Trade Offs


odessa2_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Trade Offs
Synopsis Looking out for number one as per usual, Odessa strikes a deal with Peter in order to save her own skin for when the shit eventually hits the fan.
Date September 22, 2009

Speakeasy Hotel and Casino - #101

There is character to the room, if in the way that 'character' carries negative connotations. The paint is peeling off the skilful wooden moulding, the carpet is faded and the bedding looks old and tired. The painting hung behind the bed is so old as to be retro and the bathroom sports a clawfoot tub and a pedestal sink. Both leak and have hard water stains. The whole place carries a faintly musty smell, though it's clear the staff have attempted to keep it at least somewhat clean. The sheets are stain-free and the bathroom is always stocked with little bottles of toiletries. The windows are thin and let in a fair amount of traffic noise. The one good thing is that the old radiator keeps the room toasty warm in winter.

Most single men would be pleased to discover a pretty young woman lounging on their bed in a yellow minidress and patent leather high-heeled boots. Odessa Knutson is just one of those funny exceptions to the rule. She smiles languidly when the room's occupant returns. "I've figured out what I want," she tells him, crossing one ankle over the other. Her brows quirk, disappearing under the curtain of dark bangs. You interested?

"Somehow I doubt that." The door slams shut as Peter's voice rolls out across the dimly lit room. Swinging a black umbrella by the handle, he deposits it on the chair near the door, tucking gloved hands into his pockets as he starts to make way across the room with scuffing footsteps. Dark circles carve out bruise-like marks below his eyes, pale skin seems almost ashen, his pressed suit dark with the dampness of recently fallen rain. "But go on," there's a nod of his head towards the woman laying across the bed, "let's play make-believe."

Circling around the foot of the bed, Peter comes to a halt, hands still tucked into his pockets and brows furrowed, shoulders squared and head quirked to one side. His posture and expression shows all the signs of patience that someone paper-training a dog would; let's see if they can hit the mark this time.

Odessa seems more content to play house rather than make-believe. Sliding off the bed, she approaches Peter, reaching out to slide over the lines of his jacket. "Here, let me," she murmurs gently. Fingers deftly work at the buttons.

For a moment, it looks as though Odessa might not say anything. Her eyes watch her own work intently until she's ready so slide the dampened garment off the man's shoulders. Blue eyes flicker upward, skipping from lips to forehead, then settling on the eyes that don't belong to him. "I want an alliance."

One gloved hand moves up, palm pressing to the center of Odessa's chest. His dark brows furrow, and he pushes her back to the edge of his arm's reach, that pin-pricking tingle of his near contact against her breastbone a reminder of what is contained behind that suit. There's no verbal warning of don't or stop, just the slow push of her away from him, as he slides the jacket back up and starts to re-work the buttons. "You want a favor." Peter says clearly, black-clad fingers working his way down the front of his suit to affirm the jacket is properly back in place.

"An alliance implies that you have something to give to me, something we can mutually benefit from." Blue eyes drift to the nightstand, then back to Odessa, "I have a feeling that the only thing you can offer me, I don't want, and the only thing you want for yourself you shouldn't have." His head tilts to the side, one brow raises in a manner that creases the scar on his face in a prove me wrong expression.

She's unhappy that her help is not only rejected but undone, but she can't say it's entirely unexpected. "Tell me my ability wouldn't be useful to you," Odessa challenges. "Tell me you don't miss it." She sits down on the edge of the bed, crossing one leg over the other and clasping her hands on her knee. She smiles in a manner that seems almost perfunctory. "Let's be honest. I haven't got anywhere else to turn. It's likely I'm not welcome in Eileen's little band, nor would I especially feel safe around them, and the Company is closing in on Adam."

Her hands move from resting at her knee to bracing on the bed at either side of her. She leans forward. "I'm out of options, and you're looking really attractive at the moment. And I know there's a part of you that still wants to help people in trouble. People like me." Odessa sweeps a look up and down Peter's suit-clad form. "I mean, unless Volken's quashed that part of you." The challenge is thrown back to him. Prove me wrong.

Dark brows furrow tightly, head tilted to the side. "Who says I'm not with Eileen?" The comment comes with a momentary stare, before Peter moves away from the bed and away from Odessa, wandering towards the bathroom door. He lingers in the doorway for a moment, shoulder on the frame, then looks back towards Odessa quietly. "Can you control your ability? If you're doping up on morphine, I don't want you slipping hours, days or weeks through your fingers with time frozen around you. I don't know exactly how that trick of yours works, but I know it was different than Hiro's."

He turns his back on the bathroom, arms folded, leaning up against the door frame and enjoying the distance it puts between he and Odessa. "If you can control your ability, how do I know I can trust you, or that you'll even do anything remotely resembling legwork for me?" From the sounds of it, he isn't averse to the idea — not yet.

"You may be with Eileen, but you're not with Eileen," Odessa reasons. "You've got your own agenda. You always have. Altruistic Agent Petrelli wanted to save people, whether that meant following Company orders to the letter, or blurring the lines. The Peter that nearly killed me had his own agenda, outside of the company he kept." She stands up and takes a few steps from the bed, though bringing her no closer to the man in the frame of the door. "And you… You aren't entirely Peter Petrelli. Those blue eyes tell me that you want something else. You will always want something else."

