2007-10-13: The Brink of Inhumanity

Starring:

Taine_icon.gif Erin_icon.gif

Summary: Erin is exhausted, and stuck in a bathroom (of all places) with a mutt named Taine.

Date It Happened: 13 OCTOBER 2007

The Brink of Inhumanity


Soundstage 64, OLTL set

Thankfully, todays been one of those days that she had no lines and no need to be in front of the camera except for a couple scenes. That was easy. Even if she had to appear on production schedule, she managed to conceal the damage for the most part, though a whole lot of her co-workers have been asking if she's sick. Ironic considering. All her shirts have been long-sleeved, her hands have been hidden, and most of all, Erin looks tired. Otherwise in good spirits, sure, but she is an actor.

Lunchtime on set happens promptly at 12:15. After checking up on paint fixtures on an outdoor sound stage, Erin headed to the one place she can actually relax with no one around… Namely, the women's restroom. While everyone else is at lunch, Erin's leaning over a sink, the sleeves of her sweatshirt rolled up, as she's splashing her face with cold water. She hurts. Not as much as yesterday, but still, her hands look like she hit them with a hammer, and that's extended up the nerves into her back. For her, it's hard to make the best of things. This has to stop, but she has absolutely no idea where to go… Except to 'Cass,' and she's still afraid of being put away for what she can do.

—-

Not everyone's at lunch. Going to lunch like THIS isn't exactly easy. Face covered in latex makeup, like something out of a horror movie. Which would actually be pretty accurate. They probably borrowed the make up from an old horror movie. The fur is getting into his eyes, though, so he doesn't notice for sure which of the two bathrooms he's fleeing to. Taine's eyes are bright red. The make up is giving him a headache and irritating him. But all he can really do until they're done filming is sneak off into a private area and apply eye drops. Once the door is closed behind him, he does just that. He still has pants on, though more make up covers his chest and back, making him look more physically built than he actually is, as well as hairy. There's rips in his pants, but he still has pockets.

Pulling a eye dropper out of his pockets, he throws his head back and pulls his eyelids open to try and get the liquid in, blinking a multitude of times. It's the damn contacts fault too. He's convinced there's something under it— probably one of his fake hairs. With water rolling down his latex covered cheeks, he blinks the liquid out and looks around at—

This isn't the men's room.

And there's an Erin. "…sorry. I came in the wrong door," he says in his accent.

—-

Erin's certainly surprised when someone walks in. It's one of those old restrooms in the back of nowhere, with spiders, and bad lighting, and water that kind of smells of rust. It's clean, though. Just… old. In any case, the last person she expects to see hands-down is a werewolf, and truthfully, the sight gives her a bit of a start, and her heart jumps.

She's cool, she's cool. "Ah— No, it's okay." She pulls her sleeves down, using one to wipe the water from her face. It's hard to brood when you're looking at one of your co-workers in full make up. "Needed someone to talk to anyway— You really don't look anything like yourself," she says. Normally, that would be delivered in some sort of teasing tone, but it just falls flat today. Erin just doesn't have the energy for it.

"Not like anyone really comes back here anyway. How're you holding up? I hear that stuff's itchy." Maybe it's the set tech in her, but she's grabbing paper towels to blot the tears off Taine's face before the makeup artist has twin cows.

—-

A few blinks later and Taine fully registers her state. He's not the only one with water rolling down his cheeks— she too has the problem. Without the make up as an excuse. Though it's hard to see any real emotions under all the make up they have him wearing, there's something in the way he's standing. It's even difficult to emote with his eyes covered with colored contacts. The eyedropper is fumbled back into his pants, with long fake nails making such a move more difficult, and he reaches up as if to touch her own face while she blots the tears off.

But his hand is hair, his fingernails are long and scary looking— not really sharp, but making a good go at it.

He lets his hand drop away. "It itches, yeah— hurts my eyes more, but— Erin. You. Are you okay? You've been quiet all day and now you're hiding in one of the… oldest bathrooms in the entire studio. And you look upset." At least he was allowed to take the mouthpiece out for lunch, or else he'd have fake teeth distorting his accent. His voice is at least normal.

And there's blood on his mouth and hands, too. Fake blood. He'd just finished killing someone— the teenager who first mentioned the werewolf story all those months ago. Course he could be revived by the miracle doctor, assuming his actor re-signs his contract.

—-

Caleb's been working with them on the set lately - revealed as the scary lab-coat guy, and - SURPRISE - Erin's real-life brother. That was fun for fans, who actually, for once, didn't see it coming. Taine's probably at least a little familiar with him… After all, the good doctor is the one who's making werewolves. She smiles when he reaches for her face, rolling blue eyes a bit. It tickles. And Taine looks absolutely ridiculous. Still, he's probably her best friend lately, besides her roommate.

