2010-07-05: I'm a Believer



Date: July 5, 2010


When her ability suddenly turns up missing, Carrie relies on memories to keep her sanity anchored.

"I'm a Believer"

Randall's apartment, The Bronx

So far, Randall's recent foray into white-collar temping doesn't look likely to repeat any time soon. Most of the people looking for file clerks already have permanent staff to cover what they need; most of the other temp jobs in offices involve lots of word processing - the obscure stuff, too, not the routine use that most people do on their personal time. At least the delivery place had an opening again - but the weather has been, if anything, even worse than last month.

Standing on tiptoes, he squints and reaches for a book actually sitting above the top shelf of the bookcase - something about UFO sightings and theories, this time - when he leans the wrong way and bumps into one of the support rivets. "Ow!" he mutters, drawing his hand back, but not before the wood cracks and gives way, spilling a couple dozen more books onto and across his elbow.

Carrie looks up from the book she's reading. Looks remarkably like Grey's Anatomy. She checked a copy out of the library, by the look of things. "You okay?" she asks. She sets the book down gingerly and gets up, going over to check on her boyfriend.

Randall shakes his arm a couple of times. "I think so," he calls back, reaching up to pull the rest of the books out. "Have to pick up a new board for this tomorrow." The shelf isn't quite high enough that he has to do it blindly, but he still winds up with a couple of minor scrapes on his hands by the time he finishes up and turns around to face her.

Carrie holds her hands out for Randall's hands. "Let me see," she says, in a voice normally reserved for moms. But for her, kissing and making it better is real, right? She can actually do that. Right? She glances down a moment to the orthopedic plate around her neck for reassurance.

But something is wrong today. Okay, the kisses are as nice as ever, but the red marks are still there when she draws back - they might have lightened a little, but then again, they might not have. Randall frowns, putting his other hand up to Carrie's forehead. "Hey, are you feeling all right? I—" She's never had trouble before that he's seen, she's good at what she does - good enough to fix really serious problems, given a few hours and a chance to crash afterward.

Carrie frowns, staring at Randall's hands. She lets one go, and presses her hand flat into the other, and wills the connection to happen. The canonical way this is done (tm). Nothing happens. She pushes, that sensation in her mind that should only be necessary when she's patching up a sucking chest wound between breaths, to get that hole closed in a hurry. And pushes again. She looks at Randall, her eyes getting big. "I. I can't do it." She says, in the barest of whispers. He would feel her hand beginning to shake. "Randal, I… I can't make the connection."

Is that the start of a panic attack? In case it is, Randall takes hold of her fingers, drawing her close. "Come over here, lemme get the camera—" He guides Carrie over to the couch, then rummages through drawers until he comes up with a digital camera, a block of clear plasticky material Scotch-taped to the front. "My eyes still feel a little messed up, this helps sometimes, gets the images to hold still for longer…"

Carrie sort of folds up on the couch, drawing her knees to her chest and curling her arms around them. "It. Can't have all been a lie." She looks at Randall. "You saw it. You felt it. It can't… I know it's real." Panicking? Why yes. Carrie reaches up to pull on the orthopedic plate, squeezing it hard against her palm. "I know this was inside that girl's neck." she says, tears beginning to flow.

"I do!" Randall struggles to keep his own hands still as he brings up the camera, taking one shot after another from different angles. He doesn't check the results right away, though, just sets it down and goes to throw his arms around Carrie's shoulders. Thinking. "It was real, but if something's gone wrong with it…"

"The carnival," he replies, finally. "I mean, think about it. If you and I are both messed up… what if that disappearing act wasn't an act? Maybe someone there was using an ability, and they got messed up, too. That eclipse could have shifted a whole energy field around…" It's all just theories, but with him, what isn't? At least he's trying.

Carrie squeezes her eyes shut, trying to keep her grip. She is jolted by each snap of the shutter, for as much as the shutter snaps, even if it's one of those recorded 'click' sounds a lot of digital cameras have. Her eyes open as she listens to Randall and thinks about what he's saying. "The eclipse?" She frowns. "It started with an eclipse too." Carrie rests her head on her knees. "What about your abilities? Are they still working?"

Randall shakes his head. "Barely, if at all… and it was never that strong to begin with, so that's saying something. I don't know if it's temporary or— Eclipses are years apart." He draws closer again, from behind this time, arms around her waist. "Lunar eclipses are more common, but I don't know if they affect any of us or not… oh my God, Carrie, if we hadn't met when we did…"

Carrie looks at Randall. Her eyemakeup is slowly running down her cheekbones (ew) and she draws her arms around him. "Would. You have… been as interested in me if I'd been normal?" she asks, almost afraid of the answer. It could be years before the power comes back. If at all. IF the little nagging voice inside her reminds, it was ever real in the first place..

"Of course I would've been," Randall answers, without missing a beat. "You being different… yeah, it's part of why I'm interested. But it's a part. There's more to it—" He trails off; it's still only been a few weeks, and most of the rest isn't anything he can put into words very well, but there's something, anyway. "The idea that scares me is that I might not have found you in the first place."

Carrie's arms cling to Randall like she might otherwise drown. She sniffles. Snorts really. Her nose is running. So attractive. "You wouldn't. I'd still be in Colorado. I'd have never done time in the nut house. Why does it have to go away now? It's already paid for.

Randall shakes his head. "I don't know," he whispers. "Listen… don't panic yet, okay? I know you want to, I do too, but… it's only been a few days, and we don't know how this works. If things stay the way they are now… well, then we'll figure out what to do. You can still go to med school, and—" And he can do what? Rent a van and hunt down weather balloon sightings? It's an idea he hasn't had to face since grade school.

Carrie squeezes Randall tight. "Even if. Even if they don't come back. I still. You know." She kisses his neck softly, since she's right there. "I still love you." she whispers. The scary thing being she's fairly certain she would. And that it's the first time the words have crossed her lips.

"Love you too," he says, again just as quickly - he's felt it for a little while, but he's not always big on words sometimes, and not just on that subject. In fact, he's so busy kissing her back that he doesn't say anything else for a good long while.

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