Can't Explain


magnes_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Can't Explain
Synopsis Magnes finds Sable in a rare kind of mood, and his sympathetic interest unleashes an unexpected and new torrent of reactions from his volatile roommate.
Date April 29, 2010

Dorchester Towers

Magnes' apartment.

Sable never takes her craft lightly - her level of focus is, in its own small way, quite astounding when she's practicing. It's different when she's jamming, though. She's not distracted or distractible so much as in a state of distraction, rolling through the notes she plays. And when she's writing a song, either alone or with Magnes, she has a back and forth of activity - first playing, then thinking, then playing again with addition or variation. These are all common manifestations, things Magnes has seen for himself.

Her old acoustic guitar is in her hands, now, as she sits on her bed, the door ajar (suggesting that entry is permissible), and her mode is something Magnes /hasn't/ seen before. It's not practice, because she lacks evident focus. She's not jamming or writing, because the chord progression she plays is not her own, nor any variation on someone else's. It's just a single steady line of notes, and one that has a slowly building intensity, despite it's being played unplugged. What this means is difficult to say, but her expression looks - and this is the only way to put it - like someone having an ill tempered staring contest with their own reflection.

Magnes has been in the kitchen baking, and making lunch. When he's done, he knocks on her door a few times, then enters with a wooden tray that he sits on her bed next to her. It's two plates, one with a large warm slice of pecan pie, and the other with, well, "This is sliced meatball panini, I thought you'd like something different. There's cheese, and the meatballs are sliced to fit on the sandwiches." He hunches slightly so he's eye level with her. "You alright, Sable?"

The door was ajar, like I said, which is a clear sign she's fine with visitors. All the same, she starts a little as Magnes enters, her fingers flattening against the frets and ending the train of notes abruptly. "Huh?" she says, first looking at Magnes, then looking at the panini and pie, then back to Magnes, "Jesus, what? Oh… wow, yeah. Yeah, that sounds good. Uh… one sec," she slides her guitar behind her, scoots back, and pats the space of bed in front of her, "Right here." The question, as to her rightness, goes unanswered for the moment. Food is distracting!

Magnes slides the food in front of her, then walks back out to grab his own tray before returning and sitting next to her on the bed. "You seemed a little out of it." he says, not letting her current oddness go unchecked. The paninis are cut diagonally, and the crusts are cut as well, though they've been toasted and sprinkled into the cheese. So if one doesn't know they're eating crust, well, they're eating it anyway!

Sable manages to defer answering once again as she digs in, apparently pretty hungry. She eats with a now-familiar lack of decorum that is genuinely a matter of upbringing rather than affected non-conformism. Even on a good day she tends to eat just a little bit like a refugee, like she's concerned the food will get pulled out of her grasp at any moment. She doesn't, however, eat the whole thing in one go. She leaves off two thirds of the way through one half of the sandwich, a bit of red sauce staining the corner of her lips. She rubs at her mouth with the back of her arm, which mostly takes care of it.

"I gotta question for you," Sable begins - if this is a lead up into answer his question, it's a pretty generous runway to take, "Let's take, like, any one outta this bevy of babes you're hung up on. When'd you know you were hung up? Like, how long before you just /felt/ it eatin' away at you, and puffing you up, both at the same time?"

"Well, with Abby, I'm not sure when I quite got a crush on her, but I got full blown hung up on the new year of 2009. They were in Old Lucy's, auctioning off Abby's first kiss, so I ran into the bar and won. It was both our first kiss, and I started floating without realizing it, while we were both in the middle of kissing. But I think that was a few months after I met her." Magnes crosses his legs, giving her question a little more thought. "I think the quickest I knew I really liked a girl was Claire. We'd meet up on a rooftop pretty frequently, then just talk, and before I even realized it, I really liked her. And that was only maybe a few weeks."

It turns out that the question wasn't a set up, evidenced by the careful attention Sable pays to Magnes' reminiscence. She goes to work on her sandwich while he speaks, a crazy juxtaposition of savage consumption and intent reception, her mouth going about its business while her eyes stay trained on Magnes' face. She finishes the remaining third and half of the last half before Magnes finishes speaking, and swallows with a serious gulp, clearing herself to reply.

