2009-12-15: Sleeping Beauty



Guest Starring Dr. Amy Masterson

Date: December 15, 2009


Sydney's unconscious in her hospital bed, until Hallis provides the wake up kiss.

"Sleeping Beauty"

Lenox Hill Hospital

Sydney's windowed room is dim, the lights set to low to allow for maximum comfort of the unconscious patient within. The only sounds audible are the beeping of the machines hooked up to the woman and the pump that keeps filling her lungs with air at regular intervals. Though she's off most of her life support, the doctors are unclear about whether to take her off intubation before she comes out of her sleep of the dead or not. Two calls were made. One to her next of kin, Dr. Amy Masterson and the woman who filled out all of her paperwork and signed to pay the remainder of the bill, Hallis Van Cortlandt.

There are two security guards stationed outside the room, not hospital staff but private security hired by the socialite's family to ensure the safety of the woman within. While it's true the hospital provides a 24 hour sitter, what they don't provide is a guard to sit at her door to make certain unwelcome visitors don't find the woman. So far there are only two on the list.

Stopping to chat with one of the guards, Hallis waits by the door, cautiously peeking in while she receives an update on who came in and at what hours. It's been slow and so far there haven't been any intrusions. Slowly, she plods into the room and heaves a deep sigh. The small woman is still tired, spending fitful sleeps where she wakes up thinking the worst has happened. It's not without saying that the dainty darling is not at her best. Dressed in a pair of blue jeans, she dropped the fur coat for a more hypo-allergenic parka to cover her long sleeved t-shirt.

Trudging down the hall (with two cups of coffee in hand) in her lab coat with a fresh set of scrubs underneath, Amy hasn't left the hospital since she arrived on Saturday night (following the call). Fortunately, since she consults she's been able to grab an on-call room to catch some z's here and there. She waves to the guards who've become acquainted with her these last few days before turning into the room.

"Ms. Van Cortlandt," she offers a very weak semi-polite smile as she passes the other woman a coffee. "Had a feeling you might show up again soon." She sighs a little as she glances at her protege. "She's stable, you know… I knew she'd come through the surgery. She's a fighter, even if not outwardly so. Optimists always are —"

Looking up toward the other woman, Hallis gives her a weary smile and accepts the cup of coffee. "I've been worried, I keep thinking that someone is going to come in and try to finish her off. There's so many bad people around." She's almost whispering, not wanting to disturb the disturbing looking woman in the bed. "So they're sure she's going to make it then? I mean… barring my horrible dreams coming true?" A sip of the coffee is taken and there is a grimace, it's not exactly Starbucks, but it'll do.

"Bryce is in prison — that son of a bitch — I don't think anyone else would hurt her. Her grandmother is a horrid woman, but not violent," no Mary Harding was always more of an emotional abuser. Amy sighs as she sits in one of several chairs within the room. "But yes, it looks promising. The surgery went well. I talked to the surgeon and her prognosis is good assuming…" sigh "…assuming she wakes up." Her lips purse slightly before she shakes her head. "I can't believe he came back after five years.." Not that Amy ever knew him, but she knows his type.

Hallis nods slowly as she stares at Sydney. "Twice…" she adds quietly, "The police are afraid she's not going to press charges. Did they talk to you?" The young blonde just assumed they did, but she'd never actually asked the woman directly. Another sip. "I know she wants to avoid the police and everything because…" Her voice drifts off, she doesn't know how much Sydney divulged to her boss and she's not going to open that can of worms unless she needs to. Change of subject, "Funny how we keep meeting in hospitals, huh? I'm sort of glad that I'm not her client anymore, this doesn't give me much faith, you know?"

"Many victims don't press charges. It's classic denial. Easier not to not think about things than deal with them." Amy knows that's Sydney's number one coping mechanism. But then, "She wants to avoid the police? Syd consults with the police? She loves that job, I can't imagine why —" Shaking her head she sips at her coffee after another sigh. "And I wouldn't worry about being her client, she's a good therapist, despite her bad boundaries and bleeding heart, but that's partially her age — I was like that back then." Smirk. "I think she'll probably want to rescue him rather than press charges. No one is unsaveable to her, and for some reason she always wants to help. It's not fair —" The older woman sniffs. There are no tears or moist eyes, just a sniff; she's trying to maintain distance.

That statement puts a bitter taste in Hallis' mouth, of course she still has the mentality of a victim herself. One that Sydney didn't want to save. "She's got some greasy squatters," she blurts out and then immediately widens her eyes in regret. "I mean, her apartment is really dirty and I think she hired an illegal immigrant as a cleaning lady." Hallis smirks as she envisions Lena trying to clean anything, that image brightens her mood considerably. "Well she's not my therapist anymore, it's not a good idea with what I know about her. I can't trust a woman that spent most of our relationship lying to me. I'm very sensitive about lies."

