The Garden of Good and Evil


delia_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title The Garden of Good and Evil
Synopsis Two women with more in common than they realize bond over a difficult situation.
Date June 8, 2011

Eltingville Blocks — The Brick House

Only the best is good enough for Mister Logan and when he chose the antiquated brick house at the end of the curving drive, he got it. The clipped green lawn of the back yard edges a small private beach, not that anyone uses it due to the water of the bay being less than desirable for swimming. The stone wall is low enough for even a child to hop over and is only there for decoration rather to fence the residents in. As such, it's easy for anyone walking across the sand to spy the multitude of blooming roses and beds of herbs that one of the residents has planted.

Out in the real world, the one beyond the fence, this garden wouldn't be able to compete for any country club awards. Inside is a different story. Here, Delia Ryans' black thumb doesn't make a difference to the weeds that she's organized into small patches, they're flourishing.

Not so the tender of the flower beds, the redhead's tall form is curled into a lawn chair and her tears are making a slow crawl down her cheek. Every once in a while, she hiccups and wipes her face on a shoulder, leaving a smudge of moisture that dries quickly in the heat of the midday.

The weather is hot. Perfect, in fact, for a walk along the beach. Even one where the waters won't be swam, or waded into. But it is the perfect excuse to break out the sandals and the bikini. Not itsy bitsy or teeny weeny, but Odessa's is yellow and polka dotted. Ruffled bottom, halter top - not terrifically risque by any means. Black sunglasses eliminate the need for a patch over her ruined eye, which also means she won't have a tan line from the strap that fastens it around her head. The sheath strapped to her thigh for the ceramic knife she carries, however… That will be an awkward tan line.

The roses were spotted first, and they alone would have been enough reason for Odessa to approach (and probably cut one for herself), but Delia's red hair is hard to miss. The crying even more so. The woman with snowy hair comes to a halt at the property line the wall represents and stares for a moment. "Delia Ryans?" she asks finally. "I… didn't know you lived here."

Wonders never cease.


There's an awkward shift of long limbs as they unfurl and the hem of Delia's sweatpants snag along the side of one of the chairs. It lifts just enough to show off a thick anklet that's par for the course among most of the residents. The white haired woman isn't immediately recognized, if only because the young woman is a little too self absorbed to pick out the details that make Odessa unique.

She assumes that the other woman worked with her father at one time, hence the usage of full name rather than a nickname or a term of endearment, and treats her accordingly. "Oh, yes." A lack of much to say regarding where she lives aside from a longing glance to the upper windows of the house. "I'm nice and legal now."

"You and me both, sister," Odessa murmurs. "It's been a while, dream manipulator." She offers a small smile and glances down at the stone wall out of the bottom of her dark glasses without inclining her head as giveaway.

"You're sad." Blunt observation. "Life in our little corner of paradise doesn't suit you, I take it?" Odessa wraps her arms around her bare midriff, some concern in her tone even if Delia can't see it in her eyes.

Delia's eyes focus on a creeping vine that's attached itself to the wall, rather than the woman on the other side of it. The clue to exactly how she knows the stranger earns a nod. "A while, yeah," there's a measure of relief in the dreamwalker's words, perhaps thankful for the lack of malice in the blonde's.

"Have— uhm… there's an extra chair if you want to come in. As long as you don't bring the soldiers it should be fine." It's a small attempt at a joke, even though Delia isn't smiling. "I have lemonade." Not fresh but frozen, not a powder either by the looks of the glass near the redhead. It's full of pink liquid and a little pulp.

"The last thing I intend to do is be followed about by a gaggle of soldiers." It's assurance, but she might have rolled her eyes at the notion. She can't quite see much funny about the soldiers in this place either. Odessa steps over the wall in her cork-wedge-platform-these-aren't-really-beach sandals and approaches the offered chair. "Thank you. Lemonade would be lovely." She tilts her head back, basking in the sun a little bit. "Were you relocated here as well?"

Before answering any questions, Delia pushes herself out of her chair and stalks into the house. When she comes out again, there's a large half wolf at her heels and a glass of lemonade in her hand. The dog sniffs around the perimeter of the yard, as careful about her choice of spots as her owner is with everything he does. It takes a while, longer for outside business than inside, dogs are never as picky inside.

"I came here with one of my housemates," she says quietly before handing the glass to her guest. Then she slumps back into her chair and reaches for her own. "I thought I could protect my family… I was stupid… I can't do anything at all."

