2010-03-11: What Just Happened Here?



Date: March 11, 2010


Syd tells Amy the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.. mostly.

"What Just Happened Here?"

Apelai — NYC

It's been longer than Sydney had promised. An entire week has passed wince Syd had literally run into Amy at the park. With a sigh, she picks up the disposable cell phone and dials Amy's number. The call to Amy's phone will show up under the name Dominatrix, knowing this fact alone is enough to make the former blonde smile. The call has been a long time coming…

Voila, the call is answered! It seems Sydney is catching Amy during some downtime. The tall redhead is strolling about a dim Hope Hearth, making sure everything is in order before she leaves the centre for the day. She has her coat over her arm as she answers, in seemingly good spirits, though there's some concern to be heard behind the cheerful greeting. "Hey! Dominatrix. I was getting worried again."

"I figured as much," Sydney replies as her smirk grows. "How the heck are you? I'm still alive… apparently. Alive and… " She presses her lips together and hmmms quietly before offering, "I… I need some advice, but before I get the advice I need… to tell you about the craziness." She sighs heavily as her weariness catches up to her — the last week has been an emotional whirlwind thanks to her housemates.

Amy hears that weariness, but she doesn't let on; she keeps her own tone light, smiling to the empty space around her. "I can do advice. I can do crazy!" she says. "I'm just leaving Hope Hearth, do you want to get together— or, or not, whatever's safest…"

There's a moment's hesitation as Sydney considers the options. "I… I'd like to get together… I just don't know where would be safe…" Are the phones even safe? Yup, Sydney's gotten paranoid lately. "Any suggestions? I'm open to them…."

In Amy's limited approximation, her place and here at Hope Hearth are out; she delays her answer while she brings a palm to her forehead and looks around the empty building, trying to think. "I … don't know, Syd," she eventually says warily. "Apelai, that restaurant around the block as private rooms, I… I mean I'd hate myself if I picked somewhere not covert enough and you got into trouble."

"That's… probably okay?" it's almost a question as Sydney says it. "We just neeeeeed some place quiet where people can't hear because… well, the whole story is crazy and…. safety is a bit of an issue." She bites her bottom lip. Meeting in person is always better, plus it'll help her gauge if Amy thinks she's crazy or not. "I'll see you there in say… half an hour? I'll be dressed as… the Dominatrix."

Apelai Restaurant is a medium-sized, medium-priced fusion cuisine restaurant with a theme of "travel the world while sitting right here". The walls are painted with murals: The wall one sees immediately upon walking in is a rendering of the map of the earth that mirrors the one on the front window. Soft, warm spotlights illuminate it, and the reflection from the small lanterns hanging from the ceiling gives the place a warm, intimate atmosphere - bright enough to read by, but not so bright as to feel like a rushed, cafeteria environment.

The opposing walls are murals of the ocean and sky, with islands on the left and mountains on the right. Planes and birds share the sky on the left. Dolphins and ships share the sea on the right. In stark contrast, the ceiling is a warm, diluted honey colour, and the flooring a vivid red and gold.The left and right walls each have two short booths and one long, horseshoe shaped one for large parties. Space is left to form an aisle on either side, and the center has four small tables and two large ones, with another aisle left up the center. A small curtained area in the corner of the leftmost wall leads to the kitchen. A flight of stairs leads down to the restroom area from the wall on the right.

The hostess podium is just inside after the vestibule, and there are six chairs for people who are waiting, as well as an eight seat bar area. The staff all wear bright red neckerchiefs and honey coloured shirts over black or khaki trousers. The lunch prices are affordable for people at work, but the dinner selections tend to run pricier.

"Uh…" Amy hesitates before laughing. "I'll tell them to let you in through the kitchen." It's a good thing she's a regular at the restaurant and that she's well-liked by the sous chef or she'd be racking her brain as to where to meet her in-hiding friend even more. "See you in half an hour."

