2009-11-22: Money Can Buy Anything



Date: November 22, 2009


After a stint of starvation and the fainting that follows, Sydney finds herself reluctantly reinstated to the care of a stubborn and spoiled socialite.

"Money Can Buy Anything"

NYC - Bellevue Hospital

After having finished transferring all of Hallis' files (and rewriting them in different coloured pens), Sydney had an early morning. Of course, when the call came to Hope Hearth about Hallis being hospitalized, Amy dragged the blonde woman along with her. Sydney is dressed casually while Amy is wearing a lab coat over her business attire, she's an MD after all, and just wearing a white lab coat grants access to various hospital resources. "She's your patient," Dr. Amy Masterson mutters.

Sydney rolls her eyes, "I told you I therapist-dumped her last night. I'd gotten… too involved." She frowns as she traipses after her boss into the ER.

"I swear, Sydney, if you weren't such a good therapist I'd have fired you many times over…" the psychiatrist frowns as they reach main reception.

The blonde just runs a hand uncomfortably through her hair as they reach the reception area. "We're looking for Hallis Van Cortlandt," she murmurs.

With all of her vices it's no wonder that something has caught up to her. Luckily this time it was just a collapse at a local coffee shop. Calls were made to the appropriate people, the In Case of Emergency contacts in her phone and 911. Number one on that list? Dr. Sydney Falkland. Of course the troubled young woman would have her therapist on speed dial, she's been using her like a Grand Canyon tour mule since she met her.

Oddly enough, the only one to answer the ICE calls was Amy. Messages were left to the appropriate parties, but the only ones to show up so far is the Therapist and her boss. As they are ushered into the private room where the young celebutante is being kept (held), she looks up and then quickly looks away.

"I didn't want them to bother you." Hallis utters, looking out her window. She is hooked up to an IV, there is an oxygen tube in her nose, and everything about her looks quite out of place. "You fired me, you don't need to be here."

Amy's phone rings just then, it's the father of the patient in the bed. In order not to upset the woman in the bed, she ducks just around the corner, within earshot, but she keeps her own voice low enough so that Hallis can't hear.

Sydney's arms are crossed over her chest at Hallis' words, but she remains silent until Amy has disappeared around the corner. Finally she, uncrosses her arms and stares at the celebutante for several moments, "I didn't fire you." Pause. "You wanted things that couldn't happen without some effort, and couldn't deal with the boundary I put into place. When that happens, I, as a therapist, have an ethical obligation to terminate our professional relationship." The cool guise, however, disappears as she stares longer at Hallis and just shakes her head. "W-why? You were doing so well. And you said yourself it was because of George… didn't have anything to do with me…"

Amy remains around the corner, murmuring on the phone, seemingly negotiating something.

"Who is doing well?" Hallis murmurs, finally turning her head to look at the woman by her bed. "I try and I try and I try, but I always come back to this." She picks at her IV tape and shrugs. "I never expected anyone to show up though, thanks." The admission of gratitude rings a little sarcastic, though the rest of the words…

Outside of the window, there is a tree, leafless for the most part. Except for one that is waving back and forth in the breeze and seems to have caught Hallis' attention. "Mum and Daddy won't come," she finally says. "They're at brunch, Mum is probably neck deep in mimosas while Daddy is talking to some man with a cigar." It's a routine they've had since Hallis was born, something that won't change because their only child is having another fit of drama.

Finally turning back to look at Sydney, her blue eyes gaze tiredly into the therapist's brown ones. "Did you see George or talk to him?"

"You. You were doing well," Sydney insists with a sigh. "You were hopeful and working on your vices and moving forward —trying to be a better person and all. What happened?" The tone is non-judgmental. In fact, the gentleness of it surprises Sydney herself.

She presses her lips together as she glances at the tree to see what Hallis is gazing at and only arches an eyebrow as she pulls up a chair. Amy's still on the phone. Seems this won't be a quick visit so she may as well make herself comfortable.

She raises both of her eyebrows and offers what little comfort she has, "I'm sure your parents care. Not everyone is good at showing their care or affection. Some even push others away…" Frown. Too close to home. And then she forces a strained smile through the frown, "I haven't talked or seen the Congressman, but I'm sure he'll be here soon as well. We only just got the call ourselves," she glances towards the door, presumably Amy's still around the corner.

"I'm not a good person, Sydney." Hallis admits, matter of factly. "I really don't know what George sees in me. Maybe it's just the good face." It's true, the only ugly side he's ever seen was the one in the restaurant the other day.

A man in white walks in, interrupting the petite woman in bed. Looking over both of them before turning to Sydney. "You're her doctor?" He asks, he's an intern, at least that is what his mane badge states. "It seems that Miss Van Cortlandt hasn't been eating, the collapse was due to anorexia. We'd like to keep her for observation, but she's refusing."

