Other Sides


abby_icon.gif bella_icon.gif

Scene Title Other Sides
Synopsis Abby and Bella rendezvous to exchange information, objects, and missives.
Date June 10, 2010


Tom's Diner.

'Abigail, this is Dr. Sheridan. If you wouldn't mind meeting me for breakfast tomorrow, I'd be happy answer your question in relative privacy. If you've any concerns, let me know. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you at, say, 9:30 AM, at Tom's? The address is 782 Washington Avenue, in Brooklyn.'

With crisp politeness, this message found its way onto Abby's voicemail and, with no objections caught until the time set, Bella arrives at Tom's Diner at 9:25 AM, and snags a booth in the back corner - a location fitting the privacy she alluded to, and her own growing concerns about her safety. Again, she sallied forth with a scarf around her head and large sunglasses on her eyes, but she makes a point of stowing these items away in her purse upon taking her seat. Never let them see you sweat, as they say.

The weather has gotten rather beautiful lately, and Bella has taken full advantage, donning one of her well loved but badly underused sun dresses - this one robin's egg blue with small white polka dots. In defiance of her ever-increasing anxiety, she orders a chocolate shake to tide her over, and acts as if this is just a pleasant morning in a top notch restaurant. The only visible reminder of why she's really here is wrapped in a dark green towel, and rests behind Bella, nestled between back and rear cushions. Long and thin, the wolf's head cane, were it unconcealed, would rather badly clash with the rest of the image Bella is trying to paint herself into. It's insistent presence remains, but hidden, for now.

For Abby, the clothing of the day is a given. Work later, she's in her navy button down and pants, boots, white shirt peeking out from beneath. EMT uniform at it's standard. Fresh from dealing with all things vehicular and the promise of a new vehicle tomorrow once all the paperwork on the dealership side is done and her next shift finished. Which means the bus today cause Peter is busy.

It's not hard to pick out who she wants. They've met once before. She slides into the booth opposite, pink hair in a braid and even that is pinned back into a bun, proper and polite, ready for work despite it's bubblegum color.

"Doctor Sheridan"

Bella gives Abby a welcoming smiles as the pink haired woman takes a seat across from her. "Ms. Beauchamp," she says. She considers offering her hand, then imagines what it will be like to have it rejected. Considering Deckard's attachment to this woman, Bella imagines she's not much one for empty gestures. Courtesy, perhaps, but not pleasantries. "Thank you for meeting with me," she says, "I don't know if you're in a rush, but if you've got the time and the appetite I'd be happy to buy you breakfast. I hear the lemon ricotte pancakes here are excellent."

Without meaning to, Bella finds herself slipping into those very kinds of pleasantries - disarming techniques, really - that she told herself not to employ. She gives a small laugh, "I'm sorry. I'm fussing. I admit, I'm a little uneasy. I don't think I ought to be here. But I imagined this was important to Flint, and I wanted to do right by him. So here I am. And, to cut to the chase, yes: he's alive, and as well as one could reasonably expect."

The offer to buy breakfast - something she had at five am, long enough ago that she'd be willing to eat something small - passes her by when Bella speaks those words that she really truly hadn't believed. "He's alive" Palpabale relief, in the air around her, on her face, the sag of her shoulders inwards. "Oh thank the heavenly father" She'll pray harder later, thank him for the life of Flint having been spared. "He's not hurt is he? Is he in prison? Jail? you haven't shoved him somewhere for your…" She lets it go unspoken, won't mar the good news with more accusations against the other woman.

Bella finds it much, much harder than usual to suppress the urge to say something snide. Something about how, if she had Flint squirrel away, a needle cushion for her experiments, why in her God's name would she be meeting with Abby right now? The psychiatrist has time to wonder at what's happening to her, what's making her so much less guarded and self-controlled lately, before she sets the question aside as immaterial to the circumstances and just shakes her head.

"Flint is not imprisoned anywhere," Bella states, "He's as free as his situation allows for," something that could be said of anyone in our carceal society, a niggling part of Bella quips in her mind, "I can't go into details - a matter of simple confidentiality. To be quite honest, I went to him first to ask him what he wanted me to tell you. I would have lied if he'd have asked. But he wanted you to know, he's fine."

