2010-07-07: Will I Ever Make It Home?



Date: July 7, 2010


Will I ever make it home

To the place I recognize

Far from here and where I've been

And all the places that I've been shown

Will I ever make it home

Can they keep me here for good

Where I hardly know a soul

And my fear keeps going on

"Will I Ever Make it Home?"

Undisclosed Location

The light of day brings with it new assurances, new beginnings, and for many, new awakenings. For Sydney Falkland, all it brought was an end to a sleepless night, a shower, and a fresh change of clothes. Despite the seemingly refreshing sleep, shower, and clothing, Sydney doesn't look much better for wear. Her hair is a mess of haphazard curls, untamed in their blonde glory. Her dark eyes have no brightness in them. And the bruising on her face is starting to amass into a swirl of colours thanks to time and healing. Not yet able to make herself eat, her fragility continues. Pale and veiny, the night at the safehouse did nothing to help her out of her current state.

In a replay of the night before, she's sitting an interrogation room— the same interrogation room, stark white, complete with a two way mirror and a video camera to record the happenings.

Wrinkling her nose, Syd glances up at the video camera and tilts her head at it curiously. There's a kind of distant wonder in her eyes, but her face shows no tells; no sign of any emotion, just that stark emptiness to match the walls and colour of this room.

She sits at the lone table in the exact same seat as before. Her ankles are crossed underneath it as she leans back in the chair and stares at the two-way mirror, convinced someone is watching.

And indeed someone is! On the other side of the mirror, the blonde Agent Fox studies the victim in question. "She hasn't said a thing. Well…" her lips twitch into a smile, "…aside from yelling at Sam." Rolling her eyes, she shakes her head. "You know her right? Think you could talk to her?"

"I know her," another blonde — Detective Maggie Powers — confirms quietly without taking her eyes off of the familiar therapist the white room contains. The state of Sydney Falkland plays over Maggie's own face empathetically, her eyes wide with concern, surprise, and a bit of horror, blinking time and time again. She leans both hands into the narrow ledge beneath the window. "Yeah. Yeah, I'd be glad to talk to her. You're trying to get her into the Witness Protection program?" On her last few words, she's already trailing a hand along the bottom of the window on her way to the adjacent door that leads into the room.

The door opens slowly to admit Maggie into the bright white space, with its unnerving video camera and two-way mirror. Her expression has changed not at all since looking through the glass — the therapist is greeted by the concerned blue eyes of her previous client. An FBI Visitor's ID is clipped to the calm, similar blue hem of her blouse, marking her as with them, but not of them. Her voice is soft. "Sydney."

"That's the hope— " Fox replies as Maggie trails out. But as Maggie leaves, she turns silent, just the unnamed agent behind the mirror watching over proceedings as necessary. "Come on, Powers. Do better than Wright. Please," though long gone, Maggie still has a cheerleader from behind the mirror.

When the door opens, Sydney neither flinches nor turns; rather she stares dead ahead at the mirror, sure that someone is watching. Her own thoughts are unreadable with the still-distant expression pasted on her face. The familiar voice and her name— her first name— however, interrupt whatever thoughts she does have, pulling her attention to the door. Disbelievingly, she blinks at the woman as a single emotion registers on her face: confusion. After a few seconds of confused silence she asks, "Does everyone secretly work for the FBI?" The visitor tag isn't noted, not yet, anyways.

