eileen_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Instincts
Synopsis Eileen seeks out Magnes after the Ferry's raid on the government's vaccine shipment and formally brings him into the Ferry.
Date April 25, 2010

Dorchester Towers: Magnes' Apartment

There's a lot for Magnes to think about, too much, actually. Sable's probably sleeping in her room, but while he's contemplating Claire giving him a thorough soul crushing, Delilah being pregnant, and the world generally imploding, he's attempting to get his mind back on track. Eileen is buzzed up, but he keeps his music playing, punching and kicking at eight strategically placed pillows surrounding him in the air, all gravity-manipulated to provide ample punching devices.

Through the glass twenty stories high, I have watched this city burn. If everything that you said is true, there is no hope someday they will learn. But if I stay here with you, then I will never know the truth.

Do not say this is how it has to be.

His song keeps playing, and the door's opened when Eileen gets near. He's wearing a black tanktop and a pair of loose jeans, the bruises all over his face and arms still apparent as he throws punches and kicks. He should honestly not be doing that in his condition, but for whatever reason he keeps pushing himself lately.

"Hey, Eileen." he says as the music suddenly stops as something unseen clicks the stereo on top of the entertainment center. She never saw his Panucci's place to compare it to this one, but anyone would guess that this place is much larger than a room above a pizza shop. There's two bedrooms, a closet and a bathroom, the little carved out area for the kitchen, a few geeky posters littered around, and plenty of bookcases filled with graphic novels and college level science and mathematics books, even a few things on tactics and strategy. He motions her to the dark blue couch across from the impressive entertainment center, stuffed with DVDs and games, with a wooden coffee table in the middle.

Eileen recognizes that this is what apartments belonging to twenty-something bachelors are supposed to look like, and if there's any judgment to be passed it happens behind the expressionless mask she's wearing on her face when she crosses the threshold and takes in her surroundings with her eyes, carefully scrutinizing. The weather outside has worsened to the point where her heavy wool coat, soft leather gloves and cashmere scarf no longer provide enough protection, but she doesn't appear too bothered by the snowflakes clinging to her dark hair and lashes or the rosy cast her cheeks have adopted in opposition against the cold.

Visible through the window, a raven with a hooked beak and a silver band glittering around its leg snaps its wings into a closed position as it settles on the concrete lip on the other side of the glass and flicks ice from its inky black feathers.

"Good morning."

"You look as good as ever." Magnes compliments as the pillows all fall to the ceiling as if that were the floor, leaving them up there and out of the way as he moves to sit back on the couch. "Make yourself at home. Noise doesn't bother Sable much, she's asleep in her room." He motions to the kitchen now. "I think this is the first time you've ever been at my place. Can I make you anything?"

"No, thank you." Although Eileen neglects to remove her coat, she does Magnes the courtesy of taking off her gloves, exposing the long, pale lengths of her fingers and their lacquered nails. He may remember her wearing jewelry similar to the metal flashing at the raven's foot during the summer, but for whatever reason she's since abandoned all physical adornments except for the ones that are necessary.

She comes to stand behind the couch, both her small hands resting on its back, and lifts her eyes to the ceiling in a cursory glance at the pillows. "I wanted to you know that no one with the Ferry holds you accountable for what happened. There wasn't anything you could have done to resist him."

"They don't?" Magnes hadn't thought about it much, he just assumed they all blamed him and moved on. He looks up at her, laying his head back on the part of the couch her hands are on. "I still need to find Kaylee, so I can try to build mental defenses, but my body's not even ready yet. So much I have to do all at once… But I'm glad they don't blame me. And you don't have to stand there, kind of makes me think you're not comfortable."

"I'm not." Comfortable. There's something apologetic about Eileen's tone that suggests this has nothing to do with Magnes or the state of his home, and just so there aren't any doubts left to linger stale in the air— "I was shot a few weeks ago. Standing's preferable to sitting, laying to standing, and I think clearest on my feet." She looks down at Magnes, gray irises eclipsed by her lashes. From this angle, the shape her mouth takes resembles a slight frown; fortunately, his perspective is an inverted one. "I can put you in touch with Kaylee if you'd like."

