2009-12-20: Requiem



Date: December 20, 2009


Sydney's discharge from the hospital is imminent. What does this mean? An argument between her and Hallis, of course.


Lenox Hill Hospital

Outside the hospital room designated to one Sydney Falkland, two police officers discuss the latest about their case in hushed tones, having just left the victim. Jones purses his lips as he glances at the therapist through the window, "So they told her the news then?""

Smith shakes his head a bit, "In process now… ."

Jones shakes his head, "Her boss talked to her? …."

"Yah, the shrink is talkin' now. She's da red head."

Meanwhile, inside the room, the television blares loudly with Afterlife as Sydney knits yet another scarf. She lays on top of the bed in pink flannel pyjama pants with Gir printed on them, a black tank top, and a a turquoise, navy, and grey scarf around her neck, hiding the bruising and stitching underneath. Her hair has been pulled back into a loose ponytail as she knits another scarf before turning to Amy and whispering, "Can we shut this off? I'd rather listen to Christmas music…"

Amy looks dumfounded. Her mouth gapes open, huhs, and finally she speaks, "Sydney Elizabeth Falkland have you listened to anything I've been saying?!"

The blonde just remains stoic as she continues to knit and slowly mouths the words, 'Sorry, can't talk. Advised against it.' Although now she's allowed to talk, she just doesn't want to. What is there to say? Someone she knows killed Bryce. Probably. Maybe.

"All I'm asking for is a reaction… a feeling… anything…" Amy exasperates as she stands to her feet and pads to the door. "It's for your own good. You need to let yourself feel this. I don't even know how you're shutting it off. I need to get back to Hope Hearth. I'll be back later to get you discharged." Shrug. Those words said, she stomps out of the room causing Sydney to look up and see the police officers staring at her. She rolls her eyes, frowns, and goes back to her knitting.

Hallis breezes by Amy in the hallway, the woman seemed a little miffed so she didn't do much except wave to her with a pinky finger as she passed by. Why only a pinky? Well Hallis is holding two very large cups of tea, one for Sydney and one for herself. She read somewhere that tea was supposed to be good for throats, so with the conclusion made she decided to play nurse.

The police officers are passed by as well, nothing seems amiss in the young socialite's world, they've been there every day. Of course she gives the cute one a flirtatious smile, thinking nothing of the action. As she reaches her ex-therapist's room, she gives her a tentative smile and knocks softly with one knuckle. "Hey Sydney, I brought you some tea. How are you feeling?" Hallis read the news this morning and saw the reports last night. She's tied up in knots over it hoping that none of Sydney's friends had anything to do with the grizzly scene.

The knitting is put down as Sydney stares at the officers through the window. "Hello Hallis," her tone is somewhat distant, detached even. Finally a tinge of emotion strikes her with a minor sense of anxiety, but only for a second before the stoicism continues. "Thank you for the tea. Tea is very soothing," the words are spoken quietly. Not whispered, but not loud. She's mending well. Very well, actually. Aside from the hand-shaped bruise on her neck. "I'm fine. How are you?" the tone is still empty feeling.

"Scared," Hallis answers honestly. She takes the seat most recently vacated by Amy then takes a drink of her own tea. It's a flowery blend, she picked it because it had an exotic name and the second it touches her taste buds she falls in love. Before explaining any further, she takes a large whiff off the aroma and then lowers the cup between her knees. The young blonde takes a quick glance out the door to make certain the police aren't listening and then scootches the chair a little closer. "I saw the news last night when I woke up… is it for real or…?

"He's dead," Sydney says matter-of-factly, her tone continues to be void of emotion, before sipping at her tea. With a swallow she stares at Hallis. And then the tinge of emotion fades through, just a bit in her next words, "I don't … what if it's someone I know? Why would a vigilante choose Bryce… this is a first…" her cheeks flush and then the non-emotion resumes. She's fighting hard not to feel anything at this moment, mostly because she doesn't what she should be feeling.

