Perfectly Normal Roommate Situation


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Scene Title Perfectly Normal Roommate Situation
Synopsis Aman and Odessa play at being roommates, but their collective situation is anything but normal.
Date February 4, 2020

Aman’s High-Rise Apartment, Bay Ridge

Lips pressed together around the tip of a stuck-out tongue, Odessa very carefully applies a layer of lacquer to her nails. Her toes are already done and drying, with those little cushions showing flashes of fuchsia between each toe. But she’s painting her dominant hand now, and it requires the utmost concentration.

She’s been busy. A few inches of her blonde hair have been shorn off (they can be found in the bathroom trash) and what’s left has been dyed a shade of red somewhere between strawberry and copper. She’s wearing a full face of make-up and a vermillion dress with long sleeves and a plunging neckline, cinched around her waist with a gold belt. The long skirt has been pulled up to pool on her knees, in order to keep it from possibly brushing against the drying polish on her toes.

Also, the only beer can in sight is the one in front of her, open and half-consumed.

The footsteps out in the hall are heavy and unmistakably Aman's as he boisterously goes through the motions of unlocking the door and lets himself in. It takes almost all of his patience, but he opens the door, swings around it, and closes it again with a certain glee to his movements. "Hey, I'm back," he announces, though this is abundantly clear by now. The keys in his hand are tossed underhand, go sailing toward the kitchen…

They even hit the intended island countertop, but go sliding off the side. Oh, well. Can't win them all.

"I," Aman proclaims regally, "had a fantastic day out. Got rid of that anxiety-ridden teleportation, the weather was nice, got me a date…" His shoulders shimmy with that last bit, and he grins, turning to Odessa. "And…"

Jesus Christ, what is she doing? What is she wearing? Blinking twice is all it takes for something else to become apparent.

"You cleaned my apartment?!" he exclaims in sudden horror.

“おかえりなさい,” Odessa trills in greeting, voice pitched low and not looking up from her work as she applies the last stroke of polish to her pinky nail. She caps the bottle of neon yellow polish carefully and only brings her attention away when Aman’s keys hit the floor.

Her brows lift and she shrugs her shoulders. “I got bored.” Somehow. While having time for the rest of whatever it is that she’s done. “Tell me about your date! Where’d you meet?” Odessa, no. “Is he cute?” Odessa, no.

Aman struggles with the state of cleanliness around the apartment for a moment longer before he tries to move past it. It's not like there was a system to the disorder, but there was kind of a system that's now been disrupted, and— it's fine, it's fine. He shakes his head roughly, the look wiped clean from his face. Partly because success at clearing his thoughts, partly because ow, migraine leftovers.

"Okay, I'm going to try and take that as a compliment, because— yeah." Aman remarks, otherwise unsure how to handle Odessa's incorrect assumption. He heads for the kitchen, presumably to scoop his keys off the floor since everything's clean now and he feels obligated to keep it that way. "But anyway I met her," and he's sure to lean into that pronoun. He's very straight, thank you. "while I was out on deliveries today." Keys clatter back on the counter where they 'belong', and then he's pulling off his winter coat, his gray work shirt bearing Pigeon Courier Services bared plainly now. "Cute, white-collar… needing Googled, because she had a bodyguard, and that shit ain't normal." he says as he heads back through the living space.

"We had a little brush, which would have been fine except I accidentally picked up her ability. Boy, was that fucking noticeable." He shakes his head, tossing the coat over the back of the loveseat. He's really trying to keep the place clean, honest. "So I had to come up with an excuse to get close again, decided to give her my phone number, she took it, and everything slipped back how it was supposed to be with her none the wiser, I think."

Aman beams, very pleased with this. "So, Saturday, we're grabbing coffee."

Assuming he's not arrested or something, which is the assumption he's definitely sticking with as long as possible. Constantly looking over your shoulder is just no way to live.

Doesn’t Odessa know it.

