That All Depends What You Qualify as Friends


doyle2_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title That All Depends What You Qualify as Friends
Synopsis Doyle visits Odessa and the two discuss motivation and things easily and not so easily understood.
Date May 23, 2010

Village Renaissance Building - Fourth Floor Safehouse

The floors here on the fourth level of the Village Renaissance Building at 14 East 4th Street are of polished grey marble and the smooth walls are painted a cream color. Four corridors with four apartments each are found here, with stairwells at the front and back and elevators centrally placed in each corridor. The elevators have buttons for the first three floors visible, and control panels requiring both key and keycard to open.

The apartment doors, made from sturdy pine, are operated by keycards only on this floor. Like the second and third floors, they're numbered 401-416.

//But that's where the similarity ends. This floor isn't for rental to the general public. It's a place reserved for temporary stays by whomever the person who lives on the top floor chooses to give sanctuary.

It's a safehouse of the Ferrymen, operated by a member of Phoenix, using the cover of musician's eccentricities to explain away the motley crew of folks who might come and go if anyone should ask.//

Being laid up, such as Odessa Knutson is, is never a fun experience. It's not the sort of thing that one reflects on later while telling jokes over a few beers.

Say, do you remember that time I got kind'a disembowled and was laid up for, like, ever?

Haha. Yeah. Good times.

Not so much. The blonde at least takes solace in the feeling that she did the right thing, even if the consequences were exceedingly dire for her. Only time will tell just how her injuries will permanently effect her. For now, she enjoys the hazy feeling of a fresh dose of morphine with her recently recovered cat settled to one side of her on the bed and a trashy romance novel on the other. The early afternoon sunshine filtering through the window brings a lazy smile to her lips.

Then there comes a knock on the door; not the perfunctory 'about to open the door, five second warning' knock that's probably most coming recently, but one that seems almost uncertain. A steady rap of knuckles, a pause, another tap, and then silence.

Odessa's brows furrow faintly in confusion. Her visitors tend to just let themselves in, knowing she can't exactly get up and let them in herself. "Come in," she calls with less hesitation in her own tone than she feels. Could this be bad news?

The knob turns, hinges squeaking just a bit with the slow friction they work against each other as the door opens — and a familiar face leans in along with the rest of a head, a face that's alternately been seen with scientific curiousity, fear, and something that might be affection, in a twisted way.

Eric Doyle's grown a beard, his lower face consumed with short strands of brunette and grey, even a bit of a fuzz across his scalp. His gaze is wary, unsure as it falls on her in the bed. "Hey." A step in, and he nudges the door closed with an elbow, dressed still in a heavy winter coat that looks like it was dragged out of a Goodwill, hood flopped against his back, baggy ski pants on over his other. It's warming up, but it'll take the weather awhile to recover. He's lost weight. Not a lot but some.

Despite the fact that she asked for word to be passed to him that she'd like him to pay her a visit, Odessa is still surprised that he actually has come to visit. "Eric," she greets in a soft voice. The squash-faced Persian with the calico coat lifts her head and squints before stretching her limbs and leaping down to crawl under the bed instead.

"Have a seat," Odessa offers. "I wasn't sure you'd actually come." With a pained wince, she pulls herself slowly up into a seated position. "I'm glad you did," she appends.

"Hey, at least this time it wasn't me that did it?" A weak joke from Doyle, whose sense of humour has always leaned towards the black, even as he shrugs out of the jacket finally - squinting at the hiding feline, then rolling both shoulders in a shrug as he walks along over to the bed, dropping the coat on a nearby chair and scooting it over towards the bedside.

The puppeteer drops himself down to sit, leaning forward with a fold of his hand as he admits wryly, "It wasn't easy. Just because it stopped snowing — well, it's still hard as shit to get around this town. Anyway." One gloved hand smooths back over his scalp, and he smiles wanly, "You look like shit."

"Feel like it, too," Odessa chuckles wryly, immediately drawing another wince and a hiss of pain. "Speaking of what you did do." The blonde holds up her hand and wiggles her fingers. "Had the splints taken off just the other day. Healed up pretty well, all things considered." If she's bitter about the fact that he made her break her own fingers, she isn't showing it.

Which is really just a symptom of the fact that Odessa herself is rather mad. "You're losing weight," she comments absently. "And I kind of like the…" Her hand comes up to rub over her cheek and chin to indicate his facial hair. "It suits you somehow." There's a shrug. Don't ask me what that means, really.

As she holds up her hand, Eric watches her fingers wiggle in the air with an unreadable expression before his gaze cuts away— starting to say something that never quite forms before she speaks. Then his gaze lifts up, shoulders shaking with a faint chuckle, "Yeah, well, out there at the Lighthouse - well, a lotta mouths and a lotta work to be done. I'm not used to that last one." Of course not. He used to make people do the work for him. "I figure it doesn't hurt the disguise, either."

