You Have My Watch


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Scene Title You Have My Watch
Synopsis On a mission to find out about a traveler from another world, Odessa Woods finds her target to be even more intriguing than she could have imagined.
Date January 25, 2012

A Bar

It’s the middle of the day. And Mateo Javier Ruiz, or as his new ID says Javier de Santos, is sitting in a bar, with a lit cigarette hanging from between his fingers and a small glass and a bottle of tequila open in front of him, already a third of the way finished. He’s not actually smoking the cigarette, so much as letting it burn. The bar still allows smoking, though only at the bar itself. That’s the designated smoking area. He sits on the stool, disheveled and tired looking, watching the smoke curl off the smoldering red end of the cigarette.

It was one of her brands. The one she would keep above all others. It smelled like her.

He had never been a smoker, but he wanted to smell her still, wanted to remember what it felt like to breathe around her. Even if he never would again. Not her her. Not the one who looked at him like he could do nothing wrong, even when she knew so much that he had done.

Would she have loved him if she saw him now? Would she be sad at him, angry at him?

Maybe he’s so preoccupied with his thoughts and that cigarette that he doesn’t notice the approach of a blonde woman in a little black dress under a battered denim jacket. Or maybe, once he gets a look at her after she’s sat down next to him, he may wonder if he ever had a chance to see her coming in the first place.

Her new ID reads Desdemona Desjardins.

There’s other places to sit, but she’s chosen to sit next to him. “Whiskey sour,” she murmurs to the bartender as she slides a cigarette case out of her jacket pocket and takes a stick out. Her berry-colored lipstick transfers to the filter when she puts it between her lips and lights up. The case and BIC lighter proclaiming its owner to be an Aries, possibly, are left out on the bar in front of her.

It’s the voice that draws his eyes. If he hadn’t been taking Negoxan since they released him from the hospital, there might have even been a sudden brownout as he stared at her. Could he just be surprised at the sight of a pretty woman? Perhaps. But no. Ruiz isn’t staring at her because of the whole suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

No, he’s staring at her because he recognizes her. Under those curly blonde locks, with nice makeup and looking healthier than he ever remembers seeing her. Healthy and not burdened by all the things that she always had been burdened by, much like him. She’d always had a haunted look— much like the one that’s turned on her now instead. The cigarette slips out of his fingers and lands on the bar.

Only then does he look away and retrieve it before it actually burns the surface, putting it out in the ashtray. As he does, his sleeve pulls back.

To reveal an all too familiar watch on his wrist. One that’s no longer ticking at all. The battery had been drained, the electric components fried, but he wore it not because of its function.

Though she can feel the weight of his gaze on her, she doesn’t look over. Not immediately. This is a slow reel in, as far as she’s concerned. She waits until she’s had a drag from her cigarette and her drink is set in front of her (thank you) and pretends to notice only when she needs to reach over to flick ashes into the tray between them.

There’s a watch just like his on her wrist. It still ticks merrily away, 7 minutes slow. For the moment. She doesn’t notice his yet, just the look on his face.

Shit. She wasn’t supposed to be recognized. This is… Well, perhaps it can be worked to her advantage, depending.

“Hi,” Odessa greets flatly. “Sorry, I don’t like to sit alone. Hoped you wouldn’t mind.”

Now that she’s looking at him, there’s some obvious differences between him and the one she’d met before. The beard that he’s grown might round out his face somewhat, but there’s still a hint of malnutrition in the way his form sits under his clothes. A different body language, even, sadder, haunted. The one from before had filled out. No one can lose weight like that in so little time, even if he had a major illness.

Looking away, he shakes his head a little, to himself. He shouldn’t talk to her. He shouldn’t get to know her. He should get up and leave. They were supposed to avoid their lives here— but there had been no mention in the articles he’d read of Mateo Javier Rowan Ruiz having a sister, adopted or otherwise.

Maybe they’d never found each other here. Maybe they never found out what they should have been to each other. “No— it’s— it’s fine.” His voice also seemed different, just a slight hoarseness to it, even less of a hint of an accent than the more recent immigrant had had. The tightness in his chest had nothing to do with his ability, but he still felt it. “Come here often?” he awkwardly attempts casual conversation, looking back at her.

“Occasionally,” she admits easily. Bringing her cigarette to her lips again, she takes a slow drag, blowing it out the corner of her mouth, politely away from him. “My name’s Des,” she offers. Because like hell is she introducing herself as Desdemona. “I just moved in nearby. Trying to decide the best place to haunt, you know?”

Finally, she smiles, like she’s found something about him that gives her comfort.

