Finding Our Way


vf_elisabeth_icon.gif magnes_icon2.gif

Scene Title Finding Our Way
Synopsis Magnes and Liz are figuring out how to work as a team.
Date January 22, 2012

Magnes/Elaine/Isabelle's place

Used to living in old townhouses and apartments by now, Tamara apparently saw fit to set him up with such a townhouse, old but with some colorful personality.

When Elisabeth enters, the first thing she'll notice is that there's a large painting of Batman sitting on the coffee table, rather than hung up. They have one black suede couch so far, but the painting, well… "Me and Elaine are having a bit of a disagreement about the painting." he admits, a little embarassed, closing and locking the door behind her.

All he's wearing right now is a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt with 90s Superboy on it, no shoes.

Wearing a pair of comfortable-looking slacks and a long green sweater-tunic beneath her heavy jacket as she steps in the door, Elisabeth is looking a little more rested after a week of being somewhere where there's a ready supply of food and not nearly as much stress. It'll take a little longer for her face to fill out better and she's still pale, but at least there's color in her face now. She still doesn't look three months pregnant.

"I'd make you hang it in your office," she tells Magnes, mildly amused. "Batman rocks. Although Oracle's my hero."

She takes her jacket off and leaves it carefully on the back of the couch, looking around. "Not bad. You guys should be good here for a while. Elaine out?"

"You know who Oracle is?" Magnes asks, sounding a little shocked, as if she's just said that she enjoys cosplaying and attending conventions and playing video games all in one sentence.

"Yeah, I think she's still enjoying the fact that she can go outside, and I have to learn to not feel like I need to protect her all the time. She's… a lot more delicate than the Elaine from our world, so I think it makes me more protective. That and the baby." He looks around the house though, then to the painting. "We're still buying furniture, and Isabelle is helping decorate too. It's kind of all our place. And I think it might be a good idea to take the picture to my office."

Elisabeth grins just the tiniest bit at Magnes's shock. "You know… I might come across like I know nothing about pop culture, Magnes, but I wasn't raised in a bunker," she teases softly. "Barbara Gordon is one of the singlemost underrated heroes of all time — as Batgirl she was an inspiration to girls everywhere because she not only stood up to Batman but excelled at anything he tried to use to stop her from following her dreams. Not to mention she was a bloody genius, who then overcame one of the most horrific crimes against her person that has been ever been openly perpetrated in comic book *or* pop culture history. And in overcoming that, she became an indispensible member of her team." Elisabeth shrugs slightly. "There is much about that particular character that I admire."

Put that way, it makes a lot of sense.

"Elaine isn't a fragile flower. So don't smother her and you'll be fine," she comments mildly. She's seen what Elaine's made of. "If she were as fragile as you fear, she wouldn't have survived what they all lived through for so long," she points out. "But I know you didn't ask me to stop in just so I could lecture you like crazy. AGAIN. So…. what's up?"

"I've barely known this Elaine for more than a few months, and I just feel completely in love with her, it's on a different level. It's like… she gets me, in a way that I don't feel like most people do." Magnes heads over to the dining room, picking up some copies off the table to bring back to her.

"I did some research into Michelle LeRoux." he begins, showing her copies as he explains, one such copy being of a newspaper. "She died in 1982 from a car accident, in Kansas City. She graduated in 1981, but I can't find a single bit of information on her research or anything."

Pulling in a slow breath, Elisabeth takes the papers and skims them. Mentally comparing them to the files Edward had in Virus, she nods slightly. "Not unexpected," she says quietly. She moves to sit slowly. "David Cardinal told me a similar story about his Michelle. Although the timelines don't quite add up they way they should." She looks up at Magnes. "She was a contemporary of Edward Ray's at MIT, probably similar to here. She took a job at the University in Kansas, and supposedly she and Dave got married somewhere around May or June 1982. He said he was black-bagged by someone, never knew she was pregnant, and he only got out of the facility and found out about Richard when he got to the Hub. But…. Richard was supposedly born in June of '82. Which absolutely isn't possible if David's story is right. He said he thought Edward may have fudged Richard's birthday when he dumped him in the church, trying to keep other people from finding him. But…. I just don't know what to think about all that."

She leans back, considering. "I want to dig into her research more deeply. Dave said she was studying something to do with physics and gravity. And I do think that it could be important. I just…" She sighs. "I think I'm going to go hit the library and see what I can dig up in some of the databases of people's dissertations and such. I know there are places where they're published, but they're not really published out in the open, you know? It might get us somewhere, at least."

