The Third Harmony


des4_icon.gif vf_ruiz_icon2.gif

Scene Title The Third Harmony
Synopsis Trapped in a world not her own, Des reaches out to the one person she's sure she can trust.
Date October 5, 2013

The Woods Residence

Des has been in this strange new world for a few hours now. Her home is beautiful. Her husband is nothing less than a miracle. And she’s terrified.

Complaining of a headache, she sequestered herself in the bedroom and sat in the middle of the large, soft bed in the dark for an hour, a red-cased cell phone clutched tightly in her hands. Finally, she hits send on the message she composed some time ago.

Dessy: Can we meet somewhere? I need help.
Message Sent: October 5 18:02

Ruiz was still in town, having taken the train down to make his piano date months late. He hadn’t expected the text he got. One from ‘Nette, sure. But he’d half expected to be up in their house again when she finally called or texted. But his response was quick.

Tete: Usual spot is closed to visitors. Let me know where.
Message Sent: October 5 18:04

“Oh, fuck me,” Des mutters under her breath. “That was almost a disaster.” This at least worked out in her favor, but she hadn’t expected a usual spot. She should have anticipated it. Taking a deep breath, she opens up an app on her phone and scrolls through until she finds a coffee shop. “No… That’s no good.”

Instead, she pulls up a bar. A lounge. A nice one where you can tip the waiters to make sure that no one gets seated near you. She texts the address to her brother.

Dessy: Should be nice and quiet. I’ll get a table. Just tell them you’re with Woods.
Message Sent: October 5 18:07

Tete: I still can’t believe you married him here.
Message Sent: October 5 18:08

"Me either," Des murmurs under her breath as the phone in her hand buzzes again.

Tete: On my way.
Message Sent: October 5 18:08

Grabbing his coat, Ruiz made his way out of his hotel room, tucking a wallet into his pocket along with his keys. The two wedding ring hung around his neck, as they always did now, tucked under his shirt. After getting into a cab and giving the address, he texted a message home, a quick one.

It doesn’t take him long to find the lounge, but the man who walks in is different from the Mateo she knew. His hair was longer, curly, a thick but well-groomed beard covered his face. He also, somehow, looked younger, but the date on the phone probably explained that. No gray in this one’s hair.

Led back to the secluded table for Woods, he offers a smile and pulls off his jacket to drape over the back of the chair, a familiar wristwatch on his wrist. “I didn’t expect you to call so fast. You said you needed help?”

His accent even sounded just slightly different. A hint here and there, a little more New York-ish.

The blonde hair is like a nostalgic memory as Des styles it. The waves are swept up into a elegant bun atop her head. She changes her outfit. A white suit with a canary yellow blouse underneath makes her feel like she’s money. And like maybe other people will think so too.

She smiles shakily when Ruiz comes to join her. He looks so much like she expected, and yet not. Her hand doesn’t shake when she brings her vodka cranberry to her lips. It wouldn’t be good to spill on her blazer. “I’m sorry to pull you away like this, but… I didn’t know who else to trust. And if I can’t trust my brother…” Her smile pulls tight, almost turning downwards at the corners, “then I’m in real trouble.”

She doesn’t let that implication linger. She instead gestures to the glass sitting in front of the seat he now occupies. “It’s called a Mourning Dove. I didn’t expect it to be so pink when I ordered it. I just asked for a tequila recommendation. Should have known with the grapefruit… Ah well,” Des waves it off. “At least we match?” If he doesn’t like it, she’ll order him something else.

“I have something… so crazy to tell you. I’m not sure you’ll believe me. I’m not sure I’d believe me… But I swear to you, it’s the truth.”

Considering some of the things he’d been telling her the last year— Ruiz raised an eyebrow in surprise at the possibility that she could tell him something crazy that he’d have a hard time believing. “I’m from the apocalypse. Everything here is weird to me,” he jokes, thinking that it sounds funny. At least to him.

The pink drink is picked up, a decent sized sip made before he adds on, “I’ll believe you. I thought I was the one with crazy stories.”

The craziest one he hasn’t told yet, but the one that mattered to them two the most, he’d just told. He still was surprised she believed him. Though she may have just believed he believed it and perhaps that was enough for her.

Des’ mouth falls open a moment before she catches herself. I’m from the apocalypse. This one found a way to travel? She leans forward, gaze wide and imploring. “I’m not Odessa Woods. My name is Odessa Price, and I’m from… another world.”

She doesn’t wait for the reaction, having more to say. She needs to get it all out before she loses her nerve. “The one you know is Woods. Something happened and I… One moment I was in my world, and the next I was here in hers. It’s like I’ve become her, but I’m still me.”