No, I'm not okay, She could say. Instead, she shrugs. "Everything's fine. You know, the normal." I keep slipping, I'm not so sure I can get control of this thing, I don't know what to //do. "Kinda just… Losing sleep over the whole set thing. It's like trying to— It's just…

"Taine, do you have a minute to talk?" It's hard looking at him with the fake blood and the red eyes, sure, but she has to tell someone. After blotting the dampness from his face, she tosses the towel away. "Caleb is— Well, I guess my … problem … runs in the family. He's known about his for a long time. But I think he…" Turning away, Erin leans on the sink.

—-

Unfortunately, Taine was not gifted with an ability other than charm and good looks, and the make up is making both of those difficult to show off right now. He's doing his best to act like a doctor turned into a monster— but it's a very odd to try and figure out. "Normal with you is pretty abnormal," he says in response, unaware of her thoughts, but understanding that her brand of normal isn't exactly normal. It's a lot closer to what he's had to put himself through to get into character. It hasn't made him an expert, but it's at least helping him understand things. A little.

"Yeah, I got time to talk. I'm probably going to need to get touched up, but then I have to go back to killing Damon— or was his name Deigo?" He forgets, seriously. He doesn't pay attention to the teenager's plotline. He could be teenage punk #1 for all he cares.

But… he moves closer as she leans on the sink, looking as genuine and thoughtful and carefully listening as someone in all the make up he's in can look. "You're brother's like you too?" That's surprising, he hadn't really thought that much about it. Kid seemed normal enough— okay actor. Small talk involved sloths.

"If you need to talk about it, I'm sorta becoming an expert. I'm a guy— playing a guy— that's going through some pretty abnormal stuff— still trying to hang on to who he is at the same time." And it won't be easy for him, he can tell that already. And the worst part is, Afterlife sounds like they intend to do even more to him. But the plotline on One Life itself has almost ended. They're working on the Halloween arc that will lead into Afterlife in fact.

—-

"His name is Damon. He plays Diego," Erin says with a smile. "He's actually a pretty nice kid. Not half like the jerk he plays." She pays attention. She has to… She has to read the scripts cover to cover to know what goes where and when and how. All of her scripts have the added bonus of being covered with her own sketches and doodles. She's very proud of the halloween set!

"He can… Ah… Take a normal object and just crumple it. That's what he calls it. Bend things that aren't supposed to bend. Anyway…"

She's trying to play this off like it's nothing. She can do this, despite the fact that she's pretty close to her breaking point now, and is scared to death that she's really going to hurt someone. Then what? What do you do when you kill — "Last night, me and Caleb and our sister Mika. We all get together for pizza. She said something— I just — " Erin shakes her head, looking up into the mirror. "If this keeps happening, Taine, I'm going to really hurt someone. I don't — Anyway, Caleb took my hands, tried to get me to calm down." Pulling back her sleeves, she holds up her hands, arching her eyebrows. Interesting, huh? Blue isn't really Erin's colour, actually. "He found out that his ability works on people, too. So we're about the most dangerous family in the whole world about now, I think."

She's quiet for a moment, before turning back to the sink to run her bruised hands under the cold water. "So I guess this Friday we have our big scene where I get through to werewolf-you and we head to the lab to kill my brother." Splashing her face, she adds, "I got the script early. Me and the rest of the crew need to re-build the lab set with better lighting. So, you know. Just a heads-up."

—-

"That's good, cause the kid he plays is kind of a jerk— even if I'm really glad they didn't sic me on the girl instead," Taine says, shaking his head a bit. He doesn't think Dr. Pryce would forgive himself for killing a teenage girl, and he doesn't care much for the idea either. At least if it's a jerk, he can sort of live with it. But they're not really talking about the show so much right now, she's describing her family.

"Crumpling things? Like paper?" Cause that's about the only thing he's ever heard someone crumpling. But she said normal objects, and there's quite a bit of stuff that could've gone down there.

He listens, moving to lean against the bathroom wall and watch her. Listening. Watching. He's being as empathic as he can, with his wig hanging in his face. The blond werewolf didn't work out, so his fur is actually gray. Matches his make up quite well. Which meant his hair needed to be gray too.

Eyelids blink over unnatural red eyes, and he says, "You're only dangerous if you can't control yourselves. All you really need to do is figure that out— like the plot. I read the script too— since it's the first time in a week I'll get to act without my make up on." They gave it to him, at least his part, in advance. So he could prepare for it emotionally. It's actually one of his most challanging scenes.

"Morgan pulls Pryce back from the brink of inhumanity— from being one of the most dangerous people in the entire world. Who says it won't work the same way? Almost makes me wonder if the writers know about what's going on— with you and the other abnormal people." He knows of three now. That's a lot of abnormal people! In his book. Who says the writers aren't going through the same thing and using the show as some kind of metaphor? Course they'd say it's a metaphor for any kind of uncontrollable difference.

