2010-08-17: Kinder Surprise



Date: August 17, 2010


"Kinder Surprise (in the original Italian, Kinder Sorpresa), also known as a Kinder Egg (Kinder being the German word for "Children", as found in the loanword "kindergarten"), is a confection manufactured by Italian company Ferrero. Originally intended for children, it has the form of a chocolate egg containing a small toy, often requiring assembly." — Wikipedia

"Kinder SURPRISE!"

Sydney and Lizzie's Apartment

The house is less in lock-down than the last time Fred had come by. The drapes are drawn (and have been rehung after she'd yanked them from their fixture), the windows are open, and even the door is open, save for the screen — which is locked. A person peering through the screen can see a significant change within the residence as well. One of the walls in the living room is being painted. Not done yet, but in process. Or, is, at least, set up to be painted with poly draping over the couch and blue painter's tape lining the corners of the wall.

The coffee table, however, is a bustle of activity. It's lined with many, many Kinder Surprise toys that look like they're doing battle — some on one side of the table, some on the other. The bright colours of said toys standing out against the dark stained wood of the table. A box, lays to the side of the room and contains files along with more Kinder Surprise toys. Someone must like the chocolate/toy combination that is Kinder Surprise.

Well, one can't blame Sydney for rehanging the drapes. They don't work very well on the floor. It's hard for them to serve their purpose there. Fred, though, is glad to see that they are back in their proper places as he approaches the home. He is also glad to see that the home is appearing more open than the last time he was there. He hopes that it means that Sydney is feeling at least slightly better. It will take some time, he has no doubt, but this is an improvement. Approaching the closed screen door, wearing slacks and a blue golf shirt instead of his regular suit and appearing more a regular man than the psychologist and Company man, he knocks on it a little bit. "Hello?" He says loudly, hoping someone will hear him.

Standing at the breakfast bar, Sydney is building several of the Kinder Surprise toys. It seems her colleague had gotten lazy, or had lost hope he'd see either the director or his cohort again. With a smirk she spreads a sticker over a little sailboat, before clucking her tongue, "You had better watch yourself, Ollie." Although, she found the toys' presence on her desk almost reassuring, that someone in this world still had faith that she hadn't fallen off the deep end. But then there's a knock on the door causing her to straighten and abandon the little plastic sailboat to which she was attending.

Sporting her Aunt Jemima look a la blue bandana and oversized paint clothes, Sydney slides a little suspiciously towards the door. The windows may be open and the blinds may be drawn, but she's still wary. That wariness draining her features of her former vivacious self. But there is something different. She's choosing happiness. Screw everyone else.

Carefully she spies through the front door before entirely rounding the corner. But Fred earns a faint smile, "Hello." Her too-big-for-her man's denim shirt and faded blue jeans are stained by a sage green paint — one that matches the new feature wall in the kitchen. The screen still between them she maintains that smile, "How are you?"

Fred smiles brightly as Sydney finally arrives and shows herself. "Well, helloooooo little Miss Sunshine." He laughs. "I'm doing pretty good. And how about you?" He says in bright tones. He's certainly much brighter than his last visit, as Sydney appears to be. "I thought I'd come to visit, say hello. And…" he pats his pockets and brings a card out of his back pants pocket. "I came to bring you this. Well..this and a message, and I hoped in the process we could just…chill. You know?" Yes, he said 'chill'. He's in a more relaxed mood today.

The smile brightens a little further at the name as she unlocks the screen to let him in. "I'm — " Sydney hesitates at the question. How is she, anyways? Not having given it much thought recently, her nose wrinkles in response with that pregnant pause, expectantly anticipating some answer. "… better, I guess?" She shrugs a little as she cranes her neck to see the card. "What is it? Is it a surprise? I… normally like surprises — " Good surprises, anyways. None of this getting kidnapped in the middle of the day by a psychopath with an obsession.

The screen opens with a creak before she shuffles back into the openness of the room even if it is crowded by her paint supplies and Kinder Surprise toys. A vague glance is given to the wall before she states, apologetically, "… I got distracted right after I prepped it… and then… well… " she glances at toys on the table and shrugs as her grin turns sheepish.

