2009-11-09: CHAIR'D!

Starring:

Erin_V4icon.png Lena_V4icon.png Tiago_V4icon.png

Date: November 9, 2009

Summary:

Trouble in Borders. Some guy with too much alcohol in him recognises Erin, and Tiago is a Knight in Shining Armor!


"CHAIR'D!"

Borders Book Store

There are some really unnecessarily elaborate places in the world. For example, this particular Borders is three floors high and couldn't possibly have any sort of need to contain every single book ever written - but it does. One would think that with the age of the Internet, people wouldn't need to find a specialty store in order to find rare titles, but it's easy to find just about anything here.

It's also a good place to go just to spend some quiet time looking around. Borders has what the Internet doesn't - the ability to skim a book before you buy it. Erin's up on the third floor, sitting at one of those little round tables with an expensive coffee from the in-store shop. She's got a stack of medical texts piled up beside her. A closer inspection would reveal that they're all about viruses.

Bold? Yes.

Her feet are propped up on the chair across from her, as if to ensure that no one else sits down there. Problem is, there's always someone. After all, she's a pretty recognizable face.

—-

Borders isn't typically where Lena and Tiago might be found but when one is a secret book fetishist, it happens occasionally. In this case, Lena might have preferred privacy to indulge her habit. Unfortunately, she appears to have acquired a tall, tanned, overprotective shadow. An attempt to escape the Brazilian's looming presence is made, taking the brunette up to the third floor. She too has some hefty texts tucked in the crook of her elbow; The Merck Manual, clinical pharmacology edition, is probably the largest.

That might have been the extent of her contact with Erin, two strangers passing in the night (or one passing the other's chair), except a chance look sees Lena pausing mid-step. She stops, cocks her head and stares intently at the young woman. Looking rather puzzled, in fact. "Hey…Chi?" Somehow she can trust that he'll be nearby, close enough to hear.

—-

"What?" Tiago grunts, his head sticking out from a nearby stack of books. Tall, tanned shadow is right - he could almost be consider a stalker for all intents and purposes. The head of the Brazilian lad disappears if only for a moment before he steps out into the open, heading for the smaller brunette. Despite the fact that she had been the one to call for him, he doesn't allow her time to speak, and he's handling a rather large, square-ish book: Madonna's 'Sex'. "Dude! Look at what I found! Like, is this shit supposed ta be here, man? Ain't it like…illegal or somethin'? I mean, it's real interestin' and the like, you should read it with me and…" Ah. He's a lovable, chattering dolt, he is. In his enthusiasm, he misses Erin entirely.

—-

Blue eyes look up from the book she's reading, meeting Lena's very briefly, showing an amazing amount of disinterest for the few seconds she's looking at the other girl. They then roll, and look back to her text. "Shouldn't stare at people," she mutters, though the tone is less angry, and more bored, it seems.

One wouls suppose she'll have to face her fate eventually. Dropping her feet off the chair - seriously, what about that universal symbol for 'leave me alone!' do people not get? - she sits up from her slouch, sighs, and looks back up at Lena.

Distracted by Tiago's excitement, she arches her eyebrows, smirking a little. "Is sex illegal? No. You'll find the Kama Sutra on the second floor. You should check that one out."

—-

"Yeah, but I *know* you." Although the fact that Lena can't put name to face is frustrating, as is evident in the tone she uses. Undeterred by Erin's decidedly anti-social behavior, she'd continue to stare…except the big goof she pals around with has emerged with his naughty find. Both fondness and exasperation flashes in her eyes, as she turns a look towards him. "We can get it if you want…you know her, Chi? You look really, really familiar, lady." Pause. "Yeah, we already got that one."

—-

Tiago glances up from his tome with a slow, not so intelligent blink of his eyes. With his jaw a little slack, her turns from Lena, to squint at Erin, then back to Lena. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up there!" Cue deliberate pause. "There are MORE books like these!? Holy fuck man, why haven't I ever come here before! What else does this magical place have? What's the Karma Sutra?" Yeah. Sorry Erin, naughty books are more exciting to this young adult than much else. He's part of that rare breed of literate people that know nothing about book-things.

