2007-03-08: Wonders Never Cease


Mara_icon.gif Sydney_icon.gif

Date It Happened: March 08, 2007

Summary: Mara fishes for information at the the Back Alley regarding the death of Daniel Shaw.

Wonders Never Cease

The Back Alley

The Back Alley, despite being the site of a potential murder, is as busy as it always is — that is to say, not busy at all. High-tipping clients don't start filtering in until after sundown, and at six o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, they have other places to be before they hit the downtown strip clubs. This leaves Sydney and the other employees to tidy up, scrubbing down tables and floors while management tries to settle on what the evening's musical selection will be. The curly-haired blonde is presently on her cigarette break, out back by the dumpsters where Daniel Shaw's body was found two nights ago, but aside from an ominous note that lingers in the air, it's like any other dead-end in Manhattan.

A dark haired woman rounds the corner of the strip club and steps into the alleyway. She seems almost surprised to see someone there. This turns to genuine surprise when she actually recognizes the woman. "Will wonders never cease?" Detective Damaris smiles faintly, "Do you mind if I join you?"

Sydney squints at the stranger, who, coincidentally isn't a stranger at all now that she steps into the light. "Jesus," Sydney breathes, exhaling a plume of smoke through her lips, "you're that fucking cop." She lowers the stub of her cigarette from her mouth and lets her arm hang loosely at her side. "Come to hammer your point home?"

I didn't even know you'd be here," Mara says almost defensively. "A man died in your alley." This is a given, of course. "I'm merely investigating. Do you mind if I join you?" she repeats. She fishes a pack of menthols from her pocket, but refrains from extracting a cigarette until she's given the go-ahead.

"You already asked that." It isn't a 'no,' but it isn't a 'yes' either. Sydney shifts her weight from one foot to the other and turns her face away from the detective, eyes dark, her attention elsewhere. "He wasn't a regular," she adds. "You're wasting your time, snooping around here."

Mara lights up one of her cigarettes and takes a long drag. "Regular or not, do you remember seeing him? None of this is official. I'm asking merely to satisfy my own curiosity."

"Sure, I saw him." There's no point in lying; if Mara's here to investigate, then she'll undoubtedly be given access to the employee records. Sydney smirks. "Did more than look, too. You think he was murdered?"

"Traumatic brain injuries aren't self-inflicted too often," Mara reasons. "They can be accidental, sure, but… Checking for signs of foul play is usually a good idea to do sooner rather than later."

"You won't find anything," Sydney says, shaking her head. "No blood, no skull fragments. He was in pretty good shape when the paramedics carted him away." She flicks her cigarette, now a shriveled stump of lipstick-smeared paper and burnt tobacco, to the ground. "Sometimes these things just happen — you can be perfectly healthy one minute, and drooling all over the floor the next. Strokes. Aneurysms. The list goes on."

"Still… An oddity, to me. I don't see too many of these sorts of things." The detective holds her cigarette out at her side and smirks, "Colour me intrigued. By more than just this case. I don't think I caught your name the other night. I'm Mara."

"Sydney," the blonde replies, slipping her hands into her coat pockets. "And here I thought you saw a lot of weird shit." And not just because she works for the New York Police Department; there's a hint of malice in Sydney's voice that makes this clear. "What can you do? Shoot fire out your ass?"

"I have visions of the past from touching certain objects," Mara answers casually, as though this were typical watercooler talk. "What about you?"

"I could tell you," Sydney offers, "but you wouldn't remember by the time you got back to the station. That must come in pretty handy, though — with your job and all."

"What do you mean I won't remember?" Mara narrows her eyes slightly, confused. "I may have to take a lot of notes, but my memory isn't that bad." She takes another drag off her cigarette.

"Hey, there's something we have in common. Taking notes." Sydney pats something on the inside of her pocket, but what that something is remains unclear. "That’s problem with you, and Nakamura, and all the others — by the way. You're way too open with each other about what you can do." She tips her head back, gazing skyward at the dark clouds gathering overhead. "Just because we have something in common doesn't mean we're alike. Or that we even share the same goals."

"Of course not. Gabriel Gray has, or had, abilities as well," Mara muses darkly, "But that doesn't mean we're anything like him. If Nakamura trusts you, I'll give you that same trust. That's all."

Gabriel Gray. It takes Sydney a few seconds for her brain to make the appropriate connections before the light behind her eyes blinks on. "Sylar, right?"

Mara nods. "That's what he calls himself, yes." She refuses to say that name. Not again.

"I thought you guys arrested him." Mara's use of the word 'had' rather than 'has' catches Sydney's attention as well, but she lets it lie for now. "Is there a problem?"

"None that I'm aware of." Mara inhales the smoke from her cig and holds it in her mouth for a moment before expelling it through her nose. "He is still in custody."

"That's too bad. If you guys are still dead set on breaking that Petrelli kid out of Kirby Plaza, you could have pointed him in the their direction." 'Their direction' being the Company's, but Sydney lets that part go unsaid. She doesn't know who else might be listening. "Let them deal with the psychopath while you do your thing."

"He's too dangerous in their hands." That's just a fact, as far as Mara's concerned. "You going to answer my question?"

"I can do what you can do," Sydney says finally, with an air of reluctance, "but with people instead of things, and I don't get visions — only memories."

"Memories…" Mara echoes softly, obviously kicking the concept around in her head. "Brilliant." She offers a smile that's almost sympathetic, "Must be a bitch."

"More'n you know." Sydney isn't sure that she likes that smile. It reminds her too much of the looks she used to get when she was younger, though Mara has no way of knowing this; the frown creasing the corners of her mouth might seem a little out of place to the detective.

Mara seems to notice something's amiss; her expression becomes neutral once more. "Here." She steps forward and offers a business card. "I've go' my direct line on the back. F'yer ever in a difficult situation, if you need somebody who already knows… Or, who knows, maybe even if you want to talk again sometime, call."

Judging by the disdainful look on Sydney's face, it isn't likely that she'll ever call. Still, after giving it a brief once-over, she pockets the card and tips a short nod in Mara's direction. "Thanks."

Mara smiles again, this time far more genuinely. "All righ' then. If you see anything weird concerning the Shaw bloke, give me a buzz, yeah?" She turns and heads off the way she came. Curiosity somewhat satisfied.

As soon as Mara's back is turned, the frown on Sydney's face is replaced by a slow smile. Like a cat, she arches her back and stretches her arms high above her head before she retreats into the dark, muggy warmth of the club. The fact that the detective knows what she can do but hasn't yet connected the dots brings her a strange kind of pleasure. If she should happen to get suspicious… well, the stripper will cross that bridge when she comes to it.

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