2007-07-07: Roomies

Starring:

McAlister_icon.gif Erin_icon.gif

Ali and Erin bond over General Hospital, professional interest, and hawt soap guys.

July 7, 2008

Roomies


Erin's Apartment:

It's evening. The bright city lights are shining through a window on the far side of the apartment's living room since the shades aren't drawn yet. The window's open just a little, letting in a nice breeze from outside. It's cool enough so that there's no need for air conditioning yet, and besides, everyone needs some fresh air once in awhile.

Erin's sitting on the couch, legs drawn up with her arms around them. Her hair's still damp from a recent shower, and she's intently watching the TV. SoapNet, to be specific. It's the 10:00 hour, and time for an old favourite of hers. Not her own show, but General Hospital.

"Because Alcazar is /out of control!/" Sonny says to Jason, who looks off-camera with a vaguely concerned blue-eyed stare. The camera focuses back on Sonny. "I need you to be on your game, Jason, or else it's game over."

—-

Let it never be claimed that Ali's /stealthy/.

Nonono. She /tries/, though, creeping up on the couch to lean on its back, there - smiling (a bit lopsidedly around that /glorious/ bruise that's fading away on her jaw). "Be on your game, Erin - or - " DRAMA. "It's /GAME OVER/."

She snickers. "But he's hot. It's forgivable, right?"

She's wearing sweats, utterly relaxed - clean. Happy. These are good things - her hair's up, her sweatshirt proudly announcing, "Whassamata U".

—-

And Erin does not, indeed, jump a mile, because it seems Ali is unable to sneak up on anyone. She looks over her shoulder, though as Ali leans, eyes noting the still-present bruise. It's looking a lot better, at least. "Hey, don't make fun, I have amnesia." Which is a typical soap opera story line. Erin points at Jason. "He does, too. Can't remember a thing. Someone else on the show just got over it. General Hospital does this a lot."

And the scene cuts to Carly and Alcazar. Soap opera viewers have limited attention spans. You can't be on the same scene for more than five minutes, or someone will lose interest. And so Alcazar and Carly discuss Sonny, and how SONNY IS OUT OF CONTROL.

"I'd love to meet Steve Burton. Maybe I will one day. There's a character on this show who I /swear/ looks just like me a few years ago, and she hangs out with him. Maybe it's a sign." Elizabeth Webber. Plain name for a soap opera! Picking up the controller, she turns the volume down a bit. "How are you doing lately?"

—-

"Amnesia's great, though - there's so much you can /do/ with it. I mean - you could be a superspy or something. And you never know." Ali honestly.. does look better. A little less worn - alright. A /lot/ less. "You know, besides freeloading in your spare bedroom? Which I feel guilty about - " A shrug, and she shares, still leaning. "The DA's letting me off with alocution and community service. I may even have a shot at my old job."

A smile may still hurt? But she grins anyway.

—-

"I still have no idea what they're planning for me. All I have is my character's real name." Which will be revealed shortly! Or so she hopes. It hasn't been filmed yet. "I'm tired of being Jane Doe, at any rate, so that'll be a relief when it happens. My first name is the same as his last name." Jason's back on the screen, so she points. "Morgan. Don't tell anyone, it's supposed to be a secret." Which is already posted on all the soap spoiler sites anyway. Oh, well.

"You're not freeloading. It's not freeloading if you're going to pay me back." Turning, she leans her arms on the back of the couch. "And, hey, I was thinking I want a more permanent roommate. So /when/ you get your job back… I mean, you haven't stolen any of my stuff yet, so I'm gonna guess you're not going to. It'll save you the trouble of looking for a place." Whether or not Ali's actually said it, Erin's come to the conclusion that the girl is, indeed, homeless. It's been made pretty clear. "What happened, anyway? I haven't wanted to ask." Well, she has, but she's not /completely/ tactless.

—-

Ali considers that - and then moves around the couch, being more social, at least. Dropping onto a corner and curling up there. It's odd - her expression grows far more serious, thoughtful - the smile stays, but almost as an afterthought.

