2010-03-30: Humble Pie



Date: March 30, 2010


Sydney checks in on a friend.

"Humble Pie"

Fred's Apartment

It's a beautiful day in New York. Sydney, blonde, and feeling more like herself is on a mission, however. Everyone at the apartment thinks she's at the library again. But right now she's on a mission of a different kind. She walks up to the familiar apartment in her blue jeans, grey t-shirt, and black cardigan. Her hair is pulled back off her face as she looks at the buzzer on the front door, lifting a hand to press the button. But she hesitates, lowering her hand moments later. Finally, she presses the button.

Today, Fred is working from home. Despite his meeting with a certain Petrelli the day before, he wasn't able to go into the AP today. Instead, he's working on some files from his non-AP work. When his buzzer goes, he's surprised. He wasn't expecting any visitors. Leaving office, closing it's door behind him, he goes to his phone, and brings the receiver to his ear. "Hello?"

At the sound of the familiar voice, Sydney hesitates. Maybe this is a bad idea. Maybe this is a terrible idea. He might not even want to talk to her. Might not want to see her. SHe should've just done this over the phone like a normal person. After letting some moments pass, she finally opens her mouth, "H-hello… it's me…"

There's a pause. Fred can't believe what he's hearing. Is that Sydney's voice? "H…hi. Ummm…wanna come up?" That's all he can think to say.

"I…" Sydney glances around the front of the building. "Yes? But… if you don't want me to —" she winces a little. " — then I don't… I don't need to?"

Fred doesn't say anything else for now. He just presses the button on his phone to let her in and moves to the door, waiting for Sydney to make her way up.

The door unlocking is taken as a sign. Hesitantly once again. She frowns a little as she opens the door and takes a deep breath, before walking up the stairs slowly. She manages a weak smile as she reaches the door and holds up her hand to knock on the door, but lowers her hand to her side, glancing at the stairs again. But then, she's here already, right? She raps gently on the door.

The door opens practically immediately, with Fred standing right there. "Hi." He says simply, standing to the side to let Sydney in. "What are you doing here?" He asks slowly. "I wasn't expecting you to come back. Especially not…well…after the last time we spoke." He takes a deep breath in.

The opening door causes Sydney to jump just a little. She wasn't expecting it to open that fast. "H-hey," she manages as she steps into the apartment. "I'm here because — " she misses him. She wanted to see him. She was worried about him. She feels guilty. She's sorry for how things turned out. All true reasons. but instead she manages, " — I care… I guess…" she stares at the floor before shoving her hands into her pockets.

Fred steps to the side a little. "Come on in." He says quietly, moving off to the side. "Um…so…" When she enters, he closes the door behind her. "It's…it's good to see you again." He says quietly.

Sydney's eyes scan the foyer of the apartment, unsure. Completely unsure. "Is it?" it's not said with attitude, but a small measure of doubt. "I'd have thought you'd be trying to forget me…" She frowns a little as she takes a step towards the door. But she stops. "I… I'm sorry. Not for leaving. But for how things —" ended? "Turned out. I don't want… I… I should go, maybe… this was a bad idea… I'm sorry for coming…" She turns back towards the door.

Fred doesn't seem completely sure himself, but he does make the effort. "It's hard…to forget someone you care about." He says quietly. "I…I…well, I didn't want things to end that way either. I wanted…we're both broken people. And while we've trusted each other, it's still hard to do. We bruise easily. I just…" He pauses for a moment. "If you think that's the best…" He says, not exactly stopping from leaving.

"In which case seeing me couldn't have helped… I am such an idiot…" Sydney's eyebrows furrow as she takes another step towards the door. "I…" her hand grasps the doorknob once she actually reaches the door. "I thought…" she frowns as she rests her forehead against the door for a moment. "I miss you. Everyday. All of the time. I wonder what you're doing, whether you're okay. And I — I love you." She nods at the door before turning the handle and opening it.

Fred shakes his head fervently. "You're no idiot!" He says adamantly. "Never tell yourself that!" He says in earnest. Taking in a deep breath and sighing it out, he says, "I think…maybe…I miss you too? And I love you?" He reaches out to actually stop Sydney now. "Have I told you about my long lost twin sister?" He asks, almost in a hope to lighten the mood a little.

The words and the motion manage to stop the blonde in her tracks. Sydney pulls the door closed again. Still staring at the door, her cheeks flush a little. After inhaling a deep breath she turns to face him. Inhaling a deep breath and making eye contact with him. She issues him a very weak smile.

Slowly she takes a step towards him. Apprehensively, unsure. "I think I've heard about her once… maybe," she smiles weakly.