“Okay, she,” Odessa corrects, “sounds very cool. A little intimidating, given the bodyguard, but cool.” She blows on her nails softly, trying to encourage the lacquer to dry faster. “What was her ability?” she asks curiously, because Odessa is always curious about all things SLC-Expressive.

The fact that she’s chatting with her semi-captor like they’re old friends is just… Well, that’s just part of her coping mechanism. Being in captivity is old hat by now and Odessa is well-versed in making the most of it. “There’s this really heavenly coffee stand in Red Hook, by the way. Not that you need my recommendations.”

"I mean— your recommendations would only be a year out of date, right?" Aman asks aloud, a slight tilt to his head, trying to do the math. "A little more? More?"

Odessa had gotten the Google treatment, too. Just not too much. For his own sanity, a little wilful ignorance was required when it came to matters like Humanis First.

He makes a 'bah', complete with a gesture of his hand. "But anyway, we are going there, I think. She said 'coffee place in Red Hook', and I had enough time to overanalyze it on the ride back to Ande's that I think she means Eleanor's. Otherwise— I dunno."

He's leaning to one side now, foot lifted so he can tug at his laces. "Anyway, she had some kind of telepathy. It was super hummy, lots of background noise…" Aman shrugs awkwardly, given his angle. "Then I turned my ear, so to speak, and realized I could hear things if I focused on it. Got about that far before I hit 'oh shit' and started plotting how to give it back."

Shoe one dropping to the floor, he glances up at Odessa. "I've done telepathy before— wasn't all it's cracked up to be. Kid down at the college offloaded theirs while taking a final. Apparently, it's hard to focus on their own test when the person next to you is filling out their answers wrong. Gets hard to filter or something."

“Only a little more. I haven’t been away that long.” Although it feels a bit like forever. She’d enjoyed the years of indentured servitude without captivity. Not as much as proper freedom, but.

Her eyes narrow faintly at the mention of Aman’s date having telepathy. It’d be one hell of a coincidence, wouldn’t it? “Mm. I’d never want telepathy myself,” Odessa admits. “I have a hard enough time knowing how people feel about me without needing it confirmed.” Her breath catches in her throat a moment when she realizes what she’s said.

Which means it’s time to move on from that quickly. “So that’s it, huh? You just make physical contact with someone and bam, you’ve got their power? Without even meaning to do it? That must be rough.”

Aman's in the process of working off his other shoe, so there's not room for a dramatic pause as he picks up on the comment about people and their feelings, only space enough for an audible "Huh." to escape him absently. Both shoes are kicked under the coffee table, and then he's peering at Odessa's very-nearby legs and toes. Maybe he's judging her choice of shade. Then he shakes his head before suspicion or another form of judgement can take root.

"Nah," he reassures her. "I've usually got a better grip on it. Accidents like that are few and far between." He stands back up, oddly businesslike and direct on this topic in particular. He breaks it down dismissively. "Was a case of crossed wires and distraction. I've got to want to pick something up, and that was sort of happening physically, so—" His arm comes away from him in a loose, so-enhancing measure. "I figure within a week I'll probably be back to normal again. No more accidents. Just ran myself ragged with the fucking teleportation."

He's a little uneasy about the slip, but it never makes its way to being voiced. The only indication it possibly bothers him is how he abruptly turns away, but that's just him normally— one errant thought to the next.

Aman heads back for the kitchen long enough to retrieve a tablet from the cluster of chargers on the counter space by the fridge, and then he's back, sinking into the couch without a worry at all. Either he's not worried about leaving Mohinder handcuffed to the bed in his room, or he's completely forgotten about it in light of these other things on his mind. "Hey, uh," he voices absently while he sets to unlocking the tablet with a few swipes. "Where'd you find the dress at? Didn't think I had any leftovers like that hidden around. Don't think the chick from the Pink Tie thing wore red, either."