Only after he has flailed in excitement over this find (zomg!) does he return to the topic at hand and turn to peer at Erin, his tongue peeking out in concentration. "…Nah. I don't know her. Do I?" For a moment, all the color is drained from his features as he tries to decipher whether he might have accidentally hooked up with Erin at some time in his past. "…Nah. Hey, who're you?"

—-

Rule number one: Erin is not humble.

Rule number two: She loves the attention, even if she pretends not to.

Tiago amuses her. "I think I'll let you figure that one out for yourself," she says. There is a place where she draws the line, and that's explaining a book like that to anyone. In any case, back to being remarkably un-humble.

"Erin McCarty," she says, holding out her hand to the girl. She doesn't know if that'll tip her off or not, and so she adds - "I play Morgan Starr on Afterlife." She's also been in the tabloids recently. Then again, what soap star hasn't? "I'm guessing that's where you've seen me."

Someone else is listening in. There's always someone listening in. Some old guy wearing a stained white wife beater glaaaaances over in her direction when she says the name. Oh, that would be a conquest worth putting on Facebook, totally.

He pretends to be very busy with the book he's reading.

—-

Lena crinkles her nose at the young man, tempering that expression with a lopsided grin. "I told you about them, Chi? Awhile back. You might've been a little out of it though…grab that one, we'll get it too." It never hurts to broaden one's horizons.

The brunette then resumes her not so casual observation of Erin, hip cocked to the side and her own nerdy selections braced there, held with one arm. "Morgan Starr…Morgan! Oh, shit!" Lena cocks a finger at the girl. "I remember you, yeah! My…uh. Shit. My mom used to watch that all the time," she goes on, momentary grin quickly fading. "Sorry, I'm not going all groupie on you, for real. I kinda hated the show. Not you, just…you know." Better she stop while she's ahead. An awkward shuffling ensues, and she looks to be considering stepping away. Mister Perv over there is overlooked in her embarrassment.

—-

Tiago purses his lips slightly, furrowing his brows as he appraises Erin carefully, only to blink at her admission. "On what? Afterlife?" No recognition flashes across his features whatsoever. All the lights remain firmly shut off. But after Lena's reaction, something /does/ hit home. "Oh! So you're like, a TV star or some shit, huh? That's cool! Man, my mom only watched Spanish Novellas, so I only saw…" Beat. "I mean, I aint never watched them either. I don't do girly shit like that. Ahem." As he struggles to maintain a firm grasp on his masculinity.

As a result, there is much straightening of his posture and flexing of his broad shoulders. "That's real sweet, though. S'it fun? Bein' on TV and shit? D'you get free stuff?" A rather boyish grin appears on his face, and he looks over to Lena, looking impish. "I always figures I shoulda been on TV, man. I'd be a good hero, I betchya. I jus' /look/ like I'd kick major bad guy ass. Anyway! Erin, right? M'name's Tiago! It's nice meetin' ya. What kinda character /is/ Morgan Starr, huh? Did she have an abortion, those kinda shows love abortions." Beat. "Or so I heard…"

—-

Hated the show?! Erin's smile freezes on her face. It's not quite ready to become a smile, and not really all that amicable, either. "What part," she says flatly, though that smile still feigns interest in the direction this conversation has taken. Seriously, the show's only three years old. Maybe this girl's mother used to watch One Life to Live - that's the show Afterlife spun off from. Surely it couldn't be Afterlife, cheesy or not!

Thankfully, Lena has a Tiago to dispell any bad feelings that Erin might have. The smile turns into a genuine grin, she chuckles, and starts to answer Tiago's questions. They're answers she's prepared well in advance, like… It's fun but hard work, and all that crap. But that sleezy looking wife-beater guy muscles his way over, reaching out to push Lena out of the way. "Hey," he says, using his back side to further edge the two friends out of the way. "I like the show. Suppose you come with me, I can show you how much I like it."

His grin, surprisingly, shows incredibly white teeth, like he's just paid to have them pearlized. He does, however, smell a lot like alcohol. "Uh, excuse me, I was talking to— "

"Ain't no more," Wife-Beater says.