"Well. I graduated NYU in May, right? Broadcasting - trust me to pick the one degree that's gonna be irrelevant in ten years." She winks, offering that as a joke, it seems. "So I was working for WNYU, with the show - and I had a place off campus with a roomate. Well. Two roomates. Then - they started moving off to do the whole 'life' thing - who'd have thought? Then, since I'm not a student, WNYU couldn't keep me on - defeats the point."

A pause, then - "But it was all cool, right? WYRK picked up the show - until I sort of broke a kid's arm.. you remember the block party thing in brooklyn?" Because.. that's a story that the news can tell. "That was.. sort of my fault."

—-

Aah, see? This makes everything clear, and sort of puts the questions in Erin's mind to rest. George's mention of 'hurting someone' makes sense now, and it's a lot less of a sordid past than Erin had anticipated! Hey, give her a break, the storylines she works on get crazy sometimes.

Arching her eyebrows, Erin says, "Sounds like an accident to me." Yeah, she had heard about it on the news (which comes on after General Hospital!) and it was a /huge mess,/ and she'd thought it was really irresponsible at the time. "So you had a lapse of judgement. It happens to everyone. Trust me. As soon as I was eighteen, I sort of liberated my bank account." Not quite the same as breaking a kid's arm, but… apples and oranges. "I mean, yeah, what was it? You had no permit or something? It was stupid, but it happens." See? /SHE'S BEING COMFORTING./

Right.

—-

"Yeah, well - we'd done it before. Throw out some sprinklers, have a good time - " Ali even points out - "One woman involved even said that somebody messed with the hoses. But I guess it doesn't matter, in the end. So my savings went to pay for the ruined equipment, WYRK said 'we'll discuss you contract after we can determine the harm to your professional reputation', and …" A long, long pause.

"I kind of found out about something else, too. So. Long story short, I ended up with no job, an apartment I couldn't afford, and.. sort of.. a ton of stuff to deal with all at once." Much brighter - "But a bar down in Brooklyn hooked me up with afternoon work, and - " A pause. "He pays in cash. You saw. And that about sums up.. I just haven't really had cash until then, you know?"

—-

Erin's response is a shrug. It's all a matter of odds… You have to go through the proper channels and all that to cover your asses. She won't lecture on that, though, because she's done some crazy stuff in her life. "Well, it matters if it happened, I guess, for your own peace of mind. Still, you get yourself in the media…" A gesture to the window. "Half the idiots out there would believe a reporter if they said the sky was purple."

She doesn't /quite/ realise how close to home that would hit with Ali.

"Something else?" Erin asks, looking back at the TV as Jason and Sonny reappear for a couple minutes, then the scene changes to Dillon and Georgie. She's curious, but she won't press the matter. Without batting an eye, and still watching the screen, she adds, "Well, next time you get paid in cash, /take a cab home./"

—-

"I didn't have one." Ali points out, wryly, her own eyes going to the screen. "Erin - if you're serious about the offer, yeah. I'd.. really not mind taking you up on it. It's kinda nice I didn't ask - believe me, that means something. I kinda can't."

"You know, he's /so/ got to dump her -" That, apparently is aimed at the TV - "But. Yeah. I won't steal your stuff, anyway."

—-

"Yeah, Georgie is jealous. I think— Dillon had this thing with Sage awhile back. Then this Mary girl killed her with a garden rake. They were a lot cuter before." She pauses. "You know, though, if there's a relationship on a soap opera, it's never gonna last." This is said with a bit of a wry smile, and a roll of her eyes.

The whole thing about not being able to ask, though… This is starting to drive Erin nuts. "Yeah, I'm serious, but listen. You're going to have to tell me why you can't ask. You can't ask for help, you can't ask to stay, hell, you won't even ask for dinner. I mean, if I'm reading a script, sometimes /I forget,/ so… What's the deal, Ali? Maybe I'm being naive here. I want to trust you, but— Just. What's going on?"

—-

"Doesn't stop me from /hoping/." Ali rolls her eyes. "But he deserves better. I just think she's using him to get what /she/ wants.."

