eileen_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title Sanguinelli
Synopsis Odessa feeds Eileen a tidbit of information and probes her for some in return. Nobody's left satisfied.
Date March 4, 2010

Old Lucy's - Back Room

This back room looks more like a living room than just a plain old back room. There are a few armchairs placed about the room and a black rug is in the middle of the room, on top of the rug is a big table with a few chairs around it as well. In a corner of the room is a flat screen TV on the wall.

Perhaps Odessa's taking a small bit of liberty inviting Eileen Ruskin to her borrowed room at Old Lucy's. But let's be honest here, Odessa doesn't much care whether she is or isn't. It's easy enough to apologise for such infractions. So when Eileen knocks, the blonde is quick to let her into the sanctuary the back room provides.

"I had overheard that you got fucked up," Odessa comments, not unkindly. "Thought we could offer mutual sympathy." The blonde shrugs, "It seemed as a good a platform as any to reconnect on, anyway." The table is set with two empty glasses and between them, a carafe of pale pink juice, likely grapefruit.

Odessa takes her seat, where there is a blood orange and a peeler waiting for her in addition to the empty glass. "Did you want one?" she asks, holding the fruit up in one hand. "I stole a taste and now I'm just addicted to these things."

It's funny she should use that word. Addicted. Eileen's good hand — the one not in the sling — curls fingers around the back of her chair. She opts to remain standing and does not remove her coat, its woolen fibers a magnet for the fine sprinkling of snowflakes that dusts her back and shoulders. The stuff that had been clinging to her hair and in her lashes has melted since she set foot in the bar, granules too fine to last more than a few minutes indoors.

"No, thank you," she says, and her eyes are steered toward the window and the frost gathering on the glass rather than the blonde seated across from her. It's looking more and more like Odessa will have to make peace with disappointment if she'd been hoping to reconnect with the Vanguard's bird-whisperer.

Fucked up, austere and painfully somber — these are all things that Eileen is. Emotionally available she is not.

Odessa accepts the silence and offers it in return, scowling as she pulls back the sleeve of the oversized black cable knit sweater she wears over a white tanktop and silver miniskirt. The hand not holding the citrus fruit is all medial tape and splints. This isn't going to work how she thinks it should. Awkwardly gripping the peeler to her broken fingers with her thumb, she tries - and quickly fails - to penetrate and pull back the rind.


Eileen's dominant hand isn't in much better shape. If it was, she might offer to handle to the tool in Odessa's stead; instead, she redirects her attention back to the table and the weave of her fingers clutching silver juxtaposed against the texture of the orange's dimpled rind. On the outside, a blood orange does not look much different than the variety sold at most grocer's shops. Her remark about stealing a taste attracts her interest. Hasn't she ever had one before?

Is it really so surprising that there's just one more thing that Odessa hasn't experienced in her sheltered life? Blue eyes come up, possibly about to ask for assistance before she catches herself. Odessa sets the whole task aside - she can ask one of the bartenders for help later - and pours herself a glass of juice instead. "So who happened to you?" She lifts her hand so Eileen can have a better look. "Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine."

Eileen finally pulls out her chair at the table, wooden legs grating against the floorboards, and eases herself into the seat with a faint twinge that's visible only if Odessa is looking for it. Both women are dressed monochromatically this morning; if it weren't for the contrasting shades of their eyes or the colour of the mouths, they'd both appear to have been lifted straight out of an Ansel Adams portrait. "How about you just tell me yours," she suggests.

"What's the fun in that?" the blonde asks. She's quick to smirk, however, and rest both hands on the table, her good one wrapped around her glass loosely. "I ran into an old acquaintance in the Bronx," she begins.

The mirth makes a hasty exodus from her features.

"Do you know a man named Eric Doyle? His friends are calling him Jason." Though she's scowling, Odessa still manages a small twitch of her lips. She sees the humour. "I can sympathise."

Eileen rests her fingertips on the edge of the table, one bandaged in the same gauze covering her right hand but with thinner strips, and crosses her legs at the knee. She rotates her ankle in a counterclockwise motion to relieve herself of some the tension that's accumulated in her joints. When you walk almost everywhere like she does, except when taking public transportation becomes necessary such as in weather like this, you accrue plenty of it.

You also learn to adapt, and adapting is perhaps one of the things that Eileen does best. "I know a Jason Tyminski."

There's a slow nod from the other woman. She can't explain it, but it sounds like it should be Doyle. "Bald, overweight, and the ability to," her good hand raises, making as if to control a marionette, "puppet?" She doesn't wait for confirmation before continuing. The world of the Evolved is far too small for coincidences.

"He made me break my own fingers." Despite best efforts, Odessa's voice still hitches slightly, betraying the fear beneath the rage she's attempting to exude in its place.

That doesn't quite sound like the Jason Eileen knows. She communicates her skepticism with a flat mouth and brows that arch barely a fraction of an inch — the change in her expression is so subtle that if Odessa blinks, she might miss it. The shift in her body language, however, is less so. She draws herself up, her spine forming a straight column flush against the back of the chair, slim shoulders held perfectly level. "Why?"

"I maybe implied that he's lousy in the sack," Odessa responds glibly. As always, it's not her fault. Someone else just over-reacted. Even though she suffered for her comments, she still doesn't feel any remorse for them. That reaction was completely unwarranted. "Afterwards, he told me he was supposed to be a changed man. People like-" She stops herself just short of saying people like us. A quick shake of her head, and she's starting again. "Doyle doesn't change."

