Title: Everybody's Crazy
Pairings: 2x1x1, 3x4x3, Sx5, one sided Rx1
Summary: After being turned away from Preventor's after failing the psychiatric evaluation, Heero is told that if he wants to work there he must undergo therapy until he can prove himself capable of handling the stress of the job. Heero, naturally, thinks the whole idea is ridiculous, but Duo thinks this may be just what Heero needs.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing or its characters.
Warnings for this chapter: OCs.
AN: Okay, I want to thank all those that reviewed including Violette Mai, xBornxofxFlamesx, Yellepeddy, snowdragonct, and Annonie. Also, this chapter may be a bit boring, but it had to be done. Hopefully the next chapter is a bit more fun.
Chapter #2: The First Session
From her elementary and high school years at a prestigious boarding school in California to her college years at the top Ivy League schools in the nation, culminating in her Phd. in psychology from the world-renowned Sanq University, Dr. Natasha Farrows had received only the best education throughout her fifty-four years of life. She was educated and knowledgeable on a variety of topics and passionate in her life long goal to help.
Originally a therapist for a well-known psychiatric hospital, Natasha had easily noticed the increasing presence of ex-soldiers in her ward during and after the Wars. Her own beloved father being an ex-General himself, the plight of the soldiers was of particular interest to her and she personally requested the chance to work with several of the more difficult cases. From there her career really took off and she became the leading authority on soldier psychology, writing several books on moving on from the horrors of war and helping your loved ones to cope with their emotional battle scars.
When she'd first heard of the Preventors and their mission, she'd not thought a lot of them besides thinking it a smart idea. Then, at least a year back, a Lady Une, who was apparently the Preventors' leader and founder, had contacted Natasha and proposed a business partnership of sorts. Une would send her men and women to Natasha's business and Natasha would make sure they were emotionally and mentally prepared for the job of protecting the peace. It was a proposal that would benefit both parties and Natasha gladly accepted.
Since that moment, Natasha had been hard at work with the members of the elite law enforcement unit and had actually managed a remarkable success rate. She was enjoying herself and loved her work so when Lady Une called to tell her of another possible client she had, of course, gladly agreed to take on his case. The fact that this new client was apparently an ex-Gundam pilot only made her all the more interested. After all, it wasn't every day a therapist had the chance to psychoanalyze a global terrorist of such high caliber. Plus, besides that, whether this client was a Gundam pilot or not, he was still a human being and thus just as prone to difficulties as the rest of the world. And so, with that thought in mind, Natasha patiently awaited the day she would meet this Heero Yuy. And then that day came.
As she was busy writing out her notes on her last session, the buzzer rang out briefly, indicating that her next client had arrived and was now in the waiting room. Checking one of the multiple clocks in the room, Natasha noted that it was a neat ten minutes before the actual session was to start. Therapy never started early though and so she took her time to finish off the last of her notes and then, at exactly two minutes to the scheduled appointment time, she went to go meet Mr. Yuy.
She wasn't exactly sure what she was expecting when she opened the door to the waiting room. Yes, she had been informed that Heero Yuy was an almost unconscionable 17 years old just as she had also been informed of his general characteristics such as height, weight, and ethnic background. But then she opened the door and was faced with a heartbreakingly gorgeous young man seated almost too stiffly in one of the waiting room chairs, hopelessly messy brown hair falling into his eyes as he glared off to the side. Obviously hearing the door open, the young man immediately turned to face her, giving her a good look at exotically slanted blue eyes and an expression of granite.
She hadn't known what she had been expecting, but this definitely wasn't it. He was too . . . something. She didn't know what.
Still, brushing back her graying hair, Natasha put on her most welcoming smile and got everything started. "Heero Yuy?"
Standing up silently to show that he was way too skinny and rather on the short side, the boy simply nodded.
"Good," she replied as she held out a hand to shake. "I'm Dr. Farrows, but please call me Natasha. It's good to finally meet you."
