Therapy in triptych.

It's quiet in the room.

For the third time this session, Dr. Miranda Arquette lightly breathes onto the lenses of her glasses, stares through them, then wipes them carefully with the edge of her sleeve.

Jamie knows that it's been the third time this session because it's her job to notice things. It's not that she can turn it off, exactly, she's not like, Sherlock Holmes or something— but she can choose to pull it into focus. It's like adjusting a camera lens; you narrow-in on the details until the entire picture becomes clearer because of the pieces you've sorted through. Like satellite imagery. Or doing GPS calculations in your head. It's not instinctual, but with enough practice, you can make it be.

Right now, Jamie knows that Miranda Arquette likes to clean her glasses. It's not because they're dirty, but because it gives her time to think, and it lets her fill the long stretches of silences with an action that's equal parts benign and non-threatening. It's supposed to, Jamie thinks, come across as non-threatening.

Jamie decides then, pretty quickly, that there's nothing to say to her job-mandated, federally-required, pretends like she's non-threatening therapist.

Miranda smiles. Between them is a low coffee table made of stained dark wood, the grains giving the surface a gleaming, polished look. On it is one single vase (blue) holding one single flower (fake). The wallpaper is an unoffending cream. There are pictures of other, visually unoffending things, like boats in the water and watercolors done of the sunset. It doesn't escape Jamie's notice that Miranda gets to sit in an office chair, straight-backed, ergonomic, black leather and steel chrome, while Jamie, pushed to the patient's side, gets to sit on a sofa that's just this side of too soft to be comfortable.

It's devious. Ingenious.

Miranda smiles. Says, "Anytime you're ready."


"You were missing, Jamie."

It's a topic that's long overdue. They've had the two sessions already, those introductory ones where they've talked about Ozzi, and Jamie's own childhood, and the death of her sister. Jamie picks at a hole in the knee of her jeans instead of looking at Miranda in the face. Miranda does her the courtesy of pretending like she's writing something useful down onto her clipboard, the notes that will inevitably be the deciding factor on if Jamie gets to return to her job or not.

Right now, nobody in the world knows that she's here. Jamie wonders, briefly, if that's supposed to make her feel safe.

"I think you think this is something that happened," Miranda continues. She's using her soft voice, the one that makes Jamie's gums itch because she's— frustrated by it, at the sudden-soft care in it. Miranda leans forward and sets down her clipboard, elbows resting on the round of her knees. "But you have to talk about it. It happened to you, Jamie. And I can't, in good conscience, clear you until you're ready to face this."

What do you know, Jamie thinks, About being kidnapped and told you're a superhero whenever you lose time once a month?

"Have you done anything drastic lately?" Miranda presses on. "Experienced anything that you would describe as out-of-the-norm? Erratic?"

The corners of Jamie's mouth twitch, like she's supressing a laugh. She tries, desperately, to think of anything other than the fact she's stopped taking her painkillers long before she was supposed to, because then she'd have more reasons not to trust her senses or this whole explanation about blacking out. She tries, even more desperately, to not think about that week long period of time when everything felt so unsafe, when the ghost of paranoia was there every morning and the only thing that made her feel any better was falling asleep by someone who was kind enough to let her be selfish with his company.

"I'm fine," Jamie says. Her eyes finally meet Miranda's, who still looks at her in that sudden soft-care way.

Jamie sighs. Repeats herself. "I'm fine. I'm not traumatized, the medical files will tell you I barely remember what happened. It's just— a blur. I'm not afraid, and I'm not sick."

A beat passes. Miranda stares at her. The chair creaks as she leans back into her seat, arms shifting to pick that clipboard up again.

"No," Miranda agrees. "But let me ask you a question—"

(The satisfaction is short lived.)

"—you'd know, would you? If you were sick?"


Her shoulder aches.

Most of the time, she pretends it doesn't. And it gets easier, doing that. Jamie knows she's not good at lying, but there's a part of her that's always known how to survive inclement weather. She knows how to lie about the things that matter; about how angry she feels when she thinks about her sister, or the quiet fear underneath that brutal, bright joy that comes whenever she thinks about bowling shoes and second chances. Jamie isn't unhappy — she remembers, intimately, what being unhappy feels like. This isn't that. Her shoulder aches sometimes, but there are people in her life who pretend not to notice, who give her enough time to approach them when she's ready.

It doesn't change the fact that she's back here, again. Miranda stares at her from across the coffee table. Jamie wonders if she's read the rest of her medical records. Appendix burst when she was a kid; there was that broken arm that one summer; once, way back when, her brother had driven her to the hospital because of that stupid sprained ankle.

When she'd woken up in MassGen, Jamie remembers that there was a nurse. She'd looked confused for a moment, then reoriented herself with Jamie's medical chart. She'd told her, at some point, that the results of the rape kit came back negative, so her memory loss likely wasn't trauma related. That was good news, for an abduction case.

"When can I go back to work?"

Miranda smiles patiently. Leans forward again, wrists resting on her knees, and stares Jamie right in the face.

"When you tell me something honest, Jamie."

Jamie stares at the watercolor of the sunset, hanging from the wall behind where Miranda sits. It's a nice scene, objectively. Pretty. Somebody must have taken time to do it, unless it was a manufactured print.

"I think," she says slowly. "What I feel most of the time, it isn't fear. I'm not scared."

Miranda hums encouragingly. "So what do you feel?"

Jamie sighs. "I don't know. Like I'm—ready."


The next time, Jamie thinks to herself. I'm ready for the next time. Because nobody's going to take my life away from me ever again.


When she comes back home, through the doors of her apartment, Jamie scoops up her son and squeezes him until he starts to squirm in her arms. She's used to the brief flare of discomfort in one of her arms versus the other; she laughs through it instead, kissing Ozzi on his forehead, watching him scream and race down the hall so she'll chase him.

This has been her life, lately. No work, no job, no remote monitoring. Peace in her home and something relentlessly hopeful gripping at her heart. Her life is just an hour a week, for the next month or so, in some stupid, small room with a sofa that's too soft and a woman who looks too much like she understands. Who looks like she's seen it before, what happens when you've leaned a little too long on compartmentalizing your whole life, and doubly so in the FBI.

I'd know, Jamie thinks. I'd know if I was sick.