Some Courtesy, Some Sympathy, and Some Taste


odessa_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Some Courtesy, Some Sympathy, and Some Taste
Synopsis Just as every cop's a criminal, and all the sinners, saints. As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer, 'cause I'm in need of some restraint.
Date November 14, 2008

Dorchester Towers: Ethan's Apartment

Dorchester Towers is home to many upper class, or more wealthier inhabitants. This apartment seems to be no exception. First impressions of this place, give a homey, and well furnished feel. Lamps are put in the right place, decorations here and there. The living room consists of a large green sofa facing the wall of windows, which has a large flat screen TV in front of it. Speakers are installed all around for the Surround Sound feel. Next to the TV is a cabinet full of DVDs. Most of these movies include a gun of some sort in each of them. A small coffee table sits in front of the couch, a few magazines spread out on it.

The kitchen is well stocked, with a microwave, coffeemaker, and of course a toaster. There is an overhead pan rack hanging over the stove which has many pots, pans, and other utensils hanging from it for easy access. Three doors lead away from the kitchen and living room. Two are large, comfortable bedrooms, complete with posters on the walls, and one is a room that is furnished with a stand up punching bag, dumb bells, a treadmill, and other types of work out equipment.

For the -extremely- well trained eye, or for someone who knows what they're looking for it would be apparent that there are little things off about this apartment. Reinstalled panels, etc, that would suggest whoever lives here has done some renovation work. (Note:Ethan has 'toys' hidden throughout his apartment, in case of 'emergencies'.) Overall though, this spacious living area has been well taken care of, and kept very tidy.

For the second time today, the sound of a shower running meets Sylar's ears when he listens in on the goings-on of his particular destination before he arrives. There's also… something else that becomes more apparent the closer he gets. Someone's crying in the shower. Judging by the red high heeled shoes that have been unbuckled and left by the front door, it's very possible the feminine weeping is coming from Doctor Knutson. The door to the bathroom is left slightly ajar, and though the water is going full pressure, no steam escapes the room.

No one knocks anymore, it's true. The door is pushed open once the locks are telekinetically tampered with, but at least Sylar locks them again once he's inside, with respect to the owner of this place, gloved hands twisting it shut. Yes, gloves - Amato chic, if you will, but he's taking no chances. Telepathy is not a power he's used to, and he's not willing to rush out and try it on just anyone. And so his hands are covered, a coat with sleeves ending halfway down his hands, blazer underneath as well as a dress shirt. The coat is peeled off, hung up, as if making himself at home— and he pauses, listening.

The crying is distinctive, and he listens closer, perhaps to try and catch who it is. It could be Munin, but no, it's different. The slight whine of a voice tinging gasping breaths between weeping rings familiar as Odessa, and so he feels inclined to reach out with a projected voice while he lingers in the front room.


A hiccup rings from the bathroom, but the woman doesn't respond except to cry harder. The low pitch in that baleful wailing definitely pegs the crying woman as Odessa. Abruptly it stops, replaced by deep, shuddering breaths.

Silence falls, and perhaps that voice was just a dream. Maybe she's going crazy. But soon, soft foot falls sound on the other side of the door as Sylar approaches, and stops. More silence, and he… concentrates. Not on sound, but on a little used ability that got to do its part tonight, and he realises something. There's very little water in the air on the other side of the flimsy wooden door. And unless she showers cold… Sylar places a hand on the door, unlocks what needs to be unlocked with his mind, and pushes it open.

Not only does Odessa apparently shower cold, but with her clothes on. The doctor's laying on the floor of the tub, soaked clear through her business-like attire. The only items she shed before climbing into the tub, apparently, were a winter jacket, stained with blood, and a Kevlar vest. She shivers beneath the icy spray of the shower, but it's hard to say if it's all attributed to the chill, or if the state of numb sorrow is a contributing factor. She doesn't look up when he enters, but instead stares blankly head of her.