  • * * LATER ***

Half an hour later, Amy has already been waiting for awhile; after all, she was done at Hope Hearth and Apelai was a short walk away. Having commandeered a small private dining room, artful oceanic murals behind her barely visible in the soft, dim lighting of the worldly restaurant, she sits with one hand against her cheek, elbow on the table. The woman looks as though she may drift off at any second — the only thing keeping her alert at all is her growing concern over Sydney. She took the liberty of ordering drinks — in martini glasses, the liquid in them appears to glow a toxic blue in the alongside the ambient lighting and blue painted waves on the wall. That might be why hers goes untouched.

Decked out in all black, Sydney looks paler than usual thanks to her clothes and dark hair. Her ridiculously high boots make her seem out of place in the restaurant, but the kitchen staff had let her through just the same. She pads up to the table and takes a seat before shrugging, "Sorry — it took me awhile to get here." She raises her martini glass to her lips, leaving a black lipstick smudge on the outside of the glass.

"So… I guess I should get right to it…" She glances at Amy's untouched glass, "You should probably drink some of that first…" She winces a little as she considers where to begin with her story.

"Do you remember that case I consulted on with the NYPD back in September? You know the one… the police officer that opened fire on all of those people in that restaurant…?"

Amy flies to alertness with a sudden blink, flinging herself upright and hurriedly swiping a jarred strand of red hair away from her face. Since Sydney dives right into talking, she dives right into listening, with a skeptical look at her drink in the midst. When Sydney poses the question, she lets out a breath. "SYYyyy— " she starts to exclaim, then, realizing that she's loud and the walls aren't one hundred percent soundproof, she slows down into: " —-yyyydddominatrix!" Amy smiles lopsidedly, but her demeanour quickly sobers. "Yeah, I remember," she confirms; her friend earns a look as skeptical as the one first given to the blue cocktail. "Tabla, right? The murder suicide."

Cheeks redden at the name 'Sydaminatrix'. It's creative, inventive and easy enough to respond to. "Yes. Tabla," Sydney says soberly. "I read the man's files and mentally, psychologically he wasn't capable of it." She sighs heavily as she raises the glass to her lips again. She frowns, "There was this blonde woman that the officer had tried to apprehend after shoplifting and… well… I think… she was responsible for the shooting."

She purses her lips. This isn't exactly the kind of conversation a person tends to have over ridiculous blue martinis in the middle of a restaurant, especially when one is a fugitive from the government. "Have you ever thought what the world would be like if some people were extraordinary compared to others? I mean… like really extraordinary. Not just their IQ or their EQ or anything like that, but I mean, extraordinary to an impossible measure — "

Perhaps predictably, Amy's features twist and turn, screwing into an expression of confusion and even a little concern for her friend's own psyche — forget the state of mind of the officer who may or may not have been capable of murder. Certainly an expression she'd repress were she speaking to a client … but it's not a client. It's Sydney. She leans in, studying the young woman curiously — and yes, with concern — as her need-to-know grows. "I … guess I never really thought about it. Okay, maybe when I was a kid— who hasn't." Dubious? Yes, but she's not stupid; she's following Sydney's thread. "You're saying this woman who you think was responsible is somehow … extraordinary."

Blinking back, Sydney is well aware of how crazy this sounds, in fact, she's well aware of how insane all of this is — the entire situation. With a heavy sigh, the brunette places both elbows on the table and rests her chin in her hands. Her gaze hopelessly stares at the drink. "I know it sounds crazy, but… yes?" Her eyes narrow as her gaze returns to Amy. "Look, there are people that are extraordinary in the world. They… can do impossible things." She shrugs defeatedly. She hasn't even gotten to the core issue and Amy's response is telling enough. "I swear I'm not… crazy, that is."

