2007-06-16: Awkward Awakenings

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Jane comes home to find something she very much never expected to see.

Date It Happened: June 16th, 2007

Awkward Awakenings


Forrest-Bishop Apartment, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC


It has been a long day. A long, WEIRD day. Despite sleeping much of it. At the moment, Elle Bishop is in a position that she pretty much would have bet money she'd never be in: lying in bed, spooned up behind McAlister. (Clothed both, thank god!) Close and affectionate seem the order of the day, as one arm is hooked over Ali's waist before being bent, its hand quite literally cupping one of Ali's breasts. She's still asleep at the moment, as Elle has been sleeping off rhino tranqs and Ali has been sleeping off Elle-tasering. In the kitchen, anyone coming in might have noticed a bag of groceries, including beer and a bundt cake.

And Ali stirs. Apparently, being tasered leaves you sore - she mmphs, a soft sound of protest as she starts to shift… and then freezes.

See. Uh. Hand. there's a /hand/. And this is a /bed/. Somewhere, Ali's usual sleeping sofa has been replaced by a /bed/ with somebody else in it. And, for the longest moment? The DJ just freezes in bafflement.. and then utter, cheek-flaming embarrassment. A bit at a loss, she tries what has likely worked on boyfriends before -

… sneaking. Unceremoniously. You know, a careful lifting of hand, a slow (ever so slow!) movement for the edge of the bed, only somewhat hampered by being completely taser-sore. Well, she starts to, anyway. This isn't a thing that happens quickly at all.

It's been a day fairly like some other days for the other occupant of this apartment, as far as her activities went. Except for checking in on the roommate in the morning before leaving to go about business which mostly consisted of guitar sessions at the studio and some time after spent playing on the streets in a few locations. Jane had believed Elle would be asleep, but safe, while she went about these activities. So it is she returns around eight p. m. entirely unaware what's been going on, and still not knowing just what happened at the zoo the night before. Her key lets her in, she deposits guitar and backpack in the main room, then heads for Elle's room to check if whatever that was wore off yet.

And so the blonde's bedroom door opens and Jane steps through, just in time to find Ali disengaging herself from the spooning woman. Her jaw drops, and she just stands there in the doorway, quite apparently at a loss for words.

Except that Elle is a pretty light sleeper. Blame the paranoia. Or the Company Agent part. Ali's attempt to lift her arm pretty much brings electroblonde back to consciousness, and she responds by automatically and reflexively tightening that arm back up against where it was. Her eyes open, and blink once blearily, before smiling. "Hey there." She hasn't looked -up- to see Jane. Yet. But yes, of all the sights one might have expected to see in Elle's room, this was not high on the list.

Well. Ali's expression is (thankfully) hidden - one that combines sheer panic and guilt in equal measure… along with blood, leftover from a bloody nose, apparently. eww.

Her voice is hoarse, a quiet croak. "Er. heya." Nope, no Jane yet. This is not yet visible in the List of Problems.

"You.. uh. Mind if I pee?" Bathroom. That works! "And .. maybe snag an asprin? I'm a little sore, and my head kinda hurts." And.. that's not going to help things.

Her mouth closes, and opens again. Twice, before she manages to speak. This just doesn't add up. Elle isn't a lesbian. She can't be. If she were, she probably wouldn't have reacted the way she did to… certain conditions of not clothedness that recently took place. Not once can she remember the blonde so much as checking her out. So… no lesbianism. Right? What she sees wars with that conclusion, and causes her to doubt it. And Ali… She hadn't expected anything like this from her. Jane murmurs "I'll just… give you two privacy." And she's ducking out. Quick.

Elle has certainly not given any indication of prior lesbianism. She rather reluctantly moves her arm away from Ali, though. Bladder explosions != cuddly. "Sure thing. I'll go see if I can find any dinner." And then Jane is there, and then ducking out. Elle swings her legs out of bed, then stands, and heads out into the main part of the apartment, still a little sleep-bleary. She's also dressed in an outfit completely unlike Elle's normally razor-sharp fashion-sense. We're talking green skirt with orange blouse here, people. Color nightmare. She yawns. "Morning, Jane."

