No Place Like...


bf_odessa_icon.gif bf_woods_icon.gif

Scene Title No Place Like…
Synopsis There's happy new in the Woods home.
Date August 12, 2013

The Woods Residence

The air ripples like the surface of turbulent water, erupting into the shape of a man in a business suit carrying bags of groceries on one arm. "Honey, I'm home!" That last call has a bit of a sing-song quality to it, a touch of Ricky Ricardo homage to it at the end, but only just.

James Woods never uses the door at home. As he walks by a wall of windows overlooking Battery Park City from the 56th floor, the plastic crinkle of grocery bags rustles with every step. On his way to the kitchen, Woods reaches up and plucks off his wayfarer sunglasses and tucks them into the front pocket of his suit jacket. "I got uh, what is that uh…" he reaches inside one of the bags, fishing for a long cardboard box. "That sugary stuff you like?"

A box of strawberry pocky is removed from within and brandished around. "I couldn't find any downtown so I just hopped over to Shibuya and picked some up," Woods casually says to the entire apartment from the kitchen. "I'm not sure they converted my money right," he admits in a mumble, "or this is bloody expensive…" he turns the box over, looking at the back and squinting at the Japanese writing as if that will help him understand it.

Odessa sweeps into the room, because that’s the only way to describe how a woman can enter a space in that vintage canary yellow dressing gown she found at the thrift shop and absolutely had to have. It’s trimmed with marabou and she swears she’ll find shoes to match someday. For now, bare feet do fine.

And it’s not that she’s lazy at this hour of the day, but she’s just had a bath if the swept-up ‘do of her wavy blonde hair says anything about her activities. “I really don’t deserve you,” she murmurs sweetly as she slips behind him and plants a kiss on his neck as she goes. “Take me with you next time. We’ll get your money converted properly. Thank you. This was a really nice surprise.”

“You know how it is. One minute I'm on the subway home, thinking about grocery shopping,” Woods starts taking cans of beans out of the bags, “next minute I'm like Ey you can bloody fuckin’ teleport ya twat!” Woods flashes Odessa a smile, then begins juggling bulbs of garlic.

“Works’ been fuckin’ bonkers the last few months,” he adds conversationally, even though neither really discuss their work at length together, pit of necessity. “On the plus side Pete an’ I've been spendin’ a bunch more time together. Downside, I think the wheels are comin’ off of his fuckin’ relationship…”

The juggled garlic is deposited into a hanging copper basket by the stove, and Woods circles around to go back to the bags, looking for something in particular.

Watching her husband clown a bit always brings a smile to her face. “I know what you mean. One minute I’m running late for the train, and then next I realize I make the train wait for me.” They lead separate work lives, but sometimes their woes are similar enough, generic enough to share.

The smile runs away from her face when he mentions Peter’s relationship falling apart. “Oh, no… That’s awful.” Her heart aches for Gillian, even though it’s her fiancé’s shoes she can more easily put herself in. It isn’t easy to maintain the barrier between work and relationship.

With a heavy sigh, Odessa peers into one of the bags to see what’s inside and determine where it needs to go. “It’s just a shame. But maybe they can work it out? Gillian’s patient. Peter’s just… impulsive.”

“You forgot stubborn, childish, and way too sensitive,” Woods appends with a quirk of one brow as he finds a small bottle of wine in one of the bags with a soft aha sound. Setting it down on the counter, he starts rummaging around for the corkscrew. “Pete’s got a lot on his plate right now, Arthur’s got all’f us dancing on a hot tin sheet with this cockamaime special project, really bananas stuff…” and it feels like Woods wants to tell her more, but can’t find the right words for it.

“Anyway,” he looks back into a drawer, pulling out the plastic hilt of a replica lightsaber with a puzzled expression. That is not a corkscrew. “They’re working on transitioning me from Unity Enforcement for something that Mr. Goodman is putting together, a task force. I suppose there aren’t already enough people who pop yet, so he reached out to me.”

Finally finding the corkscrew, Woods starts to open the bottle. “Get me some glasses, would ya?”

There’s a good-natured roll of Mrs. Woods’ eyes at the further assessment of Peter’s character. She tries to be generous, sometimes. That’s not to say she disagrees. “Oh, Pete’s not so bad. He only tried to kill me the once.”

Oh hey. There’s the letter opener. Odessa snatches that up and sets it aside, near a short stack of letters. “Cockamaime? That’s a strong word,” she teases. “He’s got some vision. You know how he is.”

The bottle on the counter is eyed as Woods finds the tool he needs. “Wine, huh? What did I do to deserve this?” Odessa moves to the glass-front cupboard, opening it to retrieve two glasses. The curiosity over the gesture makes for a convenient cover for her concern. If he’s being recruited for something with Goodman… Well, she might have to take a colleague to dinner soon.

