2009-11-20: Who Says Therapists Can't Be Blonde?



Date: November 20, 2009


Tiago seeks out a certain blonde therapist for some answers and to ensure she's good people.

"Who Says Therapists Can't Be Blonde?"

Hope Hearth Distress Centre: Sydney's Office

Following her stroll through the park, Sydney returns to Hope Hearth to finalize her thesis. It's Friday afternoon, open only for drop-ins, so she hasn't anything on the schedule. As she pads into the office in her jeans, sneakers (her poor feet!), and her peacoat, she unbuttons the coat and slips it off her shoulders and she offers Tara, the receptionist, a wave, "Hello Tara. How are you?"

"You're the therapist, how should I be?" the younger woman asks defiantly as she chews her gum noisily.

Blinking Sydney just frowns as she studies the receptionist, but forces as pleasant a smile as she can muster, "Do we have any walk-ins? I can talk to anyone this afternoon! I'm available! I am nearly finished my dissertation!" She beams.

"Uh… don't think so…" is the receptionist's distanced reply.

There are certain days where the stars align and the universe conspires to make everything run smoothly. And recently? Tiago has come to the conclusion that this is /not/ one of those days. He has, quite recently, found himself practically homeless, forced to bunk on the floor of a casual friend at best, forced into relative celibacy, chased up and down New York City and eventually given a concussion after going out of his comfort zone in order to play the elusive role of 'the Hero'.

So, yeah. To say he could use some therapeutic help is an understatement. And yet, that's not why he is here. The front door swings open dramatically, the silhouette of a tall, broad shouldered man interrupting the trickling of light up until Tiago steps inside the clinic. Accompanied by a gust of cold air, he brushes right by Sydney with disinterest, obviously pinning her as a client, rather than the very professional he is looking for. "Yo," he greets the receptionist briskly. "S'there a Sydney somethin' here?"

Tara glances at Sydney and shrugs her shoulders as if asking the therapist why she should answer the question when Sydney is standing right there. With a sigh Sydney waggles her fingers at Tiago, "I'm Sydney Falkland."

"You said you wanted drop-ins…" Tara quips as she files a few papers.

Blatantly ignoring Tara once again, Sydney waves Tiago into her office, mostly to get away from the receptionist-of-the-week. When will Amy get the guts to fire her already? As she enters the threshold of her office she asks with an easy smile, "How can I help you?"

Tiago looks towards Sydney, before allowing his attention to slide back over to Tera. It's only /after/ this is done that he registers the implications of her words, forcing him to do a double-take and gape at Sydney. "Wait - what?" He inquires, slightly flustered by the occasion. This…isn't right. Sydney isn't old and tragic like she's supposed to be, as a therapist. "But you're…blonde…" Beat. "Hold up - you're the therapist person here? Oh…whoa. Uhm. Okay. I need ta talk ta ya, if you've…" She's already leading him to her office by the time he manages to pull together his mental faculties and spit this bit out.

By the time he follows Sydney into the enclosure, the man is slightly put off. Already, this differs from the conversation he had worked out in his head, and as a result he figits on his feet for a moment, before squaring himself off stoically. "Uh. Yeah. I…I don't need therapy, okay. That aint why I'm here. I'm here…to check you out. 'Cause I need answers." Beat. "Fuck, not check you out, if you know what I mean, I…god. Lemme start again."

"And blondes can't be therapists?" Sydney quips with a smirk. An ironic statement considering she bought some good old brunette in a bottle earlier today and still hasn't decided whether or not to use it. "Yes, I'm one of the therapists here." As he enters her officer, she motions for him to have a seat on the couch in the room. Quickly the door is closed behind them and Sydney positions herself in her armchair.

The room itself is lined with bookshelves, a desk is off to the side and is loitered in papers. Strangely nothing personal lines the walls of the office. In fact, the office walls are strangely empty.

She listens quietly as Tiago speaks and fidgets, narrowing her eyes and tilting her head. "I'm not sure I understand…" Pause. "Are you related to one of my clients?"

"Not that blondes can't be therapists, jus' that…hot people can't be therapists…at least, not on like, TV and shit…Ah! Forget I said that, I was jus'…surprised, is all. I'm sorry. I didn't mean ta offend you or nothin'." Tiago explains, a slight, sheepish smile growing on his features as he lifts up a hand to rub at his neck. It's clear, as the young man fights through his embarrassment, that he meant no ill will with his thoughtless comments.

