2010-02-21: Out Of The Woods



Guest Starring:


Date: February 21, 2010


Things went according to plan. For once.

"Out of the Woods"

Agent Morris' Apartment — NYC

It's been a few hours since the end of the AP work day. Agent Morris had come home to his apartment following the end of the work day. He's oddly easy-going when he's in his apartment. And, all-in-all it looks like a bachelor's apartment. It's big enough for a single person — complete with a small living room adjoined to a sitting room adjoined to a kitchen. A bedroom is down a small hall that connects to a small bathroom as well. The apartment is sparsely decorated save for a single couch, a television set, and a kitchen table… complete with a single chair. Yes, this man lives alone.

Morris himself disappeared to pick up Starbucks, of all things, where by 'chance' (what are the odds?!) he ran into his esteemed colleague Janet McCarty. The pair decided to return to his apartment around the block because low and behold Starbucks was too busy gosh darnit, and Morris bought an extra beverage for his 'neighbour'.

The door opens as Morris walks into the space. To which Janet says idly, "Timmy, you really need to decorate…"

She's utterly beaming now as the extra beverage is placed on the kitchen counter.

Erin really didn't realise how bad it was in that place until she was out of it. Unfortunately, it's still with her, but given her relatively short tenure there, she's hoping it doesn't bother her forever. Whenever she closes her eyes, she can see those strobing lights, and so she's remained stubbornly awake.

In addition to that, her power is still gone, so she's still sick and miserable. Taking up most of the couch, Erin is wrapped in a warm down blanket, the only thing visible from it are her eyes, which are wide open, staring at the TV set that she's turned on to alleviate the silence. It's on low; enough so that there's noise in the room.

She's told herself that she is absolutely not going to make a big show of it when Janet returns. And because Erin is so good at burying her feelings when she needs to (It comes from years of practice) the only greeting Janet gets is …

Yeah, Erin fails. She pulls the blanket off from over her head and offers her sister - correction, her genius sister - a wide grin. While managing at the same time to give Morris a glare. She isn't going to trust him - not entirely. She's still waiting for this to come crashing down on her. "That for me?" she asks of the extra drink.

"Yes!" Janet chimes as she plucks the cup from the counter and walks it over to Erin. "How are you feeling?" annnnnnd Janet is in doctor-mode again, reaching over to touch Erin's forehead. "I was hoping getting you out of there would help." She glances back at her partner-in-crime, "Tim do you have aspirin or something…?" She wrinkles her nose as she glances around the apartment — it seems unlikely that Tim would think of such things considering the bare necessity he lives in.

Shaking his head, the tall man shrugs a little before he disappears into the bedroom, giving the sisters some alone time — finally. So much of their time had been under the watchful eye of the AP and this agent in particular, that he feels the need to disappear for now.

"Men," Janet murmurs as she pads back to the kitchen to fetch her purse. "I might have some Dayquil or something… just give me a sec…" She begins emptying the contents of her purse: a pink cellphone, several tubes of lip gloss, an iPod, measuring tape (?), a mini first aid kit, a one way valve, and… DAYQUIL! "Victory," she declares as she pops the pills out of their case to hand to Erin.

"M'not used to having to deal with stuff like this," Erin says, rolling her eyes upward as Janet feels her forehead. "Not feeling so well, but… How long does the stuff they were giving me last? …You don't know, do you. That's okay. It lasted less than a day last time." She coughs, taking the cup of hot whatever (she doesn't care right now) and taking a good drink of it. It feels good on her sore throat. "As soon as that stuff's out of my system, I can cure myself." As long as it's not permanent. It shouldn't be, or else why would they keep her on the IV?

Ah, Dayquil. Something that might make her feel just a little more normal. Washing it down with the coffee, she snuggles back down into the couch, eyes still open, watching Janet.

"So really, how'd you manage it?" she asks. "The whole … getting me out of there thing?" Actually, Erin's talking just to talk at the moment. Her own voice is calming. It's not silence, it's not screaming, and it's something she knows. "How'd you even find out I was there? I didn't think they'd tell you."

"Well let's hope that drug stuff gets out of your system soon. I knew it was doing something terrible to you — I have to admit I haven't seen anyone this sick through HQ." She presses her lips together and then smirks. "They virtually interrogated me," Janet rolls her eyes. "It would've been smarter of them not to have questioned me at all, they were just all concerned that OHMYGOSH Dr. McCarty could be spechul like her seeastar!" At this she suppresses a light chuckle, but her tone turns serious again very quickly.

"As far as what I did…" her cheeks flush a little. "Well, I promised I wouldn't euthanize you, and I remembered that dream so I figured things would get worse. SO I did what any sensible doctor would. I took a calculated risk and gave you a drug to slow your heart." She shrugs a little. "It fooled the doctors. They thought you were dead. And then I did then I used another drug to quicken it once I could get to the morgue."

