Leave Nothing Unfinished


aaron2_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title Leave Nothing Unfinished
Synopsis With Gillian's help, Peyton gets a bead on Cassidy's situation. The news is dire, but at least some good will come of the information. Gillian is introduced to Aaron's ability, and she falls in love with it.
Date September 7, 2009

Aaron and Peyton's Apartment - Upper West Side

After leaving the library, a quick call is made to Cat, who tells Peyton to head to her apartment and that she'll send a photo of Cassidy O'Shea over the messaging system. Some twenty minutes later, Peyton and Gillian enter the apartment. "Aaron? You here? I have a guest," she calls out, glancing at Gillian. The apartment is in one of those buildings over looking Central Park, and while it's not the penthouse, it's still a rather posh sort of place. It's decorated in Peyton's parents' taste rather than her own — a mix of modern and traditional, clean lines and warm colors. "Come on in," she tells Gillian, as she leads the way toward the living room. She picks up a Macbook Pro and goes about waking it up so she can log in.

Not only is Aaron there, but he's waiting in the kitchen. Apparently, he got it in himself to make some food with the pots and pans he probably knows the locations of better than his hostess. Not that he'd ever hold that against her — what use has she really had for much of it? Besides, she's saved his life, so he technically still owes her. Hence why upon her arriving home there is spaghetti and meatballs prepared. "Just finishing up," he calls out. He made enough so there'd be leftovers, so there's apparently plenty to go around. Yes, the apartment has tupperware, too. Surprise!

"You have a roommate?" Gillian asks, moving into the rather posh apartment. It's not quite as high-style as Cat's apartment could be, but it definitely is not the junk heaps that she might have grown used to seeing in the last couple of years. "Nice place," she compliments as she gets further inside. A hand raises up to dark hair, pushing bangs out of her face and behind her ear. "Oh hey, he cooks," she adds on once she smells fresh food being cooked and glances in the direction the voice came from. "Awesome. There's not many guy roommates who have food ready for you when you get home."

"Yeah, no kidding. I have a housekeeper who cooks once a week but she usually makes weird tamales and chorizo and stuff I don't eat much of," Peyton murmurs, cheeks blushing a little at the fact she has a housekeeper. The apartment is a couple thousand square feet, much too big for just one person, let alone two twenty-somethings. "Aaron, Gillian, Gillian, Aaron." She gestures to each. "She's here to help me with a little task. Someone else has been kidnapped, I guess." She makes a face. Aha, there's Cat on the computer. A moment later, the image of Cassidy comes through.

"Shit. Aaron. It's that redheaded from your audition night," Peyton says with a shake of her head. "I do know her." She studies the image, not knowing if she knows the woman well enough — she wasn't the one who made any contact with Cassidy; it was Wendy on that horrible night. She types back to Cat: yes, I know her. Working on it. I'll let you know.

Considering the size of the apartment Aaron was living in, the one he's in now is paradise. Another big surprise — he was wearing an apron, only because his clothes are on the niceish side, and he's not about to expose them to hot tomato sauce — though it's quickly removed and set aside as he exits the kitchen. He just recently finished cleaning up, the meal all set in casserole dishes, ready to be served. "Hi Gillian, I'm, well, Aaron obviously," he says, somewhat flustered. Next to Peyton and his therapist, he doesn't get out much anymore, not for lack of trying. His eyes remain on Gillian perhaps longer than the average onlooker, mainly as he assesses the darkness he sees permeating her. But the mention of kidnapping just makes him pale. God, not another one.

"What?" He comes closer and sees the photo on the computer monitor. "Oh shit. She's the cop who came to the door looking for you the day after you went missing. Or, two days after. She said she expected to see me register." Of course, he did register, just not through her. "Actually, I think she said both of us. She was really nice." And he was an ass. Big shock.

"Nice to meet you, Aaron," Gillian offers in a greeting before she continues to look around the apartment. Definitely nice. Luckily having known Cat for as long as she has, and having stayed in her place many a time, it doesn't strike her as completely off the wall. Even if it's still surprising. Fingertips trail along one of the fancy tables, before she looks back up at Peyton. There's a flicker of insecurity and paranoia, perhaps because of the topic, or the fact she barely knows either of them. Cardinal she trusts. If Cardinal trusts her, and if she can help someone else whose been kidnapped it's a risk she's willing to take, but it doesn't stop her from feeling paranoid.

