Jill was at the mall, waiting for him at Say Soy. She looked a little tired, but she was still alive and, for the moment, that made Matt’s heart leap. He conjectured that shopping could be arduous, especially when someone was forced to do it for ten hours straight. He was loath to tell her that their date had to be delayed. He waited until they were halfway to the office, and there wasn’t anyone around to inform her of his compulsory psychiatric session.
“I have to meet up with someone back at the station first; it shouldn’t take long,” Matt responded.
“It’s not your fault,” she said. “How about after your meeting we go to my place, I’ll cook you dinner. Any chance you can miss the appointment?”
“No, it would be my job,” He said. “And I need to get a refill of my PTSD pills.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Yes,” she looked at him intently. “What would happen if you didn’t take the pills?”
“You saw for yourself,” Matt turned away.” I almost hurt you.”
“No, you didn’t unless I was in danger of being sheltered to death.” She replied. “And I think the event itself indicates that the pills are not working very well, to begin with.”
“I’ll talk to the doctor about a better prescription. I think I’ll be all right when everything settles down. There’s just been too much going on. Too much stress.”
“And you think that will get better, do you?”
“Once we catch this guy.” he started.
“Then it will just be another situation that causes you stress. Wouldn’t it just be better to learn to deal with stress without the drugs?” She said. “I mean if you are suppressing a memory, that’s supposed to be bad for you, right. Shouldn’t you be trying to remember?”
“You want me to become a screamer?” Matt objected.
“I don’t think that would happen. From what you said last night, you’ve had memories all along, just spread out over time and breaking out in your dreams instead of all at once.”
“I don’t think that will make a difference.”
“Sure it would,” she said. “You’ve been building up immunity, allowing your brain to create new pathways to handle the information.”
“There is every reason to believe you wouldn’t become a screamer, just catatonic,” she laughed.
“Yes, I can see where that would be an improvement. We’re here. I want you to wait in the waiting room for me, don’t go anywhere.”
Jill ran her hand across her chest twice. I promise. You should see if the doctor can give you something for overprotection compulsion.”
“I’ll ask.” They walked inside.
“Do you think it’s wise to get into a relationship at this stage of your recovery?” the psychiatrist probed.
“It isn’t something that I have been pursuing,” Matt said. “It’s just kind of happening.”
“That is why you brought her here?”
“I brought her here because there is a reason to believe that she might be in danger,” Matt responded.
“Shouldn’t she be in protective custody?” his doctor asked.
“There isn’t enough evidence yet, so I’m keeping an eye on her in my spare time.”
“Are you sure that you are not allowing your fears to control you?”
Matt thought it over. Okay, yes, he was letting his fears control him. He was afraid of losing Jill. He was afraid the monster would get to her, and he would be unable to protect her. He was afraid that he might be psychic and that his dreams would once again come true, most of all he was afraid to say any of this to anyone let alone a psychiatrist who had the authority to lock him away or take away his badge just when he needed it most. “Just doing my job doc.”
“Just keep in mind that relationships are difficult. At this stage of your recovery, you are hardly a stable relationship partner.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, Doc.” He gave it a few minutes of serious thought. Perhaps he was correct. He had accurately predicted the outcome of the last several relationships he had been in, temporary though they were. Matt didn’t want to think of hurting Jill the way he had the others. She was different though, he knew it. He could sense it. No one before her could have understood or accepted what he had become. That was why he couldn’t let harm come to her, even if it meant leaving her so he couldn’t bring harm to her himself. Once this whole situation was over, he’d deal with that contingency, for now, she had to be protected. There was no one on Sirius that could do that better than he could. “So far, we just like each other. Nothing else.”
“Just be sure you are ready for a relationship again, take your time. There is no rush. If she’s the girl you think she is, she’ll wait. But for now, it is my professional opinion that a relationship could hamper your recovery.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.” When Matt left the session, he did not leave with the peace of mind he’d hoped. He did, however, have the new prescription in pocket. Jill’s smiling dimples greeted him. Oh, Doc, Matt thought. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.