The fact that he didn’t immediately try to strangle her or something of the like goes a long way toward securing that feeling of comfort. This isn’t the man Arthur sent her to kill. There’s too many differences, but enough similarities… He could be a twin, if she believed in that kind of coincidence. Somehow, it’s easier to believe that he’s from another timeline than it is to believe that Mateo Ruiz had a sibling he likely never knew about.

“I’d offer you some help finding a place to haunt, but I only just arrived in town myself,” Ruiz mutters quietly, giving at least an honest answer. The most he’d really seen is the Speaky Easy Casino that Kaylee lived in, the Dorchester apartments, the train station and the hospital. Though he did also have a hotel room himself, as well. None of which offered much to go on, though he supposed he could recommend the Speakeasy. Not that it was anywhere near here—

Reaching to grab the bottle, he pours himself some more tequila onto the cup and watches it swish around rather than immediately drink on it. Around his neck sits a wedding ring, a woman’s by design, and on his left ring finger a man’s ring. They don’t match at all, and it looked nothing like the one his other self wore.

“You’ll have to tell me if the whiskey sour is any good.”

He wants to keep talking to her, to hear her voice, even if it hurts that she doesn’t look at him the right away. Des. So close to what he’d always called her.

Lifting her glass, she proposes, “Cheers,” clinks her drink to his and then takes a gulp. The slow burn on its way down to her stomach is good. It keeps her focused, even though much more will start to make things fuzzier.

Maybe fuzzy is what she really wants right now.

“Good enough,” she proclaims of the drink, a wink thrown in the bartender’s direction. “Welcome to New York City, Mister…?” Des narrows her eyes faintly, not in scrutiny, but as if trying to remember. “Sorry, don’t think I caught your name.”

Fuzzy might have been nice for the both of them, to be honest. Yet Ruiz only took the smallest of sips in response to her cheers. The tequila had been good enough as well, enough he could feel it softening his senses. But it also made him feel lonelier. Being next to her felt lonely as well. Because he knew it was not her, knew she did not look at him as she should. Because she was not her.

“Javier,” he responds to the question on his name after a moment. Some part of him still felt like Mateo, like Ruiz, but at least this identity had kept one of his names. It was still him.

And his wife had often called him Javi.

“Nice to meet you, Des,” he added, unable to hide how familiar her name happened to be. Though he didn’t say it quite right, either. It sounded more like ‘dess when he’d said it.

“You too.”

Something doesn’t sit right in the pit of her stomach. Something gnaws at her. And she can’t figure out why she’s so…

No. Unnerved would make sense. She’s having drinks with a man she killed not that long ago. To be unnerved would be understandable. This is something else.

There’s a mirror at the back of the bar. It’s in need of dusting and both it and the bottles it stands behind are distorting their reflections. But when he lifts his hand to bring his tequila up for a sip, she catches the sight of something red.

Time stops around them.

Now she is unnerved. Her voice quakes when she tells him the reason for this interruption.

“You have my watch.”

When time screeched to a halt, “Javier” did not look surprised. It’s as if he knew exactly what was happening. The sounds of glasses ceased, a soft white noise filled the air as what ambient sounds there had been faltering off, coming to a stop. With a small sigh, Ruiz laid down the drink he’d been holding and looked down at the watch she indicated. Her watch. “It’s not exactly the same, but— yes. This is your watch.”

It had the same origin, almost the same amount of years upon her wrist. But it had a few spots that hers did not, some damage that hers did not. It no longer worked, for one, didn’t tick away the time at all. The band had some extra wear and tear upon it, too, having seen some very difficult times.

“I’m not from the future,” he decides to get rid of that possibility, since, well, time travel was something that they all knew was a possibility. This was different, though. And he wanted her to know that as he looked back up at her. Something about his eyes seemed so… sad.

“I know.” Because Mateo Javier Rowan Ruiz, here and now, doesn’t have a future. Odessa lifts her glass to her lips again and tips it back until the contents are drained. She’s wary when she turns her attention back to him. He should know that means she’s dangerous. Like any other wild animal.

Still, her expression is curious as she tilts her head to one side and scrutinizes this man next to her. “Who are you, really?”

Rubbing his hand over his beard, Ruiz looks across the bar into the mirror for a moment before looking down at his tequila. Tipping the cup, he spills a little bit on the countertop. Then presses his finger on the droplet, dragging it into a line. He forks the line upwards. “This world.” Then he goes back to the fork and draws a second line. “My world.” Then he touches the lower line and connects to the top line with the other line. “Me.”

