Doctor On The Moon


aaron_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Scene Title Doctor On The Moon
Synopsis Aaron makes it out of the Suresh Center in one piece.
Date November 9, 2009

Suresh Center: Second Floor

The second floor is an idiosyncratic combination of small medical center and psychiatric hospital. In the back of the building are several lab rooms, equipped with everything from blood-test equipment to an MRI; despite its size, the facility is competitive in a features sense with many larger and more mainstream hospitals. The core is dominated by a multipurpose room, usually serving as a cafeteria but sometimes transformed into a game hall or ad-hoc movie theater; on either side of it are the two permanently-staffed nurse stations, the balcony at the front offering a view of Roosevelt Island and the opportunity for plenty of sunlight.

One wing of this floor has been given over to a medium-term ward, intended to house medical or psychiatric patients for only a few days, perhaps a couple of weeks at most. Most rooms are double-occupancy, particularly for medical patients, but in some cases they may be allocated as singles; all have large exterior windows and are surprisingly not painted in generic institutional shades. Rather, they each have their own personal theme, from ascetic to modern, oceanic blues to autumn reds and browns. Rooms are allocated primarily by what environment a patient feels comfortable in. The opposite wing is the Suresh Center's juvenile ward, designated for the care of Evolved children and teenagers coming to terms with their abilities. It has its own rec room, several single-occupancy rooms, and at the end of the hall a larger shared room for siblings, friends, and children who do better in company. As for the adult ward, the decor is engaging and inviting rather than blandly uniform.

Visitors are required to check in at one of the stations before going anywhere else on this floor, and in some cases may be provided with an escort for the duration of their visit.

The night with Dr. Brennan was a real battle for Aaron. While his symptoms improved, they did so very slowly, to the point that he only finally managed to settle down enough to rest by the time the doctor's stay had ended. On the plus side, he did have Peyton to hold his hand through the night all the while he prayed the doctor would just leave him alone. After the first few hours of being unable to tell if he was getting better, he'd have preferred he hadn't been there. And when the doctor finally passed him off to Dr. Kaufman, he especially wished he had.

Hallucinations are never particularly fun. Despite additional mental confusion brought about by withdrawal from his ability, all crashing down upon him with Dr. Brennan's negation no longer present, Aaron still had the mental capacity to know to sing — though very briefly and only after shoeing the nurses away — to Peyton and Gillian for some semblance of relief. Their collective pain was mostly enough to get his symptoms down. It also gave another point from which to draw blood for comparison, which was done both immediately and some six hours later, extending Aaron's stay well into Sunday evening, and finally into the early hours of Monday afternoon. Finally, after having had blood drawn five times over the weekend, his stay at the Suresh Center draws to a close.

Aaron cracks his eyes open. It's been around a day since he worked his particular brand of magic on Peyton and Gillian, so his head is already throbbing, and they're still living the good life of being pain-free. One of the main reasons he has to seek other outlets is because his ability tends to last more than a day, despite his need for a fix in less than one. His eyes haven't quite focused on the room, somewhat put off by the overhead lights. He's squinting without even paying attention to whether or not his companions are even in the room with him. "I swear to God," he mutters, "If I have to stay here one more fucking day…."

There's no companion in the room at the moment. Well, there wasn't for a few minutes. Instead, there's a door that creaks open just as he curses and speaks against God. It's not Peyton, surprisingly enough. It's the person who swore she'd never set foot into the Suresh Center. Ever. And there she is. Both feet in, arms and legs and head included. She's wearing her hair in a ponytail, and a small bag, she's actually packing lighter than she usually is. Perhaps she'd been afraid her bag would be searched.

"I think we're gonna try to get you the fuck out of here right now, actually," she says in her raspy voice, then grins a bit. "I don't think I've heard you swear that often."

Aaron snorts. No, he doesn't swear too often, though can have quite a mouth when someone sets him off. "Where the hell is Doctor Kaufman, anyway? I see him for like a minute and a half and then it's nurses, nurses everywhere poking me with— and I swear, if they poke me with another goddamn needle…" Aaron tilts his head, sitting up in the hospital-ish bed. It's clear from the way he moves that his headache is progressing to migraine-strength, but it's not quite there yet. Confusion is written on his face. "Where's Peyton?" Because of course, the last thing he remembers is her holding his hand. Singularly the strangest thing. Then again, his head is still somewhat foggy from the major episode the other morning. He rubs the sleep out of his eyes. "I want to go home."

