2010-03-01: Differing Opinions



Date: March 1, 2010.


Sydney tells Fred her and the kiddies are heading out, he disagrees. Nothing is resolved.

"Differing Opinions"

Fred's Apartment — Brooklyn

Despite her current mindset, Sydney finished making the chocolate cream pie she'd been working on. In fact, little in the apartment seems amiss other than the order brought to it — there is a distinct lack of clutter as the trio making their exit had packed their things to head to the next (temporary) home. Ironic that they've inadvertently become nomads in a way.

Aside from the cleanliness, someone has chosen to play death metal very very loudly throughout the apartment — a someone who has taken to reliving her youth in the goth gear she'd abandoned only weeks after coming here. In fact, the notion of moving has reverted her to the white face paint and black lipstick. Of course, where they're going is one of her old haunts in a way, this beckons caution.

It has been a long day at work for a certain modern stone age psychologist who is not from the town of Bedrock. And the last thing that Fred Flint Stone was expecting upon entering his home, despite the smell of pie, was the sound of metal music. The very same time he listened to in his teenage years and when he was particularly stressed. Of course, he doesn't usually play it so loudly, for fear that his neighbours might be so inclined to complain, as is oft their prying nature to do so when there is something they deign over. Closing the door behind him, he makes his way first and foremost to the sound system to turn it down to a more quiet level. Once that is accomplished, he seeks out the only other person currently residing in the apartment who would play such music. "Sydney?" He calls out.

The sound of her own name is met with a cringe. Sydney is feeling off. The death metal was supposed to help, but if anything it only made her nostalgic for days when she wasn't running from the government; days when she could be at home and read a book or engage in super fantastic dance parties in Amy's office. Nostalgia only complicates already-tumultuous feelings. Unfortunately, Syd is keenly aware of her current emotional state.

Swallowing hard, she peeks out of the kitchen and pads into the sitting room. "Fred." She blinks. Her expression alone is telling. Butterflies fight against her stomach, and, to avoid losing her resolve she shoves her hands into her pockets as if somehow retreating to an earlier version of herself will make any of this easier. She lingers in the doorway between the kitchen and sitting room. "I think… we need to talk…." Her eyebrows furrow and her emotions are everywhere at once: worried, anxious, apprehensive, fearful, unsure….

Fred gazes at Sydney as she stands in the entrance to the kitchen. Immediately he frowns. "What's the matter, Syd? You're all…dressed up goth and…and…you don't look happy. Last time you really looked like this, you were on the run." He goes wide eyed. "What's going on, Syd? You really don't look happy. You look…not happy." For all his genius, he doesn't talk like he's intelligent.

"Fred… I'm fine… honest…" Sydney tries to be reassuring. "I'm… I…" her eyebrows furrow further, knitting into a solid-v. "I'm… worried about you," finally she manages. "I love you. And… I know you're working for them. It was confirmed again. And this isn't about me and Jamie… I know you wouldn't ever do anything to hurt us. You're, you're one of the good ones. I just… we just can't ask you to commit treason. Fred. They could seriously hurt you for harbouring us… kill you… I… I can't lose you. Not like that," now she's literally choking on tears. "We need to go. For you."

Fred shakes his head, gazing softly at Sydney, offering a kind smile. "Sydney…oh my Sydney." He sighs. "No. This is exactly about you and Jamie. And now about Trent. The fact is, I'm doing this for all of you. Especially you and Jamie. I won't have you leaving on my account. From the moment I let the both of you into my home, I knew what the risk was going to be. Oh yes, I did. I'd seen the thing on TV with Jamie. I had known what she could do. And I knew that harbouring two people that that the government deemed dangerous, mainly due to your abilities but also because you were in fact already running from them." He pauses for a few minutes, collecting his thoughts. "I made a conscious decision to take you all in, despite the dangers it might bear on me should it be discovered." He shakes his head once more. "No. I'll not have you leave on account of me. If anything, I insist that you stay. I've had you this long without them discovering you, and I can have you stay here longer without them discovering."