He brings up his arm, awkwardly pushing the sleeve down from his wrist to show off the brace there, admitting, "Sprained my wrist a week or so back, myself. Some— can you believe it, a bunch of dogs were hunting people out there. Fell off a cliff with them."

"You fell off a cliff?" Dark blue eyes widen slightly at that news. "Now that's something. And here you are, telling little ol' me about it." Odessa smirks just a touch and lets her head loll to one side. A sign of exhaustion more than anything. "You look good for a guy who fell off a cliff. I used to stitch people back together after long falls like that. Just so they could be buried more or less in one piece."

"Well." Eric's good hand rubs against his chin, scratching through the crisp hair of his beard as he admits with a wry twist of his lips, head bobbing side to side a moment as though waffling, "It was more've a… really steep hill than a cliff, really. And most of the cliff went with me, so, it cushioned my fall."

"Well, that does sound less impressive," Odessa admits. "Still, you apparently survived wild dogs and a very steep hill. Nicely done." Her eyes roll upward as she inwardly chides herself. "You'll have to forgive me. This morphine is wonderful. Not at all like it was you-know-where."

"Yeah, well, not like I helped much except as human bait… guess I looked tasty," Doyle admits with a roll of his eyes, patting his midriff with one palm before it slides back to the air of the chair. "Anyway. Um." He paws at his mouth, covering it briefly in a rub over his chin, gaze sweeping over her, "You gonna tell me what happened?"

Lips purse for the briefest of moments. Eyes lid for longer. After a small yawn covered by her hand, she Odessa brings her focus back to Doyle. "You remember I was telling you about my problem with the Russians? Well…" Gingerly, Odessa pulls back the sheet and pulls up the hem of the loose-fitting shirt she's wearing to reveal the ugly stitches across her midsection.

"Told you being a good guy is for the fucking birds."

As the shirt's pulled up, Eric leans in a bit — grimacing as he leans back again, hand sliding to rub along the side of his neck and its nape, scratching there a bit. "Yeah, well… I've been thinking about that a lot," he admits, head tilting a little as he looks at her for a moment, "'Cause, you know. At least this time you got hurt, you can get visitors. You're not handcuffed or chained to anything… you know, all that stuff."

"Yeah, that sucked," Odessa agrees flatly. "What do you mean you've been thinking about it a lot? You mean about Moab?" Or about me? Carefully settling her shirt back into place, she pulls the covers back up as well. Even though the room is heated, it feels chilly without the blanket and sheet over her body.

"About what you said… the last time we talked," Doyle replies, leaning forward; elbows resting on the arms of the chair, hands clasping loosely, his braced wrist above the other, expression serious, "I'm guessing you decided your friends' lives were more important'n your ego, since you're here, and not in some shallow russian-dug grave somewhere."

Odessa shakes her head with a smirk. "Not for lack of effort, as you see. I did get this saving Teo's life," she admits. It's not the proud admission of someone who's done some good deed and wants recognition. Odessa isn't used to being known for her good deeds. Just the dastardly ones. "I thought I was going to die. For a couple minutes there, I thought I had." The blonde falls silent, her eyes leaving Doyle's face and staring out past him to an indeterminate point. "It was terrifying." She brings herself out of her fugue and rolls her eyes at herself for the second time over the course of this conversation. "Which sounds ridiculously obvious, now that I've said it."

Eric's head bobs in a slight nod to that, a faint smile tugging up a bit at one corner of his lips before he asks, "So… why? Why'd you do it? Why didn't you just help those guys kill everybody, collect your money, go— I don't know, live it up in Vegas?"

"All those lights and all that sound and all those stupid people?" Odessa attempts to make as light of the situation as her companion is, a breath of laughter passing her lips. "I don't know, honestly. I thought about it for a while. But… I don't know." And this clearly frustrates Doctor Knutson to no end. "It isn't as though I did it because they're good people. Maybe it's because they were nice to me, even after I admitted I was initially there to spy on them. And possibly kill them. Maybe it's because the others that were supposed to be helping Dreyfus began jumping ship and I could see the writing on the wall."

She frowns. "That last reason can't be it. I'm pretty sure that if it were just him and I with my ability that we'd still have been able to kill them all, if he weren't so damned insistent on being overt about it." Odessa has always been the most comfortable with morally grey.

"Heh." Doyle scratches at his jawline, his expression rueful as he leans back a little, "Yeah, well, see… how do you think your Russian friends would've treated you if you'd stayed on their side and won? You think they'd have you in a comfy bed somewhere with visitors, or just dumped in an alley to bleed with some half-hearted patching up?"

