2010-02-03: 48 Hours

Starring:

Hallis_V4icon.pngGeorge_V4icon.png

Date: February 3, 2010

Summary:

An apparently-sane Hallis is released, but the clock is ticking to make it permanent.


"48 Hours"

Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital

There have been a few messages left at George's office from the Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital, Lizette Valois-Van Cortlandt, and Kitty Reed-Van Cortlandt. The last two indicate they are rather urgent and the matron of the Van Cortlandt clan even made a special trip into the city to visit the Congressman's office. Not finding him there, she left a message telling him to meet her at the Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital.

When the old woman arrives there, she finds the nurses and orderlies all in a buzz. Their most withdrawn resident has taken to ordering them all around like they were her personal servants. Hallis has showered, cleaned up, and for the past two days actually appears to be accepting her place in life, rather than in death or purgatory.

It hasn't been an easy couple of weeks for George, either. The lack of solid news from Senator Petrelli's office would have been worrying enough on its own, but his favorite girl dropping off the radar at around the same time? He's assigned two aides to follow up on any hints of her whereabouts - one in New York, one in Washington in case she was coming to see him there - leaving him to continue his work with at least the outward appearance of composure, no matter how his head was pounding on the inside.

When the call comes through at last, it takes no more than a half-hour to put his other plans on hold for the rest of the day - he's been arranging things in anticipation of needing to do so - and a few hours later, he pulls up in front of the hospital at last. Tucked under his arm is a small box of chocolates (no more than a half-dozen) and a copy of every entertainment rag that the magazine vendor at the train station had in stock (closer to thirty).

Through the throng of paparazzi, Lizette's personal bodyguard greets the Congressman and escorts him into the building. It's not a well kept secret that there's someone of importance inside the building but it's finally made known to the press the moment the elderly woman and the congressman are let in. "Cogressman, it's been much too long. You must make a point to visit me at the estate." Lizette says with a faint smile on her face as she leans up to give George an air kiss on each cheek. She is dressed in a black mink coat that stretches down to her ankles, a hat made of the same fur, and a pair of black lambskin gloves. The old woman is PETA's worst nightmare. "Come, she is on the fourteenth floor. Apparently she's been there for two weeks already."

Dammit. Following them around from day to day is one thing, but showing up here before he did? Yes, it makes sense, they were closer… none of which makes it any less aggravating.

With no staff accompanying him - the driver is standing by in the parking lot - there's no one to come between George and the photographers. And with no reputable journalists wasting their time coming here, he has no incentive to pull any punches. And so he whirls around to face them, letting loose in a way normally only heard behind closed doors. "You're a pack of jackals, and you're not helping. Go find a wardrobe malfunction to chase!" Only then does he acknowledge Lizette's greeting, following her in and upstairs without further comment.

The fourteenth floor is somewhere in the middle of the road for insane. A place where they keep the people who simply cannot function in a halfway house or on their own. Lizette seems quite cool and collected as she rides the elevator up, not even looking at George after they get on. "Her father wouldn't come and forbade her mother to, thank you for joining me," the old woman says as she stares straight ahead. When the elevators open, the pair are treated to quite the sight.

The nursing station is buzzing with people, a doctor, five nurses, and more orderlies than a person can count on two hands. They are all surrounding a young blonde who has taken a chair from the lunch room and is sitting there quietly, not acknowledging any of them. When the old woman steps off the elevator, Hallis stands and waits for her to walk toward her. "Grandmother, I am ready to go now."

The doctor is vehemently refusing the request and turns to both George and Lizette, "She hasn't responded to any of her treatments. Then after a visit from her cousin, she's decided that she's ready to leave. I'm sorry but I'm afraid I can't allow her to do that. She could still be a danger to herself."

While George is very much still on edge, he got most of it out of his system with the paparazzi, so the doctor is met with no worse than a frown. Setting his things down, he walks over toward Hallis from the other side, reaching a hand out to her. "What sort of danger? What have you have been treating her for, exactly?" His tone isn't accusing him of being full of it - she was seeing a therapist on her own before, she might have some legitimate reason for needing more help now - but neither is it blindly accepting.

Lizette has always worn rose colored glasses when it came to her only grandchild, she's not completely blind to Hallis' faults but she knows her granddaughter. "Nonsense, Hallis has never been suicidal in her entire life. She is no more a danger to herself than I am to myself." This earns a small smile from the tiny blonde who is dressed in nothing but a hospital gown and sock on her feet.

"For two weeks she's been claiming that she was dead and in purgatory." The doctor says, not worried about violating her patient rights at all. With a long sigh he begins to explain. "She came to up from a hospital in Rhode Island. She was involved in a crash there, a semi truck drove over her vehicle on the highway. She and her dog somehow survived." There is no explanation of where the dog is now though.

"They took King George away from me when I went to the hospital, George… and they won't let me find him." Hallis says, seeming perfectly sane and normal. She moves toward him when he puts his hand out and leans against his side, wrapping her arms around his waist. Oddly enough, when she does, she grips onto him tightly and squeezes her eyes shut as though it's her last time.

George gives Hallis a hug back in return, squeezing almost as tightly, though in his case it's just to make up for a couple weeks of lost time. After finally letting go, he peers into her eyes. "Well, what about that, Hallie? Did you think that? It would kind of make sense, if the crash was the last thing you remembered…" Now he looks back to the doctor. "I'll take responsibility for her safety, if you're worried she might try flying off a skyscraper or something."

"Yes, at first I thought I was dead, but then I changed my mind." Hallis answers almost mechanically, like it's the right thing to do or what people want to hear. After she says it, she averts her eyes to her grandmother and raises her eyebrows a little in a worried expression. "I'm sorry about the car, grandmother." What she was doing driving in the first place, that's a conversation for another time.

The doctor eyes her carefully, he's definitely not convinced. Turning his attention to George, he purses his lips in a way that might indicate that he's a little frustrated with the situation. "We have a court order here to keep her. You can have her for a two day pass, but that is all I can sanction without going back to the court and having her declared sane again."

After a moment's consideration, George nods to the doctor. "I understand you have to perform due diligence, but I've been close to her for months, and her grandmother… well, she's been there for her all her life. In two days, I'm sure we'll know what we should ask the court to do."

Stepping further away, giving Lizette some room to approach Hallis more closely, he lowers his voice and addresses the doctor once again. "You mentioned her dog being all right, too— do you know where he is? She was pretty taken with him, it would help her out if they were together."

Giving George a sheepish look, the doctor just shakes his head and lowers his voice to speak to him in almost a whisper. "I assume he was taken to an animal shelter somewhere in Rhode Island. All we know is that he survived the crash, what happened from there…" And the man lifts his shoulders in a helpless shrug. He pivots on one heel and strides away, presumably to make the arrangements for Hallis' transfer into the politician's custody.

"Hallis, why don't we get your things packed." Lizette says with a tight smile, then she gives George a rather pointed look and guides the young woman away. The words 'find that dog' are mouthed so that Hallis can't hear it, maybe she's afraid the dainty blonde will come apart at the seams when she finds out her beloved pet is truly missing.

"I don't have anything to pack Grandmother." Hallis protests as she's led down the hallway. "I came here in a hospital gown… I don't have any clothes or anything. I don't even know where my purse is."

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