Heero merely looked at her hand as if she were offering him a dead and rotting rodent instead of a handshake and then looked up at her face again.
Okay . . . So he didn't like being touched. Taking her hand back, Natasha wasn't going to let that deter her and simply smiled again and gestured for him to go in front of her. "Shall we go to my office?"
In response to that, Heero just continued to look at her, obviously waiting for her to go first instead.
Right. The report had said he was prone to high paranoia. Obviously that hadn't been an exaggeration.
"Very well. Then let's go," Natasha said and began to lead the way back to her office. Getting there, she gestured for Heero to take a seat on any one of the seats in the room. "Take a seat will you?" Waiting until Heero had chosen a spot on the sofa against the far wall—very noticeably the seat with the best tactical advantage as it provided both a panoramic view of the room and protection for his back—Natasha took a seat a respectable distance from him in the armchair directly across from the sofa.
"So let's get started," she began seriously, folding her hands in her lap. "Why don't we start with just why you're here. Can you tell me that?"
Again, Heero just looked at her, but this time the look had a very distinct feel of 'You're the therapist. Don't you already know that, you moron?' But he still didn't talk. Natasha didn't remember it being mentioned anywhere that he was mute so he was probably just being difficult.
"Yes," she said in answer to the unspoken question. "I do know. But I want you to tell me what it is you think is the reason."
And for a long moment it seemed as if Heero still wasn't going to say anything, but then finally he spoke. "I failed the Preventors' psychiatric evaluation and need to be re-evaluated by a professional." His voice was low, but also disconcertingly monotonous. Of course, that could easily be explained away as what he had said being of very little interest to him personally even if that possibility did seem very unlikely. Even the most even-tempered individual would feel a little frustration at being forced into therapy.
"And why do you think you failed?" Natasha asked, deciding to test his opinion of his own mental state.
"I don't know," Heero answered simply, his expression completely absent of any emotion.
Natasha knew. She'd looked over his test and its results and it had been easy to see. He'd obviously answered all of the obvious questions in a way that was meant to show good mental health, but he'd been caught by the simpler questions that nobody ever thought to suspect as traps and then absolutely killed by the inkblot test.
Still, it wasn't like she was going to tell him exactly what he did wrong. "Try to guess," she said.
And that seemed to irritate him a little as he frowned at her, annoyance flashing in his eyes. "I told you. I don't know. I answered every question correctly."
Of course. He did seem like the kind of person who would think that. Natasha smiled slightly. "There's actually no such thing as correct in tests like these. Technically every answer is correct as every answer tells us a little about the mentality of the test taker. Even the random questions that seem to have little to no point all lead to a better understanding of the whole."
"That makes no sense," Heero said a little irritably. "The very definition of a test includes both right and wrong answers."
So he placed a lot of importance in logic. Maybe a little too much. But she didn't say that. "Welcome to psychology," she said instead. "The grey between the black and white. Much more confusing but also much more interesting."
Heero didn't seem to know what to say to that.
"But anyways. Back to the question," Natasha said, trying to get back on subject. "Ignore the test this time and tell me. Why do you think you're here?"
"I'm perfectly sane," was Heero's very quick reply to that.
"Well of course you are," she said, smiling lightly. "Nobody ever said you weren't. Just because you come here doesn't make you any less sane."
Heero was still frowning and didn't seem to know what to make of that answer either. "I'm not depressed either," he claimed.
"And why do you say that?" Natasha prodded gently.
"Depression is for the weak and selfish," Heero told her very seriously. "Only those who focus only on themselves and have no true strength are depressed."
At that Natasha actually had to frown. "Who told you that?"
"No one had to tell me," Heero said just as seriously, seeming completely oblivious to how very wrong that statement was. "It's a simple fact."
"Really?" Natasha asked, very careful to keep her tone only one of mild curiosity. "And what would make you think that?"
But Heero seemed to see through her act and then take it completely the wrong way. He scowled. "Don't mock me."
