're quiet, I'm sure they won't notice we're here." Abruptly, the sound of a car engine growling outside meets Sylar's ears.

It's a shame - if they truly did have all the time in the world, Sylar would want to test Elias's lesson. No time for that. Taking off his jacket, he holds it out for Odessa to take, then undoes the buttons of his sleeves so he can push them up. Avoiding burning up his clothes. "You should probably wait for me down the street," he says. "Radiation is dangerous enough even if you're not in it's line of fire."

"Okay," Odessa says numbly, taking his coat. The black fabric makes her exposed skin look all the paler. "Be careful, all right?" She tucks the outerwear over one arm and dashes out the door. The sounds of the outside world cease once more. "You're clear!" she shouts over her shoulder.

There are some things in life that are simply hard to control. Explosions being one of them. But Sylar does his best, focusing that energy in blasts, muffled roars of light and energy, fluttering flickers of colour-light beaming through boarded over windows, echoing out the door. Then, the crackle of fire eventually catches on to wood and plaster, skimming brick, and dancing over the clothes of the deceased. Sylar emerges at a brisk pace, sleeves singed despite his effort, and body warm from the inferno starting to build behind him.

When he re-emerges, Odessa's handing back his coat so she can extend the other hand to freeze the building he came from. In front of her, the car is frozen in place on the street. "They didn't see me," she assures absently. "I figure we should get out of here before we let that get too out of hand?" She closes her eyes tightly and holds her breath for a moment. "This is so much more difficult than it used to be."

Pulling the jacket over a slightly smoke-scented shirt - and something a little more poisonous still with that burnt smell - Sylar frowns at her for a moment, glancing back towards the frozen car, suspended in time. "I've done worse things without your help," he points out, taking her wrist briefly so as to lead them down the street, seeming unconcerned with the chaos they're leaving behind.

"Yeah, but it's better my way," Odessa insists - a little indignantly. All the same, she hurries off when Sylar grabs her wrist, the fire consuming the building resuming and once they've gotten down the street, the car resumes as well.

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