"But Fred, treason. I've already brought you so much trouble. I know I have. I just complicated everything. One of the few things I've always been good at," Sydney scoffs mirthlessly at herself while leaning against the frame of the door. "And… I can't stand the thought of them hurting you because of us. And you don't know if they'll find out. I'm not good at this whole fugitive thing. I swear I'm not. I literally ran into my old boss earlier today and I didn't even think about it. I… missed her." She smiles weakly and shrugs. "If I was good at this, then maybe… but I'm not. And I want you safe…" She mutters, "…or as safe as you can be while infiltrating some secret government organization…" With a sigh she adds, "I can't make this more dangerous for you. I don't think you understand the sheer amount of guilt I would feel if…" her voice breaks off into a squeak.

Finished with her packing (and repacking, having redone it a couple times as she decided she wanted different things on top in her backpack), Jamie starts to wander out back out to the living room. Hearing the voices, though, she pulls up short, holding back behind the door into the living room, peeking out and listening.

Fred sighs heavily. "Yes, I figured treason was probably on the top of the list there…if they were to find out." He gazes for a long moment at Sydney. "Look…you told me that you trust me. I ask that you continue to do so." A short pause. "You say I can't imagine the guilt you'd feel if I got hurt because of harbouring you and Jamie? What about the guilt I'd feel because I let you go stay somewhere else?" He gives Sydney a look. "Syd. You're smart. You're really smart. Look at it this way: Who better to make sure that you are kept safe, than someone who is actually working for the very people you're running from? Should I hear that they're getting close to finding you, I throw them on a whole different trail. I use psychological mumbo-jumbo to throw them off." He crosses his arms. "In much the same way, should I catch wind that they might start zeroing in on my apartment, I throw them off. Or I then make sure you all are informed. We make plans ahead of time to make sure there's an escape plan. But that won't happen."

"But I do trust you," Sydney raises a hand to her forehead. "I know you're looking for us. I know you want to take care of us. But you need to do whatever you're doing. Can't you see that's exactly why we have to go? Because I trust you. Because I know you're doing something important. Because I can't get in the way of that." Sydney's gaze has now turned to the floor. The oh-so-interesting carpet between them. Her eyes continue to burn, "If the roles were reversed, what would you do? If I was the one harbouring you and risking everything, what would you do? Please, be honest with me…"

"Fred, there's no guarantee this will ever end. I can't let you risk everything for us. I care about you too much for that —"
Jamie sits down behind the door now, hugging her knees to her chest as she listens. She no longer tries to look out, at least for the moment, just listening and quietly trying to remain unnoticed.
Fred has reconnected.

Jamie sits down behind the door now, hugging her knees to her chest as she listens. She no longer tries to look out, at least for the moment, just listening and quietly trying to remain unnoticed.'

"What I'm doing is taking care of you. If you're not here, where I know without a shadow of I doubt that I can keep you safe, than I am not doing my job." Fred moves to the couch, sitting down. "Look, Sydney. I'm imploring you to stay. Why? Because if you leave, I won't be able to do my job properly, because I'll be worried that you all are not safe. I'll be worried that they'll capture you." He sighs. "I usually live my life in a comfortable grey area. No good, no bad. Just grey. Doing what needs to be done. But that's not the case when it comes to people I care about." Or is it? Is this just a bunch of words? Who can really say when someone has worked for the AP and the Company. "Imagine how you would feel if I got hurt because of this…that's how I would feel if the two of you got caught! And lets not forget Trent! What happens to him if, because of some folly, you two get tracked and a SWAT team comes barging in, quite loudly, and carries the two of you away! That wouldn't bode well for him at all!" He looks up at Sydney, quiet for a few moments. "I know what it's like to have those who care about you wrenched away and there's nothing you can do about it. I wouldn't want that to happen to him. Here, at least, I know I can protect him."

Fred's words render Sydney speechless at least for the time being. With a heavy sigh, she closes her eyes. Moments later she reopens them and opens her mouth, but no words come out. Finally, she clambers over to the couch and draws her knees to her chest, hugging them tightly with her arms. Decisions used to be simple. For most of her life they effected no one but her. But now there are three other people in the mix; three other people that are influenced by them.