"She went to go take care of something. Shopping, that sorta thing. People need to take care of their apartment sometimes, you know," Gillian says, lying with a wave of a hand as she moves closer to the young man and sitting down next to him. "And I wanted to pick you up, since she's been here with you the whole time anyway. I gotta take up some of the slack of this fucking friendship too, right?" A hand touches his arm. There's a lot more that Peyton needs to do, things that she doesn't think either of them are quite ready to tell Aaron about… Not with the way he worries.

But at least this way she'll get to take him home, be there for him when she wasn't the last few days. So it's a good trade off. "Nurses suck. If you're ready to go home, then let's get you home. To Peyton's."

If he hadn't recently had hallucinations, a bad nosebleed, had God knows how much blood extracted from him, not to mention the whole mental confusion thing, Aaron might pick up a bit on the lie, or be concerned despite believing it. Frankly, he's too messed up right now to, even if only a week ago he found out that Peyton had been held at gunpoint. As much as Gillian wishes he didn't know some of the things Peyton gets up to, he does. He reaches to take Gillian's hand. "I'm exhausted and think leaving is a good idea, but I have to be discharged first." The last bit is said with a roll of his eyes and a shake of his head.

And then comes a knock at the door frame. Dr. Kaufman couldn't help but notice that his new patient seems to have a guest, so he waits not entirely patiently at the doorway to be given an indication that he can freely enter.

"Well, let's get you discharged, then. I think this is one of those… self-committal things, right? So you can just sign a few fucking papers and…" Gillian says, cursing a bit more as she glances away from him toward to door to see the Doctor on the Moon. "You must be the guy who shows up for ten minutes and sends people to poke him. I'm a friend. I think he's ready to go home. Does he have to sign some papers and stuff?"

"I dunno. I was kinda messed up," Aaron admits, turning slightly red. A good thing, considering how pale he's been as of late. As Gillian goes into her mini-tirade, he's saying, "And there's the doctor," too softly to be heard. "And she can stay to hear whatever you say." Clearly he wishes to not have the doctor run Gillian out of the room.

Dr. Kaufman steps into the room with a thin stack of paper that he soon attaches to the clipboard with Aaron's chart. "I think that can be arranged," the doctor says, with a nod to Aaron. He flips through the papers. "Well, I honestly don't know what to tell you, Mister Michaels. You definitely are a strange one. Fairly healthy, minus a few quibbles, for the most part. Your cholesterol is good, blood counts are fine. You don't have any STDs and aren't on any known illegal substances that we tested for, nor does your blood contain any markers associated with various cancers." There's more flipping and a brief adjustment of the older doctor's reading glasses. "The only thing that concerns us are the neurotransmitter levels, which are very, very strange."

Not ran off, Gillian settles into a seat and listens to what's being said, even if she's not a doctor. She's seen doctors before. No STDs are good. Means her other self has managed to stay clean, which might surprise her a bit, and no markers for cancers good… Before she can even stop herself, she opens her mouth and asks, "Is there anything you can do to help fix that?" It's the man next to her's health in question, but in a case like this she's not good at keeping quiet.

Where Gillian asks if there's anything that can be done to fix it, Aaron was about to ask what exactly that meant, but he supposes it doesn't really matter. "Well, what Gillian asked, really. Is there anything that can be done?"

"Not without knowing what's creating the imbalance. We expect some imbalance, especially since everyone is different. You are on an SSRI, and those can change the numbers a bit, but they're typically within a normal range. What we have when you have gone some time without using your ability are levels well outside of what is considered normal." Another reading glasses adjustment and more rustling through papers.

"After your major episode on Sunday morning and the subsequent usage of your ability, the neurotransmitter levels all came pretty close to normal. While I would like to run a few more tests, they can be done on an outpatient basis, there's no reason to keep you here any longer. I'd suggest to keep doing what you've been doing. If you're still concerned about it, we can schedule you for an MRI to make sure your brain is clear of any visible abnormalities or anything that might be causing your trouble or might cause you trouble in the future. Beyond that, I really don't know what else we can do. As near as we can tell from the blood work at least, you're perfectly fine when you're using your ability."

