2007-09-06: I Just Play One on Tv

Starring:

Caleb_icon.gif Erin_icon.gif

Summary: The car ride to gramma's means that the siblings have some time to talk. Erin is some sort of genius, and Caleb is tempted.

Date It Happened: 6 SEPTEMBER 2007

I Just Play One on TV


Erin's Rental Car!

'This is the bus we take' was the last straw, really. It's the last little kick in the butt Erin needed to volunteer to drive herself and her brother up to Grandma's house for the weekend. And so, early on a Saturday morning, Erin picked up Caleb in a rather nice rental car. Nothing fancy, but it still has New Car Smell and enough leg room in the back seat so they can keep all their Stuff back there, instead of in the trunk. Erin's an early riser anyway, considering her career choice, so she picked her brother up at FIVE O'CLOCK SHARP, before the sun was even up.

As soon as they're on the road, Erin notes the fact that she's feeling the disturbing presense of those little viruses, and it drives her crazy. After twenty minutes, she turns on the radio. After an hour, as the station fades to static, she turns off the music. "I think we're far enough out of the city now," she says, hand hovering in the air in front of the radio. As stares at the road in front of her, she reaches over and puts her hand on Caleb's shoulder. "I'm not showing off, it's just getting on my nerves."

—-

Caleb, too, is an early riser - this doesn't mean he has to like it. For the first portion of the trip, he stares sleepily out the window, on occasion sneezing into a tissue. The cold has lingered for about a week now, which really sucks when you have the kind of job he has on top of a decent student workload, but it either never occurred to him to approach Erin about it, or he simply didn't want to. Either way! When Erin touches his shoulder, he glances at her curiously, then abruptly leans away. "Wait, what are you going to do?" Because the last time this happen, he collapsed in a fever.

—-

"I'm going to try to fix you," she says, taking a look in the mirrors. There are a few cars ahead and behind, but they're far enough away. "Well, not try. This is the easy part."

The light in her eyes is much less now that it was when she was infecting him, but it's still there. She's learning to tone it down, so to speak. The drawback? It makes the road a little difficult to see, but she can keep between the lines well enough. Finally, the things start to die, which is a relief. She'll be able to go through the rest of the trip without worrying about them, and, after a time, Erin removes her hand. "That should feel better."

—-

Caleb pauses, as if attempting to judge as to whether he does feel better, and after a moment, he pushes the crumpled up tissue back into his jacket pocket. "Thanks," he says, still a little sniffly - but less bleary, somewhat sharper now. He even strikes up conversation before they can lapse back into silence. "Gramma's looking forward to seeing you, I think. She said something about all four of us visiting sometime but I told her she was delusional."

—-

"Well…" All four of them. That'd be nice. "I went to one of Mikayla's softball games awhile back… She seems okay with everything, but Janet…" Not going to be as easy to win back. One day, Erin's going to actually talk about what happened, after her player figures out just what the hell that was. But for now… "I called her the other day. She didn't pick up." A shrug. "We could prob'ly drag Mik up there one day, I guess." Even though the girl drives Erin batty sometimes. "She kept asking me about boyfriends. The whole time. Then we got back to our hotel room and she watched cartoons." How odd, then, that she's so damned smart. It makes sense, in a twisted soft of way.

—-

"Heh, Erin… do you think I want to be trapped in a car with Mikayla and Janet and you for hours on end?" Caleb says, with a hint of a crooked smile sent her way. "That's why gramma's delusional, family feuds aside. It's just not happening." Leaning back into his seat, Caleb glances around uncomfortably - he'd fought a little bit over the whole bus vs. car thing, but Erin has a tendency to get her way, it seems, so he just fidgets with a beaded necklace around his neck and chokes back negative comments likely to do with— "You know driving a car is one of the most destructive acts against the environment a person can commit?" Never mind.

—-

"Hah, funny," she says. Not bitterly, but she still rolls her eyes. "I don't make you sick, do I?" …Lame. LAME. But at least she can laugh about her abnormality a little bit. If she doesn't, she'll go crazy. It's a proven fact. Ask Peter Petrelli or something.

Erin's known Caleb long enough to know what his priorities are. Okay, the sloth thing? A little weird. But this… Didn't come out of nowhere. There's silence for a little while as she fights with herself not to say something that'll have them fighting for the rest of the drive. "That aside, d'you think we'll run out of fossil fuel while you and I are still alive?"

