Sane Enough For Company Work


bella_icon.gif colby_icon.gif

Scene Title Sane Enough For Company Work
Synopsis …is the diagnosis from Bella after a session with Colby.
Date August 14, 2009

Fort Hero: Bella Sheridan's Office

This is something she should have seen to some time ago, Bella reflects. But Fort Hero just feels so terribly far from the apartment where she's accustomed to doing her job, and the institutional austerity that wide windows and high ceilings are designed to mitigate still weigh on her mind. But she's being a silly girl, she realizes, and so when she arrives at her office in Fort Hero, a fairly spacious if undecorated (her fault) room, she is dressed in a very sharp suit, as if showing up like this will retroactively negate her previous delays.

The Martinez file is thick particularly for such a new hire, and Bella is still reviewing it at her desk when the time for the evaluation comes 'round. Her wire-rimmed glasses float on the bridge of her nose, pushed down a little to provide the proper angle for on-the-desk document viewing. She doesn't want to have the papers in hand when Ms. Martinez arrives.

There's a sharp rap at the office door before the entry tips open. "Dr. Sheridan?" comes the polite query on a sublt alto even before Colby steps into view. But, when she does she halts. There wasn't great similarity, but there was enough, the loss was too fresh.

She's walking into Ariel's office with bouquet and a smile. The redhead looks up to her with a smile that always manages to melt the Latina's heart.

She clears her throat and snaps back to reality. She forces her boots forward across the empty chamber and extends a hand. "Colby Martinez."

Moments of entrance interest Bella, and she watches the instant of disjuncture with a steady gaze before both of them fall into the normal social ritual. The psychiatrist smiles wide as she gets up from her seat, one hand flicking the file closed while the other goes to take Colby's.

"It's a pleasure," she says, "And please, call me Bella." She motions to the corner, where a pair of armchairs sit, a place of equal dialogue of the kind that desks often obstruct. "Shall we?"

Colby's lips tickle up ever so subtly at the corners - it is a soft expression, barely noticeable, but perhaps the most sincere one she's manage for a while. "Bella, then. It's nice to meet you."

She glances towards the indicated seats before offering a simple nod, moving off and folding herself into one of the chairs. She doesn't cross her legs or fold her hands, she takes the same casual and confident posture that had been applied during her meeting with Len shortly before. She rests her arms over the chair's armrests, hands left to dangle, knees slightly parted. The only difference in this particular meeting is that her gaze doesn't stray, it stays firmly upon Bella.

Bella takes her own seat across and slightly at a slant from Colby, the arrangement meant to promote a certain casual closeness without seeming too direct or confrontational. The psychiatrist crosses her legs under her suit's skirt, hands folding to brace the top knee as she sits very straight, meeting Colby's eyes.

"First, let me welcome you aboard. It's a brave thing to take this step, and I admire your decision. Law enforcement is precisely the sort of background we need, in my opinion," she smiles, "But my opinion isn't what we're really here for. This is an evaluation, of course, but I feel that first and foremost I'm a therapist. This work isn't easy, and those who take it up have never taken an easy path to it. So… let's start with your feelings about your new position here. What's on your mind?"

The Latina allows the question to sink in, allows her gears to turn over the possible ways in which to address it and respond. "Conflicted." She lifts a hand, asking for pause before the therapist can cast judgment - though, she's certain the gesture is unnecessary. "In line with the job, I'm both honored and happy - I want to help. I want to save another family from… what it is I've had to face. No matter the cost."

She shifts in her seat, leaning back and lacing her fingers with one another, resting the dome of her digits upon the flat of her abs. "That I'm here at all is what is conflicting."

Bella listens carefully, and gives a single nod at Colby's last words. "What about your being here creates conflict in you?" Learning to ask seemingly obvious questions like this without sounding stupid is an important skill for someone in Bella's position. She can think of any number of valid reasons why Colby would feel that way, but she needs to hear it in the other woman's words, exactly.

And a number of reasons there were…

Colby tips her head back and looks up towards the ceiling - Bella was both a comfort and a distraction. "I should feel sorry. I should feel the need to serve my punishment in prison or with a freakin' needle in my arm." A pause. "But, I don't."

"Maybe I should hate the Evo's," she continues. "But, I don't. I just want to help them. To help the non-evolved. To make sure everyone involved is safe." Her alto tone becomes gently strangled as her list tips towards the even more greatly conflicted matters the float around her head. "I should've died when that man… that kid was frying in the fountain. Instead, I'm…" She straightens back up and lifts her hands out to either side, making a short gesture towards the very place she sits. "here."

"I don't know what you think about higher powers and purposes," Bella says, nail of one thumb tapping very lightly against the other, "And it'd be presumptuous for me to say 'you're here because you're meant to be'. But it may help if you find a reason. Not an explanation, but a reason," a small pause, "Can you think of one? Don't worry about it making sense, not yet. Just… imagine one. Tell the story that makes this," she lifts on hand and points at the floor, "Here, mean something."

Colby lofts a brow. "I don't have any answers, yet…" Her lips tilt into the smallest hints of a smile as her gaze appears to pass through Bella now. "But, the first little girl I save. The first wife, father, son…" She waves her hand, looping it 'round to extend the list without words. "I think I'll know then. Maybe it'll make the pain go away, or maybe the pain will be my fuel." Ariel's profession is too obvious, that the couple shared everything outside their work visible in the way that Colby seems to come to turns with even her most subconscious wonderings. She shrugs and lets her gaze focus back into the reality of Bella's presence in front of her.

Another pause. "I'm not angry any more." She makes the remark pointedly, certain that the psychiatrist was in search of certain negative traits. No, Colby is not angry, she's empty. Hopefully this job will change that, give her some degree of purpose.

"Good," Bella says, "You don't need your anger. Eventually, I hope you won't need your pain either. But I'm not suggesting you should rush to get rid of it, either. This is a process of righting a world that's been upset by arbitrary, cruel circumstance. Anger would be misplaced because there is no one really to be angry at, and you know that. And that's good. But there's still the matter of restoring sense to a senseless world. And that will take time. And work. Both out there, and in here."

There's not one left to be mad at. Colby doesn't say it aloud. Instead she shifts forward, resting her elbows upon her knees. "So, I'm not a loony toon, then?" She cants her head to the side. The more she observed Bella, the less she saw Ariel. A disheartening but comforting process.

Bella laughs, just a little. "No, you're sane. Or close enough for Company work," she says, with a tiny, quick grin, "But I want regular debriefs with you to keep track of your progress, as well as a monthly session /at least/." She gives Colby a straight-down-the-line look. "I'm serious; if you feel any need at all to talk outside the confines of assignment, or even just think, for a moment, that it'd be a good idea, pick up the phone and make an appointment."

"Of course," Colby says, lifting to her feet. "I'll see you within the month, then." She offers out her hand, taking Bella's as she had before, only to turn and lead herself out. She opens the door, hand resting upon the handle, and calls back a simple farewell over her shoulder. "Have a good day, Ariel." She doesn't notice the slip.

The doors closes with a quiet, gentle click.

Bella's pale eyes linger on the closed door for a few long moments after Colby leaves, the misplaced name hanging in the air. There is an almost imperceptible lift at the corner of Bella's mouth. A smile? If so, then only barely.

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