You Should Know


gabriel_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title You Should Know
Synopsis Coincidence or fate brings Gabriel and Odessa together again. The two discuss addiction and their station in life.
Date October 8, 2009

Staten Island - Overgrown Cemetery

The vast graveyard stretches for kilometers, with dark damp soil making everything feel cold as you-know-what. Signs of mass graves, loose soil, and the faint smell of rotting flesh are present around the outer edges, ominously surrounding the original relaxed single-grave style in the center. Many of the old graves have been vandalized or exhumed, leaving many empty six foot deep holes scattered around. Some open holes are still curiously empty, while others have been reorganized into piles of bodies, forgotten and unburied, and still more are just as likely to house the living.

The marble sculptures and tombstones of long ago have been reduced to nondescript lumps of rock, but this doesn't stop people from placing new markers for the deceased — yet it seems futile since none of it will stay. The inhabitants will take whatever stone and scrap metal are left here, using them to build makeshift shelters, or simply reorganizing them to whatever chaotic patterns they worship.

It's cold enough and early enough for water to cling to air, skin, and collect in glistening jewels on the carpet of wild grass and weeds that cover the floor of the cemetery. Black boots stomp merciless on the verdant graveyard ground, and he knows where to walk to avoid the occasional smells of overripe death that catch the wind. Not every body is buried, here. But it's more than can be said for some corpses.

Like the one that lies on the ground of an abandoned facility, head spattered open like a watermelon, rotting, on some other section of the island, or her companion stabbed through the gut with twisted iron. As far as Gabriel knows, they don't get any kind of burial.

It's fall. Winter approaching with creeping sneaking fingers. Humidity has passed on this morning in favour of a dry cold snap of chilliness, but despite this hair-raising temperature, Gabriel is comfortable in a loose grey shirt, the cuffs of which are rolled to his elbows, the hem tucked into blue jeans and hems of those caught on the flaps of his boots. He walks at a saunter, hitches in his pace pausing now and then to nudge a rock or trash or splintered wood out of his path as he goes.

It's been a while since Odessa has set foot on Staten Island, but in the midst of her need to do some soul searching, it seems as good a place as any to both lose and find herself. She carefully makes her way over tangled greenery and broken markers, heels catching now and again on the odd branch, vine, or bit of masonary debris.

For Gabriel, there's no psychic warning. One moment, there's nothing living within his range, and the next there's a blip merely fifty yards away. Odessa hasn't spotted him yet, cursing under her breath as she attempts to wrest her skirt from the branches of a bush without tearing it.

She's overdressed, but what else is new? Candy apple red heels match a dress that likely once dressed a mannequin in one of the finer stores in New York City's shopping districts. It fits Odessa like a glove, but the sleeveless design, the plunging neckline and the miniskirt do little to ward off the fall chill. The blonde shivers as she smooths the wrinkles out of her now-reclaimed dress.

It's the appearance of someone there, who was not there previously, that doesn't simply mean Gabriel disappears into an inky cloud-like wraith and jet away into deeper shadows and continue his trek. His steps come to a sharp halt and his head turns like the way predators and prey alike pay attention to the snaps of twigs, studying the ground before he lifts his gaze. There's a woman, just over there, blonde-haired and finding herself in a cemetery and fabulous shoes.

Well, if there's one way to do it.

Gabriel's boot collides against a toppled gravestone when he steps onto and over it in a long, loping stride, the noisiest indication of his presence followed by his boots landing against soft, damp ground.

While Gabriel may be resembling the predator, Odessa is playing the prey admirably, holding stark still as she looks about her surroundings. If not for her stuttering movements, Gabriel might almost think she wasn't using her ability at all.

Blue eyes squint at the form, disbelieving at first. "Is it really you?" Odessa asks just loud enough for her voice to carry the distance between them.

When Gabriel comes to a halt, it's some distance away, respectable and with his own sense of caution. And, easier study, his gaze swooping up and down her in inspection, head canted to the side. Differences, similarities. He looks about as consistent as always, his clothes practical if not especially guarded by the weather, and healthy save for a deep scratch below his elbow, though ultimately minor, as if he'd snagged skin on sharp fencing or thorn. A stripe of red is the most vibrant thing about him, dripping to his wrist.

"Seeing ghosts, Odessa?"

"I don't know," the woman confesses. "Sometimes I talk to shadows and hope they'll answer back." Glancing down at her feet as she steps, Odessa makes her way forward. "You're bleeding," she observes, in case he hadn't noticed. She doesn't offer to look at it. It's always been the arrangement.

"You look well, though." And this time, so does she. Mostly. She's freshly showered and wearing clothes that actually fit her, which is a vast change from the last time she crossed paths with the man. She parts her lips to say something else, but nothing comes. Instead, she simply smiles.

There's a blink, mild confusion, before he looks down at himself as if expecting to see the sticky red bloom of blood on his front to some nightmarish degree, until he catches sight of the ruby trickle on his arm and twists the limb to observe the scratch. Huh. Gathering his other sleeve in his palm, Gabriel carelessly smears it away, returning his gaze towards her. "You do too. Eileen told me you were back." The word gets careful emphasis, as if he were a little unsure as to what that entails, or where she had been in the first place.

