2007-07-18: Go Take a Flying Leap!

Starring:

Erin_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Erin discovers Ali's ability. The hard way. The way that almost ends in tragedy. OH NO.

Date It Happened: 18 JULY 2007

Go Take a Flying Leap!


Erin's Apartment, NYC

Oh. My God. Ali's /home/.

Honestly? The girl's been up from eight and home by four (AM) so much over the past two weeks, it's a wonder she's been anything more than a ghost. But here it is, 7PM, on a /Friday/, and she's actually /here/. In PJ's - pink flannel pants with bright white stars (faded by the laundry), and a long T-Shirt with a Power Ranger from the early 90's on it. Comfortable. There are even Gorilla-feet slippers in evidence. She's curled up on the end of the couch, the TV playing another episode of Law and Order (there's /always/ an episode of Law and Order) while she watches. Tiredly. Half asleep and with deep circles under her eyes.

The floor's been vacuumed and the dishes are done, even new flowers in a drinking-glass vase on the kitchen table. Groceries have even mystically restocked the shelves - some decent cereals, a rather large pile of fruit, veggies - apparently, Ali intends on making /both/ roomies eat better. Yes, there's ice cream in the freezer - the necessites were remembered.

There's also… a box next to the end of the counter. A bag of kitty litter, a couple of crinkly toys. Cat food. A litterbox. It's out of general view, but not entirely hidden.. more, dropped slightly out of sight in a guilty fashion.

—-

Erin is still out. She had no filming today, though she's quite pleased by the fact that the network is looking into giving her a contract role. That means guaranteed screen time and that they Can't Kill Her Off at least until her pending two-year deal is up. There are still talks, made more solid by the fact that she's not asking for much of a raise. After all, she also gets paid for set work.

Which is what she's been doing all day. Up on scaffolding. Even if she's not afraid of heights, she always felt the need to be conscious of the fact that she was a couple floors off the ground, and so she's fairly tired and a little cranky, though she's seriously glad that she has no work for the next couple days. Filming on Monday, though. Set on Tuesday. More filming Wednesday through Friday.

When she enters the apartment, she gives a polite smile to Ali, before heading toward her room to set her things down. She's gone for awhile before returning in pajamas, because it's Friday night and she's going to be comfortable, dammit. "I'm thinking about making dinner tonight," she states upon returning to the living room. "What d'you think? We can make spaghetti or something."

—-

The girl is /out of it./ The smile is met with a bright and friendly one in return - but the question about dinner starts off with a simple, "Huh?" As a response. Then, a blink. THEN it parses. One can almost see the gears engage.

"Oh! Sorry - yeah - that sounds pretty good. I got some of that ravioli type stuff.. tortellini? The cheesey guts pasta, anyway, if you want me to make that instead." Apparently, she missed the 'we', already moving to stand, a bit stiff, yawning. "I got beer, too." A little sheepish. "I got paid - and I am /not/ going to keep eating you out of your fridge."

—-

Erin's smile because a little humoured. "You okay?" …Because she's sure the question was pretty clear. "Ah, well, you're tired, so maybe I— okay," she says, kinda trailing off as her roommate gets to her feet. Yes, she can see that tiredness, and weirdly, almost feel it in a way you'd want to say to someone, 'if you don't get more sleep, you're /going to get sick.' She brushes it off, though. She's probably just tired, herself.

"Well, I'll make a salad, anyway," Erin says, heading into the kitchen and opening the fridge. Beer? /BEER?/ Awesome. Next time she's writing wine coolers on the list, though! "Well, this is a good start," she says, eying the fruit, turning around to question Ali's purchases, and noticing the box at the end of the counter.

/Frown./

Heading over, she peers in. Maybe the radio station is doing something with… litterboxes and cat toys? "What's all this?"

—-

"Oh! It's for a cat." That's even /good beer/ it might be noted - that's Landshark. Pretty tasty, for the 'I Like To Drink My Beer, Not Eat It With A Fork' crowd. "Maybe two. I figured as busy as you were I'd call about 'em." Ali yawns again, widely, as she rounds the counter - heading for the cabinet that her memory's most likely to assign a large pot to. Not that she's right, this time.

"He said we can pick 'em up .. I think next week? I gotta look at my book, but.. I /think/ next week. maybe the week after. I figured I might as well get the stuff."