Fred smiles a little bit. "Well, better is better than worse." He says cheerfully. He shrugs and enters into the home at the opening of the screen door. Looking at Sydney, he winks. "You'll just have to open it up and find out!" Smiling, he looks around and sees all the Kinder Surprise toys and the unfinished wall. When Sydney opens up the card, she'll find a picture of a cartoon dog holding a sign saying 'I'm Sorry'. Inside the card is a little 'poem' from Fred: 'Roses are red, violets are blue. How can I apologize to you? I shouldn't have been so firm, I shouldn't have pushed and pulled. But I know you can't be fooled. So where can I start? What can I do? Whatever it is, whatever you choose, I offer you my service and my shoes. BFFs?'

Fred looks around and his gaze finally falls on upon the Kinder Surprise toys once more and he grins. "Well, it looks like you've been having fun, regardless. I haven't had a Kinder Surprise in AGES! I remember them being delicious, though!" He shrugs. "So, what prompted this, if you don't mind the inquiry?"

Sydney hmmms before opening the card, a suspicious eyebrow arched at it even as she opens it, unsure whether something is going to jump out at her when she does so. Nothing does. The poem earns a flicker of a smile before her nose wrinkles, "Your shoes? I'm pretty sure they won't fit me. Besides, I have a pretty large collection and a passion for them. I think between Lizzie and I we have the shoe thing covered…"

She glances back at the wall and then the toys. "What prompted which exactly?" Her lips press together involuntarily before she glances vaguely at the wall, "I needed to do this renos when I got the place last December… I just haven't lived here much since then." Bitterness creeps into the tone before she quips about the toys, "The toys — well, they're from a colleague. Ollie leaves them on my desk. I've gotten one everyday for the last…" her nose wrinkles as if counting, "…Five(?) years? Maybe six?" she frowns a little trying to remember.

Fred smiles softly and shrugs. "Well, I meant that metaphorically speaking. You know. If you need to use me for anything? Just call me. It's like that song, Ain't No Mountain High Enough. You know? 'If you need me, call me.' You know…not matter how far and all that jazz. I'll be there!" He grins widely. "I just wanted to say that I was sorry for how I reacted the other day when I was here. I think the stress of everything had just gotten to me, and I was harsher than I had to be." He says softly.

He chuckles. "Well, seems like Ollie liked someone a little bit." He says jokingly, offering Sydney another little wink. "Oh! Guess who I just ran into at the carnival!"

"Well thanks, I appreciate it." A glance is given to the card again before she places it in the centre of the coffee table as a kind of barrier between the warring Kinder Surprise toys. Everyone needs a shield now and them.

Shaking her head, Sydney stifles a small chuckle. "No…. Ollie wouldn't — I'm not really Ollie's type." There's a brief pause before she gestures towards Fred, "You on the other hand…"

Her gaze shifts again towards the wall she's supposed to be painting before her eyes drift towards Fred again. "What Carnival?" Having only left this space twice in the span of three weeks, she's not exactly up on the goings-on around town.

Fred smiles and nods a little bit. "Any time, Syd. Any time." With a raised eyebrow, as he looks at the kinder surprise toys on the table, his attention goes between Sydney and the toys for a good moment before there's realization. "OH! Oh, okay. Yeah. Well, I guess I stand mistaken!" He says with a little chuckle. He tilts his head as she asks about the carnival. "Oh, there has been this carnival in town. The Sullivan Bros. Carnival I believe it is. They set up in Central Park. Well, I ran into Jamie there. She's living with them now, doing acrobatics for them." He sighs softly. "Her act was pretty good too. She told me to pass on that she is there and that it's super cool there, and that she misses you."

And that piece of information doesn't sit right with the blonde. Her eyebrows furrow, her lips purse, and her nose wrinkles into a small scowl before she turns towards her unpainted wall again. "What happened to her family? They came and got her… sent her away at the airport for those more equipped to… less likely to…" Sydney's tone neutralizes, the mirth found there gone and replaced with something stealthily cool, her own feelings masked by the over-neutrality of the tone.

And then, despite the chilliness in her tone she adds, "I'm glad she's okay. She just needs something… stable. Consistent. And deserves better than a Carnival." Her lips press together again before she bends down to pick up one of those small toys — a little elephant standing on its hind legs while wearing a tutu. The joys of imagination.

Her features soften again before long. "Is school on the menu?"

Fred shakes his head to the final question. "I'm not sure what is on the menu for her, beside touring with them. But I can tell you this, she's seemingly around people who care about her." From what he observed from the one man, anyway. "And…they're more like her than you can imagine. There's more to them than meets the eyes. They're more than just carnies." He states simply.

