That Was Odd


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Scene Title That Was Odd
Synopsis Samara comes to thank Aaron for some help he gave her a few nights earlier. She gets … something she wasn't expecting.
Date January 29, 2011

Aaron and Peyton's Apartment — Upper West Side

The Upper West Side is normally somewhere Samara doesn't spend any time. Not that she doesn't look like she belongs. Her dark wash jeans, blue t-shirt, and leather jacket make her blend like some yuppy twenty-something, especially with the Starbucks coffee cups she has in hand. Her back is hung precariously over her arm as she knocks on the door of the apartment.

Rap Rap Rap

Three quick knocks. She manages a tight smile, a little nervous considering the last time she'd made this visit and gone through these motions.

Her cheeks turn a faint pink as she knocks again, clutching the drink tray from Starbucks complete with two cups of coffee. One for her, and one for the resident inside.

The last awkward visit. It seems to be a growing trend. There's no answer, the hallway quiet for some time until who should voyage out of the stairs but Aaron Michaels. Wearing no more than a pair of shorts and a muscle shirt, it's clear from the layer of sweat covering his body that he was downstairs at the gym.

When he reaches the door, he eyes the two cups suspiciously while he unlocks and opens the door. "I hope that's tea you've got in there. You know I don't drink coffee." Unlike all the other caffeine addicts at the group home he found himself in towards the end of his lengthy psychiatric roundabout.

"Uh…" Sam murmurs as her cheeks redden. "…you could pretend it's tea?" she asks with a small cringe. "I'm sorry! I forgot. Like.. already." Her cheeks become redder now. "Look, I…" she hmmms quietly as she reaches into her purse and takes out an envelope. "It's totally nerdy, but I wanted to thank you.. so I got you a card— it's nothing big, just a card." She shrugs.

Four Days Earlier

The knock at Aaron's door had come well after curfew. Sam had spent hours considering where she should go. Walking through walls, considering where to go, she wasn't sure where she needed to be. She'd considered Tahir's house— both of her siblings would be there. With questions. So many questions. And then she'd be comforting Adisa about not wearing the white lace dress. While she'd have to convince Tahir not to go kill Brian.

She wants to be angry, but she's not. She's hurt. The joy and lightness she wore like a breath of fresh air have melted into something more chaotic and internalized.

And after careful consideration of where she should go, of where would be safe, she finds herself here, knocking on Aaron's door for a very particular purpose.

When he'd opened the door, he encountered her tear-stained face, complete with puffy, red eyes, loud sniffles, and distinct hiccups as she tried to catch her own breath. Her cheeks are red, her hair is a mess, and all-in-all, she's seen better days. Her first words to him aren't in greeting, they're desperate, "… take…" hiccup "…it…" hiccup "…away…" She sniffles loudly.

Having been hassled on the street at one point because it was near curfew, the fact that any sound came from the door was looked at with great suspicion. He even had double-check the clock to be sure of the time. Peyton would never be crazy enough to go roaming around after curfew, certainly, which left very few possibilities. The only reason Aaron even opened the door was because he peeked through and didn't see military or some other crazed law enforcement type.

When he sees the tears, it's a good thing he hasn't fed recently enough to lean towards anything mildly psychotic, as it is also a good thing he doesn't know Samara is 'with' Brian. Because he knows Brian. Well, one of the anyway. Not particularly well, either, but enough that he'd have a place to start searching for him to duke it out like Tahir no doubt would. Why? For no other purpose than the possible fun he might have. A new experience. Yay.

But he hasn't fed recently and so isn't particularly inclined towards having emotion significant enough for such purposes. Instead, he reaches out his hand and quickly shuffles Samara inside as though she herself were an illegal good. The sad thing is that she more or less is. He closes the door far more quietly than her knocking was and once he's certain the door is well and secure, he locks eyes with her tear-puddled ones.

"Before I go any further, have you completely lost your mind?"