When she speaks her voice is a whisper, "I don't want to go." Her dark eyes peer out from the white make-up. Everything about her expression has softened. She offers him a small shrug. "I'm worried about you," her voice is still a whisper. Unsure.

Jamie bites her lip a few moments, then she stands up, stepping out to the living room. She doesn't say anything at first, nor really even makes a noise, but she's not hiding anymore. All they have to do is look her direction.

Jamie bites her lip a few moments, then she stands up, stepping out to the living room. She doesn't say anything at first, nor really even makes a noise, but she's not hiding anymore. All they have to do is look her direction.

Fred watches Sydney in silence for a the good while that she remains silent. He doesn't speak a word, waiting instead for her to say something. When finally she does speak, he nods. "I don't want you to leave either." He shakes his head, yet again. "Don't worry about me. I'm a big boy. I'm not the one who is having the problems with the government. I'm more worried about your problems. They're more prevalent than any of mine at present." He nods. He looks as if he's about to say something else, when he notices Jamie walk into the room. There's a pause. "Jamie. Hi. How are you doing?"

"Why do you want us to stay?" her eyes remain fixed on Fred. "I'm a woman. Worrying is like breathing; it comes naturally," Sydney quips before her attention is diverted by Fred's greeting to Jamie. "Jamie." Her face flushes underneath her makeup (not that anyone can tell because she's wearing so much of it). She turns on the couch to face Jamie.

Jamie steps farther into the room, and says, "I didn't mean to cause anything like this. But… they'll come someday, if we stay. They always come. Then you'll be dead." Her voice is soft as she says this, and she fidgets a bit.

"I want you guys to stay because I care about you." Fred says, clearing his throat. With a soft smile to Jamie, he says, "No, you didn't cause this Jamie. I just care a little too much sometimes. But that can be a good thing. I really do want all of you to stay, because I'm certain I can protect you from the bad guys. And I'm afraid that I won't be able to protect you if I don't know for certain where you are." He says kindly. "Regardless of what you end up doing, I don't want you to get caught. But if you do…I'll just have to break you out!" He nods firmly.

Sydney has little argument left in her. To argue with anyone will just leave her exhausted so instead, she just continues to hug her knees, still unsure. She's undeniably torn. But then she nods, agreeing with Fred, "This isn't something you caused, Jamie. Don't believe that." She presses her lips together and then adds, "We're just trying to figure out the best thing for all of us. That's all." She shrugs again.

Jamie steps over closer, right up to the two, and says, "You can still know where we are. But if we're not here, they can't connect us, that's all." She smiles some though at Fred's latest words, and nods quickly, "Yeah, you can." She looks up to Sydney and says, "Best thing for us is them to stop chasing us. But dunno how to do that."

Fred shakes his head. "I just…I'd prefer if you remained here. It would give me peace of mind, and I wouldn't be as worried. Besides…" There's a pause for a few minutes, his mind reeling. "Yeah…what we need to do is to stop them from chasing you. There has to be an easy way to…yes. But…but…yes. I can't make any promises. Yes. It could…I know. But I don't…I hope it will pan out." Perhaps he's not making any cohesive sense to the outside world, but his mind is reeling.

Sydney narrows her eyes at Fred's rambling before slowly releasing her knees. She places her feet on the floor. "Freddie?" the question is punctuated with narrowed eyes. "What are you going on about?" Her nose wrinkles as she leans back against the couch.

Jamie looks up to Fred as well, with a confused look. "What're you saying? Not making any sense." She looks to Sydney and back up to Fred again, staying where she is but obviously confused and maybe a little worried.

Fred smiles kindly. "Don't you worry. I know what I'm doing. After all, I'm Fred Flint Stone. And if someone who shares a name with a cartoon character can't make a difference, than I don't know who can!" He stands. "Needless to say, I've got a plan." He smiles. "I'm going to my study, be sure to come if there's anything you need, and to let me know what you've decided. I'd like, of course, if you all were to stay a little bit longer." And with that, he's off.

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