"Yeah, I just hope she can help. I'm not even sure where to start on building mental defenses. I'm too weak right now, far too weak." That's how Magnes is starting to see things lately, as evidenced by all the constant testing himself and training. He moves a hand over to touch her's, and she can feel the strange alterations in gravity through various points of her body, almost as if he's trying to search for something off about her, like the location of the wound.

"Hey, Eileen…" He averts his eyes when he begins speaking now, suggesting his next words to be things he can't face her while saying. "Will you be free again, some time this week? I'm not asking for anything important, but, free time you don't have anything better to do with…"

Eileen's hand twitches under the touch, and there's a moment where it feels like she's about to draw it away, but whatever Magnes is doing to her body makes her feel too uneasy to move more than a fraction. She studies the top of his head instead as though she might be able to see through hair, skin and bone, make sense of what thoughts are swimming around the gray matter contained inside it. "You're lonely?"

"There's that, but, that's not the reason I'm asking. I wanna give things a chance, with girls I like, instead of just being hung up on Claire forever when she barely likes me as a friend." Magnes turns his head back to look up at her again, taking a deep breath. "And um, you're one of those girls, that I like a bit. You're the second to most likely to say no, but you're the only I'm gonna ask for a while."

"I'm very flattered," Eileen starts, and it sounds like there should be a but dangling at the end. Some qualifiers, however, don't need to be spoken aloud. She conveys her meaning in the way she slides her hand out from under Magnes' and briefly touches the tips of her fingers to the side of his face. "I don't think we'd be very good for one another," she says then. "And I'm not what you need."

"I'm not asking you to marry me." Magnes points out, a little of his awkwardness fading for some reason as he looks her directly in the eye, smiling. "I don't know what I need, I barely know what I want. I just know that I've been attracted to you since the first time I saw you, and that attraction's only increased with time. It's true, I don't know you very well, but that's what dating is for."

But before she can say anything, he quickly adds, "But I can understand if you're too busy for something like that, I know most of us have put our lives permanently on hold, I just like to think I can maybe fix that."

"Being committed to work and being committed to another person aren't situations that have to be mutually exclusive. It's better," healthier, "when they're not." Eileen lifts her hand away from Magnes' face and places it back on the couch. "I don't date," she says. "I'm also in love with someone else."

A slow breath drawn in through her nose fills her lungs, and when she lets it out again it's in the form of a low sigh. "A relationship isn't something you can build with your hands using a set of instructions, Magnes. It grows inside of you in a deep, dark place where the light doesn't reach and there's only memory to nurture it."

"Well, I guess building a relationship based on the fact that I think you're hot and mysterious and I have the image of you wearing a stripper outfit burned into my head isn't the best idea." Magnes seems to take it in stride, still smiling with his head laying back. "I don't know how love works, the only person I can say that word about is Claire. I'm trying to live like a normal guy, as far as women go, by just… trying to follow my instincts or something, which is probably a bad idea."

"There's nothing wrong with following your instincts," Eileen says, moving away, "as long as they're cautious. It saves lives in the Ferry's line of work." She trails her fingertips over the back of the couch as she goes and allows her hand to fall halfway back to her side once she's left it. It dips back into her coat pocket to retrieve her gloves, which she pulls on with a look tipped over her shoulder at the perching raven on the windowsill, utterly still but for the wind rustling through its glossy feathers.

"I can't give you complete access to our network yet until you've proven yourself in everyone's eyes, but you can start doing that by assisting Colette. Anything that she or Tasha Oliver need, you help. You go where they go. Ask questions. Be willing to accept no for an answer."

"You got it. And thanks for the talk, Eileen." Magnes stands and heads over so he can see her out, looking happier than he was when she came. "I promise to do my best at this and not let anyone down. Thanks for giving me the opportunity."

You're welcome, is what Eileen's eyes say in place of her mouth, which has settled back into a thin, neutral line that twitches faintly at its corners in a restrained display of amusement when Magnes rises from the couch just to see her out.

"For not disappointing those of us who've chosen to stand behind you," she murmurs, "thank you."

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