—-

"Well, it's still a kid. You know they're going to play up the angst factor on the new show." Pulling her sleeves down to cover her hands again, Erin crosses her arms. She feels so tired. But today's one day she couldn't just call off and sleep in all day. "Crumpling things, like metal pots and glasses - just like they're… I don't know. Made out of clay. Take your fist and squeeze it around a lump of play-doh. Pretend that's glass. That's what he can do. He did that to my hand, Taine. He didn't mean to, but damn. Never really thought I'd be scared of my own brother."

Erin… really does like Taine. Even if she's not sure if she can be in any sort of relationship with anyone at the moment, she can actually be nice to him, and doesn't feel gross afterward. "That's the thing, Taine. I can't control it. Am I supposed to never get mad? Is this my punishment or something for being a bitch when I was younger? I dunno." Throwing her hands up, she sighs.

"I'm sure your fans can't wait," she says mildly, chuckling a little. Seriously, she's seen the feedback, and Hairy-Pryce just isn't as hot as Doctor-Pryce. They'll live. "Plausible deniability. I don't know. Are you gonna pull me back from the brink of inhumanity? 'cuz I could really use a hand about now. Or a paw, as it — were." She gestures to his hand, smirking. The smile slowly fades as she meets his (currently red) eyes, though.

"I'm going to kill someone, and that'll be it. I'll just snap. Just like Pryce did." The audience will see the look on the werewolf's face. He didn't want to do it. But after the Diego massacre, it just won't be the same for him ever again.

—-

"They definitely are— that's what they do," Taine responds, shaking his head a bit. "At least until I forget about it at a convienant time and they give me something new to angst about." Like whatever happens after that. Alien abduction? Vampirism? Swamp monster? He's already dreading just how far they're going to take this new feel, but at least he's getting paid more. And has a contract for a couple years already lined up. It gives him some security for staying in the US.

"That's pretty dangerous, yeah, but— I don't know, Erin." She hated him for a weeks when he had a bad reaction to her ability, he's trying to be more understanding just because otherwise she might up and— well— hate him again. And he didn't much like that.

"You can learn. I mean— what's that line you have to Pryce? About how he can fight it— how he's stronger than his emotions and instincts— so are you." It's not fair to be using a script to figure out what to say, but it's about the only thing he has to go off where this is concerned.

He moves forward and touches her shoulders, his furry hands and long nails curling around the fabric. "Erin. You didn't kill me. I made you pretty mad and you still managed to pull back and stop yourself. Just… keep stopping yourself. I know you can."

—-

"Well, you'd have to forget about it sometime." She has to hide a chuckle as the werewolf takes her arms. Getting this talk from someone who looks great on camera, but kind of corny otherwise, is… Well, at least it keeps her from crying. Still, it means something. "Oh, you saw the script. You know I get to kill my brother's assistant." It'll be awesome, too. With a garden claw. Hey, when you have to make due with what you have… Besides, it'll be cathartic. The woman in red is horrible off camera. Reminds Erin of herself when she was younger.

Erin cracks her neck, turning back to the sink to run her hands under the still-running cold water, so she can splash her face again. "Sometimes I wonder if I'm reading my life from a script," she says. "This is ridiculous. This shouldn't happen to a person." Drying off her face again, she takes a few steps to stand in front of him, close. "I found someone who says she can help. Her name's Cass Aldric. I met her at the bookstore she runs, and she's got a place… I'm gonna try to get control of this before I do really hurt someone. Mikayla just— You should have seen her face, Taine. She was terrified of us." Erin reaches for his hand, takes it. "I want you to come with me. Just… moral support."

—-

"Yeah, I saw that part— She keeps saying that this'll jump start her onto another series, and I hope so," Taine shakes his head, because, like Erin, he doesn't care much for her. She flirts with him for one. As proven by his persuit of this woman right in front of him, he'd rather be the one doing the flirting, or he often doesn't even gain an interest. He's weird that way.

He keeps listening, watching her carefully, though he lets her wash her hands. Means he keeps his own hands on her shoulders and back as much as he can, but gives her room to move around. When she faces him again, he nods. It is ridiculous— but then she mentions Cass Aldric.

His eyes blink. Surely there's a couple Cass Aldrics in the world, but— you know what? He doubts it. "About this tall, blue eyes and short dark hair?" he holds up a hand, demonstrating the right height. She's actually the same height he is— tall woman. "That's pretty odd— she lives in my building. I ran into her the other day. She said she was a fan. Is she like you?" This word is looking really small all of a sudden…

"And of course I will, as long as you let me take all this off first."

—-

Erin rolls her eyes. It's a lot easier to talk about the show, rather than her own problems. "Well, I hope it does." Seriously, she can't begrudge someone their hopes and dreams. "And I hope it takes her far, far away from New York." …Or maybe she can.

