2009-11-24: Pudding Apologies



Date: November 24, 2009


After freaking out the day before, Sydney visits Eric to apologize and

"Pudding Apologies"

Eric's Apartment

After the rather odd twist of events yesterday morning, Sydney managed to drag herself out of bed this morning. Yes, she stayed there all day and night, but she knew that she'd have to face the world sooner or later. Fortunately, she'd managed to cancel most of her appointments for the week at the distress centre, claiming that her dissertation (which in actuality is finally finished) was eating her life. After thinking about the events of yesterday, she felt an apology was in order. And what better way to apologize then with… homemade chocolate pudding. She trudges across the hall in her faded blue jeans, blue t-shirt (that reads 'Beam Me Up Scotty, There's no Intelligent Life Down Here'), with the bowl of pudding clutched in her arms. She raps lightly on Eric's door.

The light rap brings a fairly quick response. That response is in the form of a silence, and then a THUMP against the door and a grumble of a voice on the other side. "Just a sec…" Then the door is pulled open to reveal a much rumpled form of Eric Lancaster. His hair is a bit wild and crazy, his eyes bleary. He's wearing a rumpled t-shirt with the words 'Live long, and prosper' and a hand with the vulcon symbol on it. A pair of black silk pj pants and nothing on his feet completes the ensemble for the morning. However he tries to make more sense of things and his gaze sharpens slightly before he gives the therapist a mildly lopsided smile. "…hi Sydney."

"Hi Eric," Sydney counters with a bit of a smirk as she examines his appearance. And then her cheeks turn a pale crimson as she actually begins to think, "I didn't wake you, did I? I didn't think it was too early…" She shifts her weight from one foot to the other with mild discomfort. "Um…" A glance is given to the pudding before she thrusts the bowl towards him, "This is for you." Pause. "I'm sorry about yesterday. I shouldn't have freaked out like that…" her cheeks redden further.
"Hi back," Eric replies wryly before he shakes his head. "Don't worry about it. I should have been up hours ago." He says with a shake of his head. "I was up at the hospital setting a few affairs in order till late and just didn't sleep all that well is all." He murmurs before he steps back and waves her inside. "Come on in though if you want to. As for not freaking out like that…" he smirks. "…I sort of surprised you in the shower. You had every right to freak out…"

After stepping into the apartment, Sydney pads to the kitchen and opens the fridge, placing the pudding safely inside, "It's good. I promise. It's one of the few things grandma managed to teach me to make." Her eyebrows furrow with concern at the mention of the hospital, "Hospital? Is everything alright? Are you okay?" Her eyes narrow, but her cheeks flush even further at her freak out, "Yes, I was surprised, but I of all people shouldn't be upset about ability issues." She smirks and shrugs. "It's not like I have any level of control over my own…."

"Yeah I'm fine…" Eric says with an easy smile, if a slightly faded one. "…its my dad, he's been sick for awhile and…" A pause before he shakes his head. "No nothing for you guys to be worried about. Not with everything else thats happening with people like us." He adds before he laughs and shakes his head. "Yeah well I still don't have the portal location down pat yet." A pause. "…and you do need to learn a bit of control…not that I was in any condition to complain last night." A pause then before he looks towards her, arms crossing over his chest for a moment as he regards the woman. "I'm more worried about you really." He adds as he covers a yawn behind one fisted hand.

"I'm… I'm sorry…" Sydney pauses before she asks gently, "What's he sick with?" Her lips curl downward into a concerned frown. "How are you coping?" Her eyebrows furrow, but embarrassment flickers over her features at the notion of the night before. "I don't really think I could've controlled it while high anyways, but I do need to figure how to get at least some handle on my emotions. I've been trying for years. I always thought I was just an emotional train wreck. Turns out I'm an emotional train wreck of borrowed feelings…" She forces a very strained smile at the comment, "I'm okay. Sort of." Pause. "I'm a big girl. I've lived through worse…"

"I don't know, but he's effectively comatose at the moment. Not that a lot of people know about it," Eric admits with a shake of his head slightly. "The family is keeping it quiet. Not that the business is in trouble about it…" He shrugs slightly. "…I'm coping. Trying to scramble to fix a few things…" He shrugs. "I'll live." He says softly towards her before he glances up at the woman and smiles slightly towards her. "And you aren't an emotional train wreck Sydney, you just don't have a lot of control yet." A pause before he reaches out hesitantly out to touch her shoulder. "Are you sure Syd?"

