2010-02-04: All We Can Do


Jericho_icon.jpg Dallas_icon.jpg

Summary: Jericho continues helping Dallas work his way out from under a mountain of guilt.

Date: February 04, 2010.

Log Title All We Can Do

Rating: Log Rating.

Another day, another session. This time, Jeri's set up a time to talk to Dallas outside the danger room. In his office. He's sitting at the desk, waiting on Dallas to arrive. He's dressed… well… non-professionally. Jeri's usually just in a t-shirt and jeans on campus. After all, the folks already know him. And, the suit thing? Not really his style.

Dallas arrives. He's wearing blue jeans, a blue and white striped polo shirt and sneakers and generally looking fairly relaxed. Another talk with the school shrink perplexes him a bit but after arguing with Addison yesterday, he's not entirely surprised. He raps on the door to announce himself and says, "Doctor Parker-Mayfair? You wanted to see me?"

"Hey, have a seat." Jeri says, with a big grin on his face. "We got chairs, we got couches, whatever's comfortable. Haven't seen ya since our Danger Room time, and wanted to check with you. See how things are going." He offers, waving a hand around to the various seating places. "Water? Tea? Cranberry Juice?" He asks, just trying to make nice. Whether or not he knows about the whole thing with Addison, he's giving no hint.

Dallas blinks at the grin and the cheerful tone and relaxes a bit. Well, maybe this will be another relaxed meeting. "Water, please." He takes a seat across from the desk where he see Jeri comfortably when the man talks. "Ah, and they're going. More detention. But nothing I can't handle." He shrugs and smiles faintly, "And you know, stuff."

Jeri pours the water as he looks over. He notices the smile. "Hey, what's with that?" He asks, pointing to his own mouth. "The corners going up. Sans anger. No Grarsnarlbitebite." He says with a chuckle as he brings the water over. "Detention again? Well, we'll not bring that up right now. I'm sure I'll hear about it. I wanna know what's got you all Smiley McHappypants."

Dallas arches an eyebrow, fighting an instinct to dissemble. But he trusts Jericho, especially after nothing in their last session seems to have gotten around. Finally he says, "I, ah, took some of your advice. Opened up a little. Talked to some people. Friends. Ah, made a new one." Again that faint grin gets a bit wider.

Jeri IS watching the subtle clues. "Good, Dallas. Very good. And with that little bit of a smile creeping up on your face, I'm assuming there's potential for something perhaps beyond friendship. Someone you can trust?" He asks, passing the water over as he pulls an individual bottle of cranberry juice out of the mini-fridge for himself. "I'm really glad you chose to take my advice. You seem a lot better."

Dallas takes the water with a nod of thanks and cracks it. He blushes at first statement and says, "Somebody not from the school." As though that explains everything. And perhaps to a trained therapist, it does. "And we've fought together. He's got my back. I know that much." A momentary pause as he takes a sip of the water and then says, "The world didn't fall in. I mean, I kissed somebody and there wasn't anything wrong or evil or perverted or desperate about it. It was just … good. Kind of hard to keep worrying about feeling that way when you feel so right about it."

Jeri's grin spreads even wider. He's genuinely happy about all of this. "Good! I am VERY happy for you, Dallas. And by the phrasing, the 'I kissed somebody'… you made the first move? Amazing progress in accepting yourself, son." Yeah, Jeri does think about his students as his children. Considering several of them ARE his kids. And with Christopher's influence, apparently another one's going to be legally.

Dallas blushes /deeply/ at that. "Ah, it kind of happened. And it was pretty much what I needed to do. When it was /my/ idea, at least at first, it was much more…." Relaxed sure doesn't cover it. Nor does controlled. Or temperate. He shrugs, "More." Well, it makes sense in his head anyway. "So, yea. It seems to be taking a lot of the stress off. And I told my best friends."

"That is amazing, Dallas. To be honest, I didn't know if you had it in you." Jeri winks, obviously teasing. "I see so much of myself in you that it's not even funny. Stubborn to a fault. But, loyal to those that need it. Wanting to keep yourself on the top of your game. I'm… I'm astounded, honestly. Within two weeks, going from repressing everything to making an attempt to accept and share. Good job, kiddo."

Dallas is still blushing at how enthusiastic Jericho is about everything, Dallas waves his water bottle as though brushing away the compliments and comments. He says, quietly, "I had to do something, didn't I? I mean, I wasn't thinking that at the time, but really, if this thing with Wyatt hadn't have happened…." He shrugs, "I was hurting Robyn and Mikhail by holding things back. And teaching Mik all the wrong lessons when I have a responsibility to be an example to him." He pauses and says, "Ah, and I kind of got nudged a little."

"Good. Looking out for how you're treating your friends, too." Jeri says with a nod. He's satisfied, apparently. "You keep up like this and we won't need to chat unless you just want to." He nods. "I'm glad you're taking the initiative."

