Honey And Sugar


aaron_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Scene Title Honey And Sugar
Synopsis Peyton comes to the Lighthouse to talk with Aaron about why he ran away.
Date November 7, 2009

The Lighthouse

The note Aaron left created a mix of emotions in Peyton. Anger that he would run off without saying goodbye or even having the argument face to face. Regret for having hurt him. Frustration at the fact he doesn't seem to understand she was trying to help him, above all else. She ignored the note and tried to put what was out of sight out of mind, but the small reminders of him in the apartment made that difficult. Finally, she gave in. She used her power to look through his eyes, and got a glimpse of Gillian. A phone call was made, and some hours later, a text confirmed his locale.

So it is that Peyton is bundled up against the morning autumn chill, a hoodie sweatshirt underneath a wool peacoat, her hair tucked under the hood, knocking on the door of what is apparently known as the Lighthouse. She knows about the place, but has never been there.

The Lighthouse acts as a beacon to many. There's always someone awake downstairs, but it's rarely Gillian. Usually it's one of the many Brians. This morning it's someone else entirely, because she's cooking up some more tea, in hopes that the young man she's got visiting will feel up to more than… what it looks like he's going through. The knock on the door draws her attention and she hurries over, checking through a tattered curtain before she sees the person she expected. The door unlocks, many locks, and then opens.

"Hey, Peyton," she says, motioning her in so she can close the door and put the locks back in place. Can never be too careful, here, even with a trained and heavily armed army of a man. "Aaron's upstairs— still asleep, I think… he's not doing to great. I just finished with the tea, do you want any?" Her usually raspy voice is kept even at a lower whisper, aware there's more people in the house than just the two of them.

"Um, sure," Peyton says with a nod toward the tea. She pulls her hood down and shakes her hair free. "Did he tell you what happened? You don't think I'm a horrible, awful person do you?" she whispers earnestly, her dark eyes full of worry with the thought that Gillian might be angry at her, along with the worry she already carries for Aaron. "I was just trying to help him, but apparently I suck at that." There's a wry smile that doesn't make it to her eyes.

"I actually have very little idea what the fuck happened," Gillian says quietly, though despite language without sounding harsh. It seems like peppering her words, perhaps with sleepiness. It looks as if she didn't get much last night. "Something about a doctor and his ability maybe hurting him and something with you, I guess, since he ran away. But he was pretty out of it. Didn't get much out." She leads the way back to the kitchen, pulling down some cups, sugar and honey, instead of lemon. Maybe she didn't want to cut up fresh lemon today. "He's not looking too good. He looks like I felt the time I finally showed up to get help with my Refrain withdrawal."

"He probably hasn't used his power and is in withdrawal, since I told him not to use it on me. Not because I want him in pain, but because he got all mad at the doctor so that the doctor didn't think he was serious for wanting help, and so he said to come back when he's serious about it," Peyton says quietly. "He - the doctor - he's a negator, and I guess Aaron freaked out when he negated him. Got really upset, said he didn't consent to having a test done or something, though it didn't hurt him. It just scared him." Peyton shakes her head and sighs. "I just wanted him to make sure he's not harming himself by using his power, like I guess I was. The doctor told me I could stroke out if I overused mine, so I wanted to be sure Aaron wasn't risking something similar without knowing it." Her voice is hushed, but earnest; everything was about trying to protect or help Aaron, even if he felt betrayed.

"Aaron's… really skittish and over emotional," Gillian says with a whispered voice, looking a little guilty at gossipping about someone who's just upstairs. She pours some tea for Peyton and hands it over, warm and still steaming, and motions to the sugar and the honey for a selection of additives. It doesn't need much, though, if someone likes their tea plain. When she pours her own cup, she loads both in. "And I've been negated before without knowing it— my ability's always on, pretty much like his. That whole… seeing pain thing. I have these cords knotted up in the back of my head all the time. When someone negates me they go away and it really throws me off." She doesn't pour a third cup, but prepares a tray instead. "Did he know that's what the doctor was going to do?"