She sniffles loudly as she's ushered in. Sami's hazel eyes are dabbed at by her already salty stained sleeves. She sniffles again with another loud gasp for air. She trembles slightly underneath the duress. SHe's awkward in the entrance at first, standing there, frozen like a statue. The question, however, has her reaching for the wall, using a single hand to trail down it. Her back presses against the wall, halfway, allowing herself to find a sitting position at it's base. Her knees are drawn to her chest, tightly hugged as her shoulders bob with angry tears. Tears of complete and utter pain. "..I.." hiccup "..hope.." hiccup "..not.." To be hurt and crazy would be horrifying.

Her fingers link together around her legs while her face hides behind them. "..I.." she gasps for breath "..want.." hiccup " be.. numb.." Her eyebrows knit together as she finally peeks up from her knees, "Please? Pl-please?"

"It's really not that bad from what I hear. I can't help but wonder if I'm entirely sane, myself," Aaron remarks, before tugging at Samara to pull her back to her feet. The physical tug comes with an emotional one too, drawing the sad, hurt emotions from her like venom from a wound, leaving behind only the good emotions. Numb she will not be. "Being numb is overrated, though. You'll be happy, sparkly, bubbly, or whatever you might want to call it."

He inches himself back a bit, one eye squinted. "Yeah, emotions are kinda overrated too. See, on a … good, bad, what's the difference? Well, on the average day," he says, pointing to her tear-soaked sleeves, "That can't happen to me anymore. Still can't decide whether that's good or bad."

The shady veil that makes everything dark and grey lifts. There's this lightness that takes over. With a slow quiet breath, her frown cracks into a smile. There's something nearly tentative about it at first, almost like the hurt lingers as distrust until he's done. Sami shoots him a lopsided grin, bright, playful, merry. The feelings will come back later, but for now? She's all delight.

She pops up from her spot on the wall and shoots Aaron a large toothy grin. "I feel like we should go dancing! Or we could go find a merry go round and ride the horses!" after curfew. Apparently extremely happy Sam has absolutely no clarity of thought. "Or or or or or! OR we could make cookies and cake and then eat it all at once because everyone likes cookies and cake!"

Her eyebrows arc higher, "Or we could turn up the music— " what music is she talking about "— like you could play music and we could make it ultra loud and do the twist in the middle of the room and face the speakers to some wall of the neighbours you like lease and then we can dance and have fun and maybe they'll start liking you and then we can make cookies and imbibe copious amounts of alcohol except I don't feel like I need alcohol the last time I had a drink was just a few days ago— when was the last time you had a drink? Or fun!? Tell me Aaron, what do you do for fun anyways?!"

If balanced Samara is a chatterbox, pain-free Samara is a chipmunk. On caffeine. Or speed.

And Aaron thought Bella was amusing when she was high on his brand of magic. Samara's so much funnier.

"Fun … fun …" He looks around, "What is this fun you speak of? I …" He leads the way into the living room where he retakes his seat the couch. "Mostly, see, I just sit on my ass here on the couch because I have nothing to do. Curfew, and all. Mostly I … just don't care. Not enough to drink or gorge on cookies, at any rate."

There's a sharp whistle as she trails him into the living room where she begins peeking at the various things on the wall, the objects in the room, and anything remotely personal about the apartment. Her hands hold behind her back as she whistles again. "You should play more you know I bet the world would be all hardcore with your muuuuusic! I once had this dream where people like battled it out with music except the music could like knock people out— " her eyes narrow and her hands make a record scratching motion like she's some tripped out DJ "— so it was like badass and awesome instead of just musically sound and believe me I totally get music because I'm a dancer and dancers appreciate music almost as much as musicians— "

She drifts to the kitchen, somewhat subconsciously. "So I can totally make you cookies but just so you know I'm not really that good at cooking even though I kind of enjoy it I'd still rather dance though or do math I actually like math— did you like math growing up, Aaron or were you one of those language people?"

Aaron quirks a brow as Samara goes off on her tangent. Her rapidfire speech gives him no time to respond, so he merely keeps quiet as she wanders her way into the kitchen. But as soon as she mentions making cookies or doing cooking of any kind — particularly with her in the condition in which she is, he rises from the couch and goes into the kitchen to make sure she doesn't. Lack of inhibitions tends to make people careless, and the last thing he needs is Samara setting fire to Peyton's kitchen.

