2008-02-20: Child Support

Starring:

McAlister_icon.gif Jamie_icon.gif Erin_icon.gif

Summary: Erin comes home from a public appearance to find Ali is not only collecting kittens now, but children.

Date It Happened: 20 FEBRUARY 2008

Child Support


Erin's Apartment

Okay. Erin and Ali aren't .. you know. Video game people. Ali's room's full of books, music, and blacklight posters (hung up with tape, mostly) - she at least has a /bed/, these days. Erin's room? Erin's room behind that closed door /there/ with firm statements of "Just don't go there, okay?"

And right now? There's popcorn, a movie on the TV (something very chop-sockie - it looks like one of Jackie Chan's early ones) - an Ali on the couch and a spread of papers around her. That big book she's been living with lately is in her lap; she's thumbing through it, thoughtful.

"Your kung fu is weak," The TV notes, "- you have no hope of facing me."

"Yeah," the DJ mutters. "But I have a /concordance/."

—-

Jamie has been out… well, doing whatever it is she does all day. She hasn't really talked much about that yet. She comes in now though, flushed from the cold weather and activity. She pulls off her coat once she's inside, "Hi! Whatcha watching?" The girl goes over, perhaps planning on plopping down on the couch, but she pulls up short as she sees all the paper.

—-

"Jackie Chan - Drunken Master." Ali grins - "Just move stuff - s'okay. There's no order to that yet -" She waves her pen at the couch. "Good day so far, kiddo?" She adds - "I called the DoE - it'll be pretty easy to get you in school. I figured it'd be more of a mess than it turned out to be, you know?"

—-

Jamie smiles and then moves the papers so she can sit down, and does so. As soon as she's sitting, she kicks off her shoes and pulls off her socks. No explanation why, but once she's barefoot she seems to relax, sitting back. "Yep, it was great. Found a new couple buildings with an alley to jump over, even taller than I've done before." Then at the mention of school she says, "Oh, ok. When?"

—-

"I'm thinkin' Monday? Gives us tomorrow to hit Soho and see about kitting out the closet." Ali winks. "There's a couple of great vintage stores in the garment district we can pick through. And then, we can do whatever you want to do. I was thinkin' maybe hit the Natural History Museum and then there's a couple of friends of mine talkin' about some sort of DDR marathon thing."

The papers are packed with Ali's perhaps uncharacteristically precise writing - names. Notes. References. A lot of very long-dead people, there. "What 'cha think?"

—-

Erin hasn't been home. There's a reason for that, though, and sure, it might be hypocritical, asking Ali to stay for awhile and taking off herself, but… The truth is, there were Things to Do. Namely, an appearance of Morgan Starr somewhere in the area, and it was just easier to stay at a hotel rather than commute every day. After all, Erin only drives when she has to.

By the time she gets home, she's tired, and more crabby than usual. For that reason, she's wearing sunglasses, mostly so she didn't freak out the cab driver on the way back. Shouldering open the door after she unlocks it, Erin drops her bag inside the front hallway, shuts the door with just a bit of a slam, and makes her way toward the sounds of the TV. "Hey, Al— " …yssa goes unsaid, as she notices the midget person who's hanging out, too. And while it's impossible to see the eyes behind Erin's sunglasses, it's pretty obvious that she's staring.

—-

Jamie grins and says, "Yeah!" She wrinkles her nose at the mention of a museum, but brightens immediately at the DDR marathon idea, "DDR, for sure!" She then jumps slightly at the slammed door, looking up. She gives a small wave to the stranger, "Hi."

—-

"I promise, it'll be.. " … guilty, apparently. Ali freezes, for a moment. Then. Well, She tries out a smile. "Hi. Uh. Erin." She swallows. And then goes for an attempt at suave. "Want some popcorn?" She holds up the bowl.

—-

You know that moment in the movies where there's this HUGE BEAR or MONSTER or other such creature looming in front of small, innocent, and defenseless victims, and the idea is that in mere seconds, they'll attack, rip out their throat, and either leave them for dead and eat them? That's Erin, right now.

Except, invariably, those huge monsters turn out in a magnificent plot twist to be gentle giants. The actress smiles, "…Hi," she repeats, tilting her head a little, reaching up to push the sunglasses up onto the top of her head. At the moment, everything looks normal. "This is a surprise."

—-

Jamie just goes right ahead an introduces herself, "I'm Jamie." She doesn't add any more than that, though, yet. She glances back to Ali and then up to Erin again curiously.

—-

Ali's very quick to explain anyway - "Jamie's a friend - kinda needed a place to stay for a while. So. I offered her my room, right?" She sets the bowl down - "Jamie, this is Erin - she saved my life a while back."

Ali grins, then. "No kidding. She did." She stage-whispers. "She's on TV, too."

—-

Well, this is different. Still, it's a kid, so Erin can't be really angry when she parses the 'stay for awhile' means there will be a kid hanging out in the apartment. Erin just has this habit of picking up strays, it seems, even if it wasn't her that did it this time. Her apartment, though. It counts, right? Everyone's got a weakness. Or maybe it's a strength, who knows?

There's caution, too. She can't exactly threaten Jamie like she did Ali - If you steal my shit, I KNOW WHERE YOU WORK. That's usually enough for her, but. "A friend," Erin parrots, apparently making a habit of this repetition.

At least she's not outright shouting. Wary, sure, and more than a little weary, truthfully. She'd like to just crawl into bed, but now she can't. And there are things about this house that are kind of secret. Like the accidentaly murderous abilities of both its occupants. "A place to stay. What about her parents?"