Sydney just hmmms to the wall, still staring at it, not quite convinced. Her hands slide into the back pockets of her jeans as she leans forward and back towards and away from the wall in question before biting absently on her bottom lip — her habit of choice, the one she falls back on where there is no pen to chew, no coffee to drink, and no gum to enjoy. "I was thinking lilac, but maybe a sage again. Something understated." Her study of the wall borders on obsession as she refuses to look away, fighting the natural heart on her sleeve tendency and toughening her exterior. Good, bad, or ugly, this is her reality, she can't afford to be so liberal in her emotions, not after the damage she'd sustained.

And then, turning on her heel she slides back towards the kitchen, "She deserves better." It's a simple observation as she disappears seamlessly from one room to the next, admiring that sage wall. "Maybe another sage one…"

Fred knows better than to push the subject more than is needed. He IS a psychologist after all. He has to have some commonsense this stuff every now and again. Gazing at the walls, he nods slightly. "I do like sage, I'll admit, but why don't you try lilac? Just see how it compares?" He suggests. He nods ever so slightly to her comment that Jamie deserves better, but doesn't speak on it. "Oh hey! Did I ever tell you about my long lost sister?"

"Maybe," she whispers staring at that green wall again. Sydney's face flushes lightly, the why left to the imagination as her arms are drawn around herself into a kind of hug. She raises a single skeptical eyebrow at the question about the sister, but doesn't actually address it, not after the constant circular conversations about the topic at hand.

Fred stretches slightly. "Well, it's up to you, really. Maybe compare and contrast. But, whatever." He says loftily. He actually chuckles at the raised eyebrow. "I know. I know. I know. BUT! This time it actually has a purpose. Though I should apologize for using it in the past!" He says quietly. "But anyway, she's not so lost anymore. She's found. Or…I'm found. Rather…we're both found. We ran into each other the other day!"

Another arched eyebrow accompanies the apology. Skepticism seems to be the flavour of the day. A smile edges Sydney's lips at the words about his sister though. Smoothly, quietly, she states, "I'm happy for you, Fred. You must be very excited." Her hands are returned to the back pockets as she moves around the island to pluck another Kinder Surprise — it seems they've taken over this room as well.

Leaning on archway between the kitchen and the living room, Fred furrows his brow and gives Sydney a curious look. "Yeah…very excited. It's very…exciting." With a tilt of his head, he asks, "Is everything alright, Sydney?" Concern is written across his face. Her attitude has changed completely.

Sydney just shrugs. "Everything is fine." Or fine-ish, just Jamie pulls at her heartstrings against her will and remembering before only reminds the stark difference of the after. "Honestly though. That's pretty great." She picks up another Kinder Surprise, this one a seal. "I like this one," she states quietly before pocketing it. "I think I'm going to carry him with me."

Fred smiles softly and nods. "Okay." He doesn't push the subject. Walking over to Sydney, he shrugs. "Yeah, it's definitely exciting. She's a doctor, a GP. Looking for work here in the City." He says nonchalantly. Gazing as Sydney picks up the Kinder Surprise, he looks at the toy. "I think I like that one too. It's a nice one."

A flicker of a smile is given to Fred as Sydney nods, "I will name him… Pooky. Like Garfield's teddy bear." She holds the little seal in her palm before patting it on the head with her finger like one might an actual pet. Maybe she needs a hobby or to leave her house, it's been awhile. Pooky is then placed safely in the pocket of her jeans. "So, she's new to the city then? Well it's neat you guys found each other. It is. Really." A vague glance is given to the stairs and then back to the wall, "So much work left to do — I don't need to leave here for another month at least…"

Fred chuckles softly. "Pooky. A good name for any seal. A strong name. I always like Garfield's teddy." Is said thoughtfully. With a little smile, he says, "Yeah, she's quite new. Not sure what drew her to the city, but I'm glad she came. It's been wonderful for both of us, reconnecting. We got to chatting about how our lives went…well, apparently she was one of those types we wouldn't have gotten along with too well back in high school. She was a preppy girl." He says chuckling. "Death metal and preppy don't exactly hang together well." He shrugs. Reaching an arm around and hanging it on Sydney's far shoulder, and leaning only slightly on Sydney, he looks around thoughtfully. "Would you like help with his walls? I wouldn't mind coming around and working on them with you."