—-

That earns a sigh from the token environmentalist. "Well some of us care about the planet beyond our own lifetime," Caleb says, with a glance. "And besides, we're already observing symptoms, have been for about thirty years now. Just saying. Let's take a bus next time." Wait, aren't they supposed to be getting along? Caleb rolls his eyes up at the car ceiling, mostly at himself. Fidget fidget. He lapses into almost apologetic quiet and watches the scenery go by out the window.

—-

"No, I'm serious, do you think we will?" It's possible, with what environmentalists are saying. "Thing is, if we do - even if it's not in this lifetime - if we do, and there's no more gas to burn, wouldn't that force people to use alternate forms of energy? Cleaner? And I'm talking about oil, coal, gas, everything. Nothing left." Ah, logic. There's some sort of smug look on Erin's face, even though she's only saying it to be contrary. They can take the bus next time, but… "Problem with the bus is someone's bound to recognise me." Despite liking her job, she likes her privacy, too. "How 'bout every other time. Next time, we take the bus, time after that, I drive."

—-

"…because using the world's resources until we no longer have them is a brilliant— Erin, it's damaging to the environment. It's not about simply what we won't have anymore, it's climate change and air pollution…" Caleb makes a gesture, designed to communicate the amount of Bad Things that are wrong with Erin's theory, before his hand flops back down, and he states, "One Life To Live isn't that popular, is it? You're not exactly a total rockstar."

—-

She arches her eyebrows. "Yeah, but if they're not there anymore, we can't make more pollution." Except that getting back from that would be near impossible. It's just fun to rattle Caleb's cage a little, but she's starting to get him angry, and that's not what either of them wants. So she drives along in silence for a little while. "There's whole weekends in Disneyland dedicated to the ABC soap operas," is her answer. She hasn't been to one - yet - because she really just started on One Life. She's planning for the future! Either that, or she thinks she's more popular than she is. Erin's never exactly been mobbed. "Speaking of One Life, though…"

—-

More Erin logic manages not to incite more argument. Caleb just lifts his hands and wearily rubs roughened fingertips around his eye sockets as if to ward off a headache. He'll just have to passive aggressively sway her towards his side of the argument over time. Yes. That's what he'll do. For now! He shrugs a little at the mention of Disneyland, clearly somewhat cynical, before glancing towards her. "What?" he prompts.

—-

There's that smile again. It heralds terrible things.

In any case, with the argument about the poor state of the environment out of the way, Erin settles back in her seat, content with her 'win,' even if it was against her sloth-loving brother. She glances at him, but only briefly. She doesn't want to take her eyes off the road for more than a second or two, after all… And as she's passing a slow-moving semi-truck, which is really spewing some pollution into the air, she says, "There's an audition coming up. I can get my agent to represent you. I think you should go."

—-

Caleb wrinkles his nose, raising the passenger window against the smell of truck fumes as they drive by it, sullenly folding his arms over his chest once he's done in a rustle of denim jacket. Then, he glances to Erin, as if waiting for the punchline. "Huh? Why do you think I should go?" It's a rather honest question, this time, no barbs hidden as he frowns over at her.

—-

There's no guarantee he'll get the part, of course. There's no favouritism because he's related to her. "It's … For the part of my character's brother," she says. At least he's got looks going for him, right? I mean, they could be siblings because they are. "Older brother, so I guess you'll have to pretend a little. But you did a little acting, you do the stuff for the zoo, right? You have a decent resume. You should go for it. It'll be fun."

—-

There's visible reluctance written on his features, but Caleb doesn't reject the idea outright, just picks at his necklace again. By now, his cold's symptoms are all but gone as he considers. Money is pretty awesome, when you're living on your own and you only work part time in a junior position. But all the same. It's One Life To Live and he doesn't consider himself to be an actor, really, despite his experience. "I'm not sure I'd have the time for it," he points out. Then he has to jab, adding with a detectable note of sarcasm, "I mean you already have such an incredibly busy schedule with your role."

