2007-09-16: Hiding from your Troubles

Starring:

Erin_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Erin could use some help with her ability, and Ali offers some. She also convinces Erin to take the day off work without using her ability.

Date It Happened: 16 SEPTEMBER 2007

Hiding from your Troubles


Erin and Ali's Apartment

It's early - if you're a college student, security guard, or late-nite DJ. For the latter two, they should be /asleep right now/.

One's not. She's curled up on the couch with a bag of M&M's, a pirate hat in her lap, with a bottle of glow-in-the-dark paint on the coffee table in front of her.

She's using it on the hat. Promise.

The TV is playing - the Today Show with the volume off, her whistling of 'Yo Ho' a quiet counterpoint (she's being considerate!) relating to her current fixation.

Pirates, yo.

—-

It's also early if you're an actor, or someone who works with actors, of which Erin is both. She is a morning person, if habit if not by choice, and she's surprised when she rolls out of bed to find Ali still awake, on her couch — is that paint? It better not end up anywhere where it can't be EASILY CLEANED. Then again, the fact of the matter is, if Ali doesn't want her to, Erin won't do anything about it.

There's a moment of personal dry humour there; Erin rolls her eyes. At least she's finding it funny now.

She doesn't have to be in until nine today - she's not filming, but she does have some work to do. Plopping down on the couch next to her roommate, she makes a grab for the bag of M&Ms. "So, d'you hear the ad?" For Afterlife, of course. Because she works in radio, and she probably would have heard it, and Erin's just excited that her name's on the radio. "Hi, by the way. I never see you anymore."

—-

"I did." Ali gives up the M&Ms with a certain false grudging grin, muttering about friends stealing her breakfastdinner, but.. she's.. in a good mood.

Actually, she's fililng out- eating well, for a change - she hasn't yet quite made half the rent (something about being down to one job), but.. she, well. Just looks /less stressed/, something notable, at least.

"I ran around the station showing the night engineers the copy and going - hey, that's my /roomie/, you guys have to watch - to a chorus of 'no ways' and a lot of offers for your dating future." Ali grins, impishly. "You are 'hawt', I am told."

—-

Erin can handle the rent 'til Ali gets back on her feet. She enjoys having a roommate that she actually gets along with and doesn't want to kill - as inadvertantly as they almost have killed each other, but what didn't kill them has only made them stronger… or something - in any case, Erin was going to live alone, anyway. Ali just happened to end up there; the help with the rent is appreciated, but she's not keeping a tally of what's owed.

"Well, if you ask Taine, I'm taken." She smirks, shaking her head a little. She finds that amusing, though she's still keeping him at arm's length. For now. Sure, the merciless teasing from her means she owes him something, but she's not ready for that yet. "I can't really— Not right now," she says offhandedly. "Not while I'm still accidentally making people sick. My brother… Did I tell you about that? It happened again. Seems to happen when I'm mad. He thought it was 'cool.'" Pout.

—-

"It.. kinda is." Ali turns to face her - setting the brush aside carefully. "I've been.. getting a little help. It's been working, too - it's not perfect, and they're still learning, but.." She extends an offer - "We never have the same schedule, it seems like. I don't know if I can take you there, and .. they're a little wary. But … well. You feeling like taking a risk?"

—-

"It's not cool," Erin argues, probably uselessly. She'd rather not have the side effect of night-light eyes, but even she'd admit that it's better than, say, a glowing nose or something. She feels like Storm from the X-Men, though, and she'll remind herself that that's ridiculous, but then she realises that it's not. She's even seen it in the mirror now. "Risk? Risk— They? What, are these people going to kill me if I'm wearing the wrong shirt or something?" But… She's interested. Help she could definitely use.

—-

"No. not this bunch. There's another bunch, yeah - but.. uh. Not this group." Ali seems to be perfectly serious, in that. "There's a guy you need to meet. I'll call him for you - is it alright if I give him your name, some way to reach you? Probably your cell, I got that." She.. uh. Puts the hat on. Earnest as she is, it's a bit incongruous, but.. it gets it out of her hands.

—-

It's funny that she wouldn't know any of this if she, herself didn't have a problem. Those are Erin's thoughts, anyway - she only found out about Ali accidentally, and she's still not sure she would have been told otherwise. With an ability like that, though, it was really only a matter of time 'til there was an accident. Maybe she would know all this, anyway.

