Disclaimer: I still don't own anything but my poor words
Summary: They act like a divorced couple, they fight like a divorced couple… oh well, same players, new try. (What do you shrink? Sequel) C/S
A/N: Guess who's back? I know it's been a very long time, Mojo took its sweet time to give life to my ideas. Anyway, this is the sequel of What Do You Shrink?, hopefully this part will give you a new point of view for the other one ;). It's a C/S story but I'm warning you from the get go Greg is neither dead or going to die, deal with it :P.
Again it's a C/S story, so if it's still not your thing and you don't like, don't read ;)
Hope you enjoy,
You Shrink So Too?
Sara and I have been sharing silence for the past twenty minutes. She's biting her nails a bad habit she has picked up during the past months. She has let her hair grow, it is falling over her shoulders now, I don't know if it's by choice or just because she hasn't given it too much thought. She has lost weight, quite a few pounds actually; her cheeks are a bit hollow and her clothes slightly big on her.
There are scars on her face, her forearms and hands, faint lines of her lighter complexion than her skin; permanent reminder of a car accident she had two months ago.
Those details about her should concerned me and make me question her state of mind; they don't however because I've been on the first row for the past two months. I've seen her struggling with herself when she hit a very low point in her life.
Two months ago she came to me, distraught and angry, it took a lot from her and from me to make her admit that she needed help and was no longer able to control her yearning to hurt herself; to be blunt about it, she was suicidal.
Now let's not be naïve, she's not miraculously fine after two months under my close watch. She's just a little more stable emotionally and no longer an immediate threat to herself, which is a non negligible improvement.
After her meltdown, I allowed her to sleep in my office couch while I spend hours watching over her and thinking of where things would go from there. I gave her three choices, none were appealing but then again she had come to my office to push the alarm button, which didn't give me many options in response.
The first option I gave her was to willingly being interned in a psychiatric ward; that involve being put under a daily dose of heavy medication and also a daily session of therapy. Choice number two was that she stayed out but with the same details. Option three, was a two week retreat in the centre I once brought her to with Catherine, daily therapy, but no drugs. She picked option three, because the idea of being under medication frightened her more than anything.
Of course two weeks away from the city weren't going to do the work alone. Ever since we returned, we've been having four sessions a week and she must report to me every five hours. One undeniable proof that she had hit the bottom is the fact that she hasn't complain about her obligation towards me, nor put up a fight about it.
We haven't been talking about the issues which triggered her breakdown, and for once I haven't pushed her to talk about it for she wasn't ready. In fact during those past months we have done two things, sharing silence and every now and then she talked to me about her need to hurt herself, when it started and a few episodes she has endured during her life.
There's also another reason why I haven't pushed her to talk to me. An issue her and I need to discuss, I've waited up until now because she was too fragile before. Now that she has most of her emotional equilibrium back, I can't delay that conversation any further.
Sara unexpectedly snorts and shakes her head. "Take them off already and hit me, will you."
"Beg your pardon?" I ask with a slight confusion.
"Your gloves," she elaborates. "Take them off and hit me with whatever it is you got up your sleeves."
She reaches out for her glass of water which is resting on my coffee table and takes a sip. "Our very first session, I told you that since I'm going to get screwed anyway not to bother with the foreplays," she puts her glass back down and pushes herself to the back of the couch crossing her arms over her chest.
"True," I confirm, remembering our first encounter in my office.
"So take your gloves off and skip the foreplays."
"Fair enough," I reply.
I don't add anything, pondering how to formulate my thoughts
"Go on, ask your question," she presses me.
"It's not a question actually," I inform her. "In regards of what happened lately, I've been… contemplating the idea of redirecting you to someone else."
"What?" her brow furrows. I can see emotions flicking rapidly in her eyes, panic, confusion, anger, fear. "Is this about punching you again?" she asks with apprehension. "Because I apologized about that and I meant it… and you pushed me that day! You pushed like you wanted me to punch you…"
"Sara, yes I did provoke you that day," I affirm.
"I still regret what I did… I'm truly sorry, I am and …"
"Sara," I call her softly, interrupting her rant. "This is not about you punching me," I assure her. "I know you are sorry, we have addressed this issue already. It isn't about that."
I take a deep breath and let it out. "I care about you Sara, more than I should," I let my words sink and stare back at her. "It's a fact which we are both aware of."
She looks away briefly, her silence confirming my statement.
"It's a problem, because it affects our dynamic. We both know how important it is for us to maintain the 'shrink/patient' dynamic; for me to care about you the way I do threatens this dynamic."
"So… it's alright for me to punch you but it's not okay for you to care about me?"
"I crossed the line with you Sara on several occasions. I know you understand the importance of boundaries here. When the line is blurry, it affects the way you're approaching the therapy for one and then it affects the way I do my job. The distance has a purpose, and that purpose is objectivity; when I cross the line it gets personal, and being personal means being biased by definition," I explain.
