Santa and Dorothy


ff_doyle_icon.gif odessa2_icon.gif

Scene Title Santa and Dorothy
Synopsis Sometimes the most complex things can boil down to something so simple as love.
Date February 8, 2020

Novelle Vue, Bay Ridge

Midday finds Odessa Price lounging on a fold-out chair on the deck of the Novelle Vue, a pair of round-framed sunglasses with green mirrored lenses on her face to help shield her eyes from the sun. Her coat is folded under her head in spite of the winter chill that clings to the air. She’s basking in the sun, because she can. A wool blanket is draped over her legs to help ward off some of that cold.

A radio sits nearby, playing the old jazz standards. All in all, it’s a beautiful day to be sunbathing for someone who hasn’t had the freedom to do so for over a year.

“Ah— hey.”

Eric Doyle emerges from the bowels of the ship and up onto the deck, a rag in his hands that he’s using to clean his fingers off— the oil staining them suggests that he was working on some of the guts of the ship. After all, one doesn’t spend a decade or so in a world consumed by water and not learn a few things about how ships work!

He’s dressed for such work, a pair of overalls over a shirt and jeans. He’s leaner in build than the version of him native to this timeline, since necessary exercise and fresh air have a tendency to do that to a man - but he’ll never be described as small. His natural frame and genetic tendencies wouldn’t ever allow that; more of the weight he carries is muscle rather than fat, though.

A quick, uncertain smile, “Got a minute, Dorothy?”

Dorothy lifts her head at the sound of a voice that’s familiar. One finger hooks up along the bridge of her shades, sliding them down her nose so she can fix him with a stare over those emerald-tinted lenses. A stare that borders on coy, but also conveys curiosity.

“For you? I have two,” Odessa promises, pushing herself up to sit a little taller and gesturing to a seat nearby the one she’s occupying.

“I’ll just have to talk fast, then,” Doyle replies with that lopsided, forever-unsure smile of his as he crosses the deck, the oily rag tucked into a pocket of his overalls as he eases down into the deck chair with a creak, “But I guess - for you - two minutes can be a long time.”

He clears his throat, “I guess, uh— well, the awkward obvious question first, which… Dorothy… are you?” Clearly she knows him, but does she know him?

There’s a pang of sadness that rings like a bell in the hollow of Odessa’s chest. It’s a sadness she doesn’t let show in her smile. Her eyes are a different story, but that’s hidden away easily enough when she lifts her head again and lets those mirrored surfaces obscure his view of it.

“Not either of the ones you know. And yet, I am.” It’s a confusing answer. Odessa does him the courtesy of sitting up straight, swinging her legs over the edge of the chair to rest on the deck so she can give this line of questioning the solemnity it deserves.

I am Odessa Price. You knew Destiny Ruiz.” The bright-eyed teenager who adored board games. The one who would search until the ends of the universe for her brother.

“And Odessa Woods.” The terrifying one with the sword who had saved his ship and his passengers. The one who had stood at the end with the other travelers and walked away from her own salvation, giving them all the chance to escape to this world.

Odessa cants her head to one side, apologetic in her demeanor. “They are both a part of me, but yet I am neither of them.” She smiles and shrugs. “It’s complicated.”

The smile grows slightly, faint in its encouragement. “But I know who you are. I know who you were to me here. I know what you were to Destiny.”

“Shit, uh… that sounds even more confusing for you as it is to me,” Doyle jokes, lamely, one hand coming up to scrub at the back of his shaven neck, “I don’t even know much about the me that was here, although I think they named a building after him, so…”

A rueful smile, “I guess he didn’t do so bad.”

Then he clears his throat, “In that case, well, ah— good to meet you, Ms. Price.”

“No,” Odessa murmurs, wistful as she recalls the Eric Doyle who was, “he didn’t do so bad.”

He had been a great many things, and a great many things to her in specific, some of them definitely bad. In the end, however, he had turned his life around. He had transcended who he was, became someone better. Someone good.

Odessa never did find the magic how to make that happen herself.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mister Doyle.”

