The usual disclaimers apply. This is a sequel to "If Thoughts Could Kill' and it is also part of SMK's Virtual Season Seven. You can access Virtual Season Seven by going to my profile and clicking on my homepage link--where you can read many awesome episodes:) Enjoy!
by Jennifer Cannon
Friday, October 20, 1989
Mont Claire Sanitarium
That was the phrase Dr. Bill Walker heard every time he visited his stepfather. The people who said this to him always had an expression of pity on their faces, probably wondering why he would take the time to visit a man that psychiatric medicine had termed a lost cause. They wouldn't understand, Bill thought. No one could possibly understand what was driving him.
Looking through the metal grille that covered the door, Bill could see him, His stepfather was wrapped in a straitjacket and rocking back and forth, talking, always rambling and ranting at people that only he could see. The doctors at the Sanitarium called it a Dissociative Mental Break—another term for a nervous breakdown¬—and they said the outlook was bleak.
Soon things would change. Dr. Bill Walker would make sure of it. Taking a deep breath, he pushed open the door.
"Good morning," he said, forcing a cheerful smile. The eyes of his stepfather, the former Dr. Ted Glaser, looked up at him and for a split second Bill was sure that there was some recognition there. It vanished as quickly as it came, however.
"Ogden, haven't I told you not to bother me while I'm working?" Ted snapped.
"Sorry, dad—Dr. Glaser," Bill said, assuming the role of his father's old colleague who'd died of a heart attack in prison over two years before.
"It doesn't matter," Ted said. "We're close to a breakthrough on Stetson—the one that we failed to make with Kimball. I think this time we might succeed."
"I know," Bill said. At this point he didn't care whether his stepfather understood him or not-he had to tell somebody. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about. I spoke to mother today, and she gave me all of your case files—the ones you kept copies of in case the originals were ever destroyed, remember?"
"Remember?" Ted's eyes flashed. "That's a dangerous word, Ogden. I remember the day that—it was that Mrs. King wasn't it? She ruined my plans—Stetson and Melrose—took apart my lab, destroyed all my work. My work. They even took Lester away." Dr. Glaser started rocking again, tears streaming down his face and a keening sound coming from his open mouth.
"They didn't take Lester away," Bill said, grabbing the stuffed duck from the nearby bed and placing it into his stepfather's straitjacketed arms. "He's right here." This simple act seemed to calm the older man, who placed his cheek on top of the duck's head.
"Lester Duck is my friend," Ted said. "Lester wants me to destroy—destroy them all."
"We will dad," Bill said. "I'll make sure they all pay for what they did to you."
"Lester is my friend. He's my friend. Lester Duck is my friend." Ted chanted the phrase over and over as though it was his personal mantra. Bill couldn't take any more. He walked out of the room, nearly bumping into Dr. Graham.
"How is your stepfather today?" Dr. Graham asked.
"No change," Bill said shortly, brushing past the man.
But there would be, he thought to himself. Very soon.
Monday, October 23, 1989
"I'm not going to do it," Lee said. He strode into the office, with Billy following close behind. "I don't care what Dr. Smyth suggested, Billy—there's just no way."
"I think you've misunderstood me, Scarecrow," Billy said. "Dr. Smyth didn't suggest anything—this is an order." He handed Lee a business card. "You're to make an appointment to see this man immediately."
"And if I don't?" Lee said, trying to ignore the smell of the chicken and egg salad sandwich that Amanda had just unwrapped at her desk.
"If you don't, it's automatic suspension," Billy said. "Dr. Smyth told me that he's not having a repeat of what happened at last week's meeting where you had to run to the restroom four times."
"Three times," Lee said defensively. "And it wasn't as though we were talking about anything really important anyway." The smells of the sandwich combined with the sounds of Amanda eating were beginning to make him feel sick, but he did his best to ignore it.
"I doubt that the CIA director would agree with you," Billy said. "Look, Scarecrow, what's the problem? If this helps, it can only be a plus, and if it doesn't help you're no worse off than you were before."
With a sigh, Lee looked down at the card he held in his hands. "Dr. Bill Walker, Ph.D.—licensed hypnotherapist-a hypnotherapist, Billy? You've got to be kidding me."
"It's becoming a very respected field," Billy said. "Dr. Smyth told me that he's been seeing Dr. Walker for some time now and thought he would be ideal for solving a problem like yours."
"Billy, my problem is not that bad," Lee said. "It's not a big deal." Amanda made a sound that sounded like a cross between a laugh and a snort. Lee shot his wife a look.
"Not a big deal?" Billy smiled as he reached out and patted Lee's growing midsection. "You're showing more than Amanda is and she's the one who's actually pregnant."
"Stop that!" Lee snapped, swatting his boss' hand away. His nausea was growing, and he wasn't sure he'd be able to hide it much longer. "Hypnosis won't work on me anyway—you know that."