"Greasy squatters? What?" Amy arches an eyebrow. Now that is strange. "Sydney isn't a messy person. In fact, the polar opposite." Beat. "Aside from that desk of hers." She shakes her head a bit, considering Syd's desk. "It's our job to not divulge too much to our clients. But outright lie — that doesn't sound like her at all —" she frowns. This is a very strange conversation.

"I meant the illegal immigrant maid, nevermind. She was probably just doing a good deed… really." Hallis comments quickly, averting her eyes from the woman. She takes another few gulps of her coffee and finishes the cup, crumpling the cup in her hand. "She does look a little better though, honestly, I'm glad I was there when she fell over. I doubt anyone would have found her otherwise." Getting up, the blonde places the piece of trash in the receptacle and peers over at the unconscious woman. "Do you think that will leave a scar? I sure hope not. Throat scars make people think you were trying to kill yourself."

"I can't see Sydney with a maid —" Amy frowns. So many things she didn't know about her employee (and friend) apparently. "I think a scar is the least of her worries at this moment," she observes sardonically as she sighs and reaches over to squeeze Sydney's hand. "I still can't believe this happened. Honestly, she even moved recently — he shouldn't have been able to find her…" She too finishes her coffee. "What were you doing over anyways?"

"I was delivering her Christmas present. I got her this really pretty plate at Tiffany's, it had this winter scene on it. I thought she would like it." Hallis says glumly, she really did like that plate and was looking forward to borrowing it sometime in the future. Not anymore. "I even made cookies… Do you know how hard it is to make cookies? I lost a ring!" She holds up her hand to show off the gold band she had lost, "This one right here. But I found it inside a floor cookie after I accidentally dropped the plate."

"She loves Christmas," Amy grins despite the circumstances. "And Christmas music. But she's seemed… out of sorts this year…" She frowns a little recognizing how distant she'd allowed her relationship to become with her friend, but then offers a very small smile, "She just defended her dissertation and had passed with flying colours. At least she won't have to deal with that when she wakes up." There's a short pause before Amy adds, "Did you know she was moving? I really had no idea… no idea where either. I have a key to her apartment and was going over to get her some pyjamas. It's relatively empty — other than the police and a few boxes that looked to be in process of being packed…"

While shrugging, Hallis gives a half of a nod, her blue eyes glued to the immobile figure. "I found out the day before, actually. She stayed over at my place because her bed was already gone. She came over to smooth out a couple of wrinkles in our … What I thought was our friendship. But I don't know how good of friends we are." She turns and glances up at Amy, her nose wrinkling a little as she gives a slight grimace. "Maybe after she's better we can talk about it again."

"That's so strange. She'd just moved," Amy purses her lips as she finally releases Syd's hand. "She didn't want her grandparents knowing where she was and she had finally finished school and afford what she dubbed an adult apartment." Amy smirks and shakes her head. "I remember when she asked me if she should move. Used to ask me everything…" She shifts and shakes her head. "…been very quiet lately. Although I was almost positive that was Tara's fault…" The therapist never warmed to the incompetent receptionist…

"I don't know Tara, I mean, I've seen her but just when I went there for my appointments." This was definitely the truth, Hallis never really gave the woman with the phone the time of day when she went in. "She was okay to me, didn't say anything when I was there… which is good." She looks up at the other woman with a smile and then stands from her chair. "I think she was moving because she wanted more room. Maybe room mates. I think mostly it was to get away from me, I mean, it was pretty uncomfortable between us ever since she fired me."

"Room mates?" Amy's expression emits complete disbelief. "Sydney has always struggled when living with roommates. Tends to pick up on their drama and can't handle it.. I remember she tried living with a roommate awhile back, and it was brutal. She started sleeping in her office." She clears her throat, "More room makes some sense, but I would've thought the new apartment would've fulfilled that…"

Hallis glances at Amy, her eyes a little wider than normal but not wide enough to look surprised. "I don't know, really, I don't know much about her life at all. Like I said, we had just patched a few holes up before this happened." Pursing her lips, she half lids her eyes and glances down at the woman, her expression a little dismayed. "Oh… I called her grandparents, I thought maybe they should know what kind of a jerk they sent after Sydney. If they call you, just point them in my direction. I told her grandmother that she had to go through me to ever find Sydney."

"You called her grandparents?" Amy's eyes widen as she frowns. "Just make sure Syd doesn't know… she hasn't talked to them in several years… they call on holidays and she doesn't bother answering because she doesn't want to make up fake conversation…" She smirks ironically as she raises her eyebrows, "I'm sure Mary was herself and Dwight let her talk for both of them…"

Hallis shakes her head and sets her jaw. "She had a fight with them, a couple of minutes before she collapsed. She tried to yell at them, but … well she couldn't talk very well." Looking at Amy again, she takes a deep breath and licks her lips a little nervously. "I'll tell her that I talked to them. I don't want to lie to her about anything I did while she was out." A small smile twitches at the corner of her lips, "But I'm thinking about letting my grandmother talk to her if she ever calls Sydney's phone. My grandmother would probably smack her for what she says about Sydney."