"A guy." She seems a little… iffy about that. Especially because she's not too big on giving anyone her personal cell phone number. That's something she learned early on in her career. "Y—yeah, just tell me who it is so I don't hang up on him."

—-

"His name is Ramon Gomez." Ali takes a breath. "You sure? He'll want to meet with you - and, seriously? You'll want to meet with him. And… I don't think they'll let me anywhere near that meeting." It's .. somewhat sheepish. "He owes me a favor, though, he said. I don't know why - but. I'll take him up on it if it means getting you over to people that at least don't believe in plastic rooms, right?"

—-

Is she sure? "…yeah," Erin says. She's not sure why he'd want to meet with her, except that he must be some sort of leader-type when it comes to this help group… thing. The way Ali's talking though, it sounds as if he intends to beat the snot out of her. "Why wouldn't they? If it's just a meeting, I— " Cue nervous panic here. SHE'S NOT USED TO THIS, OKAY? What if he melts her eyes or something, can people do that? Calm. Okay… "I'm sure I could figure this out on my own. There can't be that much to it." And… She turns away, back to the TV.

—-

This is the point where Erin would say something like 'you don't know what it's like!' but… Ali knows exactly what it's like, because their afflictions are actually similar - they have the potential to help, sure, but they can also do a whole lot of damage. And that's why Erin still thinks of her ability as an affliction.

"I'm just…" Not good with expressing herself, unfortunately. Scared of being locked up, scared of losing her freedom because of this. She doesn't know, Ali doesn't know, that her imprisonment is what will push her to a distant edge and tip her right over it in some twisted version of the future. In the end, she doesn't express her fear, though. She just nods. "Yeah, if you think it'll help."

—-

"It will. And I'll be there with you, if that'll help /more/, you know?" Ali pulls her legs up underneath her, watching - TV? Pfft. The sound's down anyway. She focuses on Erin, "Lemme guess - you're fine? Freaked-out, Insecure, Neurotic.." The Dj offers a smile, and both hands. "Look, it's not like I"m going to /let/ anybody hurt you. As if you would. But - we're friends, right? That's what friends do - if we're going to the same support group, maybe we can share subway tokens or something."

—-

Erin doesn't know. In fact, she's quietly watching the TV one moment, and then the next, she shows all the signs of breaking. "I think about it all the time. I wonder if I walk down to set, how many people I'm going to get sick. I wonder if someone's going to see… something." It's hard to keep hidden, honestly. She even has to keep her temper in check, which is hard when she's so stressed. She just wants to snap at people - anyone - which is why she wears sunglasses whenever she can. "I have to spend twice as long memorising anything now," she admits, "because I can't stop worrying about what's going to happen if I slip in public. I have these scenarios…" After all, she is an actor. She's seen it all, from the cliche to the mundane. "If these people find out what I can do, they might just think it's better to— You said something about plastic rooms, didn't you? Only mine would probably be lead."

—-

Ali takes a breath, slow - and reaches out to /claim/ the nearest hand there - that one - "Erin, these people won't do that. They /won't/. They're like us.. well. Not, but they are - or at least they know a lot of people /like/ us. And they just want to offer a place where we can sort this crap out /without/ that. Without that kind of fear - you were right, you know. Yeah, you can make people sick, but imagine what you could do with /one walk/ through a hospital. One of my cousins has HIV - " She shakes her head, then..

"I get it. I really do - I was so scared of everything for a while. I'm not anymore. You don't have to be either, you know?" Pointedly. "Come on friday. With me. You can be crew - nobody'd know who you are and you can get out for a bit. Relax. And I'll get 'em to call you, and you'll see."

—-

AAH, HAND CLAIMED. Erin doesn't try to pull away, but she doesn't seem entirely comfortable with the contact, either. "If you're sure…" she starts quietly. And she'll still go on imagining that she's going to be locked in a room with no escape, because that's what happens in the movies. And you'll have to forgive her if she thinks along those lines.

"I could fix that," Erin says, as if realising it for the first time. She's thought about it before, but she's never had anyone close to her tell her something like that. It makes it more real. Thing is, they'd wonder how the disease just went away. There would be questions.

Maybe she's some sort of coward.

"Okay, I'll go. And you can give that guy my number." If he thinks he can help her, why not? Might as well see.

