The Barking Kind


abby_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title The Barking Kind
Synopsis Teo approaches Odessa about assisting Team Charlie with their little Vanguard problem, somewhat to Abby's chagrin.
Date March 20, 2010

Old Lucy's - Upstairs

Though one might remember when a certain fiery woman lived here… Now the living area above Old Lucy's has changed hands. The open living room and kitchen are homey, a commingling of two people's tastes. The leather couch sits kitty corner to a one of red suede and a bit smaller. A large bird cage for it's budgie inhabitant takes up it's own corner beside dark paneled walls. Bookshelves with literary pieces of a variety both academic and not take up another small section.

The kitchen is large, with a rolling wood and black marble island to give more counter space to work on. Pots and pans hang from the roof and track lighting keeps it not gloomy. A proper oak dining table has been set up with matching chairs instead of the 70's castoff that the residents have been known to own and a bowl of fresh fruit sits in the center.

Down a hall lays multiple doors. A master bedroom occupied by the oldest resident and occasionally have a pervading smell of whiskey and smoke coming from it when the door is open. A second door with a cross above it, a third with no marking that is occupied by the third resident of the premises. Two other doors lead to a linen closet and bathroom - Decorated in a very strong pirate theme - respectively. A black cat with a red velvet collar and a little Swarovski charm dangling from it can be found meandering at will.

Snow's let up, finally. Teo crawls into the dull dark of Old Lucy's lower floor long before the cleaners or Bren's in, though it isn't so late that the Manhattan streets he'd just left behind weren't thriving with activity. He almost got walked into or run over two or three times, by those all too eager to exploit the momentary cessation of precipitation thronging down from the ash-colored Heavens.

His fingers are bitterly stiff and he bitterly loathes what the meteorology's still doing, but there are a couple of blondes in here he has to ask difficult questions of, in absence of greater audiences. One at a time, thing at a time. Teo tells himself this, ruminates on the importance of these tasks, assures himself this is the right thing as he goes stamping up the stairs. Wills himself. It kind of helps.

Asstastic weather still feels like ass, though. Blip—squeap, and the biometrics give to Teo's thumb, opening the apartment door to a push of his hand.

Food. Food. It wafts everywhere. A night in a hotel room, with pay per view movies, tea, lots of pillows and early checkout meant that Abigail was back home, and baking. Muffins in tins cooling, she was now at the table making her favourite - and everyone else's horrifying nightmare - cake. Baloney cakes. Packages of Oscar Mayer are open, and she's spreading thin layers of cream cheese on a slice, then slapping it down on the growing cylinder.

Sleepily, Odessa shambles past the terribly domestic Abigail, her eyes half-lidded. She may have muttered an apology. Something about her pajamas - which consist a pair of (thankfully for Abby, modestly cut) briefs and a lace-trimmed camisole top, cheery yellow and white stripes cutting wide horizontal lines across both pieces. From the fridge, the half-awake blonde procures two bottles, which she proceeds to pour into a glass she retrieves from the cupboard.

Mmm. Nothing like a screwdriver to get one started in the morning. Both bottles are replaced before Odessa allows herself a long drink from the freshly poured glass. A loud sniffle later, she turns to look at Abby's current culinary project. "What is that?" It looks horrifying. Or maybe her mind is just too tired to comprehend that monstrosity of processed, packaged meat.

"Baloney cake. It's very mysterious," Teo says, closing the door behind him with a sideways nudge of his elbow. Click, and the air-pressure shifts fractionally as he does the lock up with a twist of thumb and forefinger. "One passed down generations of Weezyanans for at least a few decades. I want to say 'centuries,' as surely it would have taken still more dynasties to have perfected the recipe, but—

"It tastes okay, if you eat nothing but rabbit food the rest of the week." Mind you, before the age of thirty, Teodoro Laudani is a creature of spectacularly robust metabolism, a culturally hearty appetite for the hearty foodstuffs of many cultures, and an almost destructively enthusiastic drive to stay exercised. \o/ But even he balks slightly before the recipe laid out upon the counter.

He yanks off his left boot before his right, topples both to the side of the floor. Steers his feet in, soundless in their socks. Teo's smiling.

It threatens to fade when he studies the manic fastidiousness with which Abby is steering her hands, but he pushes spins the knob back to its original brightness, the next moment. He knows her therepeutic obsessions when he sees one, and he's a little loathe to wonder what put her into therapy this time. Her knee? Ichihara's death? Russians, Caliban? "You two talked yet?"

