When You Really Want Help


aaron_icon.gif brennan_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title When You Really Want Help
Synopsis Peyton bullies Aaron in to see Dr. Brennan at the Suresh Center. The appointment though, doesn't go as she imagined.
Date November 5, 2009

Suresh Center

This wasn't his idea. That's what he keeps telling himself. Of course, he really has to wonder when he became such a nervous person to be all fidgety while waiting to see the doctor. He used to be the leading man in a band, for crying out loud. He was sociable and charismatic, and now he's somehow gone from leader to total nervous wreck.

Aaron resisted the idea as long as he could, but unfortunately, Peyton made sense. After all, it's obvious his ability did something to him, otherwise he shouldn't need a fix as frequently as he does. It never used to be that way, so why should it be now? So Aaron finally made an appointment. He'd never actually been to the Suresh Center — he got Bella's information from them over the telephone, something he totally preferred — but he sees the place has a certain charm to it. It's like a hospital. And everyone likes hospitals, right?

Peyton's just there for moral support. The last time she was here, she was pale with dark circles under her eyes — she looks better, now that she's just a visitor and a friend coming on behalf of someone else. There's a rosy color to her cheeks from the chilly bite of fall outside. She still isn't getting as much sleep as she should, but at least her power's had a bit of a holiday.

She leads Aaron to the counter, and as if she suspects he might turn and run out rather than stay for the appointment, she tells the receptionist, "Aaron Michaels, here for an appointment with Dr. Brennan?" She gives the woman a smile. Her hand slides into Aaron's to give it a reassuring squeeze.

"Well if it isn't Peyton Whitney back again" Brennan ambles out to the desk, doctors coat on and looking himself a bit sleepless around the edges. But not so sleepless as to inspire wariness that they're not getting someone alert. "Taking it easy are we I hope? Things cleared up enough that you're not over using that gift of yours?"

The older man stops a few paces from her and offers his hand out to her to shake again.

Which reminds Aaron that Peyton has seen this doctor before. And yet, it doesn't put him at ease at all. He stands there, awkwardly, looking at least as pale, tired, and drawn as Peyton was the last time she was here. Awkward and nervous. It's a terribly amusing combination that makes him just stand there with one eye open larger than the other. Peyton's suspicion that he might turn and run out was definitely a good one, since he feels like doing just that.

"Hi, Doc," Peyton says, turning to give a much sunnier smile than the last time she saw Harve Brennan. "Things are better, but you probably knew that." She has no doubt he knows Wendy Hunter was recovered. He probably doesn't know that Peyton was the one to help rescue her friend, with Cardinal's help. She smiles. "This is my friend Aaron. He's apparently got whitecoat paralysis, but normally he can move." She tugs Aaron forward. "I asked him to come see you," she adds, smiling up at Brennan.

"Hmm, whitecoat paralysis. Often curable, sometime fatal" He offers his hand next to Aaron, a grin on his face. "Harve Brennan, doctor. Obviously. Either that, or I'm a really good actor and should play one on TV. Good to meet you Aaron. Looks like-" A glance to the list at the counter and a nod. "You are my next victim today. You want your friend to come with you or…"

Was that? Why yes, a little bit of colour drained from his face at that comment. "That's … not funny," Aaron says, taking the offered hand with a certain amount of reluctance. "Not funny at all." He seems to feel the need to reaffirm that with a shake of his head. He spares a nervous glance at Peyton, weighing the decision to take her with him or leave her out here. For a moment, it looks like he can't make the decision, but then he grips her hand, "She can come along."

"It was too funny," Peyton says and glances over at the doctor. "Can you see if you can find his sense of humor while you're digging around in him? I know he must have one, but it might need to be stimulated." She squeezes Aaron's hand in reassurance. "Do you have any drugs for that?" she asks, adjusting her purse on her shoulder as she prepares to take the hallway walk along with the two men.

"Only drugs for getting back a sense of humor is a sugar pill and some immersion therapy in a comedy club. Possibly. I think your friend is terminal though. On the white coat thing. Lets get to it then" There's a gesture towards a hallway and instead of doing the walk about like he did with Peyton, it's straight to an exam room for the trio after he picks up the chart that was made.