Taking in a deep breath, the Brazilian momentarily closes his eyes in order to word the thoughts that a flying around in his mind, a mile a second. "It's like secure and shit in here, right?" With this inquiry posed, striking green eyes flash open and settle upon Sydney without hesitation. "No, but my girlfriend came in here a bit back. She said she talked ta you, and that you offered her some sort of help. But well, we can't wait. I've come ta ask you as…as, I dunno, a fellow person, for some answers, 'cause is fuckin' destroyin' our lives, man. It's always bits and pieces and lies upon lies and I dun even know what ta believe anymore." Here, he trails off, allowing his helplessness to ring through the air. "…I dunno what ta do."

"Uh… thanks, I think…" Sydney narrows her eyes at Tiago's ramblings, but merely adjusts in her seat and watches him intently as he explains the situation. Her jaw stiffens, and she accidentally crosses her ankles only to uncross them moments later. Her body posture wants to close off, but her years of training doesn't let it. After he finishes speaking, she hmms, and peers at him intently, "I'm sorry. I'm still not clear on what is going on. You have to believe me, I've had a few very trying weeks and they've been particularly busy with everything going on… You'll have to give me more…" There's a pause. "I want to help. I just… I need to be clear on what I'm helping with…"

"Lena. My girl, Lena. She said she came, and she saw you, and you said you were goin' ta tell your friends about us, ta find a way ta help her out." Tiago blurts out finally, as if the name is being ripped from his lips. Anxiously, his green eyes flitter from one side of the room to another, and he licks his lips. "You know…she can do shit. She's /special/. And…and 'cause she's special, the government wants her. I jus', I dunno who ta turn ta. Every other person I meet, I swear, knows about what's goin' down. Everyone wants ta 'help' - but they never say what they're goin' ta help with, never tell us what's really goin' on. And everyone's all fuckin' secretive about everythin'." He takes in a deep breath here, running his hand through his hair.

Sydney studies Tiago before getting up from her seat and sitting on the couch next to him to rest a hand on his back. This isn't a position she normally takes, but all things considered her instincts seem to tell her to take it now. "Cassie," she whispers quietly to herself with a small nod. She knows she's not supposed to say anything to anyone, but she'd already talk to Cassie/Lena. "The hoodie." She presses her lips together and nods a bit, thinking of her response, "I don't know much about what's going on. The government has labelled special people terrorists. Anyone can see it. We're told to watch out for strange happenings with our neighbours." She studies him further. "Who all has offered you help? And what have they offered?"

Tiago is stiff beneath Sydney's hand, his muscles tense and hypersensitive to touch - enough so that he instinctually jerks away from the contact, only to easy back into relaxation. He bends forward, hunching in order to rest his elbows on his knees as stare at the floor with his brows furrowed, etched with distress. "Cas-wha? But…okay. They're terrorists? Is that why they can do that ta people, ta anyone?" Beat. "You're not…no. I…I hate this. I gotta be able ta trust someone, how can I know who's the right one?"

Trailing off, he recollects his memories before beginning to list the number of people who have approached the pair. "…Well…well, firs' there was this suit. He found out - and then he came and convinced us that there were…other people who could do stuff. He like…made shit move with his mind. I know he was like a cop or somethin'. And then, this other dude. I mean, I thought he was cool at firs', but then he cornered me and gave me this fuckin' ridiculous story about like…the Powers That Be and how everytime she did somethin'…special, she'd like, ruin the world. And then he like, /threatened/ us." Beat. "Oh, and then, I guess Darth Vadar cornered her in the park? Okay, I don't know what happened there, but I /swear/ I aint makin' any of this up!"

"I'm not one of the government people, if that's what you're asking. I'm a therapist. I work here in my office and hear people's stories," Sydney explains as she leans back against the couch. "I have no desire to work for government. Especially one so oppresive." There is a pause. "Although in full disclosure I do consult on murders with the NYPD from time to time." She offers him a fleeting shrug, "But I'm not a cop. No desire to do that either."