Hallis' state of mind goes from an eerie calm to hyper active faster than a formula one car goes from zero to sixty. "I don't want to stay in the hospital! Tell them Sydney! Tell them I'm doing well, that I'm alright!" She's pleading now, her eyes watering and threatening to spill over.

"You are a good person, even if you have vices," Sydney insists. "We're not defined by our mistakes, but how we try to do better. To be better." She shakes her head at the notion of George only liking her for her face, "You're more than a pretty face. And we all have pretty face moments… you know, times when we're nothing but a pretty face because our brains aren't working, but there's more to you then that. You want to be better."

As the man walks in, Sydney arches her eyebrows, "I'm her therapist…" interesting that the pronoun is placed in the present tense. "Do you think observation is really necessary?" she asks with a tilt of her head. "If she's not eating do you plan to just… force-feed her?" She frowns as she glances back at Hallis. "Aren't there other treatment options? Support groups?"

She faces Hallis for a second, "Would you go to a support group or day treatment? Anorexia is serious… wasting away is a big deal… " Sydney's brain automatically classifies the disorder as a specialized type of obsessive-compulsive disorder. There's a pause as she considers Hallis, "… plus if it goes on long enough your body starts growing white fluffy hair all over… " she frowns.

It's at this moment that Amy reenters the room, tugging on her employee's shirt sleeve, and dragging her towards the hallway. "We'll be right back!" Amy chimes with a sly grin. The smile alone is enough to let Sydney know something is up. The sound of hushed arguing in the hallway can be heard, but the words themselves are indistinguishable.

Several moments later, the pair reappear, though Amy hangs just outside the room once again.

"They only see my mistakes, that's all I'm known for. Except for George, he's .. he's good." The leaf has caught her attention again, and Hallis watches it until the breeze finally grabs it and it flutters down below. To the waiting public and cameras below. The doctor is ignored as Sydney takes care of him, apparently she's on her ex-client's side in the matter.

When addressed about the support group Hallis grimaces and studies the pair of medical professionals before slowly nodding. "Sure…" she's not completely convincing or completely convinced that it's a good idea. "But really, I'm fine. I've been eating. I had some…" She drifts off, not knowing when she last ate. "I had some salad." Salad, that's a good all around food that everyone has every day, isn't it?

Amy's entrance and sudden departure with Sydney leaves Hallis staring bleakly at the young intern. "I'm fine." she insists, giving him a cold and very stern stare. "I'm probably just allergic to something and … had some kind of reaction."

For his part the doctor simply smirks and shakes his head. "You're not eating Miss Van Cortlandt, the only reaction you had was starvation."

Sydney frowns a bit at Hallis' response. "You need to eat more than a little. Like consistently. And I'm not kidding about the white hair. It's not attractive, and it tends to form on faces as well as everywhere else because your body is so cold…" She glances at the doctor and then back at the girl, "If Miss Van Cortlandt agrees to meet with me daily for the next couple of weeks as well as attend a support group, would that be sufficient for you?"

Amy continues to stand in the doorway, casting a knowing glance towards her younger counterpart. Hallis' father has won via donation to Hope Hearth. Sydney has been mandated as Hallis' therapist indefinitely. It seems money does get what it wants.

"And Hallis, this is serious. It's not merely an allergic reaction. I imagine you're trying to control the one thing you can in your life right now…" Sydney explains.

"Daily?! I don't know if I have time for daily… Seriously? Daily?" Hallis is a little ambivalent regarding the therapy. Fortunately, the look the intern gives her makes her cringe. "Fine, fine… I get it. Daily." She looks away then.. until the part about the hair, "Seriously? Facial hair!! NO! Okay!!" When all else fails appeal to her vanity, it works.

The doctor seems satisfied with the solution and nods to Sydney, holding out his little clipboard to Hallis. "You can go home with them, sign here and here. Your clothes are in the bag at the end of the bed." The little incidentals, like the nurse coming in to unhook the IV and have her sign her release runs through quickly enough. It seems the petite blonde can't get away fast enough.

"Thank you Sydney. I'm sorry for everything last night… I just…" And she drops the conversation, avoiding the real problem. Herself.

Sydney smirks at Hallis' objections and then sudden ability to give in at the look of the intern and the appeal to her vanity. She watches as Hallis signs, and then nods a bit at Hallis, "It's fine. I get it, there's a lot going on and it just came to a head. Therapists tend to get the brunt of others' anger anyways." Pause. "And I'm sorry I quit… I just… overreacted maybe…" She smiles warmly now as she shrugs her shoulders, "Unfortunately it's our lot in life."

Amy, meanwhile smiles at the interaction. It seems like things will turn out well for all. Including a rather large endowment to her precious centre.

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