—-

Tiago is handy that way; Lena alienates people, and he brings them 'round again. She has the good sense to remain silent, allowing Chi to work his beaming wiles. Better to not explain just where her life was three years ago. Blue eyes cast back and forth between TV star and roommate, embarrassment fading in favor of a smile.

And then some stupid jerk has to muscle in and shove her around.

The Merck Manual slips from the teenager's arm and falls to the floor with an impressive thud, leaving Lena to almost stumble over it while trying to regain her equilibrium. "Hey, asshole!" Drawing herself up to her full (not so impressive) height, the brunette gives her best bulldog stare. "You always shove girls around?"

—-

Tiago is an infectious sort of lad. His smiles, his grins are so earnest and good-natured, he usually produces similar reactions out of everyone else. This is his ability, his charm; his power. And like Erin? Man, does he love attention!

Unfortunately, all this attention is ripped away from him thanks to the efforts of the drunken bastard. This would have been motive enough for Tiago's expression to sour, but when the man shoves Lena? Why, that smile is gone so quickly it might as well have never been there. Automatically he sneers, quirking his lips in an intimidating fashion as he turns to the man automatically, not hesitating in the way he steps up to him and does the patented street chest-bump thing, nose in the air to show that he means business. "Step off fucktard. Here's what you're goin' ta do. You're goin' ta apologize ta this fine woman for pushin' her ta the side, then you're goin' ta apologize ta /this/ fine woman for even /thinkin'/ of her naked, then you're goin' ta get the fuck out of here and go whack off in Central Park, you fag. And if ya /don't/ do this? I'ma fuckin' destroy you. I'ma shove your /own/ foot up your own ass, and not even all these books on medicine and shit will be able ta help you out." It's certainly a disconnect between the man that was standing there a couple of seconds ago and the hardened street thug who stands here now.

—-

There's a point where she's unable to help having flashbacks to her own roommate being attacked in Central Park. She doesn't like what's happening. Hell, she doesn't particularly like Lena all that much, but she's not going to allow some idiot to push her around.

She's scared - just enough for that blue glow to flash across her eyes. It's a cyan spark on an otherwise plain face.

Like Tiago, Erin is also infectious. Maybe that's why she likes him so much!

Probably the worst thing anyone can do to a drunk wife-beater-wearing asshole is provoke him. While Erin stares wide-eyed (and glowy-eyed) at the sudden change in Tiago's demeanor, Wife Beater reaches out for the kid's collar. "Look," he says, with a threatening spark in his eye. "I'm gonna tell you. Back the fuck off. I'm not leavin.'"

Erin stands up, reaching for Lena's arm before the guy decides that a girl standing up to him is easier to face down than a guy. "Hey, why don't we go over here for just a second…?"

—-

Like a well-oiled machine, Lena has stepped back as soon as Tiago has stepped forward, allowing the scrappy fellow to take her place. But she lingers just at the man's elbow, letting the other books tumble to the ground in order to hook two fingers into the top of her opera glove, intending to draw it down and then off. The glower remains.

Until a hand is spotted coming in at her now bared arm, from the side. There's a flinch and a twist, sending Lena back another step to avoid Erin's touch. Now she gets a glare…but it's only momentary. The brunette's expression transforms to one of shock and then, surprisingly, anger. "What the fuck? Back the hell off, don't touch me," she snaps, finishing the movement that strips the glove from her hand. It's held up, fingers splayed, in a classic gesture of warding away.

—-

As the adrenaline starts brewing within Tiago, the fight or flight symptom builds up, and it's quite obvious that he's going for the former. In a weird sort of way, he becomes hyper sensitive to his current situation. It's like an out of body experience - he can see himself. He can see the white trash. He can see the girls back up, and Lena freak out. But his current set of action is already determined. Nothing can stop this explosion.

"Fuck, nigga, please!" Tiago explodes, dimly aware of all the attention he's gathering in light of the scuffle. Madonna's Sex book is used as a sort of fly-swatter as the Brazilian whacks the man in the back of his head. "Don't you fuckin' touch me, mother-fuckin' alcoholic white son of a bitch. I will lay you /out/ son. You don't even want ta /start/ this shit, right here, because I guarantee ya, I will fuckin' make you cry!" He is from Miami. He talks alot. It's how you survive, by puffing out your proverbial chest and barking the loudest.

