2010-07-16: Eclipsed by Each Other

Starring:

Janet_V5icon.pngErin_V5icon.pngMorgan_V5icon.pngCharla_V5icon.png

Date: July 16, 2010

Summary:

This is what happens when things get weird.


"Eclipsed by Each Other"

Central Park

"…So then the whole… thing just fell down on top of him. It was hilarious. Thankfully light, though, so he didn't die. Poor guy was covered in blue paint for a week." Erin chuckles at the tail end of the story as she pushes the wheelchair through Central Park. She still looks tired. Exhausted, even, but she's steadfastly refusing to actually let her body rest and recover. Who really cares, though, right? She's better, the fever is gone, she's out of the hospital! Eventually, Erin is going to burn out. When that time comes, she'll do what all celebrities do. Blame the alcohol.

Or something. She hasn't worked that out yet.

It's getting late in the afternoon. Erin squints toward the sun, which is pretty bright in the Western sky. "Um. You guys want to head back before it gets too dark?" Looking back on the trail, she's remembering the length of time it took them to get this far. "'cuz every asshole in Central Park suddenly has a gun after the sun goes down. And, look, I'd say I'd just give them SARS, but everything isn't… quite working just yet." Her ability's been coming back bit by bit, but it's unpredictable, sometimes inaccessable even now.

With her sister in a wheelchair and her… Other trans-dimensional weird blonde sister who looks nothing like her at all but is one hundred percent her anyway thinking she's a crime-fighting were-porcupine half the time, Erin's a little uneasy about being here when it's too dark to see.

—-

She may be in a wheelchair, but her spirit certainly hasn't died. In fact at Erin's story she erupts into a series of chortles that emphasize her already prominent dimples. Her blue sundress falls mid-thigh and v-necks slightly. She wears a 3/4 sleeve white cardigan over top. "That's hilarious! I hope you called him a smurf— I would've called him a smurf! I bet Jaden" the name is said almost dreamily— silly Janet— "would've called him a smurf!" She beams at her sister and then back to Morgan.

"OH GUYS. GUYS. Did I tell you that the guy who shot me has been writing me letters?! Like tons of them! Like boatloads… well like four. Or five. But lots considering he's only been in prison like a few weeks, right?! He feels really bad, so I wrote him back to let him know I'm okay! Then I think I'm going to visit him because apparently I'm allowed and I think I might make him cookies— do you think prisoners prefer double chocolate or white chocolate macadamia nut?" Her eyebrows quirk upwards as she rests her hands on the arms of the chair. "What do you guys think?"

—-

At a glance, it's clear Janet and Erin are sisters — and Morgan is something else altogether. Willowy and blonde to their petite and dark, at least she's managed not to trip on her own feet just yet today. She looks a little pale despite the heat, even though she's dressed for the weather in shorts and a tank top, her hair up in a ponytail and feet in flip flops.

"We can turn back, sure," she says glancing over her shoulder, then turning to look down the path for the closest exit to the street. She'll do whatever Erin and Janet want to do — she still feels guilty for having gotten Janet shot and she owes Erin her entire existence. She's not going to argue with their plans. "And can we not talk about guns?" But then Janet is jabbering about making cookies for the guy who almost killed her.

"Are you crazy? Wait until after the trial. They'll use that sort of thing to get him out earlier, and then he'll be out on the street," Morgan protests.

—-

Charla is sitting on a nearby bench, holding the leash of her family's yellow lab, Dinah, as she scratches the dog behind the ears a bit. This was the first time in a while that she'd been able to do this- she was glad her powers were returning and she could appear as what she now considered her true self. She wasn't wearing anything special for the occasion- really, anything in Charla's wardrobe would be considered special at this point.

It's then that she looks over and sees Erin, her sister, and… someone. So, Erin McCarty's out of the hospital. That'll definitely come up on Charla's next show. She gives a friendly wave to her fellow TV person.

