2009-12-07: Very Thin Ice

Starring:

Tracy_V4icon.png Erin_V4icon.png

Date: December 7, 209

Summary:

Those geese are cooked.


"Very Thin Ice"

A Taxi

This is either a spectacularly bad idea, or she has nothing to worry about. It's the building Tracy knows Erin to live in, Parkside Estates, that she now walks toward. Glancing briefly up at the place and its many windows, some lights on, some lights off — it's evening, past supper — she doesn't pause. Hasn't paused, in fact, since stepping outside. Swirls of lightweight snow fill the cool December air, dusting the black fabric of her peacoat as she heads reluctantly toward the lobby doors. Reluctantly, because it's bound to have security cameras. Despite her long and determined strides, Tracy keeps her head down, a slender ponytail falling over the collar of her coat to one side.

—-

Despite the late hour, Erin is just getting home from a day on set. There's been a lot of catching up to do, of course, but she's refused to stay there or be anywhere by herself. It's understandable, since she was attacked there, and she doesn't plan to make the same mistake ever again. In any case, she has to take her hours where she can get them.

Heading toward her building with a box tucked under her arm, she glances once over her shoulder at the cab that brought her here as it fishtails on an icy patch of street and takes off for its next fare. Too cold. Hiding her face from the wind, Erin brushes past Tracy - perhaps her elbow gives the woman a somewhat impatient shove at some point, but it's not obvious - as she fishes her card key out of her pocket so she can get into the building. Not easy to do with one arm in a cast.

—-

Tracy is jostled by none other than the lady of the hour, the person she's looking for. An indignant look to whoever was so rude turns to relief (however brief) as she realizes it's Erin "Erin!" she calls out in a hushed hiss, jogging the rest of the way behind the soap star to latch on rather forcefully to the her good arm. "Erin," she repeats, nary a smile in sight; she's gravely serious. Not so much a social call. "I have to talk to you and I can't trust that your place isn't bugged."

—-

Good thing she always wears sunglasses.

The brief hint of some terrible malady touches Tracy, but withdraws before it can cause any symptoms. The sour look on Erin's face turns to surprise when she sees that it's Tracy. "Sor— " she starts, intending to apologise before she realises that Tracy probably isn't in the mood for apologies.

She eyes the box under her arm, then looks back up at the blonde. "Yeah," she mutters. So much for that cup of hot soup she'd been longing for all day. It can wait another hour or so, right? She's just dying from hypothermia here. "Yeah, here? Can we at least go someplace a little warmer?" Normally, she'd add something like 'I really don't need this shit right now,' but for Tracy, her patience threshhold is slightly higher.

—-

Tracy doesn't need this right now either, but she's trying to do a good thing here— not that her sharp tone suggests her good intentions. Instead, she sounds as fed up and cynical as she feels. "Do you have any suggestions? 'Cause, I really can't afford to be seen with you right now. Or anywhere, for that matter." Tracy lets go of Erin's arm, but stays close so she can keep her voice down. "I'd take you where I'm staying but that's not a good idea." For other reasons.

—-

There's a resigned puff of breath that clouds the air for a moment. Behind the dark glasses, Erin slowly blinks. Behind that irritated face, she can practically feel the fact that there's something wrong, because this isn't the Tracy that she knew when they met. There's no calm, cool— Okay, there's cool, but that's beside the point - exterior that Erin's used to.

Hiding is what a star does best, though. Sometimes, she really does just want some time to herself. "How likely is it that some random cab I hail off the street is bugged?" she asks, heading back toward the road and raising her arm. Anything's possible, really. Still, she waits for a couple to pass them by before she picks a nice green-checkered one that looks like it's half-rusted out. Bad guys never drive ugly cars. "After you?" she says to Tracy, holding the door open.

—-

Tracy follows Erin to the curb, her hands disappearing into the pockets of her black coat. "It's not as if I'm an expert in government surveillance," she replies with a bite that isn't truly meant for Erin. She's fed up with being watched and she doesn't even know the half of it. "I skipped Watergate," she adds as she climbs into the atypical cab first. "Where're we goin'?"

—-

"Just drive," Erin says, as she reaches for the handle of the divider window between the front seat and the back seat.

"What?" the driver asks.

"Drive. Anywhere. You don't even have to have a clue where you're going. Just go." And that said, she slams with window shut. The cabbie shrugs and pulls away from the curb. Hey, easy fare is easy fare… As long as the passengers can pay.

That should answer Tracy's question.

Erin sets the box down on the seat between them, making a mental note not to forget it. It's stamped with 'CONFIDENTIAL - FOR NOTED RECIPIENT ONLY' all over it. Looking over the lenses of the glasses, she asks first - "Are you all right?"

—-

"No," she answers with a dull, laughing scoff. "No, I'm not, Erin." Pristine though she is — she certainly doesn't look like a fugitive from anything — Tracy does not, in fact, look all right. Her expression is reserved, the worst of it kept well at bay, but her eyes are cold, holding a lot of weight. "Ivory was the only thing keeping us safe," she says with a certain measure of struggle, forcing it out. "Since he resigned, I can't be sure…" A pointed look at Erin.

—-

It's just weird to Erin that someone so fiercely independent like Tracy can put so much stock in one man. That's what she assumes this is, after all - Without Ivory, she is NOTHING. A wasting husk! Devoid of the very essence of life itself!

Laaaaame.

