Scrambled Eggs And Aaron Juice


aaron_icon.gif bella_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title Scrambled Eggs And Aaron Juice
Synopsis Peyton discovers Bella in her apartment, apparently high thanks to Aaron's juice, er, ability.
Date November 20, 2009

Aaron and Peyton's Apartment — Upper West Side

Last night was odd, to say the least. Bella has never slept over at a client's house before, but she never got whapped by a power like Aaron's before, and she was not in particularly fit shape to go home. So she crashed on his couch, fully dressed, shoes on the floor nearby, hair a bit mussed from her very solid rest. In fact, she's still sleeping, and it's getting on towards noon. Still, she looks almost impossible to disturb, her eyes shut with the untense but absolute gravity of one sleeping the sleep of the just, untroubled. Bella looks, in a word, serene. Her cane has toppled to the ground, and it lies there, parallel to the woman.

The door knob rattles as key meets lock, and then it swings open. Peyton enters the apartment, dropping a gym bag and her keys by the door. As she crosses the living room on the way to her room, she stops — she's used to people sleeping on her couch, but this is a stranger. She turns to take in the woman's features, brows furrowing a bit with confusion. Still, if Aaron let her in, she isn't too worried about the unfamiliar Goldilocks — or Gingerlocks as the case may be — for the time being. She continues to move quietly, turning instead to the kitchen, where the coffee beans call to her.

Bella stirs at the rattle. For all the sleep's depth, she's been doing it for a while. She rises out of unconsciousness, head still foggy, but still feeling that remarkable sense of relaxation. Damn, but Aaron's power lasts for a /while/. She rubs at her eyes, and slowly pushes herself into a half-sitting recline, legs still folded out to the side in an inadvertently model-esque pose. She catches the tail end of Peyton's disappearance into the kitchen. She'd feel worried, or maybe even embarrassed… but she's having a hard time doing that right now.

There is the sound of water being poured, cupboards being opened, and soon the watery sounds of coffee trickling through an instant coffee maker's filter into the pot below. The refrigerator opens and closes, and a moment later, Peyton reappears, holding a bowl of cereal and peeking from the doorway of the kitchen into the living room. Seeing the redhead on the couch has sat up, her back to Peyton, the clairvoyant speaks. "Good morning. I'd guess who you are, but if I was wrong, that might get Aaron in trouble," she says with a little bit of a smile.

That's funny. Bella laughs. She understands that she should just jump to correct the woman, make it clear that she is Aaron's /therapist/, and that was a professional visit that had… well… unintended side effects. But the witticism tickles her too much. She brushes hair behind one ear, the russet sheet a little tangled, unbrushed. "I might say the same to you. Also, lucky Aaron. You're really beautiful." It's a genuine comment of admiration, spoken like a realization, and Bella smiles, apparently appreciating Peyton's beauty with the slightly airy quality of the recently woken, or somewhat high… which she is both.

"Lucky Aaron?" Peyton repeats, with a confused little chuckle and a pink glow to her cheeks at the compliments. "Hmm. You must be coming off of some of his musical entertainment, if you think I look that good." She's just come in from Staten Island; her cheeks are red from the cold boat ride, and her hair is pulled back in a ponytail to keep the wind from blowing her hair around on the way. "Coffee will be ready in a minute. Can I offer you anything else, though?" she says, remembering her manners.

"A correct analysis," Bella says, with a pleased smile, "It's unfortunate that I can't do this again. It would be a bad idea, I know that. But it certainly is fun while it lasts," she tilts her head, "You act like you live here. Are you Peyton?" No answer about the coffee, or anything else. She's caught up in the question.

The last thing Aaron recalls with any clarity was having a breakdown and passing out in Bella's arms sometime in the afternoon. Awkward. So when he wakes up in his own bed, still fully dressed, he can only assume he managed to drag himself there at some point and crashed. Not completely unsurprising. His head already aches, though he can't tell whether or not that's from withdrawal already or from having slept for nearly eighteen hours. At any rate, he feels a bit more rested than usual and yet still exhausted at the same time. A glance to his bedstand indicates he probably took his antidepressant. The bottle isn't normally sitting there.

When he arrives in the hall, he's squinting a bit, not that it's particularly bright. His movement as he approaches the living area is reminiscent of the sluggish shambling of the undead. He's not exactly awake, so when he spots Bella still on the couch, it doesn't quite register.

