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    "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

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    "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 09/05/10, 11:51 pm

    Esperanza's black heels clicked on concrete flooring as she walked to Nils' apartment. She was dressed in a business manner; white blouse, blue skirt, hair up and pinned in place. In her hand she carried a small notebook.

    She inhaled deeply as she approached Nils' door, trying to mentally prepare herself for what she had to do.

    Finally, she knocked.
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 10/05/10, 03:30 am

    Nils had slept very badly the previous night, finally ending up in a drunken stupor rather than actual sleep. The dreams were worse than normal now that he was alone in bed again, in his own apartment that reminded him constantly of their lost friend. Watson, at least, was thrilled to be home. He hadn't been fond of sharing the much smaller living space with Thompson, and had celebrated the return home by perching in the tallest corner of his room and refusing to come down.
    So Nils had spent the previous night alone, drinking until he passed out, trying not to think. As such, he was still asleep when Esperanza knocked. He jolted awake and stumbled towards the door, wearing nothing but the boxers and rumpled unbuttoned shirt he'd passed out in and smelling strongly of wine.
    He had the presence of mind to check through the peephole before opening the door and waving her inside. "Esperanza. You're looking very posh today." He winced at the sunlight as he spoke, swiftly closing the door behind her. "I wasn't expecting anyone, I haven't had my tea yet. What brings you here looking so solemn?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 10/05/10, 10:03 am

    Esperanza smiled and walked inside, although in her head she was wondering how things had gotten so bad. She could smell the wine permeating the air, and noticed his momentary flinch at the bright sunlight, indicating he had just woken up.

    "Nothing solemn about it." she said "Just... trying to look nice. We need to talk."

    She glanced around, sighing quietly and reaching out to turn on the overhead lights.

    "Maybe you should get dressed. I'll make us some tea."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 10/05/10, 12:56 pm

    Nils frowned. He didn't quite like the sound of the talk Esperanza was suggesting. Especially not with his head pounding like it was. He could tell by looking at her that she wasn't going to be put off, though. He sighed. "Not sure I like the sound of that, but alright."
    He flinched when she turned on the lights, the brightness making his head throb. "Tea... would be good." he agreed weakly, clutching his temples. "Thanks."
    He flashed her a tired smile before retreating into his bedroom to put on clothes, hurriedly stashing the remnants of last night's drinking. He would make an effort to make this as normal as possible, he knew Esperanza hated to see him drink. He put on his clothes as quickly as he could without wrinkling them and combed his hair, making sure to look presentable before taking some asprin and heading back out to the living room.
    "Alright, what's all this about, Esperanza?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 10/05/10, 10:44 pm

    "Well to be honest... it's about you." Esperanza said, coming out of the kitchen with a two cups of tea. After all this time she knew exactly how Nils liked his tea and she handed him the steaming cup with a smile. She held her own cup in both hand and moved to sit in a reclining chair near Nils' couch.

    "I've been thinking a lot about what we talked about the other day. About... Chrys and... everything that's been going on lately. I think you need to talk to someone, Nils. There's no shame in needing help sometimes."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 10/05/10, 11:40 pm

    Nils took his tea with a smile, taking a long drink before Esperanza's words sunk in and he collapsed onto the couch, slopping tea onto his shirt. "Esperanza, I..."
    He went pale and set his cup down, suddenly not feeling up to ingesting anything. "You really think you can help me?" He asked, voice cracking a little. He paused and cleared his throat. "I... The dreams were a lot worse, sleeping alone." He seemed almost embarassed to admit it. "What... What can you do? I mean, it doesn't seem like it will ever really go away."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 11/05/10, 12:29 pm

    Esperanza cleared her throat and crossed her legs in the chair, setting her tea down on the table near her.

    "Yes, Nils, I think I can help you, but only if you want me to. You have so much pain and guilt stored up in you... you need to let that out somehow. I'm not asking you to do anything other than talk to me. Once a week, at least. Whenever you want. If it doesn't work, then you can walk away at any time. All I'm asking is that you give me a chance."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 11/05/10, 01:48 pm