—-

Cat? C— wait. Wait. "What cat?" she demands, brows drawing downward as blue eyes stare at the other girl. Erin hadn't even thought about being concerned when that phone number disappeared. She was sure it'd just gotten thrown out, but… uh. Apparently it was found, and the 'he' has got to be that guy she met on the forth of July. "Dammit. No, we can't have cats, Alyssa. I don't like animals, I don't want animals. I'd given it thought, and — look, they're filthy, they carry fleas. You're going to have to call him back and tell him that you can't have cats in the apartment." She wouldn't be so mad if she weren't tired, but… She's kind of coming across as condescending. Almost.

It's a throwback to the days when she kind of snubbed all her peers. She never quite got over it. Oops.

"Did you think to ask me before calling about cats? maybe two? I don't even want one."

—-

… see. There's one thing you don't do to a tired, stressed, overworked Jersey Girl. And that is? You don't come across like they're /stupid/. Her temper flares - "it was /your/ phone number." That may be the best point she's got in this. She goes from there right into defense of the feline species, at least.

"They are /not/ filthy. They only carry fleas if you don't take /care/ of them. And why would you leave the number sitting around if you didn't /want/ one. Christ. I promised him - and he's a really nice guy - and just because you're scared you might /like/ something fuzzy doesn't give you the right to be a /bitch about it./"

—-

Well, truth be told, Erin was kind of calling Ali stupid, because she's also stressed and overworked, and does not want cats. "Yeah, because he gave it to me! I didn't think you'd be dumb enough to find it and call it, Jesus! Her hands grip at her hair. She's going to have to figure out how to negate this deal, or— "Fine, we'll take them, then we'll drop them off at the Humane Society."

She's already planning this. It's not like Carmine's going to call her back and check on the little fleabitten things. "They had fleas when he found them!" Erin shouts. Which obviously means that they still must have them, because fleas can never be removed EVER. "I was there, I saw them. Look, no." Her apartment, her god-damned rules!

It's that last little part that causes her to freeze with an almost struck look on her face. She's tried - really tried not to be such an ass since she pretty much lost all her friends through sheer bitchery. And her parents. And siblings. "Get out of my house. Now."

—-

They trade words, for a minute - "We will /not/." Bohemians don't /do/ that - "They KILL them if they're not adopted. Needle. Death. And you know how many animals they kill in this city each year?" … apparently, we've hit the activist button.

"And you … ." Fleas? THIS is the issue? "THey don't have to.."

And then the last part. And Ali's temper explodes - when you smash panic into tiredness and into irritation, things go south /really/ fast. "I /just bought groceries/. I /cleaned/! I've held up my… " And, okay. So the selfish part of it comes out, ".. Where am I supposed to go? Fuck you." She points, "I was trying to be /nice/. Go take a /flying leap/ - I don't need this shit." By the end, her voice is raised - a challenge.

—-

"Well, yeah," she says. So what? Seriously, there are way too many effing cats in the world already. Like the world needs MORE. And then what happens? One night, the kittens get out, and they MAKE MORE KITTENS. Vicious cycle, and none of them need it. "They make the house smell. Are you going to clean the litterbox, what, every five minutes? We can't— "

And then, yeah, she feels kind of bad, because Ali has been doing a lot lately, and this just… tipped her over the edge of a very bad day. She's /less angry,/ but not entirely so. It's just when Ali tells her to go take a flying leap, her face completely blanks, as if she's feeling nothing at all. And she looks toward the doorwall leading out onto her balcony.

It's not immediately clear what she's doing. Maybe she just needs a bit of fresh air. But after opening the door, she steps outside into the July heat, and then puts her foot up on the rail, and starts to climb.

—-

Ali turns away, at first, as the woman starts to talk - slamming a hand into the counter's edge just to /vent/. Not that she does much to it. The Hulk she is not.

So.. she misses the first few fateful steps Erin takes - and even though she sees the walk, her assumption is something else; storming off, last thing's said, going to another room - then, the door opens. And words replay.

"… no!" Ali's face goes ghost-white, and she literally goes /over/ the counter, knocking aside that nice bucket with the cooking utensils, sending the glass sealed-jar of flour over onto the floor with a smash and poof of white. None of it matters. None of it's noticed. "Erin! Stop! Come back inside! Sit down. Something! Don't …" Scrabbling. Clawing, she /runs/ - it's only a few steps.

Whatever else happens, babbling more vague commands of the same sort - Ali? Ali is throwing herself, as fast as she can manage, at the woman. Anything - anything to stop her.