"Kidnapping seems to be the flavor of the month," she says quietly, voice not quite showing her paranoia and worry, but there's nothing flippant in her tone, despite the words. "That and nearly dying. I'm waiting for chocolate mint to come back."

"Wow. Small world, huh? Or small apple, maybe." Peyton chews on her lower lip, her nervous habit. She stares at the photo for a few moments, but her mind is elsewhere, picturing her in the lounge, glaring at Wendy and Peyton, staring at Aaron for some reason — now it's clear; she somehow knew what his power was doing as he sang that night. She pictures Cassidy laughing with Liz; how strange that of that quintet —Aaron, Wendy, Peyton, Cass, and Liz — that four have been kidnapped. She frowns at that. Would Aaron be next? She shivers at the thought. Her roommate might feel her mood darken with as she stares at the photo.

"All right. I'm going to try… do you … what do you need to do?" she asks Gillian, holding out her hand if the augmentor needs to be in contact with her. "Someone might want to take notes — I can't see as I go, but I can talk about it." Her eyes begin to go out of focus, the pupils widening until there is just a faint ring of brown around the edges.

"That and depression," Aaron adds to Gillian's comment about the flavour of the month. "You can still get mint chocolate chip ice cream. I think we have some in the freezer, actually." But he goes way off topic. The mere idea of Peyton using her ability to find a kidnapping victim. Well, he doesn't really know that much about her gift, really. He looks curiously at Gillian as Peyton reaches out for her, a brow raised as he pulls a notepad from a drawer, along with a pen and takes a seat next to Peyton. He actually grabs her other hand and gives it a squeeze because he'd be freaking out if he were suddenly unable to see his surroundings. At least with his gift, seeing the darkness — the pain — within others, he can still see everything else. Well, save for that one person….

"Maybe when this is over," Gillian says, giving just the barest hint of a smile. Even that brings dimples to her cheeks. It doesn't take much at all. It's Peyton that she's got to worry about right now… "Basically I just need to touch you," Gillian explains, putting her bag down on the floor and moving to sit down close by so she can take her hand. Almost as soon as contact is made, she lets the knot in the back of her head unravel. Hazel eyes change, getting a dark purple glow behind them, similar to what someone would see when looking at a black light that's been turned on. It fuzzes over the edges of her irises, infusing a new color into her.

"It will make you stronger, better…" She looks up at Aaron, frowning a bit. That worry is there again, before she looks away and continues, "Just tell me to stop if it gets to be too much— Or if you think you need a clearer picture or… or if you're not getting anything— then I can give you more." Where their hands touch, the same glow starts to form, starting in with her fingers and moving to Peyton's whole hand.

Peyton's eyes are already starting to hone in on Cassidy, so she doesn't notice the purple tint to Gillian's eyes or their clasped hands. She doesn't know what her own eyes look like when she's sharing another's vision. "Okay," she murmurs — it takes a moment for her to concentrate on the details, and then, her vision shifts, into those of another's soul.

Aaron gives Gillian a look of pure intrigue, although it's starting to get well beyond him. Only recently has he gotten used to the idea of being evolved, having a new one around him has him mildly unsettled, especially since he's not entirely sure what she's doing until she says it. That really intrigues him, given what his own ability does. And then he fears it, and immediately looks back to Peyton. He has to let go of her hand to handle the notepad and pen so that he can write when he needs to.

There are a few bright lights hanging from a wooden ceiling. The vast majority of the room seems to be aged wood, but most of the mundane details really don't stick out at all. Bloodied and hanging from a series of arm restraints on a pully is the body of a blonde woman, probably around Peyton's age, stark naked, with a great number of bloody cuts, some apparently fresh, some not so much. The largest one runs from her left shoulder to the right side of her stomach. There are markings in black near each cut. Numbers. The large one appears to be number six.

Wherever the body is, it appears close to Cassidy's body, which is naked and sporting a number of similar wounds, most of which appear to have been cauterized, though some still ooze blood. She too is naked, although a medical sheet lies over her lower half. An IV hangs to her right, both large pack of saline and a smaller unit of some medication attached. The smaller unit's label, however, faces away from Cassidy, and cannot be made out. There is only one small window through which only dark green can be seen — whether foliage or curtain can't be told from the lighting. The side of a clock can be seen, but it is presently blocked by the hanging body.

