A Shitty Hangover


aman_icon.gif kaylee6_icon.gif luther_icon.gif

Scene Title A Shitty Hangover
Synopsis Aman and Kaylee wake up together after a shitty Christmas, only to discover they both have…
Date December 25, 2020

Kaylee's Residence, Raytech Industries Campus

It was Christmas morning.

Everywhere families are waking up to gifts under the tree and the squeals of excited children. Not everyone had been looking forward to the delights of the day, however, in one of Raytech’s apartments a rather patient feline was done with waiting.

Willy was hungry.

Sitting on the end of the couch, cloudy amber eyes watch the two humans sleeping quite soundly. In fact, the one that feeds him might be snoring lightly. Humans. Hunched down he tries a grating mewl to wake them, but after a moment or two he realizes there are drastic measures needed.

He hops into his human’s lap and gives another graveled mew…. And wait. His human shifts with a groan and he feels hopeful. Except she turns her face into the unworthy one’s shoulder. Growling softly, Willy reaches out and places a paw on the unworthy one's thigh and promptly digs in his claws.

If this doesn’t work… he decides he’s going to start breaking stuff.

With a sudden seize from the sharp, unavoidable pain, Aman's back arches and he pulls away from the pain in his thigh, slumping to the side and grasping the side of the couch to pull away. "Agh!"

His head is throbbing, his eyes narrowed. As soon as he sees Willy he loses the fear he's being attacked by something actually harmful, and he lets out an exasperated sigh. "Shaitaan diyaan poonch," he hisses at the old cat, then turns slightly to Kaylee now that she's been jostled nearly as much as she has. It aggravates the crick in his neck something fierce.

Whatever Aman means to say comes out in a groan instead.

Jostled from a rather deep sleep, Kaylee’s world is immediately filled with a terrible throbbing pain. Groaning and gripping her head in an attempt to keep her head from exploding, she sits up straight. You’d think she’d learn from the first time she had a hangover… but no No she did not.

Hands move from holding her head together, to covering her face and reddened eyes, blocking out the torturous light in an attempt to ease the throbbing.

“Fuuuuck,” Kaylee groans out.

Willy, like most cats, has no sympathy for the humans’ discomfort, but at least he’s retreated to the coffee table to watch the two humans with an annoyed look and a flip of his tail. Aman gets a hiss in return for his words, before Willy yowls loudly at Kaylee. He was hungry.

Letting her hands drop to rest between her knees, Kaylee glares over at the cat with a flat look. At least, until she catches Aman out of the corner of her eye. The look he gets is one of surprise and then resolves into guilt. “Hey,” she offers him quietly, “Morning.”

"Morning," Aman offers up right back, barely a murmur to avoid aggravating his head— or his leg for that matter. He lifts one hand to look down and check his jeans with a bleary blink of his eyes.

A faint jangling of keys at the front door comes along with the sudden alert, anticipatory mrowl from Willy. Even at his age, the old tomcat hops down, table to chair to floor, and scoots quickly for the opening front door that admits one Luther Bellamy. From the doorway, the man's low humming can be heard to the familiar tune of Sleigh Ride. Willy's voracious meowing punctuates the wordless lines, Let's take the road before us and sing a chorus or *meow*, come on, it's lovely weather for a *mrreow* ride together with *mrrow!*

"Alright, alright Willy, gimme a sec," rumbles the man who takes some effort to extricate himself from the feline winding around his legs as he steps inside. "Kaylee?" Luther calls out, "I got some breakfa—"

He steps around the wispy curtains serving to partition off the open concept without disrupting the overall flow of the room, but comes to a halting stop upon spotting the pair. It doesn't take a telepath to read the top obvious thoughts that go through Luther's mind to come out via widened eyes and confused furrowing of brow.

“Good morning…”

The sound of the door opening brings Aman to slowly turn his head over his shoulder. His own confusion mounts as he hears Luther's positively jovial mood and song, a little too aching to find as much amusement in it as he might otherwise.

"Shit," he breathes out, lifting one hand to rub at the corner of his eye. When Luther rounds the curtain and gives them that look, Aman looks up with one squinted eye and an expectant expression. "Morning to you," he chimes a bit pointedly back.

