2009-11-26: You Guys Done Spanking Me?



Date: November 27, 2009


Lena and Sydney fight for the Martyr Trophy. Tiago referees.

"You Guys Done Spanking Me?"

Greenwich Village, NYC - Sydney's Apartment

It's a crisp day outside, all blue skies and a nip to the air guaranteed to leave the cheeks rosy. The perfect sort of winter holiday, really. That does not explain the somewhat grumpy and dejected appearance of Lena and Tiago as they return to their temporary shelter. Lena's got a soccer ball in her hands and she's tossing it up and down in short bounces while her boyfriend gets the door open, using Sydney's spare key.

"I guess I'd be kinda pissed if my guitar got smashed," she might be heard remarking quietly, stepping past the young man into the hallway. Her sneakers are kicked off behind the front door, leaving her to pad into the living room in her socks. Her jeans and hoodie still have bits of grass stuck to them, signs of a tumble in a park.

"He wasn't pissed. Even if we didn't break the damn thing, he woulda been a passive aggressive asshole. Plus, he didn't much care about it. He was /way/ too busy tryin' ta disrespect you and get in that chick's pants. I'm a guy - I know." Tiago adds sagely, his brows furrowed in a dark, clearly irritated manner. His hands are shoved stubbornly into the pockets of his jeans. "Y'know, it's people like him that make me wonder, how come I gotta be a good guy? Fuck, half the times, I betchya people /deserve/ the bad shit that happens ta them. I betchya if he wasn't such a dick, he woulda never been hit. It's /karma/, man!" Respectfully, he does take some time out of his tirade to slip off his shoes and not track dirt into Sydney's apartment.

Barefoot, Sydney pads into the living room from the hallway dressed in comfortable yoga pants and … a blue baby doll t-shirt with an image of Spock and text that reads Spock is my Homeboy. She's been trying to practice yoga to clear her head and hopefully her emotions. It's the first moment she's emerged from her room all day. Her face is pale. She looks and feels tired. This whole trying to control and practice her ability just is exhausting.

As she pads towards the front door, she flashes the pair a weak smile, "Hi guys…." She sighs and then forces the same smile, "Happy Thanksgiving."

"Don't say that shit, Chi. If I'm not allowed to be all oh my god I'm a bad guy, then you can't," Lena says with an exaggerated sigh. It ends when she allows herself to simply fall backwards onto the couch, still cradling the soccer ball in her hands. "Oh, hey Syd." The girl tilts her head enough to look around the grass-stained ball at the older woman, blue eyes narrowed into a look that dances between wary and concerned. "Happy Thanksgiving…you look like you feel like sh—crap." One day Lena will learn effective censoring. "You doing okay? We can be quiet if you were trying to nap, swear to god."

"I'm not all oh my god I'm a bad guy. I'm all being a good guy sucks, and is frustratin' as hell." Tiago points out the very crucial difference between the two scenarios, quirking his brow at the bottle blonde as he trails in after her and throws himself onto the couch as well. For a second, he slouches there, pursing his lips thoughtfully. Then, in an attempt to lighten the mood, he reaches over to grab the ball away from Lena. Mid-snatch, Sydney appears, and he freezes to throw a look over his shoulder to her.

What he sees is enough to alarm him. After having bat at the soccer ball, the man straightens up in his seat, before eventually scrambling to his feet and screwing his brows together in an expression of concern. "Whoa…Hey, Syd. You…" Luckily, Lena mentions her appearance for him. "Happy Thanksgivin' too. Are you…yeah." Beat. "Hey, d'you wanna call for food? Yeah? If you're not goin' anywhere, we can make out own sort of Thanksgivin' meal. It'll be nice and…you look like you can use the food."

