2007-06-22: Pizza And Purse Snatching


Erin_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Strawberry fields is a place for artists - and apparently for purse snatchers. Of course, sometimes, there's more than a silver lining behind the strange accidents of timing and trial…

Date It Happened: June 22, 2007

Pizza and Purse Snatching

8PM, Strawberry Fields, Central Park

It's still not dark - in the highsummer, the sun's only now deciding to make its way below the horizon; it means the sky is a glorious wash of colors, a grand paintbrush painting the sky in oranges and violets against the whispy clouds that signal a change in the weather. It's warm still, but at this time of day this part of Central Park ends up being home to those that can appreciate the sky - artists, lovers, poets. Dreamers. And Strawberry Fields was always meant for them, anyway.

One of those is curled up on a bench, a backpack by her side, a bag over her shoulder. She looks a bit disheveled, perhaps, a little unkempt - perhaps those clothes could use a bit of a wash. Doesn't matter, right now, though - Ali's watching the sky with a wistful expression, taking advantage of a peaceful moment to observe a couple coming down the footpath there, a man throwing a frisbee for a Jack Russel up the way.

There's a bag slung over Erin's shoulder, which obviously contains a computer of some kind. Not the best idea, walking around in Central Park with a laptop computer, especially one with all your information on it, in a bag with the Apple logo splashed across the front. But, covered in coffee and still annoyed after her encounter with the Geek of Starbucks, she's taking her chances, and taking the quickest way home, which happens to be through the park.

Needless to say, there are some terribly brazen people in Central Park, and despite the fact that the sun is still out, someone's got his eye on that laptop. He can sell it for a couple hundred dollars, at least… More if there's some really awesome stuff on it, like saved passwords and bank account numbers! Just as the woman is nearing the place Ali is sitting, the would-be thief makes his move, springing out from the shadows on the side of the path so he can /GRAB THE LAPTOP./ Erin, being as stubborn as she is, holds onto it as best she can, but the thief has the element of surprise on his side, and she's nt going to be able to hold on for much longer.

You don't /just miss/ a scuffle. Not one like that. And that somewhat scruffy young woman is up and off that bench before she even has a chance to think about how utterly STUPID it is. You know, robber. Shooting. This is /bad/ juju!

But in Ali's world, you don't stand by while the Bad Things happen. You don't let folks get away with stupid. And, you know, once it parses what's going on? (heck, by the time Ali moves the struggle's been going on for a few seconds) Well, she acts.

"Hey!" That rich alto is definitely raised in a fit of pique. "Leave her alone, ass!"

Battlecry of the ages, that!

But now there's a shout, a hue-and-cry, and, yeah, Ali's gracelessly untangling herself from her own bag to come over that bench.

So many people in New York would just look the other way! Or, well, /look at what's happening/ and do nothing to help. That is why New York /sucks./ And that is the thought that's in Erin's head as she loses her grip on that bag. Of course, it's still slung around her neck, so as the thief gives a tug, Erin comes with it.

"Ow!" is offered, and she /pulls back!/ Not the smartest thing in the world, but her computer isn't password protected! "Let—"

Go. Except she doesn't ned to finish that statement, because when that voice tells him to leave Erin alone, the man looks up, lets the bag go, and runs away. Perhaps the idea that two angry women could be pounding on him in just a moment made him lose his nerve. Erin, for her part, calls him something /really inappropriate/ - something that starts with 'F' and ends with 'Ucker.' Pulling the bag off her neck and setting it protectively between her feet, she rubs at the bruise that's going to end up appearing there. Yeah, make-up will have a field day with that tomorrow.

This day? Sucks. "Thanks," she says to Ali. "God, I'm going to have a headache."

Yeah, pummel. See, Ali's halfway over that bench before the guy takes off, and with a yelp, the woman /whumps/ over in classic muppet fashion, tumbling into the grass, half-tangled with the arm of the bench. "Er. Yeah. No problem." The grin stays, if it goes really lopsided - she even raises a fist. "Central Park Avenger, at your service. Scaaary. Wooo."

"Jeez. Hey." Erin picks up her bag and hurries over to help Ali up, and… she laughs. "Honestly, I have no idea why he ran off. I mean, you and I? Some team we'd make." See, she can be nice, especially to people who save her from criminals trying to steal her computer. From now on, she's password-locking the damn thing. "Guess he was just desperate. Went to find an easier target. Are you okay?" Erin herself is a little shaken from the near-theft, but she does a decent job of hiding it. She conquered stage fright a long time ago.

"nope!" That's happy, not wounded, Ali slowly disentangling herself from the bench, with help. Doesn't turn it down in the slightest. "But you know, I'll live." There's.. something else to that. She even chews over those words for a moment before blinking, and asking - "Your shoulder - you alright? He was kinda rough. Probably just needed the money - people do weird things when they run outta options. I don't think he was lookin' to fight over anything or get hurt, you know?"

Well, she's got a knight in shining armor, then, in sort of rumpled clothes. Then again, Erin can't really comment, because /she/ is covered in coffee. Sigh. "Losing my computer would have been an awesome end to the worst day ever. Other than that, I'll be okay. I've lived here for… how long? I dunno off hand, but you'd think I'd learn not to carry this thing around." She should have taken a cab home is what she should have done, but the weather's so nice… "So you're not okay, but you'll live. I guess that's good?" Once Ali's untangled, Erin sits down in the grass, hugging the laptop case to her. Adrenaline kinda takes a lot out of a person, and she feels ready for a nap.

McAlister grabs her own bags - only the crazy lets 'em get out of arm's reach, right? - and flops down near Erin, stretching out. "Yeah. It is. You know, you look /really/ familiar.." But while she puzzles, she explains, a little, anyway - "Sometimes you take the risk, right? If you don't, you end up being afraid all the time, and go nowhere. Besides, it's just stuff."

Familiar. Well, that's likely, since she's been on TV before, in a couple movies, and now she's settled down into the world of One Life to Live. "There's lots of people in this city. You've probably seem someone who looks like me before." Smile. Ah, she might figure it out, but it just seems weird giving it away. Yeah, I'm on TV! doesn't exactly sound good in conversation. Erin isn't that vain. "Well, it's stuff, and… All my private information." Everything's stored on computers nowadays, and with identity theft at an all-time high… "That's something I don't want to deal with. I hear it sucks."
"I guess." Ali offers a hand, leaning forward. "Ali. Alyssa, but Ali. No - I mean, I've seen /you/ somewhere before. Weird, though - I usually work nights, and you don't seem the type. No offense. Well, I worked nights, anyway." A shrug. "Between you and me? I can turn a computer on, I can type a paper, I can surf. That's about it."

Erin's a bit better at computers than that. She likes them. They're handy. Where she wont do everything online, there's a whole awesome realm of simplicity to the Internet, like just logging on to pay your bills instead of having to worry about mailing things out all the time.

After a moment, the woman holds out her hand to shake Ali's. "Well, I could say your voice sounds familiar," she says, and it does, but she can't place it. "Don't think I've ever seen you before, though. I'm Erin McCarty." Also currently known as 'Jane Doe' on One Life to Live, but she has a real name, honest! "Really? Mac makes things simple. And their laptops are pretty, so I can't complain."

"Mmmph." Ali leaves out the part about 'price', just settling on a grin. "Erin McCarty.." Still she mulls it over - "Alyssa McAlister. So I stay all polite, anyway." A firm shake, "You know… don't take this the wrong way.. but you're sort of /coffeed/." Wryly. "Look, I have a shirt. There's bathrooms over there. You can get it back to me later - but the least I can do is make your day better, right?"

"Midnight McAlister," Erin says, a broad grin spreading across her face. "That's where I've heard you before. Sometimes if I'm working at night, it helps to have the radio on." Helps with memoriising lines, too. If it's too quiet, she just can't concentrate, which means she goes to the set in the morning with no idea about what she's doing. Cues? Who needs /CUES?!/ Granted, it's much easier when she's on set crew. Not as much worrying about what she's saying, and getting it right in one take.

"…Yeah, some guy at Starbucks— " Shaking her head, chuckling, she goes on. "Came in with this robot. Like, R2-D2 from Star Wars, some sort of remote-controlled thing. Ran right into my chair. A shirt would be great, but I'm on my way home anyway." Looking down at her clothing, she shakes her head. "Then the guy fell on top of me."

Ali tugs the pack over, and starts rummaging. "Yeah, you listen? Seriously? I figured it was just teamsters and security guys." Being recognized, it seems, has made her day. "I'll probably be back on soon.. maybe. I don't know - I have a lot of stupid to get through first, but, with luck, right? And I've seen that guy - …. uh. man. Name. I know it, it's on the tip of my tongue.." Er. NO. "Crap. Well, I've seen him, anyway."

"I was flipping through stations, caught yours, and just left it on. I'm afraid if I turn it off, I'll never find it again. You know those old radios that don't have digital displays? Yeah, that's mine." She could afford a new one, but this one just gets /great sound,/ and Erin's positive that she'll never find another one like it. Nodding understandingly, it seems as if Erin is quite familiar with 'stupid.' Maybe not the same kind as Ali's, but considering she won't talk to her parents anymore, she's familiar with tough times. At least there are people to keep them entertained when things are down, such as… "Gene. Didn't give me a last name." She probably wouldn't have remembered it, anyway.

McAlister tugs out a battered (obviously favorite and shapeless) NYU t-shirt, offering it to the actress. "Yeah? Well, if things work out, it's moving, though. WYRK.. not too much up the dial. Gene! Yeah! That's it. I saw him getting stunned by a kiss from the woman that plays Christine in Phantom. No lie." She offers a grin. "Got her autograph, too." Yes.. the backpack has a few changes of clothes, a couple of knickknacks. This particular shirt is, indeed, clean.

It'll do. At at least she won't have to wear coffee the rest of the way home. Thanks, be right back," Erin says, before running off toward the bathrooms.

When she returns, her old shirt is slung over one arm, and she's pulled her hair back into a ponytail. Seemed appropriate for the old t-shirt look. Also might make her look a little more familiar, since her character on the show is a bit of a tomboy. A tomboy with no memory, granted! The talk of autographs and kisses from famous people makes her chuckle, because… "Well, he seems to attract people like that. Don't know how he does it." He's cute, but… "Just kind of runs into them? I don't know." Pausing, she pulls out her phone. "Thanks for the shirt. What's your number? I'll have to call you to give it back."

"Uh. HOnestly?" Ali winces. "I don't have one, at the moment. Sort of between bills, you know? Uh. I'll tell you what - " She does rattle off an address, "You put my name on it, and they'll hold it - but you don't have to worry about it. It's not much of a shirt, and it's not like I don't have another." A shrug… and the recognition still hasn't come, apparently. "Besides, you kind of did me a favor anyway."

"What, untangling you from the bench? That's not a favour." Erin frowns, though. Things are coming together in her head, she's kind of worried about the lack of a phone, and also the idea that someone's going to hold her mail for her. Plus, the fact that Ali seems to be living out of a bag. All right, at the risk of being tactless… "Uh. Look. I have a huge apartment, why don't you walk home with me? It's getting late anyway. If you don't think I'm some sort of axe murderer or something - and I'm not, I swear - you can stay in the guest room. I mean, I owe you that, anyway. If anyone's been doing favours around here, it's you, chasing off that bozo."

Ali offers a wry smile, a shake of her head. "S'okay. No worries - " She glances up at the sky.. then back. "You did me a bigger favor than that. I can't even /begin/ to explain, but - " A faint shrug, even a happy one. "Hope's a pretty big gift." Non-sequitur much? Doesn't matter - she stretches out in the grass. "Everything ends up taking really odd turns, sometimes."

"You're weird. Come on." She sits back down on the grass, wrapping her arms around her knees. "I dunno what I did, but it's not worth turning down pop corn and pizza for. After a day like today? I'm just calling the nearest Pizza Hut and ordering a pizza with everything. And I can't eat it on my own." Yeah, she could be inviting some sort of psychopath into her home. Erin's pretty good at reading people, though, and Ali doesn't seem like the type. Besides, she's on the radio, and radio people do background checks or something, she's sure of it. "I'll even show you why you think you've seen me before."