—-

Erin listens to Janet's cheery story about the gunman's apology letters and frowns, coming around to crouch in front of the wheelchair. Very frankly, she says, "Janny, he's scum. Imagine if that bullet would have gone through your neck. Or into your eye. You'd be dead right now, and I'd be in prison for murdering him." Not-so-oddly, Erin tends to agree with Morgan most of the time. "And you don't want to see what happens if— " Erin cuts off abruptly when she notices the wave out of the corner of her eye. The starlet almost always wears sunglasses. Up to this point, they've been perched atop her head because of her company, but when she sees Charla, she automatically reaches down to pull them over her eyes. "We'll talk about this later, McCarty," she mutters to Janet.

To Charla, she says, "Don't I know you?" It takes her a moment, then she adds, "Yeah, you're that— entertainment… person."

—-

"But guys! He's actually… kind of sweet. You know? He seems so innocent in his letters— like a child almost," Janet's lips curl into a reflective smile. "And he just wanted to know I was okay! He really needed just to know that I'm fine, you know?" She tries to smile brighter, but her smile is worn tight, protectively. "And I am okay! It was an accident— he didn't mean to shoot me, it just kind of happened! I don't know— I just think cookies might make things better!" And then in Judah's defence she adds, "AND he included money in one of his letters!" Which she promptly sent back. Money is the least of things she needs.

"Guns. Guns. Guns," she repeats the word for Morgan's benefit. "I got shot. We just have to deal with it." She shrugs. "And I will walk again. I mean, honestly, my physio is moving forward…"

—-

Each time the word 'shoot' or 'shot' is mentioned, Morgan flinches. When Janet repeats guns three times like some sort of mantra, the blonde shakes her head and stops to let Erin wheel Janet in front of her — this way it's more difficult for Janet to see Morgan's face unless she cranes around to look behind her — not the easiest thing to do with a gunshot wound in the back, no matter how much it's on the mend.

Morgan's green eyes slide to the woman waving to them. She doesn't recognize Charla, but then most of what she watches on television are documentaries on Animal Planet or the History Channel, to make sure she's clear on what actually has happened and what actually does exist in this world, rather than her own rather confused background has led her to believe. A polite smile curves her lips but she stays quiet.

—-

"That's right," Charla replies with a smile, though she noticably turns away, looking a bit uncomfortable as talk turns to weapons. "Don't worry though, I'm not on the job right now… I'm not some kind of ambush reporter," she notes. At her feet, Dinah rests for a bit, yawning.

"I'm glad to see you've gotten better," she says to Erin. "Same as me…" Her voice falters a bit and she coughs. "…Mostly," she adds with a smile.

—-

Behind the dark glasses, Erin's eyes narrow at her sister. Janet is trusting, proactive, positive. Erin is the pessimistic one, the one willing to look for the bad in people. And when it comes to protecting Janet, she'll do anything. Erin knows this guy just wants to manipulate Janet. "He shot you," she says again.

It's probably best if Erin and Judah never meet.

Pointedly, she looks at Morgan. They're going to have to stage an intervention before Janet is baking the guy a cake with a metal file baked into it. As much as she wants to go into this now, Erin's learned from past mistakes. Yelling and screaming only alienates her from her siblings. For years. And it's come to a point where she can't let that happen anymore. One hand goes to Janet's shoulder and gives it a squeeze, and she repeats, "Accident or not, he shot you, Janny. With a firearm, probably unregistered. And Morgan and I coulda lost you."

Turning her attention back to Charla, Erin does her very best to… ignore the dog completely. She dislikes animals - dear GOD does she ever. Instead, she holds out her hand to Charla. "Yeah, I was just sick for a while. You know. And — Uh, this is my sister, Janet." For a moment, she falters when she looks at Morgan. Charla of all people is sure to notice the connection. "And my cousin, Morgan. It's where we got the character name from." …Plausible deniability!

—-

Janet twitches a little but she doesn't falter in her opinion, instead she interjects, "Well we all know I can't bake anyways. My oven stores sweaters." She'll buy the cookies! She offers Charla a bright smile and a three-fingered wave. "Hi. Nice to meet you." She shrugs a little before shifting in the chair. "I don't normally sit in a wheelchair…."

"Morgan~ Are you getting bored of life yet? I was thinking about it and… You should get a job at Cain Enterprises— I bet Jaden would hire you. I mean, even as a personal favour to me…"

—-

There's a grim look from Morgan when Erin glances at her, but she chuckles at the sweater comment. "Good to know. I don't cook either," she says, then smiles at Charla. "Nice to meet you. Glad that you're recovering from whatever you had," she says politely.