Ali. Oh, she unashamedly /flees/. Into the bathroom - well. Stumbles. Moves with what rapidity is available to her. The door shuts solidly. Water runs. The look she gives Jane in her rapid passage is just.. flat out abject embarrassment.

The yawn and voice behind her cause attention to shift, Jane turns to look at Elle. "Morning?" she asks. "Not… quite. It's more like eight p. m. You've been pretty much out since the zoo. Or, at least, most of that time. You woke up at some point, and… decided to romance Ali." A few more steps are taken, into the kitchen, where she spots beer and bundt cake, noticing but not commenting on her friend and client's bathroom-ward dash. She's headed for the wine bottles, and a glass to pour some in. "I… didn't know you swung that way."

Elle blinks. She seems at least a little confused at that for a moment. "Neither did I." she admits. However, at the moment, that might be another story. As Jane is headed away to get wine bottles…yep. Her butt's getting checked out. Okay, this is -definitely- not roomie-normal behavior.

Water runs still - if anyone can hear it over the liquid and after the momentary splashing? Yup. There's a pill bottle being manipulated - and yet more water. The DJ seems to be.. well.. busy, for now.

With her back turned as she opens a bottle and pours that glass, then drinks a quarter of it quickly, Jane remains unaware of being scoped. Her mind is working fast. "But you just recently realized you've been attracted to women, maybe just finally admitted it to yourself?" Because that happens. Denial can go on for years, she's read here and there. But, but, what about… "Oh, God," she whispers softly. "I don't know how Pete's going to take this."

Elle frowns. "I'm honestly not too sure. This morning, I was still…my head was still all muzzy from the tranqs. It's kind of a blur. But we were testing out Ali's power. You were right, she's got one." And given Jane's recent experience with Lyndsay, you can probably start the explosion countdown timer now.

And, of course, the water stops about then - the door opening to reveal an at least cleaned-up, if very wan and worried-looking Ali, the woman taking a deep breath before she ventures out toward the main room. A really, really deep breath. Two of them, actually.

"Ali!" The word is spoken sharply, coming not from the main room, but the kitchen. It's Jane's voice, spoken whether or not the woman is out of the bathroom yet or not. If she isn't, she fully intends to stomp to where she is and drag her in here. By the hair. "Kitchen! Now!" The features are hardening, perhaps as a result of her own still fresh memories and humiliation mixing with anger over something perhaps being done to Elle. "I think there's a story to tell. Start at the beginning, and don't. leave. anything. out!"

Yep. There would be the explosion. For her part, Elle looks back at Ali as she comes out, and starts approaching her. Unlike Jane's anger, Elle's expression is a smile, and an intent-to-flirt. "Feeling better now? Nosebleed all gone?" she asks.

"Y.. Yeah." Still, that distinctive voice is a somewhat hoarse croak - but a little better. Ali, though, moves toward the kitchen with the air of a scolded child, at best, rubbing at her arm with her right hand. "If she kills me, you can have the Def Leppard poster, right?" A bit of a non-sequitur - and she even flashes Elle a bit of a smile as she moves past. Resigned. But she starts answering that question even before she makes the kitchen.

"Uh. Jane? I don't know what happened. I … kinda wish I did." That's not the story, but there's something plaintive in it. "I came over to check on her, ya know? Next thing I know she's telling me to tell her to do stuff, and then she's trying to kiss me." And, given the merry (and fresh) bruise on the woman's jawline? There are certainly pieces missing.

Indeed, there's a big ol' bruise on Ali's jaw that would just about match the size of Elle's fist. But she steps up next to Ali. "C'mon. We can get some of the stuff you brought over. Cake is good." Unless prevented, she'll hook an arm around Ali's waist and start to head for the kitchen with her.