"That won't be necessary, really. I'm all good here." Distraction. "I was one of those … did well in everything folks. I didn't particularly like school, but I liked the people and did well enough to get into NYU. Of course, then the city getting blown up kinda screwed over my graduating, but that's life." He moves closer to Samara. "You know, you're stuck here the rest of the night. Past curfew and all."

It doesn't take much to distract her from the notion of cooking and the idea of cooking anything, she just excitable and bubbly, too pleased with herself and everything to dwell on what she can and can't do.

"Why did you keep going then?" she quirks as she shuffles out of the kitchen back to the living room; she really can't be kept still. "And for the record graduating is the least of concerns I died— I told you that didn't I? My whole family thought I was dead— sixteen years old and my life was over— " ordinarily a story like this would reflect some measure of drama, instead it's just left to hang.

"Uhhhhh…" she breathes deeply, "ANYways. You should play more you know— that one time I heard you, you were really good— "

"Why do I keep doing what?" Aaron asks as he follows the possibly certifiable girl out of the kitchen and back into the living room. He briefly wanders into his memory to the weird girl who went nearly catatonic to his charm. Samara's the exact opposite. "Can I get you anything? Coffee? Sugar cubes, maybe?" Elephant tranquilizers? He idly ponders crushing a few Benedryl into a cup of coffee to knock her out, all the while keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn't get herself into trouble. "Only if you sit still. Then, maybe I'll play." Ransoming his music? Has it really come to that?

"Why did you keep going to school? I would've kept going regardless because my mom and m dad— mom's an artist, dad's a doctor, both value school, it's important and all." She shrugs as she glances at the couch. "Uh— do you have juice? I love juice? Orange, apple, pineapple, you know what else I like, karaoke! Have you ever karaoked? It's really really fun and awesome I used to do it at a friend's house when we were growing up and I'm not bad at singing not the best in the world or anything— " Wait. If she sits still he'll play? Total win. She shuffles on the couch. "I'm sitting. Still-ish."

Once Aaron has a glass of orange juice — sans any form of drug — he gets out of the electronic keyboard that Peyton allows him to use time and time again. "Now don't think this is going to make you feel any better. I don't think that's humanly possible at this point." He decides on something calm and slow to hopefully lull Samara to sleep, so picks a version of Pachelbel's Canon he has become at least as expert at playing as the original arranger, David Lanz.

It actually doesn't take long to make the very delighted, very bubbly Samara to settle on the couch. And it doesn't take long for her to drift to sleep; even if she feels pleased, delighted, bubbly, she's exhausted from the crying, even if she can't feel why she'd been so upset.


The card is passed over to Aaron, his name written on the front in silly girlish scrawl as she shrugs at him. "Like I said, it's nothing, really." Her nose wrinkles a little. When he opens it he'll see a panda standing on a grassy hill, "I don't think it's very accurate. I mean, in the grassiness. And the panda." She shrugs. The words THANK YOU read across the cover.

The inside of the card has these words in type I Owe You One on the right hand side. A simple message from the card company. On the left hand side in that same girlish scrawl, Sami has written,


Thank you for being a great friend. I realize I was kind of crazy. Sorry about that, but thanks for helping, I really appreciate it.



"Tea, coffee is not," Aaron says as he handles the card, examining it with about as much interest as the most menial of tasks. "You definitely were kind of crazy. Remind me never to take it all away, unless I actually do take it all away. Then you'd be like me." He closes the card up. "And that may or may not be a good thing." He steps into the apartment and sticks the card into his long coat pocket, for lack of a better place to put it.

"Make yourself at home. I'm going to shower."

"Uh.. sorry?" Samara asks rather than actually says. She shuffles inside anyways. "If you're busy, I don't have to stay, I just thought— " her lips turn down. "— look, I really did appreciate it." It's always unsettling how unenthusiastic about life Aaron is, particularly to someone as bright and bubbly as Samara. "I'd had this fight with my fiancée— kind of. And I just.. I couldn't be there anymore." Her eyebrows knit together, "I know I probably should've gone to my brother's but he's kind of.. protective or whatever…"

Well that certainly stops Aaron in his tracks. "Fiancée? You went from dead to engaged in … what, a month?" The lack of enthusiasm in his voice is certainly eerie, but then, there's a lack of just about everything in his voice when he's not entirely emotional. But he still has enough emotion to be intrigued about this strange turn of events. He wasn't just working out. "I can understand your brother's concern."

