2010-07-19: Don't SARS Me, Cuz!



Date: July 19, 2010


Erin's power seemingly out of her control, Morgan offers to help her find ways to adjust.

"Don't SARS Me, Cuz!"

Erin's Apartment

Erin holds her hand in front of her as she sits on the couch. It's not that she actually sees the green swath across her skin, but she knows it's there. It's such a clear picture in her mind's eye that it's almost as if it's visible.

She's seeing bacteria.

Though more complex that viruses by far, they're still amazingly easy to unravel with a little effort. Bacteria aren't, after all, the world's next Einsteins. It's kind of like untangling a spider's web.

She hasn't been able to create them yet. They're… Radically different than what she's used to. She finds it odd and amusing that her ability is mostly focused around destruction, despite the fact that she's pretty much a walking cure.

The fact that she can sense bacteria on everything now is driving her crazy. She's going to have to learn how to shut this ability off, or she's going to land in the nuthouse.

Even fresh from the shower, Morgan has bacteria all over her — as all people do. Some of it is even healthy! She steps into the living room, her hair bound up in a pink towel turban, a fluffy white robe wrapped around her body. She's still a little pale, a little fatigued, but resisted all efforts on the part of the McCarty sisters to get her to go to a doctor, or let Janet probe at her. After all, Janet's supposed to be taking it easy.

"What are you doing? Trying to figure out your future from your palm? I'm pretty sure that doesn't actually work," Morgan says cheerfully, now a skeptic in all things supernatural and occult, despite the weird phenomena that does exist in this new world. "And if it does, I'm sure there's a scientific reason for it." She moves to a couch and peers at her "cousin."

Turning her hand around, Erin sighs. She'll just have to learn to ignore it. There's no use trying to make everything sterile, because— Well, it's not even remotely possible. It's just distracting, like seeing something out of the corner of your eye that isn't really there. It almost feels like she's gone without sleep for far too long, and now she's hallucinating.

Shaking her head, she says, "No, all of a sudden, I'm…" Erin bites her lip and lowers her hand to her lap. "You know how my ability works, right? I mean, you remember when Janet— when she was yelling at you that you weren't, you know…"


"And how it just sort of happened and you didn't mean for it to happen? I'm… afraid it's going to start happening again."

"Oh, that's… that's bad." Morgan frowns. "Should we … is there someone to call, to like, help calm you down, or stop you from using it?" she asks, trying to be helpful, but then suddenly a thought comes to her.

"Are you making me sick on accident?" Her eyes widen, and she touches her nose that bled the other day. That was a sort of tense situation — had Erin made her sick due to the stress? "I've been feeling kind of under the weather…" Because clearly it's all about her! She's the heroine. Except she's not.

"Taine… maybe? The one who could really help is… I don't know where she is. Her name's Cody. She might — You know, it's okay, it'll be okay." Erin takes a deep breath and taps her fingers against her knees. It'll be okay, she's not going to spread Anthrax across the whole state of New York. Despite being a little nervous about this, Erin smiles. She's good at playing things off. "I've gotten through it before. No big deal. I'm pretty sure I'm just worrying to worry."

Pulling her legs up on the couch, she crosses them. When Morgan asks whether Erin's the cause of the nosebleed, the first reaction is to deny it. But after a moment… "Morgan, I honestly don't know. I'm sorry." Focusing on Morgan, she tries to see if there are any malicious things invading her system. No viruses, certainly, but at the moment, she can't tell the difference between one bacteria and another! There's so many! "I don't think so. How do you feel now?"

Morgan curls one foot under her and considers the question. This body is still new. She's not totally sure what healthy feels like. "I'm all right. A little tired. I had another nose bleed yesterday, but you weren't here, so maybe it's not you," she murmurs, frowning a little. This body, with its long legs and big feet, is dysfunctional, with its stupid asthma and now nose bleeds. "Maybe it's something from whatever caused her to be like that." Like that is code for brain dead.

She sighs and shrugs. "You seem calm though. Why do you think you're doing something?" she asks, tilting her head. The turban slips loose, and she pulls it off, letting blond hair, darkened with water, tumble down.

"Well, I guess you'd probably know if you felt bad," Erin says. Cautiously, Erin looks over at Morgan. If there's one thing Erin doesn't want to do, it's asking Peter Petrelli for another favour. But he found this body, and it's hard to take Morgan to Sinai without someone becoming suspicious… (Maybe she's a look-alike?) In any case, if something's wrong with it, he's the best chance they have at fixing it, or finding out what's wrong.

"I'll call Petrelli tomorrow," she says. Erin's much less afraid of him now… She doesn't often give people a second chance, but she made an exception in Peter's case, and it was a good one. "Man, without him, you'd… Still be stuck in my head."

Raising her hand again, she looks at the lines - invisible, really, but she knows they're there - traveling just under her skin. "I'm seeing bacteria, I think. I mean, that's what I figure it has to be. It's not a virus, so it must be, right?"

Her brow furrowing, Morgan shrugs. "Peter probably has better things to do than to come look under my hood," she murmurs. "I'm okay. And I can just go to the doctor — the one who gave me the asthma inhaler. He was nice. Looked kinda like Santa Claus." She holds up a hand, "Yes, I know there's no Santa Claus in the real world." Her lips quirk into a smile.

Regarding seeing bacteria, she frowns. "Weird. Maybe it's just a part of your power you never noticed before? I mean, there are bacteria everywhere, right? I can't see them, but I know they're there. Perhaps you can compare what you think you see with stuff at Janet's office."
Then it's decided! Whether Morgan wants her to or not, Erin is calling Peter. She doesn't have a lot of things to worry about, but Morgan is definitely one of them. "I'm calling him anyway. And look, I know you know I don't like him, but he kind of proved himself with our whole situation. Besides, he still owes me." He'll never stop oweing! Because Erin's collecting like, 3,000% interest. Poor Peter.