Odessa accepts the glass with a gracious nod, taking a sip while she listens to Delia's woes. "Now that isn't so. You may not be able to protect your family from in here, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything."

Brows lift from over dark glasses and Odessa turns her head to better look at Delia. "I've witnessed your ability first-hand. You are hardly powerless." She's surprised to find that envy doesn't make a knot in her gut or pang her heart. "Relying on your ability and believing you're powerless without it is where you run into trouble."

She says from experience.

There's a long sniff and the redhead is forced to dry her eyes with the heel of her hand. She's not wearing long sleeves and her pale arms practically glow under the sun. "With it— without it. I can't do much to help anyone either way. All I can do it watch." The statement isn't as much cryptic as it is lacking content. "I can only watch while everyone that's important to me is hurt or— "

Her words choke off and she rubs her cheek against her shoulder to stop more tears from flowing. "Sorry, I shouldn't— be like this. I'm just tired of tucking it away. I don't want to pretend that everything is fine when it's not." After taking a sip of her drink, she places it back down beside her chair and wipes the sweat from the glass off on her pant leg. "I used to have a place to cry… but this guy— I guess he's sort of my boyfriend or something— He's sick. I think he's dying."

Sometimes, things manage to get through to Odessa. Delia's plight is one of those rare instances in where it suddenly becomes obvious that the woman isn't a total sociopath. "Sometimes watching over and being there are the best we can do for the people we care for, Delia…" She sets her drink aside and turns in her chair to face the redhead. "Your boyfriend, he's non-Evolved?"

"Yeah," the word comes out in a hoarse whisper. Delia's throat shifts slightly as she swallows and then leans back in her chair. A few summers ago she would have been laying on a towels in the grass with her friends. "The flu— it's bad. I can't reach him half the time, when I do it's so short. I want to stay with him but if he dies…" There's a slight shake to the young woman's head and she tugs at her lower lip with her teeth, trying to keep her chin from trembling.

"Sorry, I'm not good company right now," but the lemonade is cold and the lawn chair is a place to rest feet weary from pushing through sand. "It's just— have you ever been in love? Not the kind like in a romance novel but the kind that's just there." She glances over to one of the smaller rose bushes and a sardonic smile tugs at one corner of her lips. "The kind that grows… The kind that you just wait for, you know?"

"You mean the kind that isn't written about in the pages of books like Mean Heat?" A rueful smirk tugs at the corner of Odessa's lips. "I think I know what you're talking about. I used to mistake other things for love a lot. I used to equate things like he makes me feel safe or I find him fascinating with I must love him."

She rests her arms on her knees, slouching forward with a quiet sigh. "I think I love. I think I have been loved. Maybe I am loved. Or used to be loved. It started out as just sex," and Odessa feels no shame for that, and certainly doesn't mind telling the other girl, "and then I woke up next to him in the middle of the night once when he stayed over…" She smiles sadly. "And I realised I didn't want to be without him."

Narrows shoulders hunch up in a shrug. "I think I understand what you're saying, is what I'm getting at. It's difficult to sit back and know you can't help them. Be it in illness or trial."

"I feel safe when I'm with him," the defensive statement interrupts what Odessa is saying but Delia quiets quickly as the other woman goes on. "But I know that it's not just that. If it was just that, I think it would be easier. At least for him, you know?" It's hard to explain without detail, so the redhead attempts to remedy.

"I mean, I met him— he was nice. I mean we got along but he was always so distant, you know? Then when I got lost…" she gives the blonde a swift glance from the corner of her eye, like Odessa should know what Delia's talking about. "I stayed with him for a while, he kept me safe and alive. I got to know him better."

"The ongoing drama of shared experience." Spoken like she feels she understands yet again what Delia's trying to convey. "I'm sorry about your boyfriend. Don't give up hope, though. They wouldn't call it a survival rate if no one survived." Probably not the best way of putting it, when said survival rate is only ten percent, but Odessa's heart is in the right place at the very least.

"What'd you do to deserve the jewellery anyway? I thought you were on the straight and narrow." The comment is meant to be lighthearted. Odessa regrets it after it leaves her lips. Not the thing to tease about. "Sorry. Just… trying to make conversation. Those things are… pretty common around here. It isn't like you're the only one." Though her ankle is perhaps conspicuously lacking one of those trackers.

