2010-01-17: Truth From The Sink



Date: January 17, 2010


Jamie finds her way through the pipes to find her former therapist (who no longer thinks she's delusional).

"Truth From the Sink"

Amy's Apartment — NYC

Six months ago… As Jamie buckles herself into Saul's car, waiting to go to her new life in Mexico, she says softly to herself, "I'll never have to steal again." Then Saul's in the car, buckling in and driving off to the airport.

Everybody's always trying to protect me. Sometimes I need it, but usually I don't. Even when I break, I don't stay broken for long. As long as I'm free. They keep me locked up like water in a tub to protect me, but water needs to flow.


It took what seemed like hours after being shot that Jamie got over the shock enough to move. Before she was even conscious again, puddle that she was. She knew, she felt, that if she changed back she'd be in trouble. So, she slipped into the water over the edge of the docks, flowing free with the currents for a couple hours yet, as she took in water. Healed the damage the gun, the weapon from her nightmares did to her. Now… she had to find someone. She couldn't stay on her own, not after that. She didn't need protection, though… she needed a friend. But who did she know that was still in New York?

Finding her way up into the streets and back into the sewers, she slipped among the pipes, searching. Hours, maybe days. (In her water form, she always lost track of time.) Lost, and lonely, searching for someone she can trust. Then, up one of the drains she passes, she hears a voice. A familiar voice. Not even hesitating, she flows up towards it.

As a therapist, I've always believed the one thing I can trust is how I feel about something. But now that I know that I'm an empathic manipulator, I can't trust my feelings anymore or anyone's around me. So I've decided to stop relying on intuition, choosing to do groundwork for myself and judging the evidence like a lawyer. Believe me, I'm no lawyer, so this isn't an easy task, but logic and evidence need to rule when intuition can be so skewed, even if it's gotten me out of messes before. So I'm learning to trust my senses and nothing else… only the empirical world around me.

Sydney had walked up the stairs to Amy's apartment rather than taking the elevator. Her call to Cody had gone directly to voicemail, and she left feeling somewhere between unsettled, and flighty; simultaneously elated at spending time with a good friend (and renewing that friendship) and skeptical at her own plan and need to balance. She unlocks the door and removes her peacoat upon entry, dessert still in hand. She slips off her heels and pads to the kitchen to grab a couple of spoons, "Amy!" She calls the other woman's name, "Come have some tiramisu! It's from this amazing Italian restaurant!" She opens the small styrofoam container and carves the dessert with her spoon. "Amy! Seriously, you're missing out!!" Of course, when Amy doesn't come, Sydney can draw only one conclusion: the executive director of Hope Hearth is working late again. With a sigh, she walks barefoot towards the living room before picking up the newspaper to throw it out. "Ow!" Papercut! Frowning she pads back to the kitchen and turns on the tap to run her finger underneath it.

Except the water only goes down the drain for a moment. Then it seems to start building up. It's not *quite* like a blockage, though, as it doesn't just fill the sink and spill out. No, it climbs the walls of the sink and then spills out, flowing out onto the floor.

Sydney's eyes narrow and her eyebrows furrow. "What the —?" The therapist's mouth gapes open as she bends down to look at the pipes. Something is obviously wrong with the sink. "Dammit, we're going to need to call the plumber," she murmurs to herself. She can't even tell what the problem is.

The water flows out for a few more moments until it'd puddling on the floor, and then the water from the tap is flowing down the drain normally again. The puddle on the floor raises into the air, though, raising up and taking humanoid shape before Jamie's standing there, asking a little shyly, "Hi..um.. you got some clothes I could borrow?"

Lately Sydney has seen a lot of unusual things, but at this moment, this tops the charts. Her mouth gapes open at the figure in front of her. "J-wh-Jamm-whe-wha-whe-J…" the nonsense that comes out of Sydney's mouth is indiscernible as she turns on her heel back towards the bedroom. She can't make sense of the current situation, nor will she try, instead, she'll get clothes for the girl. She returns with a pair of pyjama shorts and a large Saints jersey — both of which she thrusts towards the girl before averting her eyes. Still in shock, Sydney tightens her jaw, her eyebrows still furrowed, "How-how are you here?! You disappeared!! We've been looking for you!!"

