2009-11-22: Shacking Up with the Shrink



Date: November 22, 2009


Lena and Tiago visit Sydney to take her up on an offer of sanctuary.

"Shacking Up with the Shrink"

Hope Hearth Distress Centre

After a long day of watching Hallis, and trying to get her to eat after getting the girl out of the hospital, Sydney and Amy have spent this evening celebrating in the main reception area of hope hearth. A half-full bottle of Sailor Jerry's spiced rum sits on the desk as the two make one last toast before Amy heads home.

"To large endowments from patients who you have no boundaries with!" Amy says as she lifts her plastic cup of rum in the air to 'cheers' with Sydney.

The blonde shakes her head a bit, but follows traditional suit, raising her glass in the air, "Cheers!" The two down their cups of rum.

"Alright! I'm out!" Amy says as she pulls on her coat. "Don't forget to lock up Ms. Falkland! AND remember to turn off the lights this time!" That said, the psychiatrist pads out of the distress centre, leaving Sydney alone, sitting at the desk in the unlocked (although closed) office.

A few minutes later (long enough for The Boss to be out of eyeshot of the office's entrance), the door opens again. But instead of Amy, looking for something left behind and accidentally forgotten, it's Lena and Tiago who enter. The faux-blonde is in the lead, bundled up against the night's chill in an oversized winter coat that looks like it used to belong to a man before being donated to the Salvation Army. Lena's looking a little subdued, almost glum, and sticks close to her companion's side. Once inside, in fact, she just outright leans into his side, not caring if this causes him balance problems.

"Hey? Anyone home?"

Tiago follows in the rear, darting occasional glances of paranoia behind his shoulder, and only relaxing, marginally though it is, the moment he's able to close the door behind them. With this done, regardless of what Sydney's reaction to them happens to be, the man throws a broad, warm smile over to the blonde. "Hey, Syd. Y'said we could drop by whenever, right? I jus' - yeah…You're not in the middle of nothin' big, are ya? 'Cause we could like, bounce for now or somethin'." He hazards a glance down to his own blonde then, arching his brows slightly before snaking his arm around Lena's lower back in a show of support. "I figure, this is easier, ta have us all in the same room tagether, huh?"

Looking up from the desk, Sydney peers at the pair, and narrows her eyes. There's something familiar about the blonde girl and then, "Cassie? Er… Lena, right?" Her lips twitch into a smile, "And Tiago." She's smiling rather warmly now, albeit a fatigued smile. "And to what do I owe this pleasure?" She grins broadly at the pair. "And no, I'm not doing anything important. Or… I guess it's semi-important, but you're not interrupting," she smirks as the points at the bottle of rum on the top of the desk. "In fact, we're not supposed to be open at this moment except for the phone lines which are redirected to our cells at night." She reaches under the desk and pulls up a couple of plastic cups. "Help yourselves…"

Lena lets her head rest against Tiago's ribs, her eyes flicking from Sydney's face to the bottle and then to the cups that are produced. "Lena, yeah," she confirms, a small frown line appearing between her eyebrows. "Um. Chi said you'd mentioned us being able to crash at your place for a little while…but if it isn't a good time we could come back later. I mean, we don't wanna interrupt your party or anything, you know?" The offer of a drink for herself earns a slight shake of the head. "Doesn't do shit for me but you can if you want, Chi."

Tiago licks his lips gingerly, his eyes lingering on the bottle of rum. Because, if truth be told, then it's fairly sound to say that the Brazilian's ears completely shut off the moment his eyes fell upon the alcohol. "…Huh? What're you celebratin'?" He inquires boldly, quirking his attention back to the blonde. It's only once Lena proceeds to slump against him and speak that he recalls the actual reason for their visit. He is, after all, a very simple minded kind of guy - one thought process at a time. "Oh - chyeah. I…we wanted ta know if the offer's still like…up, man. And yeah, if ya don't mind? Jus' a li'l bit, I think I'll get…" Awkwardly, because he doesn't want to dislodge Lena from his side, the man approaches the alcohol and proceeds to try and pour him some.

