5037/A Helping Hand pt. 1

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A Helping Hand pt. 1
Date of Scene: 05 February 2021
Location: A psychologist's office in Gotham City.
Synopsis: James gets some, uh,
Cast of Characters: James Rhodes, Harley Quinn

James Rhodes has posed:
It is a bright, sunny day. It's warm, for February, and one might actually feel like winter is finally breaking. But, James Rhodes does not look envigorated by the sun. Or the warmth. The man is bundled up in a thick coat and looks like he has not slept. Early this morning he placed a call to a name he'd heard of as being friendly to super powered individuals. Not in the City though, in Gotham, where people might not be looking for the invincible War Machine, and he might be able to go unnoticed.

He stands outside the door to the office for a few long moments, struggling with the next step, and then, finally, he knocks twice and then waits to be let inside.

Harley Quinn has posed:
Doctor Harleen Quinnzel.

That's a name she hadn't heard in a while, specially where it comes to people looking for her services. But there was still an old listing of that name as a Doctor that had appointments with superpowered individuals. Of course that had been years ago. And most of her patients had been of the supervillain variety, specially when she got to work at Arkham Asylum.. Something that someone perhaps more savvy in new technologies would had figured out!

The office was a dingy old place, one of her old offices where the name was faded in a plaque by the door, but from which the landlord hadn't dared to change *anything* or get a new tenant in. Harley Quinn's name still bore weight in Gotham afterall no matter how much people said she had reformed.

The request for an appointment had come at a fortuitous time. She was in town to look into a certain villain, one that she and April had been looking into and as such she had come here, not as Harley Quinn but as a secretary type, which served just as well to look like Harleen.

So when the door opens there's a blonde on the other side, hair held back in a ponytail even if the points seem painted is mismatch blue and red. She is dressed with a white blouse and a dark gray skirt. "Ahah! James Rhodes!" a cheerful little greeting to welcome the man. "Come in, come in. I was just finishin' ta feed my boys and we are ready to start." quite the heavy brooklyn accent on this one!

James Rhodes has posed:
"Finishin..to fead your boys..?" James asks. He is decidedly NOT internet savvy. A former Marine, he lived in the world of word of mouth, and reputation, and Gotham is so very distant from New York City. And yet, that Brooklyn accent, "You and Cap would get along great. He could tell you all about Ebbets Field...egg creames..." he says, trailing off as he walks into the office behind Harley. He gives the doctor a looking over, noting the blue and red points in her hair, her somewhat maic eyes, her figure.

He's brought back to the present though, rather quickly as the door -- left unattended by him when he walked in, slams shut behind him. He spins quickly, hands up, ready to fight whatever it is behind him that made such a noise. When he sees its just the door, he slowly lowers his hands, and seems to take a moment to remember where exactly he is. A -- perhaps not TOP of the line, but still charming -- Doctor's office. Not Iraq.

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Yup.., they should.." A pause as there are no 'boys' in sight. Harleen looks a bit flustered and goes over to an open window and peers outside at the fire escape outside, up and down. "Hmph.., guess they took off." she looking back at James and opening her arms. "ANYWAY..., go ahead and sit. And the cap? Mmmhmmm, I am suwah I would get along with him real fine. America's finest, if ya know what I mean!" no, James probably doesn't know what she is talking about.

But anyway, she gestures for the man to sit on the couch, she wandering to settle down on a chair. It's not exactly a great office in the inside, some of it already falling apart. Not Iraq surely, but eh it might have been on a warfront before.. Still, it looks quaint enough.

"I was curious that someone like ya would be callin' a doctah out heah in the middle of Gotham, but think I understand now. Still, bettah ta heah it from ya."

She sits down, folding one leg over the other.

"So, what brings you heah today." She asks, faint smile to her lips, eyes a touch wide and just a little .., manic perhaps.

James Rhodes has posed:
James Rhodes takes a seat on the couch where indicated, and leans forward, a bit hunched over. He considers for a rew moments. Where to start he seems to be pondering. He looks at Harley for a moment, then, seems to fall back into his own head. "Yeah. I, sorry. You're.." he hestitates as he tries to put into words what he is thinking, "I heard from someone I know that you're not really a normal shrink. You work with powered individuals. I can't say I have powers myself. I'm just James Rhodes. But, I work for Tony Stark and...y'know...the whole War Machine thing." He gestures off in the direction of New York City.