Maggie urges the door shut behind her with one distracted nudge of her hand, all her attention on the victim at the table. She gives Sydney the time to register her presence before she heads straight for her — there's never a second where Maggie's eyes aren't on Sydney and that bruised face. "Oh, sweetheart." For Maggie, gone is any therapist-client relationship here and now. She claims empty chair from the table, lifting it up instead of sitting in it just yet — she walks around the table's corner and sets it down right next to Sydney. There she sits at an angle toward the other woman with an arm on the table, leaning in slightly low, looking up at her rather than down. "I don't work for them," she clarifies — or, perhaps, reassures. "I'm just helping them on a case." Every word is even, gentle. "I heard you talked to Agent Wright…"

Maggie's words make Sydney's eyes well with tears. Instinctively, she places her elbows on the table and hides her face in her hands. More tears. Always more tears. And always silent. But considering the last few days she's had, she manages to choke them back after several quiet moments and the mention of Wright. In fact at the man's name, she snorts behind her fingers and drops her hands to the table. While her cheeks are still tear-stained, her expression registers only anger and mild irritation. "What an asshole," she mutters before glaring at the mirror and hoping he's back there to here her. "I… slapped him." Her gaze shifts back to Maggie. There's a pause before she adds even more quietly, "I don't feel sorry." If the FBI is looking for an apology, they aren't getting one. Tugging on the sleeves of the oversized sweater supplied to her, Sydney dries the tears from her cheeks.

Maggie blinks when Sydney admits hitting Sam; there's a small undefined twitch at the corner of her lips over the news and the mental imagery it produces — this tiny broken thing slapping the likes of Sam. "I'm sorry about Agent Wright," she says, as if she's personally responsible for the man being an asshole. "He …" That undefined expression turns out to be a little smile. "Actually, I'm sure he deserved it. Good job." Her smile grows in amusement and good humour and stays there until she's sure Sydney's seen it. A hand goes to the young woman's shoulder, cautious and slow in the approach, but warm and firm over the too-large sweater once it gets there. "What have you told them? Have you told them about what happened to you?"

Maggie's smile earns the makings of one in return, but it's wistful rather than in good humour, and it never touches Sydney's eyes. "Thanks." She sniffles before glancing up at the camera and then back to Maggie forcing another smallish smile. "He did deserve it! I never hit people… He's… not… nice." Or as she said earlier, an asshole. At the questions, however, the smile fades into a distinct frown and the therapist loses her voice. Her fingers drum lightly on the table in front of her as she shakes her head at Maggie's questions.

Maggie's smile turns into a sympathetic one. She nods her head obligingly to Sydney's silence, a kind touch firming on Sydney's shoulder; quite a different picture than she painted sitting on Dr. Falkland's couch. "Okay," she says without hassle — just okay. No problem. Sydney is quite allowed to want to be quiet. "That's okay." Her gaze moves from the recently kidnapped woman only briefly, looking to the mirror and the camera for a few seconds. She gives Sydney another nod, this time gently prompting. "They said an FBI asset got you out of there. That wasn't someone we happen to know, was it…" Another small smile.

The shoulder is comforting; more contact has that bask-in-it-effect. Sydney's lips quirk upwards into a small smile again as she nods at the next question. Gnawing on her bottom lip, her eyes droop a little more, disconnecting her a little more from this world for several moments. "… he… shouldn't… be in there…" her eyes well with tears again, but with a shake of her head, they're fought fiercely; she has shed too many tears over the last few days. A single finger is lifted to her eyes, clearing any unruly strays before she sniffles loudly as she shivers.

"I know." And she does — there's too much knowing in those two quiet words to simply be a phrase of comfort. But none of Maggie's words are just that — they're all heartfelt, not empty. "But it was good for you that he was." She lifts her free hand off the table and gingerly tips Sydney's chin up with a couple of fingers, looking her in the eye steadily. She's so close that it really is almost eye to eye. "Because now you and the others, you're safe. You should never have had to go through what you did."

The eye contact actually draws a shiver from the younger blonde's body as goosebumps form along her neck and covered arms. The last words actually harden Sydney's features, not soften them. Her jaw tightens and her lips purse, but she's silent as to why. Instead her eyebrows furrow and she clears her throat, "Wright said… I put Miles there…" Her face pales further. "… no one should be there not with— " she sniffles and shakes her head. "… someone should just hire a sniper CIA agent to take him out…"

"Oh honey, don't listen to Agent Wright." He's an asshole, remember! "You didn't put Miles in there. I know you wouldn't have approved it. Don't even think about it," Maggie says reassuringly. "It'll all be over soon." Her lips thinning out after she says so, and a few lines of worry assert themselves between her brows. She bites her lip and is quiet for a few moments.