Odessa scoots further down the couch when it becomes apparent Aman’s going to join her there. “Well, that’s way better than what I was thinking,” she says of his ability, not commenting further on the momentary lapse of control he experienced. If she’s bothered by the way he eyes her bare legs, she doesn’t say anything or - perhaps more tellingly - do anything to discourage his gaze.

“Oh, this old thing?” And it is actually an “old” thing. It was made in 1980, if the label at the collar is anything to go by. “It’s pretty, isn’t it?” Odessa turns her head demurely, eyes half-lidding as she glances away like he’s posing for a photograph. “I may have ducked down to the Night Owl while you were out and asked my cousin to bring me some things.”

She turns back to him and slowly raises her shoulders in a shrug with a winning smile. “I borrowed one of your shirts, but I put it in the wash already. It should be dry by now.” Clearly she is similarly unconcerned about Mohinder being left to his own devices at the moment, considering she should be babysitting him and making sure he doesn’t call the cops.

There’s no sirens or cherries outside, so he’s probably stayed put.

Odessa pulls her feet up, heels settled against the edge of the seat so she can tap the paint on her nails experimentally and then, once satisfied, pry the spacers free from her toes. She leaves her knees peaked there, resting her chin on top and glancing over to him. “I needed some things you didn’t have. No one saw me.”

Jaw slack, it's clear he doesn't believe her. His hand pauses in its hover over the tablet. "You what?" Aman asks, at first astonished, escalating quickly to sharp worry. His eyes go to the small nail spa she's got going on with better focus than before. Oh no.

She's been at least two places. Very public. "You—"

He's struggling with how much he should care, how much it was his business before he abruptly reminds himself it's his home being used as the criminal hideaway here. Answer: it's very, very much his business. Especially if someone saw her come back here.

"The fuck you needed nail polish and pancakes, Odessa," comes from him with more disappointment than anger. She was supposed to be the (subjectively) responsible one, not calling the cops on herself and staying put and making sure Mohinder didn't throw up the Bat Signal while Aman had gone off to work. "Was it fucking worth potentially getting the feds called on you? On me? No amount of money is worth going to jail." That's purely himself talking to himself while talking to Odessa, there.

"Please tell me I don't have to do you like we're doing Momo," is accompanied by a deeply uncomfortable feeling. It was super awkward having to physically restrain Mohinder, much less a woman (much less a woman who could probably kill him if the mood suited her!). "Whatever the fuck it was, I could have gone and brought it back. It's not like the concept of takeout is gone from New York."

Hugging her knees to her chest, Odessa takes the beratement due to her. “No,” is offered without any initial clarification of what she’s actually responding to. She’s pouting right now, sulking about being admonished for her bad behavior. “I needed coffee and to hug my cousin. She brought me everything. I only went to the diner, I swear. I don’t want to get caught any more than you do, trust me. But this isn’t my first rodeo, and the feds don’t know if I’m alive yet.”

There’s got to be enough bodies to pick through in whatever’s left of PISEC to give her at least a small window before anyone knows to go looking for her. She’s using that to her advantage for now.

A deep breath is drawn in through her nose, her jaw setting tight on the exhale. “I’m sorry. You don’t know what it’s like. I just wanted some things to help me feel a bit more human.” Odessa looks appropriately apologetic now. She’s the one who screwed up here and she only has herself to blame for his reaction. She repeats again, “Sorry.”

Aman lifts his hand to the side of his face, fingers tensely pressed to the bridge of his nose. He tries to keep his feelings to himself, but little does he know the woman a few feet from him is privy to the rollercoaster he goes through, all five stages of grief visited in a short period of time. When he's done, his irritation is only an echo of what it was before, but it's still present.

Wanting to feel human for a bit is a compelling argument.

He lets out a vocalized sigh, hand falling back to his lap. His look is one of defeat. "Y'get everything you need?" he asks tonelessly, looking over to her without apparent judgment.

The flip flopping of emotions makes her a little sick to her stomach. Or maybe that’s just because she’s feeling the anxiety about getting caught and sent back to prison. Or worse. It takes her a beat to realize it’s his anxiety that’s got her tied up in knots.

