To Stop a Heart



and Jamie

Scene Title To Stop a Heart
Synopsis Moral of the story: electrokinetics with poor control are not necessarily good patients, no matter how much they need to learn about themselves.
Date August 3, 2009

Ariel's Office

It was a rather nice weekend. After hearing from the adoption agency that they were approved to begin looking for a child, Colby and Ariel visited a few places but nothing really clicked. But again, they were in no hurry. They have all the time in the world and they are going to take their time in finding the right child for them. In between Colby's few runs into the precinct and a few 'emergency' phone calls for Ariel, they were actually able to find some quiet time together.

Monday morning and Ariel walks into the office and checks her schedule, noticing that Jamie was on par for first thing this morning. He seems nice enough, but very nervous and highly electric. She thinks she's getting somewhere with him at least, which is good. She takes a sip of her coffee and makes a few phone calls before he shows up, and after a few pleasantries, she asks him. "Since we talked last, tell me how things have been?" she asks as she sinks down across from him into her comfortable chair and offers a disarming smile.

The young man smiles anxiously at Ariel, running a hand back through dark brown hair that's overdue for a trimming. He's wearing his newest pair of jeans (which aren't actually very) and a midnight-blue shirt with thin red and white stripes, buttoned up the front, the collar creased into proper place. Jamie always dresses as nicely as he can for these sessions; it's a clearer sign of unease than defense against it, but he tries.

Having just turned twenty not long ago, Jamie ought to be in his third year of college; the Bomb changed all that. "I've been sleeping better," he replies. "Sarah and the rest down at Munchie's— " Restaurant where Jamie busses tables part-time. "— said they can really see a difference." He slides past the rest of the question, implicit other subjects; looks over at the print hanging on the wall instead of at Ariel, chewing on his lower lip.

"That's great." The smile she gives him is genuine. She always enjoys hearing that others are having success. "It's different hearing that from those you are around every day, than to hear it from someone like me, or even yourself. Have they said what exactly they can tell that is different about you?"

Ariel leans back enough that she can tuck her legs underneath her, slipping off her shoes and leaving them on the floor. She has a notepad on her lap, but she hasn't made any move to write anything down. Her attention is all on him at the moment.

The boy looks back over at Ariel, flashing a brief smile at her praise. He seems quite happy at having earned it — for the moment before blue sparks hop across his fingers, that is. Jamie curls them into fists and hides his hands behind his back, ducking his head. "So — sorry, Ms. Martinez. I — I'm still not doing so good. With that."

The slip of control seems to have knocked the original question out of Jamie's head; he's quiet for several moments before remembering he was asked something. "Um… the, yeah… I don't know," the youth mumbles. He doesn't look back up.

"When you have those little flashes of electrical outburst, is there something in particular on your mind? Are you in a particular mood?" Ariel would love nothing more than to be able to find a way for the young man to be able to control his ability, but so far they've come across no common ground, so she's asked him to be very watchful when it comes to that.

Jamie shakes his head. "No…" He continues to keep his hands behind his back. "Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes I'm angry, sometimes it's just when I'm thinking… kinda about everything, or anything." His gaze drops further, all the way down to his shoes. "I don't know."

Unfortunately, Ariel is not an expert in controlling abilities or she'd be far busier than she already is. Her forte is what happens in the head as opposed to any physical elements. "What were you thinking just now when you had that spark?" she asks. She leans forward, maybe not even knowing she's doing it. Not enough, mind you, to invade his personal space. The chairs are seated far enough from each other so that doesn't happen, but her interest in what's going on with him is evident.

Jamie looks up at Ariel's question. Frowning in concentration, he looks back down, bringing a hand around front to consider it. Gazing at the palm, fingers splayed; turning it over to contemplate the back. "Well… I guess…" Tiny shards of vibrant blue light begin to jump between his fingers, and Jamie's answer trails off into wide-eyed silence. They won't stop. He holds his hand out as far away from himself as it'll go, the distinctive crackle of an electric short surpassing the threshold of audible sound, sparks becoming miniature arcs of current that dance across his skin. "Mm… Ms. Martinez? I… it, it won't…"

There's another flicker going on as well. A flicker of concern that crosses Ariel's face as she watches the boy unable to control the electricity that begins to jump from one hand to the next. She can tell from his words and actions that he can't make it stop. She starts to wonder if she has anything that will help him. She's no idea how dangerous the sparks are as she slips her feet down to the carpet and leans forward. She doesn't touch him, nor reach out. "Can you tell them to go away? Think about them going away? Is there some way you can relax your fingers and see if it'll stop?"

Brown eyes flick between Ariel and the blue light on his hands. Jamie squints in concentration, obviously trying to make them stop. Trying too hard: just as obvious is the feedback loop of his own apprehension. "I-I can't— " He shifts, a twist of torso to orient more squarely on Ariel. "It won't, they won't go away! Make it stop, make it stop!"

The electricity stops.

But only because it all jumps from Jamie to Ariel.

The arc jumps towards Ariel before she can do anything about it. The sheer power of the jolt is more than she anticipated and almost immediately her heart ceases to work, as the jolt takes the most direct route to it. The voltage pushes her back against her chair where she slumps, with the exception of several twitches. There's a brief glimmer to her eyes as she realizes what happens and her last movement would be to look at Jamie, the disbelief in her eyes is dispelled with a look of peace, and of forgiveness. She knows deep inside he didn't mean to do it, she doesn't want him thinking that she's going to hold this against him.

Whatever life was in her eyes disappears as she stares vacantly across the room at nothing in particular; as she finally takes her last breath.

Jamie's face was already white with anxiety; panic brings a whole new level of pallor to his skin, his thoughts stuttering to a complete halt as he looks across at Ariel. "M— Ms. Martinez?"

No answer.

The boy gets up, pads hesitantly over, reaches out to touch her shoulder. "Ms. Ma…" Pushes gently, then more insistently. "…Ariel?"

Jamie's hand slowly sinks back to his side, and he stares down at her with a horrified expression.

Then he bolts out the door, running down the street as fast as he can, as far as he can. Somewhere where this isn't real, this didn't happen.

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