Him and Kaylee had just been wrapped up with each other on the couch under a blanket, fully clothed. There's a part of him that should find this awkward, but it's difficult for him to summon the energy of that right now. "Luther," he says instead, very carefully. "There's not a chance in the world you've got any… hair of the dog with you, do you?"

“Shit,” Kaylee whispers when Aman does, under her breath as Luther lets himself in. “Breakfast… he mentioned breakfast.” Eyes squeeze shut so that she rubs at her gritty dry eyes… she had done some serious crying and her eyes still hurt from it. Still Luther’s singing gets a soft huff of amusement.

Thank god they were clothed, not that she looked great with her tangled mess of hair, dark makeup circles and red puffy eyes. Fingers comb at her hair a bit self consciously, even as she tries to give Luther a smile when he steps through the thin curtains. The sharp pain in her skull makes her squint, so the smile comes out more of a pained grimace.

“Morning, big guy,” Kaylee sounds miserable and yet manages some affection in her voice. “You missed the fun last night, we both… uh.. had a shitty night,” her tone bland as she motions to the bottles on the table, almost knocking the open vodka bottle over.

There is a groan as she gets to her feet to take the bottle to the kitchen. She stops half way there, when she remembers what day it is, and holds out her arms. Unlike Aman, she feels awkward… especially about her disheveled state. “So… yeah, I guess I should say, Merry Christmas, guys.”

Weirdly enough just saying those two words makes her eyes tingle with the threat of tears. She turns away from them both, blinking away the moisture in her eyes and takes the bottle to the kitchen.

Christmas cheer has temporarily evaporated at the sight of a messily cuddled couple and replaced with awkward confusion. Luther stands dumbly by, hands full with a brown pizza box, a tote of groceries, and a wrapped gift sporting a bright gold ribbon bow to compliment its candy striped red-green-white Christmas paper. The man's grey-eyed gaze moves from Aman's face at the query about hair of the dog to the gestured at bottles of alcohol. Luther's face quite visibly shifts from the awkwardness to a touch of pity once Kaylee starts to rise.

Holiday hangovers are something he knows all too well.

"I don't," Luther eventually supplies to Aman as he glances down to what he's brought. "Brought breakfast… and gifts." He pauses, briefly. "But didn't get you anything. Didn't know you were comin'. Merry Christmas, though." Is there something apologetic in his tone? Maybe, maybe not. Most likely not.

Willy's rather loud meow and another bump against Luther's leg furthers restarts the actions the man originally came to take. Namely, the aforementioned things he's brought. Luther tails Kaylee into the kitchen and moves to set his items on the island countertop. First thing's first, he glances over at Kaylee out of concern for her state. But rather than say anything aloud, Luther continues on to extract a couple pints of ice cream from the tote he's brought with him, turns to stick those in the freezer side before opening the refrigerator side and pulling out a can of cat food. "Should be enough for three," he mentions, louder. He means the enticing pizza box, which though closed, at close proximity smells like there's bacon.

A perfect, greasy hangover treat.

When Luther peers at him the way he does, Aman only has a shake of his head. Yeah, there's alcohol clearly still nearby, but there was a particular drink he had in mind. Nonetheless, further drinking is probably ill-advised. He talks himself out of it silently.

After Kaylee has gotten up, he takes a moment to rub at his eyes again, to begin stretching out the strain in his neck. He takes in a deep breath and finds his center, listens for the echo of emotions not his own. But nothing— the link is quieted. Aman rolls his lip as he runs his tongue over his teeth, then pushes himself to his feet.

"I wasn't expecting to be here either," he offers up as apology and explanation both. "But Kaylee insisted I not drink alone on Christmas, and very kindly took up that burden with me." Is he throwing himself on that spike unnecessarily? Maybe. She'd already started before he arrived, after all. But he feels obligated to at least shine light on why he's present.

"If you two have plans, I'll get out of your hair," Aman promises as he heads for the kitchen. The cat is glanced at before going back to being ignored, the top of the pizza box lifted. After all, a slice was offered, so a slice he'll take. "I already sabotaged the relationship I was in, don't let me do the same to yours." He leaves his eyes on the box as he peels a slice free and then shuts it again, doing a poor job at disguising the sour light he views himself in.

It might be the hangover talking, or it might just be him, at this rate.