The look on Sylar's face is one of confusion, plain and simple. Raw human emotion wasn't something he had ever been good at dealing with, let alone after the day he cut his heart out entirely. His hand, still covered in thin leather, twists in the air - the taps turn and the stream of icy water shuts off, and he approaches the bathtub, nudging aside the discarded jacket and vest with his boot. After a moment, he looks over his shoulder, then back to Odessa, and offers a hand up.

Slowly, Odessa's eyes come up. It's not a smooth motion, but a jerky one that suggests she's having a difficult time willing herself to stop staring at nothing. She reaches out to take Sylar's hand, her fingers trembling in his. Her clothes cling to her body, her wide-legged pants weighing her down and sticking to the slick surface of the tub, making the climb to her feet more difficult. Her lips quiver and pull into a tight frown from the effort it's clearly taking her not to start wailing again. One gasping breath breaks her silence as she makes an attempt to get herself under control.

He's patient with her, trying to do everything he wouldn't be doing if he were trying to heighten her terror, or despair, or whatever this is. That's a step in the right direction, perhaps, because Sylar simply doesn't know. Not when he's being… just Sylar. But, he shows patience, in the way she struggles to her feet, lending support only in clasping his hand over her's and his arm unwavering. Once she's stepped out onto the bathroom floor, he lets go.

"Get dry," Sylar advises her, with a head tilt to the towels available, and he starts out of the bathroom. "Would you like some tea?" And towards the kitchen, apparently.

The blond nods her head absently at the order to get dry, shutting the door behind Sylar gently after he leaves the room. When he offers tea, she's compelled to call back to him, "Coffee!" She pauses for a moment and plucks up the watch she left on the counter. She's been in here how long? Though the wrinkled and pruned fingers should have been her first tip. "Decaf!" It's getting too far on for caffeine. Not when the doctor isn't burning the midnight oil. Odessa pads out of the bathroom a few minutes later with one towel wrapped around her body and another around her hair. "I think I need to go shopping," she murmurs vacantly. "I really need some pyjamas." A fair assessment. She leans against the doorframe to the kitchen and looks at her hands, flipping them over and inspecting each side in turn. She frowns, concerned by something.

Sylar moves slowly around the kitchen, in no real hurry but with much familiarity - it doesn't take him long to memorise things, including kitchen set ups. The electric kettle is switched on, some Earl Grey is sourced, and he even finds her the decaf - although this he sets aside for her to do herself, as is logical. "You should ask Wu-Long or Ethan to get you some things," he says. "They're meant to be looking after you." A cupboard clicks shut after he's retrieved two earthenware mugs. "Why were you crying? You're not injured."

"I killed for the first time last night," Odessa admits, pushing away from the entrance to sit at the kitchen table heavily. "The man deserved it. I'm not sorry. You'd have done it, too, for the way he looked at me alone." She shakes her head, "The way he spoke was just the icing on the cake. Anti-Evolved. Called us freaks." And a few other things, but she doesn't repeat those.

The killer gives a soft snort at this last remark, still slowly moving around the kitchen, opening a drawer for tea spoons, finding the coffee sugar, placing these items down on the bench. "Then he'd've probably killed you too," Sylar says. "Some people would like nothing better for our kind to disappear forever like some sort of bad dream." The Vanguard included, which only gives him a little pause, before it's back to the conversation. "So you were crying for yourself?" If not for the man who by her own words 'deserved it'.

"Sort of… I thought I was okay, but I got into the bathroom so I could…" Odessa trails off. "Then Wu-Long took me to Chinatown and we got caught up in something there." She glances briefly toward the freezer, and then fixes her gaze on Sylar. "Would you… Would you tell me about your first kill? I'd like to know."