—-

"Fair enough. Erin, I'm serious - they'd have to go through /me/ to do something horrible to you. And I'm scary. See?" Ali, teeth bared, is /not scary/. For the record - enough that she fades into a wry smile, a faint laugh. "And I will - and if he'll let me, I'll meet with him with you. You know, no having to do anything alone. Fair enough, right?"

—-

"Yeah— Okay, I…" You have to trust someone who save your life, right? Even if she's the reason you almost jumped off a balcony in the first place. She wouldn't be leading her into a nightmare. "I'd like if you could be there, just so you can tell him to take a flying leap if he tries anything. We're doing this on a balcony or something, right?" She's joking. Mostly.

—-

"We can. he would, I think. Mostly." Ali squeezes that hand. "Whatever makes you feel better about it. We'll make it work." She grins. "You haven't said you're comin' to the warehouse, though. Friday."

—-

Warehouse. She. Really has to be careful where she appears in public, because whether she's a star or not, there are people who'd use her photographs for EVIL. Like tabloids. It makes things… limited. And that's her excuse, which she relays to Ali in so many words. Actually, it'd be okay for her to go, but she just doesn't want to give people something like Bird Flu or something while she's there. Or accidentally give herself away. No, it's all for her job, really. In the end, though, she says, "If I think I can make it, I will."

—-

"no think. Look, we'll put you in the full pirate makeup - nobody will /ever/ know who you are unless you tell 'em. Heck, they'll think you're /staff/ - and since when would a soap actress staff something like that, right?" Ali wheedles, a bit - "Besides, I don't have a lot of friends - not real friends, anyway. It'll be fun, but it just wouldn't be the /same/, right?" Brightly - "Bring Taine. I'll stuff him into a pirate shirt and give /him/ a cutlass too."

—-

Erin has to laugh a little at that. "I'll think about it," is the only answer she'll give, though. Will she cave? There's a good chance, depending on how she's feeling that day. Too stressed? No way. The whole place will have some weird disease inside an hour. Angry at the world? She'll give herself away. Ali's making it harder for Erin not to tell her those worries, though… Until she has things under control - if she can get things under control at all - she has to be very careful. "It sounds like fun, I just need to think about… things."

—-

"Trust me, I know." Oddly, Ali shifts to let go of Erin's hands… and to just give the other woman a hug, or at least try, anyway.

"Let me…" She pauses, changing words, carefully - "I need to get changed. If we're goin' out." Which is saying something, given that she should be /asleep/ right now. "And I gotta make a phone call anyway. Want to grab your subway pass?"

—-

Leaning into Ali's hug, Erin pats the other woman's back. "I know you do," she mutters. First-hand experience here and all, with nearly throwing herself off a balcony. Despite her best efforts, Erin is still nervous around her roommate sometimes, though that's diminished significantly given the fact that her own ability is just as dangerous.

Going out? "Ali, I have to work." Is that a note of thought in her voice, though? Yes, she's definitely thinking about it! Because she's not filming today, and everyone would probably get along just fine without her. BUT—

—-

"So. You take the day off. Oh woe. Drama. eee." Ali grins, and leans back. "I want a dog - a /hot dog/ - and I should be sleeping, and screw it. And we need to go get you a book anyway." Eager, even. "There's a great bookstore near the garment district - and coffee. My treat."

—-

DRAMA, YES. That's the look that Erin gives Ali. If she had something important to do today, her backside would be on the line, contract or no. "You." she points, "Are a bad influence." But it's her choice, see? And that's what makes it important. Ali could have demanded it, and she didn't. "You're also going to be exhausted when you have to go to work, and I'm going to laugh.

Fair warning.

Picking up the phone, she glances sidelong at Ali, rolls her eyes, and dials. Instead of saying that she's sick, which might be the easy thing to do for most people, she says she has to work from home today, and that there's directions for the rest of the set crew laid out. Really, though, if an actor says they're calling in sick, is anyone going to believe them? Especially when half the set was sick recently?

Thanks to Erin.

"It better be your treat," she grumbles, tossing the M&Ms back as if she's angry, and getting to her feet. "I'm taking a shower." ROAR.

—-

"Yeahyeahyeah. I'll do the white-cross thing and then you don't get to wake me up tomorrow. And you can laugh, s'okay. You should anyway." Ali catches the bag of M&Ms, grinning - and then goes for the phone herself. "And I /like/ being an influence. A bad one's that much better."

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