Peyton brings both hands to her face, to cover her eyes, and cut off the image. She's shaking, first a small tremor, and then a more violent one that both Aaron and Gillian will feel as they sit beside her. "Oh, God." She pushes past Gillian and runs to the rest room. It's a good thing she didn't eat anything at the library. Luckily the bathroom's far enough down the hall they shouldn't be able to hear the retching. A few moments later, there is the rush of water in a sink, an opening and closing of a cupboard as she washes out her mouth with Scope.

Finally she emerges from the hallway, pale, mascara caking her undereyes so that she looks like a raccoon. "God. I'm sorry. She's alive, but… I don't think for long." She wipes her eyes. "Gillian, can you type back to Cat…" Peyton leans against the wall, frowning, trying to find the words. "There's a body of a blond woman up on … like a hook… She's all cut up. There's numbers on the cuts, like… some mad scientist thing or something." She swallows hard. "O'Shea's body looks similar, but the wounds are … what's that word, like burned shut? She's on an IV. It looks medical but then it's not. The wood's made of ceiling. It looks old, not modern, but there's bright lights and a medical sheet and the IV. Someone with access to medical supplies maybe?" She closes her eyes, bringing her palms up to her eyes, pressing them in until the mental images dissolve into swirls and spirals from the pressure on her optic nerve.

The mere speed at which Peyton ran off startled Aaron right off the couch, and he's grateful upon her return that she asks Gillian to type, because he's made a beeline straight for Peyton to grab hold of her and squeeze her tight. Even the short description she gives makes his own stomach turn, and he realizes that spaghetti is definitely off the menu tonight. He didn't get to see it, and even he won't want to eat it now.

The glow vanishes as contact is broken, and as the woman runs away. Gillian spills energy out for a few seconds, which Aaron may feel an increase in sensitivity, until she tightens the knot back up and gathers all of it in. She's already standing again, watching the bathroom where the woman disappeared, before she's told to type back. Typing is faster than writing, so Aaron is let off the hook of sending the message as she quickly punches keys while he gets the job of comforting.

"Fuck," she says out loud, even as her hands move, the description not pleasant for her, either.

Blonde woman on a hook. Cut up. Numbers on cuts. Mad scientist-like. O'Shea's body similar, but the wounds are burned closed, cauterized. On an IV. Medical-like, but not. Ceiling made of wood. Old fashioned. Bright lights, medical sheet. Medical supply access?

Peyton opens her tear-filled eyes, the pupils now constricted to their normal size. "Why are people so awful?" she whispers. She's pale, still shaking from what she saw. "I … I can't keep doing this. I can't ever find anything that helps anyone, all I can tell anyone is how horrible it is, how badly they're hurt, but nothing that helps anyone find anyone. There's never anyway to tell that. Not when they're restrained and in rooms that don't let me see anything that helps," she says, her voice tremulous, on the verge of sobbing. "I forgot - there was a window, just one really small window - I can't see out it. Just green, maybe a tree or something, I don't know." She shakes her head, and slides along the wall until she sits on the floor. "Thanks for trying to help, Gillian. I'm sorry I'm not more useful."

Aaron crouches down with Peyton and keeps holding onto her as she sides to the ground. "Shhhh," he says, "Don't think about that." He brushes away her tears. Had he known this was what she was going to be doing to help people, he'd have tried to stop it. He's not doing particularly well on how much colour his face has either, his own emotions being as psychologically entwined with Peyton's as they are. As much as he wants to put an end to it, he has to ask, for the sake of having something to offer, feeling rather useless as he is, "I don't want to … was there anything else?"

"Don't diss yourself. Now we know a couple things— she's alive and in the hands of a sick mother fucker who knows his way around cutting someone up," Gillian mutters quietly as she adds on a few more words to the message. Small window, green visible, likely trees or shrubbery of some kind. Once she gets that added she looks over, "Seriously, don't diss your ability. At least you're trying to help instead of sitting on your hands, right? That's more than a lot of people do these days."

"I don't know — I'm limited to what she saw, I think it's how it works — so at least it means she's alive, but Oh, God, she's alive and that body's hanging above her," Peyton says, and her hands press into her eyes again. "There was a clock… numbers on the wounds… I don't know what that means. Like a 'six' on the wound on the body that went from the shoulder to the stomach. I don't know what that means." She sighs. "Thanks for sending that, Gillian."