"I'll look too, I might have access to stuff that people in the public might not have access to. With the research I'll be doing, it shouldn't be out of the question. I won't search her name specifically, but things involving what you mentioned." Magnes doesn't take the papers back, he instead walks into the dining room and pulls out a large crib box, dragging it into the living room.

He starts to open it up, then stares down at the parts. "I guess it's like a model kit."

Elisabeth quirks a brow. "Magnes…. she's not more than 4 weeks along. Maybe… you should wait a little while?" she offers, amused at his eagerness. "I think you've got some time here." But then, this is Magnes she's talking to. "I assume it's a lot like a model kit, yes."

Shaking her head, she leans back in the sofa and says quietly, "I'm definitely going to speak with Felix Ivanov." It's something she's leery of and he knows it — this bringing other people into their situation. "And I ran across a technopath who was part of Endgame, back home. I don't want to push things too hard, too fast. But to do that… it means we need to start looking slowly." She shrugs a little. "I'm worried about too many red flags going up at once."

"I thought I was supposed to just start buying cribs and stuff." Magnes says as he stares at the instructions, squinting his eyes. "I remember Felix. So… I think the best way to look is to look for research involving what she was researching, but not actually search her name. In that case, the searches won't really stand out at all."

"My father always said 'only idiots look for a needle in a haystack, just set the damned hay on fire and pick up the needle'." He pauses to think on that for a few moments. "Okay that seemed more applicable in my head."

She can't help it, it makes her laugh. "Your father's an asshole, but … I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day," Liz points out. "I agree… the person I ran into works in a library, so I'm hoping that her searches won't really ping anyone's radar. I asked her to start with any and all research from 1978 to 1985 about quantum strings, string theory, Einstein-Rosen bridges, black holes, and anything else she might find as a related sort of search. It's broad enough to get us started, but I'm hoping narrow enough to perhaps yield some names of people in the right fields of research that we could maybe tap into over time."

"Depending on what we find, I plan to try to actually apply any research that can be used to get us home. There's actually somewhat of a risk that I might become famous for doing this, but, let's hope not I guess?" Magnes walks over to the couch, taking a seat, laying his head back to stare at the ceiling. "There's a therapist in my paperwork, but I haven't been seeing them. It feels… wrong, to feel better about anything. I feel like I deserve the guilt."

Blowing out a breath, Elisabeth nods slowly. "There was the name of one in mine too. I've been seeing him basically every day," she admits quietly. "I can't sleep at night for seeing … all of it. Over and over in my dreams. The raid on the Textile Factory and the escape too." She looks down at her hands, interlacing her fingers together and restlessly squeezing them. "Intellectually, I know we did everything we could do, Magnes. But… it doesn't make it easier to cope with everything."

She looks at him and says quietly, "You should go see the one she recommended to you. Tamara's never steered me in the wrong direction. You're still going to feel guilty… because we lived and they didn't. But… talking to someone about all of it will do a lot to help you get it in perspective." She shoulderbumps him a little bit. "It's the same kind of thing I tried really ineptly to tell you in Antarctica, I guess. Even when you know the risks and the other people know the risks and you have to let them die… you have to find a way through it. Or you'll end up eating your own gun someday."

"I guess, having watched myself kill myself in front of me, I can say that I might be prone to that." Magnes smiles at her though, despite that, and starts to walk to the couch, flopping down. "I'd offer you something, but we've been doing a thing where we shop every day. We're go proper grocery shopping soon."

"It's nice, despite everything, having Elaine here. I know that from the outside it's weird, it seems like I'm dating the same girl twice, but… it's not. She's very different from the Elaine back home, This Elaine is so… just, her positivity, her imagination, it's all so different. The Elaine back home, she's one of my best friends, but we didn't work for a reason, and I don't feel like that reason applies to this Elaine. And a part of it is also me, I…" He leans his arm against the rest, considering. "I know a lot of what I did wrong, a lot of the mistakes I made. And I wouldn't make them again with any girl, let alone Elaine herself."

The faint smile Liz offers is kind of wry. "Most people don't make the same mistakes again — not if they're smart. They make different ones. You will too. I will too. But…" She shrugs a little. "I can tell you this much, though? If you want to keep this relationship with this Elaine?" Elisabeth loks at him seriously. "Go and see that therapist. Cuz what we've seen and lived seriously fucks you up in the head, Magnes. I've lived this kind of shit before. And I almost blew it with Richard because of it. There were so many things going on in my head after I was shot in it by Danko… everything in my life felt completely out of control. It felt like the one thing that was good in my life was my relationship with him. And then I damn near wrecked it acting like a controlling asshole. Trust me. Talking through it all helps."

