2010-01-17: Freakish Intuition



Date: January 17, 2010


"I've got a bad feeling about this," Han Solo.

"Freakish Intuition"

Fred's Apartment — Brooklyn

After Jamie was safely tucked into bed, Sydney finds herself at a bit of a loss, and still incredibly confused about the general emotional state of her comrades. By now she's removed the boots and the face paint (or as some might call it make-up), but her clothes remain, including the fishnet hosiery. She sits curled up on the sofa, quietly scribbling some notes in the journal she brought in her purse. If a person were to look it's a list, a list of places.

Hope Hearth
Amy's Apartment
Nana and Papa's (this one is crossed out twice).

She purses her lips together as she eyes the list. These are places she can't go now; not until the nonsense with the government is cleared up; not now that Jamie is with her. She flips the page and scribbles some more notes. These are updates on Jamie's current status. There's something reassuring about finding a missing client (particularly a child) and then soul crushing about knowing she had a tube in her nose.

After making sure that Jamie was comfortable and tucked in, Fred opted to go to his little office for a short while. Work calls after all…or at least his work that is slightly more open to the public. His work at a mental hospital and at the community centre. After reviewing a few cases, he sighs and gets up to make himself some coffee. Every good psychologist has to stay up late and have a coffee addiction, after all. After making him a cup of some instant brew coffee, he slowly walks into the walks into the living room where Sydney is now residing. Giving her a bright a smile as he can muster, he says, "How are you feeling? You had me worried there for a few minute, earlier."

"I'm fine," Sydney sighs as she closes her notebook. "Just…" she presses her lips together. When they were younger she would've demanded for the truth; she doesn't feel so bold today, but she is psychologist now, and getting information is a specialty, an art, really. She purses her lips together again and focuses her emotions. "Is there something you haven't been telling me? Like… is everything okay?"

Fred leans up against the wall, gazing intently at Sydney, smiling a little more softly now. "Good, I'm glad. I'm not exactly a medical doctor who can treat exotic, or not so exotic, health conditions. I just deal with the gooey goodness that is the brain." He furrows his brow, somewhat in confusion. "Something…I haven't been telling you?" He shakes his head. "Everything's fine on my end. But you may need to be more specific if you want a more specific answer."

"That's… a cryptic answer," Sydney says with a hmmm. "Something's wrong." Maybe. It's a bold statement, but Sydney's starting to accept her gut feelings again. "Do you not want us here? I swear we can leave in the morning…" She swallows as she watches him with equal intent, "Honestly, Freddie, something feels… amiss." She shrugs. "And I'm sorry if I…" caused it? Brought it here? Instead of finishing her sentence she just shrugs again.

Fred takes a slow sip of his coffee. "What's wrong? I mean…besides you and that little girl being fugitives, that is." He frowns. "Look, I was just caught off guard when the two of you showed up at my door. That's all." That much is true, at least. "I wanna help you if I can." He smiles softly. "What are friends for if not to help each other? Sure, we just met up again after years of not seeing each other. But still…birds of a feather fly off together…and stick together." There's a firm nod to that statement. "I still find this all so…different and strange." His emotions may betray him on that one. To him, at least when it comes to abilities, it is not new nor strange in the least.

And there it is, a lie, at least Syd's gut tells her so. She presses her lips together into a thin line, and then forces a weak smile, and issues a lie of her own, "Maybe my intuition is just off." She shrugs again as her smile grows, "I really am sorry for coming to see you like this and the last couple of weeks… everything really. It's such a mess, you know? At least I still have friends." Her own emotions betray her though, but she manages to keep them in check. For now.

Fred sighs and gives Sydney a look. "Syd…I may not have a special ability like you or the girl, but I still know when something is bothering someone. And I know something is bothering you." He smiles softly. "You can talk to me. You can talk to me and be sure to not loose my confidence!" Can she really? His psychologist side has kicked in, just in the slightest. "You do have friends. You have me."

"They just complicate things anyways," Sydney says of abilities. "I…" Hmmm. How do you tell someone that you sensed something that makes you uneasy? "You just lied to me," she says simply. Does she know what about? Nope. No idea. "I don't know why, but you did," she tilts her head.
Fred furrows his brow. "I…I didn't lie!" He says, quickly taking a long sip of his coffee. Awkward silence much? Finally he sighs. "Look…I just…it's complicated. I had this patient and…you know how it is? I didn't wanna break patient-doctor confidentiality, you know? What kinda psychologist would I be if I did that?"

