2007-07-29: Coming To Terms

Starring:

Erin_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Coming to terms with who you are isn't easy when you're not Evolved. How much harder is it to face yourself when a moment's inattention can cause irreparable harm?

Date It Happened: July 29, 2007

Coming to Terms


Erin's Apartment, Upper West Side

Erin has neither spoken to Taine nor anyone else about the recent even that left both he and Ali very ill. She's trying to deny the whole thing, but with almost everyone on the cast and crew of One Life to Live coming down with a really bad cold, it's kind of hard to avoid the truth anymore. She's some sort of freak. Like her roommate. Sure, she doesn't consider Ali a freak, exactly, but, well, it's weird, and Erin doesn't want it, especially when she can't control it. The likelyhood that Ali's sick by now is also pretty high, though Erin wouldn't know. She's been staying in a hotel.

She does need to come home for stuff, though, gently and quietly pushing open the door to her apartment and stepping inside. Anyone home? Are there cats here yet? Is the place destroyed?

Finding the living area in decent condition, she heads for her room, throwing a backpack down on the bed and pulling out old stuff. She's wearing sunglasses, and she keeps them on even inside, just in case, since she's had people comment on how blue her eyes look lately, and she's not sure she's ready for this - something she can't stop, or control, or… Well, she doesn't even want it, really.
—-

Someone was lying in wait, apparently.

It's not until that the backpack's mostly empty that her roomate's petite form might be noticeable leaning against the doorframe. Sniffling. "Hey." It's a start, at least.
—-

It's not a good idea to startle Erin right now. She jumps, taking a deep breath when she realises it's just Ali. The sniffle? Draws a wince, partially because she wonders if it's her fault, and partially because she can feel those damn little viruses as if they're in the room next to her. It's disturbing and creepy. She does take off the sunglasses, though, setting them on her dresser. In the dark room, her eyes are still dark - at least at the moment.

Erin opens her mouth to say something, but there's no sound. " ..Hi," she finally says, quietly, and that's about as far as she gets. She's afraid to get to close or… To do anything, really. Please don't make her jump out a window! "How… are you?"
—-

"I'm okay." Ali takes a slow breath. "You.. got time to talk? I know - you don't like me much. That's okay - but.. I get the feeling you really could use a friend about now. And.. I'm offering. No strings."

The DJ looks down, for a moment - "I was really lucky when I found out. I didn't know how lucky I was - having somebody around who at least could explain a little. And there was a lot to explain."
—-

Don't… like her much? What? Erin shakes her head, though she can't really say anything. It's hard to come up with the words to explain that she left because she was terrified, because she doesn't want what happened that day to happen again. Even though she doesn't know it, the reason she keeps getting people sick now is because she keeps dwelling.

"What made you think that?" she finally asks. "I don't… I just…" She shakes her head again, throwing more things into her bag. God, if she could do something about those viruses, she'd feel better. It's like she's being watched, and it's driving her crazy.

And she's quiet for a long time after the offer, trying to decide if she should continue denying this, or try to talk about it with someone who she knows will understand. Frowning, she looks over her shoulder and nods. "Okay, what's going on with me?"
—-

"I dunno." Ali is /such/ a help.. but.. she moves slowly into the room. "I dunno what it is. I met a chick that can throw lightning - literal /lightning/ from her fingers. There's another one? She can sing up in the realm where dogs are the only one that can hear it. I.. I even know a guy that makes magician's conjuring tricks look lame." She bites her lip. "There's something in your genes. Something in how you were born. I don't know how it turns on, or where it comes from."

And.. then she's sitting, on the edge of the bed. "I.. don't know what it is you can really do.. but.. it's definitely you. I think. You would know that better than I would."
—-

Yeah, wonderful. Well, at least Ali's not trying to kick Erin out of her own house, at least, which is good. More things are tossed haphazardly into her bag; the woman is scowling at this news, though she's done a little research on her own after… what happened. Found a book about this, so she understands it a little more, but not why it's happened to her. "I can feel viruses," she says with some sort of a sneer, turning around briefly. The sneer isn't so much at Ali, but is in disgust to herself.

