2007-08-02: I'm Sorry I'm an Ass

Starring:

Taine_icon.gif Erin_icon.gif

Summary: Taine tries to get back on Erin's good side, and it works. The ass.

Date It Happened: 2 AUGUST 2007

I'm Sorry I'm an Ass


OLTL Set

With their relationship re-written and a lot of their storyline changed so that not only has his character's first name of Kenneth still not been revealed, but they haven't had close physical contact for quite some time now. For most of this time, Taine'd been glad for this. The last couple of days, he hasn't been. Since she left his dressing room and a lot of the sicknesses that spread started to fade off the set, he'd been watching her from the background. Occassionally someone would try to speak to him while he stared over at her working on the set, and he'd glance away after a moment and turn back into the conversation.

It's been a tough couple of days, and he still can't think of a thing to do about it. How can someone just cope with something like this when he doesn't have anything like that— he's just got his natural charm… Then again, his natural charm is decidedly unnatural sometimes.

One morning, when she's going to be working weekend to get a set ready, he stops in early and has a few words with almost her entire crew. Keep her out of the storage room until a certain time. Not only this, but he talked all of them into moving some of the items in the supply room into another one nearby.

His charm is pretty uncanny, because the whole day everyone takes over for any supply room trips she might need to make, even bypassing her as she goes to do one on her own. One even has to stop her at the door with a "problem" that has been solved by the time they get Erin there. Obnoxious day, really.

But now… now it's time to let her go to the supply closet. Where the shelves have been partially emptied and replaced with… flowers. Flowers upon flowers upon flowers. All colors. And stuffed animals too. All types and colors, as if he's not sure exactly what she'd like. Only one card, a big one, sits on a chair with her name signed. The person who put all these there? No where in sight, but there's a few crew members hanging in the hall when she finally makes her way there.

—-

Erin doesn't want to be here on the weekend. In fact, she arrives with only a minute to spare before she'd be late, and of course heads right for the supplies. Woe be to anyone who gets in her way today. And of course again, everyone needs her for something, or they keep re-routing her, or — hell, at one point, they even give her a camera to fix, and she's not a tech. Sure, she knows how they work. Most actors get into a little bit of filming and directing eventually. But she can't fix a god-damned camera.

As far as she's concerned, everyone on the set is insane. Still, it was a good test for her, since she's been trying to prevent her eyes from lighting up at the most random times, and she has, for the most part. Still, she's had sunglasses sitting on her nose for the whole day - went to the eyedoctor, eyes are dilated, the lights on the set are too bright! Excuses, don't you know - just in case.

She's putting together one wall of a hospital set when she realises she'll need a few more bolts to hold some of the fake medical equipment to the wall so it doesn't move between takes. At this point, she's almost certain someone's going to stop her when she backs out of the sound stage and heads off toward the closet to get the tools she'll need. In fact, she thinks she's being sneaky, taking a back way around so she can finish this and get home before someone asks her what kind of paint would look best for the new 'high rise apartment' set. As she makes it to the supply closet, Erin even takes a look behind her to make sure no one's going to call her at the last moment. Then?

She heads inside.

She's sure this was the supply closet. Wasn't it? When she looks out into the hall, the crew who'd been previously invisible are all there now, smiling, and she offers them a 'what!?' look as she reaches for the card. Sure, she likes attention, but someone filled her supply closet with flowers and she NEEDS A SCREWDRIVER AND SOME DAMN BOLTS but… Wow, this is kinda sweet. That in mind, she looks down at the card.

—-

Oh, they are definitely smiling widely. The younger woman on the team, who wants to work in design itself, but is stuck on crew until she gets somemore under her belt, giggles excitedly, a phone in hand. Is she texting someone? Indeed, it looks like she is. Those thumbs are moving a little too much to be anything else. There's also generous pauses, as if she's waiting for a response. One of the crew men doesn't even speak very good English and he seems to understand what's going on. Mostly there for labor, he'd even slowed her down with his inability to speak much more than 'yes' 'no' 'thank you' 'carry?' But he means well, really.

The bright blue teddy bear sitting next to a vase full of orchids stares out blankly as she reaches for, and opens the card.