Over by the sink, Kaylee is currently working on taking some painkillers for her headache when Aman makes that comment. Completely taken off guard by his blatant exposure of her feelings about Luther. It’s shocking enough that she ends up inhaling water when she gasps. It leaves her coughing to get back her ability to breath, with a hand out to keep them away while she resolves this and tries to think of what to say.

When she can finally take in enough air to speak, Kaylee turns an annoyed look at Aman. If she still had her ability, she might have had some private words for him… but… she’ll have to do this delicately.

“You <cough> aren't sabotaging <cough> anything.” The tone of Kaylee’s voice literally says ‘what the fuck, Aman?’ without directly saying it. There are a few more coughs, before she turns away from the sink and leans against the counter with a sigh. Tho the bump when she does has her wincing and gripping at her head with one hand.

“You’re my friend Aman and you need an ear,” Kaylee says matter of factly, resting her hands behind her on the counter. “Something like that wouldn’t sabotage my friendship with Luther.” She can’t even look at the looming man right now. “And you didn’t sabotage your relationship with… her. She did that all her own when she decided to make you a side piece.” There’s some latent irritation in those words.

A lift of the pizza box top reveals a breakfast pizza complete with just baked sunny side up egg, melted cheeses, and crisp bits of chopped bacon surrounded by the standard seeds and onion bits of an everything bagel styled crust, its overall shape quite artisanal. Luther's doing, perhaps.

Luther lifts a brow as Aman makes a comment about plans and relationships. The lid of the cat food pops off simultaneously as Kaylee chokes and coughs and Willy seemingly materializes from the shadows to mrowl impatiently once again. Before the man says anything in rebuttal of relationship remarks, Luther makes sure to feed the cat. One problem handled. The second?

"I'd agree with what the lady says," Luther concurs after a pause and a checked glance in Kaylee's direction. He doesn't quite pick up on what's being said in subtext, but he's gleaned enough to hazard, "With all the bounty on your head, you're here and hungover… 'cause of some girl trouble?" His eyes bounce between the two of them, momentarily. With a sigh through his nose, Luther turns to open one of the cabinets and extracts three plates and coffee mugs. These, for the humans in the room.

It's been a while since Aman's thought about the threat of Silas Redd perpetually hanging over him. He pauses halfway to taking a bite out of the eggless slice he's picked up for himself, glancing to Luther.

Kaylee's look and tone he tries to ignore in this particular instance. He knows what he said and how he said it, and wouldn't change it at all. He only gives her a momentary, meaningful look in return when she stresses the word friendship.

And then bites into the breakfast pizza to at least temporarily keep his foot out of his mouth again. But temporarily, too, ends. "Well, when you put it like that, Luther…" Aman shakes his head very gently to avoid aggravating it, sighing through his nose while he finishes the last of his bite. A plate is gingerly taken to catch any bits of bagel-come-pizza that might slip away from him.

"Technically," he argues in someone's favor, but surely it can't be his own. "I'm the homewrecker in this situation, Kaylee. She cheated on him with me. Don't…" Oversimplify it? Make him look any better than this than he ought to? It's hard to say, and Aman sighs instead.

"It's complicated," he explains, and shifts an apologetic look to Luther. Surely the last thing he signed up for this fine Christmas morning was to listen to his relationship troubles.

Maybe it’s the hangover, especially the aching in her skull, but Aman earns him a flat look. Though she does finally give up and holds up her hands in surrender, “Fine, you know how I feel about it.” It was clear to her, he was going to just continue to whip himself for things beyond his control… well.. She could only do so much. “And I’ll still be around when you need an ear, even if I want to slap her.”

The smell of the pizza finally has her looking over at the pizza, there is uncertainty and Kaylee may look a little green. “Fuck.. how can bacon smell so gross and amazing at the same time.” She slides down to the box and lifts the lid and grimaces. “That looks amazing… I’m starving, yet my stomach is protesting the thought.” Yet it doesn’t stop her reaching into the box to take a slice for herself.

An affectionate smile is angled up at Luther, “Thanks for the breakfast, big guy.”

Of course, thanks to Aman - who gets an awkward glance - Kaylee’s a bit more self-conscious about herself and her feelings, sliding a step or two away from Luther, while taking a bite of her slice. Because, it was pretty telling that the man has a key and is feeding her cat like he practically lives there.

