Epilogue: Secrets

Monday, June 21, 9:30am

"No coffee this morning?"

Emily Glas smiled ruefully at the dark haired teen as she handed him the cool cup of water. "Not just yet."

Frank accepted the cup with a half-hearted attempt at a smile.

Dr Glas settled into her regular spot in the easy chair across from her patient and watched Frank take a polite drink before setting his cup on the coffee table. She watched him over the rim of her glasses, letting the silence linger between the two of them a moment longer.

"I'm glad you came," she said gently. "I've thought about you ever since you called me on Saturday. I was afraid you might not want to go through with it. But I have to ask, are you certain about this?"

He nodded slowly. "I don't think I can ignore it anymore, not after…"

The woman leaned forward, wanting to give the teen the physical comfort he needed but remembering to keep her professional distance. "Frank, it wasn't your fault."

"That's what everyone says and, logically, I know that." He sighed sadly. "But that doesn't stop the guilt."

She studied him for a moment, at the myriad of emotions playing in those dark eyes. "Have you talked to your family about this? Told them you're trying the hypnosis?"

"No, I haven't," he admitted. "Not yet, anyway. I want to be able to go to my Dad with something concrete, not just jumbled images from half forgotten nightmares." Frank's eyes pierced Emily's and she almost shuddered at the intensity behind them. "I need to remember."

"For your own sanity, I'm glad you realize that."

"My sanity's fine," he commented a little harshly. "I just need to know if there are any more homicidal psychopaths from those missing months that are a threat to my friends and family."

There was no stopping the smile that touched her lips. "Fair enough. Should we get started?"

Nervously, he stretched out a hand for the water and drank the glass empty. He nodded again. "Okay."

"Okay." She leaned back into her chair. "I want you to get comfortable Frank."

"Do I need to lie down?"

"If you wish, or you can remain seated. It's entirely up to you." There was a pause as he shifted on the sofa so his body was not as rigid as it had been. "Good," Emily continued, watching him carefully. "Just relax. Just lean back, just be very comfortable and relaxed. Trust me, okay?"

"I trust you."

She smiled, hoping to reassure him a little more. "Close your eyes." Her voice was softer and even toned as she strived to keep all emotion from it.

Frank nodded and let his lids close, listening to her as she instructed him to try and relax. He slowed his breathing and after a few moments his racing heart steadied into a normal rhythm. His body language must have relayed this, as Dr Glas began to speak again.

"Just listen for a moment... Listen to the sounds of the room around you." She stopped again, allowing him a moment to take in the sounds around him. "Now I want you to pretend you're in a room. It's empty and you are the only one there, sitting as you are now in a very comfortable chair."

Emily watched as her young patient began to respond to her suggestions. She could see his eyes moving about beneath his lids and continued, her voice taking on a sing-song quality. "You look around. It's a huge empty room. You notice the walls are painted black; the floor is black; the chair is covered in black; and in the whole pitch black room there's only one thing you can see and that's a small white square on the wall.

"You notice there are letters in that square. Tall, thick, black letters but they're out of focus so you begin to drift closer to them in your chair. You're very comfortable now. You're drifting closer and closer, staring at the letters. Very relaxed now, your legs are relaxed, your arms are limp and heavy. You're almost close enough to read the letters now. They start to come into focus. The letters spell Sleep. Sleep…"

Allowing for another pause, Emily could see the muscles of his limbs react. His head was starting to tilt backward as the muscles in his neck relaxed until his head was resting on the back of the sofa.

"Can you hear me, Frank?"

The answer came automatically and breathlessly; the way one who was at that in-between state of sleep and awareness would answer. "Yes."

"I want you to listen very closely to me, Frank." The melodic tone of her voice was gone, replaced by a quality that was hard and commanding. "You will forget the events of six years ago that took place at the Compound. You will push them to the back of your subconscious. If you try to recall them, it will hurt physically until you cease. Do you understand?"

"Yes."

"You will forget that you ever knew Peter McKay prior to the shooting at your school. You will not remember any of the things he said to you; only that he was delusional and saw you as a replacement for his long dead brother. Do you understand?"

"Yes."

"Should anyone enquire about the events of six years ago, you will remember this: They will come for Joe. Unless you refuse to help anyone look into the events of six years ago, they will take him, they will hurt him, and they will kill him. Do you understand?"

"Yes."

"You will continue to seek the council of Dr Emily Glas on these matters and will come to her first, before any other. You will continue seeing Dr Emily Glas the second Friday of every month, or more frequently should situations arise. Do you understand?"

"Yes."

Emily sighed and, looking at the serene expression on Frank's face, her voice softened. "You will not remember any of this and you will believe that the hypnosis did not work. You will feel as though no time has passed. Do you understand?"

"Yes."

"You're back in the room, Frank. The letters in the white square have faded and you feel yourself drifting back in your seat. The square diminishes until all is black around you. I will count to three, and when I finish you will wake. One… two… three..."

Frank's eyes remained closed for a second before he lifted his head and his dark eyes were looking at her with disappointment. "I'm sorry, I don't think it's working."

She shook her head with a reassuring smile. "Don't be discouraged. A large number of the population aren't hypnotizable. It doesn't mean we can't try again-"

"No," he interrupted, picking up his cup and walking to the water cooler. "I don't think that's such a good idea."

Emily watched him refill his cup, satisfaction flashing across her features momentarily before she regained herself. "It's entirely your decision, Frank."

… TO BE CONTINUED


A/N:

Well, there you have it, folks. The final chapter of this story. Thank you for taking the time to read it, to review it (those of you who did) and for all your patience while I worked out the kinks in this one. I have the sequel planned, but I haven't started writing it just yet. I plan on taking a little break from this AU while I work on a couple of stand alones. Arashai (hopefuly) will be picking up again here shortly, so watch for that. As well, I have two other short stories in the planning stages that I'd like to get written before I start on the next part of the Sleeper's Saga. But stay tuned... there is still more to come!

-Liz