Des leans back again. “Oh God. None of that makes sense. Please don’t freak out.”

As he hears the explanation, Ruiz stares at her. Not because what she’s saying doesn’t make sense, but because it had not been at all what he expected. He doesn’t freak out. What he does do is take a deeper drink of the Mourning Dove and then puts it back down. The acidic grapefruit causes a different kind of burn when the tequila goes down, but the name also seems fitting in a way. “Well, you look like her. So I don’t think you used my way of getting here,” he mutters quietly, touching his chest for a moment, the rings resting under his shirt.

“But I believe you.” His Odessa used to say weird things all the time too, but never anything like that. There’s a lot he wanted to ask, was this his Odessa? But he doubted it. She died two years ago, it couldn’t be his. He knew there was at least one more world out there, so she could be from that one. “Another branch on the same tree…” he whispers quietly as if that means something. “But you know who I am?” Unlike the one here, who hadn’t known him.

As far as he knew.

“Yes. I… When I saw your name in the phone, you were the only person I thought I could trust.” Des sags with relief. He’s not panicking or raising his voice or calling her crazy. This is a good sign.

“I don’t know how you came here, but you aren’t the first… you I’ve met either. This meeting makes three.” Which is surreal, and a bit of a grasp, but she’s all but certain this one isn’t her Mateo. “Where I come from, you and I are trying to figure out who we are to each other. I… My memories are foggy. But I know you as my brother.”

“That makes you the third I’ve met too,” Ruiz responds quietly, leaning back into the chair as he looks across at her. She looks the same, but there’s different emotions on her face, a different look in her eyes. Now that he looked at her more, he could see it. It didn’t look like his, but at least she looked at him close to the same way. She knew him. Maybe not in the same way, but—

Fuzzy memories. “Both of us had holes in our memories, even if we didn’t realize it. I think all of us might.” Holes filled up with false memories, with false feelings. Holes that had not included each other anymore, but should have. But she’s met three of him. He doubted it had been the one here, and he knew it hadn’t been him… “So that makes at least four worlds out there.”

There’s a moment where he tries to remember something, a specific detail before he nails it down finally. “You wouldn’t happen to know Magnes Varlane and Elisabeth Harrison who disappeared in 2011, did you? November 8th, I think it was.”

The blonde shakes her head slowly and washes down trepidation with more vodka and cranberry. “I didn’t know about you until I met the first one and he knew me, but I had no idea who he was. I thought he was a time traveller…” This sort of conversation should seem absurd, but maybe that’s just the way the world is now - absurd.

“I think there’s one more,” Des confirms as they try to count worlds. “At least one more. But… I’m sure you understand about the garden.” She smiles faintly.

His last words surprise and confuse her. “Yeah. Varlane wound up becoming a black hole and Harrison made a sacrifice play to keep him from killing everyone. I heard about it…” Brows furrow. “How the hell do you know about that?”

“He certainly thought he became a black hole. But they didn’t die,” Ruiz doesn’t seem bothered explaining his situation to this Odessa. He’d been about to explain it all to the one here, anyway, complete with introducing her to some of the others, if he could get ahold of them. Shaw, most likely.

“They fell out of el umbral, my ability, in my world. The same day, same year.” Which still didn’t seem like that long ago to him, even if sometimes it felt like a lifetime ago. “It told us that el umbral might actually lead to other worlds, so we spent a while trying to figure out how to use it, to escape my world, which was dying. Thirty-six of us from my world made it here. And them two as well. Those from my world definitely feel we got the better deal, while those two… I’m not sure they’d be happy till they made it back to theirs.”

Even if he did not know if he could help them anymore. And he had offered, when he hadn’t cared if he lived or died. Now he did.

“The virus…” Des understands the dying world, or at least thinks she does. Richard’s told her his theories about the various strings and how they connect. “I come from 2018. It’s like the other worlds have been bleeding together. I’m… connected to my other selves. I saw myself… die in another world. I’ve seen myself in this world, too. At least, I think it’s this one.” It seemed to fit, but also not quite, but for reasons she can’t explain.

“I need to know what you know about the Odessa from this world. She’s working for Arthur Petrelli, I know that much. I can’t… He can’t know there’s something off.” About this, Des is adamant. “He can’t know I’m not her.

“Right, the virus. They stopped it here. Even developed a damn cure for it— which was good. I think a dozen of those that came through were infected by the time we got to the place we could safely transfer from,” Ruiz responds to the happier things first, if one could call a dying world happy. His expression had been darkening since she mentioned… seeing a world where one of her died. “I think you saw my world. The… guy in charge of the Hub. He killed you— the other you.” As he says that, he rubs the watch around his wrist. The watch she would never take off, and now he never did. Even if the trip to this world had broken it.