"I'm not mocking you," Natasha said before trying to explain, "I just want to understand what would make you think that. I've met a lot of people suffering from depression in my work as a therapist and I can honestly say that they are some of the strongest people I know."
Heero didn't seem to like that as he explained, "They focus only on the bad in their lives and what's being done to them as if they are the only ones that truly matter in the world. They complain and whine over inconsequential matters and never do anything to try to improve their lives."
"Well I do admit that some depressed people are like that, but, really, most of the depressed people I've known have all worked their hardest every day to better their lives and will do anything but complain."
"Most of them have absolutely nothing to be miserable about and only say they're depressed in a desperate bid for attention," Heero argued.
"Well, yes, some of them," Natasha had to admit. "But there are many more that actually have had horrible things happen to them. And, of course, even if they haven't, depression doesn't have to be the result of some tragedy. It's an illness. An imbalance in the chemicals in the brain that leads to irrational thoughts, decreased energy, mood swings, etc. Depression can happen to anybody, strong or not."
At that, Heero was silent for a long time and she gave him the space to think. Then, finally, he spoke. "I'm not depressed."
"Okay," Natasha agreed easily, letting the subject go. She would just have to judge that for herself. There was a long moment of silence as Natasha watched Heero. Then she decided to change the subject.
"So you were in the War?" she asked.
"Hn," Heero grunted, crossing his arms over his chest and looking away. She would take that as a yes as she actually already knew the answer.
"Which faction did you fight for?" she continued.
And at that Heero turned her way again only to give her a decidedly unimpressed look. He obviously knew that she knew exactly who he was and wasn't impressed at all by her attempt to get him to open up.
"Yes, yes," she said with another smile, honestly somewhat amused. "I know who you are. I just want you to tell me."
"To show trust," Heero deduced correctly, looking even less impressed than he had before.
"Well, of course," Natasha said easily. "Therapy can't happen without at least a modicum of trust."
Heero just sat there silently with that same unimpressed look, obviously unwilling and refusing to cooperate.
After a long stretch of that same expression, Natasha frowned lightly at him. "You do realize that if you don't cooperate I'll never be able to correctly evaluate your mental state and Lady Une will just have to refuse your application. And you can't lie to me either. I've been doing this for nearly thirty years now and I can tell a lie when I hear one."
That made Heero frown slightly, the smallest shift in his expression necessary to show mild confusion. "I didn't know therapists could threaten their clients."
"It's not a threat," Natasha replied to that. "It's simply the truth and you would've realized it yourself if you'd actually thought about it."
"Hn," Heero grunted again and then there was a pause, as he seemed to come to some sort of decision. "I was a Gundam pilot," he admitted coolly. "Designation 01."
Natasha tried to rack her brain for any information on Pilot 01 that she had heard from the press or past clients but nothing came to mind. Obviously she would be doing some serious research on the Gundam pilots and their actions during the Wars before their next session, if only to have some idea as to who she was working with. She hadn't beforehand because she hadn't known which pilot Heero had been and had wanted to come into this session with an open mind. "Okay," she said to cover up her attempts at remembering. "Then you'll have to forgive me, but I'm understandably a little in the dark on what being a Gundam pilot entails exactly. Could you walk me through a regular day?"
Heero seemed to consider this request very seriously before apparently remembering the need for cooperation if he wanted to ever get out of here with the job he wanted. Of course, even with knowing that, he still answered, "It depended on the day." Yes, he definitely had some trust issues. But that was understandable, as he probably still believed that any possible information the enemy learned of him could be used against him.
"Even the most sporadic of schedules can have some constants," Natasha said, not about to let him out of answering her question. "Try again."
Heero, obviously irritated even if he didn't actually do anything to show it, was quiet. But eventually he answered stoically, "Wake up and receive a mission. Go to school if I am currently undercover. Work on Wing. Complete the mission and go to bed."