—-

Nine floors up, the ground far beneath her, people looking like little ants as they walk around completely oblivious to the fact that someone in the apartment above them is about to jump off her own balcony because she was told to do so. It never enters her mind to question this order, it just seems incredibly important that she do it. There's slight hesitation at the 'Don't!' but a second later, the other foot comes up, balanced on the rail for the split second before she leans forward—

There's nothing telling her not to. In fact, she's so blank at the moment that she barely even realises that when she hits the ground, it's going to hurt. But her roommate's words give her another split second hesitation, just enough so that Ali can pull her down onto the balcony again, where she lands with a painful thump on her back, staring up at the balcony above hers.

Still too stunned and muddled to think, she tries to breathe, but finds that she's winded, and it takes several frightening seconds before she can pull in a breath. She scraped her elbow when she landed, it's bleeding quite obviously as she sits up, suddenly looking at the rail, then at Ali, then at the rail again.

Then? She just looks completely terrified.

—-

When Ali pulls - Erin's not the only one that falls. She tumbles as well - landing heavily but, at least outwardly, unhurt. She's breathing hard; there's flour on her pink-and-white pajama bottoms, across one of the big toes of her left gorilla foot. In those seconds where it becomes apparent that Erin's /not/ going to hop right back up and dive for the concrete again.. Ali just… shivers. Reaction. She sets her back to the concrete lower-half of that railing, legs up to her chest, arms wrapped about them, mussed..

And she just cries. Quietly. Tears flow. She patently refuses to look at Erin - not after the first glance of that fear. When the silence stretches into nearly half a minute, she starts to speak, and then doesn't. Perhaps.. perhaps she's not trusting her own voice, at the moment.

—-

It seems like a good quarter hour passes between them before Erin can even act. It's not quite that long, but… She just doesn't know what to do. This girl just told her to take a flying leap, and she was going to do it. This is where the whole weirdness really hits her - she can't ask for help. The careful phrasing of almost everything Ali says. Erin almost doesn't trust herself to speak, because the fact is, she likes the girl. She already knows that she's trying to be careful - but how the hell can something like this happen? You can't just tell someone to… It's not possible. And yet this little accident almost cost Erin her life.

"You— " Still horrified. Still afraid. She's one of those people who might be on the borderline - the very NARROW borderline - between fearing what she can't understand, and trying to get it. Ali's crying, though…

"Did you know I'd do that? Did you— did — " She's not getting closer. Still sitting where she landed, she reaches up to touch her elbow, wincing as she feels warmth and pain. She knows the answer, though… This wouldn't have happened on purpose, but even so, the thought that she could have—

Erin realises that she's shivering, despite the heat.

—-

McAlister shakes her head, quickly, leaning hard against the wall - .. again, she draws in breath, opens her mouth… and.. again. She says nothing. Instead, she just buries her face in her arms. And .. for a long moment? That's all she can do.

Quietly, though - broken and rough - muffled, comes.. ".. can I leave in the morning?" Not stuttered. Bleak. Empty. "I.. don't have anywhere to go tonight."

—-

Kick her out, idiot! She's dangerous! She could kill you!

She likes you. She doesn't think you're a terrible person. She's sweet. She needs a home.

She tried to kill you!

Then she saved your life.

Her mouth is still agape as she stares at the distraught girl, and, realising this, she closes it. It's another several moments before she reaches a trembling hand out, hesitating, then rests it on Ali's shoulder. Too late, she realises it's the one with which she'd just touched her elbow, but… The damage is already done, so she doesn't pull it away. "Tell me what happened." It's a suggestion more than a command, but she wants to know. /Has/ to.

—-

Erin still has no idea what to do. Her hand remains on Ali's shoulder. This is impossible, and she'd say she must be dreaming except for the fact that she's kind of hurting at the moment from the fall. So it's a damn good thing she has the weekend off to recuperate, because she is /not/ gonna want to walk tomorrow. "So… So couldn't you tell me to just not automatically do what you say?" is the question. After all, if she can make people do something, surely this should be easy. "Give me a choice? Ali, I don't really want to kick you out. I mean, we've been living here for weeks now, and this is the first time you— " One time is all it really would have taken. "You would't even ask for help. God, this makes sense now." She doesn't say anything silly like 'why didn't you just tell me?' because they both probably know that Erin wouldn't have just believed it. Normally when people have a fight, they just go their separate ways to cool off, then apologise to each other later. "…You didn't ask for the kittens because you knew I'd have to say yes."

—-

McAlister shakes her head. "I.. didn't ask for the kittens 'cause I thought you wanted 'em. And.. I like kittens." She smiles, faintly - so very faintly - "I.. I can try. I don't.. really know how it all works." Suddenly earnest, but faintly - "I'm trying to learn how to stop it - there's.. there's some people who know. You know? About this stuff - there's a book.." She bites her lip.