I'm not her friend, I'm not her confident, I'm not her family. I'm her shrink, it gives me the same status as a wall, I'm just an element of decorum. I belong in my office; outside of it I don't have an existence in her life. This is how things are supposed to be. Yes I do speak, quiet original for a wall, the point of the matter is I'm not here to tell people what they need nor what they want to hear, I'm not here to care about their feelings like someone intimate to them would do.
"I cannot be personal with you because, it will inevitably render our sessions counter productive at some point. If I'm personal with you, I lose my objectivity and therefore can't help you, and there's no point in you coming here if I can't help you."
"Gee… are you listening to yourself? You make it sound like we were having an affair or as if you were coming onto me every time we're together… this is ridiculous," she stands up with irritation. "You care about me, so what?"
"From an ethical point of view, it's wrong. Again, I crossed the line…"
"Twice!" she interrupts me sharply, holding two fingers up. "You held my hand once and held me, both times I was crying myself out, emotionally shattered and on the verge of throwing myself out of a window! Don't you think there's a kind of… exception for that or something?!" she asks in disbelief. "So what if it changes the dynamic between us? Better yet, between you and me, because there is no 'us'."
She paces, rubbing her forehead. "Seriously… it's like I was on a crime scene and that I was seeing someone severely hurt and saying 'hey sorry mate, I know you're bleeding to death, but reaching out to help you will corrupt evidence and that's against protocol, so either go find help on your own or die in silence'," she must sense that I'm about to speak because she cuts me off. "Don't tell me it's not the same thing, it's exactly the same thing!"
"Sara, I'm not questioning my actions. If we turned back time and lived the same moments again my choices would be the same. Yet it doesn't change the fact that it affects our dynamic, and that's not a good thing."
"Screw it, alright? Screw the ethic and the protocol and whatever…" she says sharply. "I don't care about the standard shrink/patient dynamic, and I don't care that you crossed the line. I don't want you to pass me over like some problem you don't give a damn about. That's what number one to six did!" she speaks with agitation.
She makes a few steps back and forth then takes a deep breath to calm down and lets it out. "Look, it works, alright? And more importantly it works for me," she puts a hand over her chest. "Isn't that what matters?" she pauses. "It never occurred to you that you crossing the line might be the reason why I had put up with you for so long? You turned into a human being twice, okay, who cares? The flaws in our dynamic make it work. And out of them all, you're the first to actually make a difference for me, damn it!" she pants. "Don't throw me away just because protocol has been breached, that's stupid!"
"My main concern here is for you to be comfortable for…" I try to make my point.
"Comfortable?" she snorts. "Adam, this is therapy," she states. "Do you really think that if I wanted to be comfortable I'd be anywhere near this place? Really?" she shakes her head. "And before you dare asking the question, the answer is no" she says with a hint of exasperation.
"Honestly, you're tiring sometimes. I come here so you can push me facing issues I've been more than happy to ignore all my life; to talk about how messed up my life is and how freaking inept I am when it comes to handle it. I want to punch you most of the time – not that I'll ever do it again. And I repeat that I'm really sorry about that incident," she stresses out.
"In spite of how difficult and painful it is for me, I keep coming back and I keep talking to you. It has nothing to do with me being comfortable, and I don't care how many protocols have been breached, it works somehow, so screw the rest," she says firmly.
She's really angry perhaps to the point to hit something yet she stays in control. She sighs. "You know what? Fine, I understand your dilemma and I'll accept the fact that you can't see me because of ethical issues, even though I think that it's dumb and you're a hell of an idiot. If you tell me that this is my last session, I'll walk out of here right now and never come back; but don't even bother passing me off to someone else, because I'm telling you right now that I won't bother. I'm not going through all that crap again and getting back to square one with some stranger just because you can handle bending the rules a little bit," she declares firmly. "So what is it going to be?"
"Sit down, Sara."
"Are you sending me packing?" she asks with defy.
Obviously she won't comply unless I give her an answer. "Redirecting you to someone else has never been an incoming event. I only said that I had been contemplating the idea of doing so," I clarify. "However, you've made your point. So let's take a deep breath and relax. Sit down," I repeat my earlier request. "Please," I add.
She stares at me for a minute, not sure if she can trust me, but eventually she sits on the couch again. She still sends me daggers with her eyes, obviously resenting me for thinking about redirecting her to someone else, eventually she looks away at the window behind me, like she always does when she doesn't feel like talking. I don't say anything and give her time cool off.
I wait until her breathing is more regular and her shoulders slump a bit. I have no doubt that now that she's calmer she'll understand that I didn't bring up this particular topic to upset her, but because it is a legitimate concern for me and it should be for her as well. When she sighs, I know that she has finally considered my 'dilemma' as she put it, with a clear and objective mind and also take in my decision.
"Since we're not getting a divorce, are there any other issues regarding our couple you'd like to discuss, darling? I mean, we might as well lay it all in the open while we're at it," she asks with a straight face, I'm surprised by her sudden humour and almost burst into a laughter but catch myself just in time, so I end up snorting with a small grin.
