Sounds Reasonable


bella_icon.gif deckard3_icon.gif

Scene Title Sounds Reasonable
Synopsis Too worn out and distracted to think of half-decent lies, Deckard doesn't bother and Bella takes it all in stride.
Date September 28, 2009

Bella's Apartment/Office

How long has it been since she last spoke with Flint Deckard? Bella knows it must be enough time to see if those pills she prescribed are doing any good, assuming he's been taking them. This is a crucial point in therapy, when confidence can be secured or lost, depending on a medication's efficacy. A seemingly useless pill can confirm suspicions of quackery, while an effective treatment can grant the sort of optimism and focus that can lead to a real breakthrough.

So it's with some anticipation that the pill pusher waits in her studio apartment. She's dressed prettily in a white blouse with a little poof in the shoulders, just a touch of ren-fair, combined with a turquoise necklace and matching earrings, and a pair of crisp, light brown slacks. Her feet are decked in dainty suede sandals, one of which hangs from a bobbing foot at the end of a crossed leg as she distracts herself with the New York Times crossword, glasses perched on the end of her nose, pen in hand, pen cap sticking out of the corner of her mouth.

It's been nearly a month since Deckard last showed up to haunt Bella's stoop, and he's taking his time out here now. Leather jacket hung slack around the shoulders of a faded red t-shirt, dark jeans held up by a belt the same scuffed texture as his boots (no alligator hide today) he tips his head back to squint at the top of the door frame for the second or third time, lifts his hand to knock. Scratches at his chest instead.

A little ways down the hall a fellow tenant or apartment employee has paused at the stairwell door to stare at him and he takes the opportunity to stare back, greying hair grown somewhat scruffy out the tidy buzz he sported previously and jaw stubbled. He hasn't exactly gained any weight either, but eye contact down the hall's length seems to be enough to convince his ogler that he's not a burglar/rapist/vacuum clenaer salesman even if he really, really looks like he might be. She nudges off and he finally resolves to knock, three sharp raps setting off into a tuck of his hands slack into his jacket pockets.

Bella quickly caps the pen, with a flick and a push, a technique that took some time to master and prevent misses and the ballpoint mustaches that result. "Come in!" she calls out from her chair, pondering one last clue: '10 Down, four letters - Roman writer, too lascivious for Octavius.' "Ah," she says, and deftly uncaps the pen just long enough to write 'Ovid' before recapping the pen and setting the paper aside and looking up towards the door.

It's been unlocked the whole time.


Brows slacked into a distracted tilt, Flint hesitates for as long as it takes him to glance down the hall after the promise of an hour of freedom in the place of an hour of head shrinking, but he's already spent enough time standing around out here by himself that there's almost no point in trying to factor time management into it.

He opens the door and lets himself in at a sidestep, then turns and (maybe a little pointedly) flips the lock over after him.

Bella smiles at Deckard as he steps into the room. She gets to her feet, walking over to him and offering her hand by way of greeting. "Flint," she says, "Glad you could come in. I'm eager to find out how you've been doing." Her eyes do a quick assessment. He doesn't look /much/ worse. "Particularly I'd like to know how the medication is treating you. Have you been taking it as prescribed?"

"Hey." Standard pre-packaged greeting there, accompanied by a handshake that's more awkward than it should be for someone who did time as a used car salesman. Flint looks her over in turn, but as no horns or tentacles or antennae have resolved themselves into her countenance since their last visit, he is mainly left to measure poofy sleeves and the way she's looking at him in turn. An increase in overall bristle and grizzle aside, he looks a lot like he did the last time he came in here. It's the smell that's changed, stale whiskey breath and insidious alcohol stink faded into the phantom of whatever's managed to cling to his clothes since he stopped — bathing in it. Or whatever he was doing before.

Meanwhile, "It's been okay," is a standard answer to match his standard greeting. The "Mostly," that follows it up — maybe a little less so.

Bella motions to the chairs and couch, "Shall we?" she says, and moves towards her own customary perch in preparation for the sitdown. "Mostly? That's something I'm going to insist you elaborate on. And don't forget to tell me about your reaction to the medication." He smells better, and that is so much more crucial an indicator at times than mere appearance.

Deckard's slow to sit as he has been to do everything else. He hovers around his chair — takes his time in scoping it out for signs of patients past all the way down to the faint dent their ass left in the cushion. But eventually he's in at a slump, shoulders slouched deep and legs crossed long ahead of him. She doesn't get the same eye contact courtesy the random woman out in the hallway did a few minutes ago.

"Sometimes I'm a little restless. I dunno. Maybe I was before." He looks mellow enough now for all that he's opted to focus on one of the legs of her seat rather than her. Or her legs. "I was worried about a couple of interactions."