Amy looks levelly at Sydney for a moment before flopping back against her chair, sitting straight with a noisy sigh. "I'd be lying if I said I hadn't listened to clients — psychologically… unwell clients — talking about their super powers or … you know, demons, chasing them. Impossible things. But they were just that, Syd. Impossible," she declares, a hand lifting from the table to gesture. "But — okay." The hand raises palm-forward: 'stop'. "Okay. I'll try to withhold judgment but only because you're my friend and I don't want to believe you've gone crazy in the time since you've disappeared. Go on." Amy's brows inch upward as she tries to smile encouragingly. "Please."

With another heavy sigh Sydney hmmms quietly again. She narrows her eyes at Amy before raising her head and lowering her arms from the table. "Amy, I'm not crazy. I swear I'm not. It started with the blonde woman… and then I met this woman in Central Park and while we were getting robbed she like… made the ground part — like she caused an earthquake. I lied to the police because well she helped save us from the robbers and honestly, anyone who helps save people from robbers…" she shrugs again. "From there it just got freakier and freakier and freakier. I swear most of the people around me can do something… extraordinary." Her gaze shifts back to her drink before she raises it to her lips. "I'd go on an anti-psychotic, but it wouldn't help. This is real. I… know because…" she's one of them "…I've seen it."

It's a lot to take in for someone who has lived thirty… okay, forty-two years, not believing in the "extraordinary". Amy starts and stops a few times as she tries to form a reply again. Eventually she regards Sydney and straightens her mouth into a thin line before speaking up. "Say it is real… and, sure, okay, my grandfather claimed he had ESP but that's kind of far from earthquakes and the guy had Alzheimer's… but if this is happening— " Amy wants to believe Sydney, but she has a considerable logic hurdle to get around. For now, she'll give her friend the precarious benefit of the doubt in order to get to the heart of the matter. " — what does it have to do with you hiding away? What kind of trouble are you in, Syd?"

Oh no. The dreaded question. Sydney purses her lips together. "So you don't believe it's real?" she asks with a raised eyebrow. "I…" She can't exactly prove it. Not really. Not obviously anyways. "If you can't believe it's real, then you can't understand the kind of trouble I'm in…" She raises the glass to her lips again — the conversation is raising her anxiety level. Try as she might to suppress it, the more it pushes against her consciousness. She glances from the drink up to Amy before her eyes move towards one of the servers who now randomly appears outwardly agitated. Greeeeeat.

Amy starts to fidget, grabbing onto the edge of the table before swiping her hair behind one ear. She seems on-edge, more than she was a moment ago, but it's not exactly and out-of-place progression. "I. I'm not saying I don't believe you, Sydney, I'm just saying it's a lot to swallow. I know you're not crazy, but you've acted crazy or at least— strange, paranoid, then you disappear and come back telling me to believe in— what. Super powers?" She laughs with a nervous edge, her smile lingering incredulously until she realizes how insensitive she must seem. She frowns instead, leaning over the table once more, anxious lines written all over her face. "I haven't seen what you have, I don't have a belief system for this kind of thing. But I have you, my friend who I'm worried about. Please tell me what's going on."

Sydney narrows her eyes her anxiety is still palpable. She slowly inhales a deep breath. Very slowly. And lets it out just as slow, but she fails to harness her own anxiety. In fact, her lack of control only makes her more anxious; she hates that. "Look. People that are… special. The government is after them. Putting them on beds and sticking tubes in their noses." She raises both of her eyebrows. Her face flushes. "My roommates — the people you didn't know were living with me — they were taken. My name came up. An agent Barker… or something came to visit me. Essentially tried bullying me into helping the government find people like them… like…" the unspoken last word 'me' is so close to Sydney's lips, but she can't bring herself to say it. "I'm a fugitive for now. There was a client I had last year she can turn into water — came to your apartment through the pipes. I had to take care of her…" She blinks.

"Wh— you— " The other woman doesn't even know where to begin. Unfortunately, Sydney's tangible anxiety in the air doesn't help Amy comprehend the story any easier; on the contrary, her own agitated state rises and rises — so on edge about this whole thing is Amy that she looks like she may bolt from the table at any second.