She adds as an afterthought, "No one bothered to tell me you'd died by the way. I'd never have known if I hadn't done it myself…"

Janet amazes her. For awhile, Erin just stares. "Few weeks ago, you thought you were crazy," she says. "You had a CAT scan or something, didn't you? What I did was impossible?" It's not really an easy tone she takes with Janet. She's kind of wondering what the hell made her believe what Erin did was actually because of an ability she had and not because Janet herself was going insane.

This whole thing has made her feel like less of a person. Her eyes partially close, though not all the way, and she looks away. Jan may be ecstatic over her accomplishment, but Erin's just been through something that won't just leave her alone. "I… uh." She swallows, still looking away. "I wasn't trying to ruin things for you. I'm sorry. Jan, I wish I'd known how to get through to you." She sighs. "Then again, I guess if you'd listened to me and left, you wouldn't have been there to get me out."
Funny how things work out. Dreams come true - in a way. People are in the right place at the right time. "I'm not a terrorist. I swear. Neither is Tracy."

"Well… I had some patients and the couldn't all be crazy, right?" Janet winks with a shrug. "Erin, it was just so unbelievable! And everyone was leaving me in the dark until that fake-doctor told me about people with abilities. I'd seen it in action with your Tracy friend — who I didn't out by the way, even though they like specifically asked about her — it's just… so hard to believe." Wrinkling her nose Janet shrugs a little. "And yeah, I had a CAT scan. And it was inconclusive so I need to have another regardless." At this she frowns.

"And you didn't really ruin things, just made life more… complicated, I guess." She beams at this. "We're McCartys though, aren't we? We specialize in complicated!" At this she nods emphatically. But the smile fades some, "Even now that I know… and I've seen what they do… I'm not leaving my job, I can't. Not unless they fire me. I don't know what I can do, but maybe I can help fix this still…"

Erin's mouth crooks upward in a tired smile. "They already know about Tracy," she says. "What they put her through? Worse than what they did to me. I'm surprised she didn't go right off the deep end." But Tracy seems… oddly together. That is, when she's not a puddle of water, which is weird, terrifying, and awesome all at the same time.

"Yeah, I know. It's kind of hard to believe. I had a roommate not too long ago… We had an… argument. And she told me to take a flying leap. So I went out to the balcony and climbed up on the railing, and I was gonna jump off." She pauses. "Ali pulled me down. That was my introduction to people with abilities. I didn't even know about mine at the time. Not 'til a few days later."

Her hand appears from under the blanket, reachin or Janet's. "Don't worry. If you catch my cold, I'll just cure it," she says, smirking. "I'll play doctor, just like you. You know, around Christmas a year ago, I went through a hospital and fixed a bunch of people who were slated for the morgue themselves. I thought you would have been proud of me, but I couldn't pick up the phone and call you."

Her eyes open all the way again. "No, you shouldn't leave. You can help a lot of people. Get a few out of there, if you can. I guess they'll catch on after awhile though, huh? I'm just… glad you're making the decision to stay while knowing what's really going on."
Suddenly looking very tired, she says, "I didn't want them to use me as a weapon. I was so scared."

"I am proud!" Janet says with a tilt of her head. "That's amazing! I would kill to be able to cure one of my patients with a touch of my hand. I can only imagine the kind of good your ability would do in like… a third world country." At this she nods as her cheeks flush.

"So they know about your crazy blonde terrorist friend? Reeeeally. Hmmm. Maybe I should give up her name then? Like I remembered it or something. I want to appear cooperative, but yes, my goal is to get more people out. Particularly sick people. There's no way to get better in there. It's a spirit killing place, you know? And I know I'm helping… and if they arrest me for what I'm doing… well, I'm more loyal to the hippocratic oath than anything. And in the interests of health I have to follow certain… mandates." She grins with a nod.

"Use you as a weapon, Erin? H-how? Are they weaponizing people like you?!" And maybe that should be a goal. Free those that could cause the most damage as weapons. Her eyes widen.

Erin complained about it the whole time. But healing that little kid with the flu really made her whole Christmas. Then, there was that sick family on the subway - she told herself he did it just to shut the baby up, but…
Frowning, Erin says again, "Janny, she's not a terrorist. She was a political consultant. Then she got slammed with— Well, I guess you've seen what she can do. How would you like it if one day, you woke up and had something like that to deal with?!" Erin speaks from experience, of course. "It's not fun. I don't wish it on anyone - not you, or our parents, Or Mika. I hope you never have to experience it."

Rant over, Erin manages to get her eyes closed for a few seconds, before she can't stand the image she sees there any longer. "Just don't say anything about Trace. You don't have to. They've probably already figured it out anyway.

"I'd guess most of the people there are like that. They just wanted to live their lives. You're not treating terrorists… You're treating people just like you and me."