Shaking her head a bit, the reply is met with a tired grin, "No, no napping… I was just trying to practice my ability. It's… exhausting." She yawns as she walks over to her coffee pot and prepares a fresh pot of coffee. "Eric," her cheeks flush ever so slightly as her lips curl slightly upwards "suggested I try. He's helping me figure out how to control it. So I've been trying to force myself to feel things. It's not working." She shrugs. "Maybe one day though." Her lips curl downwards slightly as she studies Lena, "I believe I owe you an apology though… I'm sorry about yesterday… I have very little control over it and I don't really know how it works…"

"Dinner would be good. What did you have in mind?"

Lena had just gotten her feet situated in Tiago's lap when he had to go and get to his feet again. And steal the ball. If were in a genuinely foul mood, she might scowl at him but really, it's been a long couple of days and the confrontation in the park sapped what was left of her energy. In fact, one arm trails dramatically against the ground as she heaves another sigh. "You don't owe me squat, Syd. I mean, it's cool you're learning to control it, that's…a pretty big fucking thing you can do. But I was in a bad mood anyway, I might've smacked that guy around anyway. You maybe noticed I'm not so nice."

The hand she has draped over her belly waves carelessly at the mention of dinner. "We had Chinese earlier, so anything but that. Pizza maybe?" Nutrition has never been high on their list of priorities.

"Oh…oh, okay." The grin puts Tiago at ease, if only for a moment, allowing a faint sigh to escape him. When the woman admits her most recent activities, he can't help but move to greet her with a smile. "That's great, man. That you're tryin' ta control it. That Eric fella, he's right. Y'gotta know what you can do, y'know? I'm sure you'll get it some day-…" Looking over to Lena, his smile slips once he hears her words. And then, he frowns, before returning to sit upon the sofa once more and, hopefully, drag her feet onto his lap.

He's going to need the physical contact to set him at ease as he rats his girlfriend out. For her own good, though! "She's…Well. Lena's in a funky mood, right now. She thinks she's a bad person, 'cause of what happened yesterday an' all. I told her, though - she aint a bad person. You know? She's got all this stress, runnin' away from the government, and then she was /tased/ yesterday, and then she had you're emotion thing runnin' in her head. I mean, all that shit would drive anyone a bit nuts, you know? Right?" He's clearly looking to Sydney for help. As for the food, that can wait.

"Pizza would be good actually," Sydney says as she stares at the coffee pot. Why don't these things move faster?! With a sigh she shakes her head at Lena, "I really blew it this time." She shrugs a little. "Stuff like this has been happening my whole life. Like when I get mad people feel angry. When I'm happy everyone else seems happy. It really wasn't your fault. When I got high from your hoodie… well I accidentally made someone else… yeah…" Face flushes further.

Her jaw sets though at Tiago's words. "Lena, you aren't a bad person. Look. No one was hurt. You were totally manipulated by someone else's ability. AND you're already under a tonne of stress." Pause. "If you're to blame, then I'm to blame for everything with Ivory Wynn…" She shudders.

Too late, Tiago's getting a kick. She extricates an ankle from his grip and pops her foot at his leg, looking to connect with minor force. "Jesus, Chi! It wasn't just yesterday and you know it!" Then she's struggling to get further away from so she can sit up and sulk properly. It's interrupted however as Sydney attempts to steal her martyr trophy.

"Oh, fuck that, Syd. You tell me something right now, and be honest…you ever use what you can do, on purpose, to hurt someone? To make them like you more, to get things you want? 'Cause I was doing that shit three years ago. I knew what I was doing, knew it could hurt folks and I did it anyway. You don't know half of what I've done…and neither does Tiago," she says finally, shooting a dark look at the Brazilian. Serves him right for betraying her.

Fact: Lena has a pretty good kick. And this is why Tiago wanted to teach her how to play soccer - because she has a gift. Unfortunately for the young man on the couch.

