2007-09-12: Phyllis

Starring:

Meryl_icon.gif DrAldric_icon.gif

Summary: A romantic evening for two. Unfortunately, Meryl didn't get what she expected, and neither did Doc Aldric.

Date It Happened: 12 SEPTEMBER 2007

Phyllis


Hartsdale Facility - Roof

Friday is a good day. It means there's awesome TV on later in the night, which will be watched and enjoyed with all the short attention span that Meryl can muster. She has DVR… And surprisingly, she knows how to use it, but that still won't keep her from flipping channels every few seconds.

For now, she has a meeting. At least, she hopes she does - actually, she's not sure. Some time earlier in the day, she left a note taped to some random guy's door, mostly because she's never seen him before, and partially because she just wants to see if he'll respond to it. I mean, seriously, a name like 'Aldric?' he has to be some strapping, stunning model of a man, and Meryl intends to meet him in the MOST ROMANTIC PLACE POSSIBLE—

The contents of the note:

Meet me on the roof. It's important. Come alone.

—-

Dr. Aldric is looking down at that very note. "I, uh. I. Well, I might be a little late for supper. I— well there's nothing I can do, Katie, something's come up at the office." He scrubs at the back of his neck in a nervous gesture, making shaggier the slightly overlong hair there. Ascending a flight of stairs, his footsteps make dull scuffs and thuds as he presses the phone to his ear. "I. It's— tetrazzini? What exactly is a 'zzini and why are there five of them? … Keep it in the oven for me, then. I'll, uh, see you after awhile. Hnmhhn." After a final vague grunt which may or may not have been a sound of affection, the doctor tucks his cell away. He spends several moments staring rather fretfully at the door to the roof, his brow knit deeply. Should he have given his wife instructions, should he never return? No, that's silly. "Nonsense," Dr. Aldric mumbles under his breath. He raises his fist as if to knock on the door— before shaking his head and opening it. Onto the roof, to face certain peril.

—-

Perhaps it's just coincidence that 'Meryl' and 'peril' rhyme. He's most certainly facing one of the two, that's for sure. Or both.

She's somewhere near the edge, where a raised wall isn't doing too much to prevent her from simply falling off, should she stumble. It's a nice view from up here! Though as soon as the door opens, she steps backward, turns, puts on her best winning smile, because certainly her beau is here at last, to sweep her away into the sky where they will be married and have ten babies —

When she quite suddenly drops a tin full of cookies onto the ground and manages to twist her expression into something totally disturbed. "Oh my GOD. I think a ferret died on your head."

—-

Dr. Aldric, strapping, manly model of a man. Well, he looks younger than he is, at least, and … well, there's no saying what's under that lab coat, right? The beyond-middle-aged doctor that faces Meryl manages to stay stark still when the tin of cookies clatters to the rooftop, but he seems to steel himself to keep cool. After a span of staring at the woman, he starts to blink behind his spectacles. Blink. Blink blink blink blink. He raises a hand — the one holding the note, in fact, which is now crumpled — self-consciously to his head, scratching at his hair warily. Dr. Aldric looks around, behind him, off to the sides… there is no ferret, right? "Who, uhm. Who are you…?"

—-

No, there's a ferret. Or there was one. It's not alive anymore, so can a dead ferret actually be called a ferret still? An ex-ferret, perhaps. At least this saves the doctor from a lovely evening with Meryl, and also, there won't likely be a letter sent into some magazine advice specialist about this one. "I was expecting someone younger. You know, like from Scrubs, or ER, or— I mean, you're not bad looking at all, save for the ferret, but you're //hardly— // Bugger. Oh, well, I made these for you anyway. You might as well have them." He's probably attractive, sure. It's just that the agent was expecting someone like Turk, and she got someone like her grandfather. Well, if she could remember who her grandfather was, she might make the comparison, anyway. She opens the tin and holds it out. Inside are about two dozen cookies, baked for so long that they look like lumps of charcoal with happy faces crudely drawn on with frosting. "I'm Meryl. I was going to ask you to dinner, but you'll have to shave your head first."