Sydney continues to smile and sighs faintly before tossing her own cup into the garbage. "It does too much for me, I'm afraid. And it's just been a long week." She nods at the pair incredulously though, "Yes, if you need somewhere to stay, you are both welcome to stay with me for as long as you need. It's safe. And I know people that can be of more help to both of you if you need it. Even if they show up … in Star Wars garb." Her lips tighten a bit as she tilts her head at Lena and Tiago, "I want to help. It's a scary time for people like us."

"Yeah, we kinda…while Chi was checking you out, I kinda checked them out some more," Lena puts in, straightening up to support herself under her own power so Tiago can indulge in the rum. She slips her hands in her pockets and regards Sydney solemnly, looking a little peaked. "Talked to them earlier. It might be good if we moved right now, I think. It's like every second person we run into has some fucking ties to the government, or is running too."

Please excuse her for venting. It's been a long day and she's back on the wagon again.

"Chi…um. Said you were like me. Except different. This isn't gonna put you in a bad spot, is it?"

Tiago pauses mid pour, eyes widening as he looks from one girl to another with incredulity. Cue another quirk of his head. "What? Don't…don't tell me I gotta drink by myself! Only losers drink by themselves, I don't wanna be a loser. C'mon, Syd. Have a shot with me or somethin'." Lena, he wont push the drink onto. After all, it'll just taste bad to her, she wont get the warm lightheadedness that follows. Determined not to take no for an answer, he's already pouring a bit for the therapist. "It'll help with the stress, man. Nothin' better after a long week than a bit o' the strong stuff. Hell, I'd suggest you give Lena a good lick, but you might wanna hold off on that 'til you're home and shit." Since he is apparently the comic relief of the situation, he offers Lena a glance when she poses her thoughtful, serious inquiries.

"My friends are good people… who did you check out?" Sydney asks idly as she leans back in her seat. "I haven't known them long, but they're good people." Pause. "And you're welcome to move in tonight if you need to." Her tone and expression are sincere, concerned, even in her tipsy state. Smirking at Tiago, she takes a new cup and pours herself some more rum, "I've already had too much… but it's New York, it's not like I'm driving home, right?" She grins. Before she brings the cup to her lips she answers Lena, "Yes, I … I feel things." She shrugs a little. "I feel other people's emotions. I guess most people would call me an empath. Like a betazoid or something."

"Just a little lick, I'm fucking tired and can't take a party tonight," Lena counsels with a thin smile; there's an attempt to deepen it when Tiago looks in her direction but it's a poor effort at best. The girl is depressed and exhausted and anxious. She does wander to the counter in order to be more sociable, however. "So you're like Deanna Troi, huh? Can you do the accent? Brit trying to not sound like a Brit, isn't it?" Yes, she's a geek, when she's not playing punk princess. Wait till her hair gets back to its normal shade of black.

"Mostly Eric, but I talked to the Vader guy today too. I had to apologize to him and…yeah." That's the crux of her unhappiness right there, but Lena doesn't elaborate.
Tiago grins brightly as Sydney gives into his pushing. Yay peer pressure! His cup is held up to her, as if proposing a silent toast, before taking his first swig of the liquid. He's so used to the burn that he barely reacts to it, with the exception of a fleeting his afterwards. "Chyeah, that's the spirit, man!" He encourages the indulgence of alcohol with an addition gulp.

However, when Lena speaks, he finds that smile trailing off. It is replaced with a furrowed brow, lips downturned with concern. "…Deanna who?" He inquires as the bottle Blonde approaches, eventually allowing his cup to settle back on the table in favor of approaching Lena once again, deliberately looping his arms around her waist to push her against him. "…An' yeah? What's that yeah mean?" Obviously, he hasn't gotten the whole story out of the girl either. Considering the fact that Sydney can, presumably, feel his emotions anyway, he doesn't bother to hid his worry.