Chuckling, Erin sits back. "At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a Santa somewhere." In Afterlife, Santa Claus became a werewolf, which was very harrowing for everyone around Christmas time. When a fat, slobbery old dog comes crawling down your chimney, run like hell. Of course, he was saved by the magic of Christmas.

Afterlife is so corny sometimes. "…Llanview is insane," Erin says. At least Morgan has someone she can talk about home with.

"I've only been able to see viruses before. Now it's like… this other thing just started happening."

"Okay. I won't hold the past against him. I mean, if I did that, how hypocritical would that be, when my past is fictional?" Morgan agrees. She frowns. "So you can see viruses but now you can see bacteria… so what works for viruses should probably work for bacteria, right? Well, except I think they work in different ways." Biology of humans isn't something she's an expert on. Were-creatures, sure.

"Maybe Peter can help you, too. Otherwise, you can ask Janet — did you talk and make up yet?" She's been sleeping in her room mostly since their fight. "I think it's just a matter of doing what you do with your power already, but… now with bacteria. And maybe making some changes here and there, tweaking it for the difference. Wikipedia to the rescue?" She's become a wiki-addict, looking up anything in the "real world" that she doesn't know about for the cliffs notes version.

All Erin can do is shake her head. She can't think of where to begin because this complicated things all over again. She thought she was at a comfortable point with her power, when suddenly, the You're-Not-Allowed-to-Rest gods decided to throw this curve ball at her.

"I'm sorry, Morgan." Erin doesn't think that past is entirely fictional. It exists to Morgan, right? If Erin had discouraged Morgan from going to Peter, maybe the other woman - her cousin - would have faded away by now, without any loved ones left behind. "You gotta stop thinking that way, or I'm going to give you SARS."

Standing, crossing her arms across her chest, Erin nods. "Yeah, I went to the hospital to see her. Sucks that I was such an ass for all those years. I don't think she really trusts me entirely. I mean, you know…" Erin's been an idiot before. It could happen again.

"With viruses… They're made up of, like, a single strand of DNA. They're easy to pull apart… Or put together. But these things, it's like taking one virus and— and suddenly it's a million. I can't even… Maybe it'll get easier."

"Stop threatening me with SARS, woman!" Morgan says, laughing and shaking her wet head with mock irritation. "Fine. But you're right. Peter … he kind of gave me life. I can't be afraid of him, really. It doesn't make sense for me to be. I trust him."

She stands as well, picking up the towel that dropped to the floor. "I'm glad you made up. Family's important, and you two are important to me. I'd hate for you not to make up. You're my family now… " She glances down, eyes growing a touch damp. If this were her other life, she'd wax poetic and elaborate with a long eloquent metaphor. But this is real life, so she bites her tongue and lets the simplicity speak for itself.

But she threatens everyone with SARS. One day, she's going to cause her very own outbreak, and it'll be amazing.

"I wouldn't go as far as trust, but I don't think he's as bad as I thought. You know, when he almost killed me." Explanation or not, the very idea that someone can lose that much of themself is insane. "But I don't think you have to be afraid of him, no. Just careful."

Despite the wet hair, Erin wraps her arms around Morgan in a hug, if she doesn't pull away. For awhile, she just stands there quietly; she'd heard the hint of tears in the blonde's voice. "Y'know, I know how you think. And if you wanna launch into a monologue, now's probably the best time to do it, because I won't laugh." One of those 'get it all out' type of things, perhaps. Yeah, Erin's played Morgan long enough to know that when she gets weepy, she gets talkative.

The taller woman blinks, but then wraps her arms around the petite actress, resting her head on the others shoulder. The path toward tears turns instead to a giggle. "See, but that's the reason I don't need to monologue, Erin," she says with a smile. "You already know how I feel, so there's no point rambling about it for five minutes before cutting to a commercial for toothpaste." She steps aside and beams at her friend and "cousin."

"Let me know whatever I can do to help. I'll research germs for you, and we can do experiments or whatever would help! Maybe I can get a biohazard suit to be safe!" That would be exciting!

How do you tell someone you're sorry this had to happen to them without it sounding like you're sorry they're alive? This whole thing kind of sucks for Morgan in ways that Erin can't even fathom, and yet here she is, alive. She would have gone on with her non-life completely oblivious to anything. Can an idea even have a sense of life? "My thoughts are bordering on philosophical. I think it's time to go to the bar and get something to drink."

The enthusiasm to help Erin research is appreciated. "Yeah, I think… I might take you up on that. Don't want you to, you know. Get hurt. I… You should ask Taine about that sometime." Looking away, she rubs the back of her neck. Her ability is dangerous, that's for sure. And now it's worse. "You wanna stay here or come with?"

"It'll be okay. We'll figure it out, all right? If we can figure me out, we can figure this out. Simple in comparison, right?" Morgan says, throwing Erin a 1000-watt smile that could be on a soap opera actress' face. "Let me go wear something not made of terry cloth, and I'll totally come with you."

She begins to move toward the hallway, before turning around and grinning over her shoulder. "I learned how to drink scotch the last time I went to a bar. It's all about just throwing it back and trying not to taste it before you swallow it. That lawyer who's defending the jerks who held us up taught me that!" Naive Morgan probably doesn't have any idea that that description of how to drink could be taken so many wrong ways.

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