Three out of four ain't bad. "Nope. I was away from home last night after. I figured be better if you asked her that way you all could be assured that I hadn't tried to tell her to flat out ignore you all and brainwash her or something" Slap goes another slice. It's 3/4's the way palm height which is where she needs it. "You freeze it then eat small slices. My Momma and I can eat a cake in a week. No one else likes it" Francois ate a piece. Once. "It lasts forever in the freezer"

I just woke up, and if I don't get some fucking morphine in me, I think I might lose my fucking mind, Odessa wants to say. But that would be admitting weakness and inviting a lecture from Abby on how she's better than that or some similar bullshit. Is she better than that? Odessa isn't so sure some days. Vodka will have to take the edge off of a particularly harsh morning. Maybe it was yesterday's visit from Melissa, or her conversation with Kazlow. Whatever it is, it's wearing her down.

"I just woke up," is what Odessa does say. "Have I told you lately how awesome you are?" The blonde manages a small smirk before taking another drink. Oh, sweet, merciful alcohol. Eying the baloney cake again, she pulls a face. "That looks absolutely disgusting," she mutters. And when something looks disgusting, you apparently drink more.

Finally, Odessa fixes a slightly bleary-eyed look on Teo. "What is she brainwashing me about now?" It's too early for this, isn't it? It must be. That must be a rule written somewhere. No business before the third cup of coffee? No? Crap.

Stopping by the counter, Teo sets about the regular courtesies. Gathering up the assembly of spent baloney wrappings and unnecessary caps. They go rattling into the trash can, dumped two-handed. "My friends and I were wondering if you would be able to help us capture Dreyfus and his people, using your ability to turn their defense to piss and keep yourself protected. Tranquilize 'em so we could raid them, pretty much.

"They keep killing people we care about," he explains, in his most conceivably straightforward voice. "We understand it's not without its risks, though.

"One little thing goes wrong or doesn't fall in right, and we could lose a lot of ground in the investigation so far. Not to mention your cover likely being blown." Maybe it is fortunate he hadn't dragged his boyfriend along for this one; the carrot seems to be made up of superheated aluminium with a bear trap pinned flat around it. Glancing at Abigail, he wipes his hands on the dishrag, turns to study the woman.

Withdrawal hasn't been kind to her, evidently. Maybe not the weather, either, though dressed like that one would imagine that Joy's managed to evade the mutant plague, so far. "And I know you've had a pretty fucking rough couple of weeks, but we were hoping you'd consider it."

"Then don't eat it Odessa. It's not like it's the only thing to eat in the house." She points towards the muffins of two flavors. Blueberry and then bran. Bran. Hey. She likes her bran muffins, so sue her. She's trying not to look at Odessa thanks to the underwear that the woman is walking around in. If Teo or Al had ever thought to walk around in tighty whities, they were summarily told not while there's a woman in the house, get some boxers on.

slap Another piece added and she doesn't say another thing with regards to the plamtm that her own body language doesn't already speak volumes. She doesn't like it.

Odessa shoots a glance to Abby. Well, she knew Teo would probably want to talk about this sooner or later. So, she turns her attention to Teo, alternating between holding his eyes and watching his lips move while he speaks. "So you want me… To tranquillise Dreyfus, and his men, so you and your people can… What? I'm not sure what they have to raid." Odessa closes her eyes heavily, brows knit in a physical display of thinking that doesn't result in a plume of smoke from her ears.

"It's complicated, the situation." Odessa swallows another mouthful of vodka and juice before setting her glass aside in favour of pinching the bridge of her nose. Can't do both when you've only got one set of working fingers. "I'm not saying I won't do it, but there are people in on it that want out. I… I need more time to gather more information so that I can…" The blonde shakes her head, attempting to reorganise her jumbled thoughts. "Charlie isn't the only one with loved ones on Dreyfus' radar. I will try to keep you one step ahead of his game, if you will give me time to try and track down more information." Odessa's gaze is part pleading and part is that good enough?

Fortunately for Abigail's sensibilities, both her male roommates have always been far too modest or, you know, conservative in their own odd ways to strut their stuff like that. Teo wears a lot of clothes, generally. In winter, particularly: currently, for instance, he's wearing a coat over a jacket over a sweater and a shirt— or two.

Not even this barricade of clothing does much to conceal the shift in his posture as the temporal manipulator abruptly vents her alternative in his direction.