"I don't know exactly who you should be trusting. I wouldn't trust anyone who seems like a government agent." She narrows her eyes and considers everything. "Cass— er— Lena, won't ruin the world or anything. I can almost guarantee you that." She smirks, "There are people out there who have abilities and don't realize they're using them. They don't even know. They aren't ruining the world. They're living. It's a ridiculous thing to insinuate. Just because people can do something that scares others doesn't make them bad people." Her lips twitch at the mention of Darth Vader, "Darth Vader? Really? What… what did Darth Vader say? Do you know?"

Tiago's lips are pulled into a thin, tight line, although he hazards a quick, fleeting glance over in Sydney's direction, pale green swimming within a haze of concern. Reluctantly, he allows his mouth to curve into a humorless smile. "I dun even know if I should trust /you/. But…I guess I have ta start somewhere. And honestly, you're the only one who's given me more than a Bond movie warning and run off. This…might turn 'round and bite me in the ass, but I'm too fuckin' /tired/ ta play this game again with someone new."

With this offered, quite honestly, he shakes his head slowly in order to bring himself back to the topic at hand. A faint snort follows. "I know it wont. I mean, she can't turn 'em off, even if she wanted ta. So what's she supposed ta do, jus' never touch anyone ever again? Y'wanna know the truth? I wouldn't even care if it /was/ true. I aint goin' ta stop touchin' her. Why should I, ta save some bullshit world that aint done nothin' but kick me when I'm down? I don't give two shits what that Joel cat was tryin' ta do - I aint buyin' it." Beat. "Uh…I dunno, really. I wasn't there…but, he said he had her hoodie, and like…gave her a business card or somethin'?"

"Well considering the mess, I understand if you don't trust me," Sydney says rather simply. She outright frowns at the name Joel (it's probably a different Joel, anyways, right?!), but she tries to hide it behind another forced smile. Although, if he's watching her, Tiago likely caught the frown. "Yeah, many can't turn their powers off, and they use them without knowing. A person could live years without even realizing they have an ability depending on what it is."

She smirks at the notion of Darth Vader with the hoodie. "I'm afraid Darth Vader is likely a friend of mine. I had Lena's hoodie," Sydney tightens her lips. "He's trustworthy. Even if he's odd at times. I asked him what she should do and he said he would try to make contact. He doesn't work for the government. He's a good guy, if a little paranoid."

Tiago brightens slightly, encouraged by her frankness. No longer is he on the edge of a mental breakdown, frazzled to the point of screaming, and this is a positive in itself. Even if he kind of /has/ lost sight of his original purpose and has begun to, despite himself, actually /use/ her as a therapist, piling his considerable problems and issues on her shoulders to alleviate his own burden. He does however catch the workings of that frown, and this prompts the lad to straighten up, automatically rebuilding some of the walls he had allowed to fall down. "…What? What was that face there for?" He inquires, voice lowered to a gruff.

As she comes clean, his brows arch upwards in confusion. "Wait a second…why did you have her hoodie? I thought that the blonde bitch had…" Beat. Suddenly, he jumps up to his feet, working his lips into an unpleasant frown. "You workin' with her, that rich bimbo?"

Sydney sighs involuntarily at the question, "It's personal. And it likely has nothing to do with what you mentioned… I just… had a falling out with someone named Joel." Or a falling out of sorts. Getting called unimportant generally qualifies as a falling out.

"I'm not working with her or anyone for that matter. I'm a therapist. I'm a third party who is called when things happen. When people have problems they call me," Sydney explains calmly. The public already knows her as Hallis' therapist thanks to the People magazine article. "I told her nothing, but through circumstances beyond my control, I ended up with the hoodie when she called me for help." There's a pause. "I wore it… " Her face flushes. "So following a night of— " her face flushes further " —I gave it to a friend to analyze." There's a pause as Sydney continues studying Tiago. She takes a few breaths to try to remain calm, hoping to send that into the air to keep Tiago's mood matching her own.

What with the words such as BETRAYAL and TRAITOR pulsing in his brain, Tiago has no room for concern over the Joel situation. He is, instead, staring at Sydney with wide eyes and clear distaste, his hands balled up to fists on his sides. But, suddenly, something changes. As Sydney begins to take those breaths, he finds himself drawn to mimic her. A strange sensation falls upon him, and as he closes his eyes, only to blink it open once again, he is compelled with a strange sort of serenity. Suddenly, he's surveying the room with a new sense of alacrity, a clear headed-ness that is not very characteristic of him.