There's a donkey on the cover of the card, standing in a field, head turned towards the reader.

Once opened, there's a simple phrase, printed right on the card in a regular font: I've been such an ass… I'm sorry.

Underneath there's a second set of writing, this time printed in pen. Apparently Taine actually has fairly good handwriting, because it's legiable. Unlike a real doctor.

Hope you'll give me another chance to help you deal with this. If you don't, that's okay too.

Taine Whitaker

She gets the full blown fancy signature, too. The one he's probably practiced a dozen of times for autographs.

—-

God, what. what. She looks at the card, closing her eyes in the attempt to keep herself from smiling, but she can't. It's hopeless. In any case, none of the crew standing around watching suddenly end up fatally ill, so there's a damn good chance she's not angry. "Taine, you dumbass," she mutters under her breath, closing the card and setting it back down. She picks up the teddy bear instead.

So, he wants another chance. Erin's really only admitted it to him - and then only in passing - how hurt she was that he ran away. She wouldn't have done the same. In fact, she knows she wouldn't have, because after Ali nearly made her jump to her death, she let the girl stay. Even tried to help with the whole thing as much as she could without understanding it. People all deal with stress differently, though.

Sigh. "Get back to work," she says half-heartedly over her shoulder, "or you'll be here tomorrow."

Even if she's the assistant designer, she's currently the one in charge. And she totally will have them here tomorrow if they don't finish what they need to today. Erin? She's going to hang around in the supply closet for a bit and home Taine shows up. She'll… give him a chance, anyway. After what he did here, how could she not? Still, that moment of crisis when she really needed him—

Once most of the crew has wandered off, she says, "You around, Taine?"

—-

SHE :D'd!!1! :D

Will be right there.

OK!

That would be a line of text going between two phones. The girl giggles and runs off when she's told she might have to work tomorrow if she doesn't get back to work, and so does a majority of the stragglers. There's more than just the blue bear, but also a green frog, a black bear, a brown dog, a white cat… there's so many arrangements of flowers he had to have spent most of his salary for the week on it. Hopefully he has savings. Or did he charm the store into a discount? That is entirely possible too.

Within a few minutes, she's no longer alone in the stuffed supply closet, and there's a blond man hanging in the doorway, hand on the frame. "So a blue teddy bear is the one? I was hoping you'd go for the kangaroo." That would've been a clue for him, but hey, maybe she hasn't seen it yet. It even has a little baby sticking out of it's pouch.

"So— wanting to give an ass another chance?"

—-

She's trying not to smile when he enters the room. Raising her hand to point, she opens her mouth to say something, but… Nothing. There are so many things she wants to say, but for once, she just can't.

Instead, she looks around at the other flowers she missed when she first arrived. She hopes her roommate isn't allergic… They're all beautiful, and she wants to keep them all for as long as she can, anyway. "I can't believe you," she finally says, shaking her head. And she's not saying no to giving Taine another chance, but she just really can't believe he went through all this. Really, it does say something, but Erin's stubborn, and she's supposed to be stubbornly refusing to look at him. Taking the sunglasses off, she drops them in the chair. He's the only one around anyway, and he already knows, so.

"Why?" she asks. She peeks out into the hallway to see if any of her crew are still hanging around, and when she spots a couple, she gives them a good glare 'til they get the hell away. Closing the door so it's just open a crack, Erin looks back at the Australian actor. "Not that I'm complaining, but you have a hundred other friends. Why do you need to patch things up with the freak?"

—-

As he's standing in the door, Taine actually has to step forward and get a lot closer to her when she moves to close it. He's not too tall, but he still has to look down at her, blond hair falling against his forehead as he listens to what she exclaims. That smile's still there, though it's less smug and more confidently amused at her reactions. Which could also be considered smug, but it's less smirky than it'd been when he asked her out all those times with a confidence that she would eventually say yes. It's more… he's admiring her reactions, but at the same time enjoying the fact that he's thrown her off her game. Without quite being an ass about it. Proud, though, definitely proud.

"Because the freak happens to be you," he comments with a hint of a shrug, as if that means something more than it really should. It's actually a line very much like a character might have said on the show, but he's not doing acting right now, the look in his eyes is generally different when he's in character as Pryce. The tone of his voice is also far more professional.

"Look, Erin… I'm not saying I couldn't have more friends if I tried— I could." He could have the whole crew, they certainly helped him out as if they were his best friends. "But I was scared, you were unconsious, and I didn't know…" He shakes his head. "It's up to you now. I don't know if I can help. I don't know if staying at your bed side would have done anything either, but here I am."

—-

All this just to talk to her. Erin can't really just leave him in this room full of flowers now, and she doesn't really want to, anyway. Erin has a harder time making friends, so she can't quite make the same claim Taine can. She can be nasty, rude, downright mean, then go home afterward and enjoy a nice relaxing evening without thinking twice about what she did. Right now, though, she can't say that she doesn't need anyone.

"It's not…" she pauses, looking sidelong at him. "It's not just going to be okay. I can't blame you for— I know it was scary. I don't even understand what happened. I still don't. I don't even know if this is gonna get worse, or better, or if I'm hallucinating or what. For a couple days, I told myself that it was ridiculous, then everyone on set started to get sick. My roommate got sick. If I hadn't… If I hadn't grown up acting, I don't know how I'd get through this." In other words, it's easy for her to put on a fake smile. She's doing it right now, in fact.

"I'm sorry, Taine, for what I did to you. It's the first time something like that happened. I can't stand here and tell you that it won't happen again. I don't know. You have to realise that before you ask for another chance. If you can't handle it, then maybe you should go."

—-

"I know you weren't hallucinating— unless your roommate was cooking a lot more than…" what was she cooking that day again? Taine tries to think of it, rolling his eyes upwards for a moment. "Well, she'd have to have been cooking something else." Yeah, like acid or peyote, or whatever all that crazy stuff that causes group hallucinations might be. But they'd probably have lost their apartment by this point.

"I don't know anything either, except that you're… you. And maybe there's something else going on that makes your eyes funny sometimes— but as long as you can fix it, then… I don't know, okay?" He's not a genius, he's not a science major, he's not into medicine. He doesn't know anything about these weird things that she's unconsciously introduced him to.

"All I know is I feel bad for leaving when I did, and I want to be able to do something to help. I have no idea what— and I'd rather it not happen again— but I'm sure you feel about the same way too." It's not something either of them want. "But here I am." And that's really the most he can honestly offer. That and a lot of flowers and stuffed animals.

—-

Erin shakes her head. No, she's pretty sure now that she wasn't hallucinating, though when she woke up in the morning after it happened, she's sure she must have just…

She wants to believe him. In fact, she can't see a reason not to. Her eyes look downward at her feet, and she allows that whole facade she's been wearing to drop away. A shakey sigh, a bit of a chin quiver… No tears. "It's okay. I seem better at fixing it than causing it anyway," she says, partially to convince herself of this as much as she's trying to convince Taine. Fixing viruses is easy; she's even tempted to go to a hospital to see how much she can help, or if there's some sort of limit. So far, the only drawback is that it tires her out after a time.

"Far as I can figured… Alyssa says it's genetic, that some people are just born with the ability to do things like this." Erin already told him about Ali, she thinks, with her ability to make people do whatever she wants them to. "There could be more in the studio, I don't know. It's… pretty obvious why no one really talks about it. I mean, you could have… I don't know. I'm still glad you didn't say anything. I don't know if they would have thought you were crazy or not. Now I wonder if the rest of my family's weird, too. I have… Did I ever tell you I have triplet siblings?"

Random tangent, yeah. But she's been thinking about them a lot lately. "I don't really talk to anyone in my family anymore. Had a little fight with them a while back, and— Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it's better if they don't know."

—-

"That's good. The fixing part is prefered," Taine says with a smile quirking up again. He gives it his fake doctor stamp of approval, the fixing thing. Even if it didn't really change everything between them. They hadn't tried to make up since then— and this was his first attempt, and he pulled out all the stops. There's even a stuffed Emperor Penguin next to large vase of sunflowers.

He continues to watch her as she speaks, trying to understand the whole genetic thing. Like blue eyes and blond hair— he gets that much. There's just some things he'd never thought could get passed on to other people. "Suppose that makes sense… and if it is… genetic, then you probably'd have others in the family with it." Triplets? That's a lot of children at once, that's for sure.

"Only have one sibling," he says with a hint of a shrug, but he can't help but look concerned at her tangent with her family. Maybe he's pretty close to his. "Not sure I'd go around telling many people either— though all I got to offer is my charm and good looks. I tell people to do things normally— at least I think I do." He pauses, looking off towards the wall, as if wondering if maybe there's more to his charm than that.

—-

Erin allows a smile. "Yeah, me too," she says, rubbing the back of her neck. She's never wanted to really hurt people, it just… The more she thinks about it, the more she can't help thinking that she got a rather appropriate ability, as much as it hurts her to admit it. WTG, genetic lottery.

Her eyes wander a bit, noting the penguin, which she picks up and smiles at "No, I don't think you're forcing people to do anything, because I'm immune," she says. She takes a deep breath, then… "Ali wants to bring home cats. We had a huge argument about this, and she told me to take a flying leap." Erin remembers that really clearly. "So I went out onto my balcony and climbed up on the rail. Nine floors up, Taine. I'd be dead if she hadn't pulled me down. Before that? I had no idea. It terrified me… So I know how you feel."

She hugs the penguin. "There's two people in the world who know about me now. You never would have known at all if you weren't there. I wish you would have— " Her voice trails off, and she sets the penguin back down on one of the shelves.

"A call would have been nice. A note to let me know you were okay, something so that I didn't have to spend the next couple days worrying that some Men-in-Black agency was going to show up at my door and drag me away. But… You have your chance, Taine. Make it count."

—-

"Not immune, just more resistant," Taine says with a smile, following her over towards the penguin and looking into her eyes since she's not hiding them anymore, even as she explains… exactly what it is her roommate did to her. "That— close to how I felt." Probably. Except… one major difference. "Hadn't been my home, Erin— Didn't live there." It wasn't a zone he felt safe it, didn't even have the power to ask her to leave. Didn't have a room he could go to to recover, didn't have anything to make himself feel— not disgusting.

"And I'd just thrown up everything in your toilet— needed a lot more than water." And asking people for drinks might have struck him as rude. He showered, changed his clothes to get the sweat that had popped up while he was shivering on the floor off— it wasn't exactly the easiest thing for him.

"Told your roommate I wouldn't say anything, and I meant it— why would I?" How likely would they be to believed him if he had? Does she really think there's an agency out there who would listen to him? Or one he would know how to contact even if they would? He could have called the Australian Embassy, maybe…

"You could've called me, too. Have my number— and I showed up to work the next day." Even if she didn't.

—-

"Maybe." He certainly got her here. She really can't see herself just saying 'no' at this point, because, yeah. He knows how to be charming. Another date? Probably not at this point, because the hurt runs pretty deep. In the future, maybe, and she wouldn't say no to being friends. Having him over to watch a game of hockey or a movie or something— hopefully he gets that, but she'll say it if she has to. She'd just rather not.

"Well, thanks for the visual," she says, making a face - incredulous with a twist of disgust. It's her own fault for making him sick, though, even if it wasn't something she could help until it made her pass out from sheer exhaustion.

"I don't really think I could have called you," she says. Maybe… To say she was sorry, but how do you apologise for something like that, really? I'm sorry I almost killed you, let's be friends? "That's kinna like saying the person who was in a bad car accident should call all their friends for support, you know?" Another half-smile. "I mean, sure, you were the one hurt by it, but I'm the freak."

That word again. Erin's not thinking too highly of herself right now. Half the time, it's hard to just hold onto herself lately. She feels edgy. Sick. And she doesn't know if it's because she's literally making herself sick, or if stress is starting to get to her. At least he's meeting her eyes now, which means something.

"The next day I couldn't even get out of bed." Fear, plus the tiredness. She didn't want to have to face Taine. "I was scared it'd happen again on set, you know? That I'd walk in here and we'd be doing a scene, and then it'd— I think I figured out what caused it, though. I mean, people only started getting sick around the set when I was thinking about you."