Eileen could tell Odessa that 'Jason' disappeared shortly after their encounter and is no longer even a blip on the Ferry's radar. Instead she says, "I'll look into it," and does not argue with the blonde's assessment of the situation. Either the painkillers she's taken to make functioning a more straightforward process have made her complacent or there's some other reason for the terseness with which she's treating her.

She removes her arm from her sling, moving with ginger confidence, and picks up the discarded orange with her fingers rather than cradling in the seat of her palm like she normally might. "Do you mind?"

Odessa inclines her head graciously, "By all means." Her juice is lifted to her lips, a small sip taken. She narrows her eyes slightly with a small bit of scrutiny. "I could take a look at your injuries, if you wanted. I don't know what sort of attention you've received already…" It's not a disparaging of another's work, but seemingly a genuine offer of help.

Rather than pick up the orange peeler, an instrument that she's entirely unfamiliar with, Eileen reaches into her coat and hooks fingers around the steel handle of her utility knife. When she pulls it out, she flicks it open in the same smooth motion and wedges the point of the blade under a section of rind. Fluid from the fruit's oil glands spritzes across the back of her knuckles and forms fine beads of moisture on the sleeve of her coat.

She's done this before. As she turns the orange on its axis, she shaves off the rind, leaving behind flimsy pieces of white mesocarp too fine for the blade to catch. The sharp smell of citrus diffuses into the air. "That's all right. I'm well on my way."

"You're rather good at that," Odessa comments absently. It's a compliment of sorts at least. "I did call you here for more than to commiserate over injuries," she murmurs somewhat uncertainly. "I…"

Darker blonde brows knit together and Odessa's gaze doesn't quite lift fully from the blood orange in Eileen's hands and to her eyes the way she intends. "Is Ethan in New York?"

Eileen does not allow more than a few beats to elapse between Odessa's question and her quiet answer. "He hasn't come to see me if he is," she says, parting the blood orange down the middle to reveal bloated segments filled with juice sacs the same colour of the fluid that gives the fruit its name. This done, she twists it apart and places one half in front of Odessa. The other she keeps for herself and resumes cutting off pieces of rind with her knife between blade and the smooth pad of her thumb.

"Sanguinelli are best," she says of the orange, "and good for you. They grow them where Teodoro's from. Reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, cataracts. Aids in the body's healing process."

"Thank you," Odessa intones, carefully placing the fruit in the palm of her broken hand so she can steady it with her thumb and peel away segments with her good hand. "Sanguinelli. Apt name." The pause is thoughtful, and also occupied by enjoying her snack. "Do you think he'd come to see you if he were here? I… I don't know how close you two are or anything." All Odessa knows now is how close she and Ethan aren't.

"I don't imagine he would." Eileen sets the spiral of rind on the table, veiny threads of white and all. A solitary drop of pink rolls down the inside of her wrist and creates a glistening trail in its wake before it disappears beneath the woolen lip of her sleeve. With no napkins in reach, the Englishwoman sucks lifts it to her mouth and sucks the runoff from her arm with a muffled popping sound.

Even though she's separating the segments between her fingers, she does not yet abandon her knife winking silver in the room's diluted light. "The plea deal I made with your government forbids it."

"They aren't my government," Odessa corrects. They aren't any government she voted for, at least. Though there are numerous reasons for that. "It's good that he's not here, I think. Safer." It comes off as little more than idle speculation. "Then again, Ethan doesn't seem the type to tend toward safety, does he?" Odessa doesn't catch herself smiling fondly until her fingers are brushing over the blue choker around her throat. The gesture and expression are abandoned immediately.

Eileen raises her hand and pushes one of the juicier segments past her lips and into her mouth, the flat of her blade skimming across her left cheek. Unlike Sasha, she does not chew with her mouth open and is careful to avoid getting any of the fruit on the gauze dressings themselves, but she's also a fair bit cleaner and well-groomed in comparison to the Russian, too. Whether or not she's as perceptive isn't something Odessa can easily distinguish based on the behaviour she's been exhibiting.

She might be in trouble if she is. "No," Eileen agrees. "He isn't. Neither are you, generally."

That draws a smirk from the blonde. "Touche." One point for Eileen. "I think the difference is that Ethan finds trouble before it finds him, and it just has this habit of creeping up on me." She takes another segment of fruit between her lips and chews it enough to push it to the side of her mouth so she can talk around it somewhat politely. "Don't know what that says about me."

Whatever it says about her, Eileen is courteous enough not to verbalize her opinion. "Like Daiyu," she says, and make no mistake: it's a test.

The name makes Odessa flinch visibly. "Somebody hasn't managed to kill him yet?" A shudder courses through the woman's body and the remainder of the blood orange is set aside. Perhaps fortunately for Odessa, she hasn't a clue what Feng Daiyu is up to.

"I didn't say that." Eileen punctuates her statement with the poignant snap of her knife flicking shut, having wiped off the blade on her sleeve. She'll want to rinse it under hot water later. Taking her half of the orange with her, she unfolds her legs and rises from her seat but does not maneuver her arm back into its sling, which suggests to Odessa that it's an unnecessarily arbitrary measure — it may be convenient, but she doesn't require it. "If I see Ethan," she says, "I'll let him know he was being asked after."

Reassurance or threat. It's up to Odessa to determine which.

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