Not that he can't walk the walk as well as talk the talk. The shove he gives the wife-beater clad shoulder demonstrates that this is serious business.

—-

What! WHAT? "I was trying to help?" she says, irritation clouding her features. There's a certain blurry quality to her eyesight that she's gotten used to over the couple years she's been a self-proclaimed freak, which means that, at first, she mistakes the late afternoon sun for the cause of her vision problems, until she realises that the sun isn't to blame at all.

Calmly, she holds out her own hand, closing her eyes and taking a step back.

Outwardly calm. Inwardly… Well. "Contacts. Forgot to take 'em out after the shoot," she says. "Must have gotten a little teary. Makes 'em light up." Erin's a good liar. Most actors are. Dabbing the back of her hand across her eyes in a show of drying them, she then opens them. Normal blue!

"Oh, you did not," Wife Beater says, picking up a chair. It's the nice, sturdy sort. The kind that's going to cause a hell of a lot of damage. And he hurls it.

Because he's drunk, though, it doesn't head for Tiago. He overshoots his aim and it's heading directly for Lena.

—-

Talented lying is one thing, but if the past few days have taught Lena anything, it is that appearances simply can't be believed. She's still fixed on Erin, Tiago's valiant defense of their honor completely missed in favor of regarding the other woman with open (and aggressive) suspicion. "Yeah right it's contacts, you just stay the fuck away from me, okay? I don't need my brain mel—"

At that moment, Lena's world explodes in pain. Only days away from suffering concussion and having a large and heavy man fall on top of her, she is struck by a chair. The punk princess drops like a rock underneath the piece of furniture. She didn't even have an opportunity to cry out. Or curse her recent wickedly poor luck.

—-

Tiago doesn't see anything beyond the picking up of that chair. Suddenly, that little trigger in his brain switches from squawk like a peacock to SEEK AND DESTROY. Following the gasps of surprise from those watching the drama unfold, Tiago is quick enough to dodge out of the way of the horrible throw, and suddenly a growl is ripped from his throat. The naughty book is thrown to the air, as the Brazilian is bull-rushing the redneck in the next moment with the form of a professional line-backer, intent on tackling the man to the ground.

He doesn't even know that Lena has been knocked out, or that all his posturing and Honor Defending is all for nothing, since the two girls he's trying to impress aren't even paying attention!

—-

Yeah, Erin probably wouldn't believe herself, either, not after all the weird crap she's seen.

Drunk guy doesn't like the fact that he hurt a girl. He's smart enough to realise that that is really bad, and he should probably get the hell out of here before the police arrive carrying a handful of misdemeanor warrants and one felony. "Oh, Jesus. Christ." He uses a few much stronger words, simply for the novelty of using them.

Erin crouches down next to Lena, close, ducking her head so that no one else will see the glow in her eyes. She can't do much, but giving the guy a persistant STD is enough to make him suffer for a very long time. So she does, just before Wife-Beater is run over by a very angry young man. With no balance to speak of, he crashes into an adjacent table, breaking it, and sending the people sitting at it scattering for their own safety.

Erin's not a doctor, but she kind of plays one on and off on TV. She knows enough to check for bleeding, which she does - superficially - before leaning back on her ankles. By the time the actress looks up at Tiago, her eyes are once again back to normal. "Hey, d'you have a phone?" If he doesn't, she glances to her own, which is sitting on the table next to the texts she's been reading. "You gotta call someone. She's hurt."

—-

Underneath the chair, Lena stirs. Something slurred and probably obscene drifts from her lifts, and a hand flops up to ineffectively push at the object still tumbled across her body. Fortunately, it is the gloved hand. Also fortunately, there is no visible blood. It wouldn't do to give any helpful medical personnel screaming fits if they accidentally come in contact. But she's going to have a hell of a bruise across her forehead, and possibly a black eye, from where one wooden leg connected.