"How long have you been sick?" she asks almost casually.
—-

"Not sure. Just the sniffles - Rog sent me home. Said I'd been working too hard anyway." Ali looks up to Erin - there's something oddly hopeful in that gaze, worried and still.. well. no. The woman's heart seems to be going out to the actress. "Feel them.. or do something with them?" A try at a bit of shared humor. "Just feeling them would creep me the hell out. Seriously."
—-

"Everyone I've had contact with on set is sick." Apparently she misses the humour entirely, or ignores it. "Almost, rather. It's like I'm a walking plague. Typhoid Mary or whatever. So I…" She pauses, distracted for a moment by the whole 'do something with them' thing, which makes her wonder. If she can make these things, if she can feel them… "You've got thousands," she says quietly. That's not many when considering how small viruses really are. "I just— "

Wait.

There's a small smile there. "You told me to jump off my balcony, and I creep you out? Come on, Ali." Oh dear god, they're both freaks. Smile's gone, replaced by a brief horror. "I can't live like this. I can't keep making everyone I look at sick."
—-

Ali says, bluntly, "So don't." She takes a breath. "I felt the same way, did you know? Yeah, you would know.." The DJ reaches out to poke at that pack. "You can't run. Trust me. I mean, I didn't have any choice, but.. it didn't matter either way. You can't wish it away. Everyone tells me it's as much a part of you as your arm - and.. I'm starting to figure out they're right."
—-

As they say in Jurassic Park - but when the Pirates of the Carribean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists. Sure, Ali's had some accidents, but at least she's been able to fix them. Erin can't stop making people sick, and she's afraid it's going to get… worse… Hm.

"I'm not running." Well, yes. Yes, she is. "I'm staying in a hotel until I figure out how I can… Seriously, Ali, if you want to stop— what you can do— " Still seems weird to say it, but she's had a couple weeks to start to come to terms with that, "You can just not talk. I… Don't know what to do."

And she's kind of getting nervous again, so her eyes are starting to light up, visible quite well in the low light of the room. Nothing else is happening, though, not yet.
—-

"It's not in me not to. I tried that for a while - getting a cab to go to Broadway when you're not willing to tell the guy where to go? Excercise in futility." Ali .. stands. And crosses to the actress .. and, unless she's stopped? That's just one, very fierce, hug.

"You're gonna have to figure it out. And.. you can't do that if you're afraid. Even if you are - I.. I'll help. I dunno how yet, but I will."
—-

She doesn't stop Ali from offering that comfort. It'd be stupid of her to do so, really, because she needs it so badly right now. But at this proximity… It's weird, Erin hadn't noticed it before. She can form a clearer picture of the little tiny particles in her mind, can see what they look like. This is something she's had before. It's just a cold.

And so she doesn't atually release the girl, instead, she steps back, hands still on Ali's shoulders, and just stares with eyes that are so bright now, they're lighting up the room. "Just hang on a second," she says.
—-

Ali… looks up. Startled - but she trusts. After all, when you've tried to kill someone, no matter how accidentally, you owe them that. Nevermind the rest.

In fact, she takes a deep breath. "What?" She may not have noticed yet, but the deep breath was definitely easier, and utterly unaccompanied by a sniffle.
—-

It's so easy. In fact, she hadn't realised it before because she was so afraid to touch anyone for fear of hurting them, but this… "I'm killing them," she explains quietly, a confused note in her voice as she continues looking at Ali. It takes awhile, it's the first time she's ever done something like this, but it's not really making her all that tired. It's simply a question of eliminating the little strings of code that make the virus what it is.