Nodding, Hallis licks her lips and keeps them pursed for a little while as she tries to decide what to say. "You know… I was thinking the same thing. But I've been trying really hard to just think good things, like Gene told me to, you know?" It's definitely hard to keep thinking good things about Sydney's 'squatters,' as she's come to think of them. In theme with the positive thinking, the young blonde looks up and gives the woman somewhat of a smile. "Did the doctors give you any news about when you could leave? I mean, you're talking now… It can't be long, can it?"

"I can leave today sometime. Once my discharge papers are finished," Sydney says still stoically, but then Syd's imagination goes to Bryce's head on the snowman which pulls her out of her state. Instead of smiling about getting out, she frowns and sips her tea. Her own emotions and adrenaline are pushing her emotions in about twenty different directions: fear, anxiety, sorrow, regret, anger… and relief. Odd things to feel at once. Outside the room the police officers appear to be engaging in an argument.

Sniffling once, Hallis' shoulders sag and she tries to blink back her tears. "If you leave here, I'll never see you again. You'll disappear to wherever your friends went and I'll be alone." It's a genuine concern that Hallis has had over the past few days. Sometimes though it gives her relief that she'll be without the drama, but it's mostly a concern. "Luke already told me that I should stay away, but…" Her voice cracks and she dips her head low so that the woman in the bed can't see her face. What she can see are a few tears dripping to the petite blonde's hands and cup.

Hallis is shot a very very weak smile as Sydney sniffles back tears of her own. "It's a dangerous business, I'm told. I mostly just house people." She sniffles again. "We're moving out of the building, but we can still be friends, right?" She sips at the tea again. "Luke? Oh. Right. Luke. Eric and Luke wanted to keep you from all of this… we've been trying to keep lots of people out of this…" She sighs.

"I thought we were friends, but there's so many secrets and lies, Sydney." Hallis blurts out, she's on a roller coaster of angst. "I just can't deal with being a half of a friend. At least with Olivia and Chelsea and all them, at least I know where I stand. With you guys, it's like I'm on the outside looking in, I'm always on the inside, Sydney. Always." She doesn't like the feeling of being the third wheel, or the fourth or the fifth. She's an engine, dammit, not just some little bit along for the ride.

"We keep things quiet to protect people. Amy is my most trusted confidant and the one person in the world who knows me best, but Amy knows nothing about us. Not about the mugging in the park, my stint in the safe house, the green eyed man… my roommates, my clients…" Sydney's cheeks flush. "Secrets exist to protect people. But… I never condone killing. Never." Her face is all red now.

This is when Hallis' eyebrows twitch together and she looks away, setting her jaw into a tight scowl. "Bullshit. You condone them and they were going to let you die." She tries to calm her anger by breathing slowly but it doesn't work very well, so she turns toward the window and just stares out at the cloudy sky. "I know you moved… out with them. Whatever. I don't need any of this anyway." She's distancing herself, hurting Sydney before Sydney can hurt her.

"Bryce died," Sydney chokes back tears of her own as she stares at Hallis. She places the tea on her side table before madly knitting again. "I'm sure they didn't want me to die, it was just… a panicked time for everyone. I was sure I was okay… and I'm sure they were scared… I was… I didn't want to deal with this… I've spent the last five years avoiding my past… but here I am." She sniffles. "And yes. I moved with them. I take care of them. That's my role in this." So far anyways.

Hallis is refusing to meet Sydney's eyes. In her mind, Sydney would have seen the evil of her room mates' ways and moved somewhere close by, maybe back into her apartment. "Whatever Sydney. You would have died in your bed if I hadn't been there. Maybe Bryce is dead because they're all sorry for what they almost did to you, ever think of that?" She reaches down into her purse and grabs Sydney's phone and tosses it lightly onto the woman's lap. "I didn't look at any of your texts or anything. I just used it to call Luke and your grandparents."