"Ow!" Tiago complains, holding his hand over to his arm as he tosses her a semi-fearful, semi-sullen look. But, at least she's still on the couch. Immediately, he sits up and glances over to Sydney, shooting the original blonde a fair smile for her words even /if/ Lena doesn't appreciate it quite as much. "Are you /serious/, now? You're actin' like you're the only person ta use shit they could do in their advantage. Newsflash, baby, that's what people /do/. I use my body ta make people like me more - I use sex and shit, how's that any diff'rent than what you did, huh?" Suddenly irritated by her lack of comprehension, he fixes a solemn glower in her direction. "Yeah? Well, guess what. You don't know half of what /I've/ done either - you don't know half of what Sydney's done. We're /real/ people too, you aint the only one who does shit like this, an' actin' like you're some bad person is bullshit, and it means you think /we're/ bad people."

Lips twitch slightly as she shakes her head, "I didn't know I do what I do until last month and within the last month and a bit I still haven't even learned how my ability works so I couldn't purposely do anything anyways." Sydney sighs. "If I'd known several years back, I probably would've taken advantage of several situations. Perhaps handled my life differently." She glances towards the face-down picture frame on the coffee table, and stares at it several moments before her lips curl into a rueful smile. "But then, the past is the past. There's nothing we can do about it now. It's already there." Pause. "What you've done or not done in your past doesn't have to define you today. You can fix things. Choose to be more than a mere accumulation of experience."

A nod is given to Tiago. "I pulled crap of my own back in the day. And while I didn't use my ability on purpose, I certainly used… other things at my disposal…." She sighs. "Look, I've had my share of yucki-ness in my past. But I try not to let it define me. That's not to say that it doesn't influence me… I'm just more than that."

"It does not mean that!" Irritation. Rising. Especially as they gang up on her. Lena swings her feet to the ground and awards a bulldog glower to each of them in turn. "I'm not sitting here thinking I'm some victim, because that's bullshit. I've hurt more people than ever hurt me and I'd totally keep doing it if it meant I get what I want. Because I can." So there. Having declared herself for the Forces of Evil, the girl pushes herself off of the couch and stomps into the kitchen to find the phone, and the number for a pizza joint open on Thanksgiving.

Tiago is liking Sydney more and more with time. He points to her, his attention fixed on Lena, as if to say 'listen to the woman with the Spock shirt! She KNOWS'. "Yeah, yeah, exactly! And how aren't you sayin' that? And how can ya act like it's all you - /I/ was the one who decided we could sell your shit for money - that's on /me/. That's /me/ usin' your power ta get ahead of other people, I'm the bad guy, here!" What a strange conversation - especially since Tiago is imploring and insisting that he's such a horrible influence. When she bounds up, he does as well, looking to Sydney wildly for any clue of what he should be doing.

"I dunno how to stop when she…ugh." Tiago murmurs as he walks toward his 'land lady', eventually heading for the kitchen. "You're /not/ a bad person, Lena! If you were a bad person, we wouldn't be havin' this conversation! You wouldn't feel bad or guilty for doin' this shit! This is somethin' that everyone does!"

"Lena, you're not a bad person! I refuse to believe that," Sydney quips with a small frown. "You protected me yesterday. I know I'm a total flake sometimes, and you both looked out for me. Evil incarnate doesn't do that. It only looks out for itself." Pause. "I'm a therapist, I should know." Pursing her lips together she sighs again. "You're not sociopathic or psychopathic or delusional. You're good at your core. And while you may have a rough exterior and have done things you're not proud of… everyone has." She steps forward to squeeze Tiago's shoulder.

Lena has her cellphone in hand by the time they charge in after her, scrolling through the contact list she's programmed into it. Naturally, there are delivery places galore to be found there. "Yeah?" Obviously uncomfortable, she shoots a narrow look at the pair before looking back down at the tiny screen. "Feeling bad about it obviously isn't enough to make me change. You know what it's like being around folks who give and give and give? It's fucking hard, that's what. While you guys are being all buddies and shit, you oughta discuss what you want on your pizzas. I'm getting one with mushroom and green olives."

