2010-01-17: Questioning Can Wait



Date: January 17, 2010


Aaron wakes up in the hospital, very sore and tired, with Detective Powers at his side.

"Questioning Can Wait"

Bellevue Hospital Center

Who hit me in the face with a baseball bat? Wait, wasn't it him with the baseball bat? Tom wielded fire.

Aaron Michaels stirs in his hospital bed, emitting a low groan as his over-taxed mind and body protest at him being even remotely conscious. His eyes open only for a split second before they squint shut again, only to open slower this time, allowing them to adjust to the lighting. He grips his head and rolls over sightly to the side, wincing as he does so, his eyes finally open, though bleary and unfocused for the moment.

The primary red of a long woman's coat cuts a sudden path into Aaron's bleary world. It heralds her presence of Detective Maggie Powers, bold and bright against the dull, antiseptic hues of the hospital. She's among a few figures, all from the police department in one form or another, but with a gesture to her colleagues, she enters the room alone for the time being. Vivid coat, light hair, bright eyes, but the detective's face is nothing but pensive as she approaches the young man in the hospital bed. "Mr. Michaels!" Despite her almost grim visage, her voice arrives almost cheerful, almost congratulatory. Congratulations: you're alive. "How are you feeling? The doctor says you're going to be just fine, I'm sure she'll be in in a minute."

Just fine. Aaron starts coughing, one of the wonderful side effects of smoke inhalation. It makes him realize why there's a plastic oxygen tube shoved up his nostrils. He examines it by touch before relaxing back onto his pillow, "Yeah, except that so of a bitch burned my fucking apartment down. And I feel like I've been bludgeoned to death." And he looks faintly like fresh corpse. Dark circles sag beneath his eyes, and his skin has a deathly pallor. The blood stains from his nosebleeds have been cleansed, as has most of the soot. "Seriously, this feels worse than being hanged." Which he knows all about, having hanged himself.

He finally looks at Maggie and her assaultingly bright appearance, squinting slightly. His eyes are bloodshot, one more thing about him that makes him look unhealthy. "It was Tom. He tried to kill me, it's why he was at my apartment to save my life. He came to kill me the same night I tried to do the same, only he refused to see me die of my own hand." He rubs at his head, trying to will the sharp pain in his temples. "He set the fire at Aleston. He killed all those people."

The detective's features grow increasingly concerned, acutely intent. Aaron — or at least this Tom fellow — has suddenly snuck into her realm of expertise. Murder. She shifts closer to the bedside, hands that were in her pockets now emerging. "Tom…" she repeats. While the name is vaguely familiar in connection to Aaron Michaels, it's just that; vague. She needs context. "Who is Tom?"

"Tom Wilkes," Aaron replies. "He used to be a member of the Lightbringers, but he quit before we even got that popular, really. We tried to invite him to the reunion show, but he turned down the invite. Apparently he came anyway. He was obsessed with Annie. When I proposed to her on stage…. apparently it set him off…." He turns away. "He told us not to date, that something bad might happen. I didn't believe him. Of course, I never suspected he would be the something bad."

"And he could be responsible for the phone calls and the photograph," Maggie says, making the natural leap. It's a guess that she's willing to wager is correct. "And Mister… Wilkes confessed to the Aleston fire when he confronted you tonight in your apartment? So he didn't expect you to get out alive; what happened?" A faint, out-of-place smile appears, cutting off Maggie's momentum. "I'm sorry Mr. Michaels, Detective Klein is gonna come in and take your statement. I was just called in because my card was in your wallet, and an officer recognized you from the station earlier. But you can bet I'll do everything I can to look into Tom Wilkes."

"Wait a minute— you got him, right? Because it sounds like you didn't get him." The mere idea makes Aaron sit up, which does little for the already almost non-existent colour in his face, and he has another coughing fit. When he stops, he looks to the doorway, not at all pleased by the sound of having to deal with someone else. "He didn't deny it." He winces again, grabbing his head, "It's all in a fog…. He tried to kill me."

"Key word … tried. Be thankful you're still alive," Maggie replies with a brighter smile. It fades, given the subject. "There was no one else at the apartment. That I know of," she then answers, her voice taking on a vaguely reassuring tone, though her words are nothing but. "There's still a chance a body could be found if someone — if Tom — was trapped inside. They were still putting out some flames when I left. Making sure it didn't spread to your neighbours. It didn't, by the way — not seriously." She steps back away from the hospital bed.

"You know I told you going back to your apartment wasn't a good idea," she reminds Aaron, but it's not with a chastising tone — not a serious one. It's light, and the detective gives the young man another small smile. He's been through enough, he doesn't need to be scolded right now!

"Wonderful." Crazed pyromaniac who can start fires with his mind? Yeah, he could still be alive and be on the loose. What a terribly heartwarming though. No pun intended. He lies back down, wincing slightly as he does so. "Yeah, no shit," he replies, "Even I knew it was stupid, and yet I went back for my eighteen-hundred dollar guitar anyway. Can't leave a one-of-a-kind thing like that behind." Said guitar is resting against one of the chairs in the hospital room. He'd brought it with him when he escaped the inferno.

The guitar earns a look from Maggie, thoughtful — and non-judgmental despite her comment. Some things are just that important to those who own them, for whatever reason. It wasn't the eighteen-hundred dollar price tag that brought him back, Maggie thinks, but outwardly she only gives a warmer and faintly sympathetic smile to Aaron. "Rest for a few before more people with questions march in here, Mr. Michaels. Don't worry, we'll do everything we can to get to the bottom of this."

The woman turns and heads out of the room, long coat trailing behind her. "Pull everything you can on Tom Wilkes and also the Aleston fire," Maggie can be heard saying to one of the men lingering in the hall before she disappears.

No, it wasn't the price tag. Not that he'd ever admit to anything else, just like he fully intends to leave out the part where he broke the door in, or anything else freaky that happened there. He knows the place looked like a bomb went off, let that explain away the door. Why he's a live…. hell, he won't be lying when he says he has no idea, and it's not like he doesn't have a scratch on him, and concussion to boot. He groans and relaxes. It turns out it's not too hard for him to do so after all, and he pretty much passes out then and there. Questioning will wait.

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