2010-02-20: Show Your Humanity



Date: February 20th, 2010


Tracy and Beth make a late night stop at Taine's for refuge. Unsurprising spoilers: the grown-ups don't get along, Erin is still missing, and Beth cries.


"Show Your Humanity"

Taine Whitaker's Apartment

Brooklyn, NYC

They make an interesting pair — their cab driver wasn't wrong to stare, nor are the people out on the streets of Brooklyn tonight. All the more reason for Tracy to urge Beth inside with haste. So it was that they arrive just inside the brownstone that Taine Whitaker lives in, Tracy in black and white with no coat and Beth in pink pyjamas. That is, the brownstone that Taine Whitaker lives in if the memory of a shaken thirteen year old girl can be trusted; she seems smart, though, and Tracy seems to trust her directions.

Quiet during her urgent trek inside, Tracy, forced to pause in front of the doors barring them from those plush carpets inside, holds an arm around Beth (maybe she doesn't want her to fall over…?) and rapidly tries the buzzer. "Taine? This is Tracy — Tracy Strauss, I'm a friend of Erin's." And she sounds serious, urgent, even dire. "I don't know if you remember me. I have Beth— we need to come inside."

A supporting arm is definitely a good thing; Beth is barefoot, shivering and in shock. She clutches her good hand over the bullet graze decorating her arm, and blinks rapidly against the desire to faint. But Erin's adopted daughter is nothing if not a trooper! Every few minutes or so, she mumbles an apology to Tracy about this or that (the latest one being for dripping on the floor of the enclosed entryway) and attempts to stand on her own two feet. Before going right back to leaning against the taller woman.

When Tracy stabs at the buzzer, Beth's own voice drifts the other's. "T-taine? P-please open the d-door." Pause. "I'm sorry."

Various degrees of worry have happened inside this apartment. The last place that anyone who isn't involved in her possible kidnapping had seen Erin. Taine happens to still be awake, making some phone calls and gathering up letters that he said he'd bring by the police. It's not at all what he thinks happened to her, but it's a far more reasonable explanation…

The buzzing on the door attracts his attention and he puts the phone back down. He'd not actually been on it, just waiting to decide who to call next. There's one person he would love to call— but he doesn't know how to contact her—

And she's ringing his doorbell. "Tracy?" he says in surprised, Australian accent plain as day. "…Beth… crikey fuck," he curses oddly, before buzzing them inside. He'd forgotten about Beth… She should have been one of the first people he tried to call, to see if she needed a place to stay.

"Hurry in," he adds, giving the apartment. He really hopes the cops aren't watching his place.

But a few swift moments later, there's a knock-knock before Tracy tries to open it. Tracy gives the actor a tight smile, forced but thankful, even if begins to turn into a grimace. "Hi … 'm sorry to just barge in on you like this, I know you don't even know me." The woman's apologies of are the polite variety, calm and collected under the circumstances as if dropping in with a bleeding kid is a business deal — but underneath is a tremor of urgency, something a little more real. "…but you know Beth," she adds with a look to the girl and back. "We ran into some trouble at Erin's, and I didn't know where else to take her, so— " She just lifts her eyebrows to explain: there you have it. Here they are. "Also you might wanna go pay for the taxi." Obviously, they had to leave somewhere if they don't have coats — obviously they don't have cash.

Yes, bleeding teenager. Beth doesn't neglect her manners though, in spite of the red stain along the arm of her pyjamas, and the grey tinge to her skin. She looks up at the actor from beneath the shelter of Tracy's arm and somehow finds a smile for him. "Hi, Taine." There's another pause while her eyes wander, focus starting to unravel. "It was my fault," she admits when it occurs to her to look back up at the adults. "I shouldn't have scared them."
"Sure, I'll go pay for it," Taine says, though they'll quickly notice he opened the door with his shirt off. Nothing they haven't seen on television! Beth's even seen it plenty of times in person, thanks to filming with them. "We've met before," he adds to Tracy, reaching to put a coat on over his chest and find some shoes. There's a stack of letters on the table, as well as a few other things. "There's a first aid kit under the bathroom sink," he adds to the two women, before disappearing outside with cash to pay the taxi driver. Probably will get a big tip, too, since he's not planning on sticking around to ask for change.

Met fleetingly. Barely rapport enough to waltz into the apartment of the shirtless Taine, but hey, extraordinary circumstances. Nodding to the first aid kid directions, Tracy heads into the familiar apartment. "They were the ones who scared you," she tells Beth firmly. "Go sit down." She accompanies the shaky girl, by her side until she seeks out somewhere to sit. She disappears, then, to find the aforementioned first aid kit — soft sounds of rummaging can be heard from the bathroom … as well as elsewhere, since Tracy is also in the possession of a blanket from who-knows-where when she returns. Extraordinary circumstances and all.

Was he shirtless? It hardly registers in the little teenager's thoughts, maybe because it is just one of those things. Also, shock! This makes sitting down a terrific prospect and she's out of it enough that it doesn't even occur to Beth that she might end up ruining Taine's couch. She just plunks right down onto it and promptly stretches out on the side opposite the bullet wound. "I scared them too," the girl counters, though the tone is meek and foggy. "M'just going to rest, yes ma'am." Right here. And she hasn't moved by the time Tracy returns, although panic might be averted when her eyes open to fix on Tracy and the blanket. "Is it going to hurt?"

Is what going to hurt, that's the question. Tracy lays the blanket over Beth's lower half and kneels on the floor in front of the couch, opening the kit to eye its contents and rifle through them. "Probably," she answers honestly, but gives Beth a flighty, apologetic smile afterward. Putting aside thoughts of how this isn't exactly her forte — in more ways than one — Tracy tugs carefully at the once pink fabric where the bullet happened to tear it, wincing faintly. "But I think you're gonna be just fine." Because Doctor Tracy is going to take care of you? More like because the wound isn't too terrible — hopefully.