"One of the Russians did patch me up, actually," Odessa admits. "But he also jumped ship. I… honestly am not sure why he decided to save me." This causes no small amount of confusion. "I suspect it was to further his attempts to get into the good graces of the others." Meaning the ones she didn't stab in the back. "Although I admit that it would be nice if he did it because he actually cared and didn't want me to die." She knows how few and far between those kinds of cases are for people like her and Sasha Kozlow, however.

"Whatever the reason," she admits, "I'm glad he decided to. I am certainly not ready to die." She offers a small smile to Doyle at that. "I don't know. If the tables had been turned, and I had acted instead to save Dreyfus' life, I like to think that he would have done everything he could to keep me alive." Her mouth forms a lopsided frown as one corner twists downward. "Though I suppose that only would have happened after he was quite certain his current agenda was satisfied. Could mean he'd leave me to bleed for quite some time." Though Odessa suspects had the building not been burning, Teo would have been quite content to leave her to bleed out while he tended to Francois or Abby. (Had she not been busy becoming the sun.)

"You know, you're the weirdest woman I've ever met, and— and I mean this, I mean, you know the places I've been," observes Eric with a furrowing of his brow, "You always assume the backstabbing bastards are going to stay on your side, and the shiny goodie-two-shoes are gonna turn on you. I mean, fuck, you came to me for comfort." A gesture of both hands to himself, "Me. I mean, we don't exactly have the best past together, y'know?"

That draws a genuine smile from Odessa. "Quite contrary, I know." In theory, she knows. "But you… You're someone I understand. I understand your motives, because they're similar to what motivates me. I seek comfort from that which I understand." It stands to reason that Odessa doesn't understand good, nice people. It says volumes about the sort of woman she is.

A faint chuckle spills past Doyle's lips, his head shaking a little. "I'm not the same guy I used to be," he admits, glancing down to his hands, then back up, "I've got — well, if not friends, people who rely on me now. It's nice, really. Weird, too."

"I used to be relied upon," Odessa muses quietly. "I miss that." Her gaze lowers to her hands resting in her lap, wadding up the blanket between her fingers and smoothing it out again. Repetitive, restless motion. Something to do with her hands. "I'm not…" She shakes her head. "I don't miss how the Company kept me locked away, but I miss being important.

"To… anybody."

"You can't be important to anybody until you find someone that's important to you, 'Dessa." Eric's gaze is serious as it watches her face, hand tapping against his knee in absent motions of his own, "It's a reciprocal thing. You just - drift from group to group, cause to cause. You need to find somewhere to stand before you can think about calling it home."

The words ring true enough, but they still draw a frown. "The people who matter to me never seem to return my feelings." When her gaze lifts again, Odessa is all broody. Perhaps somewhat childishly even. "So what's the fucking point?"

"Yeah, well," Eric grins broadly, "I can't help the fact that your taste in friends sucks, 'Dessa."

That draws a flat look in return. "Clearly." Odessa's eyes narrow faintly. She tips her head back against her pillows, and closes her eyes instead of staring up at the ceiling. "You were right. You have changed."

A roll of rounded shoulder, Doyle's head shaking slowly from side to side as he notes quietly, "Maybe. I hope I have. I'm here, though, aren't I? There's people taking care of you, that don't really need to. I wouldn't say you're totally alone."

"Not alone," Odessa admits. "Just unneeded." Which somehow feels worse. At least when she's alone, she's unneeded based upon the fact that there's no one there to need her. "Can you really blame me for being unable to trust the motives of others?" One eye opens so she can peer sleepily at Doyle.

"I'd think you were crazy if you trusted them." Doyle reaches over, fingers brushing the hair back from her face as he murmurs quietly, "Doesn't mean you can't try to show them they can trust you… if they're worth it, anyway. You should get some sleep, 'Dessa."

A gentle smile accompanies the touch of Doyle's hand. Reluctantly, Odessa nods. "Will you stay just a little longer?" Carefully, and very slowly, she settles back down beneath the covers. Her blonde hair sprawled across the pillow making her look something more angelic than the truth of her.

"Sure." Eric's hand drops down to brush against her cheek, then falls away as he offers her a small, wan smile, "I didn't come all this way just to stop in for a few minutes, you know…"

Heavily, Odessa's dark blue eyes blink. "Eric… Thank you." Before much longer, it appears the woman has fallen asleep. If the strength of her conversation weren't what it is, her pallor would suggest a situation far more dire.

"Heh." Doyle pushes himself up to his feet, reaching over to tug the sheets up over her, tucking her in as he murmurs ruefully, "Funny, how things turn out. Never would've thought you'd be saying that to me…" A lean over, and he kisses her brow, "…at least not willingly."

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