It’s a very simple explanation, but it feels safest, simplest. If she’s anything like his sister, though, that won’t answer her question. But he feels like it’s a start.

It’s a confirmation of a question she didn’t ask. Not out loud anyway. Odessa slowly nods at the explanation.

Apprehensive. Suddenly she understands this feeling inside of her, even if she can’t explain why she feels this way. What is it about him that makes her apprehensive? Her blue eyes grow wide even as her brows start to cut deep furrows.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

Why is he looking at her like that? It’s a very complicated question to answer, would take a lot to do so. Ruiz would need to explain how they met in his world, how they found out who they should have been to each other. It was far too complicated to explain easily with just a little tequila spilled on a counter top. Somehow even transcending time and space seemed less complicated than who they should have been to each other.

“Sorry,” he responds after a second, sliding off the stool, though he doesn’t actually start to walk away, even as his hand rubs against the watch on his wrist. He feels apprehensive, and the lack of movement around him just added to it.

At least his head was quiet, thanks to the Negoxan that he’d gotten from the hospital. He wanted to walk away, to leave her to whatever life she happened to have here as ‘Des’. But he couldn’t. Not without giving her something. “We were close.”

So close that he wore her watch. And the ‘were’ probably told her something too.


“Please don’t go.” The words go tumbling from her lips before she realizes she was thinking them. First of all, it’s her assignment to make a connection with him. And if she’s jeopardized that now, failed her mission, well… That won’t go over well. Secondly, she’s genuinely fascinated by what this could mean.

Even if that fascination is the horrified variety.

“You should sit down again.” Odessa waves a hand to indicate the sparsely inhabited bar that’s held fast to her whims. “This works better when you’re right where they expect you. I suppose you knew that.” Most people tend to tip out of their chairs the first time they see her play this trick. Even before his admission, she knew it couldn’t have been his first time. “Please.”

He should sit down again. But at the same time everything in him is telling him to try to leave. Because she’s not looking at him right, because the people who met them on the rooftop had warned them that it could be dangerous. Because there was someone hunting him. The more people who knew, the more danger that they would be in. And he didn’t want to endanger her on top of everything else.

But Ruiz did move to sit back down. “I suppose it would be a bit upsetting for the bartender if I vanished.” He had paid, so that wouldn’t be a problem, but he could imagine some doubletakes, some odd looks. Even if the world here seemed to be somewhat more accepting of abilities than the one he remembered before the virus hit. And after

“And I’m sure it’s strange to you, too. I wish I could explain, but I can’t.” Not about how he got here, which is what he thought might be the biggest curiosity. “And I’m not sure you’d believe me if I told you the rest.”

What they were to each other. Who they should have been to each other.

“People tend to get a little freaked out.” Odessa shrugs her shoulders, but she smirks faintly, a little mischief in her eyes that looks familiar to him. Like she’s suggesting they go halvsies on a candy bar from K-Mart and share it with the kids.

While her curiosity is relentless, she’s been known to rein it in for someone else’s sake from time to time. Maybe she can rein it in for her own sake this time. “It’s okay. I get having a big secret you can’t share with anyone. Why don’t we start over? My name’s Odessa. I hope we can be friends.”


It was a name he knew well, from the way his lip quirked a little into a small smile and he nodded. He knew. That name. Though she would always be Dess to him. Always be his little sister. Reaching out, Ruiz took her hand in his, twisting so that they could both see the two red band watches side by side upon their wrists.

“Are you happy?” he asks after a moment, looking back up at her eyes. “Do you have people who care about you, who treat you well?”

Did she have friends, family, loved ones. He knew the woman that his sister could be, if she had people who she cared about, who she would fight to protect. If she had people who believed in her, who loved her in return.

His hand is taken, the watches studied for a moment. So alike, but different enough. Still both most definitely hers.

“I…” She’s supposed to be undercover. Giving her real name already was a mistake, but… In for a penny, in for a pound. “I have a husband,” she admits. “He’s a good man. I hope to start a family someday.” Her smile turns a little sad at that. She hopes that her mother will be there when that day comes. If that day comes.

It’s thoughts of Kara that remind her what she’s here for. And that he isn’t just a curiosity she can chase down. This man might be the key to finding out what happened to her mother.

While before he’d had the hint of a smile, now he can’t help but have a real one. One that touches his eyes even. Ruiz seems genuinely happy to hear about the mention of a husband. He’d never imagined! After a second, though, he hesitates in his joy because he’s hoping that this guy isn’t someone he didn’t like in the other world— but he won’t say that.