She doesn't smile but I can see that she's glad to have set me off guard. I decide to go along. "Actually, there's one little thing. You kind of hurt my feelings back there when you said that we weren't an 'us'," I feign hurt.
This time she's the one a bit unsettled but she gains her composure back immediately. "Darling, you were hysterical, I must say that for a moment there I even believed you had grown a womb, which took me aback. But I didn't mean it, it was just irritation talking," she says on an apologetic tone.
In spite of all my effort I can't help my grin getting wider, I make a small circle with my hand to invite her to make all the jokes she wants before we move on.
"I want you to know though, that I take you as you are, you and your hysteria, and I still love you buttercup," she says with a hand over her chest, managing to keep a straight face. "Last but not least I'm more than happy to assuage all your concerns, if you still have any left" she enjoys herself.
I let go and finally chuckle, which earns me a small genuine smile from her in return, the first in two months. "Done?" I ask.
She thinks about it, her eyes looking upward and her bottom lip a little protruded. "Hmm… yeah… wait… no… okay, I have mercy on you," her little grin keeps playing on her lips.
I just shake my head with a smile. I stand from my armchair and go to the kitchen side to pour myself a glass of cold milk.
"Are we okay?" she asks seriously.
I take a second to ponder my earlier decision before speaking. "The moment you feel uncomfortable…"
"You'll be the second to know, right after I do," she says firmly.
I nod. "We're good," I assure her.
She doesn't comment and sits a little more deeply in the couch. We share silence again, the levity of the moment gone. After five minutes of complete silence, she rubs her hands and sighs.
"I'm getting my gun back tonight," she announces.
After her break down, I had a talk with Grissom, without giving him the specifics I made sure that he revoked her authorisation to carry a gun under the reason that she needs to validate her target practice all over again, and even more that he made sure that this test wouldn't happen for a long while. Of course there's only so much I can do without things starting to become suspicious.
Three weeks ago Sara informed me that she would be taking the test, and it would seem that she passed.
"I'm not… scared of getting it back… I mean, I don't feel like…facing the barrel when I'm on my own," she admits. "It's just a thing with our job, to go on the field you need the gun. I haven't been on the field for two months, as you know… and… well working in the labs helps you pretend the world is a good place to live in. I mean, it's so… unreal, like you're just testing samples and making experiments… you don't see the ugly side of things," she lets out a deep breath. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm apprehensive to go back on the field and face the horrendous visions our job has to offer."
"You don't have to, if you don't want to," I simply state.
"I know… but the thing is… I love my job and I'm good at it as weird as that sound. And I know that even if it's infinitely small and lost in the doldrums of insanity, cruelty and ugliness, we do make a difference."
"How do you feel about getting back into your team?"
"Excited, I suppose," she shrugs. "I mean I'm glad to…" she takes a deep breath. She having an emotional upheaval where she almost or actually cries a bit, most likely against her will. "Fuck," she closes her eyes and pinches them as though it was effectively stopping the tears.
I let her be ready on her own time. When she has gain control of herself she takes a deep breath and speaks again. "I feel anxious… like it was my first day as a CSI, like I had to prove myself."
"Also there's the fact that I'll have to interact with Catherine, we haven't spoken ever since she called things off and we didn't part on good terms," she crosses her arms over her chest. "Then there's Greg…"
"I thought you said that the two of you saw each other everyday during his recovery and physical therapy?" I note.
"We do," she confirms. "We… it's just that we've stopped talking, we chit chat, but we don't… talk," she shrugs.
"Do you know why?"
"The accident changed something… and we're both aware of that, like we're aware of the things we should talk about but I don't think either of us is ready to put those topics in the open… well I don't want to speak for him, I know I'm not ready, so I don't talk."
She passes a hand in her hair. "The thing is that something has been broken between Catherine, Greg and I and I'm afraid that it will impact on our team, on the dynamic of the team, that would be wrong because we built this team as close as perfection as it can be and I don't want to lose that; it's one of the few things in my life that makes sense and I need that consistency to stay grounded… now more than before…" once again her emotions overwhelms her and she groans as a few tears spill again.
"Sorry about that again…" she mumbles once her sobs have subsided.
I ignore her apology and keep on tracks "Things have changed it's true, but things are constantly changing, what matters is how you want face them. The efforts will have to come from the three of you but you're in charged, you have the control, it's up to you – the three of you – whether or not to let them affect your team. You will have to redefine the lines and the rules at least until you're ready to face whatever issues are between you and solve them."
"I'm in charge," she repeats unconvinced.
"You cannot control everything Sara, but some things you can, focus on those and leave the rest be."
She nods after a while, "Do you want us to stop?" I ask more rhetorically than anything, because I think that she has reached her limit for today.
"Yes," she doesn't protest and stands up to gather her belongings.
"I still want you to check with me regularly, and if you need me I'm here at any moment," I inform her before she leaves.
"Duly noted," she replies then disappears behind my door.
Something tells me that rough times are ahead.
I'll try to come back with more soon. :)
Thank you for reading