—-

The hand that poor Dr. Aldric was touching his dead ferret with now closes into a fist. While he stares at Meryl (and the so-called cookies) dumb-foundedly, he tugs at his hair without realizing. It only makes it worse; it sticks up at an angle when he eventually stops. "…what is the nature of… you… I'm…" Each disjointed word comes out in gruff, confused segments. Give him a second. "You're outlandish." He doesn't touch the tin. For all he knows, they're poisoned.

—-

"No, I'm Meryl, we've been over this," she says, pouting a little as that hand goes toward the doctor's head. Outlandish? Isn't that a country somewhere in the vicinity of Scotland? OH, WAIT! He's probably guessing her nationality, what with the accent and all, which is decidedly foreign in these parts, yeah? Most people here speak American-New York, which is disturbing in and of itself. "No, no, I get it now. I'm Australian. That's a country shaped kinda like a bit of bird poo - it's somewhere in the ocean, off the coast of kdslgksdh." The end is unintelligable, because she trails off, because Meryl has absolutely no idea where in the world Australia actually is. She could point to it on a map, though!

As the hand leaves Aldric's head, Meryl gapes. "…I think it's still alive." The cookies fall from her hand and onto the rocky, dusty rooftop as she reaches for the newly sticking-up bit of hair. "Hang on, I'll get it for you!"

—-

Somewhere along the way, Dr. Aldric's common sense collides with his sense of self-preservation. He'd like more than anything to avoid having this strange woman touch him at all, but when faced with a wild animal, do not provoke it. With this in mind, the doctor stands completely still — too still - as Meryl reaches for his hair. "I'm fairly certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that I don't have any animals in my hair. Miss. Miss— Miss, would you— " Oh dear god.

—-

"No, you've just missed one, hang on, I've got it," she says - quite seriously - as she grabs the stray hair and gives it a good tug. Of course, it doesn't come off. "…Why would you glue a ferret to your head?" The question of the century! "Was it still alive? Does the ASPCA know? Do you feed it from the table?" She gives it another tug - stubborn thing - as she tries to dislodge it. "It must be a pain in the arse having a dead animal glued to your head. The smell, I mean, has to be dreadful. Haven't you gotten comments on this before? You should do something about this, really."

Meryl might think it's a ferret. She might also realise it's hair, and she's penalizing the poor guy just for not living up to her standards that she set for him without ever having met him before. "Would I what? Kiss you? No, I don't think so, Doctor Aldric…" She got his name from the door. "You're not really my type. I mean, you're a bit old. I'm thirty-one, see, and you look… Oh, I dunno, one hundred n' seventeen, at least. That's way out of my range. I think I should go get scissors. Why would you glue a ferret to your head?"

—-

"I am too old for you, you're— I have a daughter almost your age, which brings me to— I'm married." Dr. Aldric manages to keep his voice relatively even and calm, despite his fumbling; most of all, despite Meryl tugging at his hair, but a man can only take so much. He flails his arms at the woman. Underfoot, his loafers crunch on the rocky surface. "Wou— would you stop that! What in goodness' sake is the matter with you!" he puffs out through strained breaths of consternation. Consternation. "That's not a ferret, it's my hair, and I'd like it to stay where it is, quite— quite precisely, actually, Miss— M-Meryl, if you don't mind!"

—-

"WELL OF COURSE IT'S YOUR HAIR! That's what I've been trying to tell you!" she says, letting go and taking a huffy step backward as she curls her hands into fists and stomps her foot. "Jesus, how did you manage to end up with a daughter?" …Realising that this sounds terribly mean-spirited and otherwise judgmental, Meryl backpedals, taking a moment to think before opening her mouth again. It's a rare moment. Enjoy it. "That's to say, I'm sure you looked much better and younger when you were… Younger." Give the woman a reward, she is awesome with words. Brushing her hands off on her pants, she pouts, looking down at the roof as if apologetically. She didn't mean to tug on his hair, really! In fact, she should apologise for it right now. Looking up, she says, "Can I call you Phyllis?"

