Better Than Hamlet


aaron_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title Better Than Hamlet
Synopsis Peyton's life gets more confusing after a not-so-good night's sleep when she decides to talk to Aaron. Things get more complicated, if that's even possible.
Date February 19, 2010

The Trio's Apartment — Upper West Side

Friday morning — Peyton slept in, as she tossed and turned after going to bed after Aaron woke from his nightmare and began his new lease on life by trying to kiss her. It must have been awkward for Aaron to be on Nightmare Watch — keeping an eye on her and Gillian with the baby monitor system, knowing perhaps that every time she tossed or turned that it was because she couldn't sleep. Eventually she dropped off, around 3:30 in the morning. It's no surprise that she doesn't rise until 10:30.

"I'm awake," she murmurs, giving a wave to the baby monitor, much like the wave she gives the video surveillance cameras at the library, before heading into the attached bathroom to shower.

Thirty minutes later, she pads out into the living room — she's apparently not running off anywhere just yet, as she's in yoga pants and a sweat shirt with bare feet and her hair in a wet ponytail. "Morning," she murmurs, quietly, before heading toward the coffee pot, the most important thing in the apartment at this moment.

It wasn't so much awkward watching Gillian as it was Peyton. And not really so much awkward as it was boring. As far as he is concerned, the kiss was a long time coming. Sitting on his butt watching them sleep, while a welcome change from staring into the apocalyptic abyss, was still gruelling. He's too cautious to have shirked off the watch, because he doesn't know if the Nightmare Man is gone. He hopes he is, but how is he to know for certain?

So he watched, and watched, and watched. The tossing and turning was noticed, and he knew that one way or the other, it was probably his fault she wasn't sleeping. He nearly died and kissed her. Long time coming or not, that sort of thing can be confusing. When she finally waves to the camera, he's grateful at least one of them is up. He continues to watch the other monitor with a look of impatience. Nine some hours of his day are already gone. He's been doing nothing for ages, as far as he remembers, he wants to go somewhere, do something, even if he's starting to get tired already. Like he really wants to go back to sleep.

When Peyton finally emerges from the bathroom at eleven and heads straight to the kitchen, the only words Aaron offers are, "Morning." He ponders asking for a cup, but decides to just leave it. He never did care for coffee, and he didn't break for long enough, or frequently enough, to also put on a pot of tea. He squints at the baby monitor, eyes starting to get a little blurry from staring too long, and reclines some on the couch, where he's been watching the monitors from.

After getting a cup of coffee, adding lots of sugar and cream, Peyton returns to the living room, leaning against the wall as she watches him watch the monitor. "If you're tired, I can watch her," she offers, voice a little froggy yet for want of talking. She takes a sip of the coffee to help melt away the vocal amphibian, and tries again, this time a bit more clearly: "Feeling all right post nightmare?" she asks. "I wonder if it's really all over."

"As right as can be," Aaron remarks and he shifts a bit away from the monitor while rubbing his eyes. "I can't say I missed the snow, though it's nice to have a change of scenery." He sniffs a bit, "My head is throbbing. Took a couple Advil, but didn't even dent it." He glances at the monitor to make sure Gillian is still there and apparently sleeping. "Yeah, I hope it's over. This is a seriously boring way to spend ten hours."

"You haven't sung for a bit, have you? You need your fix," Peyton says, with a shrug. "Sorry… yeah, she should be up by now. She was sleeping when we went in to get you, but maybe she couldn't fall back asleep for a while. You want me to get your guitar? You can sing if you need to. I don't want you to have a headache." He hasn't sung for her for a long time — not often at all since the argument they had where she demanded he not sing for her anymore. "And believe me, I know it's boring." She's spend many a day watching people do nothing exciting — mostly Danko, alas, before Elisabeth and Gillian put a stop to it.

One of their many arguments. "Oh man," Aaron says, feeling rather foolish and blushing some. "Seems like it's been so long, I completely forgot…. Oops." And then he laughs some. "This is so messed up, but kinda funny in a twisted sort of Twilight Zone kinda way. Ah well, I wouldn't worry about it. I can tend to it later. Not like a headache's going to kill me or anything. Besides, if I remember right, I'd need both of you, to get a proper fix anyway, so, you know, I can do it later." It seems he might remember that argument.

Twilight Zone is right. Especially as he seemed irritated with her when she awoke with a cheerful new resolve and lease on life after her last victory with the Nightmare Man. It seems he has a similarly ecstatic new sense of self. "I should try and call Cat and see if she knows anything about what happened last night — if he's really been defeated. She seems to know everything that happens in regards to Evo people in this city," Peyton says, moving finally from her wall to the chair that faces the couch. "And she was in my dream to help me, so maybe she had something to do with it. Did you see anyone else, before you … got stuck in hell?"

Lashing out. One of Aaron's specialities, particularly while feeling neglected. Not that that's an issue anymore. He has certain ideas on how to rectify that situation, one way or the other. He shakes his head, "Only one person I recognized, and it was just the guy who barely knew what was going on himself. He greeted me when I was recruited…. If I remember right. The other two people…. I've never seen either of them before. Seemed we visited everyone's bad pasts, though. Mine, I suppose it wasn't the worst it could have been, but being given a reminder of everything I lost wasn't really…." He shrugs. "Hell, I don't even know what came over me when I went to jump in the first place." He makes brief eye contact. "Maybe you should call Cat. I'd love to know if we can put all this shit away and get on with living."