Slowly, she nods. “Yeah, I think so.” There’s a moment she spends trying to recount the list of things she might have wanted, but she thinks she’s covered all the bases. The frivolous and the important alike. “Listen… If — If they catch us, I’ll tell them it was all me. Mohinder will back me up.” Blue eyes fix on a speck of dust on the coffee table. “You seem nice. I don’t want you to get caught up in all this nonsense.”

In contrast to the anxiety, Aman's amusement is a warm bloom, a silent ruffling of hair as he chuckles. His head dips, tone smooth. "Girl, I've been caught up in this. I made my mistake doing that days before I met you. Don't you go getting all martyr on me, too."

Just for a moment, an introspective worry starts to peek its head out. No matter which way you cut it, it's been two days and no word from the oni. But he shoves that down quickly.

Swiping at the screen of the tablet and typing away at it when the keyboard appears, he goes on, "I'm sure the feds wouldn't give a shit anyway, even if you did stick your neck out for me. I got in over my head, sure, but I could have bounced at any time. And I didn't. I could've turned you two in and washed my hands of all this, but I haven't." He doesn't look up from the tablet as he stresses a little slower, "I won't. So don't even worry about that."

A beat elapses as he looks down at the tablet, the screen tilting away from him before he drops it into his lap entirely, a blank expression coming over him. Some new, complicated emotion swirls inside him as he cups his hands around his face and leans back into the couch, head tilted to the ceiling. "Fuuuuuuck." Aman drones into the ether. Why him.

"I probably looked like an idiot in front of her," he whines. Embarrassment wins out in his emotional palette, tinged with dread. "She's a fucking war hero."

The tablet displays the search results for one Kaylee Thatcher.

He knows just what to say, she’ll give him that. And he seems to be a lot more aware of exactly what he’s signed himself up for than Odessa was initially prepared to give him credit for. It puts her at ease some. Maybe he understands her a little better than she thought.

There’s a faint smile on her face as she carefully taps her two index nails together to see if the paint has dried. Now that she’s less concerned about messing it all up, she slowly stretches out. Her bare heels come to settle on the surface of the coffee table — she did the cleaning, he can deal with feet on the table — and her hands fold behind her head.

At his outburst, she turns her head and furrows her brow, feeling his reaction keenly. “She’s a— Oh no.” She knows what she’s going to see even before she looks down to the tablet to confirm. “Also one of my best friends, as it happens,” Odessa tells him with a bit of an awkward smile. “She’s really nice, I promise. It’s her brothers you’ve got to watch out for.”

Aman's hands slide down his face precisely far enough to let him look at Odessa fully as he poses a rhetorical, "You're joking." If she wasn't, that's … simultaneously great and awful. Great, because if she picked up on any stray thoughts about the convicts lying low at his house, maybe she'd keep that to herself!

Awful, because what in the actual fuck, how even.

"Cool, cool, cool, cool…" he breathes out, the image of a man trying to keep his balance in a world that's got suddenly shaky foundations. Aman dares another look down at the tablet, hesitantly scrolling down for more results. Oh, cool, she's a cop, too.

'What the fuck' he mouths to himself.

"She was dressed nice. Said she was doing a favor for her brother…" Aman voices as he remembers it. He scrolls again, and is hit with yet another wave of information.

Abruptly, he looks up and across the apartment with an expression more flat than deadpan, a thousand-yard stare to accompany it. At this point, he's got complete emotional dissociation from this, not even ready to process given he's apparently sitting next to Kaylee's best friend?

"… so how did you two meet?" Aman asks offhandedly, for a lack of knowing how else to approach any of this.

That’s a question people don’t ask very often, Odessa realizes. “I used to do some doctoring for the Ferrymen,” she supplies as the answer. It’s a true statement, but not how she met Kaylee Thatcher. “She was probably my first real friend.” Which does mean she’s probably not terribly likely to turn Aman in for harboring Odessa. Probably.