"…Yeah? Following a night of what?" He hasn't bought into trusting her completely quite yet, but he is quite calm about his new brand of questioning, even as he begins to pace around the room to rid himself of his surface anxiety. "…You really said nothin' ta her? And you wont? I don't want ta see her, ever. I had ta move out of my apartment 'cause of that bitch."

It seems her ability may be helping her for once rather than getting her into more trouble. Sydney's face continues to flush, "A night of passion with a near-stranger." Her ears even turn red. "Both of us… we …" Awkward. And so she blazes past it, trying to forget she actually uttered the words.

"I couldn't say anything to her if I wanted to. It's not my place. And honestly, while she's trouble in her own right, she has no desire to hurt anyone. She doesn't agree with what the government is doing." There's a pause, "Besides I think you both did a fine job erasing her memory. She couldn't even remember what she'd called Lena when she'd told me about Ling's convenience store." She blinks, "She has no memory of your girlfriend at all, I can guarantee you of that." She peers at him curiously and then asks, "Did you manage to find a new place to stay?"

The fact that Sydney even goes so far as to admit her one night stand when in reality, she didn't need to disarms Tiago. Enough to completely break down his semi-aggressive, paranoid demeanor. Instead, he squints in her direction for the moment, his expression turning speculative. "A night of passion, huh? Oh…'cause it was Lena's hoodie and soaked with her…right. You know that aint bad, right? You're all blushin', but having sex is natural. Necessary."

Ahem. Now that he's offered advice on the ONE subject he knows in and out, he can brush by it and offer Sydney a solemn shake of his head. "We're bunkin' with a friend of mine, but we need somewhere else ta go. And…you sure she remembers nothin'? Nothin' at all?" Beat. "I wanna keep it that way. I don't care if she didn't mean no harm, she's given us nothin' but trouble."

Sydney continues to flush as Tiago says what he does about sex, "It was actually… good… but…" She's beet red now, "…sometimes the circumstances under which we have sex aren't ideal…"

"That's fair," she nods at what he says about Hallis. "You need to protect yourselves as best you can given the circumstances." She presses her lips together and crosses her arms over her chest, "As far as someplace to stay… you are both welcome to stay with me until we figure something else out. It's an indefinite invitation. I have friends who may have better ideas, but until we can talk to them, I just want you both safe. Thus far the government hasn't shown any interest in me…" OH dear. There she goes crossing therapist-client boundaries again.

Tiago can't help it. His lips curl upwards into a wry smile, and he lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck gingerly, his eyes fixed upon Sydney's person. "One o' you married? If not, then there's no reason ta complicate shit and say it was bad if it wasn't. Fuck, these days, nothin' is ever ideal, y'know? And like…I guess people need ta be mentally cool - which is why you have a job - but people forget that the need ta be /physically/ okay too. I can tell that you're all embarrassed, but you shouldn't be.

The man slowly makes his way back to the couch, eyeing it cautiously before lowering himself down upon it, opposite to Sydney. "Yeah? Well…thanks, man. For real. But, I dunno if I can take ya up on it. I need ta talk ta Lena and…" Beat. "Well…d'you think we can come back ta see you later, if we gotta? Wait - why should the government show any interest in you?"

"No, I'm not married," Sydney shakes her head. "And it was good, and he was… is… kind." Her face flushes again. IVORY. She adds as an afterthought, "I figured it wasn't necessary to tell the guy I'm kind of seeing." "I'm sorry, I don't usually talk about myself in this room." She offers him an easy smile.

"And yeah, you're welcome to stay with me for real. I have a spare room. It's a safe space. And I'm not there very often because… well… I'm here." She shrugs a little and her face turns pink-ish again, "I … know too much." And then after closing her eyes she admits, "I have an ability. I'm an empath." Or something. "I feel what other people feel. And I can't shut it off." She smiles weakly.

Tiagoquirks his head to the side, his brows arching slightly. "Yeah…if it's kinda seein', there aint no need. If it aint serious, it's jus' whatever. And what? Y'mean you don't talk ta neone in here about you?" This seems to surprise the Brazilian to some extent, and he ends up blinking in light of her smile. "Why not? I mean…how d'you get anyone ta trust you, if you don't let 'em know a little about who you are? Who do you run ta - do you have your own therapist to dump all your shit on?"