Tiago starts a little at the hand at his shoulder, but once he realizes that it's merely a show of support from Sydney, he relaxes and offers her a nod of recognition, before tearing his green eyes back to his girlfriend. It's quite, quite obvious that This situation is not leaving him happy or very comfortable, at all. "Folks who give and give and give? Like you don't? Like /we're/ all saints and shit? Jesus fuckin' Christ, Lena, I'm an illegal immigrant. I'm a thief, I'm a drug dealer, and I'm a bastard! I /aint/ no fuckin' saint! I've seriously hurt people, I've used people, and all for me and my selfish wants. So - what the hell are you sayin'? It's /hard/? Yeah, it is hard, but you're pussyin' out by jus' pretendin' like your some lunatic. That's fuckin' /weak/!"

He darts his eyes over to Sydney, suddenly aware that he might have admitted a bit too much of his sordid past in the presence of the relative stranger, but…it can't be helped. "Lena…I /love/ you, but you're actin' like a damn dumb ass right now." Beat. "I don't care what's on it, I eat anythin'."

"I don't give all of the time either. And I'm no Saint," Sydney frowns as her own eyes narrow. "And neither do Gene… or Eric. We all take too. From each other. That's what friendship is… we give. We take. And there's different seasons for each." She purses her lips, and then notes, "When I first ended up at Hope Hearth I wasn't a therapist. I was black and blue. Broken bones. Damaged. Vulnerable. Pissed." Her nose wrinkles. "My first point of contact is now my boss… she helped me more than I can even describe. I had no one. No friends. No family. In that moment I was alone. And without Amy —" shrug. She frowns and then adds, "I'm not giving for its own sake. I know what it's like to be afraid and truly alone." Absentmindedly she raises a hand to her cheek and rubs it.

A finger is leveled at Tiago. "Don't you fucking swear at me!" Lena grumps without even looking up from her dialing. They're raising good points and she chooses to ignore all of them by pressing the phone to her ear, although it would be dishonest to say that Sydney's admission does not earn a startled glance. Still, it's difficult to respond when a pizza jockey's talking into your ear. "Hey, yeah, I want some pizzas for delivery. Extra large meat lovers, large mushroom and green olive and…uh…I dunno, she looks like a veggies lover to me. Yeah." As she continues to place the order, rattling off Sydney's address, her back is set against the counter so an eye can be kept on the pair of them.

It doesn't take long. Not nearly long enough, really, considering how reluctant Lena is to return to the previous topic. When the phone is snapped shut, she lifts her chin and inquires, "So you guys done spanking me? 'Cause I gotta say, it's not doing anything for me yet."

Tiago backs up, suddenly silent, when The Finger is wagged in his direction. He clearly expects something more to come out of it, but when she merely tells him off for swearing, his narrows his eyes cautiously to her. "Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. I swear like a fuckin' sailor. That aint saint-like material. Hell, if my momma knew how many times I dropped the F bomb in the last minute alone, she'd have a fuckin' heart attack." He's almost proud of himself for turning that against her. At least, that's what his proud smile implies.

When she turns to speak to them once again, he rolls his eyes faintly. "Depends. Are /you/ done spankin' yourself?" Beat. For a moment, he is momentarily distracted by the mental image that accompanies this declaration, but soon enough he brings himself back to the issue at hand. Or to the general issue at hand. Sydney's very heart felt, honest declarations earns a curious glance, and though he awkwardly lifts an arm to pat her on the back supportively, he doesn't make a mention of it - not wanting to pry. "Lena…/princessa/, why can't ya ever jus' listen ta me when I say shit? I know I sound dumb, okay, I get it. But, I'm smart. I'm real smart when it comes ta people, I swear."

"We're not spanking you Lena… we're trying… " Sydney sighs and just shakes her head as her cellphone rings that all-too-familiar professional therapist-like ringtone. Frowning, she extracts the phone from her pocket and glances at the number. Her jaw tightens and she hits the ignore button after she sets her cellphone on the counter. "I just think you're being harder on yourself than you ought."