“You know, you could just tell her something came up. She’d understand.” Odessa figures she actually gets that a lot from prospective partners. “But she tries not to read people’s minds if they don’t give her good reason to. She’s had yeeears of practice at it.”

There’s a sympathetic smile thrown his way. Being friends with a telepath can be rough, especially when you have secrets to keep. Untucking one hand from behind her head, she reaches out and touches his shoulder gently. “It’s gonna be okay. It’s just coffee.”

She pauses and squints. “Unless coffee’s a euphemism. Do you need condoms? I picked some up while I was out.”

Aman's somewhere in thought right up until that moment. Odessa has her hand on his shoulder as she passes her comment. She sounds like a well-meaning, maybe overinvolved mother, but she's not, she's a …

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," he says, brow knitting in concern as he slides himself as far into the couch corner as possible and out of her immediate reach. Then he's up and on his feet, light of step and not showing her his back. "Whoa."

For a second, all he can do is blink, one hand held in her direction to better stress that need for space between them. He sidles around the coffee table to provide another potential obstacle she'd have to work around. "Why do you have condoms?"

Odessa retracts her hand the moment he starts to move, picking her feet up off the coffee table and planting them on the floor, bracing both hands on the couch cushions in case she needs to jump to her own feet. As it turns out, she doesn’t. Staying put is actually the best thing she can probably do at the moment, so she starts to relax, lifting her hands up in front of her in the oh-so-practiced motion to show she’s unarmed and means no harm.

“Relax, stud, they’re not for you.” Odessa lets a heavy exhale pass her lips, the kind that puffs out her cheeks in the process. “Ouch, though.” She doesn’t think she’s been rejected that hard since Martin Crowley. And she wasn’t even suggesting it here. Yikes.

A self-deprecating smirk cuts a sliver in Odessa’s face. “Look, you don’t want to know the real reason I always carry condoms — it’s a downer. So let’s just say that I’ve been in prison for a year and I want to make sure I’m prepared if an opportunity presents itself.” She lifts her brows briefly and cocks her head to one side. “An opportunity that does not involve you. It has nothing to do with the fact that you’re an attractive man who owns a pair of fuzzy handcuffs and I’m a reasonably attractive woman.”

"Good," Aman says at something in all that, exasperation mild compared to what's going on in his head. "Good, because for a split second there, I thought you thought… that there'd be some kind of expectation that—" There's only so many people in this apartment, after all.

"God, just no." he restates, hand lowering as he lets out a sigh of relief. "I mean you're pretty and all, but that'd just be—"

Wrong, Amanvir. The word you're looking for is wrong. Condoms or no condoms.

"I mean— once I'm not responsible for you it'd be different but for now it's just— uh…" Now Aman's rubbing the side of his neck, embarrassed without knowing why. There's a litter of reasons he could choose from. He just shakes his head and leans forward to snag the TV remote off the coffee table, snatching it up and turning it on to help provide a segue in the conversation. There's nothing could make it worse than it already is, after all.

(Spoiler alert: he's wrong.)

«At this time, there are a number of persons we can only identify as missing while we continue the investigation…»

Aman looks over to the screen, expression falling. A banner at the bottom of the screen identifies the woman speaking as Alice Shaw, SESA Director of Public Relations before it flashes back to the topic at hand: PISEC Explosion Press Conference

The remote goes sailing into the couch cushions as he tosses it and heads for the kitchen. He's hit a point where he can't handle all of this, definitely not all of this at once or near enough to it. He needs food or a drink and he's not even decided which.

But he doesn't turn the news off, either.

As he continues to speak, Odessa’s expression slides into something akin to unimpressed. She’s about to remind him that she’s a psychopath and he’s hurting her feelings, when he turns on the television. Turning her attention to the screen, the traces of annoyance disappear, replaced with shades of fear and worry.