Sam shrugs slightly, "I.." her cheeks flush now as her eyes flit to her feet, "I'm happy. I mean I was until— " until that night she showed up at Aaron's door. "A person can't stop living just because people think there's something wrong with it." Although talking about this right now gives this distinctly negative feeling in her stomach, yet she makes no request to remove it. It's just there. "I was upset, maybe a little.. too sensitive. I need to toughen up." Her smile softens and she's shrugging again, "I love him. He's good to me, I know he is."

"Whatever you say, Princess. Just remember that fights happen. God knows, I've had enough with my roommate to last a lifetime, and we're not even together." He heads into the hallway, "But as I said, make yourself at home. I'm just going to shower real quick. I smell like I've been working out the past hour. Oh wait — I have."

If being called princess annoys Sam, it's impossible to tell, "Yeah. I.. " she begins before cutting herself off. "I know. Fighting is normal. What happened, happened." She nods once firmly as Aaron disappears, not that he can see it. She shuffles into the living room, remembering where she'd fallen asleep on the couch. She takes a perch on the sofa and crosses her ankles in her seat.

Though she woke up in his bed. Creepy. But he was there sitting on the floor when she finally came to. He could have holed her up in Peyton's deceased parents's room, but he's always felt that was creepy. And he's spent enough time sleeping on the couch to know it brings certain physical discomforts. So he took his own floor.

Aaron returns some fifteen minutes later, naked from the waist up. It's not the first time she's seen him that way, why be modest? "So, what did you two fight about, anyway?" Does she mind him asking? He doesn't care.

Sam's at attention when Aaron returns and asks her that question, the question she dreads. "Uh…" her cheeks flush a little and the smile fades completely. Ordinarily she'd dodge this question, but considering she's actually talked to no one about it (thanks to Rue being on Pollepel), there's a part of her that wants to talk it out with someone. And, Aaron had been there without questions that night. "Well… he'd been engaged before— you need to know that to get this story at all." She's actually frowning now, as she blinks hard, "…it was… it was a mistake. He— " she swallows hard. "— he proposed to me on the fly. Which is fine, I"m not.. I'm not froofy. I don't need a big to-do. I'd rather just have quiet anyways. Like.. a romantic dinner somewhere not public. Like at home. With candles and— " her cheeks are flushing now. "Or while dancing. I like dancing…" She's frowning deeper now.

"Anyways, that day he proposed he'd… he'd gotten the ring back from his ex-fiancée. And…" she glances at her now bare finger. Brian had thrown the ring away when she'd gone home again, a start-over gesture. She shrugs. "I'm… I'm too sensitive," she insists quietly.

"Let me tell you something about being sensitive: With the exception of my therapists and my roommate, whose now-deceased best friend found my body, very few people know that I've tried to kill myself more times than I can count on one hand. Suffice it to say, being sensitive never did me much good. This is a warning about being sensitive, it's not a prognostication of any kind. Always seek help with your emotions. If you can't control them, come to people who can reign them in. Don't let your emotions control you like I did." Aaron manages a straight and only vaguely interested face the whole time he's talking thanks to his now deadened emotions. Yes, Aaron Michaels, now with 99.9% less emotion.

"And I don't mean by me taking them away, either. At least, not all of it. We'll talk next time. It's safer and less psychotic."