"Lee, if it doesn't work it doesn't work," Billy said. "All we ask is that you give it a try."
"That sounds fair," Amanda chimed in.
"A-man-da!" Lee said.
"Lee you were telling me only this morning that you hated feeling this way," Amanda said. "What could it hurt to go to at least one session?"
"Make an appointment for tomorrow morning, Lee," Billy said, his grin widening. "That way it won't interfere with the rest of your day."
SMK SMK SMK SMK
Tuesday, October 24, 1989
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. Stetson," Dr. Walker said as Lee entered the office. He was a small, fair-haired man with gold-rimmed spectacles and a pale beige suit. "Do you have any questions before we begin?"
"Not particularly," Lee said, looking around the small room. Oddly enough the walls and the carpet were the same pale beige as Walker's suit. Sunlight shone through the large picture window behind him, making delicate golden shapes on the carpet. A soothing tinkling sound came from a small fountain on a nearby table, right next to the-you guessed it-a large couch with pillow on one end. At the moment, however, Lee felt anything but soothed.
"Mr. Stetson," Dr. Walker touched his shoulder, snapping Lee out of his thoughts. "You seem nervous—sorry—may I call you Lee?" Lee nodded. "I'm guessing you've never tried hypnotherapy before. Is that correct?"
"That's correct," Lee said. "And to be honest I really don't see how it's going to help."
Dr. Walker smiled. "Lee, I completely understand," he said. "Hypnotherapy is new, and many people are very nervous about it—maybe even a little scared. It's normal."
"I'm not scared," Lee said. "I just don't think it'll do any good."
"Well since hypnotherapy has been used for everything from losing weight to managing chronic pain, perhaps we should let me be the judge of that," Dr. Walker said. He was speaking to Lee like a teacher speaking to a particularly stupid pupil. For a moment Lee was tempted to right walk out of here and tell Dr. Smyth to just suspend him and forget the whole thing.
"So, Lee, what seems to be the problem?" Dr. Walker said.
Just then the office door opened and a young girl entered, carrying a tray with two cups of coffee and a small stack of muffins.
"Here you are, Dr. Walker," she said.
"Ah, Janet," Dr. Walker said. "Perfect timing as usual." With a small smile, Janet put the tray on the desk and left.
"Would you like some?" Dr. Walker asked Lee. "The blueberry muffins are homemade."
"Just some coffee, thanks," Lee said, picking up a cup. The smell of the buns was beginning to make his stomach churn again. Lee swallowed hard, fighting to keep the nausea at bay. A few sips of the coffee seemed to help a little.
"It's a shame you won't have any," Dr. Walker said. "I guess that means there are more for me."
"Guess so," Lee said faintly. Bile rose up in his throat and he pushed it down—there was no way he was going to throw up in front of this jerk.
"You still haven't told me why you're here, Lee," Dr. Walker said. "Does it have something to do with the fact that you're so pale?"
"Look, I have a little bit of a stomach problem," Lee said. "It's no big deal—I can handle it."
"Handle it?" Dr. Walker's gaze fell to Lee's stomach. The Doctor's grin widened as Lee placed his hands over his belly. "It sure looks like you're handling something. Am I right in assuming that Mrs. Stetson is pregnant?"
"Yeah," Lee said. "But—" Dr. Walker held up his hand.
"There's no need to explain," Dr. Walker said. "I've dealt with cases like yours before."
"I'm not a case," Lee snapped. "In fact I'm—I'm leaving."
"Really?" Dr. Walker raised an eyebrow. "And where will you go?"
Maybe it was Lee's imagination, but the man's voice was beginning to sound hollow, like it was coming from a long way away. Lee took yet another sip and the room began to slowly spin, almost like a merry-go-round. He stumbled suddenly, fighting to keep his balance.
"Are you all right?" Dr. Walker was asking him.
"Just—little dizzy," Lee said, his words slurring a little. Suddenly Dr. Walker was at Lee's side, a hand on his elbow.
"Oh dear, I guess I'll be taking the rest of this, Lee," he said. "Wouldn't want you to spill it, now would we?"
"No—" Lee said, but he didn't seem to be able to finish his sentence. He felt the cup being removed from his hands—he didn't have the strength to resist it.
"That's very good," Dr. Walker said, his arm around Lee as he led him into another room. "Let's just step right this way and the real fun can begin."
Lee was vaguely aware that he was being strapped into a chair; his wrists and ankles restrained by thick leather straps. He tried to fight, to protest, but just like his voice, his body didn't seem to want to obey him either. Dr. Walker's face swam in front of him.
"Concentrate on me, Mr. Stetson," Dr. Walker said, pulling out a large gold pocket-watch. "And tomorrow all of this will seem like a bad dream."
Amanda was so immersed in completing her report that when a hand touched the nape of her neck she yelped, nearly knocking over the milk she'd been drinking earlier. Amanda looked up into her husband's smiling face.