Aaron doesn't intentionally ignore Gillian, he's just rather distracted at the moment. He reaches an arm behind Peyton and under her armpit to try and haul her up to her feet again, "Come on to the couch. Don't make me carry you." It wouldn't be the first time, though mostly she's asleep and he's bringing her to her bed. His eyes do move to Gillian, though, when Peyton thanks her, and he sees again the darkness. They're all evolved, and she just indirectly dissed him for just sitting on his hands, so he offers. "I can do something for you, if you'd like," he says to Gillian. As though he could be any more cryptic.

Numbers included a six on the wound from shoulder to stomach. A clock was visible. All this should be through the woman's eyes. Gillian adds on, before waiting a few moments. Once she's had a chance to reread everything and check spelling (there had been errors, but she was typing fast) it's sent off to Cat. There's a moment of confusion as she looks away from the computer, unaware that she indirectly dissed him for something. As far as she knows his holding her hand, offering to write stuff down, and comforting Peyton counts as something anyway, but… now she's curious, "Do what for me?"

There's a weak laugh from Peyton as she's pulled to her feet and moves to the sofa. She kicks off her Converse and pulls her feet up, wrapping her arms around them in a forlorn ball. "He's better than Refrain because you don't have the horrible 'that was the last happy time I'll ever know' hangover afterward," she tells Gillian. "Aaron, can you get me some Excedrin?" The headache has come. She closes her eyes and rests her head on the back of the couch.

Oh look, he still keeps Excedrin in his pocket. Aaron pulls out the bottle after Peyton crudely summarizes his ability to Gillian, and he sets it on the couch next to Peyton. "I'll get you a glass of water to knock it back with." Because he can't expect her to chew them like he does. Once he returns with the glass, which he sets on the coffee table, he takes a seat in front of the keyboard — the musical one. "I can tell you're miserable by the blackness," he explains, and then taps his right temple. "I have no idea really how to describe it, but I see people normally in more or less colour as their pain is. No colour means they're miserable, bright means they're not. You're one of the few people I've found who go beyond monochrome, and actually have black showing. You're not very happy." And there he goes running his mouth again.

While startled by Peyton's words, Gillian doesn't say anything. It's clear that she's surprised, even badly so by them, even more surprised as Aaron explains what she meant by that. "Miserable… I guess that's one way to describe it," she says in a raspy voice, before moving to sit herself back down again. "It's been a bad couple of months," she says with a shrug, leaving out details, and perhaps not happy that the fact she's in emotional pain can be so easily seen by someone she just met, but… "How exactly do you make for happy-fun-time without the hangover?"

The distraught clairvoyant takes the pills with a soft "Thank you" murmured to Aaron, picking up the glass to take a sip. She holds the water in her mouth and tosses the pills in, then takes another sip of the water to swallow it all down. She shifts on the couch to curl up in a ball, head on a pillow to watch Aaron play. It's not an uncommon ritual for them — she'll likely fall into slumber within a few moments of listening to the music.

"Oh yeah, and Refrain sucks, don't use it," Aaron says with a bit of a quirky grin. It's almost all he can manage these days. "Would you have preferred 'totally and utterly miserable or depressed?' Believe me, been there, done that." He thinks a moment, "Actually, still doing that. Sadly, this ability doesn't work on me, thank you useless genetics. And believe me, if I knew how it worked, I wouldn't need to play music to do it. As for sans hangover, I'm going to guess that the euphoria most seem to feel from it is a psychological reaction to have all of the pain sucked out of you. 'course, you might take a bit to dent." He turns the keyboard on and adjusts a few knobs and changes patch to a chorusy glass pad. It only takes a single chord for him to get the volume right. Since Gillian's the one that really needs it, he pats the seat next to him, "Come sit a little closer Gillian. I have extremely limited range, and it always works better in extremely close proximity." Then his fingers touch the keys and actually begin playing something. Dire, Dire Docks.

"Everyone keeps saying that," Gillian admits, that smile small still as she moves closer to Aaron. Sitting down beside him gets her closer, so that he can pull away the tension, the pain. Within moments she's already closing her eyes, letting it flow out of her— and the tension isn't the only thing that does. Energy starts to leak out almost immediately, searching out the two Evolved in the room, giving them a power boost. From the way she softly gasps, that invisible power could very well be better than any glowing drug of doom. Possibly even better than sex.

