Recycled Advice


aaron_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title Recycled Advice
Synopsis Aaron approaches Gillian after she returns from her most recent disappearance.
Date May 26, 2010

Gillian's Room — The Lighthouse

In many ways, Gillian's room is a private sanctuary. To get away from the kids, the puppy, everything, and this time she's brought her cat with her. Chandra sits on the bed, flicking his tail around, while she sits at a desk writing in her journal by candle and darklight. It makes the paper glow, and anything else white, but it adds an ambiance that fits her state quite a bit.

Late night and early mornings are the main time she can steal away for herself. The sky is dark, and the room slightly chilled. It's late at night. The kids are all tucked into beds, most of the adults are gone to other homes, leaving Gillian, Brian, and a select few still in charge. Gillian'd been missing for a day and a half, almost two, before she stole inside and went straight upstairs. Saying she needed to rest, and would explain in the morning. If she has explained, it was to Brian in private.

It's gone from private sanctuary to not-so-private sanctuary and back again. If it weren't for Gillian's disappearance, Aaron would have been more reluctant to take back the room he'd been given when he first arrived, instead favouring Gillian's presence to ease his nerves. Without her there it just seemed pointless. But he's not deaf.

The first knock is gentle, hesistent. Aaron's not entirely sure what he's doing. The entire time he's spent in the Lighthouse has been a roller coaster ride. The second knock is louder than the first, but Aaron at least has the decency to try being quiet. No need to wake up the children.

The pen gets laid down onto the journal/sketchbook, where she'd been drawing a bearded man, and the door opens a few moments later. The room smells like lilacs. It's the candle. "Hey, Aaron, come on in," Gillian says, keeping her voice down until he's inside, and the door is closed behind her. "Weather's looking up and it's quickly becoming more and more quiet here." Four people moving out at once can do that. Even if they are prepping for a couple new kids.

"Sorry I disappeared. Had to take care of some stuff and got stuck." And she looks exhausted. Like she didn't sleep well.

Aaron comes in, but stays quiet. Assessing things. Gillian's appearance, his thoughts, his feelings. The weather's looking up, people are leaving. People have left. He leans against the door once it's closed. "So same ol' same ol', I guess, then." Nonchalance. He's looking rather tired, himself. Tired and weary, though such are not unique expressions for him. They've become quite commonplace, almost as familiar as his lack of presence in the place. For all he's been living in the Lighthouse, he's always seemed to not be around.

"Have you decided what you're going to do?" Gillian asks, moving to settle back down onto her chair, rather than the bed. The journal is moved shut, covering up the words and the sketch. "I mean power's back on in parts of the city, and you can probably get a place to live— Roosevelt Island even has a special apartment complex opening up for Registered Evolved. You could maybe stay there for cheaper than most living expenses."

"Oh yes, me living alone is a brilliant idea, given how splendidly I fail at living with other people around." OK, so it comes out far harsher than he intends. With Aaron, that shouldn't be surprising. The idea of leaving — or being kicked out, as he perceives it — is not one that appeals to him in the slightest. "You make it sound like I can't go back to Peyton's." Where he'd probably be uncomfortable given his long string of hallucinations while Gillian was temporarily on her deathbed. Not that he ever mentioned that or anything.

"Aaron, stop being a jackass," Gillian says, rubbing her hands over her face. "I don't even know exactly what happened with you and Peyton, but you were the one who moved out here, and you don't even like it here. You don't spend time with the kids, you don't want to spend time with the kids. I think the only part you liked was being able to sleep with me at night." Until she got mauled, then he stopped doing it. And she can't blame him for that. "If you want to stay here, you are welcome to, but you have to help."

"I don't know what to do with the kids. I'm not— I'm not cut out for this, at all." Aaron stops leaning against the door and faces it instead. "And you're right, that is why I came here. I was deluding myself to think I could be of some use. I just wanted the company. I just wanted somebody who could handle the wreck that I am, but clearly…. I was wrong."

"You know what, Aaron? You might have it rough, but you have it so much better than a lot of people. All these kids? They lost their entire families. Parents, siblings, everything. They are you. If anyone could understand what you've gone through since the bomb, it's them." Gillian's raising her voice a bit, as she stands up from the chair and reaches to grab onto him and pull him away from the door, as if worried he intends to open it and storm out. "All you ever had to do is talk to them. Play with them. Share stuffed animal stories. Anything."

Aaron lets himself be tugged away. It's contact, something he's always craved, even if this isn't exactly the good kind of contact. It's certainly not comforting, being pulled away from an escape route. His lip twitches. He wants to say something, anything to deny her words. But he can't. And that hurts even more. He reaches his hand to Gillian's, the command clear on his face and in his touch. Let go.

It doesn't need to be said out loud. Gillian lets go of him and moves back toward the bed, pacing away, and even turning her back a little. "If you want to go, go. You're not being thrown out. But I don't think you're happy here, and I don't know if you ever will be happy. Maybe you need to figure some things out on your own first." It's recycled advice, and advice she hated when it was given to her.

Aaron gives a bit of a snort when he opens Gillian's door. "On my own…. Like that's ever ended well." He closes the door behind him and treads back to his room. Or the room. He really isn't sure anymore whose room it is. It's true, he's not happy there. He wasn't terribly happy at Peyton's, either. He sits down on the bed. Maybe she's right. Maybe he needs to strike out on his own. Of course, the idea of enduring only his company isn't one he likes to entertain, but maybe it is time for a change.

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