Triad Of Refrain


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Scene Title Triad Of Refrain
Synopsis Peyton goes to meet Wendy at a club and who should they run into but the ever mopey Aaron Michaels. After only a brief trip inside, Wendy convinces both Peyton and Aaron to join her at her place for a good time.
Date August 7, 2009

Some random club in SoHo, then Wendy's place

Too much to think about. Too many risks to weigh, repercussions to consider. What do you do when it seems like every turn you could possibly make is the wrong one? You run away, and hope that the troubles don't follow.

So it is that Peyton is sneaking out of the safehouse. She could come and go, Brian had said, so she's not sure why she's sneaking. She'd called Wendy, and told her she was going to meet her in SoHo in front of some club or another. She heads to her own apartment — nothing's changed, nothing seems ransacked or out of place. The lock is still locked, nothing's missing, not even her money. The cops must not be looking for her.

Peyton changes into club clothes — one of those little bag dresses that shows a whole lot of leg, and while baggy around the torso, seems to emphasize her small structure inside. Thank God, to be in something designer rather than the budget-brand clothes she's been wearing since her "escape."

Bright blue contacts are popped into her eyes. A few bright pink hair extensions added here and there; she paints on a bit more makeup than she usually wears, and at a glance, she doesn't quite look like herself. Just maybe someone who looks a little like herself, instead.

A cab ride later, she's in front of the club, waiting for Wendy, hoping no one notices.

Wendy's there, hurrying along in big boots with buckles and god know whats else. black shiny sparkling capris and some boh blouse. A matching headband worn hippie style and bisecting her bangs. It takes her a moment to spot Peyton, but she does and the tall woman bustles forward. "Oh thank god, I mean really Pey, I hope you didn't give them any money, or anything else. Bad enough that you totally fell for them and their 'helping' evolveds" Even though they've known each other this short time, the brunette wraps her arms around the socialite and squeezes hard.

… Pey?

It's been an incredibly long time since Aaron was last seen at a club. Actually, he's never been to one, not as a club-goer, anyway. Thus far, however, he's thoroughly unimpressed. Security being what it is these days, the club's bouncers are being extra thorough in checking the IDs, even if most of those who go in are probably holding fakes. It's all for show, and Aaron damned well knows it. Nonetheless, there is his minding his own business, waiting for his turn when someone shows up who looks oddly familiar. It isn't until her perky little friend shows up, however, that he does a double take to realize just who showed up. Well, frankly, both of them.

"You have got to be kidding me. How small is this city?" comes what may or may not be a familiar voice, coming from a man with such blue eyes they put Peyton's contacts to shame. Of course, there he is, standing not too far from them. Outside of this relatively nondescript, graffiti-covered building with its bright neon sign, he runs into two people he was completely rude to over the course of ten days. Talk about bad karma.

"Wendy!" Peyton squeals. So much for being unobtrusive and non-obvious. She wraps her arms around the taller woman. "No, they didn't ask for any, and I never went to the bank. And I went to my apartment, and it all looks fine — I think it's all fine. I don't think they really care about me, I think you're right and I think maybe if/ I //do register, than maybe it will be better for me, you know? Like, then it's public and people know and they can't just disappear me, like they can anyone else, because—" she notices Aaron at that point and her fake-blue eyes narrow. "Oh. I thought this club was more exclusive about the kinds of people it lets in," she says in the aloof voice as she straightens up from the hug.

"You'll be fine Pey. I'll go with you. besides, they have had more stressful things - the cops - to do than track down a socialite who ran scared and will come to her.. oh god, the Empath" Yup, still subtle. "What do you want now? Going to glower me to death? Planning on getting in there on your sheer personality?" She can give as good as she gets.

"Hey, if they let you in," Aaron says, his eyes clearly more interested in the crazy girl from the Lucky Monkey. It's on Wendy that his eyes narrow as he half-circles them. "Empath isn't. quite. accurate. As I said the other day, you're losing your touch." A hand is drawn back in a gesture towards the club, "At this point, I don't need personality to get in. I only need money. I may not have as much as you rich girls, but these days, people take what they can get."

Peyton grabs Wendy's hand. "Come on," she says, annoyed with the man who's bringing down her high from "escaping" the safehouse. Even if they were nice to her, fed her, and clothed her. She flounces her dark (and pink streaked) hair and heads to the front of the line, leaving Aaron in their wake. Why wait in line? She hands the bouncer the ID — it says the right name, even if it's a year off on the birthdate — with a bit more than the cover charge wrapped around it. "Think you can let us in?"