However, overwhelmed, but staying put, she rapidly shakes her head and stares at Sydney. Stares … stares … stares … and swiftly plucks the martini glass from the table in front of her and downs a good portion of the neon blue drink, suddenly not caring any more what toxic day-glo substance it's made of. When she sets the glass back down with a thud, she says, "I don't even know what to say."

"I…" Sydney winces. It gets worse. Much, much worse. "I'm sorry. It seems crazy, I seem random. I'm not, I swear. I went to a therapist when I was thinking about giving up people like… me…" finally the word comes out and just further vibrations of anxiety fill the air as once again Sydney tries to take a deep breath. "I ended up seeing a friend from high school - didn't know he was in the city… we're living with him now… me, my former client, this kid I saw in the park…" she cringes. "I would've sent the park kid to a shelter, but he was scared and I couldn't leave him in the park or take him somewhere because I'm a fugitive… I tried to get him to go see you, but he's like eleven… and terrified…" She shrugs a little, but then, something happens. As she talks about her new roommates — the kids and good 'ole Fredie — the mood in the room lifts. Her lips quirk into a warm-ish smile, "I'm lucky in a way to be able to look after people when things are so wrong for so many…"

"Wait— you're one of them? And you took a kid off the street?" Of all the many things to comment upon, these two are the ones she calls out. Amy brings her hands to her face. They stick their like glue for a solid ten seconds before she takes a deep breath and lets them drop. At least now she doesn't seem like she's going to leap out of her chair; it was touch and go there for awhile. "Okay… listen, I may not have a clue whats going on because, honestly, I'm still trying to absorb everything you said. That might make me a bad therapist but Jesus that was a lot to throw at me, which, I know, I asked for…" Underneath knitting brows, Amy's eyes fix on Sydney sincerely. "I want to help you. I want to help this kid. I want to understand what you're going through."

Sydney sighs heavily, "Yeah. I found a kid on the street and I took him. He'd been living there for years, apparently." She shrugs a little bit again. "I'm sorry. I know it was a lot, it's just… been a really crazy few months. And this is why I didn't tell you! It's stressful keeping all of these secrets. You have no idea. And like no one can know about it or what people can do or things could be bad." She shrugs again. "I am sorry. I really am." She wrinkles her nose. "I have a professional question — even if a client is kind of longer a client you still have to act in their best interests rather than your own, right? I'm working in a lot of grey here and it's been tough to figure out on a professional level…"

Amy starts to wince slightly as she considers Sydney's plethora of problems; she seems wary of Sydney's decision to take in the street kid, but she forgoes comment for now, instead answering her question. Muddled as her brain is, trying to figure out what on earth is going on with her friend, professional advice she can do. "Well… once a person is no longer your client, you do step into a grey area… probably an area best avoided altogether. You're not obligated to the same codes and ethics you were before. But there could still be lingering client-therapist relationship vibes and… I suppose it depends what their best interests are as opposed to your own."

"Y-yeah. I guess." Hmmm. That is no help, whatsoever. "Although theoretically I could resolve problems for both myself and former client by … following what could be in her best interests because… well her emotional state is effecting me." That's Sydney's diplomatic way of saying she catches emotions like people catch colds. She nods a little at Amy's words. Studying her friend she suppresses an odd chuckle, "You think I've lost it, don't you? I seriously contemplated putting myself on an antipsychotic, but this is real. Everything that's happened has happened."

"Therapist-client relationship aside, following someone's best interests is… good. The right thing. Most of the time." Unless it's not in her best interests, but Sydney said it was! Amy sighs and cringes a touch. "Uh… no," she answers in a shrinking voice. "…maybe… a littlebutIreallyhopeyou'renot," she says in one hopeful rush, cracking a smile. "I'm looking out for your best interests." See how she brought that around! Smooth. "I just. I think I need time to … dwell. I need dwelling time."