—-

"I—!" Dr. Aldric hurriedly smoothes his hair down once it's Meryl-free, taking a few instinctive steps backward the way he came, all but walking into the roof door. His brows squeeze together so tightly that a deep notch forms between them. "Can I call you a psychiatrist?! I can get Dr. Eames up here right now…"

—-

He could call her a psychiatrist if he wants to, but. "Don't be silly, I've never had any medical training." Oh, she knows what he meant, but he's such an easy mark, it's not even funny. Actually, it is funny. Maybe she should tell someone about this later - the problem is getting someone to listen when she creates a road map of dead ends and cul-de-sacs in her normal pattern of conversation. Inevitably, the original point is lost.

But seriously.

"Calm down, you old bag, I'm not going to hurt you. You need to settle down a little - come on, away from the door, someone's liable to open it and send you flying. Especially if it's someone with super strength, then you might go flying all the way to New Jersey, and that would suck. Cab fare back to New York is expensive." Holding out a hand, she says, "Meryl Wolf. I just asked you up here because I wanted to meet you. Walked by your office today."

—-

"That's not what I meant. … You're right, New Jersey is— is hell," Dr. Aldric finds himself saying, still in a state of shock. He stares at Meryl, partly because he's having a hard time comprehending the woman, and partly because he's not sure what she'll do if he looks away for too long. "You have an unordinary way of arranging meetings." He pats his head tenderly where she tried to tug an imaginary ferret off of it. He uses the same hand to shake Meryl's, in a daze. "Dr. … Aldric. But you— you know that already."

—-

She'll toss him off a roof, of course. Luckily, they just happen to be on a roof, so she won't have to lug him up the stairs. Shaking his hand cheerfully, she says, "It's nice to meet you, Phyllis." Even if you are kind of homely. Though maybe there's a little something to that ferret-hair and experienced age… Who knows? It could work, in another life, where Meryl didn't have eyes and was actually really desperate. Turning away, she looks off the roof toward the town of Hartsdale. "I just thought it was pretty up here. I mean, most of the time, people are all 'let's meet in my office,' or 'let's meet at Starbucks,' and I was going for something — Unique." The pause comes at a moment when it's just starting to drizzle. Confused, Meryl looks up and says, "Oh, dear, where did those clouds come from?"

—-

Dr. Aldric follows Meryl's gaze upwards, at the clouds overhead. The drizzle blurs his vision and he removes his rectangular-framed glasses, immediately polishing the tiny specs of barely there rain off with an edge of his labcoat. "It's very nice." It's hard to say if he's being sarcastic or not, his voice is so even. "If it's, ah, all the same, I didn't bring an umbrella," he says by way of introducing the subject of leaving into the conversation. He slowly turns, grasping the door handle. One… two… "And I should really be getting home…" Three…?

—-

"Oh, it is. Sometimes I come up here and just…" She takes in a deep breath as she gazes out into the dark clouds, smiling, about to say something profound— "Throw peanuts at the people walking below. It's very cathartic, and safe for the environment. The squirrels love peanuts. I used to use water balloons, but then I found out that turtles eat them. Don't bother trying to get off the roof, the door's locked from the inside. We're stuck here. I've never seen a turtle in New York City before, have you? There's one at the Aquarium on Coney Island. I've been there before - you should go. You should come with me! It'll be awesome, just you and me." The drizzle builds up into a downpour rather suddenly; a crack of thunder off in the distance indicates that this might be a little more than a shower.

—-

Dr. Aldric jiggles the door handle, twists it and pushes to no avail. "I brought my daughter there, years ago. There was a beluga whale back then, she wouldn't stop talking about— what do you mean the door is locked from the inside?" He gives it yet another jostle, as if only now realizing that it is, in fact, locked. He flips the collar of his labcoat around his neck, giving it sharp and villainous edges all of a sudden. He fails to look intimidating, however, squinting at Meryl blearily without his glasses on, becoming quickly soaked by the rain.

