Good Shoulder


elaine_icon.gif linus_icon.gif

Scene Title Good Shoulder
Synopsis Elaine needs a shoulder to lean on, and Linus is there to oblige.
Date September 7, 2010

Siann Hall, Linus' Apartment

Linus' Apartment was almost too convenient. Just one floor down, it was an easy trek for Elaine to make her way down. Knocking on the door, Elaine sighs, almost wearily. "Linus!" She calls. "It's Elaine." Just in case he didn't remember she'd talked about coming over. She leans lightly against the doorframe, one hand rubbing her eyes.

It's a good thing she called out, as even though he remembered Elaine was supposed to be making her way down, he was in the middle of a pretty epic match in Call of Duty when she called. Still in the middle of the match, his concentration is broken by the call, his character promptly getting shot in the head. "Damn. Coming!" The second word is said much louder as he moves to the door to open it.

His apartment is like some sort of nerdvana. Spotlessly clean, shelves lined with all manner of geeky memorabilia and many, many books. A nice, black leather couch sits in front of a chic coffee table, a large HD TV mounted on the opposing wall. Every console system imaginable is hooked up in a large entertainment center.

Elaine isn't surprised by the apartment's interior. Clearly, he and Magnes should be BFFs. She offers a bit of a smile as she steps inside once the door's open and she's invited in. "Hope you don't mind me coming over. I could just use someone to hang out with, you know?"

Oddly enough, Linus hasn't really seen Magnes lately. Sure, they share many interests.. but apparently, that's not enough to be best friends. Linus shuts the door when Elaine steps in, moving over to the couch to pick up the controller he was using, turning off the system. "It's not a problem. You sounded pretty upset on the phone." He walks over towards the entertainment center, putting the controller away. It pays to be neat. "Want something to drink? I've got water, soda.. coffee."

"Water, if you don't mind." Elaine requests, moving quietly to settle down on the couch. "I'm just… I've got a lot going on, I guess. Kind of wanted an ear from someone who's not right in the middle of the situation, you know? Someone a bit more unbiased."

Linus nods, moving off into the kitchen. There is the sound of cabinets being opened, the faucet turning on and water filling a glass. Soon he's back in the living room area, walking over to the couch and handing Elaine the glass. He seats himself on the couch close enough to listen and be empathetic, but not close enough to invade her space. "Sure. I've been told both of my ears are pretty good for that, so take your pick. You can have both if you need it, though." He gives her a comforting smile. "I have a pretty good shoulder, too. What's up?"

Accepting the glass of water, Elaine sips it a bit, frowning. "Well, I'm not even sure where to start… I mean… there's a lot of stuff going on. So I might have to get a bit hypothetical for the situation to even make any sense." She frowns. "And if I were to sum it up completely, Magnes is in trouble and acting like a dick."

Linus picks up the glass of soda he already had resting on a coaster, taking a sip from it before he leans forward, head to the side, glass held in both hands between his knees. "If you want to go hypothetical, that's fine with me. You just talk, I'll listen. Okay?" He frowns at the mention of Magnes acting like a dick. "I'm sorry."

Elaine leans her head back against the couch. "I just… I don't know. He disappears for a week, comes back, supposedly nearly died… and then he abruptly leaves for something we were supposed to to together, so I get suspicious… then he comes back, tries to quit his band and break up with me. Naturally, me and the members of his band weren't too happy about that, and I knew something was up… we ended up finding someone to come talk to him and it turns out someone's been messing with his head. Real serious. So there's stuff going on and it might be dangerous, so then Magnes decides that despite me working so hard to have him back when no one believed there was anything wrong, he had to avoid me since he might unintentionally hurt me. Practically wouldn't come out of our spare room for a week…" She rubs her neck. "Things are a little better, I mean, we're supposed to be okay now, I got him to come out and stuff, but… I don't know. I feel like I'm being flung all over the place emotionally and I can't really talk to Quinn or Sable because they're Magnes' friends and in his band and stuff and even if they're my friends, they've got more of a personal stake in all of this."