Right. The grandparents. Well Sydney realizes her relationship with them is basically over because Bryce was a wrongly accused abuser who suffered from his ex's inclinations about him. She sighs at her thought and shakes her head a bit before choking, "Whoever did it thought it was the right thing…" beat "…they were wrong. He was a very very bad person, but he didn't get what he deserved." She coughs. "Killing is wrong." She sighs and buries her face in her hand as she puts down her knitting. "Thanks for helping. I tried to say it before but… I couldn't process… can't process…"

"It is wrong." Hallis mutters sullenly, still refusing to look at the other woman. "Whoever did this doesn't care about you, Sydney. They didn't think about how many problems they're causing you, about what this could do to you. He would have gone to jail and he could have changed or something there." Hallis turns sideways in her chair and flings her legs up over the arm, laying down in it. Thankfully she's so small that it's not uncomfortable. "You're welcome. For whatever it's worth." Then she drops to silence again.

"I don't know who it was…" but Sydney's full of suspicion about everyone she's met… everyone she's talked to about Bryce, and she'll be on a witch hunt of her own for time to come. "…but I'll find out." Unless that person has no qualms about lying and no anxiety about the lie. She can tell, but only if people are discontent about their own lie. With another frown she stares at the window.

"What's going to happen when you find them? Are they going to move in with you too?" The small blonde is a little bit angry, apparently. "Sorry, but that's what happens when you find bad people." Then Hallis goes quiet as she begins to sip at her tea. The beverage just isn't as steamy as it once was and turning as bitter as she is. "When is your paperwork going to be done? I'll have a car pick you up and take you to wherever you're going."

"I'll cross that bridge when I come to it," Sydney hisses. It's a hiss not intended for Hallis. "And they aren't bad people. They're people running for their lives. I'm lucky I get to fly under the radar. Not everyone is so lucky. People on the run are dangerous… if they don't feel any security… bad things happen." She's already considered taking in another patient, but she won't mention this. Of course, her luck could run out one of these days and they'd all be screwed. "I'm out this afternoon. And I don't want to impinge upon your kindness longer. I can get home."

"Why were they running, Sydney? What were they running from? Me? Seriously. What did I do to them? You know no one has ever bothered to answer that one." Hallis gets up then and tosses her unfinished tea in the garbage. Turning to gather her purse and wrap the scarf Sydney made her a little tighter around her neck. "If it's because of George that's a total bullshit excuse, you know it as well as I do." Then she sighs and looks at Sydney. "It's not 'impinging' Sydney, you just don't get it. I want to be your friend. You just hurt me."

"More than you," Sydney sighs, "even if you were the catalyst that started it all. I took them in to keep them safe from everything going on government-wise. Even if you don't believe that, it's true. And none of us knew about George's status at the time… beyond that someone who makes random near-strangers hook up is bound to get on the radar so I did my part to keep them safe."

"And they're not alone in the running…" Syd's met far too many evolved on the run lately. "I've never run, but…" She thinks of Dex, Joel, the green eyed man… "…I've seen how desperate things can get for people on the run. Two months ago I had fourteen guns to my head, all by the same man who could replicate himself… things shouldn't be allowed to get to that kind of desperation…"

"But wouldn't talking about it make it better? I thought you were a therapist. So instead, you took her in and shut me out. That hurts." Hallis counters quickly, folding her arms across her chest. In her mind it's about time they had an actual conversation about it rather than ignoring the problem. "I would have thought that you would have at least tried to make things better for everyone instead of just that bi— Your sister."

"You know what? It doesn't even matter. Even if I saved the world I would still be the dirt on all of your guys' shoes." She takes a quick glance at the door and debates an escape while she can still save face. "You all say it's for my own good, but it's really for yours. I have real friends that actually trust me with things and I don't even have to try hard to keep them. With you guys… it's like I have to crawl on my hands and knees through glass to even get a second look."

