magnes_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title F-Minus
Synopsis Magnes brings Monica to a treasure trove in the city and also totally fails a dance pop quiz. Tsktsk.
Date April 14, 2011

Abandoned Toy Store

Having called Monica a bit earlier to give her time to arrive, Magnes leans against the wall inbetween an old store and a somewhat large boarded up two story building, any signs of what it once was being gone with time and fallen off letters. He's in a black blazer, a buttoned up white shirt, some blue jeans, and black loafers, staring up at the rooftop just as she arrives. "Oh, hey! You can make it up to that rooftop, right?" he asks, pointing up.

Monica glances up, then back at Magnes with a crooked smile. "I hope you don't call this a challenge, 'r I might start feeling insulted." She greets him belatedly with a friendly fist bump to the arm. "You're clearly up to something tonight, Varlane, you got a look about you."

"I'm never up to anything." Magnes grins and starts to run up the wall, looking down to make sure she gets up alright on her own. "I kind of wish I could do this without my ability. It's pretty amazing that you do it on pure skill, I mean, even from your ability, that's an amazing feat of physics."

Once he starts up, Monica chuckles then dashes into the alley to start her own path up. She leaps up, one foot hitting the wall to launch her into a ping pong back and forth up the wall, only to have her flip over the edge of the roof to land there next to him.

She can get up alright.

"You can learn, if you've got time on your hands and don't mind ruined hands and broken bones," Monica says, lifting her hands to wiggle gloved fingers. "You just have to learn to trick physics. And logic a little bit."

"I'm a bit terrified, but I wouldn't mind giving it a shot. I should get my hands on that negation drug so I can learn to do things without my ability, just in case." Magnes motions a hand so she can follow him, then leans down at the small window on the roof, sliding it open. There's nothing but darkness below, so he looks back to her again. "Get on my back, I know where the light is. This place is amazing, I don't think it's been touched since the 80's. I found it during my pizza boy days but I only visited it once. I came back the other day to see if it was still safe."

"There's a lot of places that teach it. I'd offer, but I don't try teaching dangerous stuff. My ability… makes me miss details. If I don't study up myself, I just don't get beyond the instinct. Gets risky on stuff like this. But if you learn, I can help you practice." Monica frowns, though, at the mention of the drug. And she comes over first to put a hand on his arm.

"Hey. I don't think that drug's so much a good idea. I mean, call me paranoid, but given how things're going lately and… are headed… I don't trust a drug that cuts us off like that. And I was nulled for a while after the eighth. It isn't— It feels like cutting your arm off." Something missing rather than pain, though.

But his request makes her take her hand back, because she's got to blink at him for a moment. She leans over to peek down into that window, then she starts climbing onto his back. "If I knew you were offering piggyback rides, I'd've gotten here sooner."

"Don't get me all awkward and embarassed, we might fall to the moon or something." Magnes rubs the side of his face, only half-joking about the awkward, but they are thankfully not going to fall to the moon. He's smiling though, then jumps through the window. They seem to be shrouded in darkness, but he attached a rope that goes from a piece of metal in the ceiling, to a switch that lever that turns on the electricity. That's when the lights start to gradually brighten up all through the store, revealing a nearly thirty year old toy store about the size of a Rite-Aid. There would be dust everywhere, but he cleaned up a bit to make it presentable, and lowers her to the marble floor just as they land.

"I don't know why they left so much stuff in here, but there's stuff in here I never even heard of before." He reaches over for one of the board games on the shelf, raising an eyebrow. "I mean who the hell are The Waltons?"

"I'll try my hardest," Monica says, sounding amused, "But hey, I hear the moon has some great geography for parkour." But she hangs on as he jumps and there may even be a girlish squeak from behind him. But it's in jest, because there's a chuckle a moment later.

But when he turns the lights on, she looks around, eyebrows lifted. "Man… check it out." And she hangs on right until they hit the floor, then she slides off to get her two feet on the ground again. There's a smile on her face as she turns around to peer at the board game he picks out. "I have no idea."

"It's kind of amazing, this whole place, back when they had local toy stores." Magnes puts the game back and walks down the dusty aisle, more strange board games along the way. "Whoever owns this place could make a fortune. The deed must have been forgotten or lost or something." Magnes motions for her to keep following, looking up at the old 80's Barbies. "You ever play with Barbies? I had a Superman. He travelled the world solving physics problems while fighting the Ninja Turtles and their deadly biology majors."

"Nah, I didn't. Didn't have much, growin' up. Just me and my mom at first. She made me a doll. Didn't look much like a Barbie, but I loved it." Monica's turned away a bit by the end, but emotion is still there in her voice. Still missing her mom, even after years. But there's more to it than that now.