Peyton brings her feet up onto the chair with her, curling up with her cup of coffee. "Cat's mom died. She was murdered. I don't know if I should bug her with it right now… I'll talk to Gillian first," she decides, frowning into her coffee before lifting it to take another sip. "I'm really sorry I didn't see you get up last night, Aaron. I just went to make a cup of tea. You were sleeping normally and I was gone maybe a whole two minutes…" she begins, her face earnest and sad again, this time looking up at him. He interrupted her before she could really apologize the night before. "I guess I just got … complacent … with watching because it'd been a while since any of us had a nightmare. Mine was the last that I know of." She doesn't know about Gillian's — or didn't until last night. "Except — Gillian said you had a stuffed animal army? when did she have a dream with you in it? You helped her — like Cat helped me?"

Aaron frowns some upon hearing the news that Cat's mother was murdered. "Damn." And then she goes on. "I told you not to blame yourself," he says, wagging his finger at her. "You can't stop everything bad from happening. Besides, nothing bad did happen. You and Gillian got to me in time and as you can see, I'm very much alive, so please, it's not your fault I got to that window, it's my own at worst, and at best the Nightmare Man's." He looks back to the baby monitor. "As I recall…" He shakes his head, "Not my place to say." As soon as he says it, he realizes that may draw more worry than confirming that there was another nightmare. So he does the only thing he can do. "But yes, a stuffed animal army. I never mentioned it because I thought you might think it silly. Quite frankly was, but there was nothing more amusing than beating the Nightmare Man with a pile of stuffed animals." That actually brings a smile to his face, a real one, which hasn't been there in a very long time. "I doubt anyone else can claim to have kicked him out of anyone's head with plush toys. One of the reasons my mood was as good as it was, I suppose."

"All right," Peyton says, though she looks like she doesn't quite believe it. "Just stupid to have this set up and not … have it work. At least now you know what it's like to try to kill yourself without really wanting to." He was so worried about her and her mental state, even when she tried to convince him she hadn't any intention of eighty-sixing herself. "Kinda sucks, though you're a lot more chipper than I was about it." She takes another long sip of coffee, and smiles. "Stuffed animal army. Well, it's no more silly than a jaguar playing lawyer, really."

"Lawyers are scary," Aaron quips. "And of course I'm a lot more chipper about it…. I had far too much time on my hands afterwards. I don't think I'd have minded if it finally came to an end, or I suppose, if it hadn't started in the first place…." He had a long time to think this over and it still sounds confusing. He rubs his face, "Let's try this again…. Yeah, it kinda sucks I almost leapt out a window. But I didn't, so everything's peachy."

"Peachy," Peyton echoes, giving him a suspicious look. "The Aaron I know doesn't use words like 'peachy.' But fine. I guess all's well that ends well, right? Or maybe all's well that doesn't end badly, anyway. Better than Hamlet, from what I remember. That one's all about suicide and we've had too much of that shit in our lives." She's trying for levity, but there is still a tension present between them.

"Maybe it's just a strange, apathetic bitterness. From my perspective, I have only had myself as company for a very, very long time. I don't even know how long. And I'm not that great a company," Aaron remarks, his eyes leaving the Gillymonitor. "Why don't you say what you want to, what's bothering you. Get it off your chest. It's no good leaving that stuff bottled up inside. I know that at least as well as anyone."

"Nothing's bothering me," Peyton snaps, frowning at Aaron for putting things on her, for throwing the ball rather suddenly into her court. She's not the one who went and confused everything the night before! She shouldn't be the one who has to bring it up. At least not in her mind. She shakes her head, and gets more defensive, wrapping both hands around her cup of coffee. "And I'm not bottling anything up. Me? I cry at least twice a day, remember?"

Aaron sighs and lowers his head. "I shouldn't have kissed you," he says. He wanted to so badly. For so long in that hellish nightmare he'd thought about it. The things he regretted not doing. How ironic that one of those things he now regrets having done, now that he had the chance and took the initiative to do something about. "I'm sorry."

Peyton's brows furrow as Aaron apologizes. Conflict is written across her face, if he were looking up at her to see it. "Don't — please, don't be … sorry," she says, sounding like she might cry. After all, she's below her quota for the day. "Don't make me feel bad for not knowing what to do with that," she adds — not the right words, not what she means, but it's coming out all wrong.

She shakes her head, putting down her coffee and uncoiling from her curled position, glancing around and finding a pair of Ugg boots to tug on. She has never left the house, even for Staten Island errands, looking quite so … unpolished. Yoga pants, Ugg boots, a sweatshirt? She stands and grabs a coat from a hat rack, which at least covers up most of the atrocity she wears.

"I need to go. I'm late." For what? But Peyton can't look at him when she just seemingly ruined his "peachy" outlook on life, with whatever she has done — or hasn't done.

And now she's running away. So much for talking about things. "OK," Aaron says. "Don't stay out too late and don't forget your cell phone, or your purse." At least he's thinking clearly enough to make sure she has these vital things on her at all times. No doubt she needs time alone to process things. He sighs a bit and leans back into the couch, staring at the Gillymonitor. How long will it be before she runs away, too?

Cell phone. Purse. Peyton heads to the corner she keeps her purse in, grabbing it. "Thanks," she says, her voice just a touch thick, suggesting she might be trying not to cry. She knows she is hurting him by running off, that it isn't solving anything, but she can't think when he's so close to her, to figure out how she feels about what happened. "Tell Gill I'm at the library." Probably one place he won't follow her to, though who knows with the brave new attitude?

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