Beginner's luck, maybe. Eventually, she does release Ali's shoulders, stepping back only to find that she's backed right into her bed. Slightly shakey, she sits, taking a deep breath herself to recover. "What happened?" she asks. Because while she knows she just killed a whole lot of those little effers, she's not sure the overall effect it's going to have on her roommate.
—-

"I.." Ali blinks. And.. just sits next to Erin. "I.. think you're the .. uh. Cure for the common cold?" She rubs at her arms. "I'm not achy - and my head doesn't feel.. stuffed. Like it did, anyway." A breath - "What.. your eyes. Were. Different."
—-

So she just committed mass-murder on a microscopic scale. WHO CARES? Little bitches had it coming, that's what. And it kind of feels good to know that it's a whole lot easier for her to cure this crap than it is for her to cause it. To that end, she turns to hug Ali again when she sits down next to her. If she hadn't bridged that gap between them, Erin never would have figured it out.

There's a start, anyway.

"Yeah, that's what the sunglasses are for," she says, sitting back and scowling. Her eyes are still bright blue; they aren't quite as radiant as they were a moment before, but they're still not normal. "Every time I do something, that happens. It's getting on my nerves because I can't see." Well, she can, but it's a whole lot more difficult.
—-

"… when I'm stressed? S' when it comes easiest. When I just want something so bad, or I'm terrified, or I'm pissed - and trust me. I can get pissed - that's when it just.. no matter what. It's when I can't hold on to it." Ali hugs back, worried. "I was /so/ angry at you - just everything came out, you know? And then when I told you that.. I've never .. most of the time when i say something it's a lot more. Uh. Subtle? Sometimes I don't even notice. But you just went blank. I kinda got a feeling it's got something to do with how your .. you know.. physiology reacts. It's like fight-or-flight. You just /react/."
—-

Even if she couldn't control what she was doing at that point in time, she remembers how it felt to just be so single-minded, and Erin shivers. "Yeah. Yeah, I know you have a temper." She's quiet for awhile, thinking back to the image that's burned in her brain of the ground nine stories below her. She had a couple nightmares after that, but she's mostly over it now.

There's a humourless chuckle before Erin looks at the ground. "So now what? We're both freaks, I don't know if I can step outside without killing someone, Taine won't even speak to me - and that's hard, trust me. They've had to re-write some of the script because he's suddenly uncomfortable with…" She sniffles, and it's not because she's coming down with anything.

"I don't want to react. I just want it to go away. I don't want this."
"I know." Ali does, too - and it shows in those simple words… and the DJ rests her head on Erin's shoulder. "I don't either." Her eyes squeeze tight shut. "You want the good news or the bad news?"
—-

The only person she knows with these abilities is Ali. Even if she knows there are other people out there, Erin does feel really alone, and even though she spent the greater part of her teen years with no friends, she doesn't want that for herself now. "There's good news?" she asks, still looking at the floor.
—-

"Yeah. I.. know a chick who is trying to help. Who maybe can help you too, if we ask nice." Ali stays leaned there. "If you want to. And if she says no.. I'll /make/ her." That's not really a jest.. but it's unlikely she means it. "And.. there's a lot of people. A lot of people out there - there's big stuff, too, but .. there's people who get it. And who can help. And will."
—-

Erin nods. She figured there must be someone out there with more knowledge than she has on the subject. But in all seriousness, she doesn't have that help now and she kind of really needs it. Granted, she just figured out how to kill viruses on her own, which puts her more at ease, but that still doesn't change the fact that the whole set is sick, and she can't cure them without drawing attention to herself. There's only so much she can hide behind dark glasses. "So, what's the bad news?" When she looks up at Ali again, her eyes are back to their normal blue colour, slightly dark in the low light.
—-

"… ever read a comic book?" Ali offers, quietly. She still hasn't moved, close with her head on the woman's shoulder. "I mean it, by the way. It's not a stupid question."
—-

Silly question, but still… "Yeah, I guess?" she says, smiling slightly. "Who hasn't?" Everyone's picked one up from time to time, read the comics in the newspaper — something. Sure, she doesn't have boxes of them stored in her closed, but she's read them. "Why?"
—-

"Every hero's got…" Ali sighs, /knowing/ how rediculous it sounds. "A villain, right? And if nobody's a hero, then sometimes it's really hard to see the bad guy. At least in comic books it's pretty easy - four colors. Good guy's the one that wears the bright spandex."
—-

