AA For Empaths


aaron2_icon.gif abby_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title AA For Empaths
Synopsis Hi, my name is Aaron and it's been… too long since I consumed my last emotion. Aaron makes his way to Abby's place where she and Helena are having doctor prescribed selfish moments. Helena in hiding away from being phoenix leader and Abby in letting Helena cook for her. Until Aaron shows up and goes on an empathic mini bender to Abba.
Date July 3, 2009

Village Renaissance Building - Abigail & Leonard's Apartment.

An average middle class apartment, it's populated with decidedly not middle class furniture. A solitary red suede couch occupies the immediate living room, with a battered coffee table and side tables as it's companion. A decent sized TV sits on a cupboard with a stereo, DVD player. The kitchen sports a relic from the 70's, with matching chairs that still seem to be in decent condition. The two bedrooms off the hall are distinguishable from the other, one bearing a gold cross nailed above the door, the other not.

In the corner of the living room is an ornate cage on a bird stand, a blue budgie within it's depths. In another corner is a massive cat tree house, and often occupied by a black cat with a red suede collar. It looks barely lived in, like the owners are not yet investing their effort quite yet to move in.

The phonecall had come in the evening, and the conversation brief: Helena asked if she could come hang out at Abby's. Why? It was reluctantly admitted; Helena just wants some time someplace where nothing more would be expected of her than to cook dinner. It seems a successful bribe, and at the agreed upon time, Helena shows up at Abby's door with a grocery bag in each arm.

Leo's out, Claire's out. Just her, the cat, the bird and the ghosts. Abby answers the door when the other blonde comes in. Flannel PJ bottoms and tank top, pale and drawn. Toenails blue. Toenails, not toes. And it ain't from nail polish. "Hey, come in. Welcome to Abigail and Leo's sanctuary. Where you too can pull up an airbed and get some respite. Thank the good Lord you offered to cook. I just got back from the psychologists and I don't have the energy at all"

Helena lets out a little laugh. "I don't need to crash." she promises. "I just need to have a little respite, you know? So the only thing I gotta do for you is make some pork chops and maybe some dessert." When Abby turns to walk further in Helena gasps, "Oh my god, what an awesome tattoo!"

"Was just a joke. Ferryman have me now as a place to overnight stay. I think I have enough in me to do some applesauce for the porkchops. Leo brought home some apples… oh" Right. The tattoo's. "It'll be gone. Soon. Once the person I know is in town. I uhh.. I was drunk. Bad night. I got really in the cups with a friend and she turned my hair blue, gave me wings and blue toenails and she's up and poofed. So I'm stuck with the toenails and the wings for.. who knows how long. come on. I need swamp sludge too. Hows things?"

"Complicated." Helena says. "Forgive me in advances, but it's all too fucking complicated. But I hope things are okay for you." She heads to the kitchen and starts pulling out ingredients. A sixpack of pork chops, a can of pineapple chunks, rice, and a roll of cookie dough because Helena's letting herself be a just a little lazy. All of this is her contribution to let's pretend that none of her problems (or Abby's) exist right now.

"Complicated. It's always complicated but yeah things are okay, going to be okay. Just blood loss. But long weekend so if Leo stuffs me full of steak enough all weekend, I should be good come Tuesday for class. Hey, do you think that letting you cook dinner can be construed as doing something for myself?" She putters in behind Helena, gathering two apples from the fruit drawer and a paring knife so she can sit at the kitchen table and peel them.
"I don't see why not." Helena says. "You're a proper southern girl, Abby. You got an iron skillet? If you don't, I'm docking points."

"THink my momma would let me go without buying me one of my own? Underneath the stove. Should be seasoned" Abigail starts in on the first apple. "I went down to the precinct. Haven't told many others. Delphine couldn't fix me. Nothing to fix save my hair. SO I went in and.." Abigail shrugs. "I have no Evolved Gene. That one that you have that says 'gifted' and that everyone who's gifted has? I'm missing that apparently"

Helena lets out a laugh, and goes for the skillet, setting it on the stove. "I'm sorry to hear about that Abby. Losing your gift, I mean. I think it's safe to say that I believe in science and God both…so if you weren't Evolved, then I'm sure there was some kind of explanation…which doesn't mean it wasn't a gift from God. I know that sounds convoluted, but it makes sense to me - I hope you're not offended? Of course, I'm also cooking an awesome meal for you, so you subliminate any offense taken into viewing this as willing temporary servitude."