Jamie quickly pulls on the clothes she's given with a smile, "Thanks." It's big for her, but she's covered at least. Once she has them on she answers, "Didn't you see me on TV? Explained lots of it then. Well, when I *first* disappeared, Joe found me again and was making me help him steal stuff, but then I got rescued from that, and went to live in Mexico for a while, 'cause my dad's missing too. Then the soldiers came and zapped me and took me to that room and stuck tubes up my nose, and then I was on a train but I got rescued again and was living in Germany a while and then they took me to hide in a school in New Jersey but they grounded me so I ran away, I got as far as the docks in New York but then I was… shot." This last has her shivering a little for a moment. Sydney knows how terrified she is of guns, of course. Assuming, of course, Sydney could follow any of her high-speed explanation.

Once Jamie is dressed, Sydney stands gaping at the girl, particularly at the explanation that she's struggling to understand. She holds up a single pointer finger at Jamie and frowns for several seconds. "Uh — You were SHOT?! Jamie are you okay?!" She examines the girl rather carefully before she's somewhat satisfied. Frantically she tries to remember Jamie's case file to summarize everything she's just heard. "Okay." She takes a deep breath. "So… Joe, the guy you worked for, found you. And then… other things happened? You were on TV?" Her eyebrows knit together as she vaguely remembers the segment and thinking the girl looked like Jamie, but at the time had decided that was impossible. She frowns as she tries to make sense of the story and picks up the dessert before shovelling several spoonfuls into her mouth. "OKAY. Tell me about these soldiers?"

Jamie hops up to sit on the kitchen counter, and swings her bare feet off the edge a little. "Yep. It's ok, I can heal. All I gotta do is soak in normal water until I forget where I end and the water begins, and I heal up fine. But… it was *scary*." She bites her lip just a moment, then she nods quickly, "Got a computer? I know where to find the clip, it's on Youtube. Kids at the school they put me in watched it lots." Then at the question of the soldiers, she says, "They wore all black and they shot me and Saul, that's who I was living with in Mexico, shot us with these zappy things and put drugs in us and took us away. Lots and lots of people, anybody who had powers. Even a little baby. A whole trainful of us, but other people rescued us in some big fight. I didn't see the fight, 'cause all of us on the train had masks and earmuffs and tubes up our noses that made us sleepy. They called us terro..terrorists, but since when's a little baby gonna scare anybody?"

A heavy sigh of relief is emitted along with a nod. "Good. So you're fine, then? I mean, physically?" She nods a little at the notion of it being scary. "I… I have laptop." It takes several moments for Sydney to move, but when she does it's rather quickly. She brings it to the kitchen counter, opens, and then powers it up, but she stares at Jamie incredulously as the bit about the black-clad men sinks in. "A train of people with abilities." She nods a little. The Alpha Protocol is what she thought. "Terrorists," she murmurs as she finishes the rest of the tiramisu and opens the kitchen pantry while the computer makes that all-too-familiar Microsoft Windows chime. "Are you hungry? Do you need something to eat? I can make something… I have… pasta… annnnnnd mac and cheese…"

Jamie nods emphatically and says, "Yes, mac and cheese! Please," she adds quickly, having almost forgot that key word. Once it's powered up, she reaches to use the laptop, typing in the search the exact term that will bring up her video first. Then she clicks on that video, and the whole thing plays out, including her changing into water, and the full speech about what the government was doing.

Holding the box of Kraft Dinner, Sydney nods, still shell-shocked from the last few days' activities. She watches the video, considering everything intently. She stiffens as she remembers Eric, Lena, Gene, Merrick, Tiago, and now Jamie. This is real. Lena and Tiago aren't murderers; Agent Baker lied. Before she moves to the stove she peers about the apartment and breathes a little easier once again as she realizes all of the blinds are closed. She reaches into one of the bottom cabinets and prepares the Kraft Dinner as the thoughts whir in her own mind.