"Who's him?" the soft-voiced detective says next. Blue eyes study Sydney's face, the bruises and veins and expressions — slow, calm, concerned, there's nothing harshly critical or drilling about her gaze, although it misses nothing. "Roberto?" she wagers a guess. "Did he do this to you?" This being the damage to Sydney's face, which Maggie reaches toward but doesn't touch, very carefully moving an unruly curl of Sydney's hair away from her face in a little motherly gesture.

Sydney winces at the name and her eyes clamp shut. Her body curls into itself— shoulders rolling forward and legs drawing up to her chest with feet balancing on the end of her chair— at the mere mention of the name she doesn't want to speak. She folds her arms across her body, a kind of protection from him and his influence. But with the tendril of hair moved from her face the therapist relaxes just a little, just enough to issue Maggie a small kind of nod.

That's answer enough. "Okay," Maggie tells her again, just as accepting as the first time, making sure Sydney's hair is tucked neatly behind her ear. Her hand returns to the table, in front of the curled up ball of a woman. "It's okay. You don't have to talk about him now." She frowns thoughtfully in her own small silence that follows, not hiding the fact that she's a bit reluctant to broach the next subject, even though she does so as gingerly as she can. "I know you probably just want to go home— the FBI— wants to help you get away somewhere safe. They've mentioned Witness Protection?"

Witness protection actually causes her to extend her legs back to the ground and Sydney shakes her head. "No… I… no…" while her voice is quiet, her tone is firm. "Home. I'm going home." She'd barely been there three weeks before she'd been nabbed. "Home. I need… I need to go home…" and for the first time her eyes soften, they change to something altogether different, they plead with Maggie, negotiating for what she wants. "Please. Please. Home. I.. I need to go… Home. I need to go home." She nods now.

Listening intently, every word of Sydney's seeming only to gain more compassion from Maggie, and by the time that pleading look appears, she looks more than a little heartbroken by the woman. She spends a moment regretting what she has to say. "It's not safe for you there," she tells Sydney — her gentle tone no less gentle, but firm. "While he's out there, it's not a good idea for you to go home — or even… stay… in the same city. These sort of people…" Roberto. "This kind of gang. With its connections. They have ways of finding people. You've seen too much; that means they will be looking for you." She shifts a bit in her seat, moving her other hand onto Sydney's other shoulder, now holding her by both, urging the younger woman to face her, to keep listening. Maggie lifts her brows, trying to express her sincerity as she goes on. "I'm not saying this to scare you into agreeing to anything. But it's not… safe… for you to return to your life until we get that man behind bars."

With both hands on her shoulders, Sydney shakes her head, even as she faces Maggie and drinks in every word with quiet intent. She watches the other blonde quietly, but all the while she shakes her head. She may be silent, but in her silence, her quiet determination persists. "I… need to go home." Swallowing she's now the one to make eye contact; her dark eyes staring at Maggie's blue ones. And then quietly she adds, "If he wants to find us… he will." She frowns further.

It's Maggie's turn to shake her head, her contrastingly straightened hair swaying. "I know it seems that way," she says slowly. "But he's not all-powerful. Witness Protection is … very good at what they do," she says with conviction — but doesn't press it. "If you do refuse to go into the program… you might want to consider going somewhere far away for awhile." A small encouraging smile comes and goes in a soft flicker. "Like a vacation."

She twitches at Maggie's words. "He… makes people do things…" Sydney shudders and recoils into herself again before shaking her head again and allows her lips to find that frown. "They," witness protection, "can't keep any of us safe." Her face pales a little at this notion. "Or… maybe they can…" Now. Except, "I just want to go home, Detective Powers. I haven't lived my life for months." She blinks back forming tears and shakes her head.