"So, I guess, what brings me here today is I wanted someone to talk to that wasn't Pepper or Tony or anyone else in my circle who might not see what I think I'm seeing, and also some one far enough away from where all eyes are on me to maybe get a little bit of anonymity."

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Oh no.." Harley shaking her head and gesturing with her hand. "We don't do normal heah.." not at all! "But it's not as if we living a normal world eh?" her shoulders rising in a shrug. "So what's really normal anymoouh? But anyway, digressin'.." she gestures for the man to continue, listening and nodding as he expresses more about what his life.

One hand reaches up to hold her chin, mmm'ing, "And yea, I know who ya awhe. You and the othas awhe often enough in tv." the woes of having saving the world more than once!

She pauses to listen to those last words, nodding about the anonymity. "What dya think you awhe seein'?" she asks, not one to start assuming before the man expresses himself.

Being a psychologist is often more about listening than anything else.

James Rhodes has posed:
"Yeah..I wasn't expecting you wouldn't recognize me. I'm an Avenger. We're sort of well known." James replies, perhaps a little ruefully. He smiles a little bit though, and says, "But, it's good to be recognized I guess. Gets you in some places you might not otherwise." His smile fades a little though at the other question, and he studies the woman sitting across from him for a long time. "I take it you didn't serve in the military, did you? I don't mean to offend, but..you don't quite have the look of it. And, I should know. I spent twenty years in the Marines. Four tours in Iraq. I was a combat pilot. I...well...lost people along the way. It bothered me, of course, but....you could compartmentalize it. It was part of the job." He sighs and then says, "Yesterday, I lost someone else. Not military, not someone I was close with, not even someone I really consider a friend. He's kind of a doofus to be honest. But, I was up all night reliving it and some other things that happened in my past."

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Ya know theah's toys, right? With yoh face in it.. Well, sorta." Harley handwobbling her hand a bit. "They don't do yoh guys much justice. I got my Wanda though." of course she does. About places, yea.. She just nods. She knows a bit about that. Why, she even would have a funny story on *how* she got to become a member of the Hellfire Club. But that's not for now.. So instead she listens.

As for the military. "Eh, you'd be surprised." but does being part of the Suicide Squad counts? Cole and Waller do make it look like the military! "But I didn't serve in the marines, no. Or in the US military.." not that she explains further on it. Instead she adds, "Everyone loses people, part of life. But by the way you are talkin' it seems as if you feel responsible?" She asks, canting her head to the side.

James Rhodes has posed:
"I have seen them, yes. I had a poltergeist throw a Quicksilver toy at me the other day," Rhodes replies with a grin, and adds, "I'll be sure to get you one of me to go with Wanda," before he settles back into his usual serious self. The man steeples his fingers and considers her question. "I was a Colonel. I led my own wing. My own squadron. I am lucky in that...y'know, it's not like the old days. It's not World War II, it's not Vietnam, where casualties...you could see whole wings wiped out during the war. But, I was in command of those men and women and some of them died. That's the deal. That's what being a commander is."

He stands up and walks over to the window that Harley peeked out earlier, hands behind his back, "The other guy...it was Ant Man...y'know he's just a big idiot. Not military. A con man who got tangled up in things bigger than himself. No pun intended. And, it's...I didn't even find his body. He might still be in that..../thing/ we were fighting. I thought he fell into the ocean, but, I guess I saw wrong?" He shakes his head. "And, now, I'm double guessing myself, a lot."

Harley Quinn has posed:
"A poltergeist." A pause, Harley's eyes going *wide* "Ya mean like a GHOST?!" she looks around quickly, then back, saying in a low voice, "Look I hope it ain't followed you heah or I am gonna charge extra!" yes, it's the psychologist freaking out in the middle of the session instead of the other way around! But hey, some people are afraid of clowns.. She doesn't like ghosts!