Sydney hmmms at the offer. "Mayhaps." She glances at the cupboards that need refinishing before quipping, "I kind of like having the work to do. It keeps me busy…" with an excuse to stay inside. "I'll go back to work eventually, maybe. Probably. Maybe." She hmmms quietly, before saying firmer, "Maybe." With a shrug and a sigh, she adds, "I don't really have to anymore which doesn't help the motivation. Between already owning this house thanks to… well… and Lizzie I don't really need to work right now. Which is good," she doesn't sound wholly convinced.

With a continuing gaze at the walls around the room, Fred chuckles. "Well, you may not need to work, but not needing working and wanting to work can be different. I mean, having something to do is good, right? It keeps you from being bored. And who wants to be bored?" He takes a deep breath in and sighs it out softly. "You know, my offer the other day to go out for dinner or anything else is still open. If you want something to do." Or if you want to leave the house. "I'm always hungry, don't you know." He grins widely.

"Ehn. I like it here. I've worked hard to make it nicer… I just don't feel like I need to go out to experience something… good… what can they cook me that I can't make after Lizzie gets groceries?" Uh-huh. Sydney pats the pocket containing Pooky before twisting in her spot, shifting most uncomfortably. "And I have lots to do! Lots to do! I mean look at those cupboards and the walls… and the floors, they need some refinishing. And after that there's always the bathrooms — and maybe eventually the porch…"

Fred smiles and shakes his head. "Just a suggestion. You know. Not so much for the fact that you couldn't make the food yourself, but for the fact that it's something to do. But…" He looks around, still lightly leaning against Sydney. "You're right. There's a lot to do here still. You've certainly got a lot of work to do in this place, really."

"Yes. Lots to do," Sydney agrees as she touches the already finished wall. "I think it looks good though. If I painted I might put a mural up in the living room except it might be too much for a living room anyways…" Her lips purse together tightly as she shifts her weight from one foot to the other haphazardly. 'And you're doing okay? You seem okay…" and then, as if noticing her nose wrinkles, "You're not wearing a suit. I don't think I've seen you out of a suit outside of… " she doesn't finish the thought. "Huh. I could've sworn you'd go swimming in a suit if you had a choice…"

"Yes. Lots to do," Sydney agrees as she touches the already finished wall. "I think it looks good though. If I painted I might put a mural up in the living room except it might be too much for a living room anyways…" Her lips purse together tightly as she shifts her weight from one foot to the other haphazardly. 'And you're doing okay? You seem okay…" and then, as if noticing her nose wrinkles, "You're not wearing a suit. I don't think I've seen you out of a suit outside of… " she doesn't finish the thought. "Huh. I could've sworn you'd go swimming in a suit if you had a choice…"

Fred smiles a little bit. "Oh, there's no doubt! It does look good." His gaze looks intently at the wall that Sydney touches. "I bet you'd be able to make an awesome mural on the wall in there. Doesn't matter if it's not much of a living room at the moment. You never know how much you're going to use it in the future." He says after a moment of thought. He grins widely as Sydney notices that he's not wearing a suit, but something more relaxed. Laughing, he says, "Well, I thought I'd change it up a bit. Wearing a suit is a bit…well, I realized I wore suits too much." He explains. "I wanted to relax a bit."

Absently, Sydney starts collecting more of the little toys, sorting them by species (animals vs. others), colour, and size while Fred speaks. She's listening, but the toys certainly absorb her attention. But she does manage a question, "Relax? Why? For work? Or… just when you're off work?" Her gaze, however, remains on the small collection of kinder animals she's growing in the corner of the island.

Fred shrugs ever so slightly as he watches Sydney. "Just relaxing when I'm off work." He doesn't say that he hasn't been working much. He doesn't want to, and he doesn't feel like he has to. It is what it is. "Though I'm sure I'm sure the people who come in there, especially the teens, would much prefer I wouldn't wear a suit. So…I might consider not wearing suits as much." He says thoughtfully.

"Well there you go. And it's important to make people comfortable, especially first timers," Sydney grins a little before she quips, "I always find male clients more willing to talk to me when I show a little leg…" it's a joke, really, and the tone is indicative of such as her face reddens slightly. "Yes. I think you should lose the suits. This is a happy medium between old Fred and new Fred…"

Fred smiles a little bit. "Oh yes, don't wanna scare away the first timers, eh? That wouldn't be very helpful." He laughs a little bit. "You know, somehow I don't think the male clients would be more willing to talk to me if I showed more leg…unless they're gay, of course. And then that all depends on whether I'm an attractive male. And to be honest? I'm not a good judge of that. What do you think?" He asks with a sly grin.