It's obvious she knows how it sounds, but she takes a breath. "You wanna really get terrified? I'm a DJ." And the smile's gone.. and she's staring at her arms again. "My ratings are pretty good, too. So.. what would you do if you suddenly found out people did what you told them to do, and the only thing you've ever /wanted/ to do involves basically just talking to people all the time?"

—-

"Oh. Well, I… Guess we can get kittens." She's kinda too shocked now to really say that they can't. Some mumbling follows. Sounds kind of like "Oh god, Jesus, What the hell," et cetera. This isn't even possible, and yet, Erin's pretty sure the fight didn't break her up enough to make her want to jump off her balcony. She's scared, really scared, but she can't bring herself to throw Ali out. This can't be why she liked Ali's radio show so much. The whole 'Tune in tomorrow!' thing wouldn't have affected her like that, right?

Well, hell.

"It's more than just you?" The thought that there are people in the world who can make her do whatever the hell they want her to do is… A very scary thought. Still, if that's the case, it won't do her a damn bit of good to evict her roommate, will it? "Just… Maybe this'll give you incentive to figure it out. Shit, I don't want you to leave, Ali. But what if you hadn't gotten to me on time?" Erin isn't trying to take more digs at the already upset girl, but she's scared. "At least— At least it's you. At least it's not some psycho who told me to take a flying leap. You want honesty? I'm scared. But you could have easily done that any time, and you didn't. So apparently, I'm a good judge of character."

—-

"… I'm scared too." Quiet and soft. "I keep getting told there's somebody else that's like me… " Faintly - "I saw a chick throw lightning from her hands. There's.. a couple others. It's like as soon as I knew, I .. I started running into them. Creeped me right the hell out." Ali finally, finally looks up at Erin, searching.

"I'm trying. I really am." Taking a breath, she slowly uncoils. "Maybe. I did call you a bitch. I'm sorry. You have no idea how sorry I am."

—-

What the heck is going on with the world!? LIGHTNING? "I've… never…" Seen anything like that. EVER. And to that end, she can't reply, because she's thinking of all the people she's met who might be weird like her roommate is. She can't say she's particularly jealous, though being able to tell someone what to do would come in handy sometimes. No, bad thoughts.

"Yeah, I — can say I'm pretty much creeped out." There's a bit of a smile, tense, though at least friendly. She hopes. Meeting Ali's eyes for a moment, she looks away, toward the open door, and can only think about the fact that the cold air is getting out. "So— Are you…" Pause. "Are you going to try to— " Tell her not to always automatically listen to her? But first of all, it sounds silly to ask, and second, she's not so sure she wants to be forced into it, since… Well, it would give her her free will back, and… "It would make asking for things a lot easier if it works, you know. And I won't have to worry about… things."

Looking back at the comment about calling her a bitch, Erin shrugs. "I used to… ah. Think I was better than everyone. I'm trying not to repeat that. It hit close to home."

—-

"Yeah, well - /I'm/ a bitch. It's a jersey thing - " Ali bites her lip - and .. there's no sense beating around the bush. With a strange sort of focus, she says, simply, "You know you don't have to do anything I ask. Hell, you don't have to listen to me unless you want to." And.. .. oddly, she winces, reaching up to rub at the bridge of her nose, absently. "I promise I'll never .. never do that to you if I can help it. I … " And she lets it go.

It's been said before, and it's said again - Jersey girls don't cry. She's done it once already - the trickle of moisture there? Just residual.

—-

Again, Erin's face blanks, eyes kind of glazing over as the command is given. It's a weird feeling; now that she's not being compelled to instantly act on said command, she can actually parse the fact that it's happening. Maybe, in that regard, she would be able to say no to that one, since she knows what's going on, but she doesn't want to. Shouldn't.

It's almost calming, that blankness, and yet a few seconds later, she shakes her head violently, rubs her temples, and grunts. If there was any doubt before that Ali could ask her to do whatever she wants to, it's gone now, simply by merit of the fact that she totally shut down for a few seconds.

It takes awhile for Erin to realise how much Ali's hurting. "Hey," she says quietly. Almost too quietly to hear. Her hand leaves Ali's shoulder for a moment, then she wraps her arms around the girl. "It'll be okay. It'll be okay, you just have to… I don't know." Sigh. Pulling back, she asks, "Do you think it worked?"