Really, it could not hurt at all and Beth would be a big baby about it. That's real blood. In fact, when she moves her hand away to let Tracy play doctor, and happens to catch sight of the rusty smears on her fingers, the teen gives a whimper. A pathetic little whimper before she closes her eyes tightly and refuses to look as the wound is unmasked.

It isn't bad, per se. There was no puncture. Just a furrow along her upper arm, maybe a quarter-inch deep and two inches long. The edges are already starting to scab over, although the middle still oozes. Beth is in no frame of mind to admire how close she came to ruin, though. "Tracy?" Pause. "I'm sorry if I throw up on you."

There's a few minutes, and suddenly Taine is quite a few large bills poorer. When he makes it back inside, he locks the door and looks over the girl and the older woman. "I meant to call and see if you knew what had happened to Erin, but… here you are. Both of you." He sighs as he notices the extent of the damaage to the pyjamas. "I hope you don't need a doctor. I do have a neighbor I could go see, but I can't do much…" And he looks pale at the sight of the blood. Squeamish TV doc!

Wait, did she just say… "Take it to the bathroom please!"

"Well— try not to." What, were you expecting Tracy to answer sure, no problem? "Just hang in there…" She stands up and looms carefully over the girl while tearing the pyjama sleeve a little bit to clean the wound very carefully with supplies from the kit. "It's just a graze," she says, speaking to Taine more than her… patient. "But thirteen year olds shouldn't get bullet wounds." She shakes her head, expression veering into angry territory. "I take it you haven't heard from Erin either. The police came to her apartment. Hence…"

Beth does her very best to be good about the not throwing up thing, returning to hyperventilating between giving pained whines at the torture of having her arm patched up. It is all very pathetic. But on the bright side, there's no vomit! Just tears, leaking from the corners of her scrunched up eyes. "…I shot first," she puts in weakly during a lull in the torment. One eye is cracked open, peering at Taine. As if by appealing directly to him, he'll accept that it was all her fault. "They said don't move."

"Don't shoot at people, especially not right now. Erin's already missing, and she'll give me Ebola if you get taken while she's gone," Taine says, moving away a bit and walking over to the window to look outside. No sign of police. "The police asked me to come down to the station. The news already thinks I'm a suspect, but the police aren't pressing charges, and I gave them some evidence that should have them looking in another direction, but…"

No sign of Erin. "This is your fault for giving her that bloody list," he gives Tracy a hard stare. He's rarely been this strained, except on screen and in character… but he's never learned that his girlfriend murdered people and then have her vanish before. It sounds like something out of a soap opera.

Tracy's careful cleaning of the wound moves on to disinfecting which is bound to sting more. In-between, she gives Taine a sharp look, pinning him with a suddenly intense stare. "She told you about that?" Her jaw sets and she focuses solely on taking care of Beth for a moment. "She was in trouble long before I had anything to do with it," she snaps. "Her time was already running out. If she got caught, it was because she was stupid."

She retrieves a bandage to tack onto Beth's wound. It's not perfect, but she's doing what she can. Her voice lowers and loses some of its bite, and she leans in. "Beth, it wasn't your fault," she refutes, deflecting everyone's blame left and right. "You were scared. That's normal. It's not your fault that when you get scared your ability kicks in. You've been through a lot, it'll just take some time to get it under control."

The grown-ups are fighting, which is Beth's cue to close her eyes again and return to those fast breathing exercises to fight her upset tummy. But one thing does stand out. "Please don't call Erin stupid." The request is too mild to be a scold, and any impact it might have had is lessened by a sudden squeak as the disinfecting goop does indeed begin to sting. Which immediately makes the girl return to leaking like a broken faucet, although some effort is made to acknowledge Tracy's reassurance. She sniffs, nods and looks between the two of them. "I'll do better, I promise. Is…is Erin coming back? Can we find her?"

That's right, adults. Less fighting, more figuring out how to rescue the wereporcupine.

"And how do you know they didn't come after her specifically because she was doing that? You can't expect to be treated with respect and humanity when you don't show it," Taine says, angered at these things, and disagreeing with it. It could be his non-specialness, but what he can tell is they've just shown that they're really good at what Erin feared they were going to be turned into.


"You can stay here, but I don't want to hear about you using your ability on people unless you're under attack." It wasn't that they used it to hurt people. It was that Erin hunted one down and assassinated him. There's differences, even if the end result protects people. As far as he's seen, it's protected no one, and might have gotten her captured.

As he moves toward the bedroom, to find the extra blankets and pillows, he adds to the young girl, "We'll get her back."

While Tracy may not apologize to Beth vocally, she does frown with some measure of regret. As she draws back, patch-up job complete, she briefly lays a warm (surprisingly) hand on the girl's forearm. As she stands up, watching Taine, her expression is boiling over with the urge to snap back, to argue, to explain. She restrains herself, settling on: "I'll be sure to keep my mouth shut."

After today… she realizes she'd be lying if she were to argue Taine. Even if he couldn't possibly understand what her and Erin are faced with, maybe he's right in part. He's probably right. But Tracy isn't about to say so here and now. "I'll get you something to drink," she tells Beth, drifting off into Taine's kitchen.

To hear good-natured Taine speaking in that tone, using those words, temporarily distracts Beth from the discomfort of her arm. The teen flinches at the rules of not using their abilities, free hand slipping guiltily beneath her thigh when the man walks by to the bedroom. As if hiding the source of the problem could, in effect, make up for having lost control of it in the first place. So the grown-ups depart, her frightened and worried gaze following each off to their respective rooms. Then, quietly, to the empty one, she whispers, "I didn't mean it."


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