2010-02-21: Pickin' Up The Kiddies



Date: February 21, 2010


Sydney picks up Jamie and Trent after having left them with some friends following Tracy's visit.

"Pickin' Up the Kiddies"

Jim and Becca's House — Brooklyn

The small Brooklyn home that Sydney had left Jamie and Trent at is picturesque in a way. The front yard is well kept — well-trimmed bushes, lovely flowerbeds and a white picket fence to boot. All-in-all, it's the kind of space that was designed to raise a family in.

The owners of the home Jim and Becca Wright went to grad school with Sydney; they'd known each other since undergrad and had managed to help each other through numerous research woes. The twenty-something couple work in the field; both as counsellors at a local addiction centre. Becca stands in the front room watching the front yard through the window. She smiles as Sydney comes into view on the walk — looking considerably better than before. The redhead pads to the door and opens the door before Syd can even ring the bell. "Howdy Stranger! I was surprised when I got your call — thought you were going to be a few days — "

"I cleared things up faster than I thought," Syd replies as she steps into the small house and takes off her thick peacoat. "I hope they weren't too much trouble…"

"Not at all! They're great kids. We like having them," the red head replies with a flick of her wrist.

"Did you tell them I'd be back today?" Syd asks, still grinning.

"Well, I didn't want to get their hopes up, just in case…"

And this is the kind of home that Jamie's never known, except for a few short weeks down in Mexico. So she hasn't exactly settled in very well, though she's always friendly, and doing what she's told for the most part. Still, her mood's a little off as she comes looking for Becca, but as soon as she sees Sydney she brightens, and runs over. "You're back!"

Trent has been pretty busy, reading a lot. Well, what he could. Hanging with Jamie, and seems to like the couple. He hasn't even not had any bouts with his ADHD which is probably why they got along so well. He's currently on the floor, watching a movie of some sort. Hair still wet from a shower he'd recently taken cause he'd been out playing for awhile and got pretty dirty at it. He is used to this kind of house, all too well.. it reminds him of his home in Williamsport where his parent's were.. but he pretty much held strong… most of the time. The first night was a little rough, but he hid it well. Hearing the door, and someone there, he peers around the corner. "Sydney!" he exclaims with a smile and he's on his feet, heading out.

"Hi guys!" Sydney manages with a broad grin. She opens both arms to enfold the adolescents in her arms. "I missed you!" It's only been a couple of days. She gives both kids a tight squeeze. "Thanks Becca," she grins back at her friend.

Becca gives Sydney a nod before disappearing back in the kitchen for the time being. She's letting them have their happy reunion without her around.

"So… ready to go home again, kiddos? It's been awfully quiet without you! I seriously missed you!" Sydney's mood has changed substantially from the time she dropped the pair off at the Wright's. While outwardly she'd seemed fine, all she gave off was anxiety, anger, and heartache. Now? Now she's giving out happy feelings — emotions akin to joy, happiness, love, and general good feeling. "So what have you been doing? I hope it's been lots of fun — Becca and Jim have a great home for general play…" Small, but effective.

Jamie looks up to Sydney in some confusion, but she nods quickly. She asks, "What happened? Why'd we have to come here suddenly? Did they do some kind of check at Fred's house and we had to hide until they were gone?" Then she nods quickly and says, "It's fun here. A bit weird. Feels like I'm in a TV show."

Trent does not pull away from the hug, which is a good step toward his healing.. after those few days in the beginning of him trying to get away from just the simpelist touch. He has truely missed her too. It's a warm tight hug. "Yup, I'm ready to go home. I missed you too. Why did we have to come.." and Jamie says it.. Then he says, "It… it reminds me of my parents house in Willport" Still can't say the name of his hometown properly. "I read and watched movies and played outside. Not much toys here, but they got some good movies."

She releases the hug slowly and lowers her arms to her side, but at Jamie's words, Sydney winces a little, "It's my fault entirely. I'm keeping my eyes out for you and no, there was no check, just… trying to make sure everything is safe. I'm just looking out for you guys — I overreacted this time, that's all." There's no reason to worry the pair unnecessarily. "I promise I won't do it again unless… there's something to be worried about. Honestly, everything is fine." In fact, judging from the therapist's expression and general mood, things are more than fine.

Jamie looks at Sydney a few more moments, but finally nods a little and says, "Ok. So we're gonna go back to Fred's? I'll go get my stuff!" Any worries she might have are being drowned out by the good will being projected by Sydney, so for the moment she's happy enough to go home.
Trent smiles and hugs Sydney again before he's running off to get his things. Boys dont really pack, they stuff and quickly if they are excited, and Trent is excited and happy to be going back home, but at least he's not forgetting anything. Soon he's back out with his bag, and setting it by the door.