Well that was slightly interesting. She hadn't known the Gundam pilots had gone to school during the Wars. Other than that, she had actually learned the name of his Gundam, which would probably be of some use during her upcoming research. Either way, she couldn't find anything to complain about in that rather bland presentation of his normal day. Normal days, for a Gundam pilot or not apparently, weren't usually all that interesting.
She thought of asking what a normal mission was like, but figured she could discover that for herself with some research as Heero didn't seem likely to go into much detail. And this was still the first session so she could hardly ask him what he felt of the missions just yet. That would come in time. So she moved on to a different question.
"Did you have much contact with the other pilots?"
Heero's frown deepened, a crease appearing between his brows. "What do you mean?"
"Well, from what I understand the Gundam pilots weren't supposed to work together as a cohesive unit, yet they still managed to work together quite often," Natasha replied. Watching Heero with her usual impassive yet curious expression, she continued, "I was just wondering if you and the other pilots knew each other outside of battle situations."
"Why would you want to know that?" Heero asked suspiciously.
Yes. Paranoid tendencies, definitely. Knowing full well that she had crossed into guarded waters, Natasha tried to make her voice seem light and simply curious as she answered, "I was just curious about the amount of social interaction with peers you managed to receive during the Wars."
There was a long silence at that, but that answer also seemed to get Heero to relax his guard slightly. Very slightly. He seemed almost conflicted as to how to answer. Eventually, he said, "There was the occasional mission where our paths would cross."
"And?" Natasha questioned.
Heero looked at her blankly. "And what?"
"And . . . did you become close to any of them? Were they friends? Comrades? Allies? Did you hate them all?"
"I . . . suppose one could say we became . . . close," Heero said haltingly, a strange expression barely making it onto his inexpressive features. He seemed almost vulnerable, but then he looked up at her again and it was as if he was defiantly challenging her to make a big deal out this confession. How strange.
In a way it was almost like the usual reluctance to admit any kind of emotional bonds to potential enemies that was present in the very most hardcore of ex-soldiers, but, at the same time, it was also completely different. Almost as if he was taking her question as a personal challenge.
Still, she could muse on it later in her notes. "Were you especially close to any of them in particular?" she asked easily, but inwardly wondered if that question may have been going a little too far.
Heero merely glared and refused to answer.
Natasha just looked at him for a long moment. Then, finally, she spoke again. "I suppose I should be telling you at this point that anything we say in here stays in this room. I'm bound by the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement to never repeat a word of anything you say unless you give me express permission to do so. I am not going to sell your secrets to the tabloids or any secret military groups with plans for world domination that I may find. I will simply listen to whatever you have to say without judgment and attempt to help you better readjust to life without war." For a second she paused to judge Heero's reaction to this, hoping against all signs to the contrary that Heero would actually be listening to her words. But, seeing that he appeared completely unmoved, she accepted his suspicion and began again, "But, of course, I know that you won't actually listen to me when I say that so I suppose there's no real point in forcing the matter." Giving a quick glance at one of the clocks located around the room, she noticed that it was about time for the session to end and decided to just get to her point. "But the next time I see you, I want you to have at least considered actually talking to me if only so that I can properly evaluate you and give Lady Une the excellent reappraisal I know you both want. Okay?" Giving Heero a look, she waited to see what he would say to this impromptu speech.
Heero merely looked at her for a long moment, as if judging her truthfulness with his eyes, then slowly nodded.
"Good," Natasha said with a satisfied nod. "Then I suppose this session is over. I'll see you next week at the same time." She glanced at the boy on the couch again. "If that's okay with you, of course."
Nodding again to signal that that was fine, Heero silently got up from his seat and made for the door.
Watching him go, Natasha finally got up from her own seat and returned to her desk to draw up some notes on the session that had just occurred. Trust issues, yes. Paranaoia, yes. That strange defiance in the face of revealing emotional bonds, yes. He definitely needed some therapy, but did that mean he was incapable of performing under high stress? She wanted to say no, but really couldn't say at this point.