"I know, you don't like it when I do that," Lee said. "How's it going?"
"Better, now that you're here," Amanda said as she saved and closed the file on her computer. She stood, wrapping her arms around him. "How did it go with the hypnotherapist? Was it as bad as you thought it would be?"
"Actually, I think it went very well,"
"You do?" Amanda said, her eyes widening as she spoke.
"I do," Lee said. "I've even made an appointment to see him tomorrow—same time." Amanda fell silent for a moment. "Something wrong?" Lee said.
"No, nothing's wrong," Amanda said quickly. "It's just a little surprising, that's all. I know how you feel about doctors, Lee."
"Well maybe you're rubbing off on me," Lee said as he bent down to give Amanda a gentle kiss. "What do you say we go out to lunch, Mrs. Stetson? Your call, my treat."
"What about your morning sickness?" Amanda asked.
"Not a problem anymore," Lee said. "I promise. Come on, Amanda. You don't want to spend all day cooped up in this office, do you?"
Amanda was silent for a moment. Something about the way Lee seemed to suddenly feel better was setting off alarm bells—but why? The fact that her husband was feeling better should make her feel happy, not apprehensive. Shoving her worries to the back of her mind, Amanda smiled at Lee.
"Let's go," she said.
Wednesday, October 25, 1989
Lee sat up in bed, breathing hard. In the darkness he could make out the familiar shapes that told him he was in his own bed at home.
Just a bad dream, Lee thought as he rubbed his hand across his sweat-covered brow. But it had seemed so real—he could still feel the restraints on his limbs and hear the man's voice talking to him. What had the man been saying? Lee felt like he should know, but when he tried to think back it eluded him completely. He let out his breath in a hiss of frustration.
Beside him the familiar shape of his wife stirred. "Lee?" Amanda murmured sleepily. "Is everything okay?"
Lee almost told her about his dream but decided against it. It would just add to her anxiety—something that he thought a pregnant woman should probably avoid. He felt guilty enough about waking her in the middle of the night. "I'm fine," he said.
"I thought I heard you shouting," Amanda said. Pulling herself to a sitting position, she reached over and turned on the bedside lamp.
"It was nothing, really," Lee said. "I'm sorry I woke you."
"Lee I'm just fine," Amanda said, taking Lee's hand. "And you know if there's anything you need to talk about I'm right here—oh my gosh!" With a surprised laugh Amanda's other hand flew to her belly.
"What is it?" Lee asked. Amanda said nothing for a moment as she lightly pressed her hand on her lower abdomen. "Amanda—is something wrong?"
Amanda shook her head. "Not exactly." Lee could see that she was smiling, but her dark eyes were brimming with tears. "I just—I didn't expect it so soon. I mean, with Philip it seemed to take a while and Jamie was pretty much the same way—they said sometimes it happens this early but I didn't really ever think it would-"
"Amanda," Lee said, breaking into his wife's ramble. "Just please—tell me what's going on."
"See for yourself." Still holding Lee's hand, Amanda placed it against her belly. "It should happen again in a moment."
Lee was approaching the end of his patience. "What should—" he started to say when he felt it. Very faint, but unmistakable—like the fluttering of tiny wings. "Is that what I think it is?" Lee said.
Amanda nodded. "Our baby's kicking."
For a moment Lee was too overwhelmed to speak. "Amanda—I—it's amazing," he finally managed to say. He gently pulled Amanda back against him as he leaned back onto his pillow, her head resting against his chest. "You're amazing," he said, softly kissing her. "And our baby, he'll be amazing too."
"He?" Amanda said as she curled onto her side and snuggled against Lee. "What makes you so sure it's a he?"
"Well it could be a he," Lee said. "I mean come on—that was a pretty strong kick."
"They get stronger than that," Amanda said. "And anyway that doesn't mean anything. Mother said that when she was pregnant with me I kicked so hard that I once knocked a music box off her stomach."
Lee laughed. "That does sound a lot like you," he said. "Well I know one thing—if it is a girl she'll be as beautiful as her mother."
"Flattery will get you anything you want, Stetson." Amanda said, her sentence punctuated by a yawn. "You know I think I might go back to sleep now—could you get the lamp?"
Reaching over, Lee pressed the switch and the room became dark again. He lay in the darkness, feeling Amanda's weight against him and listening to the sound of her gentle breathing. Slowly Lee felt his own eyes begin to close.
"You never did tell me what woke you up," Amanda's voice startled him.
"I—" Lee decided to tell her at least part of the truth. "It was just a little dream," he said. "Nothing too bad, it just woke me up."
"Oh," Amanda said. "Okay. Well good night Lee—I love you."
"I love you too Amanda."
And as he drifted off to sleep with Amanda still in his arms, Lee had a feeling that he wouldn't be bothered by any more nightmares tonight.