aaron_icon.gif bella_icon.gif

Scene Title Comorbidity
Synopsis Aaron sees Bella post-Nightmare Man.
Date December 9, 2009

Bella's Office

Sleeping in shifts sucks, especially for Aaron, since he worries that if he drifts off to sleep, Peyton might fall asleep while he's unconscious. As a result, he's gone from falling asleep and panicking himself awake to just plain not sleeping until he actually passes out from exhaustion. Sadly, such was the case in the cab on the way over to Bella's office. Thankfully, the cabbie was kind enough to wake him up, though he's not nearly lucid enough to notice that he's paid a few dollars more than he usually does when he comes over.

Aaron enters the office, no longer with a knock for he's too tired. He closes the door by leaning against it, and very nearly falls sleep right there, though he does manage to get his boots off and trudge to the couch, where he sits. "Got any caffeine?" he asks. The dark circles under his eyes are more prominent than ever.

He's seen better days, that's for sure. Bella seems like she's doing quite well, herself, hair left down about her shoulders, glasses hanging down at the front of her long dress, a little bit English-teachery. No cane in sight

Bella watches Aaron enter, observing his evident fatigue with interest and concern. "I can make you some tea," she offers, "Though you look like you need stronger stuff." She gets to her feet, moving over to the kitchenette, no sign of a limp, "Tell me what's going on. I'll take care of this."

Aaron would normally have already tried to stand to help, but he doesn't even flinch this time around. Too tired. "Last week, after our last session…. seriously fucked up." He rubs his eyes. "I had this nightmare, not like that's unusual or anything, but it was different. Normally it's like, Humanis First or something killing people I care about." The number of those people being sadly small. "But this…." It's hard for him to think about it without his eyes watering, "This was. Everything was dark and I had to find someone — 'her,' the voice said — before it was too late. And I followed the signs, walked through people crying out to me for my ability, and then I saw it. The whole time I was in the apartment, and the destination was Peyton's bedroom. She was there, holding a blade to her wrist." He chokes on the last bit, and scrubs his eyes with his sleeve to wipe away the tears.

"Suddenly, I was lying on the floor in the hallway, awake. Well, not quite in the hallway, more like in Peyton's bedroom doorway? My head was killing me, I think I banged it on something. But there she was, kneeling on her bed with a kitchen knife to her wrist." As though being exhausted weren't enough, Aaron can feel the world growing fuzzy from the sheer horror of that sight being relived in his mind's eye as he recalls the details. "She was asleep, sleepwalking. She had a nightmare, and in that nightmare she was driven to kill herself, and she nearly did." He doesn't explicitly say it, but that is his answer for why he looks about ready to pass out.

Bella removes a kettle from the lower cabinet by the oven, fills it with water, and sets it on one of the elements, turning it all the way to 'high'. She can leave it there for a bit. She moves around, leans up against the kitchenette's island, and watches Aaron, listening as he recounts his horrible experience. Dream analysis went out of style some time ago, but this… this would be a challenge even for someone well trained. Matching dreams? A near suicide. Normally her first suspicion would be that this was a delusion of Aaron's, but there is no reason to believe that is the case, no reason other than the fact that linked dreams are crazily improbable, and somnambulant suicides are almost unheard of.

"That's absolutely awful," Bella says. Nice to get paid by the hour to state the obvious, "I'm sorry we didn't meet sooner! How have you been coping?"

Aaron would be far happier if it had just been some delusion or hallucination. It wouldn't be the first hallucination he's had — the most horrifying, perhaps, but not the first. "We decided to sleep in shifts, but as you can imagine, not sleeping much. How can I? I didn't try to kill myself in my sleep." He wipes more tears from his eyes, "I mean, she claims she'd never do it, but clearly, clearly that's just not true, right? If whatever fucked up situation where Wendy and I are dead or whatever it was can lead her to it, she's obviously capable."