To Janet, she shrugs. "I thought I had a job lined up, but it turns out it's with those thugs' lawyer, so you know, that's a conflict of interest. He started to call to see if a friend of his could take me on when he wanted to give me a courier job and I said no, and then when he heard my name he realized that he needed to … deposition me or whatever. So… that other job never panned out either, and I didn't really want to ask." Talking about her lack of employment in front of a stranger makes her feel like a slacker, not to mention the heat and the long walk is making her feel a bit faint. All in all, Morgan looks rather unhappy at the moment, hands finding her pockets and standing uncomfortably, waiting for the awkward questions to begin. They always do!

—-

"It's a pleasure," Charla says, accepting the handshake. She'd heard some things about Janet from some stories about Erin, but didn't know that there was a person behind the name Morgan. "That's interesting, I never even knew that before," she says. "So you're the original Morgan…" She thinks for a while. There's probably not much she could say to that that Morgan hadn't already heard a million times from people who knew the show, Charla figures, so she doesn't make any further comments. "Oh yes, this is Dinah," she adds, introducing the lab. "She really belongs to my parents but I like to take her out on walks sometimes."

—-

Poor Morgan. No one's going to ask her about the best sightseeing opportunities in Llanview, because it doesn't exist. Despite how hard she tries, Erin just can't forget that this woman who's cutting out a life for herself is only a couple months old.

"Sweaters in the oven now?" Erin asks. This is something she can accept, at least. She's sure it was books the last time she was there. Why anyone would use an oven as spare storage is beyond her, but it's always worked for Janet.

And Erin's started keeping the glasses that won't fit in the cupboard in the microwave. AT LEAST GLASSES BELONG IN A KITCHEN, THOUGH.

The original Morgan. Erin does smile a bit when she hears that. It's a good cover story. Would explain why Morgan knows so much about Morgan Starr. "Not really a dog person," Erin says, unable to help curling her nose up a bit at the animal. They all smell horrible and carry disease!

—-

"I got some more clothes, didn't have enough storage, so… yes. Sweaters in the oven! Besides, I mean Parker doesn't cook and I don't cook so it doesn't make sense to just have it empty so storage seems like the best alternative! And it's not worth having a random space in the middle of your home that no one uses— then it would be like the closet you secretly want to set on fire because it's just full of random junk anyways and you'd rather collect the insurance settlement than deal with it, you know?" Janet explains with a bright smile. As usual her chattiness has taken over.

"I like dogs, but small ones that fit in purses that I coo over and treat like children— I never know what do with big dogs, they're just so… large and commanding and seriously are super large and I can't do anything with them and don't really know what to do with them because they're too big to coo over and treat like children— look a squirrel!" And sure enough a squirrel goes running by. Yup, the doctor is certainly distractable.

—-

Morgan actually pets the dog. She likes animals, especially if they stay animals and don't become people, she is finding. She smiles, but suddenly her hand moves to her nose, coming away wet. And red. A nose bleed. Just what she needs — especially in a white top. "Excuse me," the tall blonde murmurs, cheeks flushing a little as she turns away, rummaging in her purse for a Kleenex or napkin or… the only time she ever got nose bleeds in her fake past was when she got pistolwhipped! This is just bizarre.

—-

Charla stands up. "Are you all right?" she asks. "You're not… allergic to dogs or something are you?" That would be a real problem if they were going to be talking for much longer. "I'm so sorry!" She goes through her own purse and quickly finds some tissue to give to Morgan. As she does, her stomach growls a bit. "Oh… hmm… I usually don't get quite this hungry after a walk," she says to herself. It must be the extra energy she's spending holding her form…

—-

Erin just closes her eyes as Janet goes on. The good thing is that she's stopped talking about the bastard who shot her as if he was a little lost kitten who really just needs a hug and a pat on the back. "Never… actually wanted to set my closet on fire," she interjects when Janet, you, know, pauses to do that thing where she sends oxygen to her brain.

Breathing.