—-

Erin gives him another glance. "I also work on the sets," she says with a hint of annoyance. Even if he was joking, it's just how he sounds… and it gets to her. Half the time, she doesn't know whether he means it or not, and he must know that the only reason she said that is because she wanted to get out of sitting in a car with him for hours. But given the fact that they're both weird, Erin's suffering it. Enjoying it, almost, except for the fact that they've argued most of the time already. "Just so you know, I didn't always like it." A freeway interchange approaches, and Erin heads off the the right. She's pretty sure this is the right way. "So I can understand if you don't want to, but at least think about it."

—-

Fidget fidget. Caleb watches her for a little longer before turning his eyes back to the road, and otherwise doesn't comment further, still in two minds about the idea. Who knows what's tying him to the cons? It can't be just money, even if he could use it. But for now, Caleb shrugs at his sister restlessly. "Why'd you bother going back to acting if you didn't like it before? You could stick with set design, or something." In the past, both distant and recent, he's made callous remarks as to the answer to this question. A lengthy car ride can persuade one to give up the floor, at times.

—-

Erin's not sure what she would have done with her life if she hadn't been pushed into acting. She still sort of resents her mother for it, but less so now than she did before. And… There are a lot of reasons she didn't like it, like the fact that her attitude killed most of her friendships, that she never got a say in what she wanted to do. "I started on the set, and there was a part open. I didn't think anything would … happen? I dunno. It's different now, though. Mom used to drag me to every stupid audition she could find, and I got sick of it, Cay. This isn't like that, I don't know. I liked being in front of the camera. I kinda had to grow up before I could really handle it, though." Erin never grew out of the temper, unfortunately. She's kind of carried that along with her. Oops. "How 'bout you? Ever consider really getting into it?"

—-

Caleb listens, and whether he understands or not is a mystery. He shakes his head silently at her question - he had his personal goals set out for himself early on and they had nothing to do with acting, as his family well knows. Saving the planet. Or saving the planet for sloth-kind. "There's more important things for me to do," he states, still watching the quickly passing scenery. "But I guess on some level everyone wants to do the stuff they're good at, right?" And he was certainly not a bad actor, just an unenthusiastic one.

—-

"Well, think about it," she says again. If he's interested, she'll give him more information on the role. She shouldn't, but really, who's he going to tell? Fact is, Erin doesn't even know the whole story yet. It'll have to be soon, though. After all, they're getting into wrapping up the plot, and they need this part filled. "I just think you'd be good at it. It won't be forever." Or maybe it will… You can never tell on soaps. And if it is forever, they can just recast. "And think of it this way. You can use your fifteen minutes of fame on your save the sloths crusade." People listen to actors, because people are sheep.

—-

Caleb grunts a reply, a cynical response, but actually - that's a damn good point. The zoo might even be appreciative about having a familiar face on staff, and he's already been in— goddamnit, Erin. The whole idea probably makes him more nervous than he'd care to admit, too. Still, he glances at her, and sighs. "Well. I don't know. I have to think about it. Do you know what else there is to the part besides being your brother?" He could make a quip, here, but he wants to know. So he won't risk pissing her off.

—-

Erin wins. AGAIN. Erin is awesome, she is godlike in her persuasion powers, she… Hasn't done anything yet except tell him the real-world advantages of auditioning for a TV role. But the hook is there! Yes, the hook is there. Following this, she'll spend the next little while explaining the whole storyline to Caleb, including the highly-anticipated ending! What she knows of it, anyway. "It'll be fun," she says post-explanation. "And you get to hang out with your sister for a little while. You'll thrill mom and dad. Well, mom, anyway." The last part she says without much feeling. Still bitter? A little, yes. What childhood? "C'mon."

—-

Caleb rolls his eyes at this mention of pleasing mom and dad. For he is a rebel. "I'm sure they'd love it," he agrees, very neutrally indeed, then glances at her askance. "I said I'd think about it. I don't even know if I could get time off work, it would probably clash with my class schedule too. When's the audition?" He shrugs, as if to deflect any certainty that he might be keen despite this question.

—-

"Two weeks from Monday, then that Thursday," she says, unable to keep herself from smiling. He's showing interest, at least! THIS IS GOOD! Erin doesn't know if he'd be able to get time off from the zoo and class, either, but there's always the chance, and… Well, it's not like he'd be missing for a very long time if things work out the way the script's written. Oftentimes they don't with soap operas.

But they'll have to talk more about that later, for Erin's just realised that she's going the wrong way. With an expletive and a sigh, she says, "You know, we should have just taken the damn bus."

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