Fred offers up the same, equally as weak smile as Sydney. "Well…" He starts off slowly. "You see, I've got a twin sister. But…but ever since we were about thirteen years old, we've been separated, and I haven't seen her since. But I've thought about her a fair bit."

Sydney hmmms as she takes another step towards him and enveloping him in a tight embrace. "I always wanted a sibling," she observes with a heavy sigh. And then she whispers, "I missed you. A lot…"

Fred enfolds Sydney in the hug, leaning his head against hers. "It can be a blessing and a curse." He murmurs. Just as quietly he whispers back, "I missed you too. I don't want to be a part from you. But this is for the best…for the kids. But…I want to protect you all, wherever you are."

"I know. That's… that's why we left…" Sydney says with another sigh. "I wish…" she shakes her head, "We are okay. I'm taking care of everyone as best I can…" She's frowning again, however, "I'm not good at this whole caregiver thing. Trent called me Mom yesterday. I… I'm not good at this. Any of it. Not the caregiver thing. Not the fugitive thing…"

Fred closes his eyes and sighs. "I want to help you with this. I know that it's not easy for you." There's a pauses for a moment, and he just thinks. "Why…why don't I help you a few days a week. I can…help cook. Make meals. Or…help teach the kids or something. Please?"

"Yes? Maybe? I don't… I don't really know," Sydney admits as she relaxes further in the embrace. "We're safe, so there's that. And we left… to keep you safe… I'm not sure that the help wouldn't defeat the purpose…"

Fred sighs. "But it wouldn't be here at my home. By your logic, I'm in the most danger here. Right? I'm not followed. So there's nothing to worry about. I just want to help. I'll come on different nights every week, different intervals. Sporadic."

Sydney hmmms. "Can I think about it? I… don't really know… I have little control over where we're staying and what we're doing." She frowns a little as she steps out of the embrace. "I'm still sorry. For everything. All of it. I'm just trying to look out for them. Both of them. I'm not even concerned for myself anymore. Not at all. Maybe I should be, but I'm not."

Fred nods a little, seeming a bit disappointed that she didn't agree right away. "I…yeah. I understand, of course." He smiles. "Just remember…you know…I've got a bunch of training to keep people safe." In a manner of speaking. "I'm concerned about you and Jamie, first and foremost. Trent can be taken care of, but it's you and Jamie that will be taken in if you're discovered."

"I kind of fly under the radar," Sydney says with a slight shrug. "People can't even tell I do what I do. I'm worried about Jamie, but not about myself. Maybe I should be. A former student figured I should be." She blinks a few times, evaluating every word. Still somewhat unsure about it all. "It's hard to think about myself when there are kids in the mix. I still can't believe Trent called me Mom. I never thought anyone would call me Mom. Ever."

Fred shakes his head and frowns. "You…you told a former student what was going on? I hate to say this but…was that wise? This isn't exactly the sort of thing that you should tell people. If I hadn't already known about this stuff, and been able to protect you in some way, shape, or form, I might have been worried about you telling me."

"I didn't tell her. I ran into her, she recognized me, and she'd been a captive of the entire thing." Pressing her lips together Sydney shakes her head, "I don't just tell people what's going on. The friend we're staying with already knew. My student already knew. I swear I'm keeping a secret from no one. It's like everyone I know already knows and the only reason no one talks about it is because they think it's some gigantic secret."

She frowns now, mirroring Fred's expression. "I don't just tell people. I told you before when I was the only one risking anything. It's different now." Her cheeks flush again before she changes the topic. "It must be nice and quiet here without us…"

"I didn't mean it that way…" Fred starts off, and sighs. "I just mean…look, I'm sorry. I'm just really worried about you, okay? I really want to do right by you and the kids." He says softly. "To be honest," He says after a few, quiet moments, "it's getting a bit too quiet for me." He says softly.

"You don't owe us anything, you know that. I'm not even entirely sure how I got pulled into all of this. And I'm sorry for dragging you into our troubles. I am. But here we all are, I guess," Sydney arches an eyebrow at him incredulously, "Really? You find it too quiet?" She smiles softly, "It's almost like you… miss us… or something…"

Fred shakes his head. "That's just it. Your troubles are my troubles too, in a sense. We've got one common problem. The Alpha Protocol! It's your problem and it's my problem and I want to help you guys through it. I know more about it than either of you…well, I'm sure Jamie knows some about it, of course. But I know the inner workings and I know I can help you." He sighs. "But I can't give help where it won't be taken." He closes his eyes for a moment. When he opens then again, he says, "I…I do miss you guys."