Maybe one day, if he does this for long enough, all the murders will blur together into some sort of homogeneous rhythm, like separate steps in one big fast paced dance. Even with his memory, how long before all the faces, screams start to seem the same? All blood runs red. But he'll never forget that first step. The way he'd stumbled. The earthenware is set down a little heavier than he intended, and he finds himself with no more tasks to accomplish before the water finishes boiling. So Sylar turns back to her, unreadable save for the consideration he seems to be giving her request. "He was an innocent," he says. "I didn't plan on doing it. I just wanted to… to see. What a real power was like." The kettle clicks it's hint that it's done, and he turns away from her. "It all happened so quickly."

"You didn't have your…" The doctor raises a hand and draws her fingers in the air like she's watched him do before. "That, yet." Odessa's tongue darts out between her lips, apprehensive eyes fixed on Sylar's form. "How did you get the skull open? How'd you get to his brain?"

While he'd smoothly moved about the kitchen before, there's a certain tension, now, in the way he pours boiling water, stirs in a hint of sugar. "I bludgeoned him with a crystal that was almost the size of his own head," Sylar says, tone guarded. "I kept hitting until the bone cracked and just used my fingers after that." Quit playing with your food, Gabriel, maybe that's what Virginia would have told him - and this he muses with bitter humour - because it had been so bloody, under his fingernails, they say head wounds gush so bad that the wounds look worse than they are but oh no, not this head wound, that was just as bad as it looked. Sylar brings up a hand to wipe at his brow, absently. "His name was Brian Davis."

Odessa's thoughts are running much the same, though she's yet to get far enough past it to find the humour. "I tried to use a letter opener like a scalpel," she says quietly, "but it wasn't sharp enough…" She watches the mans face, refusing to continue until he meets her eyes.

It takes a moment, but he finally has his tea, and therefore no more excuses. Sylar wraps his large hands around the coffee mug filled with opaque Earl Grey, enough to almost obscure the item, before turning back to her, meeting her gaze squarely. His expression is blank, unreadably, if maybe attentive.

"So I took a paperweight." Odessa's eyes, while unflinchingly fixed on Sylar's, are haunted and nearly empty. As though she isn't behind them at all. "And I just kept… hitting him. Until I heard it crack, finally." She draws in a slow breath, trembling hands stretched out in front of her, turning palms upward. "There was so much blood and I was trying to hit just so, because I didn't want to damage it. A- Ah- Ahn- And I just…" She holds her hands out toward Sylar now for inspection. "How do I get the blood out from under my nails?"

"Surgeons are used to latex gloves, huh?" Sylar says tonelessly, gaze drawn down to her outstretched fingers. "You use one of those— those little scrubbing brush things and then you keep going until the blood's gone. Use soap. Just don't do it for so long that it starts bleeding because you'll think it's just…" He meets her gaze again. "It's just come back. I cried for me too, the first time, but that's because I expected it to be okay. It's not okay. No one's gonna forgive you for it unless they don't really understand it. Not me, not you, not even God. You have to change, become better." And his gaze shifts back down to the tea in his hands.

The hollow gaze is down cast, staring at those bloodied fingers, as though picturing what it might be like for them to be clean again. But what he says then… It brings Odessa back. She blinks twice, lips parting in surprise. She climbs to her feet again and hurries across the kitchen in her bare feet to wrap her arms around the man in a genuine hug. Not just for him, but for her as well. "I forgive you," she whispers. And if neither he nor God can forgive her in return? So be it.

He only really has time to set aside the mug full of boiling water, let alone deflect her embrace or avoid it, a look of— something flickering across his face. A wince, perhaps the beginnings of a recoil, he's just not good at accepting pity, but… on some level, he gets it. That's it's not just for him. She's still cold from her shower. His hands rest on her arms, then a hand drifts to the back of her head, touching cold, still damp hair, before gently pulling her back, looking down at her. "Does it count?" Sylar wonders, out loud. A murderer's forgiveness for another murderer?