"I will. I'll try to give it a shot next week. I've been trying to cope in my own way, so I guess I should get on top of it before I do anything stupid." Magnes says, because he definitely won't do anything stupid before next week.

"You know, I can't even imagine what you must think. Like…" He looks over himself, then at her. "I bet you look at girls and wonder what they could possibly see in me."

Both eyebrows shoot up her forehead and Liz looks at him. "Well… .you're cute as shit. Just because you're the stupidest fucking genius I know outside Warren doesn't negate the fact that you're cute. If you just didn't open your mouth, you'd be fine, I bet," she retorts. Then she claps her hand over her mouth and murmurs, "Oh God. I'm sorry… the snark is just … jumped out there." She's never really just opened her mouth like that and let it rip. It's perhaps a sign of all that they've been through that she didn't think twice about slamming him like that, just assuming it was okay.

Magnes laughs, and shakes his head. "I mean, I guess that kind of explains why a girl who completely hates my guts slept with me that one time." he considers, rubbing his chin. He clearly has never thought of himself as 'cute' before. "And Tracy Strauss taught me how to french kiss." he suddenly reveals, an extremely little known fact, but, well, different universe, might as well share. "So I've been getting by on looks? I never thought of that before." He smiles, clearly taking it in good humor.

Elisabeth opens her mouth to say something and then shuts right up. Nope. Not going there. TRACY?? Good God.

Shaking her head, smothering a laugh, Liz just says, "Magnes… honestly, there are days where you seem like the nicest guys and days I wanna knock your block off." She shrugs slightly. "You'll figure it out eventually. Some guys just take a really long time to get past the dumb teenager stage." She shoulderbumps him. "You're one of the longer-running ones. You remind me of the 14- and 15-year-olds I was teaching at Irving. Just all over the place mentally and emotionally. Someday, you'll slow down a little and it'll sort itself out."

"I was eighteen when I finally wanted to get out from under my parents, and my father disowned me immediately. So… that sets the tone for my mental and emotional development, I guess." Magnes shrugs, staring up at her, still having a bit of a rush of thoughts. "The fact that Tamara gave me these credentials to pursue this lab assistant stuff must mean that she knows it'll work out. Or that it'll lead no where and just be a stable job, I guess. But I think this is all a part of a plan."

"I never discount that idea anymore," Elisabeth says honestly. "Some things, some points in time, are going to happen regardless of the circumstances. You can delay them, but certain things…. seem like they are destined to always come to pass somehow. I genuinely believe that. Did you ever see the Terminator movies? To me…. it's a lot like that. I wonder sometimes if the writer of those actually was a traveler or knew someone who was." She shrugs a little. "I don't know if we're meant to get home. But I'm holding onto the hope of it. I just…. need a little time before we try it again. For a lot of reasons."

"Well, I need time to learn enough science to figure out unprecedented technological concepts and enough functional engineering knowledge to know how poking holes into the fabric of time and space works." Magnes explains, and then shrugs a little. "It might take me a little while."

"I've been thinking about that, about some of the things we witnessed, some things we tried to stop… it makes me wonder if the universe itself resists change. I sometimes wonder what it means for our presence in these worlds." He places a hand on his stomach, staring down at it. "It makes you think, like what if we're like an infection and the universes try to fight us off. I don't know… seems like science fiction, but it's something I'm pessimistic enough to think sometimes."

Elisabeth's tone is pensive and she looks toward the window. "Oh, it resists us," she assures him softly. "Time has inertia. The universe doesn't want to change. If you subscribe to the theory that all moments in time are not on a line but instead in multi-dimensional space that we can't perceive actually exist all at once in every moment in every timeline at once… you begin to understand, I think." She may not be a scientist, but apparently she understands a good bit more than Magnes might imagine.

"Whatever we mean in the context of all of this, I don't think it's insignificant. I'm not sure that it'll go unnoticed. We're doing more than just trying to get home, we're making human history in multiple universes and doing things that no human beings, as far as we know of, have done before." Magnes can't help but smile, though, considering. "We're basically Neil Armstrong."