“Well, fuck.” Closing her eyes and running her tongue over the front of her teeth, Odessa shakes her head. “I really thought it would take them a little bit longer than that.” So much for that window of opportunity she was alluding to earlier.

There’s a startled little sound that accompanies the remote sailing her way, even if it misses her by several inches. She still practically hops onto the arm of the sofa, hands out in front of her instinctually, even though nothing happens when she takes the action. That colors things with a note of frustration.

Rubbing the back of her hand under her nose, Odessa rises from the couch and sneers at the television. “I really hate that bitch,” she says of Shaw while she plucks her neglected beer off the coffee table and takes a large swallow. It hasn’t quite gotten to room temperature yet, so that’s nice. “I’m gonna need another one of these if you have it to spare,” she tells Aman, shaking the nearly empty can to let the contents slosh around audibly.

Aman had hoped they'd have longer than they did, too, judging by the frayed nerves that start to spark even from the kitchen. He does a good job of keeping it internalized, for all the good it does him. "Yeah," he replies calmly. "Sounds like they're going with the assumption of escaped before dead."

He sighs at it all, yanking the fridge door open. Eggs? Or beer? Odessa's sloshing of her can like it's a service bell makes the decision for him. "We're out," he announces, taking the last can for himself. "I'll go get more later." Then he's snapping the can open without a shred of guilt, taking a long gulp from it.

The fact he's not hearing his name on the news is heartening, at least. If only somewhat. Mohinder's hemming about psychowhatevers, though…

"So here's the thing," Aman abruptly segues, resting the can against his chest for a moment. "She's got my number, but I don't have hers. So if I bail, I'm not just an asshole, I'm an asshole whose phone number she has. Besides, it's just coffee." He looks over to Odessa, wondering, "How bad could it be?"

"I mean, she's the one who set the time and place," is a belated, but encouraging thought that follows. "So there's definitely interest on her part." That pride works to paper over anxiety about the fact he might be arrested come Saturday, even if only temporarily.

Odessa huffs out a breath of laughter when he tells her they’re out of beer and takes the last one for himself. It is his beer, after all. She can be mad if she wants to, but it wouldn’t be very fair, let alone productive. Instead, she shrugs, granting that he’s the master of his own domain, and takes another sip from what’s left of hers.

Her brows hike up toward her dyed hairline when he shifts gears back to their previous conversation. “Hey, that’s a good sign from her. She doesn’t make plans she doesn’t intend to follow through on. It’ll be fine, I promise. Of all the telepaths in this city you could have netted, she’s probably the safest one.”

Odessa’s lip curls as she adds, “And I hate telepaths.”

The baring of her teeth, vocally and physically, brings Aman to pause in taking another drink. It's interesting, in the way a domesticated tiger suddenly becoming aggressive might be interesting. "Wasn't even worried about the telepathy thing, really. My concerns are more practical—" he was with an entirely serious expression. "You know, like the fact she lives a lifestyle where she's got a bodyguard, and what kind of dates a woman of her social and economic strata might expect to go on, and if paying for her dinner also means paying for his dinner."

"It'd not be a problem if I had oni money, but she still hasn't fucking called, so…"

He swallows hard, throat dry, and decides to wet it with another drink.

“Her bodyguard’s a sweetheart. Don’t worry about him.” What, really? “The date is about you and her, and everyone involved is aware of that. Also, she’s super practical. She likes simple things. She doesn’t expect steak and lobster at a five star restaurant.” Giving advice on how to date her friend is softening Odessa’s mood considerably.

“Kaylee is just like anyone else. She just happens to have legitimately come into more money than I’ve ever managed to steal.” And kudos to her for that. “Just be yourself! If she set something up with you, then she already sees something she likes. Just keep it up. You’ve got this.”

Aman lets out a chuff. Of course he does.