"Right, like they'd let you in. Maybe you need to go trip on that Refrain I gave you Mr. Emotional" Wendy tosses over her shoulder as they head to the front of the line. Of course they'll get let in. It's Peyton and Wendy makes the rounds of the club circuit too. The money for the cover charge is proffered for herself on top of her ID, and a glance over her shoulder and a wink for Aaron then back to looking at the bouncer. "Covering Grumpy butt back there. Give him a hard time, maybe pat him down before you let him in. Don't make it easy" She instructs the man. "There's a hefty gift there for you if you do"

If he weren't so annoyed by Wendy, Aaron would walk off right then and there. But OK, he'll play her game. His ID isn't enough, clearly, to satisfy the bouncer's need to make that extra money, so he even consents to a pat down. With all the useless junk he keeps stored in the deep pockets of his cargo pants, it's a miracle he isn't asked to turn them out. And look, Aaron even tips the man. Once he's past the first part of Wendy's gauntlet, he sidles up next to her. "Now you're going to have to explain to me exactly what this little package is in my pocket — the one you threw at me."

"If you need someone to explain what your package is for, you have bigger problems than I thought," Peyton quips, now with a drink in her hands. It's probably not the smartest move she's ever made, seeing as alcohol seems to have triggered her first out-of-control manifestation, but one little drink won't hurt, right? "And you said he's an Empath?" That bit of news finally registers in Peyton's cluttered brain. "That's really fucking shocking, to be honest. I didn't think he knew what an emotion was, let alone that his power had anything to do with them." Peyton's arm is linked with Wendy's as she sizes up Aaron through narrowed eyes.

Wendy touches Aaron just because she knows it will piss him off. "Yeah, I'm getting Empath. what kind of Empath though is up in the air. See, smart ass. I can't tell the different between whatever it is that you do, in regards to empathy, or say, someone who can outright manipulate emotions. I don't get specific, I get generalizations. You. Sir. Are. An. E M P A T H. Suck it up. And as for the package, I think it's pretty obvious. Sharp pointy end, goes in your body, push the plunger, and dear god you might actually SMILE" And she turns her face away from him to focus on Wendy. That might piss him off too, the total ignoring. 'Refrain, it's totally fabulous. I brought a couple with me so we can head back to my place and try it, or yours. Your going to fucking love it Pey. Better than E or even fucking percocet"

This time, Aaron doesn't flinch as Wendy touches him, although his eyes do glare longingly at Peyton's choice of beverage. "Believe me when I say your garden variety empath would be a fucking picnic compared to what I have." It's a pity neither of his drug-centric cohorts know how unusual it is for him to swear. His hand briefly touches the pocket he's stored the Refrain in. Truthfully, the ignoring is somewhat annoying, which is why he decides to play their game, and inserts himself between them, reaching out to rest an arm on either girl's shoulder. "See, with my ability, I can tell that you, Peyton, are almost as miserable as they come, although I admit to having met people so miserable I don't even know what they look like." Let them try to digest that comment. "While you … Wendy, is it? You're highly unusual. I can't remember meeting someone so … devoid … of emotional pain, which of course, begs the question why you could possible need this, 'Refrain'?" Hey, if Wendy's going to flaunt her ability, why not him? And he asks the question really up in her face, too.

The socialite just gives Aaron a disbelieving look as he rests his arm on her shoulder, peering past to Wendy to see if she dislikes the musician as much as she does. "God, I need that," she tells her friend, meaning the happy memories. She scowls at Aaron when he says she's as miserable as they come. "Don't talk to me about my life. You don't know a damn thing about me," she growls. "As for you, I know why you need it — you're so wrapped up in your own miserableness and your past that you can't even have fun because you feel like laughing would be an affront to your old bandmates' memories or something. I know all about survivor's guilt, but at least I can have a good time once in a while." She tosses the purple fluid in her glass down her throat as a punctuation to her little diatribe.

Wendy grins as Aaron inserts himself into her personal space. She's devoid of emotional pain? Nice. "That's cause I'm a well adjusted artist with no financial worries, and enjoys dabbling in recreational drugs and you just got served" Wendy digs into her purse and producing one of the mini-syringes with the luminescent liquid in it. "Because this makes you incredibly happy without the dazed and foggy aftermath. It makes you remember the good times and enhances them tenfold. Any good memories are drug up and… there you go. Now. Take what I gave you, use it, and see if for once in the short time I've known you, you put a fucking smile on that baby-cheeked face of yours."