"I heard the ratings for One Life are through the roof, too. They're gonna bring us back for a few episodes here and there. Which works, I guess. Part of the same studio. I'm kinda looking forward to it." It's a comfortable kind of fame. You have a limited audience, then a whole bunch of people who have no clue who the hell you are.

"…You've met her before?" Erin's eyes narrow a little, then she smiles. Small world, indeed! "Yeah, that sounds like her." Chuckling, she looks down at her feet. "I signed an autograph for her and that guy who's running for Senate. Petrelli. She's cute." And hopefully helpful. "I guess she must be like me. I don't know, though. I really didn't have much of a chance to ask. I just gave her a note, told her what was happening. Ali said that she can help, so…"

Here's hoping.

"You sure you don't want to meet Cass in full makeup?" It could be entertaining. Let along the fact that they'd be walking around New York with— Yeah, bad idea. "I don't think I can go today, anyway. Look at me. I'm about to fall asleep just standing here… … I think I could manage dinner after we wrap here tonight, though. If you want to."

—-

"Helps that they started to add in same day DVR viewings to the ratings," Taine comments, giving a hint of a shrug to his shoulders. It gives a boost in their ratings for definite, since not everyone can be at home during the day. And yes, apparently he actually pays attention to that stuff— he has a DVR after all, and it's the only way he gets to watch anything thanks to this god forsaken job. That he deeply loves.

"I think it'll be interesting too, playing on daytime and nighttime both." And their nighttime ratings might actually just improve— who knows. They might get a different genre audience than they're used to, too, since the sci-fi themes are heavy in Afterlife.

"She didn't ask me for an autograph, but her hands were a little full." Petrelli? Senate? Sorry, he's from Australia. He can't vote and he doesn't have the slightest clue about the American Government system except that they have a President who can't even read his cue cards very well.

"Yes, I am very sure I don't want to meet anyone in this make up. Anyone not on set, at least."

But wait. Backspace. "…Did you just invite me to dinner?"

—-

Werewolves and vampires and aliens.

There has to be a ratings boost in there somewhere, she's sure of it.

Everything's not okay, but how can you go from a self-assured, stuck up diva to a crying wreck in front of someone you like and respect? It's been this way for weeks. Inside, she's torn, wondering if her next lapse in temper is going to make her do something she regrets - that she'll never be able to make up for. If there's a god out there, he certainly must be laughing. As abrasive as Erin is, she never wanted this.

She smiles, though. Everything's okay. She's good at this, if not a little tired and sore. "Well, you can sign one for her when we go." Hopefully Cass won't mind a little moral support accompanying her to Bat Country. Maybe she should bring Caleb, instead - he is her brother, after all. Somehow, though… Well, Taine can relate, even if he's not a mutant in real life.

Swallowing the lump in her throat and deciding once and for all that she's not going to cry, Erin glances to the side, almost disinterestedly, then looks back up at Taine. "I think I might have. Oops."

—-

"I'll have to do that, then," Taine says, thinking on what he could sign for an autograph. He could even bring along one of his favorite glossys, which will probably be what he does in the end. Those are his favorite things to sign, after all, his own face. But that's another story. But it sounds like he intends to come along, since she did ask. Why shouldn't he? "Just let me know when. We got pretty full schedule the next couple of days, but I'm sure we can find corresponding times." Final episodes of the plot and all, they have quite a major roll in it. Almost half the episode shows one or the other of them, if not both… Lots of filming.

But— she asked him out. He smiles as much as he can with the latex face on. "You'll have to wait until I can take all of this off, but I'll take you up on that." He squeezes her shoulder, then runs his hand down her arm, until— crap. He looks at his hands. He looks at her clothes.

"…I got fake blood on you. Sorry."

—-

Oh. Oh, damn. Well, at least it's an old sweatshirt. Her eyes widen a bit as she notices the red all over her shirt, but… "We were rehearsing," she says, grinning. Yeah, in the women's bathroom, with the scent of iron in the air, the spiders— Reaching around, she finally shuts off the water. "Either that, or they're going to think we were up to something in here. And… Seriously. Not while you like that that. I mean, Jesus."

Seems like her moment of pleasantness is over. Ah, mood swings. They and Erin go together like meerkats and grubs. Poor Taine; despite the fact that she suddenly seems outrageously annoyed, she still does hold the door open for him, at least, and there might be a smile for him as well. Or a grimace, or a sneer. Something like that. "Come on. We better get back."

—-

"Could've been worse— I could have got some on your face," Taine says with a smile, the fake blood around his mouth hinting to what he's meaning— "Then again you could have washed that off before leaving, your face is mysteriously clean…" Now he's just being a brat, but he's also heading towards the door.

Let them talk. He doesn't care. And she's invited him to dinner.


And for the curious, Taine's wolf makeup:

tainewolf.jpg
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