He could attempt to get it fixed, but he probably wouldn’t. A broken watch seemed like a good memorial for his sister. It had always been broken, anyway. Always running a little off.

“I didn’t know she worked for Petrelli. She didn’t really… talk too much about what she was doing. I know she married Woods here. She laughed at the idea of being involved with Petrelli— the son, not the father.” And by involved he obviously meant involved. “But I can tell you how she acted.” He paid attention to their Wednesday meetings, closely. Always looking for some sign of his sister in her.

“I’m glad you were able to escape. I’m glad your people were able to get help.” She smiles genuinely, if a little sadly. 36 isn’t a very large number. But some victories are small. The smile vanishes when he confirms her suspicion. “Edward Ray. Yes, I… Did he escape with the rest?” She’d love to confront him and see the look on his face, even if that’s not a terribly wise thing.

That the Odessa of this world didn’t confide much to her brother is not encouraging. But mannerisms will get her somewhere, at least. “I think he’s… I’m not sure if you should trust her,” Des admits. “Arthur’s up to something. He knows who you are. Or… maybe he knows something about the you from this world? I don’t know, but your name came up in a meeting.”

His name came up in a meeting. “Wonder if that means Arthur Petrelli is the green dragon I was warned about,” Ruiz murmurs quietly, especially since he had avoided giving his real name to her. “Which name?” That would let him know if, perhaps, she knew more than she was supposed to. “I go by Javier here.” Which certainly would tell him if, perhaps, she had known far more than she’d let on.

But he believed that him being her brother had, at least, come as a surprise.

“And Edward Ray didn’t make it. When I found out what he did to you, I killed him.” That is when he takes another drink, longer than the one before. He did not sound proud about having killed him, more resigned that he had. He didn’t exactly regret it, but he regretted that he had to do it. He regretted what drove him that far.

“He called you Ruiz. He asked if it was going to be a problem that I believe you’re my brother.” She shakes her head. The other Odessa had no idea. How many lies has she been told even still?

Des’ gaze is cold as she takes another drink. “Good,” she says when he informs her he killed the man who killed her. Or… another version of her. “If you hadn’t, I would have, given the chance.” His sister had trusted Edward, and he’d betrayed her. It was hard to experience. She gives him a sympathetic look then, her edges softening. He seems just… better than her. Every version of him. It’s enough to give a little sister an inferiority complex. Or that inferiority complex is just fueling her perception. Take your pick.

“I don’t know what the hell to do,” she admits finally. “I’ve always been good at being a loner, but her? She’s got people. A legitimate job. A schedule I don’t know the first thing about. Maybe I need to disappear until I can figure out how to… fix this.” Des is good at that, too.

Even if he hadn’t sealed the professor’s fate, Ruiz would have never let him come with them. Which would have sealed his fate either way, he supposed. Not after he’d been told what he’d done. He might have considered it had the man’s reasons been better than ‘what if’s. He still could not believe his sister would have betrayed them. He wouldn’t believe it. “Looks like there was more going on than I thought,” he mutters quietly. Calling him by that name was too much to be a coincidence.

He would have to lose the phone if she ever swapped— in fact he would probably change it out as soon as they left, in case she’d handed the number off to Petrelli originally.

“You could come with me,” he suddenly offers without even thinking too much of it through. “I was planning to go home tomorrow. I could buy you a second train ticket and you could come with me. At least until you figure it out. On the train ride up I can tell you what I remember about you.”

And then she could attempt to go back? Or— not.

Des nods her head shakily without giving the idea too much consideration. It sounds better than trying to to fool everyone into thinking she’s the other Odessa. Could she trust Woods? What would he think of her? She wants to believe he’d try to understand and he’d try to help her. But she also worries his idea of helping would be to tell Arthur.

There’s no place she’d feel safer right now than with her Tete. “Yes. Yes, I’ll go with you.”

While Ruiz would love to believe that any Woods that would marry her would do his best to protect any Odessa at all, he will trust her instinct that there’s something fishy going on. Until she can figure out what it is, he’ll give her a place to stay, a place to feel at home. And he wanted to hear about yet another world—

And the one that the two trouble makers who fell into his world might be from, too.

If only he hadn’t destroyed most of his apartment before he left for Mexico and lost their numbers. The only one whose new name he knew was Shaw, but it might take a while to find the correct one Morris Morrison in New York City.

He reaches across the table to take her hand in both of his. “We’ll keep you safe until we figure out how you got here. Or until it changes, I promise, Dessy.”

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