Our Time Is Up


ariel_icon.gif diogenes_icon.gif

Scene Title Our Time Is Up
Synopsis Diogenes' second appointment with Ariel will be his last.
Date July 16, 2009

Office of Ariel Martinez

It's been an eventful morning, with the delivery of flowers and mint brownies by her spouse. The brownies were enjoyed, and the flowers set inside her office which is not part of the therapy room, and Ariel is having quite the day today. She's sitting in her nice comfortable chair and has a leg tucked under her as she holds a steaming mug of coffee. She smiles across at Thomas, as they start their session.

"The last time we talked, you were talking about a woman and some things that were happening between you. Did you want to continue with that, or was there something else you needed to talk about today?" she asks. Sitting next to her mug is a legal pad and a pen, though she doesn't reach for them just yet.

Like last time, Diogenes is seated in a rigidly stiff pose, uncertainty and doubt pertaining to this visit evident in his dull steel eyes. Almost like an autistic child, he looks at anything in the room except the therapist, consulting this thoughts before interacting with Ariel. Although the silence might seem as socially akward, it doesn't last for too long. "I… sort of solved that", he replies, having finally set his gaze on the psychiatrist before him. "I have realised that to keep me around as… company… isn't exactly a wise choice. Not only is interacting with me often a pain, but my presence can… serve as a prelude to danger, of sorts." He shifts in his chair in order to lean forward. "I know I've been vague last week, so I'll try to be less so today. I assume you'd like to ask me why I think I'm bad influence, yes?"

Every mannerism that Ariel uses is meant to be disarming, comforting and encouraging. She likes to disarm those with fears about talking to her, bring them comfort from the pain or problem they need to solve that brought them to her in the first place, and she likes to encourage them to speak to her without reservation. Some take longer to break out of their shell, others blurt out everything they can think of. Whichever it is, she is always patient.

"Is that something you'd like to talk about? We can talk about whatever you feel like talking about, Tom. If you want to tell me why you think you're a bad influence, I'm here to listen."

"Yes, it's your job to listen to people who have problems, or at the very least think they do." Thomas was one of those individuals who can easily misinterpret even the kindest gestures and, instead of opening up, completely close up and attain an apprehensive demeanour; the tip of that iceberg began to show. "I don't want you to listen to what you don't want to, or what you think is completely irrelevant", he notes sternly before reclining in his own chair. "I don't want to be just another patient on the list. I want you to be yourself. Talk with me as if I were a stranger on the street you bump into on your day off, even if you possibly might simply ignore me because you rush to go home." He falls silent for but a few seconds before speaking up once more in a slightly softer tone: "Do you want to hear why I should be avoided?"

If Ariel feels chastized in any way, she doesn't show it. She's certain this is what he wants to talk about so she gives him the chance to do so. "I would like to know why you think you are such a bad influence."

Thoms angles his head, examining Ariel as if she were a painting in an exhbition to appraise and evaluate. He is not unfamiliar with the 'reassurance' card, and for a moment he's tempted to point out that he has no need for sympathy; but the memory of that fiery-haired girl restrain him from doing so. The young adult tilts his head back and lets out a heavy, burdensome sigh. "Alright", he murmurs lowly, "Alright, I'll tell you." Both of his hands drop unto his lap after he throws up them up in the air in a surrendering fashion. "I don't think I'm of a sound mind. I go home in complicated way, changing patterns daily in case someone would be following me. I often ponder the myriad of reactions an individual might exhibit when about to draw his or her last breath. I can't help but wonder what it's like to play God."

"And how does this behavior make you a bad person?" Ariel asks. She feels his scrutiny, but to be honest, what others thought of her was never something she had issue with until recently. With the upcoming possibility of adoption, she knows that her personal and professional life will be investigated. "I don't think you'll find one person who doesn't have those kinds of thoughts now and then."

What Diogenes initially offers as a response is silence. "Underestimating potentially insane people is a mistake a lot of people do. Surprisingly, it's a common mistake even amongst psychiatrists", he would eventually note, rising from his chair. So much for his attempt to play along and go deeper into the rabbit hole. Instead of trying to work with Ariel, he seems to do completely the opposite. The tall, slimly built man walks up to her close enough to grab the pen. Unless the shrink intervenes, he would lift it between himself and Ariel, as if it were some sort of special item; he also brings his body forward, so that he would more or less be on the same eye level. "I could use this pen to poke your eye out", he states nonchalantly, "But you won't assume I'm criminally insane until I do it. That's the problem with psychoanalysis. You need extreme examples."

There is always an inherit danger in dealing with those who might be 'less than stable' and Ariel has already reconciled this with herself. She is well aware that one day someone could snap and injure her, or even worse, kill her. She, like her police officer spouse, are potentially in the line of fire. Having that reconciliation, she doesn't blink or flinch when Tom approaches her and meets her gaze. She doesn't take her eyes off his. "Just because one has criminal thoughts, doesn't make him or her a criminal. It's when they act on those impulses that makes them criminal. Picking up my pen does not make you a criminal. Nor does thinking about poking my eye out. When you actually threaten to poke my eye out, or actually do poke out my eye, then you have made yourself a criminal. Wouldn't you think?"