"Okay, okay," Sable says, brow furrowed in concentration, "So, like… with this Abby chick it was, like, a matter of a triggerin' kinda event, right? The kiss is what set you off. With Claire, though, it sorta snuck up on you? Think there's a difference there? I mean… Claire you actually, like, had a thing with, right? But Abby it was all," she wrinkles her nose, "Pain in the ass unrequited fuckin' adoration."

"Yeah, me and Claire were together for months before she lost her memories. We were pretty serious about eachother. And yeah, it snuck up, I can't even remember the moment we officially became a couple. And Abby… she's the Laura to my Urkel, if you get my drift." Magnes nods to her pie, as if nudging her to taste it. He eats a bit slower than her, but he's already taking bites from his second piece. He's only wearing a white t-shirt with a blue DW on the shirt, the letters stylized to form a kind of TARDIS shape, and a pair of blue jeans with no shoes on, so he's not worried much about messing up his outfit.

"Uh… I dunno that I do," Sable admits, honestly. TV never got to be a big part of her life. "Don' worry about it, though." She pauses from the discussion long enough to finish her sandwich, picking up crumbs with the tip of her finger and cleaning them off in rapid finger-licking style. She switches over to the pie, stares at it for a moment, then looks up at Magnes. "I feel like sorta an asshole right now," she says, /finally/ answering the first question he asked, "Like… two parts of my brain running in different fuckin' directions, and a third part, mebbe a better part, that don't much care for the… dunno what to call it…" she shrugs, "I guess… don't care for the… /dissonance/."

"Well, tell me about it. You listen to me complain all day." Magnes reaches over to gently pat her back, giving her a friendly smile. "You tell me what's wrong, and I'll tell you what I did when I snuck out the night I got drunk."

Sable glowers at Magnes, "Jesus, do I /want/ to fuckin' know?" she says, "You're way too fuckin' active and, like… motivated when you're drunk. You should take up grass, it might keep you rootin' in one fuckin' place until you come to your senses…" She doesn't sound particularly nice when she says this, but the bad temper doesn't sound like it's directed /at/ Magnes. It's just ambient.

The pie remains untouched, its wedge's edge indicating the third line on a triangle begun by her crossed legs. "I feel /stupid/ but," she raps her knuckles against the side of her head, "I'm feelin'… torn. Like… I met a chick I threw a snowball at. Nice, cute as hell, kinda bourgie but in an fairly cool way, and I dunno… I guess I got a half decent shot with her. Only I dunno that I really wanna get serious or anything, which is normally /fine/…" Sable reaches back, scratches the nape of her neck, "But /another/ part of me just wants to do somethin' really fuckin' dumb and try and, like, I guess /chase/… y'know…" she flicks her eyes to Magnes, "Y'know," she's having trouble with names right now, "Basically I got sorta shot down, and now I'm not sure if I feel like… just pissed at being shot down for its own sake, or like /actually/ blue. Over her. Because if I'm actually blue, it ain't cool to play the nice bourgie chick. But if I'm not, I'd very much like to /stop/ feelin' shitty so I can just /concentrate/ on the nice bourgie chick."

Sable lifts a brow, "You follow?" Her words sound uncertain, as if she's not even sure if /she/ follows.

"Yeah, I understand. And…" Magnes starts to break little pieces of the crust from his pie, idly slipping them into his mouth. "I did kind of the reverse, y'know. I rejected Sparrow to confess to Claire. I got rejected and then basically lost both girls. You're in a better position, you got rejected, but you have a chance to really try with someone else you like. Don't pass up the opportunity if you like it by staying hung up on the other girl, I've done it too many times, especially when I'm in a particularly pining for Abby mood. Just… go for it."

Sable bites her lip, letting Magnes' advice sink into the cracks of her immediately defensive mental edifice. She nods, taking up her fork and prodding the pie. She looks like she might be ready to eat when… "Y'know," she says, eyeing Magnes and gesturing at him with the prongs of her fork, "It's still reversed. /Goin'/ for it, to me, would mean I plunge in for the chase. Unnerstand, that if I try it with the snowball chick, I won't be in it for serious. I don't, like, /mean/ it like that. It's just…" she shrugs, "Somethin' to do. I like her, but I don't feel…" she grits her teeth, tossing down the fork and hitting herself on the head a few times.

