Of Course You've Been


nick_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Course You've Been
Synopsis Nick stops by Odessa's apartment for two different kind of favors, and the two find they have more in common than they thought. How many twenty-somethings in 2010 can say they've lived through the Nazi regime?
Date November 18, 2010

The Octagon Odessa's Apartment

It’s been weeks since he’d been to his apartment. Weeks since he’d had a hot shower. Weeks since he’s been in his own clothes. Weeks since he’d had a real bed.

But sleep doesn’t come.

After a couple of hours of tossing and turning in the Brooklyn flat, Nick Ruskin gives up, packs his duffel bag and decides to make use of his time. It is approaching dawn when he makes it to Roosevelt Island on his motorcycle. A flash of his Interpol ID gets him access, and soon he knocks on the door of an Octagon apartment — the knock is quiet. If she isn’t awake, she won’t hear it, likely, and he’ll move on to Plan B.

It happens that the woman inside the apartment is awake. Normally, there’d be a lag of time where the occupant would have to roll out of bed, pull on clothes, and make their way to the door. Nick doesn’t have to wait for that time to elapse, however, because the woman he’s come to call on is able to do all those things in seemingly no time.

The door opens, and Odessa Price, dressed in a floor-length nightgown of black silk and a pair of mules with marabou puffs to match, smiles. The scar across her lips creates a ravine almost as prominent as the deep dimples in her cheeks. “I wasn’t sure I’d see you again,” she admits, gesturing for the man to step inside the apartment. It’s clean, but simultaneously lived in. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company? You aren’t bleeding all over the hall, so I do hope you haven’t managed to injure yourself again.”

Nick smiles and shakes his head. “Not injured,” he says lightly, though the man who steps into the apartment is several pounds thinner than the one she last saw. There is no limp from the torn ligament in his knee he’d last seen her for, though there should be, if left to its own devices.

“Sorry I been off the grid a bit,” he adds; he leaves the black tuque on his head which only seems to make his face look all the paler and thinner.

“As for why I’m here, Gale, two reasons — one is for the pleasure of your company,” his lips quirk upward at the right corner, “but two, I’m kinda helping some folks out that might need some medical supplies. Nothing too much ‘cause I don’t think the goons on the bridge’ll look the other way if I try to pass with a buncha boxes on my person, but you know, what can fit in my duffel of the harder to get kinda stuff. Morphine, maybe, antibiotics, whatever you can spare without your bosses wonderin’ what you’re doing?” He pauses, and runs a nervous hand over the back of his head. “I can pay you for those.”

Odessa’s smirk fades when Nick moves from pleasure to business. She nods her head slowly to his request. “That shouldn’t be a problem. I can make stuff disappear fairly easily.” And if they trace it back to her, well… She’ll deal with that if it comes down to it. “If you need anything specific, just be sure and let me know and I’ll see about getting my hands on it.”

The woman’s black mules sound on the wooden floorboards as Odessa makes her way into her kitchen. “Can I fix you a drink?” She glances over her shoulder as she reaches up to retrieve a bottle of vodka from a cabinet. “You look like you can use one. And a hearty meal.” She should talk.

He follows, after unbuttoning his coat to drop on the arm of a chair. “I ate.” Canned ravioli, but a whole can all to himself — more than he’d eaten in weeks. He reaches for her as she pulls down the bottle, bringing her closer to him and dipping his head to breathe in the scent of her hair.

“I’m glad you’re safe. I heard about this place, that it was pretty bad here. I wasn’t sure you’d be here at all,” Nick says quietly. “You doing all right?”

The bottle is settled down on the counter with a thunk as Odessa rocks back into Nick’s arms. She mmm’s contentedly when he breathes her in. She smells clean, and faintly of roses from her shampoo. “Things were crazy,” she agrees. “I was kind of worried about you, I’ll admit. Does that break our no strings rule?” She angles her head to give the man better access to her neck. “I’m glad you’re here. You look like you’ve been through hell, though. Anything I can help with?” Whether she means as a physician, or as a… Well, whatever they are… That is unclear.