"So, Mr. Anderson…" Adopting the Hugo Weaving Matrix tone. "Or well, Mr. Michaels, what seems to be the issue that brings you here today?"

Aaron looks from doctor to friend, then back again before following along quietly to the exam room. Naturally, his chart indicates he's on Fluoxetine, ye old generic Prozac. "Ha ha ha." They're totally sarcastic, too. "My totally useless ability to take away other people's pain is the world's worst addiction. Seriously. I mean, I can go hours without using it, close to a day before the headaches set in. Back when I could go a day or two without a headache, it would take three days for the insomnia to set in, another day for the tremors, the nausea. Another couple of days until the hallucinations. So now I use my ability as often as I can bring myself to. I suppose you could say, I will eat your unhappiness."

The slim girl squeezes his hand to ensure him she's on his side, despite her jokes at his expense. Looking more somber as he explains the very serious ramifications of his very powerful ability, she looks up at Dr. Brennan, eyes pleading with him to help. She cares, even if she picks on him and even if she goes days without talking to him. "His power is really strong," she tells the doctor.

Door closed behind them, a gesture to the two seats in the room, the exam table as possible places to park their respective butts while he takes up the stool and places the folder on the counter.

"Pain, as in physical pain?" There's a note made as he notices the anti-depressant. "How long on the Prozac?"

"Sorry, I should've clarified. Emotional pain," Aaron says, opting for a chair rather than the exam table. If it comes to a physical examination, he'll go for it, but for now, the most comfortable road is the path taken. "Actually, that's a good question. Let me think." He just got another prescription refill from Bella when he last saw her, so… "I guess about two months, give or take a week. I have a refill I have to pay for in a couple of days." Fifty-eight dollars later. He doesn't bother to mention the depression, since it should be obvious given the medication.

Peyton sits on one of the chairs, and picks up a magazine on the table beside it. Her eyes downcast, she tries to give Aaron a feeling of privacy, though he asked her to come with him. The magazine was a bad choice… People magazine. A few pages in, and she finds an article about herself, with pictures of her at the club when she lost her power and pictures of her taken after her kidnapping, and most disturbing, a screen capture of her from the video HF shot. She scowls down at the magazine while the two men talk.

"Emotional pain" More scribbling. "2 months on the Prozac, any change in your mood? I'm assuming it's for depression and not for Migraines or anything else yes?" There's a glance to Peyton, acknowledgement that she's there before he looks back to Aaron and giving him his full attention again, forefinger and thumb rubbing his chin.

"Sometimes," Aaron says. "Most of the time I'm still miserable, but my shrink and I are working on that." Dr. Isabella Sheridan, also indicated on his chart. His eyes flutter to Peyton, because he notices things, and is far more focused on her than this visit. "But that's not why I'm here. Peyton was concerned that, although I'm using my ability as regularly as possible to avoid the side effects of not using it, that maybe using it as frequently as I am is doing just as much harm."

"You'd be surprised Mr. Michaels, what's interconnected in the body and with an evolved ability added into the mix, some of which we are still trying to understand the trigger, one never knows. Any connection you think, between your depression and your ability? Is this a mood disorder, or a chemical imbalance?" More flipping through what few sheets and the questionnaire, with a note to visit with Dr. Sheridan when he can get a chance to see her opinion.

A glance over to the empath and without telling him, he suppresses Aaron, turning on his own innate ability to see if the guy notices or not.

The girl looks up, brows furrowed from what she's reading on the page, but she smiles when she sees Aaron watching her. She glances over at Doctor Brennan. "I thought… that if my power could be over used and cause me to get sick or worse, than his could, too. It might be bad for him to use it, even if he uses it to help others," she says, explaining why she bullied Aaron into the visit. "It seems like it hurts him not to use it, but … how can someone tell?"

Aaron was about to respond to Dr. Brennan's query when something, or rather a lack of something, caught his eye from his periphery. He quite literally jumps in his seat, and doesn't manage to move backwards since the chairs are against the wall, but he nevertheless stands and spares a quick glance at Peyton to confirm his suspicion before he turns back to the doctor in a panic and asks, "What the fuck did you just do to me?"

Peyton glances up at Aaron, her eyebrows shooting up with surprise, giving him a quizzical look. She glances over at Brennan, and then her mouth makes a silent O.