Closing the door to the therapist's shared office behind him, Heero stood silently for a moment before turning to the long walk home.
The session with the therapist had actually been much easier than he had expected, but then he knew the only reason for that was because Dr. Farrows had been going easy on him. Next week she would not be nearly as easy-going and Heero was going to be forced to actually talk.
He'd never realized it until just now, but there was really nothing in his life that he could talk about without giving away vital information to possible enemies.
Not that Dr. Farrows was an enemy. Even Heero could admit that. Lady Une wouldn't have sent him to her if she were dangerous.
But it was still an almost lifelong lesson forcibly drilled into him by Dr. J to stay silent. He couldn't just go against his training as easily as that.
But Heero also needed the Preventors job. So maybe he could talk about some things and stay silent on others? What exactly was Dr. Farrows going to want him to talk about? Surely it wasn't anything too bad.
Though Heero had a nasty feeling that it would be that bad and maybe even worse.
Taking a brief detour to pick up some Chinese, Heero eventually got back to his apartment. Opening the door, Heero stepped inside and wasn't at all surprised to find that Duo was already there and watching his TV.
"Heero! Hey, man!" Duo called cheerfully before turning right back to whatever he was watching.
Heero shook his head and closed the door behind him before continuing on to the kitchen. "Don't you have your own apartment?" he asked.
"Yeah, but I like yours better," Duo replied easily without turning away from the TV screen.
Heero just grunted in reply to that, as he knew Duo was just joking.
Seeming to finally smell the food Heero had bought, Duo turned around to find the source of the smell and then bounded up and over to the kitchen counter. "Hey, Chinese! Did you get me some?"
Giving Duo only a look, Heero finished opening the cartons and pulled out some plates to eat on. Silently handing Duo his own plate, Heero began serving himself.
"Aw, I knew you loved me, Hee-chan!" was Duo's response to this as he cheerfully began spooning out his own serving.
Later, as Duo chased the very last of his rice around his plate and Heero finished the last of his Kung Pao, Duo finally looked up, swallowed the last of the rice, and asked, "So how was the thing with the shrink? That was today, right?"
In response, Heero merely gave him a narrow look, which Duo easily ignored.
"Did you spill all your innermost secrets?" Duo asked teasingly, grinning widely. "Maybe have a good cry on her shoulder?"
"Hn," Heero grunted and turned away.
Duo laughed at that response. "Sorry. Sorry," he said, laughter still in his voice. "But you have to admit, the idea of you going to a shrink is still pretty out there. You won't even tell me anything about your life and now they want you to spill your whole life story to some stranger? Who's fucked up idea was that? I mean, it's not like you're actually going to cooperate."
Remembering his own earlier thoughts on the subject, Heero frowned. "I may not have a choice."
That brought Duo up short and he turned to blink at his friend. "What?"
Heero's frown deepened as he looked back at Duo seriously. "You heard me. I may not have a choice."
"You mean they're forcing you?" Duo asked, obviously confused. "What, do they have some sort of new truth serum out that I haven't heard of yet?"
Heero shook his head a little irritably. "Nothing like that. They just . . ." Heero looked away as he tried to find the words to explain. "If I don't tell them something I don't get the job."
At that, Heero looked back up at the other boy. "I don't think that's going to work in this situation," he informed him grimly.
"Did you at least try?" Duo asked.
Heero's silence answered for him.
And Duo let out a huge sigh of relief. "Oh, good. For a minute you had me worried there, man. You just have to lie your way to a good recommendation. It'll be easy."
Yet, Heero still mentally replayed the moment Dr. Farrows had looked at him with those intelligent, far too shrewd, brown eyes and told him not to lie. And he doubted.
It wasn't a comfortable feeling.
TBC. And to anybody who may be curious, I will explain why Duo seems so against the therapy in this chapter. It's not a state that will last.