When she admits to being an Evolved herself, his eyes widen dramatically, before he deflates back into his seat. Then, he lets out a deep sigh. "Yeah? Well…that explains why you're willin' ta help us. It's…fuck, does /everyone/ have some amazin' power but me? How can I fight that?" Beat. "So…so, I guess y'can feel that we were bein' honest? Which is why you were cool with me and Lena?"

"That's what I think," Sydney agrees with Tiago about telling Ivory about Eric. She smiles at him and offers as she looks around the room, "I don't talk about myself much. It tends to blow up for therapists when they do that and most schools of thought believe it's not the best to give clients ammunition for later." She smirks and then nods a bit, "There is something to be said for trust though." At the thought of having her own therapist, she quirks an eyebrow and suppresses a chuckle, "Well I did have a therapist, but she refuses to let me talk to her anymore now that I'm her employee." She smirks, "Dr. Masterson, the executive director of this centre, was my therapist for a couple of years many years ago." She sighs, "Unfortunately I haven't found anyone that good since. But I like my job so it's worth it." Sydney shrugs yet again.

"Not everyone has a power, but there are more of us than you'd think." She grins at him. "And while I can't always feel what other people feel, I can generally tell when people are being honest. Combination of my ability and my many years of training." She smirks. "And like I said, no one's traipsing after me yet. I'm totally under the radar."

"Ammunition? Damn…aint that real like…I dunno. Cynical. Is that a word?" Apparently, it's not a word Tiago uses very often. After all, he can only go so far vocabulary wise, seeing as he's a street-roaming high school drop out. "Oh…well, I guess you prob'ly have like, friends and shit ta vent to, so it can't be that bad." He points out, licking his lips before narrowing his eyes over to her. "You know? You're…you're real cool. I want ta…ta thank ya. From the bottom of my heart, yeah? For bein' okay with me, and listenin' ta us. You…you really helped Lena. Y'know? You did. And…I mean, I dunno you or anythin' but…hopefully, maybe one day I'll be able ta return the favor."

"It is cynical, but it's to protect us and our clients," Sydney observes with a fleeting nod. "And yes, I have friends I vent to," more like freak out to, "I'm very fortunate." She crosses her legs and flushes again (yes, she embarrasses easily), "Th-thank you. I do my best to help. And that's what I'm here for. It's hard to know what to do in such trying times…" She grins, "We need to look out for each other. If our government won't take care of us then we need to take care of each other. I'm just doing what I can. And honestly, come back and talk again if you like. I'm glad I could help both of you."

"Y'know what?" Tiago decides, sounding surprised himself. "I think…I think I will. Come back and talk again. I think…I mean, I feel kinda better about it all. More…calm, y'know? Kinda like when I touch Lena…like I know it'll all be okay somehow." He allows this sentiment, his awe to hang in the atmosphere comfortably before offering Sydney a faint, almost sheepish smile on his face. "Yeah…yeah, you're so right, man. And, y'know what? If you've got like…anythin' I can do, don't be 'fraid ta ask me. I owe you one man. So - ah - here, can I get your number maybe?" Awkwardly, since he's never done this on a strictly platonic level, he pulls his iPhone out of his pocket.

"I'm glad. Honestly, therapy is helpful. Even if nothing gets resolved sometimes it's important to clarify things in your own head," Sydney grins. She rattles off her phone number to Tiago and nods a bit. "Call if you need anything. Honestly, I don't mind getting things for you guys or whatever. Or if you see government people or have issues, please don't hesitate to call." She pauses as she walks over to her desk and extracts her purse and from the purse her cellphone, "Can I have your number? Then I can pass along any information I have as I get it…"

There is something inherently boyish about the way Tiago nods to Sydney, copying down her information. And when he lists his own number outloud for her benefit, there's even a warm smile on his face. If only for a moment, he sheds the image of being a streetrat and a refugee, taking on the appearance of being a young man, just a /little/ immature for his own good. "Yeah, I will. Promise. So…I guess I ought ta get goin'. So…yeah. Thanks again." And with that, he begins to head off, unless stopped somehow.

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