“T’be fair, I’m not entirely sure which Peter tried t’kill you.” Woods goes about uncorking the wine bottle, one blonde brow raised in her direction. “An’ I dunno, Arthur’s been acting…” Woods looks distant for a moment, “he’s been bloody different since New Years’. It’s not like I see him on a regular basis, but since Goodman started making eyebrows at me on this project of his, I’ve been by the tower more an’ more an’ there’s just something…” Woods shakes his head, setting the cork on the counter.

“It’s probably all this stress from the UEO work gettin’ to me.” Bringing the bottle over to the glasses, Woods quietly starts to pour. “You remember Stephen? Verse?” Woods’ old partner from several years ago. “I think he came t’dinner with his partner a couple times? Nice guys, an’ it’s just… it’s been a year since he committed suicide, an’ I jus’ haven’t been able to get tha’ thought out of my head. The guy loses Josiah in the Natazhat accident, and then…”

Wood turns blue eyes over to Odessa, wine glasses left aside, and a hand comes up to cup her cheek. “I guess m’just all over the fuckin’ place, ain’t I? M’just glad I’ve got you. Because not a whole bloody lot else makes sense in this world.”

It’d be unfair to ask if there’s even a difference, and Odessa knows it. If Woods weren’t so fond of him, she’d ask anyway. Arthur’s behavior, as it happens, is a very adequate distraction from her desire to be sassy about anything. “I know… Everything’s just so… So much.

Leaning her hip against the counter after stepping back to give him space, Odessa sighs. “People do unfathomable things in their grief. If… If I didn’t have you…” She lets the implication trail off and banishes the morose thought with a smile. In truth, her dogged determination to find Kara would keep her going, but she can’t say that having Woods at her side hasn’t made it significantly easier. “You keep it all from getting overwhelming.”

His hand rests on her cheek and she turns in toward it to kiss his palm. “I’m glad to be here for you.” There’s a light in her eyes when she smiles again, genuine and cheerful. “Now, is that all I had to do to deserve wine? Or did I forget an anniversary?”

Wait. She didn’t, did she? Shit.

Odessa has always been a good distraction, whether from his mourning over the loss of a colleague, or the stress of a law-enforcement job. In like return, he's been a rock in dealing with the loss of Kara. “I already forgot the anniversary about three weeks ago, so I'm pretty sure you're off the hook on tha’ one too.” Woods explains, and by doing so also explains why he suddenly took Odessa out for Thai one night. Dates were never either of their strong suits.

“No, this wine is t’celebrate m’new job. As of next week you're looking at the newest member of Pinehearst’s special operations division. I'm leavin’ the UEO gig entirely. Goodman basically made me an’ offer I'd be daft t’turn down. With the salary I'll be pulling on tha’ job, we might be able t’retire t’a sunny beach in…” Woods flashes a smile. “Well, a’suppose wherever we bloody well want.”

With a teleporting husband, nowhere is too far. She used to say the same thing to Elias, in a time not so long ago. Nowhere is too far. She wonders if he's even alive.

“You’d think I’d be better at marking time, wouldn’t you?” Odessa blushes and pulls a face. At least he doesn’t seem to care. They’re together, and for however long that will last. How long it’s been doesn’t matter so long as they’re both still there tomorrow. At least, that’s how she views it. For someone whose past is painful, it’s not surprising she looks more to the future.

There’s conflict when he announces his new job. Yes, she’s going to have to have a talk with Goodman. “Oh, sweetheart…” Her head tips to one side, a strand of blonde hair falling from its pinning. “There’s no one more deserving than you.” That much is even true, as far as she’s concerned. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t worry about the danger this new position poses. “Congratulations.”

Soft palms rest on either side of Woods’ face as his wife beams at him, full of pride. “Let’s retire early, huh? You, me, a beach, and drinks with little umbrellas. It’ll be perfect. And if it isn’t? We’ll just give something else a try. Maybe a cabin in the mountains. A fireplace and a snowy landscape.” Odessa leans in to plant a kiss on his mouth, brief and excited, then lets him go. “So proud of you.”

“It doesn't matter where we retire,” Woods agrees with a fond smile, glass of wine cradled in one hand. “Whether we’re in a snowy cottage, or in lawn chairs in top of a bloody volcano.” He reaches out with a finger, twirling a lock of her blonde hair around it.

“Wherever I’m with you's home,” Woods admits with a fond smile, though his next words make Odessa feel uneasy, even though she can't for the life of her understand why.

“An’ there's no place like home.”

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