She motions for Aaron to sit. "It's okay, Aaron. Just temporary." She lets the doctor explain, however.

"Negated you. Experimentation at it's base. Obviously, there is a visual stimuli that accompanies your ability that you didn't tell me about." That's noted down as well. "How are you feeling though Mr. Michaels?" He keeps Aaron within his view which is easy enough, not making any other movement, yet keeping the negation up.

There's a deep breath taken to not explode in anger, which is helped by Peyton seeming to know what happened. He doesn't need to freak out anymore, but he doesn't look happy. "Same, only now a little bit angry that you went and didn't bother mentioning your little experiment to me. Whatever happened to informed consent?" Aaron claps his hand over his mouth after he says it all, though. At least he managed to not say 'pissed off' instead of 'little bit angry'. He takes another deep breath and sits back down, helped a bit by Peyton's encouragement. "I'm sorry," he says, "I can snap a little too easily."

Peyton frowns a little at Aaron and shakes her head, a non-verbal reprimand, though her eyes are kind. "He didn't hurt you at all, Aaron. He did the same thing to me. It's no big deal, and it might be important," she says quietly. She tosses the magazine back onto the table, giving it one more scowl before turning back to Aaron and Brennan. Clearly pretending not to listen isn't going to work anyway.

"The absence of adverse effects other than hysteria is notable and promising" Reading what he's written down. "Patient exhibits distress at being without his ability" Scribble scribble with his black mont blanc. "Mr. Michaels. Do you want to be helped, or do you want to carry on with how you are? Because you walked in this door, with your friend, I didn't drag you in. But I have an ability that works on you, and can give you some temporary measure of relief when you are in this room. I used it, as a tool, to help diagnose you. So if you'll kindly reign it in, tell me how you physically feel. Dr. Sheridan can concern herself with your emotional anger at what I just did"

Aaron bites down several choice retorts in an effort not to cause anymore waves, mostly because of the frown Peyton gave him. The fact that he can't see the pain he usually does in Peyton bugs the hell out of him— which shows to him just how much he's gotten used to this ability he has. It also distracts him quite a bit, and it takes him a moment to get his thoughts together in time to respond. "More or less the same. I mean, I just used my ability like, two hours ago, so I'm set until this evening at least before I'll get a headache. Or at least, one that's from my ability."

"Quit looking at me like I'm a two-headed troll. This is what I really look like. Deal with it." Peyton is trying to get Aaron to smile. She reaches in her purse for a cell phone to distract herself again with a game or checking her email, though she glances up from now and then to watch the two men bicker. It's a rather different visit than her own with Dr. Brennan, which was nothing but amiable.

Freshly used, so there's a baseline. Sorta. "I'm gonna get a nurse in, she's gonna take your blood, and get your vitals. I want you to come back in tomorrow. Don't use your ability. In any way shape or form" The negation is lifted, everything returning to normal for Aaron when he does so. "We'll take blood again tomorrow, and we'll try and find out a way to help you, whether it's all in your head or whether there's something physical in addition to the mental component of your ability and your.. withdrawal, for lack of a better term for it"

Scribbling stopped, he leans forward, pend own and hands clasped, elbows on knee's. 'What is your goal, Mr. Michaels, in coming here? What are you hoping for?"

"What Peyton said," Aaron replies, "To make sure I'm not hurting myself using it to avoid being hurt by not using it. You can see how that might be complicated. I have to use it to not get withdrawal. Would be pretty bad if using it this frequently were just as harmful, you know?"

Peyton's brows knit as she considers the pain Brennan is asking Aaron to put himself in — but for a good reason. It will be hard for him, especially if Gillian or she needs him emotionally. She makes a tacit vow not to be down or needy tonight, so he won't feel like he has to help her for her sake. "He already has too much to deal with. I don't want him to hurt himself with his power," she adds quietly.

"I have to use it, to not get withdrawal. I've heard that before. Drug users say that, the reason that they don't try to get off a drug. Not saying that you can't, understand that right now. But going a day, coming back here, will help us to see IF there is a physical difference, indication, flag that we can see and find a way to help you so your not needing to empathically leech off of people. Unless you want to that is. It's a benevolent ability and I'm sure many a psych ward can use you and your gift. We'll see if the negation makes a change tomorrow at all. Do you have any questions? concerns?" This is offered and opened up to Peyton as well.