"Everyone assumes i'm offended that they don't share the same view of my gift as them. Do I really come off that… much of a jerk?" Abby frowns and shakes her head, waving off the last words. "It's nice. That someone else is cooking. I like it, oddly enough. This whole .. assignment, homework from my psychologist that I have to take care of myself first instead of others. I'm supposed to be selfish. Maybe you need to be selfish too"

Helena makes a faint face. "This is me being selfish. I'm hiding from all the things I'm supposed to be dealing with. Pinehearst and the Company and Peter and Adam Monroe and all the rest of the crap." She slaps some butter onto the skillet, turning the heat up. "Would you snag me some salt and pepper?"

"Then we'll be selfish together" Salt, pepper. Two small mills are picked up from near her elbow and she leans up out of the seat and passes it over. "Okay so no talk of Pinehearst, abilities, uhh Arthur, Peter, Staten Island. So what does that leave us to talk abo… I'm dating" That's what they can talk about. "Victor Childs. Gillian's brother"

"Wow, really?" Helena seems delighted on Abby's behalf. "I don't think I've met him - Gillian's never mentioned. So tell me about him, huh?" She begins seasoning the pork chops with salt and pepper, and then on a whim, adds a little bit of garlic salt before she puts them to grill. There are six chops, boneless and thick.

And they're smelling great. She launches into a description of him, what he does, his ability even. The first two dates that they'd have so far including the trapeze school. No real passionate emotion when talking about him, but she sounds like she has fun enough with him. "I should take you some day. To the trapeze school. You'd enjoy that I think"

Helena seems to catch the lack of emotion. "I'm glad you're having fun." she says. "Do you - how do you feel about him? He sounds like a great guy, but I guess you know, most people go all crazy happy when they're with someone new."

"I don't.. I don't Know Helly. He's nice, he's a good friend he just.." The second apple is finished and she sets about to starting to dice the apples minus the core. "You don't marry the first guy you date right? I mean, he's literally the first and… He's nice, and I promised I'd give it a few dates. Can you get me the saucepan from the bottom and the butter?"

Helena fetches the saucepan and advises, "Butter's on the counter. And no, you don't marry the first guy you date - not necessarily. It depends on how you feel about him. And it seems like you really like him, but do you think you might love him? I mean…is there connection? A spark?"

"Helly, really. Do I look live I've ever loved anyone before other than my parents and Jesus?" Is there a spark? She doesn't have anyone to compare it to. Not really. "I don't know really." Up from the chair she comes, scraping the little tiny cubes of apples into the pan and a dab of butter before she's heading for the stove to stand beside the atmo. "How is it, was it, between you and Peter even though I know peter is a taboo subject"

Back in the day, it was customary to call before dropping in. Such common calls of courtesy, unfortunately, cannot always be observed. For one, Aaron doesn't even know which apartment is Abby's, and he doesn't have her cell phone number, or a cell phone to call her with. But he does remember that she lives at the Village Renaissance, and he's lived in the Village long enough to know where that is — so that's his destination. Getting there has been a chore, especially since he hasn't forsaken his music and left his guitar anywhere. If anything, it helps to steady him as he stumbles through alleyways. He'd rather not get spotted by any cops and thought to be completely smashed, which he's far from. Not that they'd believe him. He looks like shit.

When he gets to the Village Renaissance, he prays to find Abigail's name upon the door plate. It would be easier for him to tell if the darn things would stop moving, which makes it even harder to get his finger to the button to which the name is assigned. It's only a tentative press on the buzzer. God forbid he disturb someone who is decidedly not Abby. That would just be embarrassing — as though coming along to a former co-worker's private place of residence unannounced and uninvited to beg for help isn't embarrassing enough.

"He's not entirely taboo, it's just - " Helena sighs, shaking her head. "I just saw something in him. We saw something in each other. He was so full of hope, and so was I, and I think we fed into each other a bit that way." As she checks to see how the pork chops have browned, she blinks as the buzzer rings. "That's not Leo, is it? He wouldn't need to buzz."

"Leo would come right up, he has a key. Couple folks have their own keys and there's others who are just plain allowed up… Oh, and I know Cat's little secret about this place. watch the apples?" As she moves to the intercom and turns it on. "Beauchamp Household"

No, it's not Leonard, or anyone else who has a key. It's Aaron, the poor sappy musician who works at Old Lucy's and has been MIA for some time now. But now that he's hear and now that he's heard her voice, he has second thoughts. Ah, the internal struggle. She could be in the midst of any number of things. Does he really want to interrupt her like that? Then again, does he really have a choice? Seriously, it's here or the hospital, and he's almost certain they'll ask a whole other round of questions that he doesn't have answers for. "Abby?"