It's not until Janet suddenly points out the squirrel that Erin speaks up loud enough to talk over her. "…All right, too heavy on the painkillers. Holy shit, it's like you're seeing in more than three dimensions— "

When she looks up at Morgan to share the bit of humour, she sees the nosebleed a moment before her 'cousin' wipes it away. It's very possible the body has allergies. They've already determined that it is (unfortunately) asthmatic. Unlike Llanview, everyone has imperfections here. Some are worse than others. "Morgan?" she asks, perching her sunglasses back on top of her head so she can see better in the dimming light.

—-

"Nose bleed?" Janet quirks her eyebrow actually arches as she leans forward in her chair. "Lean forward, apply pressure, could be…" she stares mumbling a list of different causes. Each in turn is noted by the doctor and virtually inaudible to the rest of the group… aside from the last one "…liver disease." She nods triumphantly as she's made an exhaustive list. "Have you been allergy tested lately? Dryness? Itching? Other bleeds?" Yup, she's a doctor. This is what she's all about.

—-

A rather nasal "Thank you" is given to Charla as Morgan holds her nose closed to keep from dripping blood, and she accepts the kleenex with her free hand before turning to try to get the bleed to stop. "I'm okay, Janet. And no, I haven't been allergy tested lately," she says, an emphasis on the fact that she has no clue what this body is allergic to. "I'm sure I'll be fine." She probably should get allergy tested, being asthmatic. The list is ignored, though the pale skin and the lethargy she feels are probably symptomatic of one of the maladies listed — anemia.

—-

"I'm really, really sorry," Charla says, apologizing again to Morgan. "I'll make sure to stay out of your way if I see you again…" Again, her voice cracks a bit and she coughs. Suddenly, a few blonde streaks appear in her usually-black hair, though she can't see them. She bends down to urge Dinah up- the dog sniffs at her, then barks a few times. "Dinah, come on…" she says, not understanding the problem.

—-

"Don't think it's your fault," Erin says to Charla. It's the body's fault. STUPID BODY. Petrelli should have fixed everything that was wrong with it. Erin would call him, except that pride dictates that she simply can't unless something goes abysmally catastrophic.

As she's about to comment as to Janet's observation that this is possibly liver disease, Erin notes the blonde in Charla's hair. "…don't… remember you having a dye job," Erin mutters, pulling the sunglasses back down. Maybe the dark lenses were concealing them before… Nope. Still there!

—-

"You should eat beef," Janet randomly recommends to Morgan. "And spinach. Ooo. I could use a spinach salad, there's this amazing one at this little hole in the wall on fourth. I'm pretty sure it's a mob front, but the food is good and I think it's cheap if memory serves me correctly…" She nods emphatically at this fact.

—-

"I don't think you or your dog made me spontaneously begin to —" Morgan's words are cut off as suddenly blonde streaks sprout in the woman's hair. She takes a couple of sudden steps backward. Erin swore to her that there were no such things as lycanthropes in this world, but that is definitely a symptom of a were… what? She glances at the dog and back at the woman. A were-lab? She takes another step back, and turns her foot on the edge of the path, where asphalt meets grass, landing on her rear.

—-

Charla looks with a bit of confusion at Erin. "Dye? What? My hair looks the same as it always does…" She takes a small mirror from her purse to see what Erin is talking about, and is stunned to see the blonde streaks- so stunned in fact, that when she says "…What?!" it's not in her voice- but Emmitt's. She claps her hand to her mouth and the streaks disappear from her hair. Her eyes are wide- Did they just hear that? Maybe they'd think they imagined it, she thinks. Nothing like this had ever happened before… she'd even managed to keep her powers under control on the air her first time back after she'd been able to use Charla's form again, but now, the secret that defined her existence threatened to be revealed. "I-it's… it's nothing," she says, in Charla's voice again. "I'm fine, really…"

—-

Erin's jaw kind of hangs open a bit as she looks between Janet and Morgan. The eclipse really kind of tore apart everyone's abilities. Seriously, there's nothing else this could be unless there really were were-creatures in the world—

"Morgan!" Erin says, exhasperated as the woman falls. Too small in stature to haul the tall Amazon back to her feet, Erin settles for holding out a hand… And then pulling it back somewhat hesitantly when she realises that Morgan's hand could very well be covered with nose-blood. Kneeling next to her, she looks back up at Charla.