"Okay, okay!" Lena's surrender has more of frustration about it than genuine acceptance. She holds her hands up, one still clasping her own cell, and turns her eyes towards the ceiling. Maybe God will choose to speak to her rather than Tiago, just this once, and tell her how to handle this.

But the Big Guy isn't listening, or he is of the opinion that she's made her bed, she should now lie in it.

"Look…I do listen, Chi. And I know you're really, really smart and sweet, Syd. Okay? You guys are probably right, I'm a good person who does bad things." Pause. "Can we stop now?"

"I dunno, Lena. I really dunno if you do." Tiago admits, expressing his doubt in her sudden surrender, but frankly, he doesn't have the energy to berate her into a sincere submission. Besides, Sydney was suddenly graced with a rather…interesting call. His eyes fly in her direction, eyeing her with a seeming uncharacteristic thoughtfulness before the man shakes his head and decides to step forward, approaching Lena. It is ginger, the way he reaches out to try and settle his hands upon her hips and tug her in closer to him. "…You okay? For reals? D'you…you mad at me?"

His questions aren't reserved for Lena alone, however, because once he's close enough to the girlfriend, he figures that he can toss a particularly pensive look in Sydney's direction. "…You too? Who was that on the phone, yeah?" Beat. "Oh, ifya don't mind me askin'. Ya jus'…don't look all that happy none."

With a sigh Sydney just shakes her head. Her lips purse as her phone rings once again. Like before she peers at the number, and hits ignore, returning it on the kitchen counter. She offers Tiago a strained smile with another sigh, "Just…" blinking a few times she considers exactly what to say "… people who don't really want to talk to me, but think they should because it's a holiday. They only call on Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. And the chat is always… freakishly uncomfortable…"

"I'm not mad at you, Chi, but you could seriously learn how not to use a baseball bat to make your points," Lena sulks, unresistant to being urged to step in and lean against the young man. More than that she won't say, because Sydney has become the topic of conversation. With her head tipped against Tiago's chest, she looks with mild curiosity at the therapist. Curiosity and a hint of relief at no longer being the focus of the conversation. "You mean like your family? You…don't talk to your family?" Even in her current mental state, a thin smile is irresistable. "It's funny, you know? How much we've got in common."

There is clear relief on Tiago's face as he winds his arms around the girl, pulling her into a fierce hug. To be honest, her sullen words are completely missed, if not outright ignored, in favor of keeping the situation from deteriorating in another of their debates. Besides, there's another woman who seems to be having /some/ sort of issue. "…Huh, yeah, I can understand that."

When Lena comments on how similar the two are, Tiago furrows his brows, giving the situation a bit too much thought. "…Yeah, yeah, you are. Ya'll're both damn depressin'. It's a holiday! Granted, a retarded one, but we still gotta celebrate! Damn, Ima make you two happy and laugh even if I gotta beat it outa you!" With this ambitious declaration given, he looks from one to the other expectantly.

A flicker of a smile crosses Sydney's features. "Yeah, my grandparents," she answers with a frown. "We don't see eye-to-eye and haven't for some time. When I could get away I did, much to their dismay." She sighs and nods at Tiago, "You're right. We're supposed to be pretending that life is awesome right now. That's what holidays are about, right?" Smirking, Sydney pads towards the door, "I'm… going to go invite Eric. No reason for anyone to be alone, right?" Glancing at her pants, she shakes her head, "I need to change these pants…" That said, she changes direction towards her bedroom.

At the mention of Eric, Lena's eyebrows lift and she tilts her head just enough to exchange a look with Tiago. It took the kids long enough but it looks like one of them has finally caught on! "Yeah, yeah," she echoes the young man. "What we're thankful for and all that. I'm thankful my brain's not in a jar in some lab." But there's a return of a faint smile when that's said, marking it as an intended jest. Her cellphone is slipped into a pocket and then she eases away from the Brazilian, intending to lead him into the living room. "You ever see the parade they hold up here on Thanksgiving, Chi? Cmon, I bet it's on the news."

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