2007-03-19: Seeing Eye To Eye


Benjamin_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif

Summary: Benjamin and Cass meet randomly on the street and Cass tries to get some information on whose team he plays for. Cass waxes poetical and Benjamin defends the Company.

Date It Happened: March 19, 2007

Seeing Eye to Eye

Greenwich Village, then the Winters' Apartment

Shopping bags in hand, Benjamin trudges along the sidewalk heading home to his apartment. He's running a little behind on getting home, but that's okay. Some groceries had to be procured. He more or less keeps his head down as he walks, blending in with the sidewalk crowd.

This is not normally Cass' territory. Not that she doesn't enjoy Greenwich Village, but it's a little out of her way. Today, though, she's checking out the signs and examples of the tattoos in the window of Village Ink. She looks contemplative and particularly drawn to an artistic rendition of a lotus. Ah, tattoos call to her for some reason.

Benjamin starts to whistle a little Pirates of Penzance as he walks. The whistling cuts off as he passes some of the tattoo shops. That's not.. why it is! "Miss Aldric, hi. This is a little unexpected seeing you here. I'm sorry about the other day, you were uh, wrapped up with that guy."

It's not until Benjamin calls her name that Cass turns away from the shop window. And when she sees Benjamin she smiles politely, though she's obviously startled to see him. "Benjamin! Hi! Please, call me Cass. Sorry about the other day. Lachlan's…well, he's really very sweet but is kind of a dolt when it comes to manners." She looks around. "Interesting to see you, here, too. Um, do you have a couple of minutes? I actually wanted to talk to you about something. Not in public."

"I couldn't tell," Benjamin says in a polite yet dry manner. "I'm sure he's a nicer guy when he's not drinking." But that's about all he's going to say. Lachlan.. seems like a rough sort. "Alright.. Cass.. oh sure! I live just this way, a few blocks over. What did you want to talk about?"

There's a somewhat private smile when the two are talking about Lachlan. Cass shrugs her shoulders, though. "He is. Though, really, he can be a nice guy /when/ he's been drinking too. I guess it just depends who he sits on." She suppresses a giggle. "Give him another chance. He'll surprise you." As she starts walking in the direction that Benjamin points, she keeps a lookout for the people nearby and her voice low. "It's, uh, well, it's kind of sensitive. I don't want anyone else to overhear. But it's about my father, really."

Benjamin listens, nods and privately? He's not so sure about Lachlan, but he'll keep that to himself. "Oh.. I see.. well.. I should probably get going.. uhm, your father's a nice man and is a good doctor.. that's all I can tell you." He starts to backpedal away from Cass. He's not sure what the woman knows, and he's not in the habit of sharing his hospital stay with just anyone.

"Wait, Benjamin, please." Cass reaches out to grab Benjamin's arm to keep him from running away from her. "I know he is. But…I need to understand some things and I can't ask him." She's not even so sure she can ask Benjamin, but she's going to tell him that. She wants to know what side he plays for, but she doesn't want to do it right in the middle of the street. "Please, just hear me out."

Benjamin acks as his arm is grabbed by Cass. He looks at her, a little something like panic in his eyes as she's insistant. "I.. don't know.. Okay.. but.." He seems very hesitant, even indecisive as he finally relents. "Alright.. My apartment's this way. I'll hear you out."

Cass lets out the breath she was holding when Benjamin finally agrees to listen to her. She's not sure what she would have done if he refused. Probably let him go and tried to find him another way. But, at least that's a non-issue again. "Thank you. I won't take too much time. And I won't even take off my coat if you don't want me to." Easier to run away in, anyway, should this whole thing turn sour.

"Uhm, okay.. Sorry in advance about the mess at my place. Teenagers." Benjamin explains, as if it should excuse everything. Generally, it does. He's more than a little nervous about whatever Cass wants to corner him on.

Benjamin should be a little worried, because Cass' subject is one that he's apparently uncomfortable with. Once she's inside the apartment, she doesn't seem disturbed by the mess at all. "It's not bad," she smiles, trying to put him at ease. "I've seen much worse." Though she's inside now, she doesn't move much further than the entrance. She waits until the door is closed before she launches into any sort of private information. "What were you seeing my father for? Really."