"Oh please, I knew dozens of you in high school. Completely shallow, no real life of their own, which is why they have to find people to mimic. Without whom, they're nothing." Aaron didn't really mean to say it to Peyton. Well, he did kind of mean to, but he does know better. Sadly, he does say it, and perhaps in some time when he's readjusted to things, he might feel sorry for it, but right now, the nerve… Survivor's guilt over his old bandmates? His family, friends? His entire life. He swallows as the mini-syringe comes out, and his eyes go up and down the luminescent fluid before they focus on Wendy again. "And I suppose if I say no you're going to stab me with that one, right?"

"Let's go to your place — is it not safe to do it here?" Peyton says, stepping away from Aaron, shrugging off his arm when he says his zinger to parry with her zinger. Touche, but she would never admit being hurt by him. "But does he have to come?" she whispers to Wendy. "I mean… talk about a downer. I don't need my trip ruined, you know?"

"Only if you want me to Benji" Wendy fires back. She inserts her arm around Peyton's, glad for the focus on Peyton's ability. "Nah, can leave him here and no, not really, I mean, we could but, it's a lot more .. good, not near here" She looks over to Aaron with expectant eyes, waiting to see if he suddenly decides to insert himself at her apartment as well

"Aaron" he corrects. No, his name is not Benji. "Of which your friend can attest, seeing as how she used to lurk around a few of my gigs way back in the day." He sighs. Part of him really asks what he thinks he's doing when he asks, "Is it really that good?"

"Well. Yeah. I think not freaking out in public would probably be a good thing," Peyton says with a chuckle, and a disdainful glance at Aaron. "Yeah, Aaron Michaels, if you didn't get his actual name. Aaron, Wendy, Wendy, Aaron." She makes the introductions politely enough. "Whatever, it'd be interesting to see if he actually can smile and mean it — I've seen the fake smile. And he calls me fake."

"I was calling him Benji cause he just keeps yapping" She even imitates a yapping dog with her hand, making duck talking motions with her right hand at him. "Lets cut out, grab a taxi, I can get you both dosed and dose myself. I got a bunch of them in case the street price went up. Getting in while it's cheap." In other words Aaron, yes, it IS that great and you're being invited.

Aaron actually manages to stay quiet. Go figure. Of course, that's probably because he's trying to convince himself not to do this. It's reckless. Of course, what was he really expecting? Abigail would kill him.

Peyton nods. "All right. Lead the way, Wendy-Bird," she says. She taps a man on the shoulder and hands him her empty glass, leaving him looking confused as she pushes Wendy toward the door. "It's so good to be out of that house… I mean, everyone was really nice, but man, it was quiet. I missed you!"

"I still say they were up to no good" Wendy takes this all in stride, leading the way with the clunk of each boot camouflaging in the din of the club and the din of the street when they're outside. But once they're outside and the bouncers ass slapped, Wendy sticks two fingers in her mouth and whistles, loud, sharp and taxi-hailing frequency. Look, here comes the ubiquitous NY yellow checker cab. She climbs in, rattling off the address as she does, lucking out at getting a van as opposed to the sedans.

Aaron has no idea who they are talking about, and something tells him he doesn't want to know. Of course, if he were clued in, he might well have a very different opinion. He climbs in and keeps off to his lonesome to give the girls as much privacy as possible. After all, he's only along for the trip.

Peyton climbs in and shakes her head. "I don't know. Have you heard of Frontline and shit, Wendy? They said that they might use people against their will, that they might draft Evo people to do that, even if they don't want to. I don't want to work for the army… just because I have a power doesn't mean I want to help kill people or something, you know?" she whispers. She glances back at Aaron, wondering what he knows of her power, not sure what the tabloids have said about her, if anything's come out in the papers. "I don't know, Wendy. Aaron, are you registered?" She turns around and asks him directly.