One arm comes around behind Odessa's head, nails dragging along the back of her neck, lifting and tousling hair. "How does that ability of yours work anyway? I've only seen it in action maybe once. Not counting the times I've experienced it first hand." Curiously, she cants her head to once side. "Can you turn it off? It must be a lonely life, being unable to touch. I recalled you being such a tactile person." Her smirk turns dark, as does her gaze. "Your mother always was."

Silence is perhaps the worst response Peter can give to Odessa, silence that lasts in the time he lowers his head and pinches the bridge of his nose with his forefingers and thumb. The sigh that comes is more Kaizmir than Peter, but the shake of his head is certainly a Petrelli gesture. "You didn't answer my question…" Peter's voice is a tired grumble, deflecting the deflection Odessa offered in response to his question without much finesse.

"My ability is my business… It's always on, always hungry, always there." Those dark brows of his furrow, his stare meeting hers intently. "What I want to know, Odessa, is if yours is on at all these days."

"Always hungry…" Odessa muses. "Sounds like somebody I used to know." She's struck a nerve, and that brings her some modicum of joy. It at least means he's listening to her. "I'm not numb today." She may have taken six Tylenol to stop the screaming in her muscles before coming here, but she didn't shoot up. "Does my ability still work?" She brings one hand up and snaps her fingers.

She's gone.

But soon enough, her breath is washing over his ear from behind. "You tell me." Frail arms encircle Peter's body, side of her face pressed against his back, heedless of the tingling even through the layers of clothing. "All I have to do is get through detox and I'll be my old self again. You're a nurse, you can help." Deeply, she inhales. Maybe for the scent of him, or the scent of the rain on him. Her eyes lid and she mm's.

"Save me, Peter. I'll be so good to you."

The pins and needles feeling is here too, close enough to him to feel it. In that embrace, Peter turns and scowls, pulling out of her embrace the way a cat squirms out from beneath the hand of someone petting them the wrong way. "I could help," his brows furrow together, "but I won't. You want an alliance? Fine, but that doesn't entail me taking care of you. You want to detox, sign in to the clinic at St.Lukes, it's an anonymous program. Not that you have much to worry about conventional authorities."

Once he's extricated himself from her embrace, there's a squared look given to the dark-haired woman. "So your ability works, and you're not entirely out of your mind." Both gloved hands sharply brush off the front of his suit in a swift motion, as if Odessa was an unruly housecat getting fur on him. "Behave yourself and I think we might have something better for an arrangement. Right now, I don't have anything I need you to do… but that might change in the future." He's entirely business, maybe something about Kazimir's power squashed his libido— or maybe the idea of making love to a dessicated corpse isn't his cup of tea. "We'll call it mutual favors for now. One of us needs something, we owe the other. Right now, we're even."

In the blink of an eye, Odessa's laying on the bed again, this time on her stomach with her feet in the air, alternatively swaying forward and back lazily. With her head propped up in one hand, she eyes him again. "Do you like it? The ability, I mean." She can tell he doesn't like what she has to offer him.

"No." Not so much emphatic delivery there, but still quick to the draw with the dismissive sentiment. "No, I don't." It's hard to say who's opinion is more in sway there, or if there's even a difference any longer. "But I don't have any choice in the matter. Without it, I'm dead." Both of Peter's dark brows lift up at that notion, then lower into a stern expression of disapproval for the question, but nothing more than that.

"This room's yours now," Peter explains quietly, "I won't be coming back here. I'm going to be headed back to Staten Island for a while, I've got something going on there I need to handle." He starts to move again, hard-soled shoes scuffing against the carpet as he makes his way for the front door, no eye contact afforded to Odessa. "Consider it a gift." A very cheap, very tasteless gift.

Interesting. It maybe wasn't quite the answer she expected, but it draws a lazy sort of smirk from the woman. "How generous of you," Odessa says of her gift. "How long's it paid for? I don't like surprises in the form of management kicking my ass out onto the street." It sounds like it might be something she's familiar with.

"Through next week." Peter notes with a tilt of his head, "The previous occupant's credit card was declined when I went to rent it out for a few more nights." There's a hesitant creep of a smirk up at the corners of Peter's lips. "If anyone comes by and asks, mister Fontaine had to step out for a little while, and you're his…" there's a shrug of his shoulders, "daughter."

Reaching out for the doorknob, Peter gives it a turn, but hesitates that much as his eyes narrow slightly. "If anyone asks about me, just play dumb."

"I think I can manage that. I expect a forwarding address by the time Mister Fontaine's lease is up." She grins. "Give me that, and I give you my cell number in exchange." Odessa presses the tips of her fingers to her lips and then blows Peter a kiss. "Take care now."

Just silence again, brows furrowed and head tipped to the side lazily as Peter watches Odessa quietly. His eyes fall shut, head dips down into a nod, and for a moment it looks as though he may voice something other than a guttural grunt of acknowledgement. It doesn't come, just the tip of his head and the way he pulls open the door, reaching for his umbrella with his free hand. "Get clean." Peter finally affords, not looking back to Odessa to say it as he lets the head of the umbrella thump down on the carpet like a cane, one hand curled around the crook.

No goodbyes, just the click of the door behind him, leaving Odessa alone again in the gaudy confines of this rented space; trading one cell for another.

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