Peyton moves forward, setting the cereal bowl down (fruit loops, oh-so healthy) before stretching her hand out to shake Bella's. "Yes, Peyton Whitney. You must be Bella?" she says. She really can't think of any other redheads that Aaron knows who would use the word analysis. Or any other redheads he knows, anyway. She picks up her cereal bowl once more and settles in her chair, catty-corner to the couch. "Would you like some breakfast? I'm going to eat these before they get soggy, unless you'd like them…" Well, her manners are well-intended, if not perfect.

Bella returns with a shake that is really more like an interested hold. She squeezes Peyton's hand and her thumb drags across it. Bella realizes, a moment too late, that this is not precisely kosher behavior. "Sorry!" she blurts, though she sounds like she finds it funny rather than anything else, "It's… you know." She grins, "Eat up. Most important meal, right?" As Aaron enters, Bella turns her beaming face towards him. "Hello there, sir! I've met Peyton. You must inform her that I'm not usually like this."

'Oh God, she's still here.' It's not the precise thought that goes through Aaron's head, but it's pretty close. His face colours slightly, which is nice given how pale he usually is. He squints some more, looking from Bella to Peyton to Bella and then back to Peyton, "She really is nothing like this normally. It's … really freaky, actually. Like the Twilight Zone or something." Apparently, Bella's not the only one who's uninhibited this morning. He digs his palm into the bridge of his nose and forehead. "It's noon… did I sleep eighteen hours?"

"Whatever," Peyton says with a shrug. Bella hasn't done anything too strange, as far as she's concerned, aside from thinking that the girl looks good when she's in her Staten Island disguise of jeans and hoodie and Converse and ponytail. "I don't know, I just got home, but it looks like you probably did." She spoons a couple of mouthfuls of cereal in — they really are gross when they're soggy, and she doesn't have enough in the box to throw these out and start fresh. "So… do you usually visit your clients' homes or is that just in case of emergencies or something?" she asks, glancing from Bella to Aaron, wondering if leaving him for the night had caused some sort of suicide attempt.

Bella shakes her head. "Usually he visits me, of course," she says, "But I came here because…" she stops herself, claps a hand over her mouth, "Aaron," she says, turning to look at the man, "I am not so much sure about my being able to keep confidential. Maybe I should be quiet? I don't know what I can or can't say, and I don't trust my judgment about it."

Aaron rubs his eyes when Peyton confirms he looks like he probably did. He can feel his hair's doing the weird tidal wave in the front. "I feel like a whacked me head…" His eyes go to Bella when she makes her comment. "Well, she kinda knows Gillian was arrested, so there's no issue there." And he doesn't feel like making any other comment because that would just be him embarrassing himself. And not for the first time, either. "It's good you know not to trust your judgement right now. That actually means it's still pretty well intact. So you're not completely blitzed, only partially."

"Wow, she's really affected huh. I just kinda get … carefree, but I don't really lose any inhibitions," Peyton says quietly. Maybe because she's spent most of her life not having them. Maybe because there's an emptiness that even Aaron's music can't quite fill. Or maybe because he can make the sorrow go away, but not all the fears that keep her grounded lately. "You guys want coffee?" she asks, finishing her bowl of cereal. "Gillian… she's in some sort of lock up. Mostly staring at the ceiling so I can't really tell," she says with a sigh, heading toward the kitchen.

"But she's still here, in the world," Bella says, looking at Aaron, "She hasn't disappeared." The psychiatrist scoots her legs out from under her and rises to a proper sit, "I can best describe what I'm feeling as being like an anti-anxiety med. Like Xanax, or Clonapin," she informs anyone who cares, "I didn't know I had so much stress. I should try and unwind more often."

"Yeah, here I thought she didn't have too many issues, aside from whatever issues developed when she disappeared," Aaron comments, finally coming into the living room and sitting back on the couch, near but apart from Bella. "I apparently didn't look hard enough." He waves a finger at Bella, "Everything in moderation, and no more of my ability, either."

Peyton laughs a little from the kitchen, hearing Aaron doling out the psychotherapy and twelve-steps talk to his own therapist. Not getting an answer from anyone, she mixes her own cup, then sets on a tray mugs of coffee, the creamer bottle and about a dozen packets of Splenda. That's about as classy as it gets, despite the lush and comfortable apartment decor. She brings the tray to the coffee table. "Sorry it's not all silver service, but it hasn't used since… well. I don't use it." Since her parents died, of course.

