2010-07-16: Power



Date: July 16, 2010


We has it.


NYPD lockup

The short-term holding facility is a far cry from the well-known horrors of federal prison, but it's still not a nice place to be: grimy and smelly to begin with, and the batch of new arrivals has only made those problems worse - not to mention the compounding effect of that much body heat in close quarters. At least most of the people are sympathetic to each other's plight, but tensions are running pretty high by the time Randall finally gets processed to the point of his one phone call. "Hi, Carrie? We've got a problem here…"

Carrie was, to tell the truth, wondering where Randall had gotten to, but her deep funk since losing her powers is so bad she's forgotten to eat some days, and has to be reminded to bathe. She listens to the phone "Randall!" she says at the voice, then blinks at the message. Then looks at the caller ID. "You're… in jail?" she asks, incredulously. "I don't think I told anyone about all the times you sold dope disguised as a nun…" Well, apparently she's not dead yet. The sense of humor still works.

And Randall does laugh, in spite of everything, before backing up against the wall and mopping his brow with the back of his sleeve. "Yeah, some guys at the protest decided to get violent, and it all went downhill from there. I was trying to get people outta there—" He isn't naive enough to think that arguing with the cops will get him anywhere, but hey, he has to vent to somebody. "Anyway… c'mon down as soon as you can? I'm not going anywhere…"

Carrie thinks about it. She frets a little. Sure, Randall's certainly good for it. After all, bail on a mass arrest isn't going to be that steep. Sure, she probably owes him that much in back rent for her half of the apartment, given that she still has no job. But any sizable bail is still likely to leave her nearly broke. And is she willing to go there? For Randall? Of course she is. "I'll be right there. I have to get some clothes on. Maybe grab a quick shower. I'll bring my plastic."

"All right, see you when you get here. Love you!" There's a split second of nattering from the peanut gallery just before he hangs up.

By the time she does arrive, he's back to looking worn down again, from the heat and the noise— really, it's not that much worse than it was before the riot started, but it makes a real difference when you know walking away isn't an option. "Oh, thank God," he says, as the requisite paperwork is handed over. "Swear I'm developing claustrophobia today."

Carrie looks at Randall. It's automatic to ask, "Are you hurt?" but her expression belies what little she (thinks she) can do about it now. She takes Randall's hand and asks the nice man with guns and body armor what she's supposed to do next, and is directed to the bail window.

Randall calms down some as he follows after her. "Not too badly, I got my arms and legs scraped up some--" and then he trails off, glancing down at her fingers. Which look like they're a little too close to his skin. Which could mean—

—well, if his own ability is starting to bounce back from the alien fog machine, or whatever it was--

—well, um. If he's wrong, then it could be disastrous. Better keep his mouth shut; if he's right, then they'll both know it by the time they reach the sidewalk.

Carrie holds Randall's hand. "We'll get some like… neosporin and bandaids on the way home, I guess." She kicks the bail desk. Very lightly. Waits for her card to be run. Heads out toward the sidewalk with Randall. "I feel so completely useless." she whispers to him.

As soon as they make it outside, Randall draws his hand away from hers. At first glance, it looks like he's upset with her - until he holds it up where she can see, the skin restored to its normal hue. And leans in to whisper back. "No, you don't."

Carrie blinks. Stares really. "I didn't. I didn't do that. Did I?" She looks over Randall for his other scrapes. They were just there. "But it doesn't work anymore. It DIED. She practically screams it. Carrie reaches out with one hand and lays it on Randall's skin and pushes her gift just as hard as she can. Her hand connects, certainly. What happens after that is hard to say.

Outwardly, Randall just stares off into space for a good long while, seeming to focus on a spot over Carrie's shoulder and half a block away. Inwardly? He's never seen colors like that before. He's not sure that color even exists any more. And this is the guy who sees colors all the time.

"Tastes like coconut! And metal!" And then he stumbles back one step, two, and promptly crashes to the pavement - backward, this time. Hope you've got enough left for cab fare, Carrie!