"Exactly! Like Deanna Troi —she's from Star Trek, Tiago! But no, I'm not so good at accents, although I wish I was," Sydney offers a toothy grin. "I imagine my social life would be much busier if I was British. Or at least could do a good job of faking it." She reaches for her shot of rum and downs it in one gulp. The therapist's cheeks turn a bright shade of crimson at the mention of Eric and her gaze is cast downward, but she says nothing about him. "Was Vader cooperative at least?"

Lena resumes leaning into Tiago; comfort is taken from that contact alone, although there's no easing of the strained expression she's wearing. "Yeah. He said he could maybe help me turn what I can do off. Has he ever said something like that to you?" she asks Sydney, tilting her head and studying the woman with mild curiosity. It's a diversionary tactic question, however. Nowhere near the heart of whatever's troubling the teen.

"…From /what/?" Tiago is not a geek, by any means. He's the worlds largest 11 year old, but a fairly 'cool' 11 year old at that, therefore he knows not of the institution that is Star Trek. He doesn't linger on the comment, however - it's clear that there are other, more important things at play here. And they all seem to revolve around his sullen girlfriend, whom he proceeds to give a gentle squeeze. "Wait - what? He…he said he can turn it off?" Tiago is surprised, and this much is easy to say. He arches his brows, gaping down at Lena with an expression of express confusion.

Eyebrows are raised at Lena before Sydney shakes her head a bit, "No, but I wish he would. It's a pain to always have other people's emotions flooding into my brain." She frowns. She doesn't want her ability. "But Eric," her cheeks flush again, " —well he said that he would help me learn to actually have a handle on it. I imagine that means turning it off sometimes… and mine doesn't work all of the time, but sometimes I just feel things that don't make sense."

Lena explains for Tiago's benefit, "It was this sci-fi show on TV, way back when." Ah, youth. But that answer's a distraction too, because she was all too prepared for his reaction to the revelation of a life without Lena the Walking Drug Lab. "Don't get too excited, he also said he was Batman. But that he knew folks who could maybe help. Like it was someone's power or something, you know?" The look she gives Sydney falls short of sympathetic, but at nineteen, it isn't easy to see beyond one's own misery. She does try for a smile. "I'm learning, at least. Maybe that's all he meant…but we found someone to teach me. I can do a lot more than I used to."

"But…but, d'you think it could happen? D'you think he'd be able ta turn it off? Baby that - that'd be like…great, wouldn't it?" Tiago doesn't understand exactly why Lena's suffering her existential angst at the moment, especially not if Gene's offered her a solution that she herself has been wishing for for so long. "Wouldn't ya…why're you upset, Lena? I don't - don't get it." With this admitted to, the man squints to her uncomfortably before finally glancing over toward Sydney. His expression is easy to interpret - a sort of 'help me?' plea.

Sydney offers Lena a smile, "Well at least you're learning. It takes time, but it's the first step, I think. I'm starting to get a handle on all of the things I feel so I don't buckle under them." She offers Tiago a bit of a shrug and then nods, "It does seem like G-Vader has offered you something incredible that could make your life easier. Why the hesitation about it all?"

"I dunno." Lena steals a glance up at Tiago, already knowing that he's not going to buy that. "It's not just that. You know the guy I met? Peter? Eric and Vader said he's like…with the government dude who runs the folks who're after us all. But he wasn't like that." Pause. "Except I kinda…got seen with him, you know? Maybe he's on the run too now but if they were looking for him and spotted me…I led them back to Jade, right? That's why we took like a bajillion cabs here tonight," she explains. On Eric's dime, no less.