—-

Jamie grins at Ali's words, "Really?" Erin's question seems to dampen the girl's cheerfulness again somewhat, and pulls her knees up to her chest as she answers, "They died." Sadness, but no tears… definitely not a fresh hurt.

—-

"… And she was living with a real sleeze - " Ali's uncharacteristically fierce, abruptly. "And. I .. kinda got her not quite thrown out, but thrown out. At least he was honest, for once." With that growl, well - it may be fairly obvious that she had a hand in it. "May have been the first time. Ever."

—-

Erin's still remarkably calm for there being a new addition the the family. And she's not about to talk more about Jamie when she's right there. The look Ali gets, though, is one of those 'We'll discuss this later' type of looks. Erin knows very well that Ali could tell Erin to let the kid stay. Even so, with a glance in Jamie's direction and a smile that my not be entirely sincere, she grabs Ali's shoulders and puts her head next to the DJ's ear. "There are some things about us I don't want a kid knowing," she says quietly.

—-

Jamie watches Erin, curious. Her arms wrap around her folded legs but she seems a bit more relaxed now. She, of course, can't hear what's said between the two, but she watches them, expression very curious.

—-

Ali murmers back, just a few words - "She knows about me. Not you. And .. she's like us." Might as well lay all the cards out there, even if you are keeping your voice low. Just between roomates.

She leans back to peer up at Erin. "You'da done the same thing." It's pointed, but more hopeful than certain. "Gonna join us for a movie?"

—-

Erin would have done the same thing. Still, she doesn't have to act like it's the most awesome thing in the world, and she's not going to, either. The key point here is that she doesn't tell Jamie to get out, when she would have every right to. Or she could call the police. Child services, something. Throw a fit.

All she does is give Ali a helpless sigh, looks at Jamie again, and slumps her shoulders. She'll never win. "I'm sorry about your parents," she says, which is close to a 'welcome' as she's going to give. Turning, she heads for her room, picking up Dumb Cat on the way back. See? She can learn. It just takes a tedious amount of time.

—-

Jamie just ends up looking confused, watching Erin's retreat towards the bedroom and then looks back to Ali again. "Um.. everything ok?" She sounds a bit unsure. "Don't wanna mess stuff up for ya."

—-

"You won't. S'okay." Ali offers, reassuring - "I should have asked first, and it's her place, you know? But.. it'll work out. And you're not any trouble, not in the slightest. I promise." She puts on a rather sunny smile - "Erin's really nice - I just kinda surprised her."

—-

Jamie looks towards Erin's door a moment but then nods a little, "'k." She looks back to Ali and asks, curious again and relaxing, "She really on TV?"

—-

"Yup." Ali grins. "I dunno if you watch the show - ever seen Aferlife?" She stands, setting the book aside. "She's really good, too." Crossing to the TV, she rummages - producing a handful of good, ol-fashioned VHS tapes, setting them on the edge of the entertianment center. "We tape 'em, most of the time - I'm usually home to catch it. One of the nice things about working late, anyway."

—-

Jamie shakes her head quickly, "Never heard of that show." She still looks curious as she asks, "What kinda show is it? Who's she play? When's it on?" The questions pause for just a moment as she looks at the tapes, then another comes, "What're those?"

—-

".. seriously?" Ali blinks. ".. uh. tapes." She grins, sheepishly. "So now I feel /old/." The laugh that comes is helpless, light - and she leaves the tapes to settle on the couch next to the kid. "I'll show ya how to work it. It's sort of a romance show? You should see the guy her character's .. dating, sort of. Rowr." Yes. She says 'rowr'. With that waggle of the eyebrows that makes it impossibly cheezy. "She's Morgan - you'll have to watch it with her. It's fun."

—-

Jamie giggles at Ali's expression and sound effect, and says, "Ok. Never watched a romance show before." She grins again and lets her feet drop back down from the edge of the couch again. She glances to that closed door regularly still, though.

—-

McAlister reaches over to (at least try to) give Jamie a one-armed hug. "S'okay kiddo, I promise." She smiles .. and doesn't linger, hopping back up to go pick out a tape.

—-

Jamie leans into the hug and smiles again, nodding quickly as she looks to the tapes curiously again. "You can tell her I can turn into water, ya know, if ya wanna." She says it at a normal volume, so if sound carries well into Erin's room, she might have heard already.

—-

"… I'm not sure.." Ali just.. shakes her head and lets that go, with a sigh and a wry smile. Instead? She sets up the tape, hitting play - and heading for the kitchen as the opening credits to Afterlife come on. "I think I have Oreos. And milk. Innerested, kiddo?"

—-

Jamie nods emphatically to that offer and smiles brightly again, "Yes please!" She looks back to the screen, watching curiously, and asks, "Is the show exciting?"

—-

"I like it - I dunno if you will." Ali sets to work in the kitchen - "We'll see! It's okay if you don't - but trust me. Watching it with Erin's a lot of fun anyway, and it's kind of a ritual around here. Did you listen to the show last night?"

—-

Jamie nods quickly to that and smiles, "Yep! I listened until I fell asleep. It was fun."

—-

Eventually, after hearing talk of Afterlife (though not hearing anything about Jamie's unique ability) Erin grudgingly emerges from her room along with Dumb Cat. With a look between Jamie and Ali in the kitchen, she plops down on the nearest chair, hugging a pillow, and scowls.

She'll warm up. Really.

—-

Once the DJ returns with oreos - well. Does it get better than this?

Primetime soap opera, hawt television doctor, oreos and milk, and good company? Ali even delivers oreos to Erin - and, without pretension, a hug. Then, an hour of mindless television. It may not be perfect, but it's definitely a start.

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