Peyton shakes her head, looking a touch guilty herself. After all, her power is not constantly on; she has to think about using it, except the times it's kicked in without her effort. "No. He didn't. I guess if he'd been warned, but I think maybe the doctor was trying to figure out if things are psychological or physical — if he'd known, it might have messed up the whole point. If he was psychometric or whatever." She means psychosomatic, of course. She adds a little honey to the tea, and takes a sip. "I just think he overreacted, and the fact he thinks I'm not on his side… Well. Whatever. I'd like to apologize I guess, but if he feels like he can't stay with me, I'm not going to force him to." There's a defensive edge to her voice.

"I don't know what happened, really, and I do think Aaron probably overreacted," Gillian says, still keeping her voice down, but somehow sounding rather patient. Even if a moment later she lets out a sudden, "Fuck!" when she splashes some of the hot tea on her hand moving the kettle over to the tray. She goes over to the sink and quickly towels her hand off, and grumbles. "I hate kitchen duty. It's my least favorite thing ever," she adds on, before she makes sure to put her cup and the additions on the plate, as well as a second one for Aaron. Should he be able to wake up for a minute or two.

"I think apologies go a long way, and I hope he does listen. I think he'd need to hear it just as much as you might need to say it, too. Sounds like what ever happened was a big clusterfuck. Maybe a bad time of the year— especially with everything he's been going through lately…" With her maybe dying then not dying. With Stef dying, then not yet dying. But still dying. Any day now.

Peyton winces, with a "you okay?" when Gillian spills on herself, then just nods at the rest of the other woman's advice. She doesn't know about Stef — no one has told her. Instead, she assumes Gillian means his fainting on Staten Island and all the horrific things that he witnessed that day, worrying about her in general, the usual stress he puts on himself with regards to his power. "Thanks for being here for him. I guess it's good he has somewhere to go when I piss him off. And if you piss him off, well, he can always come back to me. We'll just trade off pissing him off." It's a joke of course. "Though I don't think you piss him off like I do," she adds with another wry smile. "Except Wendy, I probably piss him off more than most people can."

"Well, you two were both there for me when I was a withdrawaling wreck of a person who really didn't want to give up that last vial," Gillian admits, still keeping her voice down as she glances toward the door, perhaps to check and make sure that there's no one peeking around the hall. The two people in the house who don't usually live there happen to the the ones who know about her withdrawal and brief dependence on Refrain. It's not something she intends to advertise. "And Aaron's a good friend— those are difficult to come by these days," she adds on, voice dropping again, before she gathers up the tray. "My room's upstairs. It's where I put Aaron. He totally hogs the whole bed." With that said, she starts to lead the way to the stairs, carefully. There's a few dorms, doors closed, and then a room at the end of the hall. Also a tower leading up, but it's the room at the end of the hall she leads, stepping aside in hopes Peyton opens the door. "I hope you're not allergic to cats," she adds, as an afterthought.

Peyton's hands go into her pockets, for both warmth and nervousness. "No," she says with a shake of her head at the cat question. "Always wanted one as a kid, but my parents wouldn't let me. They got me a goldfish once instead. Like that's a good substitute." She smirks a little. "This is why I'm fucked up and bad at being a good friend. I didn't have something to cuddle as a kid." Her voice is barely a whisper, due to all the closed doors they pass along the way.

"Well there's two big sleepy cats in here that both like being cuddled," Gillian says, opening the door with a hint of a grin tugging on her mouth, just enough that dimples rise up. Once the bedroom door is open, she goes inside, looking toward the bed. There's a big fuzzy orange cat curled up on the corner, quite large for a cat. It could almost pass for a small tiger in the wrong kind of enviroment. Ginger with some darker stripes. Unlike Aaron, Chandra is sound asleep, still, but one of his ears gives a slight twitch, and he turns his head a bit. As if to say 'turn off the damn light'. The tray is put down on a table, and she says, "I got you some tea. Might help with what you're going through. You should probably take your meds too, you know." Two withdrawals are worse than one.

When the door is opened, it becomes apparent that what Gillian said was true. He does hog the bed. At least, he's sprawled out a bit in the middle of it. But to say Aaron has looked better would be a lie. At least as far as Gillian and Peyton are concerned, he's never quite looked this bad. It's even quite possible he looks worse now than when Gillian last saw him, which wasn't too long ago. He's apparently conscious now, though, or at least the fact that his bleary and bloodshot eyes are open would suggest as much. His face is completely white, dark circles apparent under his eyes. The sound of the door opening cause him to wince, which confirms that he's awake. Clearly, his headache has turned into a migraine.