"Neil Armstrong, huh?" Elisabeth considers that idea. "I guess I can live with that. As long as we eventually get home to enjoy the experience for all its horrors and amazements." She grins at him. "We can't ever tell very many people, but that's okay too. I'm good with that." Clearing her throat, she says, "In the meantime…. I've started working with the sound engineer that Tamara pointed me toward. He's intrigued with what I can do with my ability and… he's encouraging me to do some additional power training while we do some music work. So…. it looks like I'll be playing piano in a few clubs around town and in my spare time, gearing up for at least a club-circuit singing career." She looks a little bit nonplussed about the matter. It's not something she ever thought she'd do.

"That could be fun. A lot of what I did for fun were my hobbies, I was never particularly career-minded, even though I tried being a cop, and a secret agent, and the intern to the president's PR person… how did I even get these jobs?" Magnes rubs his chin, considering. "Is it because I'm cute?" suddenly dawns on him.

"Science seems fun though, I think it's what my father wanted me to do, but he kind of ruined the fun in everything. He even hated that I talked to Gillian on the internet when I was a teenager." He just looks annoyed, as he often does when he talks about his father.

"You know, I sometimes think about how I felt about Abby, and I consider the fact that there wasn't really any foundation for it. She was nice, and southern, and god she was pretty, and a great person. But when I think of Elaine, I think of all these little things, all the little things she does, and says, and her bad moments and weird quirks and just… there's so much more." he considers, his train of thought continuing in a new direction. "I don't think I knew what to look for in a woman until Elaine. I kept dating girls I had nothing in common with, we just made out a lot. Except Elle, I can't remember dating Elle very well, the Company erased my memory. But Elle was my first girlfriend, did you know that?"

Elisabeth makes this face — one he perhaps recognizes as 'Oh God, can we not have the sex talk?!' or… maybe he doesn't. And then she starts to laugh quietly. "Magnes…. I have never been able to keep track of who you've been around or been with — in part because that is not my business. The only girlfriend of yours that I knew about was Claire. And I know that was mostly wiped by the Company. I have no idea how you got the jobs of cop and secret agent because…. please do not take this the wrong way, but you have zero tact whatsoever. And both of those jobs require both tact and some political savvy, which you are also severely lacking." She shrugs a little. "You always mean well. Your execution is what's always left a little something to be desired. Sometimes I think it's because you're just always in a huge hurry to get to the end of something. It's a flaw that I share. I do not have the patience a lot of the time for stake-outs. If things look like they need to get rolling, I get antsy. But… I'm learning not to rush things. It's when you rush them that you ruin them."

"No, no, Elle was wiped by the Company, Claire… Claire is who lost her memory of me, because of… all that stuff that happened." Magnes sounds a bit down when he mentions that, but quickly moves along. "I think I've gotten better, but I have to learn to be better in other ways. It's hard… I think it's a road. Maybe another reason to start seeing this therapist. But I guess I also did a lot of things you don't know about, I think I succeeded more than I failed, just… you weren't there to see it. I mean… I don't think I've messed up on actual missions too much, I think it's the being in an organization thing I always messed up a lot."

"Certainly I'm willing to admit that I've only ever seen certain things, Magnes," Elisabeth acknowledges readily. "And we're still learning one another…. we just need to keep on moving forward on this road and keep learning how to talk to each other about the things that matter." She smiles just a bit. "Just … bear in mind that there's going to come a point where I totally flip out on you. I can see it coming. And I'll probably be mean about it. I'm going to try not to… but I'm told hormones will make me nuts."

"Well, I might do the same, you know. But I'm trying to learn to be a more patient person, I think that's one of my biggest issues…" Magnes stands up and heads into the kitchen, opening the fridge. "I'll start cooking dinner soon. You can stick around if you want. I'm still getting used to alternate universe TV and video games that I one day won't be able to keep up with, but you can watch it."

With that, he starts pulling things out, as Elaine will be home soon. As usual, one thing he rarely screws up is cooking, and Elisabeth will finally get to learn that he's actually a damned cook chef.

Perhaps now all of his allure is in his cuteness!

"Well, I might do the same, you know. But I'm trying to learn to be a more patient person, I think that's one of my biggest issues…" Magnes stands up and heads into the kitchen, opening the fridge. "I'll start cooking dinner soon. You can stick around if you want. I'm still getting used to alternate universe TV and video games that I one day won't be able to keep up with, but you can watch it."

With that, he starts pulling things out, as Elaine will be home soon. As usual, one thing he rarely screws up is cooking, and Elisabeth will finally get to learn that he's actually a damned cook chef.

Perhaps not all of his allure is in his cuteness!

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