"No shit, be myself. The last time I tried to pretend to be someone I wasn't, I got into this fucking mess." He gestures broadly across the apartment, at his bedroom in particular. He's remembered Mohinder's in there now, uncomfortably bound to his bed. Whoops. Hold on just a few minutes longer, man. "Once I get my money, I'm going straight as an arrow," Aman swears.

As straight as an unregistered evolved with a side business involving his ability could go, anyway.

He's looking back at the TV, listening. Something in particular captures his attention, and he drinks while he mulls on it. "Okay," he says, bounced to some other train of thought. "So if they still don't know who did it, that means they likely didn't nab the oni. She's gotta be calling tonight. Tomorrow at the latest." He doesn't know what he'll do if this all goes much longer than that.

Aman tsks to himself as the man on the television — whose name he missed — stresses it could have been Pure Earth who orchestrated the explosion. "Sure as fuck wasn't, buddy." he deadpan at the screen, bearing no actual will to correct him. He drinks again and sets the mostly-empty can down. "Huh," comes from him thoughtfully. "Guess that made them Mazdak, then, didn't it."

“Yep,” Odessa confirms grimly. “I don’t know what they… What they want with me.” Maybe they don’t. Maybe they wanted her just as dead as they wanted Mohinder. Odessa tends to assume she’s wanted for her mind more than she’s wanted dead, however.

“You’re definitely smarter than I am if you decide to go straight after this. It’d be a good idea. This life isn’t a fun one.” She plucks at curl of her now-ginger hair and sighs. “I like being a blonde.” But here she is, dyeing her hair again for the sake of looking unlike herself.

"Well," Aman supposes aloud, drumming his fingers along the countertop. "I dunno. There was that whole speech about Mazdak wanting old Catholic Guilt over there dead," He lifts his other arm to gesture broadly across the apartment in the direction of the bedroom. "So…"

He shouldn't think about this too hard. He really shouldn't think about this too hard. He needed to be the smart one who got away from all this, like Odessa was saying. Continuing to think about how certain people were shot and certain people walked was the wrong way to go. Time to change course.

To that end, he looks back Odessa's way, head tilting as he considers her new 'do. Thoughtfully, he comments, "Blonde's a good look on you, but there's a certain je ne sais quois about the new hair. Don't knock it just yet."

He smiles reassurance before rubbing at the scruff on his jaw. "You know?"

Odessa snorts in spite of herself at Aman’s nickname for Mohinder, amused. “Yeah. I mean, I get where they’re coming from. But… That wasn’t him. It isn’t him.” For all that the two of them don’t see eye to eye, Odessa meant every word she said about respecting him. “Not that anyone can convince Mazdak of that.” If things had gone different, the Evolved would be… a memory. “Sometimes I wonder if people like Mohinder and I are too smart for our own damn good.”

She shakes her head slowly, lifting her gaze to Aman again as he speaks. The reassurance he offers about her new hair color draws a smile and banishes her other thoughts. “Thanks.” Odessa brushes the curls back from her face. “And, hey, let me be clear… I don’t owe you for letting me hole up here. Respect, yes, but… not what you were inferring I think I owe you. I don’t think you’re that kind of person.” She lifts her brows questioning, “Better?”

The relief that comes off of Aman is palpable. "Yeah," he sighs. "It helps. I don't really know what kind of fucked up expectations you might have, shit you think that's normal that's definitely not. Because, apparently it was bad enough it got you a jail sentence instead of a death sentence. Y'know?"

And there he goes, foot in mouth again. His expression shifts to discomfort as he sinks particularly hard down on one foot. Awkwardly, he lifts his hand and thumbs the direction of the bathroom. "I— just— I think I'm gonna go take a shower."

Odessa’s face falls at the mention of fucked up expectations. He’s not wrong. “Don’t worry about it,” she dismisses with a wave of her hand. “I’ll be here.” Now she holds up both hands to show she’s not crossing her fingers or anything. “Promise.”

Kicking back onto the couch, Odessa folds her hands behind her head and stares up at the ceiling with a sigh. “I’ll be here.”

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