"It's lovely while it lasts," Peyton says, staring at Aaron's fingers as he plays. "But all it did was remind me that those times were past, and that they weren't all that happy to begin with, or you realize the last time you were truly happy you were three years old or you get to relive a moment you think was meaningful, which was a happy memory, but the next morning you realize that the person didn't care about you at all, that you were nothing to them and they used you." A happy little diatribe from Peyton, before her eyes suddenly lose focus once more…

"Ditto," Aaron says, over the music from Mario 64's Dire, Dire Docks. This evolved receptor … well, he had actually wanted to avoid being touched with that, but it sure makes his ability work fast. Before he knows it, both girls are bright as sunshine, but he stops playing when he sees it. The music is cut short when he sees Peyton's irises engulfed by her pupils. "Peyton," he says, leaving the keyboard and moving over to her.

It's there again. So much the same yet so much different. The blonde girl's body has been moved, and the clock is now perfectly visible, and reading an hour slow.

Aaron grabs Peyton's hand and gives her face a bit of a light slap, "Come back Peyton." Because he can only think of one place she would have gone, and it can't be pretty. Augmented as it is, his ability is still working even then, so it won't be a complete horror.

There's that sense of lightness, of euphoria. It'd been the memories Gillian had wanted from Refrain, but the woman described it perfectly. What had past had past. All the things she remembered just reminded her of what she'd lost. It takes her a time before she's realizing that Peyton's getting pulled into another place. "Oh fuck, sorry," she says, though she doesn't sound quite as upset as she might have otherwise been. The knot starts to form up, closing off the energy from the young woman, but keeping a small connection between her and the man. It's just going to take some concentration to keep that up. "You were right, though… that shit's tons better than anything from a vial."

Peyton's brows knit together as her pupils constrict. Something's wrong. She can't quite put her finger on it. "I guess… either Gillian's power or the fact that's kind of like drugs, I slipped back in," she murmurs, sitting up. "I can still hear you though. You don't have to smack me," she says with a slight smile, which shows at least that his power has worked on her. "The blond woman's body was gone. But there wasn't much else. Just the clock." She turns her eyes to her own clock, an heirloom grandfather's clock that stands taller than her. She tilts her head. "That clock is right, right? It's 11:30?" They had left the library with time to spare for the curfew. "The clock there said 10:30ish." She at least isn't running for the bathroom, but the lack of the dead body might have something to do with that.

"Sorry," he says immediately to the smack comment. It's not that it was hard, and he doesn't know how her ability works. He takes a look at his watch to be sure, "Yeah, eleven thirty." He looks confused, "Sure it said ten thirty?" He gives a slight nod to Gillian as he sits down right next to Peyton. Thanks to his ability, she might be able to sleep in her own bed tonight.

"Yeah, that could've been my fault. My ability is always on, technically. I have to actually think to keep it from leaking out," Gillian explains, though she doesn't sound upset about it, or too guilty, either. She moves over to the computer and types up a second email: Clock showed 10:30— it's 11:30. Central Time Zone maybe? The lack of tension makes her mind work quickly enough. "Any chance you got a couch I can crash on in here tonight, by the way? It's a little late for me to be walking around, much less making my way back to Staten Island. Curfew and all." She sends off the second mail.

"Of course. You can borrow some clothes if you want in the morning too - take a shower, whatever you need," Peyton says wiping her eyes, but only managing to smear her mascara all over her face. She really should give the stuff up. Waterproof, her ass. "You can crash here on the couch or there's one other bedroom besides the one Aaron's in and mine — it was my parents, but the sheets are clean and it doesn't weird me out or anything, but if it does you, the couch is free. My housekeeper, she cleans the sheets from that room every other week, just because… I don't know. Because she liked my parents, I guess." Peyton stands. "I'll show you the way." She smiles at Aaron. "Thanks for making us feel better." She reaches over to push his shoulder lightly in affection.

Aaron was just about to suggest that other bedroom. "The couches aren't that comfortable. Not to sleep on, anyway. Well, they're comfortable, but they don't beat a bed." Which is why he's made it a habit to carry Peyton to hers whenever she falls asleep on the couch instead of her bed where she belongs at night. He gives a slow nod to her and gives her hand a squeeze in return before going back to the keyboard to finish the song, even if no one's left to listen. Leave nothing unfinished.

"I'll sleep in parents beds. Better than the floor," Gillian says with a grin, willing to follow anywhere that she's needed. Her mood is already boosted to the point the smile is genuine, the dimples are deep, and it even creases around her eyes. "Thanks, Peyton. I'm glad that I decided to tag along to help. Best decision I've made in a while, I can tell you that." Or at least it's left the 'good happy feeling'. And mostly because of what she'd already described as happy fun time.

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