"It's not like that Hallis. Things being better sometimes involves letting things go. Making your peace with them and letting go." Sydney wishes she could forget the events of the last few weeks. Bryce found her and now he's dead. She feels like a black widow. "And my roommates were supposed to be temporary until Luke could find another place for them, but when he showed up the first time…" She frowns and shakes her head. "Things happened and we reacted as best we could. We try to cause as little damage as possible, and getting them off the street minimizes collateral damage. And I'm sorry you got hurt, but these are very difficult circumstances we find ourselves in."

"And I've never dealt with anything like this before. I divert to experience. If Luke tells me we need to be careful, we're careful. And you're not dirt on our shoes. You were never dirt on our shoes. You were my client, not my friend. And we'd only just started this whole friend thing…."

"But I trusted you and you lied to me. Amy said that you're never supposed to lie to your clients and I know that you're not supposed to lie to friends." Is Hallis' reply, her eyes narrowing just a little. Her chest feels so tight, and she purses her lips to stop her chin or lips from quivering. "From the way she was acting toward me, I really doubt that you ever tried to be nice about me around her. I wasn't the one that did anything to her, she was the one… It was all her. AND she would have just let you die because she's only out to help herself."

"I didn't lie. I didn't tell you the truth, but I didn't lie. That is my job. It's like telling a person with borderline personality disorder that their selfish. Or admitting that maybe a client is in the bleakest situation they will ever be in. Or recognizing that maybe in the client's shoes the therapist would've done the same thing. I did what I did to protect you and her." Sydney shakes her head. "And her and I didn't communicate about you. All I did was tell her and the others to leave you alone. That was the rule. Is the rule. Besides, when all of this began all I could think about was one thing only and it had nothing to do with either of you." Her former obsession causes her to cringe, but only for a moment. Her stomach feels upset again. The anxiety of Bryce continues to eat at her.

"You lied to me, you said you didn't know her and she's your room mate." Black and white, no room for gray there, at least in Hallis' mind. "It doesn't matter Sydney, really. I mean, the reality is, you're going to leave and I'll never hear from any of your again because it'll be for my protection." She feels as bleak about that as Sydney feels about Bryce, only Sydney didn't hit Hallis, at least physically. "Will you please just let me get you a car? I don't want you taking a cab or the bus… and you don't have your purse, do you?"

"And that's the beauty of therapy. I couldn't tell you. That breaches her confidentiality. And I should've referred one or the other of you on once I figured it out, but it took awhile to figure out and by then I was already in over my head…" Sydney didn't want Amy involved. She wanted Amy safe, unaware of abilities. "And all I could think about … ew." She shudders as her stomach feels even sicker and her skin begins to pale. Yup, she looks like she's going to hurl. Between the mugging, the green eyed man, Ivory, and now Bryce this has been a very dramatic couple of months and now her anxiety is surmounting. "Hallis — I…" she's losing all emotional control and her adrenaline has peaked. She fights it in her own brain… but can't find any sense of calm. Closing her eyes, she reaches for Hallis' hand continuing to try to attain that otherworldly peace.

Hallis freezes when Sydney grasps her hand and then just looks down at her. "Sydney, it's .." And then she reacts quickly, grabbing a small barf bucket and placing it under the woman's face. She eases her back into the bed and sits beside her, trying to ease her suffering just a little. "It'll be okay." Her emotionless state isn't without some amount of compassion for the woman. She just feels numb. "I'll take care of you if you let me."

It's good timing on Hallis' part because Sydney does indeed barf which burns her throat and causes her to grimace. She's eased back into the bed. "The last four months have been… unbelievable… Bryce is dead. I may as well have killed him myself… I didn't … I never…" she's losing any grip she had on her feelings as her eyes well with tears.