There's a mild wince from Gillian for a second, when Aaron says something near the beginning. There's nothing she can really do about it, but it's there for an instant, and there's that tinge of darkness that shows up around her. Whatever caused it, she knows she'll have to explain eventually. "Outpatient is better than this shit," she says after a few seconds, standing back up and already putting her bag over her shoulder. "I'm his ride home, and I'm sure he'll come back for more of those tests." This guy seems nicer than the other one, at least. She doesn't feel like she wants to punch him in the face. Which could be an improvement.

"Ready Aaron?"

"I'll go for that MRI," Aaron says, mainly because he's sure Peyton will appreciate the last thing he can do to prove that it's OK that he uses his ability. "And anything else you come up with. I can keep using my ability, but I would like the reassurance that it's not gonna like, kill me or something." Despite the fact that the self-inflicted scratch scars are mentioned on his chart. "Oh, and, I think my therapist, Dr. Bella Sheridan, will probably be interested in that info, so could you fax that to her?"

Dr. Kaufman nods, "Of course. I'll sign your discharge papers and you can head on home." He does, however, give a bit of an eye towards Gillian, somewhat disappointed with the constant bad language. "Normal hospital policy would be, you get wheelchaired out. But, you look like you can walk. I'll have those papers signed and I'll get a nurse to fax your chart over to Dr. Sheridan first chance we get. Have a good day, Mister Michaels." On that note, the elderly doctor takes Aaron's chart out of the room with him and stops a nurse in the hall, "Oh, Judy, can you remove Mister Michaels' IV?"

"Sure, doctor." And so the petite blonde nurse comes into the room. "Don't mind me," she says, coming to Aaron's side. "This will hurt a bit." And then she pulls the IV out, pressing a cotton swab against it as she does so. "Hold that in place for me." She disassembles the IV needle and disposes of it, and then tapes the cotton swab on. "All set." She departs.

Aaron takes a moment to show Gillian — from the look on his face — how much he HATES needles, before getting off the bed and seeking out his jeans. He doesn't seem to have a problem being naked — save for his boxers — around Gillian, shedding the hospital gown as soon as he reaches his normal clothes. Probably on account of having had sex with her clone. Once he's set, he grabs his overcoat. "Take me home?"

And in this case, Gillian must think it's only fair, cause she doesn't even have the politeness to look away when he goes to her himself dressed in something not a hotel coat. "I hate IVs too. I kinda hope to never have to have one in very long," she says, watching him. It's not QUITE shameless, but… she's definitely watching, and without any glancing down or blushing or looking away. "It's good to know you helping me might not be fucking killing you. Sure that'll make Peyton feel better too." In many ways he's been their anti-depressant, and she'd feel a lot more guilty about it if it caused him to be unhealthy. "Sounds like you're worse when you don't use it, anyway. But it would be nice if you could… not get worse at all. Being Evolved sucks." He's registered, so she's not too worried about saying it out loud.

With him all dressed, she reaches out for his hand. "I think you need something to eat that's not hospital food too. You pick. Whatever you like to eat and we'll get it in drive through."

"They thought it was a good idea after I nearly passed out when they drew blood the first time," Aaron remarks regarding the IV. Having had little more than tea and no food will do that to a person, of course. "Two days is plenty long enough, yeah.." He can't help but nod in agreement with her. It is nice to know he's not killing himself with his ability, but it sure sounds like he could if he didn't use it. "Let's just pray there are always miserable people around, otherwise I'm screwed, unless I can learn to use it on myself." He can't even see his own pain, so he doubts that'll happen anytime soon.

His grip is tighter than it was before, on account of having a bit more strength. He's still a bit shaky, but that's more from nerves now than anything. It wasn't exactly a brilliant weekend. "You know what? I could seriously go for some Chinese. We should get enough for Peyton too. Give her something to eat when she gets home."

"Better never move to Pleasantville, then," Gillian says with a grin, holding his hand as they make their way to get him fully out of this place. Chinese. Sounds so divine. "It's been so long since I've had good Chinese. Beef and broccoli, egg rolls and fried rice… here I come," she says, sounding excited, almost even drooling. It seems his choice of a restaurant has met with approval. "Any idea what Peyton might like?" The terrible weekend can at least lead into a good Monday.

And considering what she's off doing, Chinese waiting for her when she gets home will likely be welcomed. Especially if it reheats well.

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