"Sure you don't want me to wait two days, or three. Maybe a week?" Aaron asks, sounding far more sarcastic than he'd like. "I think I made it two weeks when I tried within the first few months of discovering this thing. I say I think two weeks because my memory's still really fuzzy about the last few days. To maybe paint you the picture I'm not some kind of drug addict who is doing this for kicks. I tried not to use it, and from the look on the face of the person who managed to snap me out of my hallucinations long enough to use my ability, I think I nearly died. So yeah, I'll be back to find out if there's anything medicine can figure out. You can call the nurse to take as much of my blood as you need." There he goes shooting his mouth off again.

"He's trying to help you, and for free, so quit being a brat," Peyton says with a hiss. She's had enough of the woe-is-me attitude today. Sure, she bullied him into coming here, but because she is concerned for his health. She stands up. "I'll wait outside." She's not going to act as a buffer anymore between the charming doctor and the emotional wreck who is her roommate. She picks up her purse and heads out into the hallway, where she finds a seat outside.

There's a grim nod to Peyton as she berates the empath and Brennan waits at least until the young woman is gone before he picks up his pen, makes one final note and then closes the folder with a scratch to the side of his nose. "I think, that Mr. Michaels, we'll end this appointment for today. Come back when you're sincere and interested in getting help for your issues. I understand that you are trying to manage your depression, but your attitude towards my willingness to help you, and your issue, makes me think that you're not serious and that you're content to be where you are. Which is fine. But I'm not going to waste my time on this unless you're committed" Brennan rises from the chair, a curt nod for Aaron as he turns to the door and opens it. Gone is the good natured doctor who was trying to put Aaron at ease. "Ms. Whitney, you can take your friend. We're done here"

Aaron was put at anything but ease. He actually sits there, slackjawed and flabbergasted with a distinct 'what did I do?' expression of confusion on his face as the doctor departs the room and calls for Peyton to take him, as though he were a pest or a child that needed to be taken away. His first instinct is to lash out, but he forces himself to just sit there, even though he kind of grips the chair he's sitting on really hard.

Peyton stands and frowns, coming back to the door to peek in. "Aaron? What, don't tell me you're afraid of needles," she says. It's sort of humorous, given how he tried to OD on Refrain once upon a time. "All that's left is to take the blood, right?" she looks up at Brennan and then Aaron, looking perplexed.

"Ha ha," Aaron says. He totally doesn't get her humour. "No, he doesn't intend to treat me until I'm serious. Of course, I am serious, and he's just getting bad attitude because he performed a test on me without my knowledge or consent, which is a perfectly legitimate reason to be miffed. It was like having my eyes torn out. I'm used to seeing more than just people, and suddenly part of my vision goes blind."

"Aaron. Quit being a brat. Do you want to see if they can help or not? Do you want to have migraines every day? What happens if you can't use your power sometime? If you're isolated from people and can't find anyone to sing to? Let them take the fucking blood and quit being a baby. He didn't hurt you at all. Plus, if you ever come across a negator, you'll know what it is. He's not the only one in this city." She stands hands akimbo, eyes hard, blocking the doorway. "You are acting like an addict, even if you didn't mean to be one. You're finding excuses not to get help."

"I said to take the damn blood. I never said not to. I told him to get a nurse to take all they need. I was just — you know what? Never mind." By this time, Aaron has gotten up from his chair, but of course, Peyton is in the way. "Come on, there's no point. Let's go home before something else happens. Clearly he doesn't want to be a doctor and help me. That's fine. Whatever."

Peyton sighs and moves out of Aaron's way. "Don't use your power on me anymore, not until you find out if it's bad for you or not. I can't tell you not to use it on Gillian or somewhere else, but I'm not going to … what's the word. Be your codependent." This is said out in the hallway, probably loud enough for Brennan to hear. "Even if I'm depressed. Don't so much as whistle." She is angry, her jaw set as she walks through the hallway to the elevator.

Aaron moves with her, but is silent. It's bad enough that a doctor violated his trust, but the roommate he would literally give his life for is not even coming to his defense at all. Even if she took him here because she cares. "I won't." No, he won't. He's decided he's going to not use his ability on her. Or anyone else for that matter.

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