"I guess… I suppose that's a good way of looking at it. Sunny side and everything— I'm just scared that I'll never see him again. He looks worse than anyone I've ever seen sick with the flu. This one is bad… I've seen people die from 5-10 before— it's so much worse." Delia's voice is small and meek, like a child's. She doesn't bother wiping away the tears that drip from her eyes to land in dark spots on her sweats. "Why do people think it's okay to play with lives? These people that are dying, they mean something… they're not just pawns."

She tilts her head down and fingers the soft jersey material of the sweatpants, gathering enough of it in her palm to lift above the ankle to show off the monstrosity. "This flu.. it's worse than these anklets. You know? They do things to us because they're afraid of what we can do. Sometimes they're right— some of us are monsters… Like the person that made this flu, he's killing my Nick without ever seeing him or caring what happens to regular people."

Odessa swallows uneasily. This man means something to Delia, and for that, she feels terrible. But the stony part of her believes that the people who have died, and who will die, are just pawns. Whether the pawns deserve to be sacrificed is a debate she's had with herself several times over the past few days.

"Some monsters have good intentions," Odessa responds in a quiet voice of her own. "Some people do evil things in order to serve what they believe to be the greater good…" How staunchly can she defend Calvin without giving away what she knows?

How can she even defend him knowing what she knows?

"We'll beat it, though, Delia. This flu. We'll find a way to halt the spread of it." The young doctor tries to be reassuring even though she turns her face away. She has her own uncertainties. "Don't hate the one who did this, though. Revenge and retaliation are what get us into situations like this in the first place."

"Revenge— " the word is spit out like a bitter liquid it and the sour expression on Delia's face makes an ugly presence. "This flu is revenge. The guy that made it wanted revenge, doesn't he realize that it just makes things harder for the everyone else? For the people trying to do the right thing?" Not that Delia is trying that, she's just looking out for herself. "There's no such thing as doing evil for the greater good. Maybe it's really Barney of me to think like this… but why can't people just leave each other alone?"

She lets go the material and turns a helpless expression to Odessa, "I'm sorry… I'm just… Overwhelmed. Everything is falling apart and going all wrong. Nick and I were finally there, you know? We were going to give it a shot. Now he's— and I'm— I don't know what I need to do to get it off."

"Because we're human." A brief chuckle escapes the older woman's lips as she shakes her head. "We just don't leave well enough alone, because someone will always want to assert their superiority over others." She wants to say that the virus is a pre-emptive strike, but instead she looks down at her shoes. "So… You can't leave the E-Block at all?"

"I— I think I can? I haven't tried… I used to be able to before they put it on. Now…" Delia bends at the waist and she runs her hands around the anklet, feeling the catch for a hidden button or some trick latch that might take it off. She's been doing that a lot, at least lately. "Now I'm scared to risk it… because all I want to do is go home or go to Nick…" Her voice drifts off and she gazes at the short crop of soft green lawn. The silent implication is there, that she can't do either while wearing the cuff.

"Listen to me… I'm pouring all this out on you and I don't even know your name…" The weak laugh punctuating her observation is breathless and perhaps more than a little hopeless.

There's a surprised blink that Delia more knows by instinct than actual confirmation of sight behind dark shades. "Oh. I'm sorry, I thought you knew. I'm Odessa Price. You took over my clinic at Gun Hill. Your father and I know each other from our Company days."

"Then you know— " is Delia's only real reaction to the introduction. It's coupled with a sniffle and an attempt at a smile, however small it is. "You know why I can't go home, that is." It drops and her expression turns to neutral, as though her face was carved from white marble. The slight freckling over her nose a little more prominent under the midday sun.

"H-how do you manage? I mean— how do you manage to be away from everyone for so long. Don't you miss it?" By the line of questions, the young woman has no real idea of exactly why the blonde has banished herself to the outside world rather than stay within the relative safety of the network.

"I miss it a lot," Odessa admits. "I loved being a part of the Ferry. I loved being a part of what that stood for. But I didn't agree with some of the politics…" The change in Delia's expression isn't lost on her. "Do you know my story? What have you been told about me?"

A quiver of red curls as Delia shakes her head and a slight widening of bloodshot blue eyes signal a negative answer that's laced with just a little curiosity. "No one really said anything to me… Not about you. There were always other things to deal with, then I got lost and I sort of just— " Lifting one shoulder, she lets it drop in a shrug.

"Mister Doyle came by once, I think that was the first person that I ever heard actually talk about you." She laces her fingers together and tucks them between her knees as she stares at the doctor. "He was asking about your cat."