Whereas Ariel was the epitome of calmness, Tom's relaxed demeanour was waning. After all, it's not easy to control the rush of adrenaline when you so freely and loudly muse about the possibility of mutilating someone with a pen. It isn't long before the hand holding the pen quivers lightly, and the breaths he takes become heavy. His gaze, on the other hand, is similar to Ariel's in that it's just as unmoving and undaunted by the turn of events. After a while, he chortles softly and hangs his head, the hand holding the pen dropping to his side. "You're good", he suddenly remarks with amusement rife in his voice, straightening out. It is now that the pen flies across the room, and Tom steps away from Ariel. "I don't see how that disagrees with what I've said. Where do you keep my file, by the way?.." Judging by how he's roaming about the office, looking around, that is what he's searching for. "I threaten to slaughter everyone at my workplace - I'm a disgruntled employee and I'll be fine after a good night's sleep. I actually slaughter everyone at my workplace, and I'm schizophrenic. Flawed system, don't you think?"

The requested file is not talked about, as Ariel is startled by the sudden outburst. A flash, for anyone looking at her, could be seen in her eyes as she watches Tom now with a little more interest. "I'm going to end out session now. While I might expect the occasional verbal outburst, once you cross that line and start throwing things, then I'm going to put a stop to it. When you're ready to sit down and really talk, then call and I'll set up an appointment." She arches her eyebrow at him deliberately. "Have a nice day, Tom."

Being flippant at times like these is what causes Tom to turn around with an eerie grin carved on his lips and state: "But the hour is not up, yet." His glance traverses the room in search of a phone or anything that Ariel might use as a means of summoning protective force, in case there is one. "I think we're going to have a slightly different session from what you're used to. Unless you have an ability like me, actively disagreeing with me is going to be a bit challenging." Whether or not he finds what he's looking for, his gaze lands on Ariel, his grin still on his lips. "So, make yourself comfortable and… where is that file?"

"I'm afraid our hour is up, Tom." Unfortunately, it'll be an incident like this that will cause Ariel to first use the cell phone in the pocket of her skirt to call 9-1-1. She doesn't bring it out in the open, allowing it to dial while in her pocket. "I don't think I'm in any danger from you, so there's no need for me to have an ability like yours." She reaffirms, though she doesn't budge from her chair. She keeps her eyes on him as neutral as she possibly can under the circumstances. "It's time for you to go, Tom."

"If I pose no danger to you, then there is no reason for you to shoo me away." His eyes catch glimpse of the hand in the pocket, and although he has no way of knowing that 911 is being dialed, his paranoia makes him more than just suspicious. A taser? A tranquilising gun? He takes no risk, and makes use of his acumen pertaining to human anatomy to visualise the psychiatrist's spine - it would take him but two or three seconds to note which areas he wants shut off and isolated. He has doubts, of course. For one, he doesn't want his ability to become common knowledge. Secondly, Ariel has his name, and finding him would be a tiny fraction easier.

And so, he decides to put on his mask and do what he does arguably better than immobilising people - lie. His focus drops, and he looks up into the woman's eyes. "The curious thing about level-headed people is that they're only level-headed when it comes to their own safety", he states, "I know where you live. I know all about you and your lover." The risk was that if Ariel had no one, Tom would be in trouble. But risks had to be taken. "I know where you live. We'll either talk here or under more dire circumstances at your home."

If Ariel is concerned at all, she doesn't show it. She's taken years to perfect her craft. She's been threaten, manhandled, stalked and the entire range, really. She's not a novice in any way shape or form. "Well, because I felt you were a threat to me, I have called 9-1-1, Tom. So, if you know all those things, then you know where to find me. Unfortunately, I think this will end our relationship as patient/doctor. So, I'll ask you once again to walk away." She doesn't seem to believe for one minute that he knows as much as he says he does about her.

In hindsight, that wasn't an entirely wise move, either, considering that such threats are enough to warrant an arrest. The revelation that the emergency number has been dialed startles him, but none of that shows. He continues to stand motionless, his triumphant demeanour completely gone and replaced with a stoic one. He drives his gaze to the ground. "You're a poor psychiatrist and an even poorer human being if you're willing to abandon someone in need of help simply because they're under the illusion that they do not need help and because they had an outburst." Ariel was nice. Tom knew that. He also knew that could have been exploited. "I can picture what sort of mother you are. Totalitarian… trying to read your children, predict their actions. If you aren't a mother… The as-of-yet non-existent children you'd have can only thank whatever deity exists", he says, looking back up at Ariel. And then, shrugging off the psychiatrist's future reply, he would storm off.

Tom's words are taken for what she feels they are, words of someone disappointed with their own actions and the results of those actions. She takes a moment to write more notes into a paper that will go into his file. He's smart. She could tell he knew what he was doing. He probably did need help, but perhaps the next time he sees a counselor, he'll take into consideration his actions. She flips the phone closed. She hadn't yet hit the dial button after punching in 9-1-1. Instead, Ariel pulls the phone out and dials another number.

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