She looks sincere, for what it's worth. Teo stares for a long moment, the blunt of his fingers set on the counter-top and weight distributed even over his feet. He suspects that several of his fellow teammembers would not find that it is worth very much at all. The people she describes do not sound like the people they already know Dreyfus has working for him, and her phrasing is the whimsical and twist-tied thing of an impure sociopath trying to get around actually lying outright.

"Sure," Teo says, abruptly and easily, his features softening out of their puppy-blank stare, ceding a lopsided smile. "If you'll tell me what information you have already. I won't pass it on 'til you're ready for show-and-tell. I'd prefer three days. Not more than a week."

Abigail probably couldn't tell you if she's seen Teo in anything //less/ than two t-shirts and sweatpants. Odessa's inquiry makes the blonde deal with her last piece of baloney before swishing her knife around in the Philly to soften it and prepare it for spreading on the 'cake' like icing. "Everything's complicated."

Odessa nods her head readily. "Done." She holds out her glass. "Pour me another drink. I'm gonna need it. And don't go stingy on the vodka, either." Resting her hip against the counter, she worries her lower lip between her teeth for a moment, working words into phrases. "I'm not sure how much you already know, so if I'm repeating information, please just bear with me. I'd rather repeat what you already know than skip details you might not." A lift of her brows. Sound fair? "So, here's what I know.

"Carlisle Dreyfus. I believe your friend Elisabeth killed his son? It's driven him a little bit crazy." For the gravity of this situation, Odessa's almost speaking with a bit too much of a lilt to her voice. "He's decided he wants you all to suffer, but I'm sure you figured that bit out all on your own." She fixes Abby with a gaze, "They tried to kill you not because of Kazimir." The urge to click her tongue against her teeth chidingly is sensibly quashed. "You simply made the most appealing target to get to the rest of Charlie." At least she looks apologetic when she shrugs? Not my fault that you're sweet, innocent, and well-liked.

"So who's trying to get out?" Teodoro doesn't go light on the vodka. He doesn't go heavy on the mock-surprise, either; she'd already pre-empted him with the, 'bear with me,' 'you might already know this part.' That much, he might have guessed. He's dug vodka and orange juice out of the fridge and he lakes a little under a quarter of the ex-Vanguard woman's cup with it, before finishing the screwdriver off with Abigail's flawless choice in fruit juice.

Speaking of Abigail's flawless everything, Teo gives her a brief sidelong glance, but doesn't hover. They're in her kitchen. There is baloney cake. It's early in the morning.

While this may seem like a great idea to set several trees on fire and hew them into stakes to erect a fence around her, this isn't a feasible plan of action, so Teo contents himself putting the juice carton down. "At your own pace, of course. Just— yeah." Sounds fair. "Seems like a good idea for everybody around Dreyfus right now to get the fuck out, no matter how they feel about their own unique brands of crazy."

"Well, that's no surprise either. Generally, if i'm a target, it's to get to others. Especially since I can't heal. Don't discount Yvette if she's near them though" Abby won't. "Language" When Teo swears. "I"m going to the powder room. Make some coffee will you? Just don't.. plan anything that will get her killed. I'm not kidding either" Even as she's stepping away from teh half frosted stack of baloney.

"If Yvette's with them, I haven't seen her." Even if only because she hasn't heard of another woman tied to Dreyfus' cause. Odessa is drinking down the refreshed drink like it's her lifeblood. Oh, thank goodness, this is so good. A quarter of it is gone in a flash. Closing her eyes and pressing the cold glass against her breastbone, she takes a moment to simply breathe and process her thoughts again. "Sasha Kozlow. There's something going on there, but he won't give me the whole story himself. I think he's lost his faith in Dreyfus, but he says he can't walk away. I suspect Dreyfus has his sights on Sasha's family." Whatever that may constitute to him. She can only speculate that he isn't motivated by his own revenge. "If I'm right about that, they don't deserve to get caught in the crossfire any more than you and yours do."

When Abby's out of earshot, Odessa is rolling her eyes and muttering to Teo under her breath, "Please. Like a non-Evo like Dreyfus could kill me." A non-Evo like Feng Daiyu almost did once, but that was totally different, okay? "I think Sasha has the five-ten," the blonde confides. "He says it's not as bad as it looks, but coughing up blood is never a good thing. Going after him would be like kicking an already wounded dog. That's just wrong."