Her eyes wander a bit to check if anyone else is nearby. Erin has a soft spot for people with haywire abilities, since hers being gone put her in intensive care. "Look, don't worry. You're in good company." There's a pause, then, "…That… was a little weird, though."

—-

Janet kind of twitches at the strange things happening to Charla. "Ohmygosh she's like your freaky friends I still can't believe that one did that to my doorknob it was insane!" After these words escape form her mouth, the doctor literally clamps a hand over her own lips as she continues to murmur indiscernible nervous utterances to the world. Her shoulders twitch again as her eyes widen and she lowers her hand. " — like that one time when we were at band camp us triplets and Caleb tripped Mikayla in the mud and got mud everywhere— and then we tried to wrestle him to the ground and then the like camp director came and broke up the fight and took us home— " She sagenods. It's exactly like that time.

—-

The tall blonde, definitely not one of the triplets, scurries up to her feet. She at least catches Janet's words, "She's like your freaky friends." Things begin to make sense. Erin, Peter, people with abilities. She wipes her nose again as she glances down, cheeks red with embarrassment. "I'm … I'm sorry. I'm a little under the weather, kinda off balance."

She glances at the other two, and nods to the path. "I should get home. I think the heat is getting to me," she says apologetically.

—-

Charla buries her face in her hands for a while. So, now they knew… and in fact, it sounded like there were others. Soon, she starts crying- but it soon becomes a laugh. "You know… this is exactly what I've been waiting for… for seven years," she says. "Someone I could tell." She wipes her eyes with another tissue. "I guess I should get the big part out of the way first…" Charla takes a deep breath. "I'm not the original Charla Keble," she says, forcing the words out quickly before looking back and forth, verifying that nobody else is around. "I'm… I guess you might call me a shapeshifter. Something like that." Again, she sighs. Really, letting all this out feels good. She wonders if, since there were others with abilities, there was some sort of support group.

—-

Erin has to remove her sunglasses to give Janet her patented 'SHUT UP YOU IDIOT' stare, though it lacks the glowing effects she'd really like to add. Too many people around. And then apparently Janet's brain won't tell her to stop talking, and so it directs her hands to prevent the flow of words from being understandable.

So Erin reaches over and cuffs her currently-crippled sister upside the head with an open hand.

"Nice save," she says sarcastically.

Before anything else happens, Erin does some damage control. "Hang on a second Morgan. We'll walk with you. Charla…" Briefly, she trails off as she tells her story. "…Be careful, okay? Things aren't quite… back to normal yet, it seems." And there are bad people out there who want to use them as weapons. Even if they're 'pardoned,' people know. And sometimes that knowledge is the most dangerous thing of all.

But Erin and Janet just finished fighting in a war that most of the world never knew about, and never would. She's hesitant to give her secret away, so she doesn't. Paranoia still runs deep, but she still manages a smile. "Go home, get yourself some rest… If you wanna come visit me sometime, I'll give them your name on the set. They'll let you in."

—-

"HEY! What was that for?! I was shot like two weeks ago! And in case you didn't notice the whole thing makes me nervous and when I'm nervous I chatter and when I chatter I can't even control what's coming out of my— " again Janet takes a hand and presses it over her mouth again. She continues to speak, but once again it can't be understood, but it sounds angry. Her eyebrows furrow, her eyes narrow and her face essentially scowls back as she speaks. Whatever she's saying, it's certainly not happy. Finally the hand is moved down again, "— which is why I plan to die first and this whole getting shot thing doesn't totally floor me because I'm going to die first! And then you'll all be jealous because I'll have a freakin' memorial in my honour because that's the kind of person he is and he needs to live to attend to my grave garden! And I will haunt him but only after I'm done thoroughly haunting and freaking you out, Erin Suzanna McCarty!" She waggles a finger purposefully at Erin before crossing her arms over her chest. Yup, Janet is miffed.