It is automatic, Tiago's reaction. The moment 'Peter' comes up in conversation, he freezes. His entire expression dampens, and he ends up staring solemnly, with some degree of irritation at the floor. "He's not /like/ that? How d'you know. You /don't/, and if he says he is, then he is. Period. Done, he's cut out, end story. Listen, y'can't change what already happened. An'…well, I mean, it aint like people can /see/ you do what you do, so if he is on the run, then hopefully they wont know you're anythin' special. That's all we can hope for. And if he's /not/ on the run, and one o' those bastards?" Beat. "Well, either way, that's the last time you're goin' ta see that son of a bitch. Don't worry about Jade, she can't do shit, so she'll be fine…"

Sydney knows nothing of any Peter. She hmmms at the notion of him. "Eric and… Vader, aren't right about everyone. They're not all-knowing; they're just trying to protect you." She sighs a bit, "They could be wrong about him. Still you need to be careful, of course, you already know that." She offers Lena a comforting smile that disappears seconds later. "You have someone else who could be in trouble?" This does not sit well with the therapist. "Even if she's unpowered.. I don't know…"

"No, they said he's probably okay. Before he got hit with a helicopter, I guess he was a pretty nice guy." It's a weak defense of the man, considering that Tiago is standing right there. Lena tries to soften the impact of 'omg she mentioned another guy' by curling an arm around the young man's waist. "They just said he might have folks looking for him, you know? It doesn't matter if Jade can't do anything, Randall can and I went to the shop too. If someone's around people who can do stuff…" Her eyes shift to the therapist, confirmation found there in Sydney's addendum. "It's being guilty by association, isn't it? If they're calling us terrorists?"

"No, you /think/ he's okay. 'Cause he got you high and shit. Not exactly the best time ta make judgments. And he might be, and tha's cool, but if they're right, then bein' around him period is dangerous, don't matter if he's the best guy ever." And that's all Tiago has to say about the subject, clenching his jaw stubbornly. But when the topic slide to Jade, the man softens considerably - leaving him to gulp quite audibly. "Y- y'think? But…well, fuck. We can't ask her ta like /move/. 'Cause like, we don't even know for sure if shit's goin' ta go down, if anyone even saw ya. How 'bout we jus'…I dunno. Watch her. Close. 'Cause like, they can't arrest /everyone/ ya'll interact with. 'Cause then they'd have ta arrest everyone!"

"Well if your friend needs a place to stay," Sydney shrugs a bit as she tilts her head. "I have no problem having her come live in my apartment either. We need to be strong together here or everything will fall apart." Her lips curl into a comforting smile. "This will pass eventually. It has to." One way or another. "And I think you both need to try to fly under the radar more. For awhile anyways…"

Lena tilts her head to look up at Tiago, watching the metamorphasis he expression undergoes. There's a stubborn set to her own jaw that might easily be missed, as she speaks not long after that glance. "We can ask her to move. She bitches about that apartment enough. Sydney doesn't mind, see? It's just temporary, until this shit settles down, right? It can't go on forever, like she says, folks are working on fixing it. It's all over the news right now, people like us are even putting out videos of what they can do…things are gonna change," she says to back up the other woman. "You're…pretty awesome for letting us stay with you. I dunno if we can say thank you enough but we're sure gonna try."

Tiago peers down at Lena, clearly distressed. His lips purse tightly, and he ends up leaning over in order to pick up the cup he had left to the side, chugging down a sizable amount. "Dude, seriously? We fuckin' bullied her inta housin' us, almost, and this is how we repay her? Tell her ta pick her entire life up and move, even if it is for a bit? This is…this is fucked up, man, and I dunno." Beat. "Maybe…maybe if we suggest her ta come. Only 'cause we need her, not 'cause she's in trouble or somethin'. Because she likes like…non-shitty places." Silence, followed by a petulant glance over towards Sydney. "…Yeah. Yeah, thanks again. D'you think we can move in tanight, then? Y'sure?"

"Really it's no trouble. I just want all of you safe. And like I said, we need to be looking out for each other during crisis. It's important, especially if our government won't do it." She offers both a warm smile and then nods, "Yes, you can move in tonight. It's perfectly fine with me." She grins.

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