Reveal My Ignorance


bella_icon.gif kayla_icon.gif

Scene Title Reveal My Ignorance
Synopsis Kayla has an appointment with a Company psychiatrist. Bella asks questions she isn't inclined to answer, of course, and Kayla storms out well before the hour is up — also not a surprise.
Date July 15, 2009

Dr. Sheridan's Studio

It's 3:30, and that means Fresh Air with Terry Gross is playing in Dr. Sheridan's generously provided studio apartment. The psychiatrist is stretched out on her own couch, eyes closed, hands folded over her stomach, as she listens to the interview in progress. She's got an appointment pending, but honestly she doesn't mind if Ms. Reid is a little late; she's finding the program as engrossing as always. She's in pinstriped dress pants and a burgundy blouse, and her glasses sit on the arm of the nearby chair.

One thing Kayla is not, is late. She arrives outside the psychiatrist's closed door just a hair before the time of her appointment, and spends a few moments studying the thing. It doesn't exactly tell the young woman much; thick concrete-block walls on either side, heavy door, no window. Kayla's auburn hair is bound back in a tail, the planes of her face stark and sharp. Expression set, stiff, she refuses to so much as think about wiping her hands on the plain black dress pants, doesn't fidget with the hem of her ivory blouse. Instead, she lifts a loose-curled fist and raps her knuckles sharply on the door, once-twice.

Is it time already? Bella lifts a hand and pinches just above the bridge of her nose, eyes squeezing shut before she rises, a brief headrush filling her vision with blackened roses. She moves to the kitchenette, flicks off the program (she'll listen to the rest online afterwards), and moves to the door. She unlocks it (wouldn't do to be caught lounging), and opens it, smiling at the woman who waits beyond. She steps aside, allowing Kayla entrance. "You must be Kayla," she says, "Please, come in. Make yourself comfortable."

Kayla looks sidelong at Bella. "And you're Dr. Sheridan." It's a flat statement of the obvious; she is here for a mandatory session with said doctor, after all. Plus Kayla pulled up her file previously; it had pictures.

The younger woman doesn't smile back. Gray eyes flick over the room's contents as she steps inside, her quick assessment critical, tense, impatient. The couch is the obvious place to sit; rather than wait nervously for directions on the psychiatrist's part, Kayla strides over and sits down on its edge. She doesn't look particularly at home about it, however.

Bella moves to take her seat in the armchair, leaning back and giving Kayla a pleasant smile, "I know it sort of sucks to be told you have to meet with a shrink," she says; deciding, it would seem, to skip unnecessary pleasantries, "Frankly, it sort of sucks for me too. Therapy is about a partnership, cooperation; forcing someone to meet with me puts us both at a disadvantage. I hope, though, we can overcome those circumstances."

Arms folded, Kayla looks across the room at Bella. Listens to the words the woman says, the lines of her expression shifting in a subtly defensive way. Sympathy doesn't appear to have been invoked. "It's not the first ridiculous thing on the list. Probably won't be the last, either." The young woman sounds vaguely offended, rather than matter-of-fact; hoops, jumping through of, frustrating but put up with. More or less.

Bella leans forward somewhat, her hands coming together so she can regard Kayla over her interwoven fingers, "Why ridiculous, if you don't mind me asking?" she asks. There's no visible offense on her end, mostly a form of mild, a-professional interest.

Why? Kayla's expression suggests her opinion essentially amounts to 'because it is'. She's silent for a moment to let more… acceptable words come to mind. Some do. "I'd rather be doing my job." If this statement casts any implicit shadows on Bella's job, either Kayla doesn't notice or she simply won't acknowledge it.

"I'd rather you be out there doing your job as well," Bella says, nodding agreeably, "Hell, I'd install a revolving door if it was possible do this fast enough. But the view is, however, for whatever reason, that the job you do is hard enough on your mind that the occasional checkup here is as necessary as a physical checkup." She arches a brow. "And for people with talents like yourself, it may be even more important. Whether or not you agree, here we both are, so let's get to it; it's the best way to get you out of here, after all," she crosses her legs, adopts a 'let's get to business' posture, "We'll start with that job you're eager to get back to. Tell me about it."

Kayla looks faintly disgruntled at the reference to her particular ability. Mentally, she shoves the subject away and refuses to touch it, not even to protest that her ability doesn't automatically mean she needs to see a shrink. "Tell you what, exactly?" the woman counters promptly. "Surely you've got a copy of my file." She knows a good part of what that contains, too.

Bella arches a brow, "Tell me what a file can't," she says, "Tell me what it means to you, your work, what you've accomplished, what you want to accomplish," she rubs the nail of one thumb with the tip of the other, "Files are facts, landmarks, nodes. I'm interested in the story those facts add up to, the map the landmarks form, the network between those nodes."