This actually does make her laugh - a lot. It starts as a chuckle and builds, even if she's aware that Ali is serious. "I can't fly, I can't save the planet, I— I make people sick." She snorts, shaking her head. "And you tell people to do things. I think you and me are the bad guys." Because really, what hero out there gives people colds? OR WORSE. Erin has no idea what more she can do yet. She's a plague. "I can be 'The Plague,' and you can be Flying Leap."
—-

"You know how many people die from the flu every year?" Ali offers that, softly - "Maybe you figure out what you're doing and.. they don't anymore. AIDS? Ebola? You watch the news." She raises her head, and looks up to Erin. "There was an article about Hepatitis A - the cold sore one? Being linked to Alzheimer's."
—-

True, she seems to be able to heal these things, too, but the mere idea that she can cause what happened to Ali and Taine that one day… It's horrifying. She could have killed them, and knows for a fact that, for a while, Ali didn't even sem to be breathing. "Yeah, well." She snorts again. "At least I know why that jackass who was trying to steal my computer ran off now. You could do that. Just go around telling criminals to throw themselves off a cliff." Because there are a lot of cliffs in New York, surely!
—-

There's a lot of tall buildings… but Ali nods. "Yeah. Or to turn himself in… I .. once told a guy with a gun to go take up knitting. No idea if he did." She takes a breath. "Pop always told me to be the best /me/ I could be. Kinda holds up - so you're different. But.. you get to either be different and /dangerous/, or be different and in control. And.. I know which one I gotta be." She lowers her head again, eyes closing. "Josef Stalin scares the /crap/ out of me."
—-

"I'd love to be in control." Really, she would. "You should come with me to set one day. Everyone sick, no one knows why. I think Taine might have ideas, though." At least he's not saying anything, which she infinately appreciates like he'll never believe, but he's also not really talking to her, either. "I think even if I'm in control, though, I'm dangrous. Look at what I did to you a couple weeks ago. What if I hadn't…" She shakes her head. "I don't have any idea what to do about…" She sighs, stands. "I'm going to stay at the hotel for a couple more nights. I think the staff'll appreciate if I can fix what I did over there. Don't know how I'm going to manage that, but… I'll see."
—-

"Please.. don't?" Ali looks up as Erin stands. "I'm not afraid, you know. You don't have to be alone - I was. I know how it feels. And you're not - so what if you could? Kill. Hell, I can. Almost did - " She tries out a smile - "How am I supposed to let the only person I /know/ let me stick around 'cause she wanted to spend sleepless nights without margaritas and bad movies?"
—-

"Well, now that I know I can fix there… There's a lot of sick staff over there who'll love feeling better, I'm sure." There's still the fact that she has a couple nights left that are already pre-paid. Wouldn't want to waste those. Hm. hm. "Pack a bag. They have a pool and really bad on-demand movies, and I'm not wasting the days I have left." And one has to imagine it's a nice hotel. It's not five-star by any means, but it's a nice place to stay. She likes Ali. And because the girl isn't pissed off at her for almost causing her death - well, they're even in that regard now, aren't they? At least they have someone they can talk to. Still, Erin's nervous. She doesn't know if she'll make Ali sick again or not, and if she does… How bad will it be this time?
—-

And.. Ali stands. "Erin? I'm not afraid. St.. you should probably stop worrying." The jersey girl offers a faint smile. "Do you /want/ to hurt me?" It's a simple enough question.
—-

Ali might not be afraid, but Erin is. She's never been so afraid, really. If she does something, it's her who's going to have to live with it. "No, I don't. But at the moment, I don't know if what I want and what's going to happen is going to … match up? I just…" Picking up the sunglasses from her dresser, she perches them on top of her head. "I'll be down in the lobby calling the cab. Don't take too long."

She's stressed, way over-tired, and probably not listening to a word Ali's been saying. There's a little hope, though, and at the moment, that's all that she can ask for.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License