“I gather that you’re probably in some kind of trouble,” Doyle observes then, hands spreading a bit, “But, for what it’s worth, you’re welcome here so long as I am. And if you need anything…”

A bit of a smile, glancing off the side of the boat, “Heck, if you’re here long enough you’ll get to meet the girls. They should be moving here come summertime…” A wistfulness in his tone, but also pride in them.

Then he second-guesses himself, “But— maybe you already know them? Sorry, I don’t— I don’t really know how that works with you.”

“It’s strange,” Odessa admits with an apologetic smile. “I know them, but… I don’t know them. I… They were very little here when I would have seen them.” Their counterparts in this world. “My Eric loved those kids very much.” So, they have something in common.

But he mentions trouble, and her smile fades some for it. “Yeah, I… I think I mentioned that I have an ex? I think he’s looking for me, and he’s bad news.” She isn’t sure how to explain it any better than that at first, but she slides down her glasses so he can seriousness in her eyes when she comes up with the parallel. “Like Don was bad news.”

“Huh. I hadn’t even thought of that, so they have… versions of themselves here? Of course they do, why wouldn’t they…” A hearty chuckle from Doyle, self-deprecating, “It’s funny to hear that I knew them here, too, though. I guess some things happen everywhere…”

The smile fades fast, though, his brow knitting in worry, “That bad? Don was a— Don was a goddamn lunatic. Man, Dorothy, can you pick ‘em.”

She laughs quietly at that. I picked you, after all, doesn’t leave her lips, but she thinks about it. Half expects the radio to start playing The Boy From Ipanema. Like an asshole.

“Yeah, I… I’m abnormally attracted to sin,” Odessa muses with a flourish of her hand and a dip of her chin, as if accepting praise. She won’t explain what happened to his girls here. Nobody needs to know. “I don’t know what he’s doing, but I know somebody tried to get their hands on me.”

And that scares her. Odessa’s never been in demand for good reasons.

So many truths about Eric, about ‘his’ girls, that he never needs to know. Maybe he’ll learn them one day, and that won’t be a good day, but it won’t be today.

“So who is this guy? It’s not, uh, Redd, is it?” That would make sense as to why Silas had brought her here, after all. His frown deepens as he thinks of even worse possibilities, “Or someone else I’ve heard of? I mean, who should I be keeping an eye out for?”

Odessa closes her eyes for a moment and tries to remember. “The day the captains met,” she says after a pause that lasted long enough he might have thought she wasn’t going to answer the question at all. She lists to one side in her seat, then seems to course correct back to the middle.

“When some decided to fight, and we decided to pursue the rumor of the Arcology.” Odessa’s brow creases, trying to bring the memory into focus. “I saw him there. The second. Aboard the Cerberus?” Her eyes squeeze shut. How different he had looked. “Adam Monroe.”

“Adam?” Doyle looks dumbfounded by this, his brow furrowing in a look of abject confusion, “Adam Monroe? He’s— wow, that’s got to be a big change, uh, he wasn’t a threat back home, he was just kinda, well, kind of sad to be honest.” A slight widening of his eyes at the adjective, as if to drive it home. In comparison, the Adam from the Flood timeline was a shadow of his former self.

“He’s really dangerous here?”

Odessa opens her eyes again and pushes her sunglasses up the bridge of her nose again before rubbing her brow with two fingers. “Imagine my shock to discover he wasn’t threatening where you come from.” Or, well, Odessa Woods’ shock. Even now, she doesn’t trust that Adam Monroe wasn’t a threat.

“I took something from him once.” A strand of copper hair is threaded behind one ear. “So… He broke up with me. Told me to run as far and as fast as I could, because he’d kill me if he ever found me.” So if she’d had any sense, she would have left New York. Ever. “I was surprised to discover he just… never looked that hard.”

Until now, apparently.

“Well, you won’t have to worry about him showing up here,” says Doyle with a broad, lopsided smile and a shake of his head, “I mean, what’s he going to do? Heal at me?”