"That. Really. Sucks." Sydney manages regarding his dad. "What happened? " Pause. "I'm sorry. It must be hard to watch. I've never lost someone like that." She manages a comforting smile before offering, "If there's anything I can do, I'd be willing." Not that she has much to offer. It's so much easier to talk about other people's lives than her own, but the combination of the question and hand on her shoulder take a chink out of her armour, "Honestly… I cried most of yesterday. I don't really know what happened. Like I was there, but now it's almost like I'm watching my own memories on a kind of movie screen." She shrugs. "Right now… I feel numb. I know that I'm angry with myself… can't understand how it happened or how it happened so quickly… Eric, I had two sessions with him. TWO. That's it. And I really am a professional. This hasn't happened before…" She purses her lips before she adds, "But I have lived through worse." Absentmindedly, she raises her hand to run her cheek.

Eric just shakes his head and gives her a slightly strained smile. "Its hard, but I'll be fine. Like I said, all my friends have plenty to deal with at the moment. Its not the best of things, but…" He shrugs slightly. "…maybe I can get help for him after these problems cleared up. After all if I can come back from nearly dead then so can he." He adds with a flash of a smile before that smile fades as she continues.

"Look Syd," He says as he reaches up to put a hand on her other shoulder. "You have to tell yourself its not your fault. Maybe I should get you to talk to a friend of mine, something similar happened to her." He adds with a shake of his head. "It was a power, some kind of brainwashing. Its either something in the government group doing it, or Wynn or one of his people doing it. I don't even know its its on purpose or not. I know you are a professional Sydney, really none of us ever thought anything other than that of you."

"It's hard to believe it's not my fault. I knew therapy in a car was a bad idea, but I went along with it anyways. I had no intention of seeing him again, but then my boss reasoned with me and insisted I do it in person," Sydney's jaw tightens. Her numbness appears to be fading. "I see everyone's side. Good, bad, or ugly. But I can't even understand what happened. After the second time I traipsed around New York in freakin' high heels to find the man! It's New York!" She shakes her head a bit. "And I don't get it. Was it just some strange borrowed emotion? Like… did I do it to myself?! Like, did I turn myself into some kind of high class hooker?! I am worth WAY more than $95/hour!… That's the worst of all, the not understanding." Pause. "And for the record, I didn't meet any of his people, Eric. Only his driver. And Tracy later… after the fact. WHO totally is sleeping with Wynn. But then who in his employ isn't?!"

"Sydney, Sydney listen to me…calm down…" Eric says as he takes the calm tone of voice. "/You/ did nothing…really nothing…" Unless it was just to amplify whatever power was working on her. "…this has happened to other people. It might come from Wynn himself, hell he might not even know he is /doing/ it." He adds with a shake of his head. "The point is it was some kind of power on you, some power from an external source and not from you. Alright? You have to believe me in that. It /wasn't/ a borrowed emotion at all. It was something else entirely….and you aren't some kind of high class hooker…" Pause. "…and you /are/ worth way more than that." He /would/ know wouldn't he?

"You really think so? About all of it?" Sydney asks with a sigh. "It's just hard to believe. I… I did those things. It was me. But it wasn't me. I have my professional ills like inviting two clients to come live with me when I know that they have a beef with another client in the building, but never anything like this." Pause. "And the worst is how cheapening it feels. I've had my share of damage, but nothing so… violating." The frown on her lips has played there some time. She presses her lips together as she studies Eric, "I appreciate the support, you know. These aren't normal things that I can talk to anyone about…"

"It wasn't you," Eric says with a firm tone of voice. "It /wasn't/ alright. Thats one of the things you have to focus on alright Sydney. You got it?" He says as he gives her just a slight shake, though a friendly enough one. "…and if you haven't realised yet." He adds with a wry smile as he raises one hand and lets a globe of shadow appears that that slowly forms into the form of a stalking cat before vanishing once more. "…Gene and I? We aren't exactly normal, so talking to either one of us about not too normal things is perfectly fine."

"I caught that," Sydney smirks as she watches the cat, "And in all honestly, it's strangely comforting to know that things don't have to be normal." Her smirk broadens into a grin. "Hey… can I ask you a favour? Now that Lena's staying with me… if you ever feel like oddly good for no reason, would you mind just coming over? I'm not sure that either her or Tiago would know what was causing it… I haven't exactly been upfront about what I can do because I don't really understand it."