"Yes! We're heading back to Fred's apartment. But…" Huh. What if Tracy returns? "I just want to reiterate that you can't trust … strangers…" Wow. That's a very strange piece of advice to give to these two. The second hug from Trent is accepted happily. In fact, the therapist seems to be on cloud nine. Why is left unexplained, but she's in a very good mood. In fact, when the pair return she's humming to herself. All-in-all she really is in a good mood. "Wow, that was fast," she says to Trent with raised eyebrows.

Jamie takes a little while longer than Trent. Not that she's all that careful to pack, but she stops to say goodbye to Becca and Jim. She comes back a few moments later with her bag and says, "How long are we gonna stay there? Isn't it putting him in danger? I mean, if they find out we're there, he'll have to run too."

Trent giggles, "I just stuffed it fast." and well he doesn't have that many clothes just yet either. "Now it's my turn to say good bye to them. But I am really ready to go home. It's nice here, but kinda sad too." He nods though at her advice, "I never talked to many strangers anyway. Only once in a very great while." But he understands. He's off to the other room to find Jim and Becca, "Thanks for having me, was a lot of fun here." adn so on and so forth. He hugs Becca and shakes Jim's hand. He's then running back out to Sydney and Jamie.

Jamie asks a good question. In fact, it was something Sydney had been thinking about before this entire mess. Biting her bottom lip, she isn't entirely sure how to answer it. "Well, we'll stay until… " Until when? She doesn't even know. "We discussed it and he knows the risks." More than Sydney will ever know. "And, ironically, it actually might be safer for us there. For now." At this she purses her lips. "I thought it wasn't, but I was wrong." It's all very cryptic. And very much on purpose. There's no reason to upset anyone else unnecessarily.

Becca and Jim say their farewells to the kiddies and Sydney before the therapist leads the crew out of the house and back onto the street.

"It's just very important that you don't listen to strangers right now or talk to them too much… even… even if they're like us." She says this very pointedly to Jamie. "We're going to be making more connections in the weeks to come. I have a few friends who know our ordeal and may be helpful and I thought it might help for you to tell them your story… what happened… how long ago it happened… how many people were there… details. I know it's hard, but if we're going to be successful and taking down this beast, we need to involve people who aren't on the run…"

Jamie nods a little to Sydney and smiles again at her reassurance about it being safe, trusting totally, "Ok." Then she wrinkles her nose a little at the mention of telling her story again, but she nods, "Ok. Don't remember a lot. 'Cause I was all sleepy and stuff most of the time."

Trent slips his coat on and grabs his bag before following the pair outside. Already learning what they mean when they say 'like us' though, he only knows them, so he won't know the difference between one stranger and the next. So he'll just let Sydney tell him who's safe, and who's not.

"Good. What you remember is good enough. It's a starting point. If the trains had lots of people, I imagine they're in the same boat and we can help them out. Between you and the others we'll be able to piece together what happened." Sydney says with a confident smile. "Now. I think we need a treat. It's been a crazy couple of days for all of us. Votes on treat ideas?"

Jamie pulls on her own coat now, and nods quickly again, "Yeah. A bunch of people from the train were at the orphanage, but most went back home or other places. Was just the kids left when I left, mainly. And the adults in charge."

Jamie pulls on her own coat now, and nods quickly again, "Yeah. A bunch of people from the train were at the orphanage, but most went back home or other places. Was just the kids left when I left, mainly. And the adults in charge." Then she grins and asks hopefully, "McDonalds?"

Trent smiles, "Oooh treats yeah, McDonalds!" he bounces a bit, excitedly, he's not been to McDonalds in, forever. And his lack of a real childhood is noticed, as he gets over excited and wonders, "What's the toys in the happymeals these days?" Most boys his age are eating regular items off the menu.

"Alright then, we'll get in touch with my friends and go from there. Like I said, if this can happen in a way that doesn't hurt anyone else, all will be well with the world."

"I think I can afford McDonald's," Sydney says coyly as she carts the kiddies towards transit. "We will get an awesome lunch and then go find someplace to play." At this she's virtually beaming. "I think we all deserve an afternoon off today." Herself included for once. "Well you can have whatever you want — and I know nothing about toys in happymeals. I haven't exactly had one in… awhile." She smiles.

Jamie gives a little cheer at Sydney's answer, and says, "Cool! I want a Big Mac." She looks back to Trent then and says, "I dunno either. Mostly they're for little kids, I think. Maybe they'll have something to do with the Olympics, though!"

Trent smiles at Sydney, and then looks at Jamie with a bit of a frown. "Little kids. Huh… well, ok maybe I'll think of somethin' else to eat." As busy as the transit is, he reaches for Sydney's hand, not wanting to get lost.

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