Carrie reaches out to touch Randall again, but this time her power fails her again. "Shit. SHIT." she says. She drags him away from the cop shop as directly as she can and hails a cab.

Randall and Carrie's apartment, The Bronx

The cab ride goes as smoothly as ever, which is to say not very. Randall doesn't complain, though, even after he comes to - he's been in the driver's seat. Any ride where nobody shoots at you is a good ride.

Uncertain of his balance, he rests a hand on Carrie's arm as he gets out, reaching for his wallet. But what she feels touching her? Doesn't feel like healthy skin any more. Doesn't even feel like scar tissue. If anything, it could best be compared to toothpaste.

What the hell is going on.

Carrie has no idea what's going on in Randall's mind as she helps him in the door and leads him to the bed. "Are you okay? Shit. My powers did something. Now they don't work again." She reaches out to check his pulse.

"Yeah, I'm okay, I— I think I'm better than okay. I haven't seen them this bright since--" Randall blinks a couple of times. And the shimmering hues are still there, solid as pea soup fog. As Carrie's fingers brush across the back of his wrist, they're surrounded by the deepest of deep red, a shade no HDTV could hope to duplicate. It's more than color, it's heat and silk and—


—and she begins to see it too, feel it. All of it.

Carrie's eyes open and she stares. "What the… Randallll… Carrie draws back and shakes her head, trying to make the world make sense again. "What is that? What did you do? Are your powers going weird too?

Randall reaches out again, this time into thin air, watching his arm disappear to the elbow into the midst of the unearthly glow. "I don't know, I— wait, what do you mean 'what is that'? Did my heart rate spike or something?" Her ability may be fried - again - temporarily, again, he hopes - but she can still take a pulse. Unless she's too freaked out, which she would totally have an excuse for, the way this day's been going.

Carrie's head clears as soon as she stops touching Randall. She blinks and laughs slightly, and reaches out to touch him again, a little relieved, at least, that whatever he's done seems controllable from where she is. She leans close to kiss him. "I think…" She kisses again. "I think you're making me high."

"What--" Randall kisses back, drawing his arms around her waist, uncertain whether he's pulling himself up or her down. Maybe both. "What do you mean? I was thinking magic blotter paper too, for a second, but— I've seen that before, and this isn't it." He gave it up several years ago, it was a dead end compared to his 'real' ideas. "Besides, even if someone in the crowd did have it, why would it wait till now to—"

Carrie is dizzy, watching the walls breathe, watching everything around her tilt and swirl like a Van Gogh painting. She shakes her head. "No it." She sits back so her head will clear. "It stops every time I stop touching you.

Now Randall sits up, cross-legged. Staring. Yes, there's a greenish-yellow purple surrounding him, but his attention is all on Carrie now. "What it? What happens when I— what happens when it starts?"

Carrie says, "I see colors that aren't there. Greenish-yellow purple around you now" she says, holding his hand. "And the crud in the carpet is singing." Carrie laughs. "Did I do that to you? Have you ever had this happen before?"

"…oh my God, it is." Randall leans over the side of the bed, staring down at it, then cupping an ear. "No, I— you must have! I guess!" His hand is still in hers - then, brow furrowed in thought, he brings his other hand up to her cheek. "Does it get stronger if—"

It does. It's like closing a circuit - the colors are still there, but now they're glowing. And shifting, swirling. The steady thrum of Carrie's heartbeat is amplified a hundredfold, rattling the walls.

Carrie slips her arms around Randall and abandons herself to the weird sensations, bizzare hallucinations, the pure joy of really not being connected to the world at all. This probably explains why she keeps licking his nose. Vanilla orange pop skin. Her fave.

Contact is good. They could do with some more of it. Randall reaches for the hem of her shirt, peels it up and out of the way— it keeps going, floating through the air— up, up, until it crashes into the lightbulb hanging from the ceiling, which explodes in a silent shower of fireflies.

Within the darkness, the light show continues.

Hours pass.

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