"Oh, I don't want to mix meds!" Bella exclaims, glancing at the coffee as if it has come out of the blue, "I'm likely making enough of an idiot out of myself. Thank you, though." She folds her hands in her lap, looking between the woman and the man, unguardedly appraising. "And no, no more, I agree, Aaron. I'm not unhappy enough to need assistance, plus I'm sure that, in retrospect, I'll be very uncomfortable." She smiles, "Of course, that's in the future."

"It's just coffee," Aaron says, reaching for a cup. He takes a sip, but it's still too hot to gulp from, which is what he'd like to do. "I wouldn't say you're not unhappy enough, given how this has affected you, but… no more. And you might want to keep to yourself for another day until it wears off. Keep this whole thing between just us."

"You haven't done anything too embarrassing, I promise," Peyton says with a reassuring smile. "And trust me, I'm the queen of doing things to look back on and feel dumb about. I should know." She sips her own coffee, happy to have the warm cup in her hands. She's still cold from the autumn air outside. She kicks her shoes off, then brings her pink-socked feet up under her, curling up.

"I have to get home!" Bella exclaims, "I have work that I can do and must do. It will seem very suspicious if I stay here any longer. And I don't want to impose."

Now she's running away. It takes a lot of control for Aaron to try and stop that from hurting for whatever reason it does. Obviously something to mention at his next regular session instead of this totally insane house-call business. "Thanks for coming," he says somewhat timidly, though that's probably rather familiar by now.

"O-okay," Peyton says, a little surprised by the exclamation. "Is someone keeping tabs on you, that they would know where you are? I can assure you, the management of this building aren't going to say anything to anyone about you being here." She glances at Aaron with some confusion, wondering if she said anything to offend Bella.

Bella is slightly confused. She takes a moment to process their replies, which don't make immediate sense to her. Then… "Oh!" she exclaims, again, "No, not /now/. Just, /eventually/." She laughs, "Not now that I've finally met Peyton. I just…" she waves a hand, airily, "I will stay put unless I remind myself I have to go, at least as long as this," she taps the side of her head, "Is happening."

Now Aaron's confused. He drinks his coffee. He doesn't say it, but he totally prefers Bella when she's not high. "It sounded urgent," he says, referencing Bella's exclamation that she must get home. Peyton gets a confused look right back. Somebody keeping tabs on his therapist? Who would do something like that?

"Oh. I thought you were … worried," Peyton says with a shake of her head, her confusion fading from her face. Some people just can't handle their drugs, and that includes Aaron's natural treatment, she guesses. "I'm really not that exciting, I'm afraid. You won't be missing much if you leave, though you're welcome to stay," she tells Bella. "You don't want anything? Juice? Water? Food? You don't have the munchies or anything?" Never say she's not a hospitable host.

Bella gives a small laugh, "My carbohydrate receptors are in fine working order, no worries. But yes, I probably should eat. Um…" she thinks, "Eggs and toast? I can make them myself, it's no trouble," she looks to Aaron, "Sorry it came out that way. I was really just trying to remind myself."

Carbohydrate receptors? Aaron nods slightly, "OK. How do you like your eggs?" Maybe he should let her make her own. How awkward. Making breakfast for his shrink. His life has certainly gotten very, very strange as of late. "And toast?" He gets himself off the couch, intent on escaping the situation, even if it is very temporary and only to come back and have things even stranger.

Peyton looks a little amused. Maybe she should have popcorn to watch this play out. "There's some new honey wheat bread in the cupboard," she says helpfully. To Bella, she smiles. "Have you heard from Wendy at all?"

"Over easy!" Bella calls after Aaron. She looks back to Peyton, voice low. "He's very sweet. He just needs to get free of himself long enough. He could really take care of a girl, then. Right now, he has girls taking care of him." At the mention of Wendy, Bella's lips quirk a bit. "…yes?" she says, though it's unclear why it's a question.

"He is sweet. Well, sometimes." Peyton has seen the not-very-sweet side of Aaron a few times. "I… she told me she was going into rehab, but I haven't heard from her. Which is good, I guess. She told me that if she called me to come get her, that I was supposed to say no, no matter what. So I guess it's good she didn't call. 'Cause I can't really say no to people that easily." She wraps her arms around her legs, resting her chin on her knees. "I just miss her, was wondering if she was okay."

This is dangerous territory for Bella. She can't talk too much about Wendy, because Wendy's most certainly involved in Bella's project, about which Bella can say nothing to these good people. But it's clear Peyton knows that Bella knows Wendy, and Bella doesn't want to lie and make things confused. "I saw her at the hospital," she says, truthfully, "But rehab? I don't know. I think she's doing better."