Sydney hmmms as she narrows her eyes, "That… doesn't make sense. You asked what was up. And even if it was the patient, this makes no sense with the regret from earlier which I can't put together at all." She furrows her own eyebrows. Now she's frowning, "It's unsettling that when Jamie talked about her experience you were filled with regret. I'm unsettled. It wasn't on purpose, I didn't meant to figure it out, but it's unsettling."

Fred shrugs. "This patient had an ability. I know what you'll probably say but…I feel bad even mentioning that much." He shakes his head. "I guess…maybe I was regretful that there were children that were being put through what Jamie had been through and that there was nothing I could do about it." Which is plausible enough, feeling helpless regardless of whether he works for the government or not.

With a sigh, Sydney raises her hand, and shakes her head, "It's fine. Honest. Say no more. But you could've told me you knew. I would've asked why and then you could've mentioned the whole patient-code." Now she's actually grinning — her dimpled smile. "And I'm sorry, I don't do it on purpose. I know it's like… a huge invasion of privacy. No one should be allowed what I can do. At least I don't read thoughts." She shrugs, still smiling. "Sit Dr. Fred, stay awhile." She pats the couch beside her.

Fred smiles and sighs in relief. "You're the best, Syd. Honestly. I hoped you'd understand. I just…I always feel bad about breaking the confidentiality code. Even if it's not their name." He says with a shrug. "I do think it's kinda cool…doing what you can do. Just…I'd imagine it's hard to distinguish what you can trust from a person and what you can't." He says, walking to the couch and sitting down with a little, shy smile. "Especially when you're on the run."

"I understand. I only mention cases in vague detail when I need to for teaching and the like," Sydney grins back. "It's not as much cool as… uncomfortable. Honestly I was better off before I knew what I could do. Then I was just freakishly intuitive rather than a freak. It's not just being on the run though, you know? It's like I can't trust anything really. Other than my supposed intuition." At this she winks. "So tell me, do I make a better blonde or brunette?"

Fred nods ever so slightly. "You see? That's why I always liked you. You understood me a lot better than the others did." He says with a small smile. "We're two of a kind, you and I." He nods firmly. He concentrates at the question. "Hmmm…better as a blonde or brunette…that's a tough one. Being a brunette definitely brings out your more goth nature. But I like you no matter what your hair colour." He says, a sly grin emerging.

"We always had a lot in common," Sydney agrees with a nod. "Sometimes I wonder if we actually belonged in that group or if we just found somewhere that accepted us for who we are. I always like that. No judgments in our group." Her cheeks flush a pale pink. "Why Dr. Fred, are you flirting with me?" She shoots him a sly smile of her own.

Fred smiles with a nod. "We did…what with the goth and the metal and the being adopted. We're awesomely similar." He says with a wide smile. "I don't know if the group really accepted us for who we are, but more just didn't care. That's something I've thought about…" He sips his coffee and shrugs. "Who really knows, though?" He blushes a little. "Maybe I am?" He smiles shyly at this.

"Maybe you're right. There's a fine line between acceptance and tolerance," Sydney grins broadly. "I guess high school is a lie in a way. I thought I'd found a niche, but then it's almost like a lie. Acceptance and apathy. Not quite the same thing." She winks again as she scootches a little closer towards Fred. Her cheeks redden a little further, "Annnd… what if I flirted back?" She tilts her head, a small flirtatious grin spreads over her lips before her gaze flits towards the coffee table.

Fred nods. "Well, that's my genius shining through, that is." He winks playfully. When Sydney scootches a little closer, he scootches back. "Oooh. Hey. Yeah. Flirting back." He gives a little laugh. Sure, he likes Sydney. But this is the last thing he was expecting, really. He smiles. "Hey! Did I ever mention that I have a long, lost twin sister?" The fact just randomly bursts out of him. He cringes immediately after he says it. Smooth move, Fred!