Any particular looks being shot back and forth behind Luther are missed, but he's not entirely lost in the twists when he turns back. Still, it's surprising when Kaylee remarks with her feelings on the matter. And, a touch of physicality about it. "That bad, huh?" he opines more neutrally. "Do I want to know?" Sounds rhetorical, although he has been known to be a decent listener. "Where's it rate on the scale of bit of trouble to, I don't know, world-ending lamentation?" He's heard both, after all.

The man actually smiles back at Kaylee, humored by her poor hangover affected senses and accepting of her thanks. The side step gets a short glance, but he pays it little mind, and moves to the coffee maker to prep the pot. Two of the mugs, however, get primed first with some water. They're set down in front of the pair. "Drink," he rumbles at them both. "Not too quick, though."

Another smile, wry, flits over his features and he goes back to coffee making. "So, what're your plans today, Aman?" asks Luther. The probing, curious tone lingers in the man’s innocent query.

Aman's willingness to hold back is tested greatly by Luther's extension of interest. He sits down at the table, pulling the mug of water to himself to wash down not just the pizza, but the sour taste of last night's misery away. "You probably don't want to know," he answers. "Definitely not a world-ending priority. Just…"

He tries to navigate this with more delicacy than the last time the two of them talked about his troubles over this breakfast table. Aman sighs. "An ability use gone wrong caused some heartbreak after I didn't help someone the way she needed it. She wanted to change her situation, and I didn't give her as much help as I could have as I didn't want to change my situation."

His nose wrinkles at his own vaguebooking about the topic. "Was too worried about how the guy she's with would take it if she up and left him rather than properly breaking things off, not to mention, what I'd do with… the rest of everything. With her. And meanwhile, I'm still stuck linked to her. So it's just…" Whatever word means to follow goes unsaid, and Aman lifts his mug in cheers instead before taking another gulp of water. "Yeah, it's something all right."

The topic of what he's doing today is an easy segue for him at that point. "I was gonna drive home, go see my family up near Albany for the holiday, but with the snow we were supposed to get we said we'd wait until tomorrow. Boxing Day's a thing." He gives a shallow shrug, taking another bite into the pizza, this time crust included. "So— hang out and see if my roommate wants to order Chinese later, I think."

“What he’s not saying is that in the meantime, he gets to feel every single moment of her happiness,” Kaylee grumbles, taking her pizza with her and her mug after another soft thank you to her friend. “What was it you said? A fucking amazing night?” Looking at Luther, she motions to Aman, after she sets herself on the table. “That’s how he ended up here and hence…” She points to her head and the fact they are hung over.

“But all that isn’t why I’m pissed,” Kaylee says looking back at Aman, “It’s the fact she’s the one in control and she could potentially block you. That’s what upsets me. It’s not fair that you have to live in her happiness while miserable yourself.” There is no doubt she cares for and is protective of the man sitting at the table. “And even if the bond is accidental, you deserve the chance to figure out your own feelings without hers bleeding all over, influencing it.”

Kaylee is mad, but not for reasons people would know. Her own shameful past was bubbling up in the back of her mind and she didn’t like that something similar was happening to Aman. “Not to mention… if the wrong people find out, stuff like that is very much frowned upon.” She didn’t want to see Odessa thrown into jail again, either.

Another reason Kaylee needed to talk to Odessa.

Looking down at the pizza on the table, she looks like she’s suddenly lost her appetite for food. “Look, mental abilities are fucking messy as hell. I’ve been there and lived it. When I got my ability I unintentionally killed a guy who decided ‘No’ wasn’t an answer. And I know how addicting it is to know how another person feels, but you two need to disconnect. Knowing isn’t always that great and there is something to the mystery of not knowing.” Sounds like experience talking.

Picking up her hot mug, Kaylee cradles in her hands, “Besides, you don’t know what will happen if one of you dies,” she looks matter of factly past the rim of her mug to Aman as she drops that concern on the table between them.

Luther listens intently as he gets the coffee brewing. His back mostly turned to the pair as they explain, they don't get to see the part where he forms certain conclusions of what have taken place regarding emotional links and "a fucking amazing night" and the fallout there after. The tacking of casual revelation to Kaylee's past trauma, and her equally maudlin comment about unexpected death, tenses the man's shoulders. He takes his time pouring out coffee into his mug. Once he's turned back to face them, he's composed once more.

