2010-02-25: Alternatives To Murder



Date: February 25, 2010


Sometimes there's alternatives, you just have to find them.

"Alternatives to Murder"

Taine's Apartment

It's morning, though not painfully early, and while Beth is still asleep — or otherwise not up and about — the older of Taine's houseguests has been up for some time. To say that Tracy has made herself at home wouldn't be exactly true; she's only here because her options are limited, and thus she's kept - or has tried to keep - mostly to herself, and to Beth.

Today, however…

"Taine?" Tracy roams the apartment and comes to knock on the bedroom of the TV star. The woman is dressed to go somewhere, though this is hardly a variation from the norm; white slacks and a gray cardigan and matcing shirt have her dressed neatly while she waits for some sign of life from Taine with impatience. Casual impatience, maybe, but still impatience.

The impatience will just have to be a little patient! Cause Taine doesn't answer the door for a few long moments. That probably seem longer to the impatient Tracy. In a classic soap opera style, he finally does open the door with ruffled blond hair, and no shirt. His pyjama bottoms are loose and neutral, and they cover more than underwear at least, but they don't do anything to hide what is exposed. Mostly the chest that everyone in the world has been privvy to at one point or another. The show likes to take his shirt off.

And she's seen it in person when she first stopped by too, so nothing new here!

"What?" he asks, rubbing the heel of his hand into his eyes to get the sleep out. Yes, he was asleep.

"Sorry if I woke you." Questionable, but Tracy does sound apologetic, for what it's worth. She regards the sleepy-head for a moment or four in calculating silence, perhaps giving him time to wake up, perhaps wondering why he never has a shirt on, perhaps waiting for him to realize she has something important to say. Which is: "I'm taking Beth." Now she's straight to the point, and already her tone is of an unchangeable mind, not to be trifled with. It's also low, so as not to alarm the girl, wherever she may be. "We can't stay here."

"I'm suprised you didn't leave earlier," Taine snaps, already sleepy eyes narrowing immediately. It's not something that he didn't expect, but there's still anger boiling to the tired surface. "Where else are you supposed to go? And Beth is as much my responsibility as yours. Just because you both happen to have abilities, it doesn't make me less invested in what happens to her than you are." But hey, he's not arguing that she's leaving— he's arguing that she's taking Beth.

"Away. Somewhere probably just as temporary. But safer." The vague truth. Even if Micah's idea turns out to be a bad one, as long as she has money, she has options. "I had to get some affairs in order before I knew it was okay to leave," Tracy adds matter-of-factly. "Beth needs to be with people who're like her. Away from— all of this. What if the police come here looking for Erin and she gives 'em another lightshow? I know you're concerned about her but…"

"Fine," Taine says, jaw tightening. "You're wrong though. The more you think she just needs people like her, the more that things like this will happen. You put yourself seperate, then of course they'll put you seperate too." With that said, he starts to close the door. It doesn't seem he intends to argue with her much more than that. If she wants to leave and take the girl, he can't really stop her.

"That's not really what I meant," Tracy says, somewhat flatly, to the closing door. "They separated us first." But she doesn't seem to have the inclination to argue any points further. Not right now, and not with Taine. She steps back from the bedroom threshold, arms folding, before beginning to stroll away. She makes no move to rouse Beth or pack what few belongings they have, however. Not just yet.

The door closes, but Taine doesn't move away from it, pressing his hand against the cool fake wood that makes up the door. He's angry. At the woman who gave Erin the list that probably got her in trouble, at everything seperating them. Us. Them. Their own kind. He casts a glance toward his dresser, as if considering something, but—

He can't even leave with them. The police may have a bunch of fan letters that look suspicious to focus their attention on, but if he suddenly vanished from his house and off the grid, they'd probably… change their mind about him being innocent.

"Bloody hell," he curses softly, before marching over to the dresser and digging out something, then he walks to the door and stalks out to find Tracy, where he holds it forward. A big roll of cash. Kept for a rainy day. "I need a way to contact you."

Tracy stops in her tracks just short of the living room, glancing over her shoulder - but the sight of Taine is enough to cause a complete turnabout in a slow whirl. "…Then I'll give you one." It's the money the man is holding out that have her attention, however, even though she doesn't touch it. Yet. Skeptical, her brows raise in question as she draws her blue gaze up from the cash to Taine.

"Just because I don't have an ability like the rest of you, it doesn't mean I think you should be locked up because of it," Taine says, taking her hand and stuffing the money into the other one. It's a take it gesture, where he's not giving her much of a choice in the matter. Unless she freezes his money at least. "I just don't think you should give them reasons besides your ability to lock you up. If I went around shooting people with a gun, they'd throw me in jail too."

Tracy may like cold hard cash, but not that cold. Her hand is nothing but warm and pliable as the roll of money is forced into it. She looks down at it, frowning, effectively off of her high horse. "Thanks," she says quietly, going on just as soft, though her regard of Taine is less soft and more edged with defensiveness, expecting an Australian rebuttal. "You know… why I was taken by the Protocol in the first place?" She honestly doesn't know if Taine knows, as she has no idea what Erin has said… more than she expected, definitely. But it's not the point. "I tried to stop them from taking kids. Beth's age. That was before… everything else." Doesn't make what she did afterward perfectly noble, but … perspective.

There's a lot about this that Taine doesn't know. Trying to keep them from taking kids Beth's age? Taine nods a bit, but he still says, "I don't see murder as a reasonable alternative, or a deterent. How are you going to stop all of them? How are you going to avoid making more enemies, who only hate you cause of what you can do? You're not going to— not like that. You know how people work, you know how the world works. You don't make yourself look better doing things like that, Tracy. All you're doing is showing them that they're right."

Tracy seems to repress a flinch, her features hardening. She hasn't truly spoke about this with anyone and hadn't really planned to, least of all with Taine, but the man's words seem to draw something other than ice and antagonism out of the once-consultant. "You try having everything taken away from you. See what you do then," she says, her voice edged, hurt, angry, but such emotions aren't directed at Taine, per se. "My ability is… all they left me with." And for awhile it was easy. Straightforward. But it seems she's had a change of heart. "Bu then.. I made a mistake, and… I realized," she agrees finally; reluctantly.

"I find that hard to believe. You're here now— and your ability has absolutly nothing to do with why you are here," Taine says, giving her a long look, before he shrugs his bare shoulders and steps back away from her. "What they're doing is wrong, and inconsistant. If people knew they were planning to use you as weapons, that'd make them no better than the terrorists they claim to be stopping. There's better ways to stop these things, without commiting murder."

Or, ideally there should be…

"When are you and Beth leaving?"

Straightening her shoulders, moving them back, Tracy glances off to one side. "I sure hope so," she replies — alternative to murder — with a quiet voice, under her breath, bitter. "Tomorrow… a few days. I suppose it depends." Plans have a way of changing these days. At least she told Taine before disappearing into the night, right? Tracy lifts the cash from Taine, twirling it slightly in her hand. "This might help move us faster," she comments— with a short-lived smile. "I'll leave a number— an address. Hopefully I don't have to tell you to keep it safe," she says before turning away to resume her interrupted drift away from Taine.

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