Moment over. "You have a sister?" Sydney quirks before tilting her head. "I've known you for years and I'm pretty sure you never mentioned that. Where did she end up?" With a hmmm she adds in return, "Well I have no siblings; my mother died in childbirth at seventeen." This is an equally random fact, one that she never mentions.

Fred laughs nervously. You take in a couple of fugitives and you never know what will happen! He nods. "Yeah…yeah. I've got a sister. Never knew what happened to her. I…I guess I don't often like to talk about her? It's just…we were split up after…our parents died. And I've never seen nor heard from her since. I always wonder what happened to her…" He smiles still, only this time sadly. "I…I'm sorry that that happened to your mom." But to him, Sydney's situation with her mother would have been more a blessing than a curse. He knew his parents. She didn't.
Fred has partially disconnected.

"I'm sorry about your sister. You could still find her one of these days… The world begins and ends in New York City, you know," Sydney issues him a soft, but hopeful smile. "I'm pretty sure my grandparents blamed me for it in a way. I never had perspective on the whole thing growing up, but considering my parents' shotgun wedding, my mother's death, and my father's disappearance…" she shrugs "…I think it might've been hard not to blame me." She smiles weakly. "Meh. Their loss."

Fred smiles and shrugs. "Bygones are bygones, right? I just always hope that wherever she is, Wilma has a good life, and that she lived with good people." And if Sydney puts this together at all, she might just make a connection to the Flinstones. "You shouldn't've been blamed for what happened to your parents. Not one bit!" Despite the fact that he kinda blames himself for what happened to his parents.

"But it was my fault in a way. If I hadn't have been born, then my mother would live and she would've gone to university and became the medical doctor Nana and Papa wanted," Sydney's tone has just a hint of bitterness, but she shrugs again. "Yes, bygones are bygones. And fair or not, it's what life is." Leaning forward her eyes flit to the coffee table to a file folder with a very familiar name: HALLIS VAN CORTLANDT. She takes her eyes off it, however, and turns to look at Fred, "So… how's business? Lots of patients with emotional problems?"

Fred shakes his head. "No one could have foreseen the complications that would arise at your birth!" And that's that! He smiles and chuckles, nodding. "Oh yes, plenty of emotional problems. Though those are primarily arising at the community centre. I'm working at a psychiatric institution as well, and there are a lot more issues there. You could say I'm becoming quite the…quite the…the loony bin crazy ass sifter. Excuse my Japanese."

"I worked at an institution once! Manhattan Psychiatric Centre. It was hard work. Rewarding in its own right though." Sydney flashes him a smile. "So which is more demanding these days? The loony bin or the institution?" SHe purposely avoids looking at the coffee table now, although she is very curious as to what's in that file.

"Ah, The loony bin and the institution are the same thing! The community centre is totally different. That's where you came to see me!" Fred says with a little smile. "I'm working at the Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital now!" He says happily. Yet another thing they have in common. "I'd say that both places are rewarding in their own ways. I always find the various cases somewhat intriguing. Like…you can keep this a secret, right? Of course you can. I've got a new patient currently who believes that she's in purgatory, and that God is punishing her. So she has to do a whole bunch of good deeds in order to get into heaven. Only…well, the devil is keeping her inside the hospital and preventing her from doing the good deeds."

"Has she responded to meds at all?" Sydney asks with a raised eyebrow. "Or are you trying other interventions?" She swallows hard as she considers asking the question, the file is right there after all. "And yes, I can keep it a secret. I can't say I've seen too many cases that are deluded, but then I'm good with working with the depressed and suicidal." Which may or may not be connected to her ability. She swallows before she points to the file, "Is… Hallis Van Cortlandt a patient? I'm sorry… I saw the name and I… was her therapist for awhile…" Yes, this is purely professional interest.

"It seems meds have only made her cathartic and dulled her responses, it's done nothing for her delusions. She seems to think that an angel told her that she was in purgatory." Fred nods. "Working with the depressed and suicidal is just as noble." He says with a smile. "I've certainly seen my share of people like that myself." He frowns, finally taking a good look at the coffee table, shaking his head at himself for leaving it out. "Yeah…she's a patient." He tilts his head. "I…didn't expect that."