—-

Morgan turns when she hears the other woman crying, and her brows knit together as she says she's not the original Charla. What? She's in a body that isn't her original body. Not that she ever really had a body, figment of imagination as she is. She turns to look at Erin, confusion on her face — is she like me? clearly written on her features as she turns to look back to Charla.

No. She has no original body to come poking through this Jane Doe's body. "A shapeshifter?" she says, and she glances at Erin again. See, that look says. Shapeshifters do exist. But maybe they're different here, like the wolves in that Twilight saga that all the teens like aren't werewolves according to the author and the fangrrls, but shapeshifters. I.E. Maybe it's just a matter of semantics.

Morgan doesn't voice any of this, but nods to Charla. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you feel bad. You're… there are other people, other special people that aren't what they seem. You're not alone," she manages, reaching to touch the other woman's shoulder with her clean hand.

—-

Charla smiles at the others. "Thanks," she says to Erin. "And you too," she adds to Morgan. "I think I've gotten enough of a hold on myself to get home." She rubs Dinah's back tenderly. "And don't worry, I'm not a werewolf," she adds teasingly. "I've tried turning into animals… it doesn't work," she notes. "It's gotta be humans." Her stomach rumbles again. "Hmm… Still hungry. Maybe we could go for something together?" she asks, pointing a thumb behind her. "One big freaky group." She laughs.

—-

Oh, that is it. "Him who, Janet!?" That's right, they're going to have it out right here in Central park. "If you're talking about your jailcrush, then yes, you ARE going to die first, because— " She lowers her voice conspiratorilly. If that is, indeed, a word. "HE CARRIES A FRIGGIN' GUN." Beat. "Friggin'. See? Now I'm talking like you— What memorial?! I swear to God I will become a Ghostbuster JUST TO PISS YOU OFF, Janet— Whatever your middle name is McCarty!!"

When she crosses her arms and turns away, it's easy to tell they're related. Her eyes find Morgan's again and soften, though. Shapeshifters. Yeah, Erin can see how that would interest Morgan, given circumstances in the Afterlife World. It's probably not the same, but the connections are obvious.

She's about to say yes to Charla's offer, but… With Morgan's nose bleeding and Chatty McGabstoomuch in a wheelchair… "It's …" She nods to the others. "Probably best if we don't do it tonight." There's a chuckle as Erin privately realises that out of all of them, Morgan is probably the most normal. "But some other time, yeah. Maybe when Morgan's not doing her Old Faithful impression and I get ahold of some Valium for Janet."

—-

"I'm talking about Parker! My best friend forever! The only person I will EVER feel like I'm related to! The only person who understands me and how I think! PARKER. WE made plans years ago when guess what you and I weren't speaking! So no, don't act lie you know me or know my life! You don't. You never have. You never will," Janet places her hands on the wheels of her wheel chair, managing to pop a wheelie (thank goodness for wheelchair races in med school) and change direction. "You know what?! I'm out! GO! Enjoy your freaky lunch!" That said, Wheels rolls down a park path, definitely not headed home, destined for some other location where, she hopes, her family won't find her.

—-

Morgan's green eyes are wide as she looks from one of her "cousins" to the other, then gives Charla an apologetic smile. "Yeah, um, another time," she says, shaking her head as she really doubts that woman will want to ever talk to any of them again. "Sorry about … you know. The blood, and…" she gestures vaguely before wincing and turning to hurry after Janet. "Janet, wait. You can't go by yourself, no matter how stubborn you are. It's late, and there are muggers and murderers." She hurries after the wheelchair-bound doctor, wincing at the pain in her ankle that seems to be perpetually-twisted but never sprained.

—-

Ouch.

Erin's face blanks. She stares. Usually, at this point, she'd be shouting some last word in and storming off just to ensure that Janet couldn't win the argument, but she's kind of struck silent. "Uh— " is what she manages. Looking at Morgan, then at Charla, Erin tries to think of something to dismiss the confrontation in some sort of hilarious, humourous way, but she can't.

She should be salvaging the situation with Janet, but she can't do that, either. Sometimes, certain habits die hard. And certain words and accusations continue to cut deep.

Suddenly alone on the path with Charla, Erin says, "I'll see you soon, okay?" and shoves her hands into her pockets. Very quietly, she heads off in the opposite direction from the others.

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