"Chinese sounds great," Luther states to skirt around further aggravations for the moment. "Hope you do get to see your family, too. It's important, keeping yourself grounded… unisolated." Grey eyes flick a look over to Kaylee, lingers, then down to the breakfast he's brought. He grabs a slice out, eases into a seat and has a better look at them.

It's about then he fills in, "You're wrong though. I did want to know." Luther leans back with a careful balance of baked egg - the yolk done just so - hovering. "Does this mean she can, y' know, feel your hangover? Like right now?" With his free hand, Luther scratches lightly at his beard as he glances back to Kaylee out of habit, only to remember the telepath not having the capability to currently read minds. His eye on the side of the beard scratching squints slightly. "Emotional… voyeurism?” As if he ever knew more than what abilities he’d encountered. Luther Bellamy is not a mental ability man, no matter how much Kaylee has managed to train him.

With a small shake of his head, Aman settles more squarely into his seat— partly by nature of slouching back into the back of it. "She's got me cut off at the moment right now, otherwise— yeah, emotional voyeurism, I guess. And most of the times, I can tell pretty easy what's hers and what's mine." He takes another small bite off of his slice so he can chew on his thoughts easier.

"And that's never been a … bad thing. If she's having a good day, great. If it's a bad one, I try and support her how I can. It just fucking got to me last night, realizing— imagining— whatever had to be going on over there. It sank in she's not going to give up on him like she thought she would, that one night."

"There's no us. It was a nice dream for her. But I don't think it'll ever happen." Aman quiets the longer he talks, relieved that he doesn't have to hedge his emotions in to make them less loud to anyone, but at the same time— feeling awkward discussing it in the company he's with. He shoots another glance to Luther out of the corner of his eye.

Yeah, they both were there for Kaylee when things were bad for her after the accident, but he's never quite gotten over the feeling like Luther would casually skewer him if the justification felt right.

It also helps him avoid looking at Kaylee, at least until he can't anymore. He looks visibly uncomfortable until the point he rights his posture, resting an elbow on the table. He balks, "Little concerned the third place your mind went to is 'well, what if one of you die', I can't lie." He looks away again down at the pizza, trying to decide what to think of her unique insight.

"Yeah," Aman finally decides in another quiet mutter. "You're right, we can't keep this up. Even if things were perfect, and she did leave Ace, that kind of codependence— i-it's…" Facing up against it is hard. For a moment, he looks as miserable as he did when he was pried back from the golden illusion he was hypnotized into by the old woman in Park Slope— much more preferring the warmer, more pleasant unreality. Or in this case, the more comfortable state of rarely being alone.

"It's not healthy," he admits.

There is a light flush of embarrassment at that voiced concern, Kaylee’s gaze cuts away from Aman and down to the pizza in front of her. She looks like she wants to slide down in her chair. Instead, she tries to take her mind off of feeling like some kind of freak and weirdo and takes a bite finally. “It’s a valid concern.” She murmurs a little miserable around the bite, like a little kid who’s been scolded.

Now she can't look at either of the men, fingers playing along the edge of her plate as she chews. “There is no such thing as perfect,” Kaylee finally snaps out, still not looking at them. Something about listening to him, it… pisses her off. The words pour forth without any filter or thought. “There is only a lot of hard work and a whole lot of pain, but fuck… You’ll bowl right into every painful moment and work your ass off, just to be with them, cause you… you… you can’t imagine life without them.”

Maybe because it’s like looking in a god damn mirror.

There is a blink and then another, as reality and a cooler head starts to seep in. Kaylee looks up at the two of them, with a sharp breath. Shit. She pales and looks anywhere but them. “Y-you need to figure this out shit, Aman. Do something, even if that something is letting them— her go.” She sounded mad, but it’s not at them… she’s mad at herself and that damn hangover. Kaylee finds herself suddenly on her feet, picking up her dishes, and leveling a glare at Aman. “More importantly, get her out of your head, so you can think clearly and actually make the best decision for you.”

Kaylee starts to retreat, then stops. Again Aman finds himself at the receiving end of that frustrated look, “I went for what I thought was perfect. I don’t completely regret it cause I got Carl out of it, but… it wasn’t right for me and I let outside influences decide he was perfect for me.”