    He swallowed hard. On the one hand, the offer was tempting. Even he realized at this point that what he was doing was not sustainable, and would kill him eventually. At some point his boss would stop believing his admittedly weak lies, at some point he'd have to face what had happened. At some point he'd get so lost in the bottle that he'd lose all of them. He was already starting to see things fraying with Simon.
    But it would mean handing over the only small measure of security he had. He'd been stuffing all of it in the deepest darkest corner of his brain for a reason, and if he talked about it... it might overwhelm him. And he was sure that she'd expect him to not drink, and that was something he wasn't sure he was capable of doing at this time. What if he hurt her with all of this? He cared far too much about her to want to subject her to the darkest thoughts in his head, which were right now very dark indeed.
    But then, he might hurt her worse by refusing. Indeed, she'd probably be crushed if he said no. He could tell she was desperate, they were all starting to get less than subtle about their opinions on the matter. Even Connie was starting to confiscate his bottles. He didn't quite have the courage to do this for himself yet, but he thought he just might be able to do it for them. He couldn't stand hurting them anymore.
    "Alright." He said quietly, "I'll do it. But I'll warn you right now, I doubt you'll like what you see. I know I don't."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 11/05/10, 06:14 pm

    Esperanza nodded.

    Esperanza picked up her spiced tea and stirred it slowly as she nodded.

    "Good. That's good. I know this is difficult for you, Nils. I can't promise I can make everything better. I can't bring Chrys back for you. But I can be there for you. And together, maybe we can find you at least a measure of peace. I can't promise a miracle cure. Therapy is slow and sometimes painful. But it does work."

    She took a sip of her tea, setting it down and picking up the notebook from her lap.

    "I know this is sudden, but if you're OK with it I'd like to start today."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 12/05/10, 06:33 am

    Nils visibly recoiled at the mention of Chrys' name. He swallowed hard again, listening to what his friend was telling him. He was already starting to believe that agreement had been a bad move, that he should have done anything but agree to this insanity.
    And she wanted to start now! He started frantically searching for some excuse to leave the room to get a much needed swig of wine. He'd just woken up, he was practically sober. He couldn't talk NOW. He glanced back at Esperanza and knew he couldn't do it. She was so noble, so quietly determined, and he could see the first glimmers of hope in her eyes. He just couldn't quite bear to risk taking that from her. His hand twitched reflexively towards the pocket of the jacket he wasn't wearing, and he sighed. "Alright. How do we start?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 12/05/10, 08:53 am

    Esperanza made a mental note ofhis reaction to Chrys' name. That was obviously something they'd have to work up to. She cleared her throat and opened her notebook.

    "Well... eventually I'd like you to be able to direct where we go with these sessions, but for now let's start off easy. How are you feeling right now?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 12/05/10, 12:20 pm

    Nils sighed. "Well, I'm quite a bit hung over right now." He was kind of greatful for the easy start, but something about the situation felt a little awkward. He wasn't sure what, but this felt way too formal for spending time with a friend.
    "A little bit hungry, also, although that's not really important. Scared. Like really damn terrified. Not just of this, although this is scary. Of life in general."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 12/05/10, 02:24 pm

    Esperanza nodded slowly, fighting the discomfort she was feeling and that she knew Nils was experiencing as well. Unfortunately it had to be this way. She had to be removed from things if she was going to be able to make any headway. As a friend she could be there to support and listen to him but for the moment, as a therapist, she had to maintain a certain distance.

    She made a note in her notebook about his fear of life in general. She wanted to go into that more, but right now was not the time. It was sure to bring up bad feelings, and for now she wanted him as comfortable as possible.

    "I'd like to try a few simple exercises to try to get you a little more relaxed. Do you think you could do that?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 12/05/10, 02:38 pm

    Nils blinked. She was definitely very good at putting her therapist cap on. He'd always known that she was probably pretty good at this, but seeing it firsthand was a little different.
    "What did you have in mind?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 12/05/10, 03:18 pm

    "Just follow along with me, okay?" she said gently.

    Ronnie put her pad down on the table and put her arms at her sides.

    "Breathe in deeply... hold it... and breathe out..."

    For the next ten minutes or so, Ronnie lead Nils through several relaxation techniques, breathing excercises, and meditations designed to try to ease his anxieties and get him in a more receptive state.

    "How do you feel now?" she asked after he finished the last exercise and opened his eyes.
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 12/05/10, 03:50 pm

    Nils felt a little silly doing the relaxation exercises, but played along. Mary had done similar things with him a few years back when she'd been on her new age kick, and he was amused to notice how similar the practices were.
    "I feel alright. I'm still scared, but I'm okay with that, if that makes sense. Headache's gone, which is nice."
    He shrugged. "I'm not feeling the need to bolt anymore, which is good, I think."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 12/05/10, 04:09 pm

    "Good... good." Esperanza said.