But with things quieting down she lets out a sigh, adjusting her hair. It's only after a long while that she speaks up again, "Expectations, I suppose. During the war you would expect casualties ta happen. Now that you awhe out the objective is to keep *those* from happenin', specially among friends.. Or in this case, teammates."

"But ya say .., Ant-man..? Isn't that the guy that can get smallah than a mosquito?" she frowns a little, "I am gonna say, wheah it comes ta heroes and villains nevah count someone out until ya see an actual body. Speakin' by experience heah..."

Oh the many times she thought the Joker had bit a bullet .., to then have him come swinging again..

James Rhodes has posed:
"Demon? Poltergeist? Extra-dimensional being? Alien? We're not entirely sure what it is. Tony thinks it's something real. It FELT like a ghost to me. Only felt that one time before...but..anyways, it's not here. It's haunting Avenger's HQ." James says, looking over at the shrink as she has her own little freak out. He smiles a little, reassuring her, "It's not here, and if it were, I could take care of it. Don't worry." It's likely true. He's never far from his armor.

"Yeah, no, that I know. I KNOW he's probably not dead. But, he's gone. And he is the guy that can shrink down to an Ant, so, it's possible the reason there is no body is because he's too small to pick up. I think Pymtech is doing some looking for him today where I last saw him but...if he was shrunk down, and unconscious...in the water for hours, he's not makin that." That leads him to twist his face into a grimace. As if he's holding back some rather larger emotions. "I do feel responsible for it. I picked him up at Tony's request. I flew him there. I carried him right up to the thing we were fighting. That's all on me. I should have known better, that he wasn't gonna be much use against a...being like that."

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Sounds like somethin' foh the doctah..." Is Harley talking about Doctor Strange? Maybe! But she leaves those details be, she is not here to help them solve their poltergeist problem! She is here to be a psychologist.

"And well, who would be of use against something like that? It's not like you knew what to expect. Goin' in with full knowledge o' the enemy is one thing... Anotha is ta go in and then suddenly ya got this extradimensional monstah tryin' ta eat yoh brain and bring it's madness into this world..." okay, that was oddly specific.

"Aaaanyway..., feelin' responsible is good. Means that you care about the team, no matter if the guy is a goofball." she says, "But lettin' it weigh you down will in turn make you become a liability instead of bein' able ta beat that ..., thing that's threatening your people."

James Rhodes has posed:
"Yeah. I know." Rhodey replies, in a sort of defeated tone, "But I feel like I'm carrying everything right now. Iraq. Ant Man. Tony's issues...I don't know what to do." He walks back over to where Harley sits, and then slowly sinks back into his spot on the couch.

"I don't want to take a break, I don't think I need to take a break, but I suspect you're going to tell me I should take a break. Find something outside work I can focus on and process, right? That's what the shrinks in the Marines would all tell you. Go visit them after someone gets got, they listen a bit, then send you off to build models or some..." he says, tossing in a curse at the end there. "Sorry, not like you're like them. Just, you're not the first head doc I've seen."

Harley Quinn has posed:
"You awhe carryin' everyone's problems with you.." Harley says with an agreeing nod, "But forgettin' ta care about your own issues as well. I am not gonna say takin' a break, because you ain't the type of guy to take one. And yea, typical advice would be just that, find somethin' ta occupy yoh mind like restore some ol' carcass of a car, learn knittin'.." she making a disgusted face and then adding, "Become a male strippah." she shrugs. "Lots o' choices, and it mostly woik. Ta normal people. It didn't for me!"

"What happened in the past ya just gonna have to learn to live with it, both in the war and aftah it with the Avengers. If not, find a persona that can. Someone that ya can bring forward ta be the solid membah they need, but then vent off when they aren't theah anymore. It's not ideal, but theah ain't ideal solutions ta that."

"I dealt with it by turnin', as they say, cuckoo crazy! So ya deal with the hand you get dealt!" She gets up to her feet then, making her way to the window as the sounds of hurried feet are approaching. And fast. A couple of large hyenas appear there, tongues lolling. "Boys! Wheah have ya been?!" she asks, placing her hands on her hips as if not too happy about the hyenas' departure.