"I wasn't trying to be snoopy, it was just written there on the file," Sydney winces. "I know it's not egregious to look at another therapist's files, and you weren't expecting us… I just know her fairly well. Our contact diminished some after Bryce tried to kill me," and there's no emotion in the sentence. She hasn't had time to process Bryce's attempt on her life or his death. There's a pause before Sydney tilts her head at the notion of the delusion, "What if someone did tell her she was in purgatory? Maybe she needs a dose of reality? Has your patient's family been around to see her? It might help…" She shrugs a little.

Fred stares at Sydney for a good few minutes. "I…in the fairness of professional cooperation from the current psychologist to one who's got a history with the patient, I think you should look at Miss Van Cortlandt's file." He says, getting up to retrieve the file, and leaving his now empty cup on the table, returning, he hands the file to Sydney, where she can read that it is in fact Hallis who has the delusion that she's in purgatory. As well as notes about her seeing this 'angel' who told her so and that the 'angel's' hand apparently went through her dog 'George', as if George wasn't there.

Accepting the file, Sydney reads through the file, her eyebrows furrowing until she comes to the end and hands it back to Fred. "I… " Huh. She bites her bottom lip as she considers the possibilities. "Well, she doesn't really have a history of delusions. She can be a touch melodramatic at times, but delusional doesn't fit her general reaction to stress… she was in a fire some time ago, a fire that was caused by two people with abilities, and she managed to hold it together in the face of the truth…" She presses her lips together and then asks the question, "What if she's not delusional?" She raises a finger as if to silence any objections Fred may have, "People can do some extraordinary things, Fred. What if someone did that? Like ran their hand through George? I realize how crazy that sounds, but what isn't it possible?"

"You're ignoring the fact that she thinks she's dead and that the person, whether they did or did not pass their hand through George, is an angel. As his hand passed through George, but not through her as he helped her up." Fred explains. "And she believes that this person said that she was in purgatory and that she had to do good things to get into heaven."

"What if someone told her that?" Sydney asks. "I'm not trying to just play devil's advocate here, Fred, but maybe she needs the familiar. I imagine her parents didn't make the effort to visit her?" She's become familiar with the pattern the Van Cortlandt family appears to take. "And if meds aren't working…" she hmmms. "And she doesn't believe you, right? Like you've tried to explain where she is? Or someone has?"

Fred shake his head. "That's not for me to decide. The fact of the matter is, she believes it and she won't be shaken in her resolve about it. At least not while I talked to her. I've only seen her once," He explains, "As she's my newest patient and I'm only able to do rounds there once a week. She didn't believe me, and she in fact asked me to leave after a certain point. She thinks God is testing her. This is a delusion. A delusion is, after all, an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument. I tried to rationalize the reality of her situation. I didn't want to broach the subject too quickly, of course, but I tried to at least have her see that if this was indeed God's will to have her repent in purgatory by doing good deeds, he wouldn't keep her in an institution."

"I know what a delusion is, Fred. I got my PhD too. And I aced my classes," Sydney says unamused as she crosses her arms over her chest. Oh dear. Never a good sign when the empath closes off her body language. The rest is ignored. For now.

Fred tilts his head. "Please don't be angry. Perhaps I shouldn't have shown you her file. But, the only point I'm trying to make is that she doesn't want to believe that she's not in purgatory." He smiles softly. "Come now. I'll take the file, put it away in my cabinet in my office, and we can get some rest. How does that sound? In the morning, I'll help both you and Jamie figure something out."

"I'm not angry," Sydney snaps before taking a deep breath. "Sorry. I… I'm sorry. It's been a long day. And it's not about the file. It's just disconcerting to think she could be living in an delusion." With a sigh she nods, "It's late, and it really has been a long day. I… yes. We can figure something out tomorrow." Tomorrow.

"Not angry, huh?" Fred murmurs softly. "No need to apologize. You've got a lot on your plate right now. We'll talk in the morning." He says softly, taking the file. "Do you want help setting up your bed?"

"I'm fine, Fred. I can take care of myself." Mostly. Sometimes. Maybe not lately, but that's beside the point. "Thank you," Sydney's tone is soft now. "For everything." Beat. "Thanks."

"And thank you for being honest with me about everything. I'm still learning to balance this ability stuff." She shoots him a soft smile.

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