Sydney nods a little. "It's a lot to take in. Like a lot. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself. Like with the woman who stopped the people from hurting us. That wasn't good." She pouts a little, but only for a moment. "I could tell you so much more stuff, but that's… probably enough for one day… right?" she smirks before finishing off her martini. "Unless you want good-ish news. I mean other than the fact I took in a street kid." She shakes her head and knows she's always been prone to taking in strays: Chi and Lena, Jamie, and now Trent — even though she doesn't even live in her own house.

Amy indulges in an exaggerated nod: enough for one day is right. However— "Hit me with the good stuff," she says, punctuated by a hearty sip of her drink. She's talking again before the glass is fully lowered. "I hafta say though, Syd, I'm not so sure about this whole 'taking in a kid' thing. It's charitable of you and all but these things are a big can o' worms… and if you're some kind of fugitive…"

"I know," Sydney holds up a single hand before shaking her head. "What was I gonna do, leave him there? I mean seriously." She purses her lips together. "And he refused to go to the police… a person can't leave a kid in a public park, I had an obligation, I just couldn't take him where he needed to go — tried to get him to see you…" She cringes just a little before she adds, "He's a good kid though. Obvious neglect on the part of his guardian." Leaning back in her seat, her face flushes, "I kind of… maybe met a guy. Kind of. Well met might be the wrong word… I've known him awhile…"

Amy's arching brows and skeptical look prove that she's unconvinced by Sydney's obligation regarding the child, well-meaning though she was, but thankfully (for Sydney), that look is blown away by glimmering, wide-eyed surprise. "You're telling me that in all that chaos and insanity that you actually had time to find a boyfriend?" Letting out a much-needed laugh, Amy folds her arms and cracks a smile, shaking her head. "Now I have heard it all." She waves a hand. "Well! Details."

"Y-yeah. I guess? He's not my boyfriend, maybe. I don't know. But he said he loves me, and I.. think…" Sydney's cheeks flush a bright red as her smile turns somewhat bashful. "He's good… I never like good guys. Ever. So I'm nervous about the entire thing and it's probably clouding my judgment in light of everything else…" She bites her bottom lip — still smiling, "He's a shrink. And completely un-impulsive —" unlike Syd who's emotions and ideas change with the tide. " — and smart. Probably the smartest person I've ever met…"

"You mean besides me." The grin that appears melts into a warm smile. "Well it certainly sounds like he should be your boyfriend. I'm glad you have some good things going for you in the midst of… all this." Amy is still defining what 'all this' is. "I should go, I need to…" Need to pause awkwardly? Evidently. "…it's been a long day…"

"Don't worry about it, Amy. It's fine, I get it, believe me," Sydney rises from her seat. "I appreciate your not putting me in the nuthouse." She winks before she places some cash on the table to cover the drinks. Cash, every fugitive's favourite currency. "Thanks for meeting.. I'm sorry for… well, it's a lot."

Amy gets to her feet, moving around the table to give Sydney a tight hug. "You better be sorry, I had to pay the sous chef to let you sneak in through the kitchen, and trust me, that's not what he wanted when I asked for a favour," she says, though her chastising is joking. The redhead is smiling when she pulls back, hands on Sydney's much lower shoulders… even despite the boots. "I just hope you're really alright, Syd."

"I am. I promise," Sydney smiles gently as she reaches upwards to give Amy's shoulder a quick squeeze. "You take care of yourself. I swear I'll be in touch again soon at least to tell you I'm still alive." That said, she lowers her hand and trudges back to the kitchen to head out — exactly the same way she came in.

Despite Amy being the one to declare her desire to leave, she doesn't run out of the restaurant right away. After watching Sydney go, she stands for awhile, pressing her hand to her forehead, covering the stress lines there though no one can see her anyway. "Whaaat just happened…"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License