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TALKING SHOP

Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Talking Shop
Author: marinw
Rating: PG
Characters: Dr. Joel Bradley (I’m making up his first name), Dr. Daniel Schrebier
Summary: Post Day 6. Two psychiatrists compare notes.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. Etc.
A/N: I wrote this for cybertoothtiger, who requested some more shrink!fic. Schrebier is modeled (loosely) after Kiefer’s Kharacter of the same name from Dark City. Something of a quicky and unbeta’d.


“I know a stage three catatonic when I see one.”

“And you made this diagnosis in five minutes?”

“I’m very good under pressure,” Joel said proudly.

Daniel visualized every muscle surrounding his eye sockets. He needed to do this to keep his eyes from rolling.

“A brand spanking new CTU director calls me in at one o’clock in the morning,” Joel continued. “I barely had time to review her file on the way over. Division tells me that we needed her to talk, now. So I had to act quickly. Unfortunately, there was an intervention before I could execute the necessary protocol.”

“Oh really?”

“Don’t be coy with me, Daniel. You know exactly who I’m talking about. The rumor mill has it that Bauer is your problem now.”

Daniel tugged the corner of his bow-tie nervously. The conference on Post Traumatic Stress had been very enlightening, with experts from around the world discussing the latest developments in diagnosis and treatment.

But Daniel wished he had skipped the reception. He longed to be home, reading his journals and catching up on his paperwork. Or he could have spent some quality time with his DVD’s of Lost or Battlestar Galactica and a nice single malt. That would have been a far, far better use of his evening, and would have ultimately offered more insight into the human condition.

“I am bound by doctor-patient confidentiality,” Daniel replied.

Joel looked incredulous. “Dan, I respect you professionally. I really do. I’ve seen you turn around some pretty severe cases. But you are so naïve. Why do you think so many of these little get-togethers are scheduled into these conferences? So that we can discuss the most interesting cases. Off the record. So let’s have it.”

“I never said I was treating Bauer.”

Jack. His name was Jack. Daniel had immediately established the first-name basis when Jack flinched at being addressed as ‘Mr. Bauer.’ It would be a few sessions before Daniel learned why the formality bothered Jack so much.

“Oh, come on. You can’t resist a challenge,” Joel continued. “I don’t blame you. Bauer must be clinically fascinating. You could write a paper on him. Hell, you could write a whole textbook.”

“Joel, this may sound ‘naïve’ of me, but I’m not after publication credits. You may find this difficult to believe, but I do what I do in order to help my patients.”

“So you are treating him. I knew it! I hope that you’re taking the necessary precautions.”

“Precautions?”

“Yes. That he’s kept in restraints when you visit.”

“What?!”

“It’s standard procedure. How much Chlorpromazine have you prescribed?.”

“None!”

“So they just let him wander around in the halls? Unmedicated?”

“ ‘They’ don’t do anything. He hasn’t been institionalized. If you must know, he was seeing me on an out-patient basis.”

“Unsupervised? In you office.”

“That’s how my out-patient practice usually works, yes.”

Joel raised his glass of beer. “You’re a brave man, Schrebier. Stupid, but brave.”

Daniel shrugged modestly. “What can I say?”

“And he’s seeing you on his own accord?” ”

Daniel pulled at the pointed hem of his vest and realized that he was running out of items of clothing to fidget with. “He was.”

“That in itself is impressive. I suppose you can relate to those kind of people.”

Daniel knew what Joel was referring to: Daniel had significant scarring over one eye and he walked with a limp. He was not above using his disfigurement to create a sense of empathy with his patients. Even so, it was beyond insensitive for Joel to point that out. For a shrink, Joel was remarkably bad with people. He should stick to experimenting on lab rats.

“Wait a minute. You said ‘was’. So what happened?” Joel asked.

“He left.”

“He left therapy?”

“He left the country. The last I head he was in Africa. Sangala, I think.”

“That’s just as well. Maybe he’ll get caught up in a coup or something. I worry about you, Daniel. Seeing volatile patients all by yourself. Bauer is a violent maniac.”

“Only if provoked. Your protocol could have caused irreprable damage to Ms. Raines. Naturally Bauer wanted to prevent you from doing that.”

“I was following orders.”

“Is that your excuse for everything? From what I read, Bauer, whom you describe as a ‘violent maniac’ was able to do what you couldn’t: get Ms Raines to reveal the necessary information within the required time-frame. You must be rather embarrassed.”

“I am not! I surmised that seeing Bauer would have upset the patient.”

“Upset her more than putting her in restraints and almost drugging her into a – what was the term you used? - ‘cardiac event’? Just what she needed after months of invasive interrogation. Good call, Joel.” Daniel gulped the rest of his drink in a single gulp and signaled the bartender for another.

“I established a course of action based on my knowledge of the subject.”

“Knowledge gleaned from a cursory review of her file and a very fast exam.”

“I was running out of time. They needed the subject to talk.”

I was running out of time. There was a phrase Daniel had been hearing a lot.

The subject. The patient. God, Joel Bradley was cold. Daniel understood the need for detachment. But there was a difference between being clinical and being inhuman. Joel couldn’t even say her name: Audrey Raines.

For the past few years Joel had worked almost exclusively for CTU and Division. Those people were nuts. Perhaps forgetting his Hippocratic Oath was an occupational hazard.

Despite his credentials, Daniel couldn’t bring himself to work for those organizations. First, do no harm. He could only treat the damaged agents they almost literally threw his way. Which was exactly why Bill Buchanan had approached him.

Joel was right about one thing: Jack Bauer had been a fascinating patient. Difficult, but fascinating.

“Why is it that you know more about my patient than I know about yours?” Joel asked.

“Unlike you, I can get my patient to talk.” Daniel knew that was low, but he couldn’t resist. For the first time in this conversation Daniel was actually beginning to enjoy himself. “And I understand that Ms Raines is no longer your patient. Once her father found out what you tried to pull he issued a restraining order.”

“James Heller issues a lot of restraining orders. He’s over-protective that way.”

“True enough. I believe Jennifer Melfi is treating her now. Good woman. I’d take the case myself, but that wouldn’t really be appropriate. Conflict of interest. But you would know all about that, wouldn’t you?”

“Watch yourself, Schrebier. Watch yourself.”

Joel walked away.

Daniel savored his second whiskey slowly. He was glad he and Joel had this little chat. It explained a great deal.

END

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 25th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
Thanks
I am really enjoying your stories. You have a great writing style.
marinw
Apr. 25th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks
Thanks for the kind words!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )