2009-10-25: I Like You



Date: October 25, 2009


She likes him! Except she's gay.

"I Like You"

Erin's Dressing Room

There's always time between shoots for moments alone in dressing rooms. Especially after shoots have finished. With the newest plotline requiring scenes to be shot twice, once without make up, and once with make up— for Taine at least— it gives a lot longer of pauses. Today would be a non-make up day. There's no knock as the dressing room knob turns. The fact it isn't locked must mean she's not dressing, is expecting someone— or perhaps just forgot. It happens.

In his other hand is a daily tabloid, one with a scandaleous story, including pictures and eye witness accounts, rolled over another stack of opened letters.

"If you liked women, you could have just said so, you know," he says into the room as he pushes the door closed. And locks it.

Erin gets fan letters, too. Not as many as Taine, of course, but enough that she tries to write back to most of them, and if there's one that's just an 'I LOVE YOU!' letter, she sends a signed photo back. Easy enough. Sitting at a chair in front of a dressing table, she's scribbling out a letter right now.

Notably, there's a copy of that same tabloid sitting on the table next to her. "What can I say? She was pretty," she says flatly, and not-too-seriously. There's a glance to the door as Taine locks it. After a moment's thought, she slides out of her seat, and grabs her phone from her purse, opening it, paging through her text messages, and finding one in particular. She holds it out for Taine to see. "Tracy and I both got this message at the same time. We needed to talk."

"From the picture, she is pretty good looking," Taine says, laying down the same exact tabloid on top of her version, and letting his fanmail stay inside it. He's read them. Responding to them has never been something he's been any good at, so it's unlikely he'll have to worry about sending one off anytime soon. Maybe if he did respond, they'd stop writing.

"From the tabloid it sounds like you did more than talk— but tabloids never seem to get anything right, so I wouldn't be surprised if they missed the mark. Did you both get a movie offer or something?"

"Don't be jealous. Here, look." She holds out the cell phone, jabbing him in the shoulder with it a little harder than necessary. It's a warning, signed 'REBEL.'

She told Tracy she wasn't going to worry about the message, but she has been, ever since it arrived. The fear that there could be someone out there who knows who she is and what she can do is frightening. Not that she'll let the world see that, though - only Taine. "Peter Petrelli's the one who came to the studio and tried to kill me," she says. "He's the guy who can take peoples' abilities. He took mine, used it against me. He knows everything about me - at least enough to tell the government about me."

She points at the tabloid, at the blonde woman in the picture. "Her name's Tracy Strauss. She's a friend of mine - you might remember. She was a consultant on set awhile back for the political storyline we had running. I thought maybe she'd be in on this, you know? She's this — I don't know. She works with politics. So I gave her rabies." She looks away at this point, sitting back in her chair, leaning back. "You know, Taine, you've got it easy. I better never hear you complaining about your lot on Afterlife anymore. At least you can't die from it."

"So— this guy can survive getting hit by a helicopter? Is he like… Superman or something?" Taine can't help but say, getting stuck on the helicopter thing first, before he realizes that… oh, so that's what she's worried about. And he did try to kill her… If he can survive a helicopter, a good Australian punch to the face probably won't do much. Pity, too. There's so much a punch to the face can accomplish, or a promise to punch someone in the face. Not worth much when a helicopter can't do the trick.

"Wait— you gave her rabies?" Yeah, his life on Afterlife is easy in comparison, but… die. Does she think the government will hit her with a helicopter too? "Did you… fix it?"

"Yeah. Pretty much." Superman would be a pretty decent description of what Peter can do, except for the fact that most people don't want to see Superman dead. No. Dead would be too nice. Erin would never do anything like what he did to her - ever. Not on purpose, anyway, forcing someone to within inches of death, just to play with her power. It's not her. She's done some pretty nasty things with viruses, but never that.

"Let's— " She snaps the cellphone closed, tossing it on the cushy chair in the corner of her dressing room. Hopping up on the table, she picks up the tabloid, studies it. "She's fine. Don't worry. Look, I'm glad this happened. I'm gonna try to push this. Make people believe it. See if we can get all those rumors of you and I out of these papers."

