Sugar And Lemon


aaron_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Scene Title Sugar And Lemon
Synopsis Aaron runs away from his troubles, just like he always does.
Date November 6, 2009

Aaron didn't come out of his room until morning, after he was sure Peyton wouldn't hear him. After what happened with Dr. Brennan…. There was no way he could have looked her in the eye. It hurt, it really did. He went there for her, to put her at ease more than to find out if he was harming himself in using his ability. Sure, he could find out he was, but he'd deal with it when that happened. But then she didn't even consider his feelings, his emotions, how violated he felt at what that doctor did. She didn't stand up for him like he would have stood up for her.

He spent most of his time sulking in his room, but he also spent a great deal of time writing.

I'm sorry, I can't stay here anymore. I can't stay with someone I love who

Instantly scrapped. One of many in a growing pile of crumpled up sheets of paper, all with pretty much the same thing written on them. Long before he finished the letter he left for Peyton on his desk, he finished his list, a list he safely tucked away into his duffel bag, intent on giving it to Bella as soon as she returns.

Once he finished writing the letter, he packed some of his things and fled the apartment, a block or two before he called Gillian and left her the message to meet him somewhere, anywhere. Just, call him back. He fled, taking some clothes and his guitar with him, leaving behind most of his things and a very short, tear-stained letter.


I'm sorry, but I have to get away. I need to be somewhere else right now. I do care about you, but right now, I need to be with someone who loves me who will actually stand up for me when I'm being violated.


The good thing about having a car, it makes meeting someone in another part of the city easier. The drive to get to Staten Island is a long one, having to go through Jersey, but it's still an option, and the way he'd sounded briefly on the voicemail… he might need the long drive. Safer than the ferries, anyway.

The location Gillian replied with for a meeting spot would require a few blocks walking, because it'd been the nearest free parking she knew of. Free is her best friend, even if she has to vulture a few minutes before someone leaves so she can pull in and wait. Inside the rusted Dodge Spirit, she sits with a bottle of water and a book (actually a journal in her own handwriting) and an iPod with one earbud hanging down unused. The doors are locked, a few blankets are visible in the back seat, as well as trashbags.

Of course, the long wait also meant Aaron wandering around going only a little loony for a few hours, carrying a duffel bag and a guitar case. He wouldn't be surprised if someone thought he was a vagrant or a homeless crazy person. The walking did him good, of course, but he couldn't wait in one spot, so he ended up going around the block a number of times, before finally returning to the parking lot and seeing the very vehicle Gillian once picked him up in before. When he approaches, it's in a bit of a stagger, and it's quite possible he looks far worse than Gillian has ever seen him.

A glance through one of the dusty side mirrors catches him walking close by, and Gillian puts down her journal and leans over to unlock the passenger side for him, frowning a little at the sight of him. She didn't know he'd be bringing stuff along, but… there he is. Complete with many of his precious possessions. In short? He looks even worse than he sounded. "Guess I picked a bad couple of nights to hang out at the Lighthouse," she says, once he's got the door open so there's a chance her can hear. "You okay?"

There's no response to Gillian's remark, though he does give her a bit of a pitiful look when she asks him if he's OK. Once Aaron has his bag and guitar case in the back seat he takes his own seat, closing the passenger door behind him. He doesn't have to give any conscious verbal or non-verbal reply to her question. The tears that run down his face should be obvious reply enough. "Just…. just take me somewhere. I don't care where." He can't even look Gillian in the eyes, instead facing the door and looking out the window.

The level of pain that usually surrounds Gillian has lowered quite a bit lately. Not non-existent, of course, but not as noticeably visible as it had been most of the time they'd known each other. "Sounds like you need the music more than me," she says, gathering up to earbuds and passing over her iPod. It's not his kind of music, likely, but her playlist has some pretty extensive stuff. "There's some napkins stashed in the glove box, too," she adds, before she touches his hand and starts up the car, letting the journal fall into the space between their chairs.

He doesn't care where, and there's only a few places she calls home, and Peyton's doesn't seem to be an option, so she drives. And it could take a while. From the look of things he needs it before they can talk.

Aaron would take the earbuds happily if he could do anything happily, but he does take them. It doesn't matter what's on it, it's something that doesn't involve thinking, and he'll take what he can get. He doesn't say a single word the entire trip, just listening to music and staring out the window as though he could magically not be there, or anywhere.

The iPod list has a large variety of songs with some things in common. Usually a strong beat that can almost be hypnotizing after a while. The long drive, with many slows and stops and waits makes getting there some time, but she doesn't try to interrupt his thoughts, beyond passing over the bottle of water during an especially long road-stop. It becomes clear soon enough, after many bridges, that she's taking him straight to Staten Island, driving along the broken and ruined streets with locked doors and careful glances until she can make it all the way to the Lighthouse. The car comes to a halt, and there's a few children visible in the backyard. Not unattended, of course. They never are.

"You want to talk about it inside?"

By the time the car comes to its final stop, Aaron's head is pounding like it hasn't in a very long time. He pulls out the earbuds and sets the iPod on the dash before covering his whole face with his hands. It's clear from watching his breathing that he's using them to slow down his airflow so he doesn't hyperventilate and, consequently, he can't answer her question right away. It's only once he can breathe properly that he gives a number of attempts at talking, but they only result in him starting to hyperventilate again. Finally, he just gives up and nods, even though he can't speak right now through all of the emotion roiling around inside him.