Her features remain hard as Ali enters and begins to tell the story, but not without leaving anything out as it was said she should. Jane's fingers curl up, her mouth starts to open, and the woman turns to reach into a cabinet. An old glass is pulled out and placed in the sink in full view of the others. "I said don't leave anything out." And to illustrate she means business, her lips purse as if she were singing a single note. But no sound seems to emerge from her. She aims toward the glass in the sink, and it shatters. Then she turns arouns again. "Am I clear? Now. Questions. You were testing your ability. Just before she tried to kiss you, what did you say?"

Ali sort of gets an arm around her, but moves to try to slip out of it. "Not.. not right now, kay?" The woman flinches as the glass shatters, eyes tired and wide. "I asked why she trusted me. Why you did. And she said she didn't know. And then… then, she told me to tell her to do something, and somewhere I lost my temper, and I told her to hit me. And she did. And I don't /know/." Okay, look. Jersey girls don't cry. That moisture? It's /dew/. And, frankly, nobody's going to say otherwise.

She visibly wracks her brain. "She said .. she said something about not stripping for no reason, and I made a crack about her thinking I was cute… and.. " She wipes at her eyes. "The next thing I know she's giving me eyes." Ali looks up to Elle. "You have a boyfriend, damnit."

Elle looks a little pouty as Ali puts her off. She sulks. She does it quite well, it's just usually Peter on the receiving end. She heads over to the cake, and starts to cut a slice. "I -am- in the room, you know." she says, sounding annoyed. "You don't have to talk about me like I'm not here."

"Ali," Jane replies, the tone of her voice suggesting this isn't a suggestion, "Tell her to stop thinking you're cute. Say it like you mean it. Concentrate, focus. The exact opposite of what you said before she began acting this way." A glance goes to Elle, then back to Ali. It is, she thinks, as expected. The power exists, control doesn't. And it's time to start working on that.

Ali snuffles, looks down, then over to Elle. "I'm not. I'm telling you that you've.." And Jane lays down her law. And Ali coughs, once.. and she /tries/. "does it make any sense that you'd suddenly like me? C'mon. You think that boy of yours is cute, not me." But.. her voice is /very/ rough, and the focus, the words - it leaves her somehow even hoarser, and coughing.

Elle finishes cutting her first slice of cake, and starts on cutting two more. "Both of you need to just relax. There's nothing wrong." Yes, Peter is very cute. Yes, Ali is also very cute.

Both are watched in silence for some moments, as Elle begins to cut the cake and carve out three slices. Her eyes close for a moment, then reopen. Jane doesn't look so harsh now, but she's still intent on the subject at hand. "Take a deep breath, Ali. Relax. Clear your mind, and try again. You can, and will, get control of this." Perfect confidence. Not a trace of doubt.

The DJ looks up to Elle. "Yeah, something's wrong - " And she swallows, hard, that voice a relative ruin of its usual rich alto. "Denial doesn't make somethin' true." She coughs, again.

"Maybe it's gone. maybe it's not me. Look, something weird's going on here anyway - " Oh, such hope - "Maybe whatever was messing with you two in the quad at NYU is doing this, right?"

Elle cuts two more slices of cake and then offers one each to Ali and Jane. "There's not anything "doing" anything. Jeez, both of you. I'm supposed to be the paranoid one here."

She takes the cake offered to her and holds it, studying the item for a moment. Jane's eyes suddenly close, and she feels the urge to use one arm to fold across her chest as if hiding it. Her head shakes a few times, and when the eyes reopen, they're focusing on Ali. "Again. Do it like I said. Deep breath, clear your mind, relax. And say exactly this phrase: Elle, you don't think I'm cute." The dark emotion is starting to rise again. One might get the distinct impression Jane has very serious issues with impingement on free will, and if this doesn't resolve, it could go very very badly for someone.