"Eh normal is over-rated I've found out," Eric replies wryly. "Though I spent nearly a decade trying /very/ hard to be normal." He adds with a slight shrug of his shoulders. He seems perfectly happy being /not/ normal anymore. After all he isn't, and no use trying to be. A slight pause then before he nods once towards her. "Yes, I'll come over if I start to feel odd about anything." He says quietly before a shake of his head again. "…well I haven't been exactly upfront about my powers either." A pause. "Do you still want help in practicing with it at all?"

"You've known you could do what you do for that long? Wow. I found out like a month ago. I always thought I was just… really in tuned with other people's feelings," Sydney offers a nonchalant shrug, "I thought I was a really really good therapist. Turns out all of this time I've been cheating." There's a pause, "But at least it explains some things about my life. Like… why when I'm angry with someone they instantly get mad back. OR why I can see two perspectives and think both valid because of the feelings behind them. OR why I lose my nerve with things when I have to confront people face-to-face…" She swallows and then nods, "I'd appreciate the help. It wouldn't be… awkward for you, would it? I know you offered after our… " her cheeks turn quite pink "… night together. I don't want you to feel obligated."

"I scared my big sister when I was about twelve with it, thats when I fight found out," Eric replies as he chuckles slightly. "…it does explain things but just explaining things doesn't help all that much. Thats one of the major problems with things like this I think. We need to learn to control it…" He pauses a moment before he grins for just a moment. "No, it won't be awkward for me…just as long as its not bad for you either." He adds with a slight smile towards her. "…I mean…" He coughs softly, just minorly embarrassed. Just slightly. "I'm not feeling obligated, I really wouldn't mind helping. Honestly…I mean I know that night was more Lena's fault than anything else." He can't say he didn't enjoy it though. "But you are Gene's friend, and you seem to be a good person Sydney. I just want to help alright?"

"I bet that was fun. At least you got to scare someone. I made someone yell at me by yelling at them. And I don't yell often. I'm actually a very patient person. Nothing as exciting as scaring a sibling," Sydney chuckles with a smirk. "But then, in that moment I started to think. I seem to match whatever emotions are around me. I still don't understand what I do, but seem to do it anyways…" Her cheeks continue to flush as she nods, "I agree. I think we're past the really awkward part." But she flushes more at the compliment, "I'm not sure about that. I try my best to follow what I think is right. I don't always succeed." She shrugs. "Thank you for that. I… thanks. You're a good guy Eric." Her cheeks flush again.

"I'm a Lancaster," Eric says wryly. "That prevents me from being a good guy at all you know." He pauses for a moment then sighs and shakes his head. "…it wasn't exciting Sydney. She still won't talk to me." He adds with a shake of his head. "Thats not here or there though, so don't worry about that." He hrmms for a moment. "So its some kind of Empathy right?" He says after a moment. "That would explai—well nevermind that. I am sure about that, so you can trust me about being good. Though I think your problem is your broadcasting. Maybe if you practice…which won't be easy I can guarantee…then you can help with the broadcasting and the receiving you do."

"I'm sorry," Sydney squeaks. She sighs and studies him before raising a hand to squeeze his shoulder. "You are a good guy. I can tell." She pauses and then adds with a small smile, "And I'm normally a good judge of character. I can tell when people lie to me. Normally." Ivory was an exception. He could've told her he was a duck and she'd have believed him. She nods at his question, "Yes, I feel things that other people feel and vice versa. Sometimes." She tilts her head and arches an eyebrow, "What would it explain, exactly?" Pause. "How would I even practice? I don't know how it works…"

"I've learned to deal with it," Eric replies with a smile. "Maybe she's gotten over it by now. I don't know." He adds with a flash of a grin towards her. "…and fine I'll take your word for it. I am a good person." He pauses for a moment with a thoughtful look towards her. "…er…it would explain why…you know. That night and all." He says with again a slight smile towards her. He's /trying/ not to blush at all. Trying his best. "As for practice…well first you get used to how it feels when you do it so you can know when its happening. Then you try to slowly learn how to turn it on or off, or at least focus it so you only hit one person at a time with it…"

"Are you suggesting that … I wanted you that badly that I spread it to you?" the question is punctuated by both a smirk and furrowed eyebrows. Her blushing continues. "That's really not a comforting thought. This is why it freaks me out. Like, what's real and what isn't." She pauses as she considers the situation, her cheeks flushing further, "Or do you mean just the way it seemed to spread Lena's powers of joy? Because… that's a little more comforting…" She sighs, "But I don't know what it feels like. Honestly. It kind of just happens. And normally when I experience really intense emotion…" she swallows.