"I was… desperate," Sam admits with a frown. "When you're dead and you can't talk to anyone no one can hurt you except you, you know?" There's another twitch of her lips, that good humour still reflected in her eyes. "And it wasn't even the ring thing that bothered me. It was the feeling that maybe, maybe it was all a lie?" She sighs now, the talking making her face what she still feels, even if she has theoretically forgiven him and moved on. "Like I think he was hurt when he got the ring back. Angry, maybe? Not with me, but enough. Enough to want some weird type of revenge. Or maybe— maybe scared of being alone?" She sighs again. "My point is I just wanted to not think about it. That's why I asked you to do what you did. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked— "

"It's fine that you asked. I just wasn't prepared for you without any of your emotional baggage." He takes a seat next to her. "Scared of being alone. Yes, that's a rather common complaint from a lot of people. I feared it a lot until recently. Now I don't really care. Get bored a lot, though. Do some weird things when I'm on the verge of being unemotional. It comes and it goes, as I explained last time. Just one of those quirks of being a vampire, I suppose."

"But you don't seem to care about much, Aaron," Sam counters quietly while she folds her hands in her lap. "I'm not afraid of being alone though; I almost did that. Entirely." She lets the silence build as she turns her head to face him, "I'm afraid of disappearing. Of fading. Of completely and totally becoming nothing. All over again." Her fingers raise to her temples and she rubs them gently, "I can't imagine not feeling anything most of the time. I think that would break me. I know my emotions are a weakness, but they give me passion. Strength of conviction. Compassion." She shrugs. "And purpose."

"I don't," Aaron says. "I used to care a great deal, but that was before. The more I consume the more I feel. Time passes and I have to start all over again. I imagine it makes me rather robotic, but it seems almost pointless to waste so much time feeding on people's emotions, especially considering the damage it can do."

"It's a sacrifice I guess. Emotions for emotions." They've talked about this before, on the day he'd dulled her feelings, leaving her in an odd stupor for a few minutes. "But anyways, thanks for that. It let me sleep, which helped me get some perspective." She grins a little, "I mean, he came clean about it, right? So that's progress."

"I suppose that's progress. But it's a strange situation you two are in. And for the record, emotions are a strength unless they aren't." Says the wisdom of Aaron Michaels, the man who doesn't feel. He reaches out and takes one of the two coffee cups and takes a drink of the now cool coffee.

"And I love him. I do. A lot. I want to marry him. I didn't hesitate when he asked, there was no question for me, but he's one of these… can be everywhere at once people. I don't even know half of what he does or goes through in a day." Sam leans forward and grasps the other cup of coffee. "And I can't. It would take like five of me to get it. There's just so much stuff! It blows my mind. And I want to know what a typical day looks from all angles…"

Aaron was about to remark on how fickle love is and how she hasn't been around enough to know if there's someone better out there. But more than one place at once? "His name's not Brian is it?"

Sam's eyebrows furrow while her lips curl upwards into a sheepish smile. "Uh… yeah.." she flushes brightly as she rises to her feet. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't talk about this. Even though you're a great friend and stuff, I should have been more discrete or something." It's her life though.

"What can I say? This world is incredibly small. He's the brother of one of my best friends, not that I've seen Gillian in ages. Don't even know where she is these days," Aaron remarks. Does he care about keeping things discrete? Pff.

"Yeah.. Gillian seems very nice— " even with the punch-threat she gave Samara. Sam begins as she shuffles towards the door now. Just a little uncomfortable. "He's good. Honestly, he's good. I'm very lucky and all that other stuff." She smiles tightly.

"I wouldn't know how good or not he is. Never really had any interaction with any of … him. Just make sure he treats you good. There are definitely more than enough of him to share with your brother if things turn ugly." Aaron holds up his hands, "Not that I'm pretending to care, or anything." His hands rest again on the coffee cup. "Just seems like it might be fun. I wonder how my ability would work on him …"

"Uh, please don't try.. I kind of like him the way he is," Sam quips as she reaches the door now. "And he's good, just.. just one blip, that's all. One little blip. Minute. Done. Over. Fin." She nods at this fact. "And.. and we're good now. I just.. I just— " her face reddens again. "I should go. I. Thank you. Again." She shoots him a small wave. "For everything. Even the chat and stuff. I'll.. I'll visit again sometime soon-ish." She nods, waves, and then salutes before opening the door. Once on the other side she breathes a little easier, "That was odd."

"Tell Brian to give his sister my regards," Aaron says before Samara finishes her retreat. Then he sits there, nursing the cold coffee, sitting half-naked in the empty apartment.

That was odd.

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