Some of the detective's features harden — the anger underneath isn't directed at Sydney, but her circumstance; the man who put her in this situation in the first place. "And you deserve to have your life back." Maggie eases away a little, one hand — the furthest from her — leaving Sydney. As if to compensate, the other becomes more secure. "No one here can make you do anything. I can't. I wouldn't want to. It's your choice." She glances quickly to the door of the bland room. "Can I get you something?"

Sydney twitches again and nods her head. Right. This is her decision. With a slow deep breath she nods again and then finally speaks two words, grateful, and tinged with a little warmth, but they're whispered quietly, "Thank you." Her face flushes before she nods her head a little firmer this time. "Could.. could I get some water?"

"Sure," Maggie obliges with a warm smile, patting Sydney's shoulder while she gets to her feet — with minimal screeching from the chair, she makes sure of it. "You should eat something. You look pale," she says, though it's not chastising — she's just a continual fount of concern for the woman who looks a mess. Even after standing she leans in — one hand on Sydney, one hand bracing against the table … it's barely a change from when she was sitting down a few seconds prior. "Hey," she says quietly, an insistent, determined assurance. "We're going to get these guys. They're going to go away for a long time. And no matter what he can do … he's on the top of the list."

"I… can't," Sydney stammers between tears. She doesn't even know what she would eat if she could. And then as if considering the food situation she asks, "Unless.. pink smiley faced lollipop…" one side of her lips edges upwards into a kind of small-almost-half-smile. "And Detective? You need to put him away. Forever. He's… bad…" There's a pregnant pause, "But I'm not… I can't…" her face flushes her own human frailty all-too-apparent. "I don't testify." She sniffles to harden her features.

Sydney's lollipop mention earns a quirked brow and weird look from the detective — why on earth … and where does a pink smiley face lollipop even exist; definitely not a vending machine — but Maggie quickly sobers. "No one's asking you to. That's— " Hopefully not a long way off… "That's nothing you have to be thinking about yet." Another reassuring smile appears and she steps backward. "I'll be right back."

The weird look is met with another half-smirk that fades as quickly as it appeared. "Detective.. thank you," Sydney whispers as Maggie opens the door. She wraps her arms tightly around herself, wishing for a jacket, something to wrap herself tightly only to catch a glimpse of her pale-skinned hands, "…maybe… can I have a candy bar? Snickers…" She'd rather have the lollipop, but such is life.

"Well, I'll absolutely see what I can do, doctor," Maggie affirms lightly — which happens to be a good promise that Sydney will find herself with at least water and a candy bar shortly down the road. The smiling detective finally turns about, making her way out of the stark room and into the dimmer area hidden behind it.

There, as the door closes, her features start to harden, to become dark, but her eyes remain moved by the beaten therapist. "There's not much you could get from her you can't theoretically find out through one of the other victims or Miles," she says to the agent in the room watching. "Look at her, she's broken." Maggie looks through the window onto Sydney before starting to whisk out with a determination that borders on angry. "Give her some peace."

Agent Fox stifles a sigh. "You don't think she has more to say? She's just not very cooperative, makes it difficult to tell." Staring through the mirror at the therapist again, Fox clucks her tongue. "You think we should just leave her alone?" Fox crosses her arms over her chest. "I was half-tempted after she was baited by Wright yesterday." And then, with a twitch of a smile she glances at one of the monitors, "I'm just thankful we got that on tape." With another sigh she considers, "I'll talk to Mason. If we can lay off her we will. I'm just not sure he'll agree with the assessment…"

"He'll have to; pushing isn't going to get you anywhere. She's not a suspect," Maggie says with the door to the rest of the headquarters open, pausing with it in hand to look back at Agent Fox. "She's a victim. She doesn't need to be interrogated— " The detective heads out into the hall and the door begins to swing shut. " — she just wants to go home."

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