She prepares the blue box and then reaches a bowl out of the cabinet and dishes it out for Jamie before setting it in front of the girl. She studies her a few minutes and then realizes something aloud, "You need to eat, and then you and I need to go."

Jamie quite eagerly starts to eat, as if she hasn't in days. Perhaps she hasn't, given her story. She looks up at Sydney's words, and says something… she pauses, swallows her mouthful, and tries again, "Where're we going?"

"They've been… watching me…" Sydney says as she reaches into the pantry again and takes out a bottle of hair dye. It seems she's going brunette. There's an open investigation in Bryce's death and by doing what she's about to, she'll become a suspect, but what choice is there? Jamie is here and Jamie deserves a better life than one served on a cot loaded with drugs. "We are going away. I have a friend we can probably crash with while we figure out where we need to go." She issues Jamie a weak smile. "I'm sorry, you really caught me off-guard when you came through the tap." Her cheeks flush slightly before she admits, "I worried about you when you disappeared. I'm glad you're okay."

Jamie's eyes widen a bit, and she says softly, "Oh." She goes back to eating even just a little quicker now, soon finishing off the mac and cheese, and puts it aside, hopping back to her feet. "It's ok. Everybody freaks out the first time they see me change. Even people who got powers usually think I'm making stuff up when I say I can change into water." Then she smiles and says, "Missed you." She pauses, and asks, "You're not gonna start making me take pills again, are you? Not 'magining this stuff," she adds, as she holds up a hand, changes it to water for a second before changing it back.

Sydney inhales a deep breath and offers Jamie a smile, "I promise I won't put you on pills again." She raises two fingers in the air, "Scout's honour." Her lips curl upwards into a broad grin. "And I'm sorry I didn't believe you the first time," she apologizes sincerely as she applies the hair dye to her scalp, over her blonde tresses. "I didn't know that such things were possible." She shrugs a little, "I'd never seen them, never believed them, and never thought they were possible. And then, I saw it on tape. And now I know the truth." She swallows, before she adds, "They haven't come after me yet — see, I have an ability too — but the government is trying to get me to sell out my friends." She pauses before she adds, "And you need to stay safe."

Jamie smiles at the promise, and says, "Good." Then her eyes widen at the news of Syndey having an ability, and says, "Wow, really? What power do you have?" To her, that's not such a weird question, after all. Then she nods quickly and says, "Don't mind staying safe. Just… not locked up. Can't stand being locked up, not anymore."

"Well you're a kid, you shouldn't be locked up, we just need to find a way to make both safety and freedom possible," at this, Sydney rinses her hair under the sink and then uses a towel to dry its dark tresses. She grins at Jamie, "I… do something to emotions. Still figuring it out though — not nearly as cool as turning into water." At this she grins broadly. "Alright, so if we're going on go on the run we will need… supplies or something. I have cash and we could definitely get far on it, but we need to bring supplies without raising suspicion. They could be watching the building."

Jamie practically lights up at Sydney's first words. Finally an adult that understands! She nods quickly and says, "That'd be perfect!" Then at the talk of supplies she gets more serious again. "How do we get the supplies without them seeing? And if they're watching you and see me, they'll come right for me. They all know who I am now." She indicates the computer.

"Well, we can take what we have from here, that's not an issue, I know Amy won't mind and I'll leave her some cash, but I just don't what we'd need." Sydney frowns slightly before she admits, "I've never been on the run." After this she shrugs. "And as far as getting away, we can meet at an address maybe… if you can travel the pipes, it'll be easier for me to get out of here undetected."

Jamie brightens once again at that and nods quickly, "Uh-huh, that's easy! I know all the pipes around New York. I guess they did it so the plumbers know how to fix things, but everything's really easy to get around until you get into the buildings. Then everything's different, some are really simple but some are all messed up. So just tell me where to go, and can meet you there."