She frowns, "As I'm sure Abby's told you, I was assigned to watch you, her, and Francois. Sasha is tailing Mu- Eileen and Raith. He's trying to figure out where the three of you go. I haven't followed you all the way there." It is at least an admission that Odessa has followed him some. "Plausible deniability."

Hhhhh. Hhhh. Teo's fingers twitch slightly when Weezyanna steps away, but that is nothing compared to the twitching he refrains from when it becomes rather painfully apparent that the man that Odessa's putting the stall on the proceedings for happens to be the one who put a fucking bullet in his fucking Madre. Still, a deal's a deal. And don't think it doesn't bring him a vicious thrill of pleasure, that the man's apparently caught contagious death.

White knights are, by definition, not saints. "Sooner you can get verifiable intel on what Dreyfus has on Kozlow, the better. Personally, I could give less of a fuck about him, and from what I can tell of Dreyfus' tactics so far, as soon as he's off the streets, anybody he's threatening should be in the clear. Even Kozlow's.

"I was even talking to a guy about buying 'Sasha' off a few weeks ago, so," not that things don't change, mind you. Logan's gone from sour neutral to sourer spite in the course of but twelve hours. He closes his hand, squeezes a coarse-skinned fist out of it.

Stems the urge to give Eileen a call, now, rattle Raith. At least he knows that getting the ex-CIA agent into infiltration's no longer a likely option unless he particularly feels like using himself or other members of Charlie lose a few ounces of blood or flesh to prove Raith's sincerity. "All right. We know he has Kozlow, Feng, and you on retainer so far. That it?"

"…Feng?" Odessa nearly drops her glass, setting it on the counter quickly with a loud clunk! Droplets of juice spill over the sides of the glass and litter the counter. She's quick to reach out and grab at Teo's outermost shirt. "Daiyu?" Judging from this reaction, it's a fair assumption Odessa wasn't aware of that particular teammate. "That son of a bitch!" She releases Teo quickly so she can cover the gaping shock that is her mouth.

A few shakes of her head and Odessa's recalling names again. "Ah, no. He's got this other Chinese guy. A hunchback? I've heard him called Bing." Her fingers slide over her forehead, rake into her hair, tugging it until her scalp stings. "Fuck. Fuck. Daiyu? That bastard. He didn't fucking tell me."

Fury burns in Odessa's dark blue eyes when she lifts them back to Teo's face. "Oh, yeah. You have my full support in this."

Thusly seized, Teo is surprised by the vehemence with which she speaks. Decides he likes it. That, too, looks real, and nothing helps make friends than mutual enemies. Bing isn't a name that he recognizes, but he makes a mental note to ask around. Earlier than four days, if he can manage a little discretion about it.

"Keep your head down," he says, finally, giving the woman's shoulder a brief squeeze. "If Kozlow's sick, there's a good chance the fever could loosen his tongue, make him crazy." Somewhere beyond the fourth wall, our readers are enjoying the irony of Teodoro Laudani saying that. "He's like to rat you out by accident or do something rash, even if there's no malice in his heart.

"And I wouldn't put it past him if there was," Teodoro finishes. "He's done a good job jerking around beautiful women before.

"I'm given to understand it was his modus operandi back in Russia. He was in love enough with the charade to— seemed like, walk miles in winter to bring Faina's memorial fresh flowers, but it was just that. A fucking charade." It's obvious the Sicilian expects some resistance to this idea from her, but his regard is steadfast, unblinking, as honest as baby-Teo was ever capable of and the old Ghost ever seeded his lies with. A beat. His mouth thins; if that doesn't bring resistance, this probably will.

Trust falls. "Where did Dreyfus asked you all to meet him, before?"

Odessa stares at Teo for a moment, soaking up this information. She accepts it, but also dismisses some of it. She doesn't think Sasha was lying to her. Not about this. "I don't think he's… It doesn't matter." She banishes the thought with a wave of her hand, taking another long pull from her glass. "You could be right," she allows. There is some doubt in her mind, she won't lie about it.

"There's a flower shop in the Bronx. We met in the greenhouse. I don't know how much use it gets." Odessa suspects Dreyfus didn't trust her enough to take her somewhere vital. She certainly wouldn't blame him for that. "When he wants me to report in, I get a call and they ask me where I want to meet."

A breath is hissed in through the woman's nose. Carefully, she pulls herself up to sit on the counter, rather than stand any longer. And sitting at the table? Well that would just be far too mundane for her. Bare feet swing back and forth alternatively. Absent motion. "I don't think they use the greenhouse anymore. There were no lights or heat when I was there. I doubt they've wired the place for it since that time…" She frowns and shakes her head.

