Date: May 12, 2010
Janet panics. Morgan panics. YOU WON'T LIKE MORGAN WHEN SHE PANICS.
"I'm Morgan Starr"
The phone call had been puzzling to say the least. Why is it when everything is normal something totally strange happens? Dressed in her baby blue scrubs— to which Parker had made a snide comment about wearing scrubs in public— Janet had come over almost immediately after the phone call, if only to see for herself. Even if she can't do anything about Erin's current state of mind, at least she can see what's going on. She saunters down the hall, every step heavily laden with purpose, intent to get to the apartment. Finally she reaches the door she's looking for and raps on it heavily. "Erin! Erin, it's Janet, please let me in," not that she's been ignored. She's just feeling particularly squirrely today, and itchy to get inside; more than usual.
At first, there's no response at all to the name 'Erin.' It's one of those background noise things that is slightly irritating, actually.
Then she realises that she's supposed to be Erin.
Taine told Morgan earlier that he was going to call Erin's sister. That was weird. Morgan only has a brother, and he's evil. She's not too torn up about it, though, because relatives come out of the woodwork all the time in Llanview; it seems that everyone has at least one sibling that they don't know about. Plus, this is Erin's sister, not hers. After all…
Morgan doesn't exist.
This has become more and more apparent after she found Taine's stash of Afterlife tapes - some of his favourites. Each and every one was another memory, another impossible glimpse into her life that no one ever should have been able to see. Erin? An actress. Morgan? The character Erin plays.
It's a long time before Morgan answers the door. She looks… unhappy. Also, eerily beautiful, as soap characters always are. Her eyes are glowing, which is something she can't seem to actually stop, but at least they're not bright blue. "You're Janet?" she asks the woman on the other side of the door.
As the door is opened, Janet virtually lunges at her sister to squeeze her in a tight embrace. As she does so, she utters, like the squirrely person she is, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home…" No ruby slippers, but it's the best Dorothy impression Janet can muster as she clicks her red Toms together and clamps her eyes shut.
WHOA. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.
"Hey! Hey— hey, stop that!" Morgan struggles in the vice-grip, trying to back out of it, but she's just a tiny person. "What the heck are you doing!? Stop- Stop! Stop touching me!" Maybe this is Erin's sister, but Morgan's never met this person in her LIFE. Pushing back until she can see Janet's face, her eyes narrow. Geez, everyone looks familiar to her! It's not an immediate strong familiarity, but it's kind of like she's seen this woman before.
"Look, I know I'm supposed to be your sister, but I'm not. Back off for a second, would you? You're not helping anything." Let alone the fact that, rather than a greeting, Janet's completely bypassed the whole part where she acknowledges Morgan as a person. "I exist. I'm here. And I happen to have this whole life in my head that doesn't. So excuse me if I don't want your love right now!"
…Sounds like a script.
As Erin fights her way out of Janet's arms, the latter is uncharacteristically silent. She bites her bottom lip as Erin sputters all of this information, and like the emotional basket case, Janet is, her lips begins to quiver. Just a little at first. And then Erigan(?) begins to scold her more.
She twitches in silence, trying to stop her lip from quivering more… she just got her sister back after years of alienation. Her cheeks redden and she instinctively begins blinking to fight her emotions.
And then Erin. Doesn't. Want. Her. Love. This is more than the doctor can take. In large hiccupy gulps of air, Janet begins to BAWL. Tears trail down her face, drenching her tears.
Janet is by no means a pretty crier. In fact, she is red faced, tear stained, and snot dripping. All-in-all she's a gross mess.
"I… I— " Morgan blinks, somewhat confused as to what just happened. Usually when she yells at someone, they yell back. This one just kind of broke down crying. Gingerly, ever so unsurely, she reaches out to put a hand on Janet's shoulder. Her eyes are wide, confused, and glowing juuuuust a little brighter than they were before. It's like she can see these little tiny… specks. What the hell?