It's cake.. and Ali's not touching it. Instead - as bidden, tired and worn as she is - she does try, once more, "Elle, ya don't think I'm cute." Oh, there's something in it - a stirring of that rich depth it normally has? But mostly.. mostly it just cracks and falters. But she focuses, ayup.

Elle grins. "Yes, I do." she says. "But that's okay, you can deny it, Peter does too, sometimes." She takes a fork and then a bite of her own cake.

Her eyes close as the second attempt misses the mark, her fingers start to curl up again, and she just stands there. Thought processes go on, working over every angle of the situation. The way Elle acts, the DJ's denial, and the condition of her voice. It dawns on her, in this contemplation, perhaps there's a limit. That the overexertion of it causes laryngitis, much like some she knows can overload, shut down. Could this be the situation with Ali? Pushing her to keep trying doesn't seem like it'll work at this point, in any case. An amount of time later, how much is unclear, it may be a full minute, Jane's eyes are open again. "Sit and enjoy your cake, Ali," she recommends. And, pulling her phone off her hip, she's headed toward her bedroom. "I'm going for plan B."

The DJ does sit.. but she ain't touchin' the cake. Instead, she almost-whispers, Elle's way - "I'm sorry. I.. really did make you hit me, didn't I." And then, bluntly, she asks - apparently no slouch in putting things together, "s' why you like me. I mean, what I asked you earlier. Why you trust me. Trusted, maybe." And then, stricken. "S' why Jack gave me the job, isn't it. And the bail.."

The electroblonde looks back to Ali. "Ali, it's okay. We were testing your powers. I'm just worried I hurt you. It's fine; I'm not mad." She reaches out a hand to lay it on Ali's arm reassuringly.

McAlister murmers, looking down at that contact - "I'm fine. I will be fine. Maybe. Hey, Elle? Promise me that when you .. well, you know. When you're back to yourself again - you won't hate me too much? It's kinda important. I know you think it's silly now, but.. it'd mean something."

Elle nods, looking a little confused about it. "I -am- myself, Ali. And I don't hate you. Not at all." And most especially not at the moment.
A few minutes pass before Jane returns from her room, looking subdued. Frustrated. Maybe she called for help and couldn't find any. Maybe she decided not to call anyone for assistance. In any case, no one will be coming to her aid tonight. She pulls out a chair at the table and slowly, quietly, begins to eat cake. It seems she'll have to wait for Ali's voice to recover before trying again. Her expression is the sort she has when an extended session of angsty guitar is soon to happen. Helpless, frustrated. Powerless.

And Ali looks up to Jane.. and winces. "I." And then she pushes back, standing, "I gotta go. I'll.. I'll come back tomorrow, right? I'll try.. whatever it is, again. I will. I just. I gotta go. I'm sorry."

"You should stay here tonight, Ali. And in the morning, when your voice is recovered, then you can try again. And again. And again." As many times as it takes. Jane seems unmovable on that point. She doesn't have much intention of letting the DJ go, she can endure the fruits of her non-control until she manages to set things right, and thereby learn the seriousness of this. "You'll get control of this. You'll learn how to not have it happen without you wanting it to, and I will help you."

Elle frowns. "Don't go, Ali. Look, your voice is thrashed out, you were nosebleeding, and you're not in good shape. Stay here with us. We can all watch movies or something." she proposes to the other two.

"Yeah - maybe." Ali concedes that, looking to Elle. "But.. I gotta put some stuff right, while I know I can. While.. " A shrug, and then her attention goes back to Jane. "I don't even know what 'it' is. But .. I'll try tomorrow, yeah. Tonight, I got something I have to do. A couple somethings." And.. one way or another? She turns for the door, "Probably better if I"m not here right now anyway."

"What have you got to do, Ali?" Jane rises, seeking to place herself between Ali and door. "If you're planning to go out and be talking, that's a really bad idea. Best thing is you stay, rest your voice, and say nothing at all. This gets put right first. It, for reference, is the power of suggestions. Giving commands. You aren't the only one with it. Had a dose of it myself from someone else recently."