"Pey, it's gonna be a far cry from drafting folks with all the sure fired Evo's who will be lining up to join FRONTLINE and do America proud first. besides it's no different than, what is it, all men who hit 18, have to register or sign up so that, god forbid there be another war, if there is draft, they get pulled up. But they wouldn't do it unless they run out of volunteers and I can tell you right now, there's someone out there with your ability and willing, as opposed to unwilling. That and your female. The American government never draft female as female are progenitors and baby makers. Lets hear it for carrying on the American population" Wendy glances at Aaron. "Five bucks he's not"

Wow, no barb. Aaron looks up from the passing street — where his gaze had previously been affixed. There was always something he didn't like about the idea of registering. Of course, with all the crap in his life, it's all a blur now, and he can't recall his reasons for not doing so. There's a snort, but whether it's from the comment about baby makers or the bet is anyone's guess. "No," he says. "Are you?"

"Me?" Peyton says, and shakes her head, her dark locks striped with pink falling around her face. "I've… I mean, I've only been Evo like a week. And I've sort of been … on the downlow. I'm trying to decide whether I should or not." Her voice is quiet and serious, her fake-blue eyes searching the real thing in his face. "Why aren't you? She says it's no big deal, but why don't you register?" The cab pulls up at Wendy's building.

"You've been evo your whole life. you've only manifested a week" Wendy points out. But then Peyton fills in what Wendy was going to say next, that she's registered and she shrugs. "Easy peasy" and out she goes, slipping money to the cab driver and getting out. "You walk in, fill out papers, I hear now that they prick your thumb with their test to ensure you are, set you up with a demonstration appointment with Homesec and you get your ID a few weeks later."

"No big deal, government control. Nobody can agree on anything," Aaron remarks as he steps out of the cab. "Honestly? I don't remember why I'm not. It never really came up, I suppose. Or something. Things haven't been particularly smooth, as my 'sunny disposition' clearly should have indicated already."

The young socialite slips out of the cab and hurries closer to Wendy, linking her arm again through the other woman's. She's a little wary being out after just a week of being inside at all times, except the time she made Brian take her out for coffee. "I guess. But I mean… there's all sorts of stories of people disappearing and stuff. Remember those kids who killed themselves? I mean, they must have known someone who was Evo that never came back. I don't think they'd all die for nothing." She's dropped the barbs at Aaron. "Come on, let's get inside… I need to get my mind off this shit. What did you see the last time, Wendy? It was really good? How much does it cost?"

"Yeah well, there's also stories about the boogie man, and the sandman and the tooth fairy or the monsters under your bed. You ever think that the people up and disappeared because they were afraid of what they could do and instead of getting help, they just disappear? I mean, how many people run away from home every year and yet, there's no one running around screaming about how the government is taking them and shit. Total BS Pey. And the kids who killed themselves? I'm sad for them, but.. they believed rumors, instead of getting proper help, and they were teenagers. When I was a teenager I was .. well, we won't know exactly why. Why don't you also pay attention to the good shit going on. To all the people who use their abilities and never make it to the news, for the great good. Of course you don't hear about that because the bad shit is more interesting to focus on and totally blow up and enhance for fucking ratings and attention" Through the building they go, keys out and waving to people as they go. "30 bucks a shot, but I suspect it'll go up on the street once it's more main stream. Oh! Pey! you can see the new work!"

Aaron nods hesitantly to Peyton as he walks with them. Can a person get more pro-evolved, pro-registration, pro-American? He almost wants to gag, but he manages to stifle the sarcastic verbage that would have otherwise spewed forth. He should at least try to be a good guest, since he's done such a bang-up job already.

Peyton frowns but nods. It seems to be the thing to do! She follows Wendy into the apartment and throws her purse in the corner by the door when she walks in. "I guess," she says, a little uncertainly. "I mean, that's just the way the media works, but there's usually some truth to the bad shit, too. I mean… these people, they seem to be believe it. I don't think they have a safehouse set up just so they can steal people's money. It's not Slumdog Millionaire, Wendy."

"Never saw that movie. they pumped it so much I avoided it. Wall-E got stiffed on the songs" That's Wendy's opinion about Slumdog. "Hey, that Pinehearst place totally supposedly did testing one evo's so.. Hey, there you go. Conspiracy right there. But they're all BOOM now so" Wendy shrug, carrying her purse with her long enough to dig out the syringes and heading towards her studio "I called it Manifestation Pey, you inspired it" She gestures inside to the dried clay piece that was eventually fired since the last time Bella saw it. All smooth and about to be used to make the super final product in bronze. The few hands on the inside of the downward facing C, all helpful and the multiple hands on the outside of the curve, all fearful seeming and striving to get away.