Ali seriously goes to object, it's /visible/ before it gets out.

Her stomach, though, has a mind of its own. And it /growls/. Voicing its own opinions on the subject.

"er." A flush. "Sorry. And yeah, I am." She waggles her eyebrows, flaring her eyes wide. "Weirder than the naked cowboy, stranger than Tourette's." A wink…. and she's neatly avoided answering either way. ".. I /have/. I know it. Seriously. I just can't put my finger on /where/."

See? SEE?! You have to listen to Erin, because /she says so/ and you're /hungry./ And that's the look Ali gets from the blue-eyed girl. Yeah, weird. But of course, most radio personalities are a little odd, because that's what makes them interesting. "If you don't have pizza, you're just gonna think about it all night. And where's that gonna get you? I mean, it's not really charity, if that's what you're worried about. I owe you one, and I'm gonna pay you back if I have to drag you." Finally, Erin relents, and decides that she's talked to the girl long enough so that it's not awkward anymore. "I'm on TV."

That's a /clue/… and it /works./ "TV… " Ali blinks. "Oh! You're that chick on the daytime soap that's amnesiac and in love with the tall guy with black hair who's really sleeping with the readheaded bit.. er.. chick!" She snaps her fingers, once.. twice. Got it! "One life to live, right? I stay /up/ for that show. Well, I recorded it, anyway."

"Well. I — " Pause. "See, you almost got me to give something away." WHICH SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO DO. It's fair to say that everyone on a soap is in love with everyone else, though, because that's just the way soap operas work. So Ali's impression of her storyline /might actually be true./ "Yeah. Jane Doe." Everyone gets amnesia on a soap opera at least once! Erin's first storyline just happened to come pre-packaged with amnesia. And so she is Jane. "Didn't recognise me without the bandages?"

"Well, that, and - no offense - but you don't expect amnesiac socialites to just kind of get their stuff ripped off in Central Park." Ali's grin is warm and inclusive, happy. "I can't wait to see where it ends up. I hope I get to - I missed everything last week."

This is when Erin gets to her feet, reaching to tug Ali to her feet if this is allowed. "Come /on./ I don't want to walk home by myself, anyway. You're coming with me." AND THAT IS THE FINAL ANSWER. "And I record everything" because she's VAIN "so if you want to watch it, you'll get off your ass." So who's got the power of persuasion here, really? Okay, so Erin just plans on using brute force. Or. Well. Force, because she's not very brutish at all. "Besides, if that jerk comes back for a second try, I need someone to scare him off."

Ali doesn't /resist/, she just gets mock-grumpy, and accepts the haul-to-her-feet. "Scare him off? I'm shorter than /you/ are." Sort of. Anyway, the blonde DJ doesn't put up much of a fight. "See, you're tempting me with melodrama. That's just so not fair!"

"I'm good at that." Plus. "Pizza. Come on. And if all you have to do is yell to get him to leave me the hell alone, I want you on my side." Strength in numbers, really. No one should be out walking through Central Park alone when it's now nearing nine o'clock at night. "I could give you more reasons, like— You're going to sleep out here in Central Park alone, aren't you? And I can't give your shirt back if you don't have an address. At least if you're staying in my apartment, I can /find you./ And /Pizza./"

"… no?" Guilt. Ali clears her throat. "I have a place." It's convincing, but she certainly doesn't say /where/. "But yeah, I can grab the shirt, anyway, right? But it's the melodrama and pizza that win, seriously. You're going to have to let me chip in for the pie, though."

There's a pause. "Okay, well… Sorry. Still, you have to catch up on this week's One Life." And that's her story, and she's sticking to it. Or something. She doesn't like the idea of someone living out of a backpack, anyway, and maybe she can get Ali to tell her just what the whole deal is with Erin doing her some sort of favour. Either that, or Ali really is just /weird./ Either way, the actress has made up her mind, dammit! And away they go, across Central Park to the very nice apartments that Erin calls home.

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