"More of the latter than the former," Eric replies with a flash of a smile. "And thats kind of what I ment, spreading things like you did." He adds before he frowns flightly before he pauses to think on that. "You just do it then?" He nods slowly. "Well we can start there, when you experiance intence emotions…it happens. You might have to learn to focus it, concentrate on turning it in one direction or against one person. That would be a place to start at least if you don't think you can turn it on and off at will."

Sydney hrms, tilts her heads and asks, "But how would that even work? Like… can a person change their own feelings? I hope I can get a handle on this thing… seriously, I liked my life better before I knew." She shrugs at this. It's a comment more than an actual lament. "It doesn't seem fair to anyone else. Our feelings should be the one thing we know to be real. Even if everything is falling apart a person should be able to trust their own emotions amid the chaos." There's a pause. "And it's not really fair to me. Hard to have anything that's my own when my feelings are put out there for everyone else to experience." She frowns again, "I had to break up with someone in a letter once because every time I saw him I caved… that's not fair to anyone…"

"I'm sure you can, you seem like a smart one," Eric replies with a smirk. "When I started to work on mine I could hardly dim a lightbulb, let alone walk into a shadow. If you practice you will get better, scouts honor." He pauses a moment before he hrmmms. "Well…lets see. I'm not sure you can /change/ someone's feelings. You can just amplify and influence is all. Not overtly change." Again a pause before he thinks about it for a moment. "Well first off next time you feel really emotional about something…focus on one person there. Just one, try to focus real hard on them and maybe that'll channel the emotion just into that one person. Or two, or howevermany seems comfortable at the time. We'll go slow…its taken me years to get to where I am today, and I had the equivelent of a personal trainer." He adds wryly. "Gene and I will help…because you are right, its not fair."

"Okay, I'll try to remember to focus on one person. The thing is I don't normally realize I'm doing it when it happens… must pay better attention, I guess. So I just need to start trying and it should get better then?" She flashes him a broad toothy grin, "What are you saying Sparky, couldn't always conjure a cat shadow? Who trained you? A real jedi=master? Seriously, it's crazy to think that abilities have been around so long… and I didn't know until last month." She half-smiles as she absently tugs on the hem of her t-shirt.

"Its all about realizing what you are doing, and taking control of it. Not letting it take control of you," Eric says with a flash of a smile towards the woman. "You just need practice thats all, just simple practice. Once you get that then you'll be fine I think. Hell, practice on Gene or I if you want." Then a smirk. "Something like that. A friend of mine, Elena among others. I just decided that once I was going to use it then its much better to /learn/ how to use all of it. Right?"

"You're right, it's important to be able to control it. I mean… I already feel like I might have put people into danger without meaning to. And I wasn't even aware of it…" She grins as she stares at him. "Okay… I'll practice on you guys… seems safe…" She smirks. "Just don't get mad at me. I feel bad enough that I can even do what I can do… don't think I could handle someone's wrath…" She smirks.

"You're right, it's important to be able to control it. I mean… I already feel like I might have put people into danger without meaning to. And I wasn't even aware of it…" She grins as she stares at him. "Okay… I'll practice on you guys… seems safe…" She smirks. "Just don't get mad at me. I feel bad enough that I can even do what I can do… don't think I could handle someone's wrath…" She smirks.

"I promise. I won't get angry," Eric confirms. "…I might get a bit annoyed, but I won't get angry." He says with a nod. "And yes, its safe and thats the important thing. We'll get you to stop that wide broadcasting if we can." He adds with a smile. "…and…really thanks for the apology-pudding."

"You're welcome," Sydney grins as she pads towards the door. "I just… had to do something. Thank you… for everything. But, I should let you… wake up or something AND check on my house guests." She opens the door, and steps into the hall, but before she closes it behind her she reiterates, "You're one of the good guys. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Nodding once towards her Eric smirks slightly. "I'll be around later if you want to start on this though, and…thanks…" Then after she closes the door he sighs slightly and glances down at himself. "Now I just have to get myself to listen to that advice." He murmurs before he turns to go find a shirt.

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