“I’m happy for you. I never thought you would find someone who could actually put up with you and treat you well enough at the same time.” Put up with is said with a strangely fond sound. “But he’s a lucky guy, too. Whoever he is.” For someone who didn’t even know her he seemed to be sure that there was enough of the Odessa he’d known to make such statements.

When he lets his hand drop away he adds on a soft, “It is nice to hear your voice again. Do you play piano here too?”

Her brows furrow in puzzlement. Who is this man that knows her so well and isn’t afraid to knock her down a peg? Most people who knows her well enough would be afraid to talk to her that way. But he’s right, of course. It’s a miracle James puts up with her the way he does, and she’s thankful for it every single day.

Nice to hear her voice again. She’s got her suspicions about why that might be, and she’s not sure she likes any of the explanations she can come up with. “I’ve played since I was a kid.” There’s a certain fondness as she thinks about her hobby and the joy it brings her to sit and just play at the end of an evening. “I have this keyboard that I can plug headphones into so I don’t drive my poor husband insane when I’m practicing.”

Played since a kid. So the world isn’t entirely different after all. Rather than get back up immediately, Ruiz looked toward the bartender and her whiskey sour and nods at both, “Turn time back on, pay for your drink, and come with me.” He knew exactly where to go and it wasn’t too far.

He offered her a hand as he finished saying that, sounding confident that she would listen to him. If only because it was a simple request. “I want to show you something.”

He had chosen this specific bar for two reasons, after all, proximity had a lot to do with it.

That would normally sound like a come-on. But something about the way he says it makes her think otherwise. “Three, two…” With little more than a thought, time resumes. Odessa fishes a wallet from her jacket and pulls out more money than she needs, leaving a generous tip. They tend to ask fewer questions when the money flows, and she likes it that way.

“All right, handsome stranger,” Odessa quips, lips pulled into a lopsided grin. She drops the couple feet back to the floor from her barstool. “Show me what you’ve got.”

Handsome stranger makes him smile again, a hint of an indent on his cheek as he does. Sliding down off the barstool himself, Ruiz held out his hand to her and waited for him to take it, before he led the way out and down the street. It did not take long to see their destination. A hospital. He walked them right up to an entrance, past the front desk. The older woman with all white hair seemed to recognize him. “Back again, Javier?” she teases, “And with a lady friend this time.”

He responds immediately, offhandedly, “Don’t get any ideas, Mrs. B. She’s married,” he teases the old lady in a way that seems very friendly. He wanted to say something different, but he’s not ready for that yet. With that said, he led the way to a full piano in the lobby. “I come here to play every so often. It’s soothing. And actually helps the patients too. But I wanted to play you something.”

Dropping down onto the bench, he stretches his arms and within moments starts to play. Chopin. Nocturne in E-Flat Major, specifically. Or at least part of it.

Odessa winks at the older woman on her way by. Keep my secret?

The hospital wasn’t where she expected to wind up. Not like this, at any rate. But he leads her to the piano and she sits down on the edge of the bench and watches his fingers as he begins to play. A slow smile spreads across her face. Then, she looks up to his to see if he seems to feel the same sort of serenity when he plays that she does.

Her mind seems to get quieter as she listens to the music he creates. It’s almost like a silence ringing in her ears, she’d been so used to the constant noise of it. And yet, it’s a relief she can never quite explain. “I love Chopin,” she says quietly. “You’re quite good.”

If he hadn’t been on negation drugs, the music would have helped clear his mind as well. It always did. Part of him wondered if that had been why he played. Why he almost always had a guitar at least when he had a chance. Ruiz hadn’t thought about it back then, but now he did. Because once that had been the only thing that quieted the sounds in his head, the primal music of the whole world.

Her compliment makes him smile, but after a long drawn out song, he finishes, playing the final notes and then shifting to stand back up and close the cover over the keys. “Come back again next week. Around this time. Same day. We can talk and play more.”

It’s said with a finality, as if he’s not really wanting to discuss it right now. But it sets up a time to meet again. A place.

Whether she was taught to play because it calmed her or because it simply gave her some kind of outlet for her boredom, she’ll never know. Her understanding is that most kids were given a sport to play for their restless energy. Maybe piano taught her discipline. Taught her to quiet down her mind.

Odessa’s elbow rests on the cover, head tilting to one side as she looks up and scrutinizes the man. And his offer. After a long moment of consideration, she nods her head. “Okay. Next week, then. Better not stand me up,” she teases as she climbs to her feet. “I’ll see you then. Take care of yourself.”

With a wink, she simply vanishes.

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