"Before that, he would find me. I don't know how he does it. I tried to get Sasha to tell me, but either he doesn't know, or he isn't saying." An errant strand of blonde is tucked behind one ear before black painted nails ruffle the back and undo the action. "I don't think I have to tell you that I'm a hard woman to find if I don't want to be found," Odessa says seriously. "There aren't a lot of people who scare me, Teo. Carlisle Dreyfus scares me. There's more to this whole thing than just him. I'm not sure killing him - or capturing him - is going to stop what's happening to your families." She holds his gaze for this bit of serious allegation.

She owes the Italian that much. "Dreyfus is mad. The barking kind, not the spitting kind." As if both weren't true. "Even if he goes down? I'm betting he's got infrastructure laid to make sure that Charlie still suffers as much as he feels he has."

An unpowered and unheated warehouse, and circumstances under which the plague might flourish— don't sound like the kind of paygrade that Sasha would sooner work for, no. Teo can't tell what that means yet, though he hesitates to assume that that necessarily means Odessa is right. Still, serious allegations noted.

"Try and turn Kozlow against him?" he suggests, after a moment, and it's only in that tone: of suggestion. "Tell him you're hesitating, make much of our resources. Everything from multi-powered serial-killers to the FBI, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of assets and FRONTLINE's chairwoman halfway into our pocket. See if you can't get him to think that the two of you coming to us is his idea.

"If you're up for it," Teodoro adds, quirking her a weary half-smile. If the tug against the aching scar on the other side of his face bothers him, he doesn't let it on. "I trust your discretion.

"If it'll help, you can tell them Raith, Ruskin and I seem to have been trying to find buyers for some equipment and intel we got out of a raid on an experimental facility in Midtown the other month. Furnishing ourselves with guns and bombs, the usual." Teo angles a brief glance at the hallway, but there's neither hide nor hair of Abigail and, despite a pang of paranoia and persistent twitch of curiosity as to who Odessa's unnamed other benefactor is, he doesn't call out to check after her.

The phrase it's as if time has simply stopped is generally a literal one in the case of Odessa Knutson, but for once, it's a figurative cessation of marching time. Odessa stares at Teo. His words find her ears, sink in. Knowledge takes up residence in her brain. But she's stuck on a point. "Multi-powered serial killers?" she asks with wide eyes. "Sylar is alive?" For the too-many-th time in too short a period, Odessa's eyes are glistening with tears when she looks at Teo. "Don't fucking lie to me," she half warns, half begs. "Is he really alive?" She's waving one hand in a quickly dismissive gesture, "I'll do my best to sway Kozlow and I'll take care of everything and if he can't be turned, then fuck him, but just tell me."

It is like reaching into one's belt gingerly seeking one's crop and finding instead an unbelievable array of carrots. Not that it is necessary to think in such terms. "He's alive," Teo says, and this time his smile is whole, whether the scarred edge or no. Pause. A shrug seesaws through his shoulders, and he weaves his head briefly, modifying that earlier statement: "With a problem with one of his newest abilities, but alive.

"And pretty fuckin' strong, if I'm not mistaken. I'll tell him where you're at. Maybe you two can help each other out." He inclines his head slightly, then it nips upright with a fractioned jerk of taut-strung nerves when the breastpocket of his coat suddenly keens like a wasp. Some cellphone— set to vibrate. Some other responsibility calling, putting a furrow in Teo's brow, jerking his chin down to look at the bump in his outer-garment.

Fuck. "I have to —" he hooks a thumb over his shoulder, has the good grace to look apologetic. Looks at Odessa — yes, her eyes up there — to check that's okay. That that's enough to work with, for now.

Odessa's quick to nod. She's in shock. That much is obvious when he looks yes, up there, to her eyes. She slides down off the counter and scurries forward the steps it takes her to lift up onto her toes and plant a kiss over the ugly scar on his cheek. An intentional gesture of affection. "Thank you. Thank you." She drops another kiss there before stepping back again. Looking unsteady on her own legs she nods again, shakily, "I need some time to myself. I'm going to go for a walk." She turns and hurries toward the room she alternates with Abby. Stopping just before she slips through the door, she calls over her shoulder, "I'll have my phone! Call me if something comes up!" Then quick as anything, she's disappeared behind the door to bundle up and face a world suddenly worth facing again.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License