"I guess. I just wish I could keep you safer. With whatever you're doing. I haven't told anyone anything. Not even the friend we're staying with. Thought I'm not entirely sure she doesn't think I've completely lost my mind…" Sydney frowns a little. "How do you want to help us, anyways? I mean… assuming I clear it with our host… what would you prefer to be doing?" She watches him intently and then sighs, "I miss you. I think Jamie does too. She told me she calls…"

Fred shakes his head. "Who knows what your friend think? Only she does." He doesn't stop frowning while he gazes at Sydney. "I don't know, but I can't just sit around wondering if you're in danger or not!"

"You're worried about us?" Sydney asks gently. "I didn't think…" she shakes her head a little. "I'll call everyday. Check in everyday. And we can hopefully figure out something with the kids… I promise we're okay right now. We're all laying low. Where we are I'm probably in the most danger…"

Fred sighs. "Jamie has been calling to check in with me. Which has been good. But I still worry." He furrows his brow. "How could it not occur to you? I took you in. I…I…love you! Of course I worry about you." He moves to his couch and sits down. "I can't help but not worry. Every day I want to go out and search for you!"

Sydney follows him to the couch and sits next to him. She leans against the back of the couch. "I'm not used to this." People worrying about her, that is. "And I'm glad Jamie has been calling. She told me yesterday. Said you sounded sad… I…" she closes her eyes gently with a heavy sigh. "…I didn't want that. Don't want that. I want good things for you. Only good things."

Fred looks up at Sydney as she sits down. "Jamie said that? I hadn't realized that it came across while we talked. She's a good girl, that one." He says softly. "And I want only good things for you and her as well. And for Trent. I want this all to end. I want there to be a happily ever after…but I don't see that happening soon. And it breaks me up inside."

"It'll end. Someday. It has to, right? Maybe not as soon as we would like," Sydney sighs heavily and crosses her arms over her chest. "Jamie is a great kid. So is Trent. I wish I could get them back to school and some sense of normalcy through all of this." Her eyes close as she sighs again. "Will this ever end? I mean… do you think this is the way things are always going to be? Because if it is, I have to carve a happily ever after out of it. For both of them. This is no way to live. For anyone. Especially not kids."

Fred shakes his head. "I don't know. I honestly couldn't say. I just…I hope it's not. But until then, in regards to the kids, that's why I offer to help teach them. Tutor them. At least then they'll be somewhat caught up for kids their age."

"Alright. I think," Sydney says with a very small smile. "I don't want them behind. I feel like such a terrible — I don't even know what I am to them." She leans against Fred, adjusting on the couch. "And hopefully someday they'll be able to go back to normal school. I bet they'll love school if they get back to it." She opens her eyes and glances around the room, "I miss living here. With you." And that's the truth. "I've been a bit of a mess lately and thought it was a kind to avoid everyone… So I've been more absent than I ought, but I'm trying to learn to control my ability…"

Fred shakes his head. "You're not terrible. This is an overwhelming time, though. You can't be blamed for not being able to give them what they need. It would be most difficult to." He says softly. "If every you need to be with someone, let me know. It's what I'm here for."

"Are you offering to be my person?" Sydney asks quietly as her eyes close again. It's too easy to be comfortable here. Opening her eyes slowly, she leans towards his cheek and plants a soft kiss on it before sitting back on the couch. "Thank you. For everything. And for just being you…"
Fred smiles. "I think I might just be." He responds, leaning on Sydney. "No need to thank me. It's the least I could do." He says softly.

"Least you can do? How so?" Sydney asks as she traces unidentifiable patterns on Fred's leg. She stops however before observing, "I know we weren't… but after our fight, it felt like… like we'd broke up. Or something."

Fred shrugs. "Fights will happen to the most and the least of us. Maybe we broke up. I…don't know." He chuckles softly. "All I know is that I'm here for you. The lot of you. Never haven't been. I just…yeah."

"Hmmmm." Sydney manages with a heavy sigh. "Just yeah?" she asks quietly as her eyes close again. "And thanks. I appreciate the support. I fail at the relational thing so often." Her lips purse as she shakes her head a little. "I know I push people away." Or end up beaten and bruised. Even back in high school. She doesn't say this part though. Instead she reopens her eyes. "I should go maybe. I'm starting to … ramble. About nothing." She pushes herself up from the couch.

Fred grins. "I'm not always the greatest when it comes to words. Perhaps you noticed." He chuckles. "You haven't exactly had an easy life. Neither of us have. I don't exactly blame you for pushing people away." He responds softly.

"Life is what we make of it. Weak beginnings don't define who I am or what I can achieve," self-sabotage is another story. Sydney nods as she pads towards the door. "I'll be in touch. I promise. You'll hear from me again soon so we can figure stuff out. Like getting the kiddies educated or something." She turns the doorknob again and opens the door. "I… I'll call." At this she nods before she steps out of the door.

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