"…wha'fuck?…"

—-

Ah. Now /this/ is home, all the screaming and the chaos. It almost warms Tiago's heart, the familiarity of it. Now, if only all the women were in those tiny bikinis and the weather was warmer…

The human shows now hesitation in bowling Wife-Beater over and following him to the ground. There is absolutely no trepidation in the way the young man snarls at the man and pulls back his fist, delivering a series of punches fueled by angry injustice that only those who have been oppressed can usually muster. And he's not nearly satisfied, either. He seems perfectly content with sitting on the man's beer-gut, rearranging his face - but Erin's words somehow manage to get past the buzz of adrenaline that are thrumming in his ears like the drums of war.

At first, the glance in her direction is cursory. But the /moment/ he sees Lena on the floor, his game changes once again. Oblivious to the blood decorating his hardened knuckles, he jumps off of the man without further ado and scrambles over to the floored individual, ignoring the calls of the Border's employees that have finally shown up at the scene. "Lena! Lena, fuckin' hell, is she alright? What - what happened!" Like he wasn't right here for all of it.

—-

Oh, thank God. Not dead. "Are you okay?" Erin asks, suddenly much more sincere about caring about this girl than she was before. "Thought you cracked your skull or somethin'— Hey…" She looks up toward the clerk at the coffee house counter. He's got a phone in his hand.

"Called the cops," he says.

"Your friend over there threw a chair," Erin says somewhat carefully. How did he miss that? Now that Tiago is over here, though, Erin backs off a bit, standing, legs feeling like jelly. Looking over at the drunk guy, she notes that there are actually people helping him. They should just leave the ass hole there, honestly. As he starts coming to, he starts pulling himself to his feet, obviously dazed, as people back away from him. A lot of people have their cell phones out, dialing. 9-1-1 is going to get a lot of calls about this, it seems.

—-

Lena is in no better shape than Wife-Beater. It takes an attempt or three before she rolls out from beneath the chair, and then to hands and knees. From there it's a torturous climb to her feet, a process aided by Tiago's arrival. She'll just climb him. Like an inebriated monkey. "…goin' home now!" she announces in a mumble, unfocused eyes skittering over the surrounding chaos. Erin earns a longer look, complete with rumpled forehead. The confusion is back again. "You…nngh. You." Plainly it is all the actress' fault. "Okay. No cops. Chi, cops." It gets a little easier to think, and the man gets a tug on his sleeve as a result. "I can't go to the hospital, time to go…"

—-

Everything else is blocked out as Tiago's eyes flicker over Lena's form clinically, judging how badly she is hurt. But when she seems perfectly willing - and capable - of climbing to her feet, he lets out a sigh of deep-seated relief and allows her to use him as her crutch, helping where he can. The arm that wraps around her back is as helpful and practical as it is possessive. Now, with the fight and the prospect of Lena being mortally injured behind him, he blinks around a couple of times, as if seeing the Borders for the first time. And the chaos, the fear that he can practically smell - well, it leaves him quite unsettled.

"Cops? Fuck me…Lena, hold on. Jus' a second, are you okay? D'you remember what happened? Can ya walk - I can carry you, y'know. I'm all better and shit. I just want ta - are you okay?" And while the brunette goes about, trying to formulate her answer, the Brazilian swings his attention over to Erin. For a moment, his inspection of her seems almost…scientific in nature, but he snaps out of that reverie, licking his lips thoughtfully. "We've got ta go, get the fuck outa here. You should too pro'lly, or you'll be all up in 'em papers and stuff." Beat. "You okay?"

—-

In a perfect world, someone would stop Lena and Tiago from running off. However, with all the chaos, it doesn't seem as if anyone is inclined to impede their progress. "You shouldn't— " Is about all Erin gets out before she offers herself a mental who cares!? and leans back against a bookshelf, fingers pushing her hair out of her eyes. "Fine. Fine. Just get out of here."

It's selfish, really. She doesn't want Lena talking about her eyes to the authorities.

Nodding, Erin doesn't exactly leave, she just pickes up her stuff and heads elsewhere. Maybe no one else recognised her. Entirely possible, since soaps aren't madly popular with everyone. If she can slip away into the shadows, all the better.

What she doesn't see is that one of the callers with their cell phone out isn't calling the police. Very quietly, so that no one can hear, he speaks into the receiver. "…Yeah. We got another one."

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