Make My Mark


odessa_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Make My Mark
Synopsis Odessa does what she does best - patch Sylar up. The two have a discussion of motives.
Date January 5, 2009

Craig Christman's Apartment

The apartment is a nice one. Clean. Not very lived in. Sylar hasn't explored it, save for making room in the bedroom for his own things and made use of the shower. There's a grandfather clock in the main room, displaying the time of five-thirty. Not in the afternoon, but in the morning, and Sylar has not slept. No rest for the wicked. Mostly. As he awaits Odessa's arrival to the unfamiliar apartment, the one in which the late Craig Christman lived, the killer is now exploring the sofa. As in, lying upon it, half-asleep, having tug out some of Craig's comfier clothes - an old police academy T-shirt, track pants. He curls an arm under his head, in his half-doze, and at the sound of foot steps, he merely lifts a hand lazily and unlocks the door from where he is.

The buzzer near the door goes off, interrupting the solitude of the room. Odessa's voice, tinny and distant, comes through the speaker next. "I'm here," is all she says. If she got the wrong apartment, well, then there'll be questions. She'll apologise and try another apartment. Fortunately for her, she got it right the first time and she's bounding up the stairs as soon he presses his finger on the button to allow her entry. She's a little out of breath when she's let inside the apartment proper. "I came as quickly as I could." She drags her fingers through her tangled blonde hair. She apparently didn't stop to comb it when she rolled out of bed. "What happened?"

Sylar is dragging himself up to sit when she enters, looking her up and down a moment as if surprised to see her so hurried. Not that a pre-dawn call asking for a doctor shouldn't warrant such a reaction, but all the same. A fresh trickle of blood is coursing down from his temple to his cheek, and this he rubs away with a smear of red. The head wound is not fresh, in that its had several hours to settle, but still it bleeds untreated. He'd already been sporting a few bruises when Odessa last saw him, from being thrown over a car by a flying policeman (sometimes, Sylar's life is interesting this way), but fresh ones mar his face, including a deeply shaded bruise at his jaw as if someone had punched him with a little more solidness than a mere flesh-and-bones fist could provide. He stands, carefully. "Sometimes they fight back," is his explanation. "Do you like the apartment? It's mine now."

"Sometimes," Odessa agrees, setting her bag down on an end table before reaching up to brush hair away and examine the bleeding at Sylar's temple. She glances about the space briefly and offers a smile. "I may have to tell Ethan that I'm moving out," she offers as approval.

Sylar closes his eyes a little as she examines. The car had rolled, and in the brief moment of disruption when the seatbelt had cracked his ribs, the forcefield dropped and he'd banged his head fairly nicely. Skin is tender, bruised, and it's likely the cut itself needs some stitching or other methods of closing. He gives a small, rasping chuckle at that comment. "Ethan wouldn't like that," he says with mild humour. "I think my ribs are broken. Maybe cracked. He rolled the car." There's a faint tone of— respect? Respect in his voice for Craig's last actions, it seems.

"Clever man," Odessa muses. She leans back and her smile widens, "Still a dead man." She can only assume that he still got what he wanted. "Do you need help with the shirt? Or can you manage that while I go raid the kitchen for supplies?" She doesn't really wait for an answer, already knowing what it is. She turns and pads toward the kitchen with the intent of filling a bowl with water so she can wash the fresh blood away and see what she's doing when she eventually stitches him up.

Upon her return, the shirt has been discarded and he's seated. Sylar has to wonder, a little, if he'll ever get to peel back fabric and observe non-scarred, non-bruised flesh ever again. Maybe some day. For now, Abby's work can be seen in the seemingly old bullet wound scars, as if they'd had years to heal rather than months and weeks - his shoulder, his arm, two on his torso. A few small bruises from the car roll but more notably, a dark patch around his ribs as evidence to his claim. No bone poking out of skin, at least. And lastly, the tattoo on his forearm he'd gotten when not quite in his right mind. "At least we keep you busy," he says to the doctor when she reappears.