Listening politely, Linus is quiet and attentive, his eyes watching Elaine's body language even as his ears listen to the tone of her voice, and her words. Speaking? Being social? Linus is bad at that. But listening, he can do. He lets out a small sigh when she finishes, taking another drink before he opens his mouth. "I really hope that wasn't the hypothetical situation, because I'd hate to be in the real one." He reaches over to squeeze her knee. "I'm not sure what to say, I mean.. this isn't really my strong suit.. but I think you need to look out for yourself in this situation. If you let yourself agonize and stress over things that are out of your control.. well, it's not good, right?"

"I know, but I'm just…" Elaine looks back at him seriously. "I figured it was easier to just try not to go hypothetical." She rubs her neck. "I just feel like a lot of my life is falling apart. Even if it isn't, it feels like it."

"I know. I'm just trying to bring a little humor in. I know that wasn't hypothetical." He takes another drink from his glass, then sets it down so he can move a little closer. He leans down, turning his head to look at Elaine dead on. "Your life is not falling apart. I know the feeling. Just.. take a step back. Forget about everything. Zone out with a movie or a book. Don't think about your life. When you come back to it, things will be better."

"Guess you're right." Elaine murmurs, sipping her water before she sets it down. "I just feel… really overwhelmed." She lets out another sigh. "I don't know. I just feel like I need to go on vacation or something now… just get out… but I have so much to worry about, and I've got classes starting…"

Linus frowns, patting Elaine's knee one more time before he scoots back and away a little bit. "I'll tell you what. You can have unlimited access to my Fortress of Solitude. Need a break? Go somewhere people won't look for you? Just come here. Even if I'm not home. Especially if I'm not home, just to get away from people. I trust you not to wipe out my save data on my games." He winks. "Cool?"

Elaine blinks for a minute, then smiles warmly. "You'd really do that for me?" She looks at him seriously. "I'm… thanks. That means a lot. It really does." She glances around the place, scanning around. "I really appreciate it. You have no idea."

Linus shrugs, turning his head to the side a bit to hide the little bit of blush on his cheeks. "It's no problem. I mean, this place could probably use a lady's touch anyway, you know?" He chuckles, picking up his glass but just turning it around in his hands. "In all seriousness, I do trust you. I can feel that you're a good person. If I can do anything to help, I will." He looks back over, smiling. "I've got a spare key around here somewhere. I'll let you have it before you leave."

"Thanks!" Elaine offers, giving a bit of a nod. "I'll see if I can do something nice for you in exchange. I'm not sure what… but I'll come up with something. It's really appreciated." She moves, sipping her water again as she looks around. "So… thank you. I'll make it up to you someday."

"You don't need to make it up to me, Elaine." Linus sighs, laying into the back of his couch and sinking into the leather. He lifts his glass to his lips, about to drink, but lowers the glass back down instead to speak. "I'm not doing this to get anything in return, and I wouldn't expect anything, either."

"No, I know you aren't, but you're being so kind and I'd like to repay the kindness somehow." Elaine leans her head against the back of the couch and shuts her eyes. "So… if you ever need a favor from me… I'm around. I'm right upstairs, after all."

Linus looks over, nodding. "Alright. Fair enough. I'm nice to you, you're nice to me.. but let's not start calling them favors. Just being nice to one another." He pushes forward to lean over the coffee table, scooping up the remote in one hand. He flicks on the TV, then sets the remote between himself and Elaine. "So, let's get your mind off of things."

"Alright. No favors then." Elaine nods, turning back towards the TV. "Hey… I know I said it before, but… thanks." She sips from her water. "You've already made me feel a bit better, so…"

"You're welcome. I'll say it every time you say thank you." He smirks, pushing the remote closer to her direction. "Go ahead and put whatever you want on. I don't mind." He stands up from the couch, stretching. "Make yourself at home. I need to use the little boy's room."

"Alright." She agrees, taking the remote and slowly flipping through the channels. Elaine gives him a small nod, then just goes back to trying to find a show to watch. Never seems to be anything on anymore. Hm…

After a moment, Linus finally returns, the audible sound of a flushing toilet in the background. He walks to the couch, leaning on it from behind instead of moving around to sit down. "Nothing on, huh? I've got a ton of DVDs, or you can take a look through my books, see if there's anything you want to pick up and just read." A hand slips out to ruffle Elaine's hair. "I mean real books, not comics."