—-

She leans very hard into that hug, eyes closed… but, very bluntly, Ali murmers.. "no." Bleak - "Because I have this feeling that if I told you to do something - really meant to - it wouldn't matter. But.. maybe.. maybe it'll help, right? I don't know. I wish I knew something - /anything/." SHe takes a breath, looking up, something pinched about her face - she still rubs absently at her temple. "I need to dress your arm.. " A breath. "You still want dinner?" There's a whole offer in that question.

—-

No. Yeah, Erin kind of feels that way, too, but it might help if Ali doesn't mean it. They'll see, eventually. "I just wish you could— You didn't even ask for help. I should have just taken you to the hospital. I knew I should have." Sigh. All because Ali couldn't ask for Erin and George to do so, though… "Look, if you're hurt, and you need to go, I wouldn't have minded if you asked, okay? Especially since it's something I would have gladly done anyway." Pulling back more, she puts her hands on Ali's shoulders. "Just— That's not a question of free will. I'da been really upset if you were really hurt."

Still, she can see how that would be disturbing for the other girl.

Looking at her elbow, Erin shrugs. "I'll just have to wear long sleeves on set for awhile." It'll be hot and really annoying, but… She scraped up her arm, so she's going to have to hide it for the camera, unless they somehow write it into the script.

Dinner? Oh, yeah. They were going to eat. "You want to just order a pizza?"

—-

"… after I bought food?" Ali's humor seems to come back, slowly - "I'm fine. I'm just.. all of that terrified me. And.. " A pause. "S' not important." Another pause - a faint smile, and the DJ reaches up to rest a hand on the actresses, where /that/ hand is on her shoulder.

"So.. even if I accidentally almost killed you - this mean we're at least something like friends?" And oddly, that question seems tremendously important to her, despite the smile.

—-

"Well, there's always tomorrow?" she suggests helpfully. Saturday is a good day for cooking, right? Her lip twitches a little when Ali states that this all terrified her, because… Yeah, Erin was the one who almost died for the mistake, but she still turns her hand around to give Ali's a squeeze. It'll be okay, see? This is just a little bump in the road. "Besides." She looks back into the house. Flour has come to rest on everything.. "We're going to have to clean the whole house before we even think about eating."

It seems like after what happened, there would be some hesitation on Erin's part to tell Ali that they're friends still. But there's not. "Yeah, of course," she says, though there's uncertainty in her tone. It'll take time for this to feel okay, if it ever even does at all. But Ali's already proven that she doesn't plan to use this to get her way all the time. "If we weren't, I'd be kicking you out."

—-

"… can we have a kitten?" Ali.. can't resist. She actually reaches over to hug the other woman, fiercely - taking a deep breath… and then she draws back to stand.

"I'll get the flour. You.." A long pause. "It'd probably be good to get some peroxide on that elbow."

—-

Erin closes her eyes, hugging Ali back. "Yes, we can have a kitten. But you'd better take care of it." … … "And you'd better bring home that calico." Because that's the one she almost called for, but changed her mind. If they're going to have a cat, they'd better have one that SHE WANTS, dammit!

Also pushing herself to her feet, Erin grunts again. Everything hurts! That's what happens when you fall on cement, though. It's funny… Now that she knows what Ali's doing, the look she gives her roommate is almost pitying. "That… can't be easy," she says, rubbing her elbow again. Yeah, she should probably take care of that.

—-

Ali shrugs, faintly - "Better than the alternative, right?" The DJ flashes a smile - a real, genuine, warm one .. and starts in, limping slightly. "He insisted we take the calico one. I'm not picking out the name." She heads straight for the closet and its vacuum. "You know. It could be worse. I'm getting used to it. And I'll get a handle on it - I will /not/ be someone who just uses people - even if I have been."

—-

Yeah, much better. Especially when the alternative could have really bad consequences. Erin shivers again, dragging herself back inside. There's flour everywhere, which makes her twitch a little. HER BEAUTIFUL APARTMENT!!!!

She almost offers for Ali to practice getting a handle on it on her, but she's not comfortable with that at all. She'd rather not be made to do anything, though she'll be okay with little slip-ups if they happen. She sighs. "You know, it was easier to believe you were just weird. I mean, I guess you still are." It's a joke. She even smiles a bit. It's hard to comment on the whole not using people thing, so Erin just nods. This is hard to accept, and it shows. In fact, it's a struggle, and it'll take time. "I'm gonna… go clean this up."

—-

McAlister says, "I was weird before I knew. Now I'm just /really weird./" The DJ sets to work, tiredly - "I'll see about dinner, too - .. Erin? thanks. Thank you. As .. little as that is, as awful weak as it is to say? Thank you."

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