Gathering up her belongings, Gillian drops them into a bag, leaving nothing behind in the car worth taking, not even the blanket. "Think you could handle your stuff?" she asks, before she moves around to unlock and re-lock the doors. The car isn't precious to her, or anything, but it's one of the few things she can call her own. A gift from her brother. Her real one. "Come on, let's get you up to my room," she explains, as she leads the way, waving at the kids as they go by, as well as the person watching them. Once upstairs, she drops her things on the floor, then turns to make sure he got inside. "You can lay down on the bed for a bit. Do you want some tea or something?"

Aaron nods, and collects his things to carry with him. He took only what he could carry, after all, half-expecting to walk a long way, which he kind of did. He feels so awkward as he trudges behind Gillian, in sight of God knows how many kids— he doesn't bother looking to find out. He probably doesn't have the state of mind to count, even if he did look.

Perhaps if he were in another state of mind, Aaron might blush at the fact that he's here with Gillian in her bedroom, but right now, his entanglement with Stef is the farthest thing from his mind. He sets his duffel bag and guitar case down. His boots are set aside, because he clearly does intend to lie down and the last thing he's going to do is drag boots up onto a bed. Once his footwear are set aside, he starts to walk towards the bed, for a moment seeming unsteady on his feet. He takes a seat on the bed. "Tea, would be nice, thank you." It's the first thing he's managed to say since he got into the car some hours ago.

"Lay down and relax. I'll be back in a few minutes," Gillian says, closing the door behind her. The trudges of steps on the stairs can be heard, along with whispering through the floor. None of the words loud enough to make out, but there's obviously things being said. Nothing sounds tense or yelling, but there are some excited sounds as well. Children often make the sounds people least expect to hear, and excitement may not be one of them.

After a while, enough time to boil water, footsteps come back up, down the hall, and the door opens, a small tray balanced against ribs and on arm as she carries two teacups stacked on each other and a kettle. Along with some side cups with sugar and spoons. Even some freshly cut lemons. "Figured hot would be better," she says, as she sets the tray down on one of her tables and goes back to close and lock the door, just as two little heads peek around the hall and try to look inside on them. Scat! Speaking of scat, almost as soon as the door closes, a orange paw peeks out from under the bed as a big cat stretches out, yawning, and then looking up at the stranger in a 'who is this?'

Aaron does lie down, but he doesn't relax. He can't, and he's all nervous the entire time she's gone, especially because he hears whispering. It doesn't really matter what it sounds like, to him it's just whispering. When Gillian returns, he lets out a sigh of relief. "Thanks," he says before peering down at the orange cat as it sneaks out from under the bed. "You have a cat?"

"Yeah, that's Chandra," Gillian says, reaching down to touch him. "I've had him about a year now. One of the few things I've taken with me from place to place, though a lot of people have helped me take care of him." The cat submits to scritches, but doesn't hang around long, because he goes over to the side of the room to his food bowl. Dry food all of it, but he munches away for a bit, before glancing back over at her as if to ask her 'is that the best you can get me?'

She ignores him, instead focusing on pouring some tea into a cup and handing it over. "There's sugar and lemon, but that's it. Do you want to tell me about what happened?"

Aaron nods along as she introduces her cat. "Lemon's fine, thanks," he says, taking the cup in slightly jittery hands, though he forces it back over when it becomes clear to him that he's not yet ready to hold a cup of scalding liquid in his hands. Instead, he lies back down on the bed, trying to gather his wits about him so he can actually explain without having a breakdown— even though he knows that even if he feels OK, as soon as he starts talking, everything will fall apart. "I… I don't think I can right now." Peyton's probably found his note by now. God knows what she's doing to do when she finds it. "God, I'm stupid. What the fuck was I thinking?" This is the part where he starts hyperventilating. Again.

Squeeze of the lemon into the tea, and Gillian prepares her own, adding sugar and lemon both before she settles down on the bed next to him. There's some sounds of whispering again, but she ignores it, watching as he begins to hyperventilate. This makes her set down her teacup and move over to an iPod speaker, where she can plug in her iPod and turn on some music. It blocks out the whispers and the footsteps, and also filters noises to the rest of the house.

"Maybe you should just drink and rest for a while. But it looks like you need to talk about it. Did something happen with you and Peyton?"

"You…" Before saying more, Aaron takes the time to slow his breathing a little. "You could say that," he says as he watches his hands shake in front of his eyes. Clearly, drinking tea is still out of the question. The fact that his head is throbbing worse than it was earlier doesn't make anything easier, either. He feels even more jittery now than he'd been waiting to see that accursed doctor who started all of this, and thinking about that doesn't help him at all either.

"Maybe you should just try to relax. You're safe up here. Chandra's a big sweetheart. He'll probably want to cuddle in a bit once you're laying down, even," Gillian says, looking over at the large orange cat with very fuzzy fur and a big fat tail. This cat isn't tiny by any definition of the word. He's practically a rug. Pampered for a cat, too. A house full of kids probably treat him more than he needs to be treated, so when he's confined in her room he has to settle for the hard stuff. "You can tell me when you're ready. I'll be here as long as you need me to be."

"Easier said than done," says the shaking wonder, although Aaron has to wonder how much of the trembling is from nerves and how much is from the fact that he hasn't used his ability in a whole day. Well, little over a whole day. That's a bad sign, all things considered. Tremors didn't usually set in for several days. "I think I could handle that— the cuddling. I just…. things have gone off the tracks."

"Things do that," Gillian says softly, moving over to rub at Chandra's head and making a gesture. The cat takes a few moments to respond, before finally padding back over to the bed and hopping up onto the bed, looking for a place to get close and kneed in with his paws. "Just relax. I'm not going anywhere, I promise," she says, finding a comfortable seat where she can be close to him too. Not quite cuddling, not yet, but close. The cuddling can carry over to her lap fairly easily.

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