Elle looks a little stricken as Ali keeps trying to get away from her. She's upset, and Elle tends to wear her emotions on her sleeve at the -best- of times. "I'm gonna go change." she chokes out, and heads for the bedroom at a not-quite-run, door shutting behind her.

"The best thing is to go do what I have to do." Ali winces as the door shuts, looking down at her shoes. "I'm not stupid, you know? You got every right to be angry - but there's… I can't explain. Please, just - move, huh? I won't leave her like that. It's not right - and afterwords you won't have to even look at me anymore. But right now I can't. If I even /can/… and there's other stuff I can put right, even if whatever is going on isn't working."

"Angry? No. You don't have control, Ali. And I'm not turning my back on you in this. Discovering powers, it's a difficult time. I went through it myself not so long ago. Still am, to a point. You won't be alone. I said I'd help you find control, and I meant that. Now, if you leave, tell me straight up, how are you going to set anything right, at this time of day? Sunset's coming, and your voice is failing. If you try whatever you're thinking about, it involves talking, right?" Jane isn't moving.

"Saying 'I quit' doesn't exactly take a lot of talking." Ali goes to move around the woman, or try, at least.

"Bad idea, Ali. You'll regret that. You don't know Jack wouldn't have hired you, or bailed you out, if you didn't have this ability. He's like that. He gave me my first gig as a pro musician in New York. And he's done a lot of things he didn't have to for people without your talent. Things I won't tell anyone about. So stop this quitting nonsense. This is no time for rash decisions. Now. Sit down! Eat your cake, sleep here on the couch, and rest. your. voice." The angry mood is back, she doesn't intend to be denied. An attempt is made to counter any move at gettin around her.

McAlister tries left. Then right. Then she just.. gives up. Almost seeming to retreat into herself, the DJ moves away from the door and takes up a corner of the couch, sort of curling up into it. She's not a large woman - oh, she's not in the tiny-elle league, by any stretch - but she's small enough to not take up much space on the furniture, at least. Her arms go back around herself, and though she gives a wistful look at the door, she seems to have backed down. For now, at least.

She doesn't go anywhere near the cake, though.

"What we have," Jane states in a quieter voice, as she brings the wine bottle and a fresh glass along with her own into the main room, pouring one for Ali, "are gifts. Even if it doesn't seem like it. We learn to control and respect them. You will too, I'll help, as I said. It feels like the world's turned on its head. Been there. Still doing that. I've had memories taken from me twice, had my free will violated, and come out stronger from all of it. I am who I am. The ultimate soprano. And I like me." The fresh wine glass is offered.

Ali's not being terribly helpful. Oh, she takes the glass, but she stays largely quiet… though that cracked voice is used to point out, "Elle needs somebody. And not me." If Jane's words have an impact.. well, it's not an obvious one. Instead, the DJ just seems.. dull. Tired. Worn.

"She'll recover, when we get her freed up," Jane replies softly. "See, I'm tough about my friends, and you're one of them. I don't think for a moment you'd give someone commands like that on purpose. If I did, this would be going a lot differently. But I also won't pull punches, tell you other than truth when I think you're wrong. Or in denial. You have to think positively. Have confidence. People will naturally trust you. It can't really be told of that's you, the power, or both. Direct orders, that's more clear cut. So much good you can do with this gift. Imagine coming upon a robbery, a man has a gun. You tell him to calm down, or don't shoot, or even surrender to the cops, and he does. There'll be times and places to use it at full strength."

Ali.. shrugs. Noncomittaly. Murmering - "I think.. I think I just want to sleep. Is that okay? I don't want to think about it. I don't. I can't have anything else.. let me have that. Just for a little while." And she shifts, curling tighter on the couch.

"Sleep well, Ali," Jane replies softly, lapsing into silence and eying a wall as she sips at her wine, not doing anything to keep the Suggester awake.

Whatever else? In the quiet, it doesn't take long for Ali to drift. One way or another, she's at least here for the night.

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