He jerks his head to the side of the boat, “I’ll just make him carry out an impromptu experiment as to how long his body can regenerate from a lack of oxygen before his mitochondria give out.”

He knows science, see? Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell.

That’s the Eric Doyle Odessa knows. She’s glad he can’t see the look in her eyes when she stares at him. Glad he can’t sense the way her heart soars in her chest. A promise of murder has always felt like love to her.

“If he comes, let him come.” Odessa shakes her head. “I’m not afraid of him anymore.” It isn’t true. Not in the least. Not since she lost her ability to halt time. What’s she going to do to defend herself? Start talking to him about his feelings?

Then, she does take those mirrored shades off entirely, folding them in her lap so she can look at him properly, and let him see her. “There’s something you told me once… The other you. It changed… everything for me. I don’t know where your paths diverged in the wood — you and my Eric — but… You’re so much like him in a lot of ways.” She’s digressing. “Do you want to know what he said?”

There’s no joking to that smile, but there’s no loss of warmth either. To most people, that would be a disturbing glimpse into a deranged mind. Odessa isn’t most people.

His head cocks a bit to one side in that slightly puppet-like manner that he has, a brow lifting slightly. “Of course,” he says, curiosity roused, “What did he say?”

Her throat gets tight then all of a sudden. Her blue eyes grow glassy with tears that she sheds freely. She won’t hide the pain this memory brings her. Not from him. Odessa closes her eyes, remembering that moment and his face. She smiles through the pain. “We don’t have to be monsters after all, love.

She sniffles and laughs quietly, returning her attention to his face so she can judge his reaction. “We came from similar places. We were both broken. We’d done… horrible things. Horrible things to each other. We set out from the same starting line, but I always seemed to zig where he zagged.”

Odessa presses her lips together, considering how she wants to phrase the moral of the story. “Eric Doyle was a good man, because he believed he could be a good man.”

And Odessa Price remains a monster, because she doesn’t believe she can change.

“I guess we really weren’t that different,” says Eric softly, turning his head to look out across the waters of the river, to the decaying towers of Manhattan visible in the distance. There’s silence for a few moments, and then he chuckles a little, turning back to her.

“I’ve never been a good person. I don’t know if you— if Destiny knew that, really. I did a lot of— bad things, in my time. But I’ve tried to make up for it. With Meredith. With the girls. I’m glad to hear he did too.”

He watches her for a few heartbeats, before asking:

“So what do you believe, Dorothy?”

In some ways, maybe he’s done more or fared better. Well, in one glaringly obvious way, he has definitely fared better, certainly. Odessa smiles sadly. “I believe that I’ve tried — really tried — but I’m just not very good at being… good.

That admission has her gaze drifting out across the water. “I think I did okay at it for a while, but… the past always catches up to me. Doesn’t matter how much good I do, it just… never balances.” With an air of so what’s the point to it. “I’m afraid my Eric would be awfully disappointed in me.”

“It doesn’t look like your story’s done yet,” is Doyle’s oh-so-keen observation, looking back to her with a raise of both slightly-bushy brows, “Maybe you just haven’t come to terms with the past yet. Maybe there’s still something out there waiting for you to balance the scales…”

He shrugs, then, and chuckles— looking down to his hands, then back up, “Maybe I’m just a romantic though, I always liked the idea that happy endings were there for people.” A hint of sadness to his smile, at that. He almost had his, until Don happened.


That had been her fault, hadn’t it?

“I got them killed.”

“Oh, sweetie, no…” Eric turns, expression stricken as he reaches out to wrap his arms around her and pull her in against him, “No, no, this isn’t your fault. None of it is.”

Odessa stares at Doyle for a long moment, and everything her vision sort of swims, a sense of deja vu overwhelming her. She doesn’t even realize she’s tipped until she finds her shoulder colliding with the back of the chair. Her feet slipped out from under her in an awkward sprawl against the deck.


Eric’s just about to say something, and then she’s falling off the chair and he’s half-lunging forward, too late to save her from falling off. He ends up paused half-leaning over the chair, eyebrows raised and expression one of concern.