There is a flicker of a glance at Luther, but it doesn’t linger. “The real thing… it’s a lot harder,” Kaylee says to Aman. “And she’ll be a hell of a lot of work.” Kaylee knows Odessa and it would be a battle for him. “You just gotta make up your mind and decide if you have the fortitude for it.”

Luther takes a bite of his pizza slice in his hand, subsequently chewing it and Aman's dilemma all at once. He, like Willy, appears neutral on the matter even though the slight nods from the man show his recognition of the situation somewhat. Response is reserved silence, overtaken by Kaylee's snap and outburst of movement. His attention ping-pongs between the pair but catches on the glance from Kaylee. Her words furrow his brow. No such thing as perfect. The words linger, swirling in the silence around him.

"Main thing is, you decide," Luther finally concurs after a swallow. At some point, the pizza slice in hand has half-disappeared. "You take care of yourself, make sure you're alright, and everybody else around you will be, too. Naturally." Canting his head in the woman's direction, he lets out a quiet sigh. "Listen, man. It's Christmas. You want to spend it shitfaced and hungover, that's your decision. Or you can get yourself cleaned up and set a meet up later to figure this shit out. 'Cause you - and her - got no time for that." In a way, he's agreed with Kaylee's thoughts. They don't know what will happen if any one of them dies, or when it happens.

A dark shroud starts to pass over Luther as he recalls past regrets. But when his gaze drops to the brightly colored present brought with the rest of breakfast, he banishes the encroaching dourness. Forcibly. "Anyway, though. You," he motions at Kaylee, a point and come hither wave of his two fingers marking and pointing out the package, "got a gift. Should open it." He won't have it any other way.

Properly humbled, Aman's side-eye for Kaylee is cowed down into glances while he finishes the rest of his slice before his plate is taken. With a rub of hand against his thigh, he considers what he's been told, considers his place here.

Considers maybe Luther and Kaylee need to have this same conversation, but between themselves. Figure out the feelings between them on a spoken level, and what either of them want from it.

"I gotta make my peace with what needs done. I'm gonna hold out hope we can fix things, but… there's no sense in not talking it out. It'll just get worse the longer we don't be honest with each other — where we are, what we expect from each other." Aman pushes himself to his feet, looking at neither of them, because it's backhanded advice meant for them both equally, too. "You two enjoy your Christmas. I'm gonna go make the best of mine."

He offers Kaylee a small smile at that point to try and shoot down any attempts to get him to stay longer as he slips past her to grab his coat.

Kaylee considers what Aman says with a nod, even as she drifts closer to Luther and the indicated package. Setting down her plate with it’s half eaten slice - within reach of quick fingers - she picked up the gift. Fingers brush over one of the tails of the gold ribbon, before looking at Luther with a touch of surprise in her lifted brows. Though honestly, there were probably gifts for him under the small tree in the living room.

Whether that conversation they need to have happens… well… time will tell. It was up to them to start it and at the moment they seemed comfortable where they were.

Realizing her other friend was planning to leave, Kaylee turns back to him with a weak smile. “Tell your family I said hello.” There is a glint of amusement in those blue eyes, as if it were a personal joke between them. “And no matter how it all turns out, doors always open. I’ve got plenty of comfort food, booze and a couch.” In other words, she would always be there as a friend. “Merry Christmas, Aman.”

"Maybe less booze for the next 24 hours," Luther suggests, a wry edged smile twitching up at the mouth corners. He doesn't say no alcohol though, which may or may not be worse.

As Aman pushes up to a stand and makes to leave, Luther takes in the cue and flips open the pizza box to grab slices out and sets those on his and Kaylee's plates. Then he flips the box closed and adds an encouraging push of the pizza box in the other man's direction. "Take it for the road. An' Merry Christmas." Impromptu gifts and well wishes are all he can do for the man, for now.

As much as Aman would like to refuse the gift of pizza, he's not in much of an arguing mood. He lifts the box gratefully after returning to the doorway to take it. "Yeah, you too, guys," he says. He even affords a parting look to Willy, something nearing amicable despite the assault that had woken them up in the first place. It's a holiday, after all.

"To a shitty hangover, and a happier New Year," Aman says as his farewell, wry and rueful grin to go with it before he slips out the front door.

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