"You're an artist," Aaron observes as he walks into the studio. His light jacket is still on, worn everywhere mostly out of habit. "Nice," he comments. "I can remember the last time I was inspired," he says, his hand pointing to the syringes, "But I suppose that's what those are for." See, he's managed to take the misery down a notch.

"That's… scary," Peyton murmurs, though she saw it before — she just couldn't really understand what she was seeing. Why is it shaped like that?" she asks, moving toward the sculpture and running her hand along the C. "I inspired that?" Her voice trembles a little, obviously frightened of her power, and remembering the night she manifested and all the fear since. She turns to look at the syringes. "It's blue?"

"It's the circle of people around you. Those who helped you, those who did and were fearful. It's a political piece. I'm thinking of putting it up at a gallery and giving the sale proceeds to that Suresh Center that's opening" Yes Peyton you inspired this. but the syringes in her hand, she holds them up then points off to another room with comfy couches and lots of loose large pillows, like some hareem room. "Come on, you have to try it. I'll give it to you, I can give it to Aaron as well"

Aaron walks into the room of cushiony goodness and has a look around, choosing to lay on a few of those large pillows. Why? Well, because that's what they do in the movies, right, when they're passing around the joint? "You sure it's perfectly safe, right?" Not that it's really an appropriate time to back out, but he has to show some concern, right?

Peyton stares at the sculpture for a long moment, then turns away to follow the others into the other room. "I don't like needles," she says a little nervously. "Is that the only way to take it?" She flops onto a cushion, then bends to unstrap her heeled sandals, tossing them back into a corner. May as well be comfortable. "The Suresh Center?" she also asks, not having read the news recently.

"I'm still alive" Wendy snaps back. "So, yeah, it is" Soo not telling him about that whole 2-5 percent chance that, you know, it dregs up bad memories. She's already breaking the syringes out proper, putting two of them down on a low table and uncapping the third. Peyton's up first and Wendy grins as she takes the woman's arm. "Nope, just this way, trust me, you won't care Pey. Oooh, look what Aaron is doing! My god, I've never seen //that before" It's meant to make the socialite look over at Aaron as she slides the needle in like she was shown and depresses the plunger. Hellooo blue juice. And then she's offering a new syringe to Aaron with raised brows. "want it?" It'll take a minute or two for Peyton to be in happy land. Literally.

"Who likes needles?" It's a rhetorical question. Aaron can't help but wonder what Wendy's claiming he's doing, and he goes about looking around where he is lying on the pillows wondering if he's doing something unusual. Then he rolls his eyes. When it's his turn, he pulls his jacket off, leaving it at his side, and rolls up a sleeve. "What's the worst that could happen?" Also a rhetorical question.

The girl turns to look at Aaron, and… "ow!" she says as the needle plunges into her skin. "Bitch," she adds, but it's playful. She turns to look back at Aaron, to watch him get shot with the syringe. At least she can take pleasure in his pain.

"No one likes needles" and the worst that could happen? Addiction. Which for Wendy is and actually might be a possibility. But she's working the syringe again, injecting Aaron when he offers his sleeve and then she's picking up the third and instead of an arm, she pulls her shirt up a bit and her waist band down to expose her hip and a few moments later, it's capped too and the empty vials with traces of blue liquid in it piled safely and capped on the low table as she slinks back to lay on her own little pile of pillows. "Wait for it… Wait for it.." an anticipatory grin on her own face. "So ordering pizza after this"

There's only a bit of a wince from Aaron, because face it, needles HURT. After that he lies there, staring at the ceiling. A brief glance goes to Wendy, "Pizza sounds good, actually." To think, he might manage to make a few friends this way. And they say drugs don't pay….

Peyton stretches out — she's not new to the concept of waiting for the high to hit, but she is new to Refrain. There's a little nervousness, since it's the first time she's done the drug. She glances at Aaron, then away, thinking she was a little ruder than she should have been earlier. Maybe if the drug is as good as Wendy says it is, she'll apologize after.

Oh it's good. If she'd gone to a vein, it would hit faster, MUCH faster, but she didn't, and it takes a minute, maybe two before each of them are reclining on pillows and feeling the effects of refrain. At this moment, registration doesn't exist, bad attitude snarky men don't exist and pieces of art don't exist. Only the things in their mind and the place in their mind, count.

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