Magnes & Hiro's Excellent Adventure


magnes_icon.gif hiro_icon.gif

Scene Title Magnes & Hiro's Excellent Adventure
Synopsis Magnes and Hiro go back in time; Magnes learns deep and valuable lessons, while Hiro subjects himself to the pain of witnessing his past.
Date March 30, 2009


2009 and 2006

Pizza order for dark hole in the wall in bad part of town. Panucci's Pizza happens to be near enough that it's in their radius. There are no street lights here. In fact there seem to be no people either. It's one of those neighborhoods where one really starts to wish they had a gun, and not because of who's here. It's just a feeling of dread you get from urban decay and the dark alleys, graffiti, and refuse all over the place. That and the broken windows.

The address the delivery is supposed to go to belongs to one of those old townhouses on the street with the short concrete staircase leading to a small porch. There are no lights on inside.

It doesn't take long for the pizza to arrive, with a few dozen leaps across the city, high above the urban decay, it doesn't look so bad; occasionally it reminds him of wide shots of Gotham City. Magnes lands in front of the townhouse, right on the steps, then promptly knocks on the door. He's wearing his silver-rimmed oval glasses for work.

"Panucci's Pizza!"

The door opens and there is Hiro Nakamura. Hey! Is this where he lives?

"Inside." he bids simply, turning and walking into the townhouse which has no lights because its power has been turned off. It also has no furniture so there's not much risk of tripping on anything. Casually Hiro reaches into his pocket to pull something out.

Skating cautiously into the townhouse, Magnes is a bit too focused on his creepy surroundings to be surprised by Hiro, though that is a surprise. Once they're in, he finds a spot to rest the pizza, then turns his full attention to Hiro. "What's going on?" he asks, tone low as if someone's listening.

The Japanese man heads toward a staircase on which is placed a rubbermaid container. When Hiro turns around it's in the soft glow of ambient outside light falling through a window. He extends something toward Magnes. "Here." No real explanation, but it's a small wad of cash. "I've been asked to do