The sight of Aaron has Peyton pause at the door, unsure if she should come any further in. Her brows furrow and she looks like she might cry. "Aaron…" she says softly, shutting the door behind her as quietly as she can so as not to hurt his head anymore. Having lived with constant migraines for the past couple of weeks while her power was in overuse, she knows how horrible he must feel. Knowing she's at least partly to blame makes the color drain from her own face. "Maybe we should bring you back to the center… so they can see what it's like… a different doctor maybe." Her voice is tentative and apologetic as she stands, back against the closed door.

"Oh God," Aaron mutters. He was too out of it last night to notice he didn't take his antidepressant. The last thing he wants is SSRI-withdrawal. He rolls over towards both the tray and his duffel bag, which is on the floor next to the night table. From it he pulls out a pill bottle and, "Shit." He pops open the bottle and out comes the last pill. This makes him finally turn to Peyton. Trying to reign in his emotions is very hard right now, and she's not really making it easy. It's with a tone of defeat that he says in a small voice, "Maybe you're right." Also because unless there's a cache of fluoxetine somewhere on the island, he needs to get to a pharmacy for his next dose…. And of course, then his emotions just pour out and he starts crying, despite the fact his head feels like it's being drilled through. "I'm sorry. I was so stupid."

And there comes the flood. Gillian's gotten used to him hyperventiliating on her the last day, but it never really prepare her for tears. Chandra looks up at him with this expression that seems to read: 'You realize you are disturbing my sleep?' before he finally stretches out and hops down off the bed in search of something more edible than human tears. She walks over to a box of tissues she borrowed last night and hands it over to him. "I can give you both a ride. Brian covers the whole place pretty much on his own anyway."

The tears are contagious, though Peyton's are more stifled. She swipes at her eyes with the back of her coat sleeve before moving to the bed to throw her arms around Aaron's neck, hugging him. "I'm sorry I wasn't more sympathetic. I'm selfish and bratty and I don't know how to be nice and supportive and next time you can talk to me about it instead of just running off, you big doof," she babbles.

"Ow," Aaron says, wincing when he's hugged. As much as he likes it, and hugs back with what little strength he has, it hurts like hell. "Don't squeeze me so hard. I'm in pain here." At least he's stopped crying-ish. Now it's more teary from the pain than emotions, mainly because the physical pain is more immediate. He reaches for one of the tissues, more to dry his eyes rather than make a terribly embarrassing bassoon blow of his nose. "I should probably take that pill now." Because he never did quite get the chance to take his anti-depressant.

"No lemon this morning, so you get to choose between sugar and honey," Gillian says, as she moves back to pour the tea, still seeming sleepy, but patient. At least until Chandra waltzes over and begins to attack her legs. "I didn't bring you any meat, so stop begging, orange monster," she says to the cat with annoyance. "If I ever find out which one of the kids keeps sneaking you beef sticks I'm gonna swat their head."

"No lemon this morning, so you get to choose between sugar and honey," Gillian says, as she moves back to pour the tea, still seeming sleepy, but patient. At least until Chandra waltzes over and begins to attack her legs. "I didn't bring you any meat, so stop begging, orange monster," she says to the cat with annoyance. "If I ever find out which one of the kids keeps sneaking you beef sticks I'm gonna swat their head."

Peyton sits back on her heels. "Take your pill… you want some Advil too?" she asks, happy to try to help. She rummages through her purse until she finds one of the bottles she carries with her at all times. She looks up at him, her thick lashes shimmering with unfallen teardrops still clinging to them like crystal beads. "They will help you. They have to. It's why they're there."

"Just plain, thanks." Aaron only just stops himself before he shakes his head at Peyton. Instead, he just lets out a, "No." He puts the pill in his mouth and then takes the mug of tea with both hands, keeping it as steady as he can— which requires a lot of effort on his part, apparently. When he's finally almost scalded his mouth and throat swallowing the pill with tea, he hands it back. His hands shake a bit. "They won't help. They never have. Even healers can't help. That's what I was trying to explain to the jacka— Doctor Brennan. That's what I was trying to explain to him, but he took it the wrong way." He lets out a sigh. "Of course, had I not taken his remark about me sounding like a drug addict so personally, I wouldn't have been so sarcastic."