"Sure it does," Odessa insists, smiling sadly. "It has to count for something, doesn't it? If you believe we still have a chance to be better, then it must count for something. The day you or I can no longer be saved, then it counts for nothing but the Devil's condonation. And if neither of us can be saved…" She closes her eyes and reaches up to lay one of her hands over one of his, "Then the Devil's absolution is all we'll crave." After a deep breath, she opens her eyes and looks up again. "I'm not sorry for what I did. He tried to kill me first. I didn't kill him. I just… made use of him." That is to say, she only killed men she's fairly certain weren't Evolved. The man whose brain she stole was just a bonus.

"Last night, though… I didn't just kill that man because Ethan told me to. There was no way he could have harmed either Ethan or I…" Now, the hint of remorse creeps into Odessa's tone and her features. "Does that mean he was innocent? The way he looked at me, or tried to touch me… It was horrible. The things he said to me… About what he wanted to do to me—" The blonde head turns to the side and she looks ill. Her hand grips a Sylar's tightly. "Did I do the right thing? Ethan said it was for the Work."

Now, almost a smile dances out on Sylar's face, without reaching his eyes which as usual seem to stare through a mask. "You're asking me what's right?" he says, letting her grip his hand. "I don't know. I just know… what's the Work, and what isn't. Have faith in that, if nothing else." He pauses, considering his words, then shakes his head. "And faith in that no one is innocent."

Except for Brian Davis. But even then… he didn't even want it…

"You're being tested," Sylar says, claiming back his hand and picking up his tea. "If you want to live, you need to be stronger. Otherwise Kazimir will make me kill you and take your ability."

Odessa relinquishes her grip on her companion's hand easily, stepping away to give him room. "I understand that the Work gives you purpose, Sylar, but… What are you going to do if Kazimir gets his way and everyone else like us is gone? Are you going to lay down and let him kill you?" She narrows her eyes faintly, unable to quite hide the hunger there, as much as she'd like to deny the way it's welling up inside of her. "Imagine all the abilities you'll have by then. Why would you want to spoil a good thing?"

"That's not going to happen," Sylar says, moving away from her, just to pace. "I'm being trained. I'm going to be Kazimir's successor. He's making sure I can get to the Evolved I need so I can become…" He looks back at her, searching for the word. "Worthy," he settles on, although a bit reluctantly, as if he'd prefer to have found a different word altogether.

Odessa squares her shoulders and fixes Sylar with a look somewhere between exasperated and furious. "Don't you let that man dictate your worth. You and I could easily kill him without breaking a sweat if we wanted to. You want to take on the Work? Then do it. Claim your place like the princes of old - Kill the king and take his throne. Don't let him lead you around like some dog on a leash." She's almost sneering by the time she gets to her final statement. "You are better than that."

He flung a woman into the wall just the other day for lesser words, and tension almost visibly ripples over his body as he attempts not to make the same mistake. Control, it's all about control. Which is why the microwave window just next to Odessa shatters when he points, and not, say, a projection of kinetic energy shattering her rib cage. "Don't," Sylar snarls, and his voice lowers back down, "do that. I know what I'm doing and I don't need you to tell me otherwise. I don't need either of you to tell me otherwise."

The girl's shoulders shrink inward as the microwave behind her explodes, eyes shutting tightly at the sound of it. "Awfully defensive for someone who knows what he's doing," she murmurs before opening her eyes. "I want what's best for you, Sylar. I fear what Kazimir has planned for you. Beware of anyone who tells you to turn your back on your allies. I've seen it all before." Odessa takes a step back. "It's no different than the Company. Same shit, different prison." In a remarkable display of either foolishness or trust that he won't lash out, the blonde turns her back with the intention of heading toward the bedroom to get dressed.

It feels like attack, and so the need to defend surges forth. If he could articulate this, maybe Sylar would ever state it, but he can't, like he couldn't when Munin asked him why as he held her to the wall. His arm drops to his side as she wanders away, and he doesn't attack - he didn't bring her here only to kill her. Instead, he lets her go with sullen silence, before turning to pour tea he didn't even sip down the drain, and figure out who to kill to get Ethan a new microwave.

November 14th: Bump in the Night
November 15th: It's Cold in Siberia
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