Yes, she may be a little crazy.

James Rhodes has posed:
"We'll see about that last one some other time." Rhodes replies with a wink. He seems to have come to the realization she's perhaps not the most professional shrink there is, and he is still a Marine.

The advice, though, gets him to lean back on the couch as he considers it. The man seems to be turning it over, as he watches her walk to the window, at least until the heyenas come running up. He's not...scared of them per se, but he was definitely NOT expecting them. "The hell? I thought you were feeding pidgeons or something!" he exclaims as he hops up from the couch.

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Pidgeons? Oh no. Though ..., they probably got a few out in theah venture.." Harley leans down to one of the hyenas, bapping it on the nozzle, "My two dearies went out and got fed, uh? You weah missin' Gotham by now I am suwah. And no, I am not gonna bring ya both out ta hunt foh Jokah, ya heah..?" it's almost as if she's dialoguing with the two hyenas in the way that they answer by whining.. One of them sits down grumpily but the other peers at James and starts approaching, teeth showing.

"Lou behave! Oh, don't worry about Lou, he's a darlin'. Just no sudden moves, yes?"

But soon she comes back to the matter at hand, "Think about what I told ya, one face ta deal with the crazy. The otha wheah ya just let go and scream and shout and do all the shit you awhe too afraid ta do, or been wantin' to do but just feel too constrained. It's good ta let go sometimes."

James Rhodes has posed:
James Rhodes does not make any sudden moves around Lou. Lou is clearly not something he wants to tangle with right now. He backs towards the door slowly, and then asks, "What is it you do to..err...let go some times?" His eyes are still on the attractive -- if crazy -- psychologist, though he gives Lou an occasional glance.

Harley Quinn has posed:
Lou, the rather large hyena, continues on sniffing James curiously, looking up at his face, then down at the floor, then circling around. Hyenas.., never going for the direct approach! But Harley just says warningly. "Looouuuu..." which makes the hyena to whine and then sit down on the ground grumpily even if it's eyes continue up on James... Waaaaiting.

At the question Harley hrms, "Well, shit. Like anythin' I can think of. Roller derby..." she bringing up her hand and lowering a finger, "Bashin' bitches with my mallet." lowering another, "Or just straight up blowin' up the place wheah my ex used ta hang.." that was Ace Chemicals! And it deserved blowing up...

"Sometimes it can just be the simplest thing ta get me through, like goin' ta buy my favorite sandwich. Just whateva goes through my mind at the time. No off-switch." she says.

She pauses before adding more amusedly, "Ya really don't know who I am. When ya go back ask some o' the others who Harley Quinn is, someone should know."

James Rhodes has posed:
James Rhodes turns back a little quickly to look at the name on the door when she says she's 'Harley Quinn'. Harleen Quinzel. Harley Quinn. He then looks back at the psychiatrist, and then at the door again, realization slowly dawning on him. "YOU'RE Harley Quinn? The one with...the baseball bat, and the shorts and the shirt with the...." he snaps his fingers a couple of times trying to remember, "Suicide Squad name?" Yes, he has finally connected the dots.

"Kinda regretting that flirting a minute ago....but...uh..ok. So..." He seems at a bit of a loss for words, and he considers for a few seconds, before he says, "You've been great. Maybe if this works, you'll never see me again. If it don't, maybe I'll come back...but..uh..you've given me a LOT to think about today. A lot." He gives her another look, as if trying to put the woman into the costume he's seen her in. In mugshots. Or videos from the internet.

Harley Quinn has posed:
Mugshots! But yes, Harley also has some videos on the internet about some daring heists in the past. Been a while since any of those though. But she nods with a beamy smile when the man appears to recognize her, opening her arms to the side. "The one and only.." she making an elegant pose almost as if she was on a stage. "And I am still a doctah, no mattah how they may have taken away my license. Just because I don't think like otha people. Those bitches..! But anyway, suwah. Think about it. You awhe the kind that's been to a ton of psychs in the past, what will it hurt ta try somethin' new, mmm?"

She pats the hyena near her on the head, "Take care! And leave the money please. I got bills ta pay! Those are important actually..