Morgan starts to say something, then closes her mouth. She starts again. Nothing comes out. "…Janet?" That's her name, right? Morgan can't help thinking that the fact that her entire LIFE IS A LIE should somehow trump the whole misplaced sister thing, but her heart goes out to Janet. Like some inside force is compelling her to—
"Janet, she's still here!" Morgan puts her hand over her heart. "She's still here, it's just— I… Don't know how to— " Communicate? Relay information between one personality and the next? "Come inside before people start staring. C'mon." Moving past Janet, Morgan shuts the door. "She's still here, and if you get her back, then … what happens to me?"
It's the first time she's asked that question. And immediately after, Morgan starts crying, too.
Sniffling, Janet uses her coat sleeve to wipe her nose. Yeah, it's nasty, but what choice does she have, she's currently disgusting?! She traipses inside, but her blubbering has yet to have stopped. "I" hiccup "want" hiccup "to" hiccup "talk" hiccup "to" hiccup "Eeeeeriiiiin!" Large crocodile tears usher down her cheeks and down her chin. She sniffles as she tries to curb her feelings.
"You are" hiccup "part of" hiccup "HERRRRRR! Give me Erin back, please! Please. Please Please puh-leeeeese." She continues to sob while she reaches out to grasp Morgan, "It'll be okay — please… it'll be okay… I promise it will be okay… please give me Erin back… we had this time when we didn't talk to each other and I was so stubborn and I missed her like a piece of me was missing because when you're missing your sister it's like your soul is fragmented and I love you, ERIN! I love Erin. Please please please give me Erin. Please…"
Morgan is pretty much at the end of her rope. She's not really angry, just… scared. Most people are when they're facing their own mortality. Erin learned to control that fear. Morgan? Not so much.
It only lasts a second. It's just a quick realisation that when all this is over, she's going to have to die. And the fact that no one here wants her when EVERYONE IN LLANVIEW LOVES HER except for the people that don't - but they don't count, because they're evil - is just too much.
Morgan learns then just how devastating Erin's power can be. Her eyes become almost blinding, and Janet… Will suddenly feel very sick. Nausea, followed by extreme pain in all her joints. Classic signs of influenza— until they all get a whole lot worse.
Erin's ability works all too quickly. If she was crying because of emotional pain before, her tears have taken a very different turn. Her hiccupping has transformed into a very apparent gag reflex. After gagging several times, Janet bolts down the hall and promptly purges the contents of her stomach into a wastebasket. She collapses into a snotty, nauseated, achey mess onto the floor, her body sprawling out on its surface. "Morgan?" she moans. "Mooorgan — I need you to calm down. Please. Please I — " she pulls the basket closer and promptly vomits again.
Oh dear god. OH DEAR GOD! "…OH DEAR GOD! How do I— How do I stop it!? It won't stop!" That just causes her to panic more. She waves her hand in front of her eyes, as if that will dispel the glowyness that seems to be causing all of this. "Crap. Crap, I can't get it to— Ahh— Ahh!!"
Of course, when it doubt, run away. So Morgan does, off, down the hall.
The good news is, as soon as Morgan's out of range, Janet will immediately start to feel better. A bit tired, sure, but the illness is gone completely. The BAD NEWS IS… Now there's a scared soap opera drama queen loose in New York! …except not. There's a crash at the far end of the hall as she elects to take the stairs, and forgets that she's supposed to pull the door open instead of pushing it, and so runs right into it. This is never a problem in Llanview! Doors just open!
Her head cracks against it, and she, dazed, falls to the hall floor.
It's a damn good thing Janet's a doctor!
The symptoms lift and Janet pulls herself off the floor. But then, Morgan is gone. "Erin — don't you dare disappear on me," she murmurs to herself rather than Erin who is long gone, holding the trash she chases after her sister until she reaches the door, "Dammit Janet, grow a brain!" Putting the trash can down, she runs after Erin as fast as she can.
"Er-in! ERIN! I mean… MORGAN!" she's chasing down the stairs towards the bottom to check on Morgan who hit her head, nothing like a head injury to confuse Morin more. "Wait! Wait! I'm a doctor I can help you, please let me help you!" Maybe a hit on the head will fix it?
"…Owww…" she moans as she re-orients herself, pushing up on one arm so she's half-sitting. The other hand reaches up to rub her forehead. Stupid doors! Stupid everything in this world! And then.
