Friends In The Lighthouse


aaron3_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Scene Title Friends In The Lighthouse
Synopsis Aaron tells Gillian about what he believes is going on with Stef, the Other Her.
Date October 17, 2009

The Lighthouse

The old, rusted, practically junked Dodge Spirit pulls up to the Lighthouse and parks in such a way that looks like it could fall off it's tires any moment, driver's door opening to let out a dark haired young woman who looks so much like the one that the passanger had woke up beside. There are some details different. Gillian's dressed slightly more covering, mindful of the weather and her incomplete tattoos. There's also a streak of lighter brown, nearly gold, in her hair, half hidden by the darker hair, but visible when she reaches up to push a lock behind her ear.

"This is the Lighthouse," she says to the young man. It's just barely light outside. "I'd take you home, but the kids'll be crawling out of bed soon and I need to be around to help with that… We should have about an hour to talk. Want to check out the tower? It's got a pretty cool view. But it's not as warm as inside."

Just barely light outside is why Aaron tugs his long coat around him and follows closely behind Gillian to head inside, preferably. Out of the cold. One of the problems with being near any body of water is the humidity. Damp cold is so much more penetrating than dry cold. "It's all right. I left a text for Peyton when she wakes up that I'd meet her around noon, so…" He checks his watch. "A little over five hours enough to get them all squared away?" He tries and fails to get some of the dirt off his face, and he still hasn't given the cut on his cheek — or the one he only recently discovered on his chin — much attention.

"I think tea and maybe something warm to eat, if it's not too much trouble, would be nice before that. It's not exactly warm out here. Wasn't warm last night, either, save maybe until the fire started flying." The mere mention of which takes the little rosiness in his cold cheeks out, leaving him nearly as pale as the dead.

"We can stay downstairs, then. Just need to be a little quiet," Gillian says, leading the way toward the front door, which she unlocks. She glances back at his face, curious about what happened exactly, but expecting the story eventually. There usually is a story behind each scratch, especially on someone who isn't involved in Phoenix or other crazy things. As far as he knows. "Getting the tea'll take a few, unless one of— unless Brian's been up and started making it for himself." One of the Brians.

Being quiet as she walks across the room toward the kitchen, she starts to get things together for making tea when none is ready, but he can easily take that over from her. "So what happened, anyway?" They can talk easily in the kitchen. It doesn't have as easy sound access to the stairs as other places.

Once Aaron's inside, he spots the coat rack and hangs his unusually grungy long coat on it. It probably would be cleaner if he didn't end up face down on the ground, but shit happens sometimes. "I have no problem with being quiet," he says, and he does in fact stay relatively quiet with his voice. Granted, as of late, he typically does talk rather low volume anyway. Once they're in the kitchen and Gillian's taken out of hiding all that is necessary for him to make tea, he does indeed take over. Once he has the pot ready with a couple of tea bags and the kettle warming, he takes a seat and rests his still-dirty face on his sleeve. "Nearly died is what happened. Peyton too. Your clone, Stef, and some guy named Richard?" He shakes his head repeatedly. "Just…. Complete nightmare." A nightmare is precisely what it turned into, too, after he passed out.

The first response as he takes over the tea making and tells her a short version of what happened is a rather quick, "What the fuck were you doing somewhere where you almost died?" Gillian heard all of it, but that part seemed the most important thing to respond to as she puts her hands on her hips and looks at him. Somewhere with Cardinal and Peyton and her clone, too? "You shouldn't get involved with those kinds of things, you know. It's dangerous for you."

If Aaron has ever before looked sheepish, it's nothing compared to the utterly mortified expression that takes hold of Aaron at those words. There are no responses of things like 'No shit' or any others about stating the obvious. He doesn't even bring up the fact that it's dangerous for Peyton too, though he is hurt just slightly by the implication that Peyton can take it better than he can— even if, given his emotional state, it's probably true. Instead, he provides Gillian with the totally pathetic reason he went along: "I didn't want to be alone again." When he'd gone with Peyton, his stated reason was that he didn't want her going out alone, but it so wasn't true.

There's always going to be reasons to leave him alone, cause… Gillian's just too independent to do anything else these days. There's a grumble under her breath, before she looks up toward the ceiling. Would she have said the same to Peyton? Possibly, but she thinks of him as her friend even more, so it was more for him than any of the others. "Did you ever consider maybe getting a job? Brian could always use help here. You could help out during the day, crash here if you have to, or go back on the later ferries. You wouldn't even have to travel alone. I can't be with you all the time either, but staying in the apartment isn't going to do you any good, either."

Teary eyes look shocked at Gillian. "My first time on this island and I nearly die, and you're suggesting I come here more often?" And the idea of trying to get a job. He can hardly keep from crying for more than a few hours, and the last time he tried to get a job, he stabbed someone. Aaron covers his face. "I can't let people see me like this, I'm not fit for a job, and Bella's missing, and after last night my dreams have even more material to torture me with." Despite the fact that he's almost crying, he's at least managed to stay quiet.

"You keep hiding in that apartment, then yeah, you won't be fit to go out and have a job," Gillian says, stepping closer to him and reaching up to grab his head, forcing his face up a bit. He'll still have to drop his hands so she can look at him, but she's not letting go, either. "You can't just rely on one person, or two, or three. I'm sorry Bella's missing, and I'm sorry Peyton and I go out and do things all the time, but you need to go out and do things to. The more you hide the worse it's going to get."