Elaine smiles at the gesture, giving a bit of a nod. "Hey, thanks." She shifts to her feet, moving over towards the nearest shelf with either books or DVDs, scanning titles in search of the first thing that catches her attention. "You should come over some time. Magnes needs someone sane who isn't a girl to be his friend. He needs some more, well… he needs guys that aren't running out and trying to save the world or destroy it or do both."

Linus' eyes follow Elaine, but he remains leaning against the couch, his body pivoting slightly so he can face her to talk. "Yeah.. I'm not the world saving type, you know? All I'm trying to do is not destroy the world. Learn about my ability, control it better.. I don't want to be a liability to anyone." He reaches up to rub the back of his head. "I've been.. sort of avoiding him, really. I don't want to be sucked into his crazy ideas."

"Ah…" Elaine glances back over at him. "I can kind of understand why. I wish I could get away from them sometimes myself." She slowly turns back to the titles. "Anyway, I guess I was just hoping someone could get through to him. Clearly he won't even listen to me."

"Sometimes there's just no getting through to people." Linus frowns, looking down to pluck at a piece of dirt underneath his fingernail. "My parents have been trying to get me to go out and be more social for years. I've been a little bit more proactive about that, but.. still, here I am. Home most every night, playing video games." He shrugs, looking back up. "Some people.. are just how they are."

"Well, Magnes needs to change. He can't just… take such risks anymore. And if he wants to, he has to realize that he's going to end up being alone because of it." Elaine frowns, pulling a book out to read the back of the book. "Well, even if you're playing video games, it doesn't mean you don't go out. You're well-adjusted enough."

"Thanks, but even though I get out now and then, I'm really still clueless when it comes to social stuff." He manuevers around the couch to plop back down it, resting an arm on the side rest and picking up the remote with the other. "I'm not a relationship expert or anything, not by any margin, but.. if he won't change, and you're not happy.. heck, even if he needs to change for you to be happy.. that doesn't sound like a good relationship."

"You don't seem so clueless right now." Elaine returns to the couch with a book in hand, peering over towards him. "I… really wish you hadn't said that. Now there's more than one person saying that and I'm… I don't know. How do you end a relationship when you're still in love with the person? He's just… I want him to stop with these risks, with this danger…"

Linus flicks through the channels, not really paying attention to what is playing on the screen each time, his attention distracted by the serious tone of the conversation. "I wish I had something to tell you, Elaine. I really do. I've never been in that situation, from either side. So I really wouldn't have a clue. I probably wouldn't be able to do it, though.. I hate hurting people at all."

"I don't like hurting people either. I don't really know what I should do… but I know that people keep telling me I have to do what's right for me…" Elaine shakes her head. "But even I don't know what would be right. Why walk away from something good, even if it hurts me again and again?"

Linus frowns, setting the remote down on the coffee table as he stands up. "Come here. C'mon, stand up." He motions with his hands for Elaine to join him standing up.

Elaine frowns, getting to her feet as she sets the book aside, peering at him for the moment. "What is it?"

Linus steps over the small distance between him and Elaine, towering over her with his height before he leans down to wrap his arms around her shoulders, pulling the girl into a tight hug. "Just this."

Elaine wraps her arms tightly around him and shuts her eyes. "I'm just bad at this. I love Magnes, I do. I don't want to leave him. But there's… there's always so much and whenever he's gone more than a few hours I wonder if he's dead and he's afraid of hurting me and…" She hugs tighter.

Not saying anything, Linus lets Elaine take the direction of the hug whatever way she needs to take it. He squeezes when she does, lessens his grip when she does. He rests his head on top of hers, letting her get it all out. After a moment, he clears his throat and speaks. "I'm really bad at this comfort thing. I'm sorry. Everything will work out, somehow."

"I know… I just am unsure of how to make it all work out." Elaine slowly moves back, looking at him. "Thanks for being the voice of reason… I appreciate it. You kinda… you really are a good listener. And a good shoulder." She lets out a sigh.

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