"God/DAMMIT/," Sable yowls, "This always fuckin' happens. I keep on thinkin' of /songs/ for what I'm feelin'. That's always the fuckin' way it is, when I've got it bad. I just… /fuck/."

"What's the main point of conflict for you?" Magnes wonders, finally taking a bite of his pie. He's calm, despite her erratic mood. "I mean, as long as you make sure the girl knows it's not serious, it wouldn't be hard to back out if something comes up with the serious girl, right? Delilah always made sure I knew that she wasn't tying me down. And by the way, this is the most girly I've ever seen you." he teases with a light nudge and a grin.

This last comment earns Magnes a /particularly/ thunderous scowl. In fact, she actually bears her teeth for a moment before she covers her face with her hands. "Gaaah…" she says, voice muffled behind her fingers. She rubs her face, up and down, then lets her hands fall, glaring at the pie now. As if /it's/ to blame. "It just feels like a shit thing to do, if I got a foot out the fuckin' door the whole time," she says, "I mean, sure, if I was /already/ a fuckin' rock star… but right now I got no excuse." She shakes her head, "I need… I dunno… just to do somethin' that'll set my mind at ease. Something that can make /me/ settle on way or the other."

"Then it's simple. You need to go all in with the girl you like the most, then depending on if it blows up in your face or not, you know what to do." Magnes offers his sage wisdom, someone who's only been stamped on numerous times by women, but damnit, there's things to be learned in failure! "But if you're only casual with a girl, and she knows it, it's not having your foot half in, it's doing exactly what you both expect of the other, having fun until something serious comes along. I'm not very good at it, but I know that's how it's supposed to work."

Sable isn't sure if she believes Magnes. Not, of course, that she thinks he's lying. Rather she's not sure if she believes what he suggests can be true. "Okay. Go all out. Yeah. And then, like, the situation resolves itself… on way or 'nother. So. I gotta go all out," she gives a small snort, "Just gotta figure out what that even is."

"Well, as a guy who actually sees you as girlfriend material." Magnes starts chomping away at his pie now. "I'll say that I find your unpredictability to be, uh, endearing I think is a good word. You're endearing, you're wild, you're cute all at once. You like a girl? I think you should just kiss her, then tell her."

This suggestion occasions a smile from Sable, and not exactly a pretty one. It's toothy, revealing her prominent canines - the best for it would be 'predatory', particularly when coupled with the look in her eyes, a gaze directed at some unfortunate area of space that, were it inhabited, would likely be disconcerting for that inhabitant. "Ain't that simple. I've got competition."

"So be better than your competition. I don't have much going for me, so I can't really compete for girls, but you've got everything. You're unique, there's no one else like you." Magnes sits his pie down, moving to place a hand on her shoulder. "You can do it."

"Shit," Sable says, rubbing her nose with her wrist, then giving her cheek a small slap, "Never really b'n in this position before. Goddamn. This is outta my usual, like… I dunno. It'll require a different sorta wooin' than I'm used to. Usually I'm about," she snickers a little, a touch of good mood even if it's at her own expense, "Comin' in low and strong. I think I gotta be more up front now." She tilts her head, "Any suggestions?"

"Well, I'm not really sure, I mean… I don't know how it works with two girls. But if it were me, and if I was really sure I liked her and that there's potential there, I'd do just that, be up front. I'd sit her down and explain how I feel." Magnes grabs his pie again, then quickly finishes the rest and folds the short tray. "You know I have bad luck with women, but I honestly believe that if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, and unfortunately that journey involves risking your heart a lot."

At long, long, lonely last, Sable cuts into her pie and slips the forkful into her mouth. She chews slowly, a miraculous thing from a woman who tends to consider chewing a waste of valuable time, or at least an excessive luxury. The chewing is forgivable, maybe, because it is incorporated into the nodding of her head. She answers only after she swallows. "See… I agree 'bout the journey. The rest… man, I don't know. I think you make destiny, y'know? Somethin's 'meant to be' only lookin' back at it. But the journey, yeah. That's real. Okay," she nods, turns to Magnes, "I need a couple favors."

"I don't really like the journey too much, but I just have to keep telling myself the pain is worth it in the end." Magnes moves to place his hand on her back now, nodding. "Sure, anything. And I'll get you some ice cream if you want, or something warmer, considering the weather." She'll be fat if he keeps stuffing her the way he does.