Dallas shrugs as if to say, 'that's my job', when it comes to being careful with his friends. The rest gets an arched eyebrow and a quiet, "Ah." He takes another sip of water and asks, "So, do /you/ think I'm wrong about this whole Lucas thing?" He just expects that Jericho, given who he is and what he does, is going to know enough to the specifics to follow the question. "Because I think I'm the /only/ one worried. Well, me, Mik and Robyn."

"What exactly are you worried about, Dallas?" Jeri asks, tilting his head. "Talk to me. Start to finish. Let me know what's in your mind, and then I'll tell you what I think." He says. After all, how can he tell someone they're right or wrong without a full explanation. He moves around to the other side of the desk, to sit in a chair, facing Dallas. He hunkers forward, just to show he's paying attention.

Dallas frowns and sets back. "He's going to go evil again. Hurt more people. Maybe kill them. And part of it is going to be my fault." The topic makes him restless and he stands, pacing as he talks, "He just hated me from the beginning, you know? The first time we met, he started on me. Even made me think I'd hurt him. And it was always the same thing. He'd pretend not to be a jerk just long enough to get me to lower my guard and then … WHAM!" He smacks a hand down on the back of the chair, making a loud noise in the quiet room. "Another way to make me feel stupid or confused. Same thing when he kissed me. It was all tactics. And I lost." He shakes his head. "Same thing when he was a demon. And he killed people. And because I couldn't stop him, Coyote died. And everybody treats him like it's okay. I don't get it."

"Ok, first of all… the demon was NOT Lucas." Jeri says, nodding and cutting him off. "I'm not saying Lucas doesn't have his problems, but the demon was NOT Lucas. If anyone speaks from experience on seeing what people will do under influence of the demons…" He says, looking away as he picks up a picture off of his desk. It's Christopher. "My husband is the most caring, kindest man in the world. But they played on his emotions. They knew what buttons to push. And… Christopher is only human. He had a moment of weakness and accepted their deal. Protecting his loved ones. But… then Christopher lost himself inside the demon. It's urges and desires were too overwhelming for him to be able to fight back." He explains, shaking his head softly. He is listening to everything. "I'm not saying he's a nice guy, or totally bright for the things he's done. But… I can say that the demon was a different being within his body.

Dallas just stares at Jericho a long moment at that. His expression is surprised and nearly blank as he works through the implications and comes to something that makes his eyes narrow and he winces faintly, trying to keep a wrap on the emotions provoked by whatever /that/ thought was. Covering his discomfort by taking a long sip of his water, Dallas finally just shakes his head and asks, "Seriously? It wasn't him? At all?"

"Let me tell you about Christopher. Christopher and I met. It was love. Instant. But, he was a good man. He was in a relationship. So, we didn't see each other. He refused. Because it wouldn't be right. When he did leave his boyfriend, then he told me. Christopher found a homeless kid in New York. Living in a hole in Central Park. He brought that kid home. He met with the boy's parents. He found out they weren't fit to raise the boy. So, he and I got a lawyer. She-Hulk. And that boy is now our son. We found out I -have- a biological son. He immediately took him in and brought him into the family. Eddie's boyfriend's grandmother asked him to take over legal guardianship of Ricky, because she couldn't keep him. She was trying to stop things from going bad in the world. He did it because he truly loved the boy." Jeri says, looking up. "Does that sound like someone who would tell me he'd kill my son just to bring me in… to get me to sell my soul?"

Dallas listens, his eyes getting wider and wider. Especially as he starts filling in lines with students in the school. After all of that, he shakes his head and says, "No. No it doesn't. But Mr. Parker-Mayfair isn't Lucas. As far as I know, Lucas wasn't a particularly good person /before/ he went demon." It seems important to him, somehow, to be able to assign some of the blame to his fellow student, no matter how irrationally.

"He may not have been. Whether he was or not, if he had problems that we couldn't work through, he wouldn't be allowed in the school. If someone's beyond redemption, we send them away. But think about this. What could the demon have offered him to get him to go. What person would willingly turn themselves into a demon if they knew that's what would happen. According to Christopher… it appeared as an angel and offered him salvation. It was giving him what he wanted most, because he deserved it." Jeri says, nodding softly. "I can't say I would have said no if it talked to me." He admits. "It draws on your fears, and consumes you."

Dallas sighs heavily and lowers his head, resting it on the back of the chair and not saying anything for a long moment. His shoulders shrug as though he's adjusting to some weight. Perhaps a clue to whatever he's thinking. After a moment he lifts his head and just nods to Jericho. "Ok. So I /am/ wrong about him. I still don't /like/ the guy, even if /he/ isn't responsible for the bodies that were left behind."