Don't worry. That's not exactly easy for Taine, because he worries about those sorts of things. They've done this plot, with the government getting involved in the experiments, and it didn't end well for his character! At least not until they fixed everything and the plotline got promptly forgotten for the next one. That's the way soap operas work. A guy can be on death row for a few weeks and suddenly get a pardon.

"You want to do what?" he asks instead, focusing on one thing that seems normal in the grand scheme of things. At least it would be normal if… "You want people to think you date women instead of me? You do realize there's more of a stigma on girls dating girls then there is on woman dating their sexy Australian costars, right?"

There's a pause. "Unless you really do like girls. If you do that's fine, but you could have said so a year ago."

"You're thick," she says, making a face and dropping the paper. "Here's the thing, Taine. I don't like my private life to be public. I don't care if people believe whatever the hell they want about me, as long as they keep their noses out of my private life. It bothers me that— Do you ever go online? Do you know people actually speculate on who's with who? That there are arguments about this stuff? That people play games using real people? I just don't want people playing with my life like that, not when it's so— "

She sighs. Close to the mark would be how she intended to finish that. "So here's the thing. It's important. You've seen me, Taine. Me. You know me. You know that as much as I yell at every single person that irritates me, I can be a good person." She pauses for a beat, then, "An okay person, I guess. And I really like you. More than I've been… letting on."


For a moment Taine almost feels like he missed something. Something really big. The kind of big that drops out of the sky and reminds a person of how tiny and insignificant they really are in comparison to everything else that goes on. It's not the speculations, or the fanfics, or the photoshopping that surprises him. He knows all about that. He's gotten a few fanletters that included explicit stories about their characters, and he knows they're written about themselves too. Completely inaccurately, cause no one knows what they actually do talk about.

The people who send those things are almost as weird as the ones who talk about how much they love him and believe he's their soulmate. If only he would meet her. But it's the other part.

"You… like me?" She can be nice, but she can also be a total cockblocker. Not that he'd ever call her that to her face. Now to show he pays attention. "So you want them to think you're gay so they'll stop talking about us?"

"Until I get used to the idea of actually allowing someone close enough to- To— Don't make me finish this, Taine. I'll injure you." She's way out of her element here. It's one thing to flirt, to play some tempting soap opera seductress on the screen, but admitting that she might actually have … feelings … for someone that don't revolve around her own selfishness, that's hard. "That kiss when you were all dinosaured up? That— That was me. That was the real deal. I can't let that happen if people are— judging me."

It's stupid. Erin puts herself in the spotlight every damn day. She loves it. She loves the speculation while hating every single moment of it, which she can't figure out on their own. "I won't have anything to try to live up to."

"Are you trying to say you think I'm as hot and sexy as the people in those letters? Cause if you are…" Taine's moving a little closer to her. That kiss had been all her, instead of just an act. The anger— that'd been the act, he realizes. Maybe it'd been the act for a while. The part of him that held on to that belief, hoping that she'd turn around one day and see him as more than the ass who tried to run off the first time he found out about her power had hoped she was acting.

But now he's getting the vindication he'd been waiting for. And he steps even closer, reaching a hand out to touch her hair.

"So I can give a few interviews about how you enjoy your romantic interests to have all the same parts you got… and then we can go out on our own time? Just you, me, a bag of popcorn, a television and a big couch?"

"I don't think you're hot and sexy." There's a smile, though, as she rolls her eyes. "I am still immune to whatever charm you think you have. But I like you. I dunno why, but I do. Take it or leave it."

She totally thinks he's sexy.

He hurt her a lot, in ways that no one ever had before. Hell, she probably would have been terrified if their roles were reversed, but she knows she wouldn't have just run off. It was his reaction to have, though, not hers.

Automatically, she reaches up to catch his hand as it touches her hair. Her eyes flicker in its direction, then meet Taine's again. "…Sorry," she offers, allowing her grip to slacken. "Just— let people believe what they want to believe. And then, you and me, a bag of popcorn, a television, and a big couch."

"The door's locked," Taine says, glancing over toward the door that he just entered in. It'd not been locked a moment ago, but he made sure it would be now. This gives him some room to lean in closer, keeping his hand moving into her hair, as her grip slackens. His charm's effect on her, no matter how much she fights against it, is more than enough for him. Cause at least she likes him.