Bella's lips quirk, sardonically, "Specifically, he told me to tell you that he's shaved, dating a supermodel and - if I remember correctly - is taking surfing lessons. So… you know. He's quite the same as always, for better or for worse."

How often is it that Bella gets tears and laughter? WOuld she show great relief in knowing that all that stands between here and being a husk of burned flesh is one of those negation pills her company used to dose people up with? Right hand rises to wipe at her eyes, laughter trickling out at the whole dating a super model, surfing lessons and shaved.

"Still talking out his ass" Still his bright sunny self, and so nothing has changed in that way. "Thank you Bella, that's all I really wanted to know. I just, was afraid he was dead somewhere and that he had no proper burial, no place for someone to put flowers"

Normally this is when Bella would offer some touch of comfort. A held hand, in some cases even a hug. That she knows she can't causes a twinge of something like regret in the psychiatrist. Nothing much deeper than the simple interior observation: 'people used to like me'. It's not quite remorse, but it's about as close as she's likely to get.

So Bella smiles, with sympathy and knowing. "Your entirely welcome. I nearly shouted at him for being so flippant when I approached him," she says, "I knew he wouldn't want you living with that fear, but I also knew he'd stonewall me over it. That's always how it is. He is a frustrating man to work with. I can only imagine what it must have been like for you."

"It's the way he is, it's… there's him and then there's this other side that no one see's unless they get close enough. Where he smiles and he touches. Touches gently, and he asks for what he wants. There's not grunt, or looks or…" Or everything else that everyone see's.

Abigail came prepared, in case Bella said that she knew where he was, a sealed letter pulled from a messenger back and slid across the table. "Could you give this to him? It's just.. he left me a letter and it's something for him, something I need to tell him"

This was unexpected, though perhaps it should not have been. Bella looks down at the letter, and at once wonders what's inside. Correction. She wonders how what's inside will be read. What it will do to her client, and his state of mind. Which kind of pharmakon, a poison or a palliative? There is momentary hesitation, almost but not quite imperceptible, before she reaches out to take the letter. "I'll get it to him," she promises, before slipping it into her purse.

The waiter arrives, but Bella waves him away. Not now, not now. The psychiatrist laces her finger together and regards Abby over her interlocked hands. "I can't promise anything can come of this," she says, gravely, "Much less anything good. But I will deliver your letter, without interference or interdiction. You have my word."

"Sorry, I'm not the smartest blonde on the block. Interdiction?" She inquires, blonde brows furrowing, not the same shade as her hair. "If that means not reading it, I appreciate it." The waitress waved away, despite Abby's thirst, she folds her hands on the table in front of her. There's no comment made about Bella's word and how little it might actually be worth. If the letter never makes it, then it never makes it. It's plausible that Bella could be lying to her.

Bella gives a small laugh at this, "A fact you disguise well with both a dye job and what must be an eerily convincing impression of intelligence," she says. "Unread and undelayed," Bella rehashes, "This is Deckard's personal matter. As his therapist, I would be badly remiss if I broke his trust. If I read it, it will only be because he will have given it to me to read afterwards."

"I got healed from some bullet wounds and a dislocated ankle Doctor Sheridan. Nature of the ability left a black handprint on my skin and turned part of my hair white. I really am a natural blonde. Just when i'm stressed, I tend to change my hair color. Pink is a comforting color for me. Flint hates it"

She hopes, that he doesn't give it to her to read afterwards, but whatever was in there, was written with the premise that someone else would end up reading it. "I said i'm not the smartest blonde, but I am somewhat intelligent" Even if she decry's it and states that she's stupid. Stupid people do not become entrusted with the lives of other in emergencies and become EMT's. But she's learned a new word.

"I don't think Flint cares for stupid women," Bella says, "Not as I know he cares for you. Please, though, respect what distance he may have gained. I will deliver the letter, but if he tries to do anything I think might lead him to further harm, I will intervene and interdict."