"Here's hopin' my kid'll have a better time of it." But sadly… that hope sounds a little hollow at the moment.

she shakes it off to turn to look his way. "Superman fought the Ninja Turtles? What, does Superman work for Shredder or somethin'?"

"No, see, my Superman was a physics major, and the Ninja Turtles were biology majors. Did I ever tell you I had a bit of a strange upbringing? Didn't really know any other children, more or less born and bred to go to college, which I guess I'll do one day." Magnes stops at a door covered in dust, opening it up to another dark room. He'd say something on the subject of children, but… "This room is the best part, ready?"

"Well, I got a little brother after a while. So there was always at least one other kid around, whether I wanted him to be or not." Damon's childhood, though, there's no comment on how rough that was, considering a giant hurricane ripped through the middle of it. Monica smiles instead, tilting her head a little. "And I was bred to play jazz and work bad jobs until I die. Forget born and bred. Trust me when I tell you, college is a waste of time if you don't really want to be there."

She tilts her head when he opens the other door, smirking a little. "Ready as I'll ever be."

Magnes pulls another lever, and neon lights switch on all over the room as World Gone Wild by Journey begins to play all over the store, and what's quite obviously an arcade with most of the games turning on now that they once again have power. "A classic 80's arcade!" He walks in, arms extended as if to present some sort of utopia he's discovered.

"No way," Monica says with a laugh as the lights come on. "What the heck is this doing here?" Like it's just waiting for someone to find it. Finally. She isn't familiar with too many games, but she steps in deeper to look around, at least until she finds a Pac-Man game in here. That one she stops for. She pulls off her gloves, shoving them into a pocket before a hand wipes dust from the screen. That hand gets dusted off on her pant leg, but that's the extend of her concern over a little dirtiness. "I can't believe this is here."

"I guess when some places go out of business, they just close." Magnes reaches into his pocket, then slides in a quarter for her and leans in to watch, elbow in the machine but out of her way. "What if I bought the property, like, with the money they gave me for saving the world. Like, imagine it, it could be a comic shop with both physical comics and figurines and stuff, but with computers so people can download ebooks and stuff. And back here, fix up some of these old machines, add a few new ones, not too big an investment as far as having an arcade in the back of the store goes. And when we get your legal stuff sorted out, you could even work here!"

"Just so long as you keep this room like this. Without the dust." Monica smiles, reaching up to pluck down a cobweb as well. There's a faint tsk noise, as if disapproving of the mess.

When he mentions her legal stuff, though, she frowns for a moment, but manages to push up a sad looking smile. "I appreciate the thought, but I dunno that my legal stuff will ever get sorted proper. If I wasn't wanted before because of Phoenix, I definitely am now. Escaped criminal. Terrorist, that whole… mess." Plus, in her dreams, she ends up in prison and then an internment camp of some kind, so she's not even sure she wants to try to fix her legal issues.

"I'll do something, Monica, somehow. You're too, uh…" Magnes' cheeks go red a moment, and he immediately turns away to hide it. "Just, you don't deserve to be on the run or anything, most people don't, really, but if I can help just one person, I'll do it." He runs a few fingers through his hair, continuing to keep his gaze averted. "I will not fall to the moon, I will not fall to the moon…"

"That's very sweet, Mags," Monica says, looking a little more amused for his blushing. "But it'd be sort of a waste. I'm a little stuck on the whole freedom fighting thing. Can't sit by and do nothin'. Sometimes literally can't sit by and do nothin'. And it's probably better if the government doesn't know that you know who I am, for your sake. Unless being from the French Quarter can get me diplomatic immunity."

These are the jokes. She'll be here all week.

"I'm pretty sure you're safe from the moon in here, but watch the ceiling, huh?"

"I remember when I dated Claire, I'm sure you two had to meet at some point." Magnes leans both elbows against the game after turning around, a few members surfacing. "She could regenerate, couldn't die at all, and I still worried about her. That story doesn't have the most happy ending, but eventually I learned that even if I couldn't trust her to always come back safely, I could still hope for the best until the very end." He looks over at her, more thoughts flooding. "I quit the life of a freedom fighter, of being a superhero, and every day I see my friends, see you, I feel like I'm letting you down. I always think 'I'll save the world in some legit way', but I don't feel like I'm making a difference at all… I went from saving the world to thinking about opening a comic book shop."

"You worry too much," Monica says, of him being concerned for the immortal. Of course, Monica is the type to worry, too, so her comment's a little ironic. "You're not disappointing anybody, Mags. If you can come at this thing from a legit angle? You should keep trying it. Undercover freedom fighting. I'm not really suited for much besides kicking butt. Wasn't much good at the legit life, obviously. But it's just as important to fight this all legally, too. Publicly. Out in the open. People have be see something other than what they're being spoon fed. Not to mention, kids need comics. How else will the next generation of vigilantes know what they're doing?"