The cat doesn't stop attacking her legs, so Gillian looks toward Peyton and Aaron and hesitates. There's lots of this conversation she has to fill in blanks for, so it's difficult to comment on, but she casts them both a sympathetic grimace before she marches away to an upper dresser shelf and pulls out a small treat bag. "Here. It's not meat sticks, but at least these are actually meant for a fucking cat." The ginger is delighted by all appearances, but she pays more attention to the other two in her room for the moment.

"Do you want to go and get help, or do you just want it to go away and use it now?" The question, if Peyton's really worried about the physical effects of his power is perhaps not a wise one, but it's made out of compassion. Unfortunately, compassion can be dangerous. "I … yeah, I can see how that upset you, but it is kind of like an addiction, but it's not your fault, and I know that. He probably does, too. But you do get symptoms that are like an addict's, even if it it's not like you sought out illegal substances. Even if it was your choice, Aaron, I can't judge you. I did enough drugs and drank enough that it's amazing I'm not an addict or an alcoholic, even if the paparazzi thought I was. I could easily have been, like Wendy… she's going into Rehab, by the way, I didn't tell you." She wipes her wet eyes. "If you wanted to use it and just get out of your pain — you can. Or we can bring you to the center." She glances back at Gillian, to see if Gillian agrees with the either-or scenario.

It's a very hard question. Aaron does seem somewhat surprised by the revelation that Wendy's going to rehab, but then his attention is turned right back to the question. Should he or shouldn't he? And would it even matter? Will the two of them, together, be enough of a fix? He looks to Gillian, then back to Peyton, then back to Gillian. If he takes the easy way out, he's a coward. He always takes the easy way out, always running away from his problems. Self-deprecating thoughts give way to logic again as he ponders whether there's enough negative emotion around him to solve his problem. It would probably take the edge off, sure, but it won't take it all away. Besides, Dr. Brennan seemed awfully interested in experimentation…. wait, is that even a good thing? "I…. What should I do?"

"Well I'd say make a decision for yourself," Gillian says, leaving one more soft chew thing for the cat to nom on the floor, before she stuffs it back in a drawer for safe keeping. Her raspy tone makes the words a little harsher than she might intend. "But if you ask me, you might as well find out what exactly this is doing to your body. Maybe they can find a right set of drugs that will help you get through it when you don't use your ability. Body's just a bunch of chemicals and all that shit. Kinda wish…" she trails off, then shakes her head. The only scientist she knows doesn't seem to be around anymore. "Ride's still an offer, either way."

Kneeling in front of him, Peyton stares up at Aaron, her brows knit with regret and worry for him. "I guess… as long as you're already in this much pain, you might as well see why, rather than having the last couple of days of cold turkey be for nothing," she tells him softly, reaching for his hand to squeeze it with encouragement. "At least maybe Brennan will see you're serious, or we can see if another doctor can help you." She pauses, and says in a softer, smaller voice, "I'm sorry I pushed you. So … I don't want to push you now. It's totally up to you."

Once again, Aaron's looking for the easy way out of making a decision— getting someone else to make it for him. Both have said he should choose on his own, and yet have provided what they thing he should do, and that's precisely what he decides. Besides, how worse can it possibly get in one day? He reaches out a hand to touch against Peyton's face. It's cold and clammy. "It's OK," he says. His eyes haven't dried at all, but he's not crying anymore at least. "OK." He looks completely unsteady as he pulls himself up a bit more. "Let's go give the mad doctor his blood. Can give him before, and after. Just have to bring my guitar with me."

"I don't go into the center, but no reason I can't drop you off there," Gillian says, moving to help gather up his stuff while she goes over some last minute checks on the cat's food in the room. Chandra's had his snack, the human is done crying, and he makes his way over to the bed and slips under it, likely to try and get some sleep before the tiny people run around and give him treats they're not supposed to. "There's a bookstore on the island I might try to drop by too. Always looking for new books, so it's not an inconvenience for me." And they have her cellphone for when they're ready to go, too.

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