November 8, 2006
noon (NYC time)

18 year old Magnes J. Varlane sits in Panucci's Pizza, where he's just gotten a job. He's wearing a blue blazer over a white shirt, with a pair of blue jeans and black Converse. Waiting for his father, he has a number of things to say to the man, but he's saying them to himself first. "Father, I'm moving out, I want to make friends now, I can't be in the house all the time anymore! One day I want to meet my friend Gillian!"

He shakes his head, changing his mind, maybe there's a better way to put it. "Father, I can't live with my parents forever, I have this job now, I'll live here and be on my own, I don't see the point in all the crazy stuff you teach me!"

Groaning, he's frustrated, nervous.

What is he supposed to do?

The door to the pizzaria swings open with the blunt force of someone slamming their hand into the frame. “And if you think I’m mad now, I can tell you right this god damn minute that I’m going to be fucking incandescent with rage when I’m done with this parent-teacher whatever-the-fuck I’m walking into, Erica.

Pete Varlane is on his phone, agitated, and red-faced. Patrons of the pizzaria look over at Pete, who faux-lunges at them with a sneer before angrily snapping his phone closed while whomever on the other line was shouting at him. He approaches the table Magnes is seated at, looks down at him with an expectant stare, then looks around the pizzaria like it said something awful just then.

“What,” Pete splutters, “the fuck is all this about?”

"I'll be nineteen in a few months. I'm done with all of this insane home school, learning crazy subjects I can't even really use in life for anything! Why do I need to know how to hide my thoughts, who is in my brain?! This isn't X-Men! Why do I need to know about stable time loops?!" Magnes totally breaks script, looking frustrated, slamming his hands down onto the table. "I work here now! I'm moving upstairs! I'm my own person, I'm not doing college!"

Pete doesn't sit down, doesn't do anything other than stare at his son. “Good fucking God, Magnes. Every time you open your mouth it's like… it's like you're practicing on new ways to disappoint me.” Rubbing a hand at his already sweaty right cheek, Pete just shakes his head.

“You want this?” Pete gestures around wildly. “You want to squander your life as a fuck-flipping pizza boy?” His face is already turning beet red.

"I want to live a normal life, and have friends, and learn how to talk to people, and forget all of this useless stuff you keep teaching me!" Magnes shouts, and Mr. Panucci just minds his own business and sweeps. "I want to leave the house whenever I want, I don't need to go to college! I'll meet my friend from the internet, Gillian, she's always encouraging me!"

Pete stares at Magnes, vacantly, and then just brings up a hand to the bridge of his nose. “That literally just confirmed everything I just said.” Eyes wrenched shut and lips tightly curled into a frown, Pete raises a hand to Magnes to stop. “You know what? You know what?

He doesn't answer that rhetorical question. “This is all your dumb-fuck mother’s fault. The comics, the internet friends” and that last part has angry air-quotes around it. “So fine! She wins!” Pete throws his hands into the air and just turns around.

“Do whatever the fuck it is you want! I can always just make another son!” Pete screams as he walks toward the door. “One who isn't a colossal fuckup!

"Don't call my mother dumb!" Magnes suddenly stands up, gritting his teeth, staring down at his hands, shaking, as if trying to fight every impulse in his body in order to build up the strength to shout what flies from his mouth next.

He looks up at Pete, then just yells. "You're dumb!!!"

The door to Panucci’s shuts without Pete looking back at his son. Much in the same way one might abandon a half-eaten slice of disappointing pizza.


After his father leaves, Mr. Panucci sits a large slice of BBQ chicken pizza in front of the young Varlane, and then says, "Hey, screw that guy, he's a no good pop, ain't good for nothin'!"

And then, suddenly, there's a flash, and Magnes turns, eyes closing as it startles him.

Mr. Panucci just removes his chef's hat and exclaims, "Mamma mia!"

November 8, 2011
3 pm (NYC time)

Magnes' old apartment above Panucci's Pizza hasn't been touched in a while. It's very dusty, it lacks furniture, though there are a few nerd posters here and there, ones he didn't bother to bring with him for one reason or another.

He stares down at his shaking hands, wearing a pair of white bowling shoes, some blue jeans, and a white bowling shirt that says Bart on the front.

Walking around, he stares at the floor, disturbed by the creaking wood. The feeling of nostalgia, it's overwhelming, spilling over into a deeply seeded anxiety. "Abby…" he says, right before there's a bright flash outside his windows, causing him to look up.

In that instance, he hears his door broken down behind him, and before he can turn around, everything goes black…

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