"The city seems to keep reeling me in." That and the small town pharmacies were starting to be too much hassle to raid. The bank robbery fiasco has made a more wary thief of the woman.

There's a huff of rueful laughter as Odessa shakes her head. "Gosh. All this time I worried about you and thought about all the things I wanted to say, but I don't remember hardly any of it now. And nothing of what I do remember even matters. So, it's good to see you."

"I'm not surprised you don't remember," Gabriel notes, leaving the cut alone and mostly serving to spread the mess of blood not only along his arm, but on his opposite sleeve. Instead, he simply covers it, pulling sleeves down to the wrists with fingers that fumble only slightly. "I wouldn't get your hopes up about how good it is to see me. What are you doing out here?"

"Honestly? I don't know. Sometimes I just walk, and when I start paying attention again, I don't realise where I've gone," Odessa shrugs. "I'm trying out this new thing I've heard about. I think it's called a normal life."

Rather than standing stagnant, Gabriel paces in slow, meandering steps, a customary circular track that arcs around her, still at that distance. "Admirable, but I don't think I believe you. I think the point of a normal life is that you don't notice it's normal until it's choking you."

"Choking," Odessa muses, watching Gabriel pace with the tracking of her eyes and a tilt of her head. She lets him have her back, if that's what he wants. "I have a roommate. In the morning, I make him coffee and he says the same thing to me. Good morning, sunshine. And I greet him each night when he comes home from work." She smiles faintly, but there isn't the customary mirth in it. "And when I'm feeling like I'm falling apart, we sit on the couch and he holds me in his arms and he murmurs my name…" She closes her eyes, head shaking almost imperceptibly as she whispers, "Brooke."

The reverie doesn't last long. Dark eyes open again to fix on the man circling her. Something in the pit of her stomach tells her that she needs to stay alert.

Somewhere behind her, towards the left, there's the sound of slow, casual foot falls coming to a halt. "…really." His own dark eyes are made more expressive than his flat tone as eyebrows raise up, upon her glance back at him, and he steps over broken granite to resume his pacing, back into her periphery proper. "'Brooke' isn't your name. But then, I guess, 'Odessa' doesn't count for much either."

"Mmm," is the only agreement given. "I remember asking you to live a normal life with me once." She lets out a soft breath of laughter. "Only it wasn't you I was talking to, was it?" Odessa glances Gabriel up and down once. "It doesn't feel normal, though, this life I'm trying to invent for myself. For Brooke, really. Normal people have all these experiences to build from. Memories of family and friends, schooling and hobbies. I have a whole life I can't talk about."

"Now, that's something I've been curious about." Granite shifts under the weight of the woman. Her footsteps aren't the most sure, but they're steady enough. "Would you trade having had the family you had, for never having had any at all?" Odessa's eyes light up with keen interest. A familiar look, often worn in his presence.

Not that Gabriel isn't the most fascinating person to Gabriel either, but that fixed look he's settled with gains some silence— and to her credit, some thought, coming to his halt and angling a look down at the broken up graveyard terrain between them. "There are a lot of things I want to change. I'm having a hell of a time with the present and the future, let alone the past. You're right— about normal people. When I didn't have a memory, I would have given anything to be normal."

"Must have been horrible for you," she comments almost absently. Now, she's stepping closer. "Oh, Sylar." This time, when Odessa smiles, it's wide and genuine. "I have missed you. Tell me, have you learned any new tricks?" It's that ravenous need to know and experience resurfacing. "Can I see?"

The look she gets is stony for three, two, one— before half a smile twists at his mouth. Calmly, Gabriel raises a hand, his palm open and fingers splayed— and birds ascend from the trees in a riot of flapping and caws when the thunderous, gunshot like boom echoes through the Greenbelt. The air distorts like circular heatwaves as the concussive blasts powers forward ten feet, shattering the weaker half of a seven foot monument whose remembrance engravings have long since been obscured by tag art graffiti.

His hand retracts, his gaze set down to his palm speculatively, the tips of his fingers on his other brushing along the skin as if expecting to feel something. "I stole that from a kid. He wasn't even a threat to me. I go by Gabriel, these days, by the way."

Odessa gasps with delight at the display of power. Her eyes are wide as is the o-shape her mouth has opened into. "That was amazing," she cheers. When he corrects her on the use of his name, she's still grinning from ear to ear with appreciative astonishment. "Really? I remember when you used to bristle if someone called you that." There was a time when she spit contemptuously at Kazimir and remind him that his name is Sylar. "And to be fair," she reminds, "There are very few people who are much threat to you… Gabriel."

"If they were, perhaps they wouldn't wind up dead." It's always the callous, uncomplicated sentiments that are the most honest, Gabriel lowering his hands back down to his sides and returning his attention back towards her. "'Sylar' was limiting. The name of a serial killer, mindless. I wanted something better and I don't need a new name to find it." Odessa is subjected to a sweeping look up and down. "And then there's you. If I blink in a way you don't like, you could probably survive just by acting first."