Wait. That doesn't sound good.

"Anger. Because I was angry. Like when we were rehearsing."

—-

That's a faulty metaphor. But Taine can't even bring himself to argue with her right now. She's obviously set on her role as the victim in this, and he hadn't meant to hurt her at all. That isn't why he left, and that isn't why he pretended it never happened. He did that because what else was he really supposed to do? "Stop calling yourself that. You're not a freak, you just— I don't know. But stop calling yourself that."

He doesn't seem to like it. "You already apologized, and it went away— I wasn't telling anyone, and you were avoiding me as much as I…" he trails off, rubbing his hands through his hair. He doesn't know what to say beyond this without coming off as antagonistic. He doesn't want to fight with her again at all. That hadn't been the point of this.

"Okay, so you getting angry makes it happen. I can't promise I won't make you angry— even if…" He honestly doesn't want this whole 'just friends' thing. That hadn't been the point at all. But it seems the most he'll get. "Just like you can't promise you won't do that again."

—-

It's 'just friends' for now. for now. She does like Taine, though, it's just going to take some time for things to even out. She has a lot to think about, to accept, before she can really seriously think about dating. "I just don't want to hurt you again," she states.

"And I am. Look at what I can do! This isn't the definition of normal." She chuckles, shaking her head, looking at her hands. "I mean, what god did I piss off for this to happen, huh? Why is this happening to me? Why won't it go away?" She picks her sunglasses up off the chair again, putting them back on, since she's going to have to head back to the set, or she will have to come in tomorrow. Plus, she'll need to tag her crew for help carrying this stuff out when they all go home, and she doesn't want to be on their bad side. "She does take Taine's hand, though, if he'll let her. Gently.

"I need you right now."

Not words she says very often, but if he's going to be on the inside, if he's going to ask for another chance… He's earned his way in. But since he's one of only two people who know, he'll have to expect that she'll call on him now and then.

"I better get back to— " Oh, yeah. Why she came here in the first place. Sifting her way through the flowers, she finds that box of bolts. "You can stay, if you don't have anywhere you need to be."

—-

"There's no definition of normal, Erin. Think about it. I talk differently than most people, that makes me not normal, but I don't go around calling myself a freak because of it. It's who I am. This is who you are." Taine says, pointing towards his mouth, and then towards her. How can someone compare an accent to giving someone a virus? Well, accents are region based, and this is genetics, but genetics does factor in other things, like… "I'm also sinfully attractive and breathtakingly charming, and this a curse to the people who aren't, that's for sure." Don't see him complaining! But there's probably a million guys out there who wish they could be that good looking or naturally charming. It's genetic, really.

The hand is taken, and he nods, not letting go even as she shifts through the flowers for the box of bolts. He follows her over there if he has to. It's hard to get rid of him when he doesn't want to be gotten rid of, even if she's persistant.

"Well— I don't have anywhere I need to be now… but I imagine you're going to need help getting these to your apartment. Which is why I rented a van." It should help with that, at least. "And I talked some of your crew into staying twenty minutes late to help me carry it all down there, even if you didn't smile." There's that charming smile. Again.

—-

"Yeah, but you go back to Australia, and — Nevermind. You're right." She throws up the hand that isn't holding the box of bolts, which means she has to let go of Taine's. "Also, full of yourself and vain. Loud. Sweet, though." Erin nods. Shrugs. She stops short of calling him a good friend, because she has a feeling that's going to be tested a lot more, but she's thinking it at least, and that's a start.

Also, she stops short because she's got to look at him like he's got two heads because he rented a van. Then she remembers the girl who was sending text messages out in the hallway, and it all comes together. So she smacks him. Hard. On the shoulder. "This card is probably the most accurate depiction of you that anyone is going to make. Ever. Come on." And she'll lead the way out of the supply closet and back to the set.

Unfortunately for the two of them, they had witnesses. Which means there'll be a story in the daily tabloids about how Erin McCarty and Taine Whitaker have been seen together, and they are TOTALLY planning a set wedding. How romantic!!!!

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