"As sorry as I am that it requires you being injured, I am at least grateful for the work." Odessa sets the bowl on the end table along with a rag before opening her bag up. "We'll take care of the easy part first. This… isn't going to be pleasant. Do you want anything for it?" She starts mopping th blood away from his face gently. Odessa's never had much for bedside manner, but she never really cared for the emotional well-being of any of her patients before. Sylar is different. Keeping him as healthy as possible, in all ways, is as beneficial to her as it is to him, and so, she tries.

Sylar nods a little in agreement that yes, something for it would be nice. His eyes remain closed as she wipes away blood, cleans the area. "This would be so… so much simpler," he says, almost serenely, "if we had instead simply chained dear sweet Abby to a radiator and used her at will. Or better yet…" He lets that trail off. They has somewhat briefly touched on the 'better yet', after all.

"Is that your preferred method of dealing with women you want something from now?" Odessa heard about the president-elect's aide, it seems. "I suppose I should be grateful you actually like me, hm?" The doctor procures a small syringe from her bag and swabs an area of skin before injecting. Localised anesthetic is a good thing. "She told us exactly where to find her. Is she really so… I could bring her here. It would be easy."

A slight hiss through his teeth at the injection but no other protest from him. Sylar breathes out through his nose, opening his eyes briefly to look at Odessa. "Wu-Long promised Abigail a week," he says, eyes shutting again. "She's not really so." Whatever it was the doctor was going to say. "I've had three chances now to do it. Perhaps God is watching over her."

"God, Shmod." Odessa roll her eyes and gently pokes at the side of Sylar's head. "Still feel that?" She begins prepping a needle, wiping away another fresh trickle of blood absently. "No one watches over her. It's luck. Bad timing. Destiny will come 'round in our favour soon enough."

"No," Sylar answers, a little tensely. "God shmod, and yet destiny will come around for me? That doesn't work." Now he stops flinching away and keeps his eyes open, watching Odessa work as much as he can, though mostly all he can see his a blurry periphery. "You know when I started… collecting, I thought if I admitted to God I had sinned, admitted it over and over again, perhaps in the end I'd be forgiven. Maybe more than that, maybe allowed. Understood. But God's work isn't evolution, is it."

"We have been forgotten by God," Odessa says softly, beginning to stitch up the gash. "As children we are told that from God we fell…" She narrows her eyes faintly, adjusting the tilt of the man's head with a gentle touch of her hand. "I wasn't. I don't think, when God started planning, He factored people like us in to the equation. I think I like it that way."

Sylar is quiet, mulling that over and absently watching the process of stitching from his very limited vantage point with vague interest. If he agrees, he only lets a comfortable silence indicate as such, hands resting on his knees and staying perfectly still as she works. Finally, he says, "She needed to pray to make it work. I'm not sure He'd listen even if I had her ability." Overly sentimental, he knows, but it's a nagging worry, having grown up in a strictly Christian household.

"She needed to pray like I need to use my hands," she tells him. "It's something we do to focus. Maybe God would listen to you. Healing is an ability you could do… good with. So, maybe God listens when you ask His permission to do good things?" The thread is cut and Odessa surveys her work with a quiet hum of approval before she moves to examine the bruising about Sylar's ribcage, gentle fingers brushing over darkened skin.

Sylar leans back as she inspects the bruising, keeping himself from wincing as she does. They didn't grind together upon his movements, they just ached, so perhaps it's not the worst. He lets the doctor decide. "Maybe," Sylar responds. He'll have to see in a week's time, out of respect for his fellow Vanguardians, the ones he perhaps trusts. At least a fraction. "Odessa." He waits for her to look up from her work before he continues, a question. "Why don't you care about the people I kill?"

Odessa leans back on her high heels, adjusting her skirt as she does. She blinks curiously at the man. "Why should I care? They wouldn't care what happens to me. Everybody dies. The less you dwell on it, the easier it is to keep on living."