"Exactly. Unhelpful. And defeats the point of therapy altogether…" Sydney turns to the cupboard and pulls a glass from it before filling it with water for herself. "I dunno, Fred. Ollie might be into that, I've been told he's a legs man~" Her cheeks flush a little brighter at the question, but she delays her answer for a few moments as she finishes off the glass of water and lowers the glass on the counter with an echoey sound. "Well I don't know about your legs, I'm guessing they've never seen sunlight — " she teases lightly, "but the rest of you growed up well." Her face feels hot as she turns around, back towards the living room, somewhat discontent to stay in one place today, it seems.

"Oh yes. Very unhelpful. Quite. Quite defeating." Fred smirks, shaking his head a little bit. "Well, from what you told me, Ollie would probably be happy with me in general, not just because of my…pasty legs." He laughs a little. Tilting his head as he watches Sydney, he smiles as she blushes. "Well, pasty legs aside, that means a lot coming from you." He says softly.

"My judgment is questionable at best," Sydney scoffs quietly before shaking her head a little, murmuring to herself rather than Fred, "Be happy. Screw everyone else." It's like a mantra, forget everything else and everyone else that brought her down. Be happy. Her face flushes again, but she manages a weak smile as she looks over her shoulder, "And. I'm wearing an Aunt Jemima hat, I'm sure that should, at least, bring my judgment into question. If I was in a magazine the caption would read, What was she thinking?" She shrugs.

Fred smirks a little. "I've always held your judgement in high regard. Even back in high school. It's sort of been a…an anchor to me." He says as he thinks. "You may be wearing an Aunt Jemima hat, but…when you consider what we wore back in high school? And the death metal? I think we were a little more questionable back then." He says, chuckling and rubbing the back of his neck. "But, who am I to speak, having been one of those people at one time?"

"I don't see why, I haven't exactly exercised good judgment through most of my life," Sydney takes another step into the living room, her gaze back on that unpainted wall — her future canvas as she stares. Her cheeks flush brightly as she eyes it, trying to choose the colour. "Too many choices," she murmurs quietly as her fingers graze it carefully. "The death metal and black hair were a personal rebellion… the Aunt Jemima hat? A crazy person's headdress."

Fred shakes his head. "Neither have I…or I don't think I have, anyway. But hey…that's between you and me, right?" He follows Sydney around like a little sheep. "It can be hard to choose." He says, seeming to follow her gaze. Softly, he tilts his head and says, "Some might say the Aunt Jemima hat is a personal rebellion as well." He says with a little shrug. "And if you claim that you're crazy…you're not really crazy. Scientific fact, you know."

Sydney hmmms quietly, watching that wall like it's going to move. "What was so bad about your judgment? Mine nearly got me killed. More than once. But then. You knew that." With a sigh, she grazes her fingers on this wall now. "And I am a little crazy. Not necessarily a bad thing all of the time…"

With a look around, and walking around the room a little bit, Fred looks back at Sydney. "What's bad about my judgement? I let you stay at my place while I was working for the Alpha Protocol. That's not exactly clear judgement, is it? I mean, I didn't care. But if they had found out, it would not have been a pretty sight. You tried to tell me this when you moved out, but I thought I'd be able to handle it. But, while they didn't find out, it really would not have been good." He takes a deep breath in. "But I did want to protect you. I still do, if I'm honest." With a tiny smile, he says, "I'm probably the craziest of all the people you know. I'm just…really, nuts."

Sydney rests both palms on her stomach, one on top of the other, holding herself there, frozen as her jaw tightens, unsure, in a way. Several moments pass before she's sucking in a deep breath, like she'd forgotten how to breath, let alone to do it. After remembering how to breathe, her eyebrows furrow and her throat cleans. "And what makes you the craziest, Doctor Fred?"

Fred walks slowly up to Sydney and places his hands on her shoulders. "You really want to know what makes me the craziest?" He asks slowly, looking Sydney in the eyes. "Well, first of all? This…" And with that, he kisses Sydney right on the lips for a couple seconds. Breaking it, he raises an eyebrow, though he's blushing slightly. "Second of all? I'm gonna leave right now. I'll see you later." With that, he heads toward the front door. Pending no resistance, he'll leave without saying another word.

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