But the question causes her to fall silent for a moment. "You wouldn't believe me. Would you let me off by saying it's a question of free will?"

—-

"Who, Georgie? Nah, she's sweet, just jealous." A little over-the-top. The show's changing the character, which is sad, but inevitable. When you film /every day,/ something has to happen.

Ali's reply makes her laugh. It's something she tries to cover up, but she can't help a half-snort, at least. "What, you think asking for help is taking away my free will? Look, I don't know what made you believe this, but that's /ridiculous./" She pauses. "If you don't want to tell me, it's okay. I hope you know that you /can/ ask for things, though. I mean, that's— I mean, maybe we're not friends, but if we're living together, I want you to be able to ask me to, I dunno, turn the volume down on the TV if it's too loud."

—-

"Oh, I would. It's not /that/.." Ali laughs, but there's no heart in it. "Don't worry… " A pause. New words chosen. "I'm probably just overthinking things, right? No reason to worry about it. And hey - /you're/ the one saying 'not friends'. Just because you're all /actress/.." Teasing. Definitely teasing. "and don't /want/ to be friends with us lowly mortals.."

—-

Erin's going to worry — a little bit. It's not like she'll dwell on the fact that her room mate is more than a little odd. "Yeah, I think you are," is said, but, hey. They can learn to live together. Erin'll just have to be a little more conscious of what Ali isn't saying, is all. She can at least do that, because who can kick someone back out onto the street for being /a little odd/?

Ali's comment, however, is a little sobering. Erin's expression changes to something not-quite-sad. "I've been there. Not going to do that again."

—-

"Fair enough." Ali tilts her head - starts to say something, then stops. Then.. abruptly, she laughs. "Okay. that's it. no more getting serious, no more weird worries - if you really don't mind me hanging around? Then I absolutely refuse to be all .." A pause. "Did he just say that to her? really?" She's staring at Dillon on the TV. "Ass!"

—-

Erin laughs. "Serious, right." And… she imagines that if Ali's… thing… is really important, it'll come to light eventually. "Okay, well, I'll tell you. I was in a show a long time ago, and I kind of alienated /everyone./ It wasn't so great, so that whole deal with looking down on people? I really can't do it anymore." It gets lonely up at the top? "I gave up acting for a long time. I didn't even go to the studio to audition. I went there to interview for a set design position, but there was something going on. Anyway, I was miserable, so I didn't mean it that way, I just… don't know you that well yet. So I didn 't want to assume."

So, back to General Hospital. "He can be, yeah. You should have seen him around Sage, though. I hated him so much."

—-

"You don't, but you can assume away. Feel free. I'm not really serious, most of the time." Ali allows that, magnanimously. "I wish I'd kept up - see, I don't think I caught those shows - I'm not religious on this one. One life? Yes. This one? Not so much." A pause. "I promise never to go all fangirl. I swear."

—-

All right, then, that's easy enough! They've already been through enough to put them close to friend status, already, so the extra little push goes completely un-noticed. "Well, I can't watch them all the time. I was just home, and figured… I mean, this is my favourite." Laughing again, she shakes her head. "If you haven't already driven me crazy, I don't think you're likely to. But I like signing autographs now and then."

—-

"Then I'll make you sign them whenever you're in the mood." Ali stretches out. Sort of. Turning sideways on the couch. "So have you kissed him yet?"

—-

Aah, Erin is an old hat at dodging these questions now! Granted, being someone's roommate means that Ali will likely find out details about the show before the general public, /however./ Without missing a beat, Erin says, "You'll just have to wait and see." Then there's a pause. "/Pryce!?/ Pryce!? Morgan /HATES/ him!"

—-

"Oh, come on - you can.." Ali stares at the screen. "Somebody needs to kill a writer. I mean.. really.. /what/?" A pause, then. "Thin line between love and hate. Riiight. Whatever."

—-

This is true. Someone her character hates one week could fall in love with him the next. Which means that anything Erin says is completely null and void as they routinely rebuild her character from scratch. Every. Week. "Yes, yes they have, but you can't… get on the internet or whatever and tell everyone. I mean it." Erin rolls her eyes. "Guza's the head writer. He needs to go back to school." Favourite soap or not, she has to admit, recent storylines are boring.