"No, I'm the only thing keeping me safe, Tracy." She watches viruses now. She can create them in any person in an instant - so she's sure she's safe. At least, she thinks she is… her ability has worked wrong before. In any case, with Ivory out of power, Erin actually feels safer. Yes, granted, Erin is fairly smart, but she can be a bit dense at the worst of times, especially with certain pre-conceived notions about someone. "I know you're head-over-heels, but I didn't like the guy. I don't think I ever will."

—-

"Well count yourself lucky," Tracy snaps. She twists in the seat, facing the other woman more than she is the front of the taxi. "This isn't about me and Ivory— that's over." Not without its fair share of baggage, to be certain. The flare of anger in the her gaze is nothing short of dangerous, but it's only covering up the rest. For an instant, she twists pink-glossed lips into a frown and eyes Erin. "You're probably a target again. I know you're capable of taking care've yourself. But look what happened last time," she glances at Erin's arm and back up again.

—-

Fear isn't an emotion Erin usually shows, mostly because she has very little of it. But under that stare, she readjusts uncomfortably in her seat, inching just a hair away from Tracy. Her good arm rests over the cast - that stupid, itchy fiberglass thing that's done nothing but rule her entire life since she jumped off that walkway. It's not so much that, though, as much as it is that someone died because of her, and she can never take that back.

Still, the fear is tempered by the 'I knew it' feeling she gets when Tracy mentions that she and Ivory are over. She'll get back to that later. "If there's something I need to know or do, say it." The irritation is edged with the terror that someone might be looking for her again.

—-

"I don't know what to tell you, Erin. Run? Hide?" Neither are good options and Tracy knows it. She smirks, a knowing, cheerless expression and sits straighter against the taxi's backseat. "Tell them all to go to hell?" Better. "Whatever you decide to do, it's on you. For one though, if you get a message from someone by the name of Rebel, listen to it."

—-

Suddenly Rebel is awesome.

This has been building for some time, really. Who doesn't have a temper tantrum once in a while!? Erin used to have them a lot, but age has taught her that they're rather unbecoming. Run? Sure. Right. And lose her job. Hide? Not her style. It's on her, and she has no idea what to do.

Reaching out, she'll try to grab Tracy's arm. The broken one, because she's not as nice.

"I'm really tired of all this cryptic bullshit, Tracy," she says, voice controlled, but threatening to rise above calm at any moment. "Don't listen to Rebel, listen to Rebel, I can't live without Ivory, me and Ivory are over… If you — If you give a damn about me, then at least tell me what's going on. None of this 'I don't want to talk about it' crap, either. You pulled me into this. I want some god damned answers."

She's more frightened than she wants to admit. It really sucks, too; not a good feeling to have. "I've— I— " Her voice drops to a whisper. Within it is the capacity for so much more than temper. Something would have happened to her in the future, which means it's always possible that something in her mind could go very wrong. "I've killed someone before. Just— If I have to— Just point me in the right direction. If— If that's what it takes, then…"

—-

Blonde brows flicker closer together with tension as Erin grabs her arm. Tracy's cringe is barely there, however; underneath the thick wool of her coat and the sweater beneath, her arm is a lot more healed than it should be given the amount of time she's had. No cast, no brace. Confusion spreads across her features before she gets defensive.

"Did I tell you not to listen to Rebel?" Of course she did. Biting down, she looks as though she's about to swear, but refrains. Her voice lowers all the more, an intense whisper. "The last few months… some things happened… to me, alright. I'm not being cryptic, I don't remember what I said about Rebel because someone took those memories from me. What happened between me and Ivory doesn't have anything to do with you," she sounds disgusted in the moment, over whatever it is that occurred between them, embittered. "I wasn't just head over heels for him, I was obsessed with him. I wasn't myself. Or— I was, but he made me… until the other night, he had this control over me," she sounds disgusted in the moment, embittered. "He had to be one of us."

That said, Tracy stares out the window on her site of the car, watching the snow fly past down the city street. Her own whisper reveals a temper of her own, but her voice has an air of calculation; it's fittingly cold. Different and similar to Erin's voice. "If you're asking me to be your moral compass you might wanna reconsider. If I see even one boots coming after me I won't hesitate to send 'em into the next Ice Age."

—-

Poke. Poke poke. "Hey…" she mutters, but thinks better of it under the circumstances. She's not going to ask why Tracy's okay. She might have a pretty good idea - she knows there's people out there who can heal.

"I'm just— I'm just saying," she snaps. It's an example of Tracy telling her one thing and then doing another. Of course, then things that she hadn't really been thinking about before suddenly make sense. The idea that someone could possibly control Tracy is disturbing, and Erin finds herself wondering if she didn't kill Ivory because of a similar effect.

No, thinking back, she was pretty livid and in no way obsessed, unless one counts her obsession at the time with her hating every fiber of his being.

Her fingers loosen around Tracy's arm, and she pulls back, looking out the window as well. For a moment, she even contemplates getting out and walking back home, because she really wants to cry. That sentiment itself is enraging; there's no way she's just going to hide away and bawl her eyes out. What she's about to say both excites and repulses her, mostly for the fact that she's only partially kidding. "…So what if we find them first?"

—-

Erin's friend remains silent in the other dark seat. It's a slow process, looking back to Erin: Tracy's head turns little by little, blonde hair splaying slightly over the wool of her coat shoulder where it rests in its tight ponytail. Her gaze lands on Erin's much more collected and designing than it was moments ago: sentiments that shouldn't mix with fear, desperation and anger. When they do…

Tracy smiles.

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