The sound, the smell, the sight, it's enough to make Hallis go running for the bathroom. Fortunately the touch from Sydney is enough to keep her impassive. "I know, Sydney. But sometimes you need someone to help you, not hurt you. You can't take care of everyone. Not when you're doing it at work and at home, you'll burn out." Certainly, from an outsider's perspective, Sydney is burnt out. "I can just imagine that the hospital stay was like a little vacation from life, huh? Sometimes it is for me. Are you sure you want to go home to all of that right now? Especially when you have to deal with all the Bryce stuff."

Putting the bucket aside. Sydney shifts in the bed before she responds, "I need to check in on them…. I need to make sure everyone's okay and then… maybe… time away would be good… the hospital has been… quiet…" The answer is non-committal, but the time away has been good. "I need to check in. With everyone."

"You can do that by phone." Hallis replies quietly, heaving a large sigh at the woman's insistence to go back to her life. "Who knows, your squatters could have run for the border when they found out they just about killed you." The young blonde turns her head away, not to avoid looking at Sydney, but to keep from looking at the bucket. "Or whatever happened after." She's not discounting that perhaps her room mates did have something to do with the death of her ex-fiance. Lena did say that she didn't kill him 'this time' when she downed him in the apartment.

"We were moving… It's just checking in… making sure…" Sydney raises a hand to her forehead. "You're right. By phone. Maybe just another day or two… I'll call and then we'll talk and I'll just let them know everything is okay… phone… phone is good." She grins slightly as she adjusts in the bed and picks up her cellphone to dial Lena. The phone rings and rings and rings and then finally goes to voicemail. The pair must be busy. "Hey… it's Syd calling. Um… call me back. Soon. I'm doing better… please call. Bye."

Nodding, Hallis turns her back to give the woman a little bit of privacy. After the call is finished, she looks at her over her shoulder and gives her a weak smile. "I kept in touch with Luke the whole time, he would have told them how you were doing. At least, he said he was." She hadn't talked to him in a few days, but nothing had changed much aside from Sydney getting better and better. "You know…" She shifts to face Sydney again and looks down at the bedding, not meeting the woman's eyes. "I got this huge bonus from my boss, I can put you in a hotel for a few days and you could pamper yourself. You know, take in the spa and stuff. Or I could get you a plane ticket to somewhere warm? Did the police say you had to stick around?"

"I don't know -" Sydney begins and then sighs a bit. "- can't leave the country. I'm part of an ongoing murder investigation. Not a suspect, just a component." She shrugs before she yawns. "But a hotel might be nice…" Her cheeks flush. "I feel terrible taking you up on this…" but she really is exhausted and unsettled.

Hallis smiles at the woman and shakes her head. "You don't have to feel terrible. I can afford it, really. I put half my bonus in the bank for savings, gave a quarter of it to charity, and I'm going to spend the rest however I want. Right now, I want to put you up in a hotel so you can spoil yourself." She gets up from the bed and begins to busy herself around the room, packing up the incidentals that Sydney won't need between now and her discharge. "What hotel do you want to stay in? You can pick any hotel you want… money's no object."

"I really have no ideas…" Sydney admits. "Just someplace quiet where I can think and hear my own thoughts for a few days…" She sighs before observing, "Where do you suggest? I'm happy with anything, really I am. I'm mostly just glad all of this happened after I defended my dissertation." There's no way that would be getting work on now.

With another small smile, Hallis is dialing the phone. She knows just the place. "Hello? I'd like to book a corner suite please." Pause. "Yes the one bedroom… do you have a royal suite available? No? Oh… that's too bad. Alright just the one bedroom. The name will be Sydney Falkland, but I want to put it on my credit card. It's a Christmas present." Another pause. "Alright, we'll be there this afternoon." She gives the card number to hold the room and then turns to Sydney with a large smile. "You are booked at the New York Palace. You'll love it, they have one of the best spas there."

"Thank you Hallis. I really appreciate it," Sydney says honestly as she shifts in the bed again. "A few days of quiet might do me some good…" That said she closes picks up her knitting again. "Honestly, thank you." There really is nothing else to say.

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