A hand raises to gently touch fingertips against numbed skin, to feel the stitches for a moment before stopping, hand coming to rest against his leg once more as he looks up at Odessa, taking in her answer. If it satisfies, it doesn't show, Sylar only tilting his head and asking, "Are they broken?"

"Everyone's broken," Odessa answers, as though he weren't talking about his own physical state. "Who knows that better than you?" She again reaches up and examines those ribs, pressing a little more firmly than before. "My goodness, you have a lot of hair." She smiles darkly, "If you had broken your ribs, well…" She presses her palm flat against his side and presses, gradually increasing pressure. "That's usually the part where people start screaming. I'd say you're fine."

Though Sylar shifts in discomfort, he certainly doesn't start screaming. A breath of laughter, before shifting away entirely to grab the discarded T-shirt. It's pulled on without too much complaint. "They are broken," he finally agrees. Not about his ribs. "But so am I. So are you. I don't know if I'm like you anymore. Like you, or Ethan, or Wu-Long."

"All the same, I like who you are." Odessa climbs to her feet and steps back. "You are different. Different than all of us." She regards him through dark blue eyes, half-lidded. "I wish I could do what you can." The subject is changed quickly, "She's wasting her ability, living in fear the way she does. She tries to play brave, but I saw the look on her face…" She shrugs.

Sylar shakes his head a little in a show of agitation, as if the conversation were slipping out of his grip. "She isn't wasting her ability," he says, then looks across at the doctor. "You get scared too. It's why you stop time and scream where no one can hear you."

One moment, she's narrowing her eyes at Sylar, and the next, she's simply gone. Except for the scalpel pressed against his throat and the heartbeat and breathing behind him. "But I can still do this," Odessa growls. "I may scream when I think no one can hear me, but that doesn't mean I'm helpless. I'd like to see the miracle healer protect herself this way."

A slight intake of breath shifts the scalpel, Sylar's head automatically tilting back from the sharp little blade but therefore exposing more throat. There's a pause, and then a rasping chuckle, Sylar's eyes half-hooding, almost shutting. "Survival of the fittest, Odessa?" he asks, not moving. Not doing anything to fend off the possibility of getting his throat slit. "The strongest survive. Maybe that's all this is. These powers, this everything. A return to nature."

"I've been given the means to cope with my fears. They don't cripple me." Odessa leans forward to purr into his ear. "You said once that you were afraid of what you would do with my ability." She can feel the curve of her smile as wicked as the blade of her weapon, "Are you afraid of what I do with it?"

Beneath her blade… the texture of skin starts to feel rough, as if she were holding it against leather rather than a stretch of soft skin. It coarsens, becomes almost pebbly, and in the dim apartment, it also darkens a little. Localised to his throat it spreads from his jaw line, down to his collar bone, but no further. Almost an instinctive reaction that comes gradually. "Everyone fears death," Sylar says, by way of answer. It's a yes. "But there are scarier things."

Quick as it appeared, the scalpel is gone and Odessa is in front of the killer, examining the new armour about his neck with wide eyes. "That's amazing," she murmurs appreciatively. The blade has, it seems, been tucked away to wherever she procured it from in the first place.

Sylar relaxes as Odessa materialises in front of him, and brings a hand up to his throat, head tilting to the side as if testing the restriction. It's there, certainly, but not an impossible thing to deal with at this stage. "It's not convenient," he says, touching the snake-skin like armor, only slightly developed compared to what it could be. He rubs at the edges, although nothing peels yet. "But it saved the man from his own car crash." Pause. "We can wait a week. Out of respect for Wu-Long and Elias." Hesitation. "And Eileen."

"A week," Odessa repeats, reaching out to touch the scaled flesh. It's strictly because she's his physician. Honest. Well, that and her utter inability to quell her curiosity. "Nobody would have to find the body, you know."