Helena keeps an eye on the apples as requested, and continues to work on their meal. The can of pineapple junks is opened, the entire contents dumped into the skillet with the porkchops.

"Aaron?" Another button is depressed, the one that lets him come in. "Come on up. Third floor. 306. I'll leave the door unlocked" It's a voice she hasn't heard in some time. "Company coming up Hel." Selfish night, might be ending real soon. "Good Lord on high, those smell so good"

More hesitation. Aaron can feel his heart trying to beat out of his chest as he makes his way into the building and to the elevator — no way in hell can he make the stairs right now. It seems like an eternity passes between the button-press and the arrival of the elevator. Once inside, he all but collapses after hitting the 3 button, taking deep breaths to try and stop his heart from racing so much. To his surprise, his head doesn't hurt that much anymore, which is probably a good thing when one considers the dancing lights and the mildly spinning elevator. Elevator rides aren't supposed to feel like merry-go-rounds. When he finally reaches Abigail's apartment, he comes in just far enough to close the door behind him before all but falling on his ass trying to catch his breath. It looks like he's broken up a heck of a sweat taking that elevator.

Helena pauses from her work in the kitchen. "Company?" she echoes uncertainly. "Anybody I know? Abby, if the wrong person sees me…" but then there's Aaron, and Helena eyes him cautiously from her spot in the kitchen, pineapple pork chops cooking merrily away.

"He won't tell. I swear on the bible. He's got as much to loose as you. He's an Empa…Aaron?" When he comes in. She's more upright than he is. "Helena.. get some water and a washcloth?" There goes not taking care of anyone tonight. Right out the window. Ariel would be frowning, she's sure. "Aaron, you look like you ran a thousnad miles, go sit on the couch"
"I feel like it. I think I'll just lay here a bit," Aaron says, and his voice almost slurred. No, he hasn't been drinking. Clean and sober since May. He takes a few deep breaths, though they do nothing to slow his heart any. Close up, his jugular vein is actually visibly pulsing. "Besides, that's not the worst of my problems." He lets out a snort, "Trying to control my ability — what a waste of time." He rubs his eyes, "God that's annoying." What exactly he's referring to is anyone's guess.

"There's plenty," Helena offers tentatively, staying in the kitchen. Feeling edgy - she doesn't know this guy! - she adds the rice to the skillet, letting it soak in the pineapple juice. She then search out a cookie sheet. Hey, as long as she keeps busy, she'll be alright.

"Fuck" Comes softly from the blonde. "Hel, Aarons sick.." She can't fix him, whatever's wrong. "His like jugular is like.. gonna explode, I swear. Aaron, you fed off anyone? Or have you not been feeding off anyone?" To the couch she goes, motioning for him to come along.

And lo and behold, Aaron makes it to the couch. The guitar finally gets to rest not slung over his shoulder. Whomever Abby is talking to gets no thought from Aaron. He's not completely with it, as should be apparent. He immediately retorts, "I don't eat people," before the feeding comment has fully sunk in. Then he visibly pales. "Oh God, I'm a vampire." He almost passes out right from that, but manages to remain conscious long enough to grab at Abby's hand, "I tried to avoid doing it, but when it started to get this bad — even I can put two and two together given enough time. I just can't seem to do it anymore. With or without music."

Helena covers the skillet and comes out into the living room, as if somehow the magic words had summoned her internal Buffy Summers. "You're a vampire?" she asks incredulously. "So you're what, the Vampire Bill to Abby's Sookie Stackhouse?" Yes, Helena does in fact crack a book sometimes.

"No, no you're not a vampire Aaron" Shit, he's having Ability issues. "Sing. Come on, try and, do like, you know Abba right? Helly likes Abba. Since some Abba. Hel, get over here, get close as you can, maybe you'll get happy for a few days too. He like.. he's an empath, only he sucks it off of people and you get left really happy" She has not a clue who sookie stackhouse or Vampire bill is. Not at all. "Try Aaron"

"Oh Lord, now I have an imaginary terrorist mocking us," Aaron says with a groan slumping his head back along the cushion of the couch. "Because all this shit wasn't enough, I get to hallucinate too." Of course he's already seen plenty of things that weren't there, he just assumes Abigail doesn't associate with known terrorists. Then he looks confused, "Who's Helly?"

"I hope I'm really, or the laundry I did this morning was a complete waste of time." Helena retorts, as she steps closer. "Are you serious? Singing ABBA will magically heal him?"