"Usually people give me a lecture on how there's nothing I can do legally." Magnes closes his eyes, unable to really hide the smile that creates. "You are just not real. When I open my eyes, you're not gonna be standing there." he decides, keeping his eyes closed while waiting to test his theory. "Most people don't understand my reasons for things at all."

"They're very pessimistic. Civil disobedience. If the government doesn't listen, take it straight to the people. Read about Gandhi. Martin Luther King, Jr. People like that." When he closes his eyes, Monica covers her mouth as she tries not to chuckle. "Well, most people don't run around fighting crime, either," she points out. And then, she just can't resist it. Her steps are pretty much silent as she slips between two of the machines. Just barely out of sight.

Magnes opens his eyes, looking around, then they widen and he pushes from the machine. "Don't tell me all those memory wipes are making me hallucinate the perfect woman." he says as if this is a serious consideration on his part, then remembers something. "Oh wait, I have powers." and is suddenly extending his field of gravity to find her weight near him."

"What! No cheating!" Monica says, giving up her position, of course, just before she pokes her head out again. "You're supposed to look around a bit so I can pop out at ya." She smirks and slips out again. Dust, it's everywhere, but she brushes most of it off. "I'm not really perfect," she notes, almost as an afterthought. "Wait till you get to know me. Everybody seems perfect right off. Doesn't help that I'm a comic book character." It is a bit of a oddity, that.

"I uh, maybe perfect was a bit, uh, you know, a bit…" Magnes stammers over his words as he goes after her through the dusty arcade, lit purely by neon lights and glowing screens. "I just mean, uh, relatable, y-yeah, that's it." He coughs a bit at some of the dust that kicks up, waving a hand in front of his face. "I'll stop making an ass of myself any moment now…"

"Relatable works," Monica says, adding a quick, "Sorry for the dust. Didn't think that one through too well." She shakes her head a little, "You worry too much. Just be yourself. You'll be a lot more comfortable. Besides, ain't a girl alive that doesn't like hearing a compliment now and then."

"Yeah, just, me and women, not the best history. Lots of slapping and punching. Meeting you the other day kind of put a few things into perspective for me, oddly enough." Magnes stops at a glowing pinball game, looking down into it, then over at her. "Don't think this like, has anything to do with you, 'cause like, if it resembles that, it's a complete coincidence." he says in the most awkward and unconvincing manner possible. "But uh, see, I started thinking, when I get crushes on girls, there's never a real basis. Like, there's always 'She's nice and sweet', or 'I like her personality', which, granted are great reasons to like a person, but I realized, I have virtually zero common ground with any woman I've ever had a crush on. I've even been reconsidering this fool's errand of the current woman I've been crushing on."

He turns around to face her, leaning against the pinball machine. "I mean, if you have nothing in common, and if you can't relate, what's the point? And uh, again, this has nothing to do with you, I just, I mean, spur of the moment inspiration." That's it!

Monica can play along, it's okay. She tilts her head, listening. Interested, even. "Sounds like you should take some time to get to know these girls before you dive in. Learn what you're getting yourself into. That's what my mom used to say. You might get an idea of how well you get along if you just take it easy. Differences can be interesting, but things gotta mesh." There's a small pause there, a bit of internal debate going on for a moment. But in the end, she can't keep the question back. "Why's it a fool's errand?"

"Well, she's in love with her dead husband, she's a little bit crazy at times, and sometimes I think she wants to turn me into her dead husband. And almost every time we talk I start to feel like a total failure. The only reason I got a thing for her is because I really enjoy going out to fancy galas and pretending to be some high class socialite. It can be fun, but I can't be that way all the time." Magnes stares up at the lights as if he were beginning to daydream. "I'd rather be here, waltzing to Journey with the ambience of Pacman and R-Type."

There's just a whistle to meet all that and no doubt, she's got some thoughts on the woman in question, but she's too nice a person to actually do any badmouthing.

"Okay, here's an easy test, Mags. Are. You. Happy." Monica eyes him a little, watching for his reaction. "Because if you're happy, the weirdest relationship can work. If you're not happy, then go get happy. Life's too short to waste on anything else. And plus, if you're only there for the fancy stuff, that isn't totally fair to her, either."

She looks out at the room, her smile warming up some before she looks back to him. "So put a dance floor on the roof. Then you can be fancy on your own terms."

"I never really thought about it in such a simple way before… I guess… I'm not really all that happy. I mean, I used to be, I used to think how closed off she is was kind of cute, but then it just turned frustrating, and I feel more and more like she's not the type of person I should be around too much." Magnes smiles now, as if there's some sort of weight lifted. "I think I feel… much better. I mean if something comes of her, good, but why should I change myself in ways I don't want to? Sure, some changes I like, it's nice knowing some etiquette and wearing a blazer, but other changes I don't need."