"What, you gonna score me some Ben & Jerry's?" Sable says, snickering, "That's one line I ain't crossin', bud. I /rock/ my sorrows away," she taps the side of her nose, shifts her plates off of her bed, then gets to her feet, starts to pace back and forth on the mattress, on hand behind her, the other shaking restlessly as she chatters, "Naw, naw, I need you to get me two envelopes, two sheets of paper, a pen - no wait - a /pencil/, so I can erase if I fuck up, and I need you to get me two albums," she stops, turning to Magnes, pointing directly at him with one finger, "Quadrophenia," and with two fingers, "And Dark Side of the Moon. That's The Who, and Pink Floyd, got it?"

"I got it. And speaking of money, I've been meaning to talk to you about something." Magnes sounds as if it's vaguely bad news, but nothing serious, looking up at her. "I think it's about time we got you a job, now, before you interrupt," he holds a finger up to stop her. "I spoke to a few friends I know online since I started asking for bass playing help. How would you like to work in a music store? Not a big FYE, but a small one with lots of music, including indie stuff, all packed in there?"

Sable started bouncing in place on the bed after giving her directives, but as soon as Magnes mentions a job she stops /dead/. Her eyes are narrowed, deeply suspicious. It's maybe for the best that he aborts potential interruptions or outbursts, and by the time he's done explaining himself, some of the edge on her expression has dulled. She still looks slightly distrustful. "…I've worked in plenty music stores before. 't's how I got my start…" she says, and she sounds sort of… defensive? There is a moment of quiet before, "I took that test, y'know. The 'are you a mutant freak' test." The reasons that make her admit this, now and not earlier, now and not when it's somehow clearly related to the topic at hand, is as foggy as a Dickensian London. And about as convoluted.

"What'd it say?" Magnes' mind is quickly taken from the job, now staring at her with wide-eyed curiosity. "And if you're Evolved now, what can you do?" He pats the bed a few times for her to sit down. "You're gonna break your neck if you keep jumping."

Sable shrugs, like it's not big thing, though there's still something off about her demeanor. Of the many things she is, emotionally veiled she is not. Inexplicable? Sure. Unpredictable? Sometimes. Opaque? Hell no. She's trying to act normal, but somethings eating her. "Turns out skills like mine really /do/ qualify as super-fuckin'-human," she says. It's certainly the kind of thing she would say, but the way she says it lacks the careless, aggressive glee that usually characterizes her. Her current carelessness seems put-on.

"You know that doesn't make it any less you, right?" Magnes assures, since he's of course questioned his own skills vs. his ability quite a few times. "You've still had to practice to get as great as you are like everyone else, not everything could come from your ability."

Sable gives a sharp bark of a laugh, "Boy, I know you need both, hard work 'n' genius. Fact is, though, all the hard work in the world can't make you a genius," she shrugs, "All this changes is, like, me having to figure some shit out about where I may hafta move. Like, apparently I can't stick around here too much longer without maybe gettin' us both in trouble."

"You're moving?" Magnes' moods almost instantly drops. She's probably never seen his mood drop in such a way with anything related to her. "So, we won't be living together much longer?" he asks, not sounding happy at all, as if she just told him his pet penguin died.

Sable shrugs again - this motion, in a specific context, more and more indicates testiness on her part. "Fuck man, I dunno. That's just what she said. Like, I either gotta go full legit and, like, register, hop onto the grid, or I gotta move somewhere where me being whatever the fuck I am isn't going to cause me problems. Or you." She adds this last as if it were an afterthought, which is a rather bitchy move. In truth, it's /him/ she's more worried about, but she's much too cranky to be nice right now.

"Just stay here, for as long as you can. I mean, no one's gonna tell anyone that you have an ability. And you've had it for so long it's not like anyone's noticed. But if we're gonna be huge stars and all…" Magnes sighs, since he definitely doesn't want to say this. "We'll both have to be registered, or it'll cause a huge scandal and it'll all fall apart. I've learned a few things, working for a PR woman…"

Sable throws up her hands, "Dude, it's like, basically not up to me. 't least that's the fuckin' impression that I get. Think I like it? I mean, whatever, I can definitely stick around as long as the ice age continues, but," she wrinkles her nose, "I'm not gonna put myself up for fuckin' inspection 'nless it's in the name of a record deal, y'dig? And then we can, like, figure shit out. But I'm gonna get my ass transported, and I dunno where to so… y'know. That's how it is."