"Seriously Helena. Singing something Will help. Usually if he's really out of whack, he'll just automatically seem to suck it down, but sometimes, he just seems to need to sing. I've seen WHOLE crowds walk away from him, with smiles on their faces." There's a light tap to Aaron's face. 'ignore the viglante in my livingroom. Sing Aaron.

"Out of whack," Aaron says, "You're talking to my hallucination. Oh God, am I hallucinating you, too?" The tap to his face makes him consider otherwise, which is probably a good thing since that line of thought could be potentially damaging. He looks straight into Abby's eyes, and then looks away just as quickly. Thankfully, he has to try and think of a song, which can hide the fact that he doesn't want to make eye contact with her. "ABBA, eh?" He wracks his brain. Only two songs spring to mind, and there's no way he's singing Dancing Queen. "I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me cope with anything. If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail. I believe in angels, something good in everything I see. I believe in angels when I know the time is right for me. I'll cross the stream - I have a dream." And unfortunately, that's all he knows. Plus, he hates singing a capella. Perhaps for his sake, his ability actually works for him this time. Feel the love.

"I am not a hallucination!" Helena insists, but then blinks as she sort of…does, in fact, feel the love. "If you're going to sing ABBA, sing something fun!" And with that, she launches into…"My my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender!" If Abby doesn't stop her, she takes the other girl's hands and starts dancing with her. She feels good! "Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way; the history book on the shelf is always repeating itself! Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war!" Twirl! "Waterloo - promise to love you for ever more! Da dun, da dun da dun, Waterloo - couldn?t escape if I wanted to! Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you! Waterloo - finally facing my Waterloo!"

That doctor Sonny sent her to would be throwing fits. Here's Abby, low on red cells, her hands in Helena's and dancing with the woman through her living room. The cat watches from it's perch in wonder. She doesn't know the Abba song but signs along regardless, twisting her head this way and that in the hopes that the light hearted, love that she's feeling, is easing Aarons health issues right now. "Waterlooo!"

Aaron is too spent to sing along. After feeding off of these two miserable young ladies, he lets out a contented sigh and sinks backwards into the couch, just like someone who's taken a long drag of a joint, or just finishing snorting cocaine after a dry spell. Yup, nothing wrong with that, no way. Just a perfectly normal empathic ability, right? And now, here's this miserable young musician with two anti-depressed young women dancing and singing in front of him. "It's never worked that fast before," he finally says, after coming to his full senses. His heart has slowed substantially, back to normal, and the flickering lights — an actual hallucination — and vertigo have left him as well, though his headache has come back. "Sorry," he says finally, "It was I Have A Dream or Dancing Queen and I don't really know either of them all that well."

"Oh," says Helena breathlessly, "Are we stopping now?" she sounds disappointed, and then yelps. "The pork chops!" she rushes to the kitchen.

"I guess we are" Better be, because Abby slithers to the floor, panting softly. "Applesauce!

"Oh," Aaron says, "Were you two having dinner?" It's his turn to help Abby up and into the kitchen, and he won't let her stop him, either. She looks terrible. Happy, but terrible. Of course, now is probably the only time anyone could be happy about burning food, only because it's so hard not to be happy. It's amazing how much people swing to happy when there's no pain for them to feel.

"There's plenty if you'd like some!" calls out Helena merrily. It's like being bipolar! "Pineapple porkchops with rice, only I forgot to bring wine, but I can still make cookies later!"

"Helly was cooking for me. Pampering me. Cause people who get shot with shotguns, deserve pampering" She's not gonna say the real truth which is that Helena needs a night from being Madame Phoenix. She'll take that help into the kitchen and like it. "Aaron, this is Hel, Hel, this is Aaron. A friend." She gratefully sinks down into the 70's era seats that is the kitchen table. "I don't think it'd be good for me to drink wine and last I need is more tattoo's and pink toenails but, Helena's offered so, pull up a seat and tell me what stupidity led you to think you can not feed? Are you trying to kill yourself aaron?"

"Don't sound so perky when you ask that," Aaron remarks. He tucks Abby's chair in — ever the gentleman — but doesn't take a seat himself, nor does he answer the question. Does she have to word it like that? Feed? "Can I give you a hand, Hel … ena?" He takes a gamble that Helena is her full name, of course, it's there in his memory somewhere. The name was all over the news.

"Dinner's ready!" singsongs Helena. She feels like herself - the self she was before all this sort of started. It's kind of…weird, but enjoyable at the same time. "You two could bring me your plates and I'll fill 'em up!" She adds curiously, "Whatcha got to drink, Abby? A white wine goes good with this, unless soda and water and juice is what you have. I can make do!"