Bullet wounds and dislocated ankles? That reminds Bella of something. "If I might ask you for a small favor, Abigail?" she says, turning and reaching behind her, lifting the thing swaddled in the green towel, "If you're still in contact with a Teodore Laudini, I'd appreciate it if you could return this to him. If not, feel free to pitch it off the side of a bridge. Either way," she pushes it across the table, towards Abby, "I don't need it any more."

"He won't do anything. We parted Bella, I called it off after he backhanded me in the face over helping someone, and he killed a close friend because it felt good. We had a fight and it's just…" He killed others, but it was that he killed her friend that he knew she was friends with.

"Teo and I don't talk much with one another at the moment, but I know where to find him, I can return something to him" She reaches across to take the package, not giving into curiosity about what it could be. She'll do that later. Maybe. "I have a question for you"

Bella's expression darkens, at this, "I did not know this. I imagine he feels deeply ashamed. As he should." Bella wants to inquire about the circumstances, but Abby is not the person to ask, and Bella is not the person who ought to do the asking. This will have to wait, if she can ever bring it up at all.

The redhead tilts her head ever so slightly. "Ask away," she bids.

"You took Joseph, Pastor Sumter. You took a lot of people. At any point, did you not think, that what you were doing was wrong?" There's no yelling or screaming, threats to call cops, attempts to make the woman feel ashamed for what she was doing, had done. Abigail just has asked an honest question. "Would you do it again?"

Bella nods, visibly giving the question a its due consideration. "Of course it was wrong," she answers, after thought, "And I knew it from the outset. But a great deal we participate in, knowingly, is terribly wrong. I won't bore you with the list, nor argue for perspective. I can only explain my reasons, and my restraints. I chose from a body of established addicts, to avoid damaging any lives unnecessarily. I treated my subjects humanely, fed them, kept them in health, and provided the with a steady stream of the substance they were dependent on. Not one of the subjects died - the only casualties from my project came from the armed assault on my facility, and all were sustained by individuals on my payroll. And, while I was never given the chance to, I was going to release every last one of those subjects at the conclusion of the project."

She explains this all with a calm, rational tone of voice. This lasts only so long though. A chilly smile pricks the corners of her lips as she goes on. "As for kidnapping, I admit I was inspired by a first hand experience. Though I took away from that experience the knowledge that there was one thing that separated grim scientific necessity from true evil," she motions to the bundled object, "This was the prop in that particular object lesson. Would you like to know what that one thing was, the one line I didn't cross, but my captor did?"

"Keeping people against their will Doctor Sheridan, is never humane. No matter the comfort of their accommodations and regard for their wellbeing. I know firsthand the humanity in it, and I can say, with absoloute knowledge in that. But.." There's a glance to the bundled object and she pulls it closer, peeling away part of the towel as she speaks. "What lesson did you learn, the line you didn't crossss…."

Holy hell, baby jesus in a high chair. Abby's staring at the wolfs head cane, blood seeping from her features and leaving her pale.

"Making someone afraid, just for its own sake. Hurting them for no other reason than to cause them pain," Bella answers, hands folding in front of her, "I met that in my captivity. None of my subjects did." She notes, bemusedly, Abby's reaction to the cane. "Familiar?"

"Then we have something in common, besides knowing Flint" Fingers dart over, touching the cane almost before they pull back. "It belonged to a man I killed" That's all Bella's going to get before she's wrapping it up again. "I can't stay for breakfast. I have shift soon and I have to deal with more insurance if I ever want to rebuild my bar. But thank you for passing along the letter and for telling me he's alive. You've given my heart some respite"

Bella regards the cane, as if this new information might make the cane mean something more, or something else, than it has for her. In the end, nothing new really results. It remains itself. "Tacky piece of shit, isn't it?" is her enduring judgment, "I'm sure his death was a victory for good taste."

Smart alecky comment dispensed with, Bella dips her head to Abby, "Of course," she says, "I'm glad to have been of some help to you. I hope Flint will benefit as well. I'll continue to do my best for him."

'His death was something you'd never understand, that ninety-five percent of the population would never understand. I hate that I did it, but there was no choice. God bless Doctor Sheridan, tell flint I say hello" Beyond the letter that is. Money left to cover the lack of drink, she waitressed, she understands, and the wrapped cane is taken with her as the former blonde eases out of the booth, heading off towards the exit.

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