Bella frowns. What conclusions can she possibly draw? What course of action can she possibly suggest? She wants to be productive, but this is well beyond her ken, at least for now. "You know, at least, how important you are to her. But you're worried that this will happen again? That it wasn't a one time thing?"

"How can I not? She nearly slit her wrists with a Chef's knife, and the only reason she didn't was because I also sleepwalked and smash my head on something and woke up in time." The whole idea terrifies Aaron, and he fidgets even now. What if she fell asleep? Like he did in the cab.

"This is way beyond my experience," Bella admits, folding her arms, "I badly want to help in a larger way, but I can only help you figure out how you feel, and maybe suggest courses of action. But this is bigger than I can handle in good conscience," she gives a frustrated sound, "…have you considered going to a sleep lab?"

The kettle begins to whistle, and Bella moves around to turn off the heat and goes to get a mug.

"It's probably well beyond everyone's experience," Aaron says, sounding resigned. "To accomplish what? Get stuck in a strange place so neither of us can get any sleep?" Because he's quite certain Peyton could never sleep in a strange place. He knows he has a bit of trouble doing that, himself. Then again, he can barely sleep anyway. "This is just ridiculous. I go from being unable to stay asleep without panicking away to panicking before I even fall asleep."

Bella plops a tea bag into the mug she produced. It's a featureless black mug, serviceable but without style, save perhaps a minimalist sort of style. "After enough time," she says, lifting the kettle and pouring the hot water into the cup, "You'll fall asleep, trust me. And they can monitor your brain waves to see if anything weird is going on. If they find out what's wrong, they can maybe give you some medication, something that will interrupt whatever patterns are giving you trouble. Plus you'll be under observation, the both of you, so neither of you will be at any risk." She carries the steaming cup over to him. "It's Irish Breakfast. Nice and malty. Drink up."

Aaron takes the cup, though obviously doesn't drink right away. "It's hot," he remarks, stating the obvious. He does, however, take a deep breath of its aroma. "It's just… I don't know what to do anymore. I guess we could try that. I don't want it to happen again, obviously. I'd just really like to be able to sleep in peace for once."

"You need proper rest," Bella says, nodding and returning to her chair, taking a seat and crossing her legs, "Your depression and insomnia are comorbid, and you need to break that cycle if at all possible."

"If a sleep study will help, please by all means, sign me up. I'll have to somehow drag Peyton to it, or it'll be a waste, though," Aaron says. "Considering how resistant she was to the idea of seeing you after… after the nightmare, I might have more luck trying to fly."

"I'm sure you can find a private clinic, somewhere where Peyton will feel safe," Bella says, "I'll try and look up an address, make some inquiries."

"And her bank account lighter, I bet," Aaron remarks. It's bad enough she's had to pay for him a few times, and he still feels badly for being unable to pay Bella. Unfortunately, insurance isn't free. He sighs. "Thank you. I'm just…." He shakes his head.

Bella leans over and touches Aaron's shoulder, lightly. "You'll be okay. You must believe that. Take each problem as it comes. Your life is trying to make itself unmanageable. Show it who's boss."

"I'd say it's succeeding." As far as Aaron's concerned, his life became unmanageable ages ago. "There are too many problems to take them as they come. I'm steal dealing with my old problems, how am I supposed to have the focus to deal with the new ones?"

Bella folds her hands in her lap. "That's something I will try and help you figure out. Now… have you been practicing your ability? Trying to get it under control?"

"At least I can still make it not work, not like that helps me much," Aaron says. "No luck making it work otherwise, and I can't select who I use it on any other way than just making sure they're closest." And of course there's the thing that he always prayed was not the case. "And I think that…" The mere idea of it brings tears to his eyes. "I think that I… when I use my ability, I sometimes get more depressed. Not right away, but, by the time I finish playing and walk away, everything seems so much worse."

Bella leans forward. "If there is genuinely a connection, then it is all the more important for us to understand how your ability works. It's sometimes you feel more depressed? Try and take note of /when/ that happens, and what might cause it."


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