"Severe enough to bother you? And have there been any improvements in your mood?" Bella says, taking her chewed upon pen and her notepad, starting to mark down what he says. Clinical attention must be paid, after all. "Tell me about those worries. Interactions with that?"

"Better. Maybe." Lots of maybes. Enough to where he rankles his nose at himself and rolls his head into a tilt, physical evidence of forced reconsideration that culminates in…a subject change. "I don't want to stop taking it." Just in case that wasn't clear with him making himself show up again in the first place. He glances up to see how that's received before going any further, eyes cutting clear and quick to her face and then right back to the chair leg.

"I blacked out once or twice at the bar. Historically I've been able to find a hole to curl up in first. As for the other thing," his fingers drum and pluck idle at the rest they're curled upon, "what's that — white, powdery stuff? Not the one you bake cakes with. Unless you plan to snort the cake up off a hooker's stomach." Sounds kind of uncomfortable.

"Who'd have guessed?" Bella says, with no little dryness, "Cocaine is overkill, Flint. You're already on a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor. It's just less fun." She settles back into her seat, arms on the arms of the chair, "Taking medication means, sadly, giving up self medication. If you can't do that, then we have another problem we need to discuss: substance dependence. Kick the habit. Keep the hookers, if you'd like, but I need you on the straight and narrow right now, so try and stay in a state where walking a straight and narrow line is possible."

"It wasn't for fun." Flat affect might mean nothing for a man who probably spends a lot of time lying, but beyond the obvious unlikelihood, there's nothing about him to indicate that he is. Lying. "I had to cut my eye out again. There was a whole — thing." Paired fingers lift long enough to circle vaguely at the eye in question and he eventually shrugs his way into letting that same hand fall slack back into place. "I haven't had hard liquor in twelve days."

"Good," Bella says, about the liquor, not the eye, "Why did you have to remove your eye?" She's tempted to add, 'did your friends pressure you into it'? The more she hears, the more she's concerned about Deckard's immediate circle and their interpersonal habits.

"The first time it got knifed some crazy Chinese bitch put something in the hole and I had to get it out," is a highly truncated but baseline truthful rendition of a story that probably does not actually make more sense with greater depth, length and detail. His brows twitch up. Then they press down.

"Sounds reasonable," Bella says, taking Deckard's particular lifestyle in stride with a nod, "If you intend to do something like that again, however, I encourage you to call me so I can prescribe you something safer as a pain killer," she folds her fingers together, "How is the BHP doing, by the way? Are you still carrying a mental couch surfer?"

"Think so?" Flint looks less certain, having only been living the kind of lifestyle where cutting body parts off is relatively commonplace for the last year or so. He doesn't push, though, and he doesn't look up, content to let it slide as a possibility he would have scoffed at in 2007.

"Still there," is confirmed after a longer pause, resigned or reluctant or both through the slant of half a smile. "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."

"Late stage Beatles… not precisely the model of substance restraint," Bella comments, "Any further revelations about it? What it wants, what it's doing?"

"I think it wants to fix people." Simple and straight forward enough, really, until he scrubs a hand up against the grey patched in on either side of his chin and looks all the way sideways over to a window that was open last time he was in here. "There may be something else about it hunting an evil counterpart across time and space in hopes of destroying it forever."

"The first doesn't sound so bad," Bella says, "But if it sounds like you're going to get mixed up in the second, I'd like you to call me," she pauses, "Flint, do you keep a diary?"

"…So you can buy advance tickets or?" Brows drifting their way back into a skeptical cant now, Deckard looks directly at her for the first time since he walked in and they shook hands. He is a little at a loss, perhaps, as to how or why they are talking about this at all, but it's not like he talks to anyone else. "I think you're mixing me up with the Italian. He's the one with sensitive feelings. And a boyfriend."

"Because, as a psychiatrist I think it's important I get involved when a client thinks they're being controlled by some other force. True or not, it's against my client's best interests," Bella explains. A small quirk of the lips, "You know I can't talk about Brandon. But I think you should start keeping… if not a diary, then a record. Every time you feel something like what you felt to make you come to me in the first place, I want you to take that record out and write down what just happened or what you just thought to make that feeling emerge. I want a concrete history of your mental state, as pertains to our investigations. It's time to focus on the mechanisms of your depression, now that the meds have given you room to breath."

"Brandon," Deckard repeats with just a twitch too much emphasis, rather as if he had forgotten what the name was, himself. He probably had. That's about all he sees fit to respond to, though. Bella's redubbing of diaries as records is met with a look flatter than the earth was once thought to be in the company of a silence whose terrain isn't any friendlier.

AND YET. In total it doesn't take him more than two minutes to say, "Okay," — even if agreement is followed up by him pushing to his feet so that he can angle himself towards escape a few minutes earlier than he's due to leave. "I should probably go then, so I can get a head start on whinging about how I've been demoted from Nicolas Cage to Renee Zellweger."

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