Benjamin smiles a little. It's brief and it's polite. The door is shut behind Cass and he takes his grocery bags straight to the kitchen.. ugh.. Rose left her dishes in the sink again. There's a mild sort of crash when Cass asks that question. The crash would be Benjamin dropping silverware back in the sink. "I.. uh.. well.. he just happened to be the doctor at the hospital I was being treated at.. Uh, nothing to it really. Just that mid-life crisis.. stuff." The excuse is very lame, made all the more so with the forced laugh of nervousness.

When things crash in the kitchen, Cass moves more into the apartment. "Geez, are you okay? Do you need some help in there?" She peers over toward the kitchen, but she doesn't want to intrude further into the apartment than what she's invited into. "But…my father doesn't work for the hospital. He's private practice," she replies coolly. The excuse is, indeed, lame.

"No, no, I'm fine, no I don't need help.. it's nothing.." Benjamin's quick to explain as he moves from the counter, leaving the dishes and silverware in the sink. He fidgets a moment before crossing his arms over his chest as he comes out of the kitchen. "Oh, uhm, I didn't know he was private practice. Maybe he had some .. Fudge.. look.. I don't know what you know about your dad, but he's a good doctor. A little impersonal, but I suppose he has to be. He knows his field. Alright?"

Cass crosses her arms in a mirror of Benjamin's own action. In fact, she sounds uncomfortable about the whole thing now. "So…you went to see him for his specialty? You didn't go there for…something else?" She's not sure how to word this and it's kind of coming out wrong. In fact, she looks down at Benjamin's feet as opposed to his face when she speaks, frowning as she does so. "Look, this is awkward. I know it is. Maybe we should just speak plainly?"

"Not.. him in particular.. I kind of didn't really have a choice in when and where I was going." Benjamin sort of shifts his weight from one foot to the other before stepping out fully into the living room. "I really didn't have a say in going to the hospital. I was forced to go, but it wasn't that bad. I was told to think about it, but they came after me anyway. I found out my psychiatrist was affiliated with this hospital, and your dad was one of several doctors I had to see."

"You were…wait, you were /forced/ there?" Cass' whole perception of Benjamin changes right there. "They kidnapped you. You're one of the ones they kidnap," she gasps. Then, she composes herself. There's more to talk about it. "So you're…so you can…/do/ things." She's not sure how to talk about this without sounding crazier than she's sure he already thinks she is.

"I.. look.. it's not like that. Not really. I think they were afraid I was going to cause another accident.. and I'm glad I went, even if it was forced." Benjamin's words come out in a rush as he waves his hands frantically in front of him. "I.. yeah.. I can do things.." Uncomfortable is too mild a term to really describe how Ben's looking and sounding about now. "I was told about what I can do, and taught how to control it.. so it wasn't bad at all."

Cass frowns when Benjamin makes his statement, and then when she hears the rest of what he has to say she just looks angry. "/Glad/? /Not bad at all/?" Cass tightens her arms crossed in front of her in an attempt to keep her temper, but she can't. "How can you /say/ that? They /kidnapped/ you and kept you somewhere against your /will/! You're a person! They can't do that to you no matter /what/ you can do unless you've been tried in front of jury of your peers and sentenced as guilty!" She's as much exasperated at Benjamin's reaction to this as she is with the Company itself. "It's possible to help you without having to force you someplace without your consent!"

Benjamin blinks in surprise at Cass's anger. "Okay, so I have issues with some things they did, but.. it's better than me walking around not knowing I have this ability.. and accidentally killing or hurting people!" He stares at Cass, more than a little boggling at her outbursts. "I was going to go willingly, but they acted before I could. Two days before I was taken, I had no clue I could make people fall asleep or anything. I caused an accident. I didn't know I could do anything, so how was I to know I could find help? I thought I was just going crazy and talking to a shrink."

"I'm not saying that you should walk around accidentally killing people," Cass replies in a disgusted tone. Now it's not Benji that she's angry at. It's how people can allow themselves to be used so easily. "You /should/ go and get help. But the point is that you were /going/ to and they took away that choice from you. And you're /okay/ with that?" She shakes her head and huffs a bit. Then, she realizes what he said his power was. "You make people fall asleep? That's…wow. That's interesting. I haven't heard that one yet."