    "Those exercises may seem a little silly, but they're actually a very important tool for you. A lot of your current state of mind is built on anxiety of various types, and basic breathing and stretches can be a lot more effective than most people imagine. I'd like you to try practicing them at least once a day, or as often as you feel you need to. If you feel like things are getting away from you, or you feel yourself getting tense, I'd like you to find a quiet spot, try to clear your mind and take a few minutes to relax. Can you do that?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 12/05/10, 04:35 pm

    He already did that many times a day, except with booze instead of breathing, but he didn't feel the need to point that out. Nor did he have the heart to point out that if he wanted to relax, he'd most likely reach for the booze before trying to breathe fancy. But it would be worth trying if he couldn't get to the bottle immediately.
    "Sure. I'll give it a shot." He told her, smiling a bit for some unknown reason.
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 12/05/10, 04:47 pm

    Ronnie nodded, not sure what to make of the cryptic smile Nils offered. She picked up her cooling tea and took a sip.

    "So what are you thinking right now. The truth."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 12/05/10, 04:58 pm

    Nils blinked. He hadn't expected that question. "I'm wondering what on earth we're supposed to be doing." He replied, startled into honesty. "I mean, I have to confess, I haven't the slightest idea about what this sort of thing entails. Mum and dad thought about taking me and Mary, just to help out considering the sheer amount of insanity that dominates our lives, but considering our... talents, they were afraid of something happening. I agreed, and I honestly never expected to be sitting on the proverbial therapy couch." He sighed and shook his head. "But at this point, even if I didn't think it could work, I'm desperate enough to try just about anything. I just don't know what I'm supposed to be doing."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 13/05/10, 12:26 pm

    Esperanza nodded.

    "Mmmmm..." she said, "That's actually not an uncommon reaction to therapy. You have to understand, Nils, that figuring out what you should be doing is part of the process. There's not a secret formula of things you're supposed to say or do to make everything better. Psychology doesn't work like that. It's a process that we get to make up as we go along. Basically we're trying to slowly and carefully look at the things that are causing problems in your life and develop strategies to help you cope with them. However you need to do that is fine. We're starting off on a long journey and while I'm here to help guide you, ultimately it'll be you who determines where we go and how we get there."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 13/05/10, 04:45 pm

    Nils smiled wryly. "Well, that's comforting." He joked, realizing things would be much easier if he, at least, could relax. Then she might relax a bit, and he was sure that this would be hard on her.
    "So what do we do, then? I mean, if I don't know, and you don't know... I'm not sure I see this going anywhere. There's got to be more to it than that, right? You ask lots of random questions about my childhood, and I lay down on the couch and talk about how I wasn't loved enough as a child or some such. Which is utter tripe, by the way. But something along those lines. That's how it's always done in the movies."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 14/05/10, 01:51 pm

    Esperanza laughed.

    "Well, considering that your problems seem to stem from your powers which began in childhood, I imagine we will be spending at least some time talking about that. We may even touch on your parents, if you want to. Really, though, the movies are probably not the best guide in the world to psychotherapy. Oedipal complexes, repressed memories and earth-shattering personal revelations are not nearly as common as the media makes them out to be. Most of it is a slow, gradual process. Think of it like a personal wall that you have built up inside you. Behind that wall is your inner self: your fears, your failures, your personal demons... but also your hopes, sucesses, and pride. What you see on TV is like someone coming in with dynamite and blowing the wall to rubble. Everything comes screaming out all at once. That's rarely a good way to go about it. What we're going to be doing is chipping away at it a little bit at a time, pulling out things as we find them, examining them, and deciding whether to keep them or to let them go. Does that make any sense?"
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 14/05/10, 02:33 pm

    Nils nodded. That actually made a lot of sense. There was a bit of nerves at the thought of her knowing all of his deep dark secrets, but she already knew most of them anyway. "Yeah, this 'gift' has definitely caused a lot of problems. I really kind of want to give Loki a swift kick for that one. What the hell was he thinking, giving that to a baby?"
    He nodded at the end of her explanation. "Sure, that makes sense. I'm game."
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    Re: "The time has come", the walrus said, "to speak of many things..."

    Post by tuck on 14/05/10, 02:48 pm

    Ronnie smiled, and her smile seemed almost literally to light up the room.

    "Good." she said, setting down her empty tea cup. She looked at her watch. They'd only been here about half an hour, but so far things were going better than she really could have hoped for. He was trying. She knew that he was only doing it for her, but at the moment that was enough. Eventually, though, he had to be doing it for himself.

    "Since you bring him up..." she said, carefully moving the subject away from therapy and back to Nils, "Tell me about Loki. What were your impressions of him the night you met him? How did you feel about him?"

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