Sylar allows it, despite himself. It's very much like reptile skin, and with a little concentration, it becomes even more than that. Almost blackening, it becomes more the texture of a rough road, and creaks just a little as Sylar tilts his head back under the touch. Another slight, rasping chuckle. "Did you have something in mind?"

Odessa's eyes light up. As far as she's concerned, she's the only one he does this for. She's enthralled, as she so often is during these displays. She climbs up onto the couch, perched on her knees. "Anything you like," she breathes in response to his question before her brain kicks back into gear. She lifts her head. "It's nothing a little kerosene can't fix, right? I mean, even I could handle that." She smirks, "But I would like to see if you could melt a body the way you melt a bottle."

"It's difficult," Sylar says. Apparently, this is something he's attempted. His fingertips trail along the edges of the armor at his throat and partially his chest, as if testing to see how fixed it is. Right now, it may as well be something he were born with. "It works for smaller things, unless I can use Gillian." Pause. "I guess in theory we could cut the body up and go from there." As if this were an entirely normal thing to be talking about. As if he hadn't tried to draw a line between himself and the rest of the Vanguard for their cold pragmatism and his ability to merely fake it, or hide behind a haze of hunger. He quiets, hand drifting from the armor again.

"I could arrange that," the doctor says with a small nod. "Between you and I, I think we could make some miracles disappear." Odessa leans close, eyes searching his face. "Or maybe you could be the new miracle worker." She braces herself with one hand against the arm of the couch, nearly laying across Sylar without touching him. "I can't figure you out sometimes. Do you want to be a hero, Sylar?"

Sylar looks at her, despite the proximity not totally requiring it, studies her eyes one at a time, almost, before the corner of his mouth turns up in a smirk. "All it takes to be a hero is a decent man," he says. "I think I've missed my opportunity. But I can make my mark." He can usurp the King. He could be a healer. He could be many things. But that word 'hero' is so… trip-up-over-able.

"That's what I like about you," Odessa reaches up with her free hand to touch the uninjured side of Sylar's face. "You do the best you can with what you've been given. And if you need more, you take it." She leans forward, but she hesitates. She wants more… She closes the distance and she takes it, pressing her lips to his.

Sylar blinks rapidly as he's kissed, eyes finally shutting on instinct. A hand drifts up to touch Odessa's jaw, fingers curling a little as he allows this to linger, almost a chaste, happy-ending kind of kiss of mutual connection. The restriction at the skin of his neck and chest is uncomfortable, along with the twinging of cracked ribs, petty distractions that force him back after a couple of breaths. His expression is curious, maybe bewildered, gaze dipping down to where his fingertips are placed at her jaw. The confusion fades a little as he tracks his own touch down her throat, brushing against hair, before withdrawing completely. A hand grips the arm of the couch, and he pulls himself, with some difficulty, to stand.

Odessa shifts out of Sylar's way as soon as she realises he's going to move. "Did I do something wrong?" Despite the question, she doesn't look too uspet as drags the pad of her thumb over the corners of her mouth.

Sylar looks back over his shoulder at her, the armor at his throat creaking almost audibly as he does so. He looks at her for a moment, his usual scrutinising gaze now fixed onto the doctor. Almost a judgmental silence, before he uncomfortably picks at the bio-armor again. It'll take some getting used to. "No," he says, finally. "But you should probably go. It's very late."

"It's early," Odessa corrects him even as she rises from the couch. "Get some rest. Doctor's orders." The doctor pulls on her discarded coat before gathering up her bag. "Call me again if you suspect you've overextended yourself." It's a stern command, but there's nothing further as she lets herself out.

Early. A glance to the clock to confirm it in in fact morning and a wave of tired, almost like nausea, washes over Sylar, who nods absently to the "orders" given. He'll sleep through the day, but that's alright by him. "Odessa," he says, before she can completely shut the door behind her. "Neither can I." That's certainly in response to something priorly said, a perfect memory needing no backtracking, but he doesn't clarify for those without, just moves for the bedroom at a careful walk.

January 5th: Time to Upgrade
January 5th: Absconding Assholes
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