"She talked to them? Did they…" Amy glances down at Sydney. "…they still love Bryce, don't they?" Her jaw tightens as she shakes her head and rolls her eyes. "He's a lawyer, and he's the scum of the earth and they still love him…" She glances down at her scrubs and shakes her head again. "Of course, Syd never just went with their wishes and Bryce always seemed to be… amenable to their choices…"

"Bryce is such a good boy," Hallis mimics in a squeaky old woman's voice. Then she sets her jaw angrily and glowers out the window. "If she had been in front of me I probably would be in jail right beside that … that… Argh!!" Just thinking about the conversation, and Sydney's almost murderer sends the little socialite into a fuming rage. She'd been trying to reign in all of her emotions, just in case the woman could feel them in her state, but just talking about her grandparents… Well it set her off. Finally she had found someone that she loathed more than Sydney's room mates. "Let me tell you, after talking to that woman, I'm surprised Sydney didn't commit suicide just to get away from all of that. I would have been out a window or off a roof if I had to grow up with that."

"She's very strong-willed, but yes, I'm shocked she didn't attempt suicide either. Probably why she went through that whole LARP phase. Her grandparents had no idea she partied either growing up… I can understand why though." With another sigh, she glances down at Sydney only to do a double-take. "Did she just twitch?" Now Amy's staring at her protege intently.

Meanwhile, Sydney's face does indeed twitch. Either she's waking up or she's experiencing a very intense dream.

Immediately, Hallis tries to calm herself. She should have known better and the resulting worry and angst that follows is about as strong as the anger itself. "Oh geez… I think she did." She looks toward the window where the sitter is peering through at them and waves her inside. "Do you think she's waking up?" Such conflicting emotions are coursing through the little blonde who hasn't felt anything but numbness and anger since being escorted to the hospital. Happiness at the thought of Sydney actually getting better, fear that she'll just go back to lying to Hallis…

"She could be," Amy says slowly a bit unsure. "It's been a day or so… she could be waking up… c'mon Syd… c'mon…" She reaches for Syd's hand again and gives it a squeeze and as she does so, she can feel the other woman's fingers move which causes Amy to smile, just a little.

Slowly, very slowly and very wearily, Sydney's eyelids begin to stir as they very very slowly flutter open. Until she feels startled. Startled about where she is, unclear on what happened, and unable to verbalize with the tube down her throat. Instinctively (and incoherently), she tries to sit up, still squinting as she attempts to figure out where she is…

The sitter is already on her way in, shouting for one of the nurses. "You two will have to wait outside until we get her stable again." The woman says shooing the two out. "You can watch through the window." Placing her hands on Sydney's shoulders, she tries to keep the woman from sitting up and hurting herself even more. "Doctor Falkland, lie down, it's alright. You're in the hospital."

A male nurse is the first one in the room after the sitter all ready with a syringe of mild sedative if they can't get the woman calmed. "Sydney, lie down." He says firmly, his tone commanding but not unkind. He almost leaks confidence, he is so self assured. "My name is Michael, I'm your nurse. You're in Lenox Hill Hospital. Everything is fine."

Hallis is quick to exit the room, nodding to Amy as she watches through the window. She's frightened, that's for sure. The stiff tubing is likely to be painful should Sydney try to sit up too fast or try to fight her medical staff off. Michael though, just one glimpse of him has Hallis sighing, wow he's dreamy.

Sydney's brain is groggy and she can't even begin to remember what's going on. She can't even remember what happened before she was here. How did she get here? Why is she here? She lays back down under the woman's push. The male nurse is dreamy, but even then, she's too anxious to really respond, and she tries to object around the tube in her throat, but it's futile. She can't. Her anxiety is high as she really doesn't know why she's here.

In the hallway, Amy runs her hands through her hair and nods. "She's waking up. This is a good thing. Calm down Syd… just let the medical staff do their work…"

Michael isn't phased by Sydney, he's just that confident. He does cast an eye toward the door and calls out, "Someone page the doctor on call!" He moves quickly, injecting the needle into the port site of Sydney's IV. Reaching out, he smooths his hand against her forehead and looks into her eyes. "Sydney, we're here with you. Don't worry. We're not going to let anything happen to you."

The sitter though, she's terrified. She's never experienced such a strong sense of urgency when a patient awakens before and her tears immediately begin to flow. "Oh god! What's going on? Why isn't the doctor here already? We have to get her out of there!" Her only answer is a glare from Michael.

All the while, Hallis paces nervously in front of the window. Her anxiety is reaching a critical point because of the sitter's reaction. Isn't this how all patients wake up? Where is the professionalism? Who hired this unskilled woman?

Michael's easy-going-ness is actually semi-soothing to the patient and she manages to calm down at least a stitch, especially with the touch and the drugs. This is also sent into the air. She still tries to talk around the tube, but takes a deep breath around it and closes her eyes again. There's little she can do at this moment so she'll just try to wake up if this is indeed a bad dream…

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