Aaron fights really hard not to cry when he says, "I know, I know." He knows she's right, just like he knows Bella would probably be telling him the same thing if he'd had the chance to talk with her about his last breakdown. Not that that makes things any easier. He finally retracts his hands. "Can you not move my head? It's kind of throbbing. And I know I rely on you two too much, but you're all I have right now."

"Sorry," Gillian says as she pulls her hands back, letting them drop as she steps back. "There's some aspirin around here somewhere," she adds, as she turns away to stand up on her toes to get to a high cabinet. Out of children range. There's even something that makes it difficult to open. Better safe than an unconscious kid who OD'd on aspirin. "I'm not very reliable for being all you've got…"

"Oh no, don't bother, Gillian," he says as soon as she reaches up for the cabinet. "Nothing quite touches these headaches. I used to chew that stuff because of them, but learned the hard way it was pointless." He rubs his eyes. "You're a heck of a lot more reliable than I am. I've just… I hurt so much all the time that I forget how to live, how to breathe sometimes." Then he actually bumps his head against the table. "And I nearly forgot what I actually called you to talk about."

"I thought you called me so you'd have somewhere to hang out besides some creepy makeshift hospital," Gillian says, reaching out to touch his hair since he's bumping his head against a table. "That kinda shit can't be helping the headache you complained about either, you know." She talks to him like he's being a silly person, but— in some ways he kind of is. But in other ways… She gets why he's the way he is. More or less.

"No, it doesn't." Aaron sniffs and wipes tears out of his eyes. He gets up and pours the boiling water from the kettle into the teapot before going back to the chair and resting his head again. "It's about Stef— your clone. Umm…." He rubs his eyes again. He really doesn't know how Gillian feels about it, and it's hard for him to deliver this kind of news anyway. "I, uh. When I was there last night, she was looking really off balance and when I got close to her, she collapsed. I talked to her this morning…." He cradles his head, "She uh…. I think the person who told you that you were going to get sick and die… was right. Just not about which you. I asked her about her ability and she got really defensive, told me her power works just fine. And she looked like hell…. I think she's dying." He's gotten all teary again despite the fact that, he has more or less stated that Gillian is fine.

It's about Stef? Gillian's eyebrows raise a bit, as he moves away, explains, and… "She's what?" she questions quietly, though it's not a case of mishearing, or misunderstanding, but… another miss. Misbelief. A few weeks ago she'd learn she might die. Then she didn't lose her ability and thought she'd been healed, or managed to, somehow, avoid the fate that was promised her. Or maybe she just was never dying at all. Maybe the fucker lied.

There would be relief, if she wasn't hearing that a piece of her would die anyway. Even if she'd just been a clone. With a few steps, she falls into a kitchen chair and sits down, still looking at him. "I— I'd wondered if I should have… I haven't even seen her. Not since… not since I left her in the hall to protect…" Peter. Everyone.

It's Aaron's turn to get out of his chair and come over to Gillian, and he does, kneeling down in front of her and reaching to take her hands up in his. And it looks ridiculous because his hair is all tousled and his face is covered in dirt. "I thought you might want to, but she kinda ran out in a bit of a huff after I asked her how her ability was. I gave her my phone number and the apartment's address, though. I told her to call me or go there if anything happened."

"I know where to find her— at least I did. Unless she's moved," Gillian says quietly, keeping calm, though there's something stunned about her expression, and the pain is growing again. If he could see conflicted pain, he would be seeing it. One moment elated that she's not dying, the next… "It's weird. I used to— back when I first made clones of myself, a couple of them died, you know? I kinda… they were expendable. It was better if they died in exchange for someone else cause… they were just clones. It hurt, but… I don't know what she's done the last few months— what she's seen. And…" she trails off. "I should tell her."

Aaron sees pain even if it's being suppressed by joy. And he's certainly not surprised to see it grow, to see her darken again right before his eyes. It was painful telling her in the first place— painful for him. He knew it wouldn't be good news and he can only imagine what effect it has on her based on what he feels from it. Well, he can do a bit more than guess since he can see the pain growing, but still. And what he feels from it? It was impossible for him to tell Stef. What was he supposed to say, anyway? He reaches a hand to place upon Gillian's face. "You won't have to do it alone, Jill. I'll be there for you. You've been there for me so many times, it's the least I can do."

Leaning into his hand, Gillian's eyes close a bit, and then she suddenly laughs, as if she found something funny in what he said, "Yeah, yeah, you can come with me. Wouldn't want to do it alone, just promise me, for fuck's sake, that you won't use that line again. I half expected you to break into that god damn Friend's theme. My sister used to be so obsessed with that show it got burned into my brain." The smile remains as she reaches up to squeeze his hand. It's not even that forced, even mentioning her dead sister. And the clone that may be joining her. "I'm glad you'll be there." The pain's not gone, but it's stopped going.

There's a short time of Aaron trying to remember what it was that he said before red colours his face. "Oh God." He covers his mouth and actually gives out a bit of a chuckle. "Please, don't mind me." Once he gets to the counter to the pot of tea, he chokes. It's quite painful for him to not laugh out loud. He's supposed to be quiet after all. He bumps his fist against the counter top a few times before he can get enough air to explain. "I hate that song too." Once he's poured the tea and brought two mugs to the table, he takes a seat and looks Gillian in the eyes. "Always."

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