Aaron scurries about the kitchen preparing Bella's breakfast. At least it gives him something to take his mind off of the strange situation. He even prepares to make himself some eggs, but will tend to Bella's food first. She's the guest, after all. "How do you like your toast?" he calls out from the kitchen.

Peyton nods, though she frowns a little. She would guess that Wendy would be in touch with Bella of all people, but she shrugs and then laughs. How does she like her toast? "I don't think it's something that you order to order, Aaron. I'm sure she likes it toasted but not burnt," she answers on behalf of the psychologist.

"You've a clever friend!" Bella calls in at Aaron, and flashes a grin towards Peyton. Her good mood is unassailable right now. Everyone is just so likable! "Peyton, I think you should come in for a session with Aaron. It helps for him to have friends on hand."

Aaron shrugs and goes back to his work. And soon enough, out comes a plate of two halved slices of buttered toast done medium-brown along side two over easy eggs, lightly peppered. He's completely ignorant of the comment just made and instead retreats into the kitchen to make his own food.

"Ohhh, I don't think that … I don't think he'd want me there," Peyton says with a shake of her head and slightly wide eyes. "I mean, I'm his friend and I'm here for him, but I think he needs to talk to you about stuff he can't to me. I can't help him, not when my own life is a mess, you know? I mean… I went with him to Doctor Brennan's and look what happened? I don't think it's a good idea."

"Not every time, just once, to see how it goes," Bella insists, "It went swimmingly with Gillian. Aaron remembers," she lifts her voice, "Aaron! Wouldn't it be good to have Peyton come in for a session or two? Like Gillian did?"

Aaron's grateful he's in the kitchen, away from eyes so people can't see him start glowing red. It worked great with Gillian because the two of them have shared a lot of their feelings, memories, and what not. But to drag into Bella's office the person he has a crush on? No, that's not gonna happen. Nonono. He pretends he didn't hear.

"I … if he wants me to, I guess, but I don't think…" Peyton says, stammering herself. "I just think it's good for him to be able to … you know. I mean, I drive him nuts, I know I do, and he hates when I go helping people with stuff and it's really frustrating and scary for him, and I think he needs a place to be mad at me." This is said in hushed tones so only Bella can hear. "He probably doesn't like me very much, but doesn't have anywhere else to go, so that's embarrassing for him, and if he can tell that to someone, then maybe it's easier for him here, you know?"

"You're the one who needs therapy if you think he doesn't like you," Bella says, "People always get upset at the ones they care about. You are his friend, and you must never forget that. The last thing he needs is more loneliness." There's nothing mean about her tone, even if her words would, just by themselves, sound a bit unkind.

Bella recalls she has food to eat and pulls the plate up onto her lap.

"He's loyal to me. Like is maybe a strong word. He didn't care about me until the night he tried to …" Peyton drops the words there. "He knows I helped him and he's thankful for that. So it's a kind of like. But he doesn't necessarily like who I am. He certainly didn't like who I was." Of course, few did, including herself. "But I'm not going to desert him, don't worry. I'm his friend. I won't abandon him." The girl scowls a little at the implication that she might. "Anyway, I'm here for him, but I don't think he needs me to listen to him get …" she waves a hand, to fill in whatever it is Bella does for Aaron.

"Consider it," Bella says. The subject is otherwise dropped, in favor of digging into her food. Now that she's at it, she seems very enthusiastic. "Aaron!" she says, between bites, "These are perfect, thank you!" she looks up at Peyton, "Does he usually cook?"

"Oh, God, yeah. I don't cook much. He sort of cooks and cleans in lieu of rent, you know?" Peyton says with a laugh. "I can make Macaroni and Cheese or like, boil and pour pasta, you know?"

"You're welcome," Aaron says when he finally comes out of the kitchen, sporting scrambled eggs and toast with orange marmalade. "If I was up, I could have made you something other than cereal." He points a fork at Peyton, "Unless you're still hungry— I could whip you up something if you want." He hasn't sat down or even started to eat his food yet.

Bella continues to tidily demolish her meal, eating quickly, but neatly. And she never speaks with her mouth full. "I remember that from my med school days. Bachelor living. Now I just order in all the time, which I know is bad for me… but I never developed the habit."