"Addison is thorough. He checks people. I'm thorough. I study people. But none of us saw that coming. I'm not saying you have to like him. But, I am saying, try to see from his point of view what happened." Jeri says with a nod. "I mean, there are a few people I don't care for around here, but hey." He shrugs softly. "I'd still ask them for help if I needed to, and it was something I couldn't do on my own. Either that, or I'd just steal half of their power and run like hell." He snickers.

Dallas chuckles at that last and then sighs. "OK, so if I need to work with him, I'll work with him. We aren't going to be friends, though." That sounds petulant even to him and he winces. Something is obviously still nagging at him and he chews on his bottom lip for a long while, not speaking and not looking towards Jericho before finally saying. "If he isn't to blame, you know, that kind means it's more my fault. And Rashmi's … but she's kind of crazy, so I'm not sure that counts." He doesn't look towards the councilor as he says it. His tone is careful and almost neutral.

"It's not your fault. Believe me." Jeri says. "I'm… well…" He motions to his arms and chest. "There's a reason my codename is Buff." He says. "And before you hear it around the grapevine, yes, I KNOW my husband's codename is Shine. Yes. We're Buff and Shine." He says with a sigh. "He almost overpowered me. I didn't have much of a chance if I hadn't made a lowblow and kneed my husband in the nards with all my strength." He coughs. "Don't blame yourself."

Dallas tries not to laugh at the 'buff and shine' thing. And tries harder not to check out the doctor. But that is a different thing. And one he's not even going to /think/ about. He just shakes his head once and points out, reasonably from his point of view, "It has to be /somebody's/ fault."

"Yes. The demon that changed them. The invading Limbo. It was their fault." Jeri says with a nod. "They sent a scout out to change people and to open the path. They did. We fought back. We won. It's over now."

Dallas nods uncertainly at that but he doesn't say anything else about it, just sipping his water in silence. His brow is furrowed as he works through things from different angles and the answers just confuse him more. After a pause that would be longer than comfortable in any other context, he brings up the bottle of water to rest against his temple. The cool and the moisture feel good there. "It just seems like somebody should be held accountable. Here. Now. Not a demon or anything, but a person." He shrugs, "But I get that may be me trying to, um, make sense of of random stuff."

"I think it may be." Jeri says with a nod. "Not everything has a definite personal cause. Some of it just happens to be the wrong place at the wrong time. This is life, Dallas. It's not fair. But… we make the best of it. And we get what we need when we can. I'm thankful I got my family. A husband. Two sons. A brother living close that's going to Juilliard. A sister enjoying herself. Another brother who's a total dick." Yep. Jeri said that.

Dallas's eyebrows shoot up at the terminal sentence and he grins again. As it was probably intended, the casual gesture of the swearing puts Dallas at ease. Less aware of the semi-formal nature of these talks. He nods and says, "Yea, family is good." If distant at the moment. He finally just comes out and says what he's been thinking about the deaths around the demonic attack. An possessions, apparently. "I just wish I'd done better. Tried harder. Been better." He looks at Jericho and shrugs. "I know, it doesn't do any good to wish but … it feels like a failure. And now that I'm here, my failures are a little scarier than they were back home."

"I wish I had walked Christopher to work that day." Jeri shrugs. "I wish I had known he had a fear that strong of losing us. I would have shown him, more than I normally do, that I love him. And that I'm not leaving him. And that I'm not going to go away." He says with a nod. "But I accept what happened as what happened. What is… is. Nothing can change the past. All we can do is change the future." He says with a nod.

Dallas grins faintly, "Fair enough." The talk of his relationship is absorbed and stored for later review. Dallas needs to know these things now and when something is important to him, he's like a sponge. Which probably frustrates his academic instructors to no end, given his lack of interest in their classes. A pause, "Thanks. I get it. I don't know if I /accept/ it, yet. But I get it. And, ah, I should probably go if that's okay? I have to catch the last rush hour train into town."

"Alright." Jericho nods. "And I like that you use that term. That you get it. So many people say, 'I understand'. How can they truly. But you get that they feel that way. That's the important thing. Go, think on things. And go see… whoever he is. He's made you happy. If he does anything that upsets you…" Jeri grins, cracking his knuckles loudly. "Tell him your Councilor said be nice."

Dallas says, "Wyatt. Williams. A scientist guy. Who knew?" His tone is deeply amused at that. And it's a hell of a confidence for him to share. But at this point, Jericho is firmly cemented as a paternal figure, though Dallas isn't conscious of that. He's just filed the counselor into the appropriate spot in his mental landscape, filling a need he didn't realize he had, since he left home. He laughs at the knuckle cracking, gives Jericho a quick wave and a hasty, "Bye!" If he calls his shadow he can /just/ make the train, probably. And have fun running to the station through the woods, too.

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