Community Service At The End Of The Earth


aaron_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Scene Title Community Service At The End Of The Earth
Synopsis Aaron receives a phone call from the middle of nowhere (also known as Gillian aboard the USS George Washington).
Date January 12, 2010

Phone Call

It's the middle of the evening back in New York when Aaron's cellphone starts to ring. A blocked and unknown number that fails to register appears on the screen. If the area code could filter through, it'd be difficult to figure out. The middle of the sub-artic ocean, on a aircraft carrier, in a room that's monitored. The call itself is monitored as well.

But Gillian already knew it would be when she asked if she could call home. Never before did she try. It took a couple minutes of thinking before she knew she had the right one. It's been so long since she had to call her friend.

Despite being only the middle of the evening, Aaron's half asleep in his bed. It's been almost two months since he's last heard from Gillian, although he's received the occasional ambiguous update from Peyton. Though even he can't remember when that last was. He rubs his eyes as he fumbles for the cell phone. Half asleep as he is, he doesn't even bother trying to read the little display, opting instead to just answer it. His clock still reads a reasonable hour, so he can't gripe at whoever is calling. It's not late enough. "Hello?"

"Aaron?" the voice says immediately. Husky and easily recognizable, even under some strange sound filtering through. It doesn't sound like a street, or a payphone, but it doesn't quite sound like she's calling from indoors, either. "It's Gillian. I finally got the chance to call you. Are you okay? It's… good to hear your voice." Even if he sounds quite tired. What time is it in New York? She was sure she double checked.

"Gillian?" Somewhere in his mind, Aaron had resigned himself to the idea that he would never see or hear from Gillian again. To say that hearing her voice is a shock to him is a bit of an understatement. He can practically feel his heart stop, or at least skip a few beats. Lying back down, he switches the phone to the other ear, rubbing his head a bit. "Where … are you?" He sounds confused, but beyond sounding tired he sounds a little on the sick side. Likely a side effect of nasal congestion thanks to the bitter cold that has swept through the city.

On her way to Antarctica on an aircraft carrier about to go try to stop a bomb that wants to create a biblical flood to wash away the sins of humanity?

Nawh. Gillian's not about to say that. "I'm on a ship— doing community service. You know, to pay off my not registering fines, since I'm pretty much broke. I should be done in a week or two, and then I'll be returning home. They're going to help me go back to school, even."

"Well, I hope it's warm where you are, at least. It's a balmy twenty degrees here, and I don't mean the good degrees, either. I mean the colder than a snowman's ass degrees." Though really, it's not that cold. Not really. "And we've had snow. Had nearly two feet of the shit last month. It's like The Day After Tomorrow or something, I swear…." A week or two. He sighs. "I miss you." Much like how Gillian doesn't elaborate on what she's doing, Aaron doesn't elaborate on how much he's missed Gillian, or how he thought he was never going to see her again. And other things.

"Well, if it's like the Day After Tomorrow you need to head to the library. Safest place," Gillian says, with a hint of a smile that he can't see. One thing that makes her glad to be rid of the brand is the fact that now Aaron will never have to see her with it. "It's not warm, but it's not too bad. I've been through worse." But she knows it's about to get worse than that. There's soon to be Antarctica on the charts. "I just wanted to call and let you know I'm okay. I know it's been a long time… I should have called earlier."

Aaron lets out a short laugh at the library comment. Didn't she used to work in a library? "Hard enough to travel in good road conditions…. Just been staying in, probably stay in until it warms up again, I think." And until whatever cold he has goes away. Unless it's warm out. "It would have been nice to hear from you sooner," he says, although truthfully it would have been easier to hear from her sooner. He still feels a little like he's in a dream, like it's not real. Oh God, what if it's just a dream? He's about to ask that very question aloud when he decides to hold his tongue. If, by some miracle, it is real, he doesn't want to worry her with the nightmare madness that's been going on since she left.

"Yeah— I'm sorry about that, really. The first place I was working at had absolutely no fucking phones, if you can believe it," Gillian says, as if she knows it sounds stupid, but it actually is the truth! The soonest she would have been able to call him was the beginning of the year. Sure, she delayed beyond that too, but… "You guys should be getting some mail for me soon. They said they were sending my registration stuff to your address. I out Peyton's place down as my home. I hope she doesn't mind. Just hold on to it for me until I get back."

"Oh joy, registration… And I'm sure she doesn't," Aaron says, "I know I at least keep telling you to move in." Thank God she can't see him blush. "Wendy's been the most recent guest to our not-so-humble abode." Of course, Gillian will know all about Wendy from one of their late-night chats from the days of detoxing, when he was sharing his own experiences with Refrain. "They send you to a third-world country, or something?"

"Something like that," Gillian says, laughing a little at the question, but not really wanting to answer it. Classified information, after all! She doesn't want to get in trouble when she's gotten promises of freedom. "I can't really explain it, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I learned how to clean fish and cook more." It's not the best thing to claim to have learned, but it's better than saying she nearly got killed by robots and helped fly a giant crab. "I do have to get going soon. I just wanted you to know I'm okay and that I'll be home soon. I miss having you around. The first month was hell. Your company is addictive." And she means literally, even if she's not wanting to say it.

"Well, maybe you can cook for me once, then," Aaron teases. The idea of Gillian coming home has him feeling a little giddy, though that's likely to fade really quickly. He won't be feeling that great until she's close enough to touch. Literally. He sniffles a bit, though whether it's from the cold he sounds like he's coming down with or he's starting to cry is unclear. "I guess I'll let you go then… I love you." So strange that he can say it more easily to Gillian than he can to Peyton, and he and Gillian are just friends.

"You're so mushy," Gillian says with a grin, one he still can't see. Smiling comes easier now that she has no brand. She used to feel it worse when she smiles. Without it, it doesn't make her smile falter. "I'll call you when we're on our way home. Just take care of things for a few more days— and maybe I'll cook for you." Maybe! With that she follows up a small, "Talk to you later," before she hangs up. No return I love yous, but— She didn't say goodbye either.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License