"No, I'm good. Coffee and cereal — do I need anything else?" the youngun' of the trio says with a smile, lifting her coffee mug — it's a Harvard University mug that once belonged to her father. "Me too. I'm on a first name basis with the Thai place, the Chinese place, the pizza place, and the curry place," she tells Bella. "Thanks anyway," she nods to Aaron. "I had a bagel this morning, before I boated over." One wouldn't be able to tell she lives on carbs by looking at her.

"OK." It's a hasty OK before Aaron sits down and starts to slowly and quietly eat his food, taking the occasional sip of his coffee and pondering whether or not he should have grabbed a glass of orange juice, instead. "I try to make sure those places don't get overused," he says a long time after Peyton mentions the take out restaurants.

Bella is almost done, just a little toast left, which hangs from thumb and forefinger lazily. "Chinese has to be few and far between for me. I regret it almost every time I have it. I just /know/ it takes years off my life."

"Really? I think all the MSG might be preserving us," Peyton quips, trying to take some of the tension out of the room. "But yeah. My housekeeper, before Aaron came, would make a couple of dishes that I could eat all week, but Aaron made me feel guilty for having her and now it's just us kids." Aaron, her, sometimes Gillian. "He's a good cook, though."

Aaron blushes slightly at being called a good cook, even if it's true. "I'm not that good," he says, trying to downplay his skills. Unlike Bella, he still has most of his meal to eat, so shuts up and gets down to it. He needs to shower and go get his fix, after all.

Bella stares for a moment at her empty plate, then glances around, looking for something, "What's the time?" she asks, "I… I think I may have an appointment soon." This isn't an excuse, though it's also not a truth. She needs to sign off on the transfer of an MRI machine, but she's not going to /say/ that. As far as these good people are concerned, she's a psychiatrist and that's all.

"It's 12:15," Peyton says, a glance behind to the LED on the DVD player in the entertainment center. "You might want to cancel, if you're still not feeling yourself, though. Unless it's not that kind of appointment. You should be good for a hair appointment or something like that."

"You might come off as a little too perky to anyone who's depressed," Aaron says. It's true. Perkiness annoys him. One of many things about Wendy that drove him insane. "So long as it's not about someone's sanity, I think you should be good to go. Just remember to keep your mouth closed." It's almost teasing, but no, it's his mouth again.

Bella sticks her tongue out at Aaron. She might not want to do that either, if it's a session she's going to. But it's not. She gets to her feet, slipping the plate from her lap and onto the coffee table. "I'll be just fine. I give myself a clean bill of mental health." She stoops to pick up her cane. "I don't think I'll need this much longer," she comments, mostly to herself. She offers her hand to Peyton, hopefully for an actual shake this time. "It was a pleasure meeting you, Peyton. I hope I see you again soon."

Peyton stands when her guest does. "Pleased to meet you, too, Bella. Thanks for coming." Like Peyton had invited her. Still, she's been raised to e polite. "I'm glad you're getting better," she adds, with a nod to the cane as she walks toward the door to let Bella out. "You can sleep on the couch anytime," she adds with a playful smirk.

Did she just stick her tongue out at him? Aaron sets his not-quite-finished food aside so he can walk Bella to the door. Like Peyton, he was raised to be polite, even if he has total failures with regards to that on occasion. "Wednesday as usual?" he asks, obviously thinking of his next session.

"Wednesday," Bella agrees, and steps out the door. She turns to give a wave. "Take care!"

Peyton closes the door behind Bella, chuckling a bit. "She's interesting. What's she like when she's not all hopped up on the Aaron juice?" she asks, with a smirk, sipping her coffee as she turns back to the apartment's interior.

The Aaron juice? Aaron groans and blushes before he sits back down to eat the rest of his breakfast. "She's not high, that's for sure." Aaron juice just sounds so dirty…. "She's usually very professional and rather mellow. I'm never letting her be anywhere near me when I use my ability. She's nuts afterwards."

"Really? She wasn't that bad just now. What was she like earlier, before she fell asleep?" Peyton sits on the couch, her feet coming up as always as she curls into the corner. "She try to do something really unprofessional or something?" She sounds excited to hear the dirt, like it's school girl gossip.

Aaron sets his empty plate on the coffee table for now, taking up his nearly empty mug of coffee. "Not really much different than just now. Too damned perky, at any rate," he says, rubbing at his head. "I dunno. You'd have to meet her when she's not blitzed to figure out how disturbing all that was." Though he'd never deny he preferred being hugged by High Bella than Professional Bella. Not that he'd ever say that aloud.