"That really sucks, Sable…" Magnes lays back on her bed and spreads his arms out, looking just plain defeated yet again. "You're one of those things, those things I always think are gonna be there. I just… I don't want you to go." He moves a hand over to gently wrap around her wrist. "I know I probably can't do anything about it, but, I just don't want you to go."

"Yeah, well…" Sable says, not sounding the least bit commiseratory. Her arms are folded across her chest, her eyes on the window, so caked with snow it only lets a bit of pale, white filtered sunlight in through its thick hedging. She stares for a pretty long time, fingers clenching and unclenching into her arm in a steady beat.

"Wouldja get the fuck out for couple minutes?" she says, abruptly, not looking at him.

"Yeah, alright." Magnes takes his hand back, and grabs the two trays to head out of the room. "If you need anything, I'll be out there. I don't need to go anywhere for a few." He closes the door behind him, possibly having his first downer of a discussion with Sable.

There is a brief period of quiet from Sable's room, then, faintly, Magnes can hear a momentary whine. Not a human voice. Feedback. Then, BAM! A furiously loud, lone chord booms out from behind the closed door. It doesn't remain lone for long, though. After a brief period of sustain, there is a virtual torrent of notes, some arpeggiated, some just plain screaming, a cacophony that only vaguely resembles music.

Out of the mess, two alternating riffs emerge, both in minor key. They dance around each other, getting more and more rapid, until they almost merge, accompanied by a mess of vicious feedback. Then, out of the thick, a third riff bursts out, still in minor key, and starts to twirl with the first two. The higher of the two original riffs gets louder and longer until it overtakes the part of the measure where the other original was, obliterating it, and almost drowning out the third, new one. Then, abruptly, it stops. There's momentary silence.

Then a riff emerges and, Magnes can hear, it's actually the third riff switched into major key. The riff generates variations during its repetition, building and building until it tops off with three ear burstingly loud chords.

With barely a moment's pause, new chords emerge, forming a new riff with a new beat. One-onetwo-one-onetwo. One-onetwo-one-onetwo. And now the sound is familiar: it's a song Sable's played for Magnes sometimes, when giving an example of what she thinks a 'good, simple song' should sound like. Something, of course, by her heroes, the Who. The chords repeat, and between repetitions, Sable's voice barks out from behind the closed door.

"Get. Your bass. And get. The fuck. Back in here!"

Magnes heads into his room, grabbing his bass before returning to Sable with the strap around his neck. "I'm here!" He plugs the bass into an amp, testing his notes. "And I'm ready."

Sable is standing on the bed, her acoustic guitar resting in the corner, out of harm's way, while she grips her electric and pumps her arm up and down to strum the strings. She keeps the riff in rotation until Magnes is ready to join in, and then immediately belts out over the needless loud amplification of her guitar:

"Dizzy in the head and I'm feelin' blue/The things you've said, well, maybe they're true/I'm getting funny dreams again and again/I know what it means but…" In the gap between verse and chorus Sable leaps off the bed and down to Magnes's side, bringing their guitars face to face, drawing out the pause and creating a racket of mutual feedback. Her chin thrust up, she looks Magnes right in the eye, a tacit acknowledgement there. Know how she says she keeps thinking of songs? She wheels around to face the same window she stared at when she asked him to leave, and addresses the chorus right to it.

"Can't explain/I think it's love/Try to say it to you/When I feel blue! - But I can't explain, naw, can't explain/Yeah, hear what I'm sayin' girl, I can't explain! - Dizzy in the head and I'm feelin' bad/The things you've said have got me real mad/I'm gettin' funny dreams again and again/I know what it means but…"

"Can't explain/I think it's love/Try to say it to you/When I feel blue! - But I can't explain, just can't explain/Forgive me one more time, now, cuz I can't explain!"

Words end, and pure music swells to take its place. As guitar melody and bass harmony thrum in raucous synch, Sable, serious faced but seeming very much back to herself, gives Magnes a nod.

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