There's a smirk at her, and he motions a hand. "Wanna be fancy? As fancy as you can be in an arcade."

"There you go. And you're right, change can be good, but you've got to want it for yourself." Monica can't help but smile a little wider when he smiles. Maybe she missed her calling. Maybe she should have been an advice columnist.

"I think I could stand being fancy for a little while. And fancy in an arcade is the best. Plus, gotta see if you've been practicing," she says as she steps away from the games to come take his hand. "And don't run me into a game. That's an instant F-."

Magnes immediately walks over, an arm carefully sliding around so he can place a hand against her back, then takes her hand and begins to lead. He's more confident in his movements than the first time around, so he's clearly been practicing quite a bit. "I have sisters. Estranged, I've never met them before. One is younger, not sure what her name is. The other is Felicia Varlane, the FRONTLINE member. My family seems to be pretty tied in with government things, kind of ironic I think."

This time around, Monica is letting him go on without corrections, giving him a chance to show off a bit, maybe, and just have fun with it. "I didn't know you had. Government folk, huh? Sounds like all the Varlanes are nothing but trouble, if you ask me," she teases a bit. "How come they're estranged?"

"My father had a second family, he told me about it. Something about my parents splitting up and getting back together, I'm pretty sure I was supposed to learn from it, but it kind of led to a grand romantic gesture that involved letting my ex burn the White Knight costume." Magnes suddenly dips her, not totally sure if one does so in a waltz, but he felt like dipping her. "Have I mentioned how terrible at women I am? Just warning, you might feel compelled to knee me in the crotch at any moment, for any reason, even instinct." he snickers at that, and brings her back up.

"I never really knew my father," Monica says, as she follows along, "Can't imagine how that must feel. Strange, huh?" Even though the news about the costume has her brow furrowing, the dip makes her laugh again. "You might have said. But I try not to be violent except against the bad guys. So your… you're safe, pretty much." Pretty much comes just as he brings her upright again and she smirks a little. "So you have been practicing. Good."

"I don't think I have the most traditional father. I mean if I listened to all of his advice growing up, your knee really would be in my crotch right now. And he's an Institute recruiter, according to him he doesn't get involved with the stuff we're fighting, but you can never be sure with that kind of organization." Magnes keeps dancing until she has her back to the Pong machine, and he's staring down at her after swallowing hard. "So, uh, hypothetically speaking, what wouldn't get me kneed in the crotch?"

"Well, good thing you're such a rebel, then." Monica does look a little worried when the Institute comes up, considering, but she doesn't linger on that particular topic. Unpleasant. "Well, looks like dancing is pretty safe. How do you mean… what wouldn't? I mean, someone being ungentlemanly, all bets're off," she says, eyeing him a little again.

"Nothing ungentlemanly, I don't think you're that kind of girl." Magnes stares up at the ceiling for a few seconds, then pulls her away and starts to dance again. "Too late, I just completely wussed out. I'm not quite a rebel, though I guess I did always want to ride a motorcycle up the side of a building, like in Ghostrider…"

"You're right there," Monica says with wry tone. But before he gets them dancing again, she stops, nodding her head toward that Pong machine. "I believe I mentioned, running me into the machines is a fail, yeah?" Rather than upset, though, she seems a bit indulgent. "The lead always has to be careful of the environment. On a dance floor, you got who knows how many other couples spinning around and it'll be all on you not to bump into any of them. These aren't even moving," she notes with a gentle finger poke against his shoulder.

"Besides. I should be getting back. I've got a mission to plan because Rich lost his mind and thinks I'm good at tactical analysis or something like that." There's a glance toward the door back out to the store proper, but she looks back to him again with a crooked smile. "I like this place, Mags."

"I may or may not have backed you into the Pong machine on purpose." Magnes admits with his eyes shifting away briefly again. His expression is momentarily serious when she starts talking about missions and such, which aren't his favorite topics or thoughts, but he quickly softens again and nods. "I like this place too. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to invest my money into…" He releases her and takes a step back, letting out a long exhale. "Any chance I earned you hanging out a third time? I can't promise I'll find a place as cool as this, but I'll find somewhere safe, so you can have fun without having to worry."

"Well, it isn't good to fail on purpose, Mags," Monica says with a wink that's almost conspiratorial. "And hey, you don't have to earn hanging out. You just call me or I call you and we set something up. It's what friends do." There may be a bit of emphasis on that particular word. But it might be imagination, hard to say. "Safe is good! I like not getting picked up by the cops. I'd feel really bad having to kick their butts. I'll see you next time." And with a little salute that shifts into a wave, she heads back to the store to make her way out.

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