Morgan winces, trying to push herself up to her feet so she can keep running, but it's too late! Janet's already there. The were-porcupine-turned-plague sits petulantly on the floor, half-slumped, bottom lip sticking out as she continues to cry. At least the hit on the head knocked the fear and panic out of her, so she's not making people sick anymore.
"It's not my fault! I can't help who I am!" she exclaims, looking up at Janet. "Before you condemn me to die forever, maybe you should at least give me a little bit of a chance!"
"Watch my finger," Janet brings it from one side of Erin's face to the other. "Please focus — " she watches Erin's pupils all the while. "Does it hurt? Your head… is your neck okay? Headache?" Her cheeks flush a little.
"You are Erin Suzanna McCarty. You were born on December 19, 1979, born in Cresson Ridge, live here in New York City and are awesome. You are my older sister. Your parents are Olivia and Joseph. And I'm only one of three of your siblings: you are older sister to me, Mikayla, and Caleb. You're talented. Mikayla is crazy. Caleb is the boy. That is the way we are! Please… please remember.."
"I'm. Fine." Morgan lets Janet do her doctory things, trying to be strong while tears continue to fall from her eyes. She can't be Erin. She's not Erin. There are some memories from just before she woke up in that theatre. For some reason, she remembers this touch on her arm before everything started going to hell, but beyond that…
"I just … came to in a theatre after spending months locked up by a were-goldfish in a cave. It was cold. I was happy to be out, then Ken— Taine brought me back here and showed me who I really was." There's a pause. "No one. I'm nothing. I'm just some… psychotic mental breakdown that your sister's having, but I feel real." She rubs her forehead again as she continues. "And all I get to look forward to when all this ends is oblivian. Dark, cold, back in that cave again, except no one will ever come for me, because I don't actually exist. And you'll be here with her, happy." Morgan sniffles again.
"So, what, I have a couple hours to live? Days? Weeks? What do people do when they're actually alive? I'm sorry, Janet. I'm sorry. I … thought you'd understand, you being a doctor and all."
"I bombed at my psych rotation," Janet says honestly while continuing to look Erin over. "It's not my thing, okay?" And she doesn't believe it's real science; in fact, Janet hates it passionately — social science is NOT hard science. There are no FACTS. She now raises a hand to her head. It hurts mostly because she's thinking.
"Look, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I JUST got Erin back after years of separation and if you're here to stay then I've lost my sister forever. And you know, that is a chance, stranger things have happened medically — " She's still staring at Erin's pupils. "I don't think you have a concussion. Did you lose consciousness before I came here or were you awake the whole time?"
"I'm not here to stay. I know I'm not." Morgan draws her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. "I… remember things I shouldn't. Like your face. The city. Heck, when I was watching Afterlife…" That sounds so weird to say, "I even remembered the … sets. I mean, it's like contradicting memories in my head. All these things are real to me. But then I have these flashes of memories…"
Morgan rests her head on her knees. She's quiet for a long time. Already, she's gone through those stages of grief, mostly because things happen awfully fast on a soap opera. And in her world? Stuff like this is normal. "I want to see New York. I want to go to the set and pretend to be an actress. I wanna walk around without worrying that aliens are going to attack earth at any moment. Just for a little while."
Morgan rubs her eyes again, then holds out her hand. "Can we start over? I'm Morgan Starr."
Janet looks at the hand for an instant. Introducing herself to her sister makes her feel uncomfortable, but she accepts the hand and gives it a firm shake, "Janet McCarty." She blinks back the tears still forming in her eyes, but manages a smile. It's the first time she's smiled towards Morgan. It's a cute smile. Bright, toothy, white. She has two prominent dimples that form.
"It's nice to meet you…" she glances down at the ground and then manages, "So… you want to see New York? Is there anything in particular you want to see? My best friend Parker is like the kind of New York City and knows all of the best places, even better than I do. He's the best. I could take you somewhere or something. Like the Statue of Liberty. Or… the UN? Or… out dancing… or something…" She grins broadly now. No more tears. At least she still has her sister, even if it isn't quite the way it's supposed to be, it's still Erin. Somewhere, somehow.