Ah, yes. The real reason they were dragging Erin in. "Just before you got there… one of their men came in and… That's when the… lights and sounds…" Erin's quiet for a moment as she gets past the memories. "He threatened to do it again if I didn't help him make a virus. For a longer time, though. I … I said yes. I couldn't …" Her hands start shaking again, and she pulls them back under the blanket. "Imagine… how many people would have…"

"And what about Caleb? You'd wish that on Caleb?" Janet teases while wrinkling her nose. "I'm sure it's difficult to deal with, but it's amazing too. I'm bright. I always have been, but I'm not extraordinary." She shakes her head at this statement. "I never have been. I was never in the spotlight. Not worth noticing with you and Mika around." She shrugs a little. "I loved you both, but it was… so hard."

"And fine. I won't mention anything about Strauss." She chuckles lightly, "I've decided to call her Strauss because of the way it feels on my tongue. I feel like I should be some clunky German man saying it." Lowering her tone, she says it again, "STr-auss."

The smile fades, however, at Erin's words and turns into something sweeter, something softer. "You were in impossible circumstances. You really had no choice. You were dying. Your fever wouldn't come down. And they weren't giving you the kind of care you really needed. And that's why you have people around you. To help you — alone I would've done the same thing in your shoes. I'm nearly certain of it…"

Oh. Well. "Caleb… He's like me, Jan." That's all Erin says on the subject. If Cay wants to show off his power, well, that's up to him to do.
"You don't have to have an ability to be extraordinary. I mean, look what you did with me? You got me out of that place. Made your own connections. Practically stopped my heart— Hell, you even had me fooled." Dying was actually a pretty pleasant experience, oddly enough! Very peaceful and painless. "And even if you don't get public recognition for what you're doing, you're… I think you're going to save a lot of lives. And that's something."

And then Erin rolls her eyes. After that lovely explanation of why Janet is awesome, her sister is playing with her friend's name. "…Janny."
Snap out of it!

"Still can't believe you managed it. It's hazy, kind of. You know? I can barely remember what happened. I mean, the first thing I really clearly remember is coming here. What happened back there? What'd you do?"

"Don't call me Janny…" she says someone sternly. "I seriously thought I was going to get caught. I swear. I'm still not sure Morris and I are out of the woods." Janet winces a little at this. "We'll see. I need to try getting other people out. It's easier doing it as dead bodies. I once heard one of the agents joking that all of you would leave in body bags so… I thought that was my ticket." At this she winks again.

"And of course it's hazy. It will be for a few days. You've been through an ordeal. I think you may need to hang here for a day or two. Or you could come home with me, of course, they might expect you to come to my house…"

Erin shakes her head. "No. Soon as I can cure myself, I'm getting out of here. It's not that I don't trust you, but… It's safer if no one knows where I am." Which really sucks. She's going to lose her job, but she'd rather have her life than her career, honestly. She can find something new if and when this all blows over.

The thought really doesn't appeal to Erin. "I'll call you Janny if I want to."

She's so tired. It shows all over her face. "Do you have anything to help me sleep? I need to. I just… when I close my eyes, I see…"

Dejection. Janet rescues her sister to have her disappear from her life again, but her objections aren't even uttered. She gets it, "Well. Do what you need to stay alive." A flicker of a smile edges her lips, but only for a moment. It's faded again seconds later. "Timmy said I could stick around for awhile. I want to be here before you —" Take off again. Walk out of her life again. None of these thoughts are spoken instead she just says, " — head out."

"Ummmm. Hmmmm," She presses her lips together as she rifles through her purse again to find a small package of Ambien. "Here. Take it."
Erin's good at reading people, even her sister. "Hey, don't be like that. Hah… Years without speaking, and now you're upset that I'm leaving? It'll be all right. I promise. I just have to stay low for awhile, so the AP can't find me again. And if you don't know where I am, the less likely it is they can get anything out of you.

"But I'm here now." She takes the Ambien, wondering if it's something Janet needs, or a drug sample she just happened to have. Prying the package open, Erin washes the medication down with another sip of coffee. Counterproductive? A little.

"And besides. I know where you'll be. I'll keep an eye on you, like I should have been doing all along."

"I… I didn't object," Janet objects aloud now. "I'm just.. it's just… I. I missed you. I watched your show so I could see you. I know I try to come off as all strong and independent and stuff, but…" She shrugs a little and then nods. "I get it. I know why you have to go… I just want to be your sister again." She shrugs a little. And sure enough she does need the Ambien to sleep, but it's not explained or talked about.

"I'll be okay, Erin. I know I will. Like I said, I don't have anything extraordinary to offer… except a way out of that place. And even then if everyone starts 'dying'…" She hmmms. "Just means I'll have to get more creative…"

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