—-

"I won't. I don't even have a computer - don't worry about it. Is he a decent… " Ali tilts her head at the TV. "She really has the big eyes thing down, doesn't she. Anyway - so. Was it decent? Kissing, I mean. Sorry - he's cute. I have to know."

—-

Erin can't lie. "Yes. Yes he is. He keeps asking me out off camera." And she might sound as if this is the most boring thing in the world, but that accent, those eyes, they're starting to wear her down. Eventually, she's going to have to say yes, because he's a nice guy, a gentleman, and… "He's cute." She'll concede that that, /but no more./

—-

"And you can say no? I envy." Ali laughs, then, friendly and inclusive - apparently, she's offering a joke in, "But then, me and dates don't happen." Yes, even with her ability - not that that's known - "Something tells me my willpower isn't a good test."

—-

"Yeah, I'm not really looking at the moment." Her job is relatively new, she's still getting on her feet, really, and adding a commitment into her life right now would be a bad idea. "Ah, you'll find someone. Chances are you'll run across a few people from the show if you hang out here long enough." Leaning over, she elbows Ali's arm. "If that's who you're holding out for."

—-

Ali - with great maturity - sticks her tongue out at the other woman. "Nah. Right now? Dating isn't.. something I think that's a good idea for me. Give me six months. But, after that? I might hold out." She grins - as much as the bruise permits. "I'm not in the same realm as the /actresses/ though. So .. you know - they have a better hand to pick from."

—-

One eyebrow arches, a smile on the actor's face. Okay, so no dating. Understandable, given legal troubles and lack of a job. "You should ice your face again tonight. Maybe you'll get rid of that bruise a little faster. God, I still can't believe that guy — I hope they catch him. He's hanging around Central Park just… waiting. Makes me want to stay home." They recognised each other, which makes it worse. It means he might be looking for her now.

The smug grin leaves Erin's face. "You act like I'm famous or something. It's just my job. I enjoy it. I mean, heck, half the time, people don't even recognise me on the street. You didn't, if I remember right." The smile returns.

—-

"If you're not now, you will be." Ali predicts, certain - "That's the thing - besides. This is a city where Madonna's got a place by central park and nobody notices if she walks to Sardi's. I bet if you showed up in, like, Omaha? Mobbed. Instantly." The DJ points out - "And if you don't think the Powers That Be pick soap stars 'cause they're pretty? You're crazier than I am."

—-

"Yeah, but you watch the show!" She's amused, really. Then again, it's sometimes hard to recognise people when they're out of makeup and wearing street clothes. There's just a different look to them or something. She's always noticed it. "I know what you mean, though. I like being under the radar, to be honest. It's nice not being mobbed. I'm really /not complaining./"

After thinking for a moment, she stands. "I need to start heading to bed if I'm going to get up at 4. Listen, think about what you want to pay for rent every month and let me know. There's a breakdown of cost in the kitchen. I'm not asking for half, just enough to pull your weight a bit." It's a nice apartment, and /really big,/ so asking half wouldn't be fair. "Just make sure it's something you can actually afford, 'cuz I'm gonna hold you to it."

—-

Ali nods - "Hey, Erin? Thanks. For.. everything." It's heartfelt - a lot of the brash jersey fading as she says it. "I owe you - yes, rent, but a lot more. I appreciate it, you know? You took a hell of a chance."

"Eh, you were just in the right place at the right time." She'll brush it off, but the sincerity is touching. Makes her feel more like she did do the right thing, if there was any doubt. "Besides, you're on radio. How much of a chance was it, really? If anything went missing, I'd have a way to find you." There's a smile there, though. It was a chance. Then again, she might end up with the first real friend she's had since she was a teenager.

—-

McAlister nods, once. "Good point. Well, I /might/ be on the radio. Keep your fingers crossed, huh?" She stands, languid - "Go.." A pause, then, rephrasing. "Don't let me keep you up. And - for now? 'cause I can't afford anything right this minute? I've got the housework."

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