“Uh. Are you okay?”

Odessa braces her hands beneath her and pushes herself upright again with a pained sound that doesn’t grow to more than a labored breath. “Yeah… Yeah, I’m fine.” She situates herself back in the chair properly, laying back again with a quiet sigh.

Staring up at the sky, she explains, “I have all those different memories in my head. And I’m probably not supposed to.” Probably. “Sometimes I get a little… fuzzy around the edges. But I’m okay. Just a momentary headache.”

As she resettles herself, Doyle leans back again slowly to re-settle onto the chair he was in previously. “I can imagine,” he chuckles, hands spreading, “I have enough trouble with all the memories I’ve got in one head. Heck, I’d happily get rid of some of them.”

His hands come back together, clasped, “I can only imagine having more than one lifetime in there. Can I— I mean, how did it happen? All those memories, I mean…” His head cocked to one side, an eyebrow popped. A familiar posture that displays the man’s curiosity.

Running a hand through her copper-dyed hair, Odessa smiles apologetically. “I have no idea. I suspect it has something to do with my… intertwining with time, and how my ability interfaced with the portal you had to travel through to get here.” He didn’t see her standing on the other side. Doesn’t know how she had to reach through time and space itself to stabilize and get them here.

He didn’t see it tear away her identity.

And nobody knows but she and her mother that it had taken her life as well.

“Even before then, I would see glimpses of the other versions of me. Live their lives in flashes. Non-linearly.” Odessa shakes her head. “It’s… strange. I wish I understood it, but I don’t. I understand it happened to me, but I don’t understand how. It just… is.”

“Heh.” Eric rubs a hand back over his scalp, his tone filled with rue, “I don’t envy you at all. I’ve had a hard enough time trying to figure out who I am, without other mes getting all tangled up in the midst of it…”

His hand drops back down to rest on a knee, “I don’t pretend to understand what happened there… any of it, really. I’m a— a pretty simple guy I suppose. But I hope you manage to make sense of it, for your own sake.”

Also my mother was something of a body-hopping acausal entity, and that might have something to do with it seems like a little much to offer at this point. The explanation as given seems to suffice. “Yeah. As far as the mysteries of my life go, though?” Odessa returns smirks wryly. “This one doesn’t even rate.”

Odessa retrieves her sunglasses and slides them back into place over her eyes. “Sorry if I made it weird. Maybe the lie would have been better, but… I always tried to be honest with my Eric. He always seemed to understand.” She shrugs. Not in the I perfectly comprehend this sort of way, of course, but in the abstract. This Eric Doyle seems to understand that things are difficult, and that might just be enough.

“I’m glad you made it,” Odessa tells him with a genuine smile, even if it is still colored faintly by her own latent melancholy feelings. “I really hope you find a place here. Something that makes you happy.”

“Eh…” Doyle waves it off, chuckling a bit, “…it’s probably too late for me there, honestly. If my girls are happy, though, I’ll be happy. So if I can manage to make that happen for them, that’s all that really matters.”

Broad shoulders lift in a shrug, “I’m an old man now, but them? The world’s their oyster, and I plan to make sure they can catch it.”

An old man, he says. Odessa smiles sadly, understanding what he means. Understanding his feelings more than he could ever know. “That’s very noble of you,” she tells him. “But don’t give up on yourself in your pursuit of their happiness. They wouldn’t want that for you. They won’t give up on you either.”

“They are my happiness,” Doyle replies simply, “That’s enough for me.”

It’s not, really, but the injury is still fresh; the death of his partner still a raw wound. He was never very good at dealing with loss either, and this other version of him doesn’t seem to be all that much better.

One finger points at her, brows raising, “Now, you, there’s still hope for. You just gotta try, Dorothy. Find that yellow brick road.”

She nods like she understands. Maybe part of her does. The ache in her chest tells her she does, to an extent. “I don’t know about that yellow brick road…” Quietly, Odessa chuckles.

“Well, maybe I just need to find Toto.”

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