"Alright, I imagine they're following all of my old haunts," Sydney says honestly with a hmmm before she asks, "Do you need to sleep first? I imagine it's better to slip out at night for me unless I do an amazing job at concealing myself." And at this moment a smile spreads over her lips as she pads back into the bedroom. When she returns, she's wearing a shirt that had been featured on People Magazine speculating that she was pregnant. Underneath it, she's nursing something that resembles a large baby bump. "I might be able to swing this after all… but… most importantly, do you need rest?"

Jamie bursts into giggles as she sees the shirt, and says, "Yeah, that'll fool them!" She grins and shakes her head quickly, "Nope. When I heal myself, it's like I get a long sleep. And I never get tired when I'm water. Don't think I grow up any when I'm water either, maybe why I'm still so small. That's what dad used to say, anyway, before he disappeared."

Jamie seems to have quite the checkered past, and Sydney will ask her about her father's disappearance later, when things seem less dire. "Okay, well we can meet at the mall. It will be easier that way." At this she nods before she closes her laptop and reaches for a phone book. She's starting to feel paranoid, and doesn't want to leave a single clue.

Flipping through she finds the address of a mall far enough away that AP shouldn't be watching it. "Alright. We meet there." She pauses and takes a deep breath. "If I don't catch up to you by closing time, you need to go on without me. We're heading to this address ultimately." She scribbles Fred's address down on a piece of paper and hands it to Jamie. "Be safe, you." She gives the girl's shoulder a quick squeeze.

Jamie's expression grows more serious again as Sydney says they'll meet at the mall. "Where in the mall? I won't have any clothes when I come out, same as here. You'll have to bring me clothes somewhere."

"How about women's bathroom near the food court? That way if I get detained…" Sydney shrugs a little before adding, "Also, I will try to purchase something appropriate while I'm there. What size are you?" She peers at Jamie trying to take the girl's measurements, but never having been a mom, the twenty-something has no ideas.

Jamie smiles again at that and says, "Ok. I can find that, I bet. It'll be bathrooms I come out anyway." Then at the question she hesitates and shrugs a little, "I dunno. I never bought my own clothes. When I went shopping with Maria in Mexico, she just picked stuff off the shelf and had me try stuff on, but I had other clothes then first too."

"Alright, I'll give it my best guess then," Sydney nods as she goes to blow dry her hair and pack some things into a large purse. Just a few clothes, some food supplies, and all the cash she has on hand. The laptop and cellphone are left behind — she'll pick up a disposable phone from the mall.

This is going to be one strange ride.

Jamie nods quickly and smiles, "Ok, see you there!" She falls back into water, splashing to the floor before she crawls her way up onto the counter and into the sink, disappearing. The clothes she was given are left, soaking wet, on the floor.

After she blow dries her hair, Sydney takes a scarf and wraps it around her neck, concealing the bottom part of her face. She pokes at the pillow held underneath her horrendous shirt and makes sure it's not looking edgy on either of the sides before glancing at herself sideways in the mirror. "I hope this works." That said, she puts on a pair of large sunglasses and pulls her peacoat over her arms without doing it up (she really couldn't around her fake pregnant belly) before going through her bag and extracting the handgun Tiago had gotten her back in December and placing it in her purse. She scribbles a quick note for Amy:

Thanks for everything. Had to deal with a client-crisis. Will return when things are better. Could be awhile. If people come around asking about me, just tell them I disappeared or something. You've always been my truest friend. Sorry.


With another frown, she sighs and turns to the door, "See you on the other side."

I never thought of myself as maternal, but here I am, helping a young client run from the government. Awesome. But at least this is based on empirical evidence, not just my gut. But I have to admit my intuition tells me to run also; it's not just the evidence. And while I'm hooped in a lot of ways — like this will make me a suspect in Bryce's murder, it's worth the sacrifice to help Jamie. She's already been through so much. I've lived my life as a therapist. But now? I guess I'm a fugitive.

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