"Oh, this will be a treat for you, then." Odessa leans back in her chair again, a small smile playing on her lips as she lets the sunshine warm her face. "I was born and raised within the confines of the Company. One day, I decided I wanted to see the world, so I sneaked out. That's when I… became reacquainted with the man called Sylar. And his friends. Eileen Ruskin being among them.

"Now, Eileen and I never could see eye to eye. We were just from different worlds, you know?" An shrug of her shoulders means to convey what can you do? "And when we both decided we liked the same boy, well, that just complicated things. We just couldn't get along, her and I. And when she started taking the Ferry in a direction I didn't agree with…" Odessa finally lifts the sunglasses from her face so the young nurse can see her eyes.

"We clashed."

"That's why you're afraid of birds…" Delia breathes. Slowly, she reaches down for her glass of lemonade and grips it tightly. Though her eyebrows twitch noticeably, she doesn't betray much more of her sentiment toward the woman they're talking about. "I'm uhm… I'm sorry things went that way for you but I can’t believe that she’s— It’s impossible. She’s with the Midtown Man’s twin brother, I saw it.” In a dream.

It's then that the large dog pads into view again and sits alongside the redhead's chair. There's a small whine that emits from the canine's throat before she slumps down on all fours to lie down. "I'm scared," she confesses finally. The droplets of water that have gathered on the outside of the younger woman's glass slip down and trace along the long lines of her fingers before falling to the grass. "I’m scared of what’s going to happen if Nick doesn’t get better. We’re going to have a baby… If no cure is found for this flu…” She stops and chews on her lip, her free hand runs down her thigh and cups her kneecap, squeezing it tightly. “I have to get out— I have to find a way to get this thing off and I have to see him.”

“Yes, that's why I don't like most birds.” And there are two things wrong with that one particular statement of Delia's. First, that the man known as Sylar isn't the one responsible for the explosion in Midtown. Second, he doesn't have a twin brother. That's not something she's heard before, but not something she can't account for with the myriad of abilities she knows Sylar - Gabriel could possess.


“I know you're scared, Delia.” Odessa's gaze shifts to settle on the younger woman's stomach only for a moment. A baby. She looks up again, and pulls her sunglasses back into place. “Give it time. With him or in here, you can't change this. He will either recover, or he will not. But I have the feeling that he will, and you will have other opportunities to be with him.” She offers a reassuring smile. “Men named Nick, in my experience, are made of fairly resilient stuff.”

The clothing that the young woman is wearing isn’t form fitting enough for Odessa to discern whether or not there is a bump or not. The grey t-shirt that’s a little too big in the shoulders and torso obviously doesn’t belong to her, nor to the sweat pants that she’s wearing, which are cut for a male rather than female. Other than those two articles, she is wearing no other visible clothing.

“At least if I was with him I’d be there,” Delia murmurs quietly, sliding her hand down to the base of her glass to wipe away the condensation. It rains down onto her pant leg, staining it with large circles before they dry under the sun. “Right now I just feel like I’m waiting until the day that I can’t find him anymore.” Her words are those of a defeatist, of one that’s already given up hope. “He’s just so sick and there’s nothing I can do… not from here. At least if I was with him… I could do something. Even if it’s just hold him.”

“The best thing you can do,” Odessa insists, “is not give up on him.” And then she rises from her seat, swallowing down a last gulp of lemonade and leaving the glass half empty (pessimist) on the table. “I should go. I… If you want to talk again, I have a house on Thornycroft. 150. Or you can do that…” She points up toward one temple. “Thing. That dream thing.”

The guilt may come to haunt her later, but for now Odessa works on suppressing it. She has bigger things to worry about, in her own opinion. “Take care of yourself. And don’t lose hope.”

It's not often that Delia receives scantily clad visitors. Until now, she was too mired in self pity to even notice what the other woman was wearing. As Odessa walks away, the redhead lifts her eyes to follow the pattern of the bikini as the blonde hops over the low stone wall.

Back onto the beach in cork heels, she's fashionable, much more than the young woman still sipping her lemonade. There's an envious glint in her stare as she watches the other woman go, before she slumps back into her chair and draws her knees up to her chest. "I couldn't look like that in a bikini, Cheza," she murmurs, letting one hand fall away from her body to touch the half wolf's head. "Probably not… I'd just look awkward."

It's just one more thing she'll probably never get to do with Nick.

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