"I like you too, but I think you've known that for a while. And if you didn't… you're dense." There's no popcorn, but the dressing room does have it's own kind of charm. Like locked doors. No one can see what they're doing, and most of the people on set are too busy with their own things right at this moment. Getting something to eat, getting set up for the next scene— all of that.

"Since you like me, I think we should try out that kiss again… without the nasty lizard make up," he says, voice deepening as he moves in even closer. For a kiss.
It's points like these where she would talk about him pushing his luck, get all snippy with him, bite him, give him some horrible disease, smack him across his smug face, kick him where it would really hurt, among a whole number of other things. It's like instinct, even if she doesn't really want to. She's clearly uncomfortable, though, but not because of him. Because he's the first guy she's ever really, truly liked.

There could have been others. None of them were as persistant as him, though. That deserves a gold star. "You're a pain in the ass," she mutters quietly, because his face is close to hers now. "So, are you going to lead this one, or are you more accustomed to me taking control here?"

"Don't faint," Taine says with a tease to his voice, before fingers find their way behind her head and against the back of her neck, and he leans in even more. This time, it does seem he would like to take control of the kiss. And he's going to hope he doesn't end up regretting it. He could watch her eyes, wait for herpes, or some other illness to work it's way into his body, but he closes his eyes instead, bringing the other hand up.

The kiss will deepen, and last quite a long time, as long as she'll allow, most likely.

Or whenever he has to breathe.

There's no warning glow in her eyes this time. There's always a shimmer that graces them whenever she feels some sort of strong emotion - like this - but it's not going to make Taine sick.

The kiss is remarkably gentle, yet at the same time, passionate enough so that it's definitely real. Leaning forward, she wraps her fingers around his shoulders - again, gentle, and allows the moment to last as long as possible. She's the one to break it, though that's pretty much par for the course; when she does, though, Erin doesn't pull away. Instead, she rests her forehead against his, eyes rolling upward so they can meet Taine's.

Notably, she does not ruin the moment. She feels relaxed, looks relaxed - whatever traces of discomfort that lingered are gone now. "Am I still worth the trouble?"

There's a necessary moment where he has to catch his breath. Light hair falls into his eyes and face as he stays close to her, pressing cheek up against her own. This isn't anywhere near the first time they've kissed, but it's the only time kissed with no one watching. It's one of the few times it'd been a real kiss.

And the only time that they both know it's real, and admit to it.

"If you weren't, I think I'd have a girlfriend or two by now. Instead you're the one who went out and got herself a girlfriend." There's that teasing grin as he pulls back. "I'm perfectly okay with a three-way date sometime." Now will be be smacked? Possibly.

And the first time Erin has completely let her guard down. Sure, they'll always have to worry about tabloids, and, like any soap opera romance, this one is going to have significant ups and downs, but what relationships don't? She laughs. No smacking or maiming is involved, but she does dig her nails into his shoulder… Just a little.

"I still don't understand why," she says. There's no reason for him to have stuck around like he did. She gave him the most obvious excuse for running away, possibly in the history of excuses. She's weird, she's a freak, she's abrasive and unkind, yet here he is.

…Smug, pompous, self-assured, egotistical…

Patient, friendly, a shoulder to cry on, someone who likes her for her just as much as she likes him for him.

"Too bad we have to go back to work, huh?"

"I haven't figured that out yet myself," Taine admits, letting his hands drop away from her face as he backs off a few steps. It doesn't seem like he wants to back away, but she had to mention that four letter word of doom. Work. "But it sounds like I'll have a lot more time to find out, won't I?" he says, still smiling as he moves toward the door, forgetting about his fanletters for the moment.

"I'll see you on set," he adds, unlocking the door and moving to step outside. "I'm happy for you and your girlfriend," he says loudly enough for someone passing by to hear, managing to act sad and disappointed before he heads out. He'll play along.

One of those fanletters would stand out, if she looked. Laced in perfume. It carries a rather omnious phrase.

You belong to me, you just don't know it yet.

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