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03 November 2009 @ 06:12 pm
Fic: Aaron  
Title: Aaron
Rating: pg-13
Summary: A short scene between Aaron and Gabriel; another Creative Writing assignment.

I slowly attempted to walk down the hallway, supporting myself on the wall. I had no idea what day it was, or even what year. I felt like I had just spent an eternity in Hell. all I had been doing was shaking and sweating and vomiting. It hurt all over, and even now the pain hadn't subsided.

I spent the days preceding the New Year in an opium induced haze somewhere in the slums of London, waiting for the end of the world. The last thing I remembered was waking up in a nice room on a large bed, Aaron sitting in a chair, looking unimpressed. He told me it was January 3, 1900, and now he was going to purge me of the poison I'd been inhaling for the past few years.

After that was agony. I remembered screaming out to him, begging for just a little opium, to ease the pain. Aaron was merciless though, and finally it had lessened. I was strong enough now to get out of bed, and was attempting to make my way to the sitting room. As I looked into the room, I leaned heavily on the door frame. Aaron and Annabel were sitting down to tea. The two of them looked around in surprise.

"You look like shit!" Annabel said loudly.

Aaron looked annoyed. "What have I told you about language?" he asked her.

"A lady is not a lady if she doesn't speak like on," she sighed.

"You've been spending too much time with men," I said, as I stumbled to the mirror over the mantle.

She was right. My eyes were hollow and red, and my skin was sallow, looking like it had been stretched over my face. My lips were chapped, and I looked as tired and miserable as I felt. I was half-starved, but the very idea of food made me feel sick all over again. All the movement was making me dizzy, and I closed my eyes, trying to breath deeply.

"I'm surprised," Aaron was saying. "You got through it faster than I thought you would."

"What do you mean, through it?" I snapped. "Every bone in my body is aching. Nevermind the pain in my stomach, and the fact that I could very lose what little is left in there right here on you sitting room carpet."

"The doctors say that the worse is over," he said. "Once you get past the delirium. I'm still not allowing you out."

I gave a bitter laugh. "So that's what this is about. You've never cared before. But you're so worried about society, I have to be locked up, hidden away where no one will see the embarrassment of a brother. It's not as if you couldn't just pay me to go away."

"I'm not going to pay for you to kill yourself," he said. "You're not going out because I want to keep you away from it."

Slowly I turned around and opened my eyes. The two of us were alone in the room. Aaron must have seen my confusion, because he laughed at me.

"I see," he said. "That's how bad it is. She knows when it's appropriate to leave."

Aaron was becoming a tyrant, I could see that. It was how the head of a house was supposed to act, ruling over others with a firm hand, no nonsense. Sometime soon, he would get married and have children, and raise them to be perfect little Victorian models of society. I felt ashamed of myself. He worked so hard to get where he was, from the three of us being destitute children of a broken line of nobles. Our sister was going to be introduced into society in a few years, all by his work.

I was a blotch on his record, the addict brother, cut off because Aaron didn't want to support me anymore. It wasn't a surprise, either. He was the strong one, facing challenges and disappointments. It just took on disappointment for me to fall. All because a marriage proposal was turned down. Shortly after was the first time I had smoked opium, and was almost instantly addicted to the euphoria, if not the actual substance.

And now there I was, half-dressed and nauseous, supporting myself on the fireplace in my older brother's house. It was a nice house, too. It was a London townhouse, with typically dark halls, but bright rooms and even electric lights. I had my own room with a large bed, and wallpaper that was all intact, something that seemed a little odd to be happy about. There was little wallpaper in my own apartment, and what was left was moldy.

Aaron stood suddenly, and helped me lay down on a sofa, where I covered my eyes with my arm, groaning. The nausea was rising back up.

"Shall I send for a chamber pot?" he asked. He had never lost that slightly condescending tone, which had developed even when we were children.

"No," I said. Then I changed my mind. "Yes."

I heard him leave the room, then enter again only a moment later. I lifted my arm just enough to see him sit back down in one of his nice armchairs, facing me.

"Father died," he said. When I didn't say anything, he continued, "A few weeks ago. I couldn't find you. But I thought you might like to know."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," I said in a flat voice.

It wasn't as if I didn't like our father. I didn't know him. He never came out of the house, never entertained guests, never even spoke to us. Growing up, Aaron and Annabel were all I knew, and it had seemed that I lost them too. What with the pain of opium deprivation and a contrary mood that was entirely unfamiliar, I couldn't bring myself to care.

"Bitterness doesn't suit you," Aaron said.

"And yet saras has always fit so well with you," I replied.

"You missed the funeral."

"Well, I didn't expect you to hold onto him for weeks until you found me. That would have been a little odd."

Aaron laughed again. "Sarcasm doesn't suit you either. You can stay however long you want after you've recovered, so long as you don't do back to your old lifestyle. You must know, I've always cared about you. I wanted you to be able to care for yourself because you wanted it so badly. This is what they call 'tough love.'"

"You really are a cold-hearted bastard, aren't you?" I said with a wry smile. "But I know. You've always taken care of Annabel and me, You're a good brother."

Notes: Just a quick note about opium withdraws: full symptoms include nausea, sweating, cramps, vomitting, diarrhea, loss of apetite, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, mood swings, and insomnia. There wer e a few I added just because it seems like that would be side-effects of the symptoms (for example, not thinking straight during the withdraw period from the pain, along with weakness.)

Aaron is a bit ahead of his time, too. Usually family would just hide someone like that (they had a thing about "hidden desires") so the way he's handling it is a weird. Also, the fact that he got so rich does show that he is very shrewd financially. The assignment was to show character through what's seen and heard and stuff, as well as telling straight out. It was originally supposed to be about Gabriel, but ended up showing more about his brother than anything.