"Probably," Odessa grants. That is the trick, though. Acting first. Now she comes to stand next to him, judging the debris he's made of the monument from their distance. "And then there's us," she echoes. "I have to wonder just exactly what people like us are. We don't fit into any convenient sort of mould." She reaches for his arm, where the cut trickles blood still. "I think I like it that way."

"Parasites," Gabriel offers, raising an eyebrow. "We live on the edges, gain what we can and contribute nothing." His arm doesn't shift under her touch, and his expression is long - though more weary than anything else. "Maybe we kill other parasites but that's only so helpful." He takes a step back, steers his head away in an almost doggish move as he darts a glance around the cemetery, before narrowing his gaze back to her. A chin up. "Are you still hooked?"

When he steps away, Odessa releases his arm. He doesn't need a doctor. It's only a scratch. "Do I look it?" The fact that she doesn't look a mess can either mean she's off the stuff, or she's gotten her fix. "It's a slow process," she admits. "A little less each day. Addiction isn't easy. You should know." Powers, morphine. Different, but the urges feel similar. "Today has gone better than most." Whether she means in terms of fighting off her ghosts, or running into him, she doesn't clarify.

Gabriel gives her another once over at the question. He'd say no, but looking it is very different to the reality so often of the time. "I have an idea," he agrees, his voice neutral. "Like I told you, I lost a lot of my powers in one go, during a fight. It's not easy, trying to not want to replenish. I'm running out of reasons."

"Why Gabriel," Odessa grins widely, glancing not at the man, but the space between herself and the man. "Are you threatening me? Just a little bit?" She holds her thumb and forefinger up just a half an inch apart. "Just an itty bit? Oooh… You know what we could do?"

Gleefully, Odessa takes a skip-step toward Gabriel. "We could go ability hunting! It would be so much fun!" She snaps her fingers, apparently coming up with some sort of brilliant idea. "Those Evolved Anonymous meetings I keep hearing about! How easy would that be? Sit in on a meeting, maybe two, and then just…" She draws an invisible line through the air with one finger, much as the man has done countless times before. "One by one!"

"You'd think that between Humanis First and the Registry, people would be smarter than to paint those kinds of targets," Gabriel says, a wry twist at his mouth, before he shakes his head, gaze darting back down. "I can't afford the risk right now. I have to be more selective with what I have. I'm running with the remnant of Vanguard for that reason - finding the dangerous ones. But maybe some other time."

And he doesn't seem insincere in his intrigue. He angles a look back up at her, and shakes his head once more. "And no. I'm not threatening you. Except maybe a little bit." Steering a step back, he begins to move away from her. "You should know better than to tempt an addict. A little less every day, Odessa," is tossed over his shoulder.

There's no attempt to hide the disappointment when Gabriel turns down her plan. Odessa pouts, but only for a moment. "In my experience," she tells him, "it's safer to tempt the addict with a better fix than expect going cold turkey to work." She watches him go for a moment, but then calls after. "Wait! Don't leave me with no way to contact you again. You know you're going to need a doctor sooner or later. You always do."

She apparently doesn't trust him to turn around and come back, if the fact that she suddenly appears in front of him, holding out a phone number scrawled in red ink is any indication. "I've got real problems. A lot of enemies. I'm… I know I'm going to need your help sooner or later. I'll give you anything you need in return. You know I'm good for it." Odessa watches Gabriel's face uncertainly, trying to determine his answer even before he speaks it.

Gabriel isn't given the chance to turn back before Odessa is blipping back into existence in front of him, brown eyes flaring with bridled tension before his expression settles back into neutrality. There's silence for a moment, underscored by the sound of birds having settled back into the trees, before Gabriel lifts a hand to take the card, turning it around in his fingers before disappearing it into a pocket.

"Alright," he agrees. "I don't have a phone number but you'll know when I do." In fact, he has no stable residence or anything of the sort to offer as a place to stay - not anywhere that would compromise either his selected dens of solitude of the existence of others.

"I'm staying at, uhm… I think they call it The Verb? Third floor. With a guy named Kurt Campbell." Odessa's gaze flickers anxiously. "You can find me there." She takes her lower lip between her teeth and worries at it for a moment or two. "Call that number any time you need me. Just like the way things used to be. I'll come running." She reaches out one hand tentatively to touch his face. Like touching him makes the whole situation more real. "It's so good to see you again."

Gabriel doesn't recoil, flinch, anything that would discourage the touch even if it's not particularly encouraged either. In respect of the chilly morning, his skin is cool as well, bristled as it is with stubble but very much tangible. The Verb should probably ring familiar to Gabriel for reasons as to who else resides there, but unfortunately for Odessa, it doesn't immediately.

"I'll find you." It's about the only promise of anything the man can give, before cool flesh turns to nothing beneath her fingertips. The black wraith form he shifts into is nothing someone can touch, only see, and it roils and hovers in place for a moment before darting a circle around her, agile in the way it leaps across the broken ground, to disappear into forest.

How many times has Odessa felt she was left merely grasping at black smoke? Gabriel's exit is only fitting. To the watchful eyes of the birds, and perhaps Gabriel's own sort of psychic radar, the woman merely disappears. Her own fitting retreat.

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