—-

Yep, that door's not going anywhere fast! It's sealed. Possibly forever! They'll have to gnaw off their own legs to get down! Or stand on the edge of the roof and wave for help or something slightly saner than dismemberment. "Yeah, we're stuck. We'll draw straws to see who we have to eat to survive. I'll win— At least we have plenty of water, eh? That's one bit of good news, anyway." She turns toward him, smiling, squinting her own eyes against the downpour. "Really, if I'd checked the weather, I wouldn't have brought you up here in the middle of a thunderstorm. At least if one of us has to be hit by lightning, it'll be you. You're taller."

—-

"I see." That's heartening. Dr. Aldric squints up at the heavy clouds and fusses with his glasses, making sure they're secure in is labcoat pocket. "Explain— explain why the door is locked from the inside?" He pounds on it experimentally. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? He slowly makes his way around the perimeter of the roof searchingly, casting unsure glances at Meryl every few seconds.

—-

"It's locked from the inside, because I expected you to be some terribly handsome knight in shining armour, and you showed up instead." There's a saying that beggers can't be choosers, but Meryl will make an exception in this case. He's married, he has a daughter, he's old. "It's your fault you're not some strapping young medical student, yeah? I mean, I came prepared." She gestures at the cookies, which are all over the roof and sort of disintegrating into fine black soot in the rain. They're not so happy anymore, it appears. "Anyway, I have the key. I suppose I could let us out if I really wanted to, but… Don't you think the rain is nice?"

—-

"I'm-- well! I can hardly control something like that," Dr. Aldric finally attempts to defend himself, here. "I can't say I'm upset that you don't find me— " He hesitates and takes in a sharp breath, eyeing Meryl and working himself up to say the word: "…strapping…" That wasn't so hard, was it? Apparently so. He puffs out his breath in a slow, thin, aggravated stream. "But if you'd stop reminding me— that I'm not a knight in shining armour…" His awkward rambling takes a turn into sarcasm. "You know, I wasn't prepared, I could have charged in on my white horse." His voice lowers considerably and he seems to shrink as he adds, "…I ah, don't mind the rain, so much, when I have an umbrella."

—-

"You could, if you'd brush your ferret once in awhile," she notes, gesturing vaguely to his hair. "I mean, there are some pretty good-looking old guys out there. Sean Connery, you know? Or maybe that was Vin Diesel, I don't know, I always get those guys confused."

He does have spirit, though! Or something. Maybe he's got bad gas, and he just wants to argue his way off the roof so he doesn't stink up the place when other people are here. That's logical! "I don't think there are many horses who can climb stairs, especially somewhere as narrow as the stairwell we used to get up here." Brushing soggy hair back out of her face, Meryl turns and starts heading back toward the door. "You know, it's wet out here. I think we should go inside."

—-

Wordlessly, the doctor tromps over the rooftop towards the door again, his hands tucked deep into the pockets of his labcoat - which is useless in the rain, by the way. It's practically translucent at this point; the slate grey of his shirt shows through, along with all its wrinkles.

—-

Well, this was an educational meeting, anyway. Next time, Meryl'll make sure the man she's idealising actually… looks like her ideal man. Like maybe Namir. She hasn't been to see him in awhile. Anyway, it's raining, time to go inside, and so Meryl pulls the passcard out of her pocket and opens it. "It was nice meeting you, Phyllis!" she says cheerfully as she steps inside, and goes to plant a quick kiss on his cheek before skipping down the stairs. After all, he did come all the way up here. She might as well make it worth it, if only a little.

—-

Dr. Aldric is too rain-soaked, chilly, and flabbergasted to even blush. Instead, he just stands there - in the rain that he wanted to abandon — and stares, blinking, after Meryl. "My name is…" She's already on the stairs. "…John." After stepping inside, closing the door and peering curiously at the locking mechanism, he peels off his coat, folds the whole dripping thing over one arm, and waits a few moments before quietly descending the stairs and going home to his sane wife.

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