His lips move toward hers and he kisses, chuckling softly. “Nice to know someone cared, actually. Not many in this town would,” Nick says. “As far as hell, yeah, I pretty much have. Not sure anyone’d believe me if I told ‘em. You know any time travelers? I might’ve pissed one off and ended up in ….”

Nick trails off, and shakes his head, reaching past her for the bottle of vodka and the glass, to pour a couple of fingers within, tossing it back. “Doesn’t matter. Came back from hell to find more hell, pretty much. Out of the frying pan and into the frying pan, maybe.”

The smile shows he’s trying to have a sense of humor — but it doesn’t reach the weary eyes.

Odessa sighs quietly, listening with a somewhat amused touch to her lips as Nick speaks. When he’s finished, she kisses him briefly and leans against the counter, brows disappearing beneath her uneven white bangs. “Time travel? Yeah, I would absolutely believe anything you told me about that. I just got back from 1987 myself. I… I don’t wanna talk about it, though.” She winces and shakes her head.

“My brief stint in Nazi Germany, though. I don’t mind talking about that fiasco. But you first. I don’t want to take your thunder.” Odessa reaches over to take the glass Nick’s emptied and pour vodka for herself, swallowing down a generous shot smoothly.

His eyes widen a touch at the mention of Nazi Germany before he chuckles weakly and shakes his head, reaching up to scuff the butt of his hand over his eyes. “Y’know I went 22 years before I even knew anyone who was Evolved? Even after it came out. Didn’t know a soul that was, at least not that I knew I knew. Before I came to New York, I finally met a couple of people — but you know, more generic, mundane shit. Not time travel. This city is fuckin’ insane. And of course you’ve been to Nazi Germany — why wouldn’t you have?”

He takes the bottle and pours another couple of swallows, tossing the alcohol back quickly. He’s clearly close to a breaking point and it’s time to numb whatever it is rising in him — it feels like hysteria.

“Poland,” Nick mutters, reaching up to pull off his cap, revealing his nearly bald scalp. “They fuckin’ put me in the gas chamber, Gale.”

He turns away — too swiftly for it to be merely to walk back to the couch and get more comfortable, but he tries to make it seem like that’s all it is. “We don’t have to talk about that, either,” he adds.

At first, it’s funny. The idea that Nick lived in a world where there were no Evolved for so long, when Odessa grew up in a world where it was always Us and Them, and she wasn’t even startled when she switched from being one of Us and became one of Them. This has always simply been the way of things.

When his cap is pulled away, however, she gasps. “Nick.” Her eye widens and she reaches out to place her hands on either side of his head, running her fingers over his scalp. “Oh, gosh. I… Oh.” Odessa closes the distance and kisses his mouth. The best way she feels she can show reassurance. “They… They threatened to… They tried to keep me, when I was there. Use me for my knowledge of the future. But nothing like…”

Odessa searches Nick’s face for cues as to what he’s thinking. “I’m so sorry. I’m… I’m so glad you’re here.” She can’t say okay, because she’s certain that after enduring that, he isn’t okay. And it explains a lot about his appearance. “I’m here,” she murmurs, leaning in for another kiss.

He stiffens a little at the sudden empathy; his jaw tightens and his eyes narrow into a scowl that is not aimed at her but the fact that he needs such pity. “S’okay. I was knocked out. It’s why they think I survived it,” Nick says in a low voice that belies his feigned toughness. “And then after almost killing me, they healed me. Go figure.”

He reaches for her wrist and pulls her down into his lap. “But I don’t wanna talk about that,” he whispers, his lips curving up into a smile as he brushes them across her neck.

Odessa’s breath catches in her throat. She lets the moment pass, for his sake, though her heart still breaks for him a little. “We don’t have to talk about it,” she assures him with a small smile. “But if you ever want to, well… I’ll be here.” She brushes her fingers over the back of his head, curls them around his neck instead. “Would you like to come to bed? I think a little… relaxation is just what the doctor ordered,” she murmurs into his ear.

Nick nods, not speaking, resting his head against her forehead for a moment, taking comfort in the warmth of being in someone’s arms, someone who seems to understand that need and also the need not to speak. He gives her a gentle push off his lap and then rises, letting her lead him to the bedroom — to celebrate living and then, if he’s lucky, sleep a few hours without the shadows of the past chasing him in his slumber.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License