'There's wine in the uhmm, lower cabinet. I forget who brought me some, but someone did" It's a white to boot. "Orange juice for me" She doesn't have to sound so perky, but really, she doesn't have a choice in the matter thanks to Aaron. Her plate is passed over to him. "I expect your mouth will be kept zipped Aaron? Left someone open their mouth about you?" Ohhh, did Abby just perkily threaten?!

"Orange juice for me, too, thanks," Aaron says, taking his and Abby's plates to Helena. "Alcohol and I really shouldn't mix." He finally takes a seat next to Abby. "Who am I going to tell?" He tries to ignore the fact that Abby just threatened him with exposure. The idea of registration has come to mind once or twice, but he has no idea what that will entail and doesn't want more complications.

"That's some power you have there." says Helena. She doesn't to drink alone, she won't drink tap water, and so it looks like orange juice for all three. Chicken with pineapple and rice is plated for all three of them, juice poured, and taken to Abby's table. Once seated, Helena will politely wait for Abby to say her grace, though she herself does not participate.

Helena knows Abby, and when the plate is put before her, there's clasped hands in front of herself and her lips move in prayer but none of it is audible. Neither of the other two at the table are required to actually say Grace. She won't impose that on others. But it's over soon enough - she's a firm believer that long prayers = cold food and she like shot food - and she's digging in with a soft thanks for the other two. "Should hear him when he's not jonseing for a fix. He plays and sings beautifully"

Oddly, and possibly for the first time in a great number of years, Aaron joins in on the prayer. Freaky. He too, however, sees no reason for more than a quick prayer for similar reasons as Abby — cold food is frankly not as appealing if it's meant to be served hot.

Jonesing for a fix. Yeah, great, he's an addict. Is that any better than vampire? The idea of feeding off people is still disturbing to him. He blushes as he's complimented by Abby and wishes he had something to hide behind. So he tries to hide behind smalltalk. "So, Helena, what do you do for a living?" is the first question that manages to slip past, and after saying it, he shrinks into his chair and blushes some more. He turns his attention then to his food, and starts to eat.

Helena fixes Aaron with a bemused look. Then, with a grin that makes it obvious that she's well aware of the bullshit about to go flying around the table she offers, "I guess you could call me a civil rights activist."

"She's a very good one. Even if we don't see eye to eye on some things. What she does, she does out of love, and for everyone who can't or won't speak up for themselves" Abigail looks over to the other blonde. "Someday, they'll understand"

"Yeah," Aaron says, slicing through his pork chop and spearing it with a piece of pineapple. After chewing on it some and swallowing he says, "This is really good. Reminds me a pineapple glazed chicken I had at Neptune's." Yes, he just compared Helena's cooking to a restaurant's. He raises his fork and waves it like a finger, "I don't know if you've ever been there, it's rather new. It's like on the edge of the Village on the north side of NYU. Despite being a seafood restaurant, they cater to other tastes as well. Their lamb chops are particularly good."

Abby's words are taken to heart - and truth be told, they're words Helena really, really needed to hear. She is graced with a smile, before Helena turns to Aaron. "Thank you. I'm sure I'd love to go, except I'm afraid I don't get around much." For obvious but unspoken reasons. "So do you make a living busking?"

Abigail just cuts and eats her porkchops in silence, spearing a pineapple with her fork and nibbled. She's content to listen to the two talk for right this moment instead of speak up pointless words.

"Living? No. Money? Yes," Aaron says. "I work a few nights a week playing music at Old Lucy's, but…" A piece of pork chop sits suspended on his fork for a moment as he thinks. "This is going to sound like a shocking question, but what day is it? Because I'll tell you, it's been a rough time and I haven't exactly been myself lately." He looks a little flushed on account of fearing for his job. How long has he been gone?

"It's Friday night." Helena supplies easily enough. She doesn't sound shocked. She doesn't even sound like she's surprised he's had a rough time of it. "How'd you two meet?" she asks, the question for them both. She seems pleased with her cooking.

"He came into the bar. Looking for a chance to sing when Isabelle was away at Club Med" There's a tired weak shrug of her shoulders. "I thought i'd give him a chance, not like we had many folks who were willing to come and play at the early hours, since there was the curfew. Couple times of being really happy after he'd left after singing, well, I clue'd in. I know too many Empaths"

"What she said." Aaron eats a bit more and chews on this 'Friday night' business. Then he stops to rub his head, which still aches despite sapping all the negative emotions out of Helena and Abby. "It's not June anymore, is it?" Yeah, it was that bad a time.

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