"She was okay, though a bit … energetic, I guess," she says with a shrug. "She seems nice. She suggested I go with you to therapy, but I said I didn't think you'd want me there. I mean, that's personal stuff, I get it." She shrugs, and rests her head back, closing her eyes. "I hope you were okay though — she didn't need to come because of an emergency or anything, right? I had a planned delivery but I feel bad leaving you."

Aaron shakes his head quickly. "No, nothing like that. I just wasn't up to going to her office on Wednesday, so asked if she could come here yesterday." Which, now that he's said it, sounds almost as lame to him as if it had been for an emergency. "And, well, you could come if you wanted to, I guess. You kinda know at least half of the stuff anyway." Did he just almost ask her to come with him? Nonono. "You don't have to, though. It would probably be weird." It was a little strange with Gillian there.

"It's okay. I would only want to go if you wantedneeded me to go, really. She thought it'd be good for me to see the process or some psychotherapist jargon like that. I think she thinks I need it more than you probably, so it's probably her sneaky way of trying to fix me. But I already have to go to a shrink every six months. I don't want to go any more than that," Peyton babbles a bit, emptying her coffee in one hard swallow. She jumps up. "More coffee?" she asks, reaching a hand out for his mug.

"Sure," Aaron replies, offering his mug. Once she's taken it, he follows into the kitchen with his and Bella's plates so he can wash them and put them away. "It's not that bad, you know, talking." Though it hurts a lot too, sometimes. "You should try it Peyton. I know you don't think you need it, but take it from someone who can see your pain. You should talk to someone." And then he realizes it's something she probably doesn't want to hear, and hasn't even considered the whole fact that there are things she can't talk about. "But between you and me? I need it more than you."

Peyton frowns a little as she pours the coffee and as Aaron begins to advise her. "I don't know. Look at Wendy. She was an open book, and look where it got her. She might not have been pent up, but she needed drugs more than I did, right? I'm fine. The things that … the things that make me sad are things I can't change. They're in the past. I'm trying to do better, I'm trying to be a better person now, but bad things keep happening. It's not like talking about it makes it go away." She hands him a cup of coffee while she begins to stir in her creamer and sweetener.

"No, it doesn't make it go away," Aaron replies, taking the mug. "I'm not even sure it makes it easier to talk about, because it still … it still hurts just as much, but I'm going to keep doing it because it has its moments. Sometimes I feel better afterwards. You know, I can't use my ability on me." He puts the cleaned dishes back into the cupboard and takes his mug into the living room.

"I'm sorry. That you can't. And I'm sorry I can't help much. If I could help you, I would," she says sadly, sipping her coffee and then adding more sugar. She heads into the living room and goes back to her corner of the couch. "I'm glad it helps for you to go to her. I don't think it would help me, but if I ever do, I'll keep it in mind."

And yet she can help him but doesn't know it. "Doesn't always help. Wish it did." Aaron sets his mug on the coffee table and flops onto the couch again. "Life really sucks, you know?" The idea of Gillian in lock-up almost brings tears to his eyes again and looks towards the ceiling himself for a bit while the feeling passes.

"I think the alternative is worse," Peyton says softly. "At least at our age, right?" She scooches closer and puts an arm around his shoulders. "Things will get better." She pauses a moment. "They kinda have to, eventually, right?"

Aaron leans against Peyton as she gives him a one-arm hug. "Kinda makes it hard to believe in Karma, though. What could we have possibly done to deserve what we got? Had too much fun?" Well, he knows he had fun for a while at least, even if he was a little depressed before things all went to hell. "I sure hope they get better."

Her eyes drop. She had fun, at the expense of her parents. "It's not karma. I don't believe in anything being fated or meant to be. If anyone is designing all of this to happen, I don't want anything to fucking do with them." She's not usually so jaded or bitter, but the idea of spirituality having anything to do with it doesn't work for her.

"As I said, makes it hard to believe in it. One event and I gave up religion and spirituality all at once. Go figure," Aaron says. He's rather bitter about it himself. "Ah well. We've got each other to get us through the day." On that note, he breaks free of Peyton's arm, pecking her forehead with a quick kiss and heading into the hallway. "Gonna catch a shower."

"Don't use all the hot water, I want one after you," she says in an offhand manner, before he heads into the hallway. As if he normally kisses her on the forehead. She gets up to head into the kitchen before glancing over her shoulder, tilting her head curiously. Maybe he doesn't dislike her after all, like Bella said.

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