Kayla leans back slightly, not far enough to actually contact the back of the couch, and regards Bella steadily. Lips pressed together, nostrils faintly flared, she clearly doesn't like that instruction in the least. The simplest answer seems, to her mind, to say the least about herself. That isn't actually true, of course. "I'd like to keep it."

"And are you concerned that you might not?" Bella asks.

There's the obvious next question. Kayla doesn't quite roll her eyes, but close. "No." She doesn't voluntarily elaborate.

Bella pauses for a moment, then gives a nod, though it looks more self directed. "Okay," she says, "All right," she tilts her head, eyes moving to catch Kayla's, "What pisses you off about this," she motions to the room, "Most? And after that, what pisses you off second to most? And then third, and so on, until you've given me as solid an argument as you can manage for why you shouldn't have to be here."

Kayla looks over at Bella. Studies the woman in silence for a moment. In the end, rather than answering, she counters with a question, a challenge: "Why?" Which is to say, why should I?

"Because if you can convince me I'll give you my rubber stamp of approval and you can get back to work," Bella says. She lifts a hand to her heart, "Word of honor."

Kayla scowls at that, turning her head slightly and watching Bella obliquely. She seems to be debating whether or not to believe that. Eventually, the woman apparently decides to play along.

"I'm not on vacation. There's still a heck of a lot of paperwork, and being here doesn't get that done." Gray eyes flick to decorations hung on the opposite wall, looking at them without seeing them; she's not finished, although exactly who Kayla is talking to might now be in question. "So someone decided that coming down here, sitting and talking to you, would be a better use of my time than what I actually get fucking paid for. Well, it isn't."

Another pause, though this time Kayla doesn't move, doesn't adjust position. "They, you, think you have a fucking right to just demand answers. What makes you so special? I don't know you. I don't want to. You act like you can make things all pretty and nice and better; well, you bloody well can't. Just — go away and fucking let me be."

As arguments go, it could be greatly improved upon. As fodder for picking apart Kayla's psyche — she maybe said a little more than she meant to in that outburst. Kayla continues to look at the wall-ornaments rather than the psychiatrist, biting the inside of her lip and sullenly waiting for her to do… whatever.

Bella takes in this diatribe with an expression of thoughtful consideration; she appears, at least, to be trying to keep up her end of the bargain, assessing Kayla's explanation. After its over, and after Bella quickly checks to see if her wall has had holes burned into it by Kayla's gaze, the psychiatrist shifts in her seat, just a bit forward. She has the smallest, grimmest of smiles.

"I don't recall offering to make your life pretty, nice or better," she answers, after pausing for a brief moment of quiet, "Last I heard, I'm here to make sure you can do the job you're aching to get back to. And I know there is nothing I can do for you if you decide to view me, and this," she motions to the room, "Like you're doing right now. But if you walk out of here, still holding onto that misconception, and let me assure you it is a misconception, then how long will it be before some other task you're given starts to feel like this? And then what will you do? Because, trust me, if you can't manage to get through this, an hour of what should be civil discussion with someone who wants just as badly as you to get you back at your desk, when you come up against your next difficulty, react to it like you're reacting now, your happiness will be far, far lower on the list of priorities."

Kayla listens as Bella speaks; when the woman's finished, her gaze swings back over, gray eyes narrowing. "Let me correct your misconception, Dr. Sheridan: this isn't a task," she counters, with bitter heat. "This isn't a difficulty. I don't care what you've offered — I've seen my file, and I can read between the lines even when they block sections of it out. 'Happy'," the healer echoes forcefully, having fallen into 'argue' mode rather than 'clamshell'. "'Happy' is not being —" Wait, no, not that; Kayla's teeth click together and she promptly changes statements. "Don't try to fucking tell me I'm not." Shadows under eyes and general attitude being irrelevant to this, of course.

"Then lay it on me," Bella says, hands spreading in a gesture of welcome, "Tell what you really are, how you're really feeling. Reveal my ignorance." For better or worse, the psychiatrist is working to prolong this reaction, to keep the other woman talking, even if it ends up being less talking and more yelling. "Tell me, clearly, what's between the lines in your file and I promise I'll be satisfied. If you're so very self aware." Bridging dangerously close to outright sarcasm, but any reaction's better than no reaction.

Kayla blinks at the woman across from her. Exasperation quickly blurs through irritation into ire. After a moment's fulminating silence, her lips twist, and she shoves herself off the couch to her feet. "Fuck you." Short and to the point, the statement barely completed before Kayla whips around and heads for the door.

Bella shifts back in her chair, hands folding over her stomach as she watches the woman go. There's a temptation to call out some closing comment, a barb or snarl or something, but antagonizing Kayla was a technique, not a goal, and one that Bella seems to have wielded too forcefully. So she watches, and just watches. This session will require a phone call to whom it concerns.

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