"I.. well.. not /exactly/ okay, but it wasn't like I was beaten.. wait, it was just the one time. The guy taking me hit me cause I tried to make his partner fall to sleep. They really care for the patients and know how to keep people safe." Beyond the whole Kellie incident that was wiped from Benjamin's mind. "Yeah.. I can also cause insomnia. I guess my daughter won't need to buy energy drinks while cramming for finals," he says this with a slight grin and a sign of humor. "Like I said, I think they were afraid I wasn't going to show up, so were told to come get me. It was explained that I used my weapon first, so the guy acted. I'm not happy about getting hit in the head when I was already feeling messed up. But I'm over it now."

"You're a /person/ Benjamin. With rights. This isn't…Stalinist Russia." Cass shakes her head, sounding exasperated. "You shouldn't be dragged off to some camp just because you're a certain way." She sighs and runs a hand over her face. "I'm sorry. This whole thing just pisses me off. It's not your fault." There's a weak smile that she gives him at the attempt at the joke. "Well, see, they're useful as well as dangerous."

"No it's not, and I know I'm a person." Benjamin keeps his distance from Cass and her explosive temper. "I felt the way you, maybe I still do, but not as vehement. They were helping me. Yes, it was a little impersonal with the tests and such, but some of the doctors were friendly. I felt like a lab rat a lot of the time, but I got to go home in about a week. They helped me, I got to go. It was as simple as that."

"Look. I'm sorry." Cass can obviously see that she's worried Benjamin. "The more I hear about this whole operation, the more I get angry about the total disregard for people. It makes me sick, really." Sighing, she shakes her head. "You should be helped by people who know you're a person and not a potentially lethal weapon." The moment she says that, she stops and straightens, looking away from Benjamin. "You…wow. I just…" A thought has occurred to her and she doesn't want to lose it. When she speaks to Benjamin, it's a dreamier and much less angry tone. "I'm sorry to have upset you. I'll just head out."

"It's okay, really, and you don't have to be sorry for getting angry. They /do/ have a regard for people." Benjamin isn't exactly a brainwashed patient. He just sees both sides. "You just what? They took me because I was a threat. I was a walking hazard to myself /and/ to other people. To me, that does show a regard for humans.. I disagree with some of the methods I saw, but I'm not about to demonize them. They helped me."

Cass gives Benjamin a sad smile. "And who makes the call on who is a threat and who is not? Who decides when you're 'safe?'" She shakes her head again and makes for the door. "I think that it's possible to help you without taking away the one thing that makes us human - free will." It's a little lofty, but she is a bookworm. And an optimist, mostly. She doesn't see him as a brainwashed patient, she sees him as a victim at the very least. "Nothing, nevermind. I'm glad they helped you, Benjamin. Really, I am."

"They didn't, at least it was just for that week. I suppose it was no different than having to go to a mental hospital or something similar. They have doctors who determine who's ready to go home." Benjamin says as he moves a little closer to let Cass out. "I think.. walking around accidentally putting people to sleep counts as being a threat. I wish they had of found me sooner, that way, that guy would still be alive." It's still a tremendous weight on his shoulders, being responsible for that accident.

"For you," Cass says softly. She's heard stories about others trapped there for longer. Who knows how long. "I know they have doctors." Her father, of course, being one. "Good luck with it all, Benjamin. If you ever feel stressed out again, feel free to stop by Enlightenment. I've got a lot more meditation books where the last one came from."

"Okay, I will. Thanks. Those books, my daughter may laugh, but they do help. I'm still just learning about what I can do, and the meditation helps." Benjamin says with a tiny, forced smile as he opens the door up for Cass. "Sorry we just don't see eye to eye really on this. I mean we do, but we don't."

Cass matches Benjamin's smile. "No, I think we see eye to eye. Just different ideas on how to accomplish it." On impulse, she leans forward to give him a quick kiss on the cheek if he allows it. It's friendly and with no real thought behind it. "You're a sweet guy, Benjamin. Just…be careful. I'm glad the books helped." Be careful seems to be her standard goodbye these days.

Benjamin blinks in surprise. Okay, maybe Rose was right in wondering if it was his cologne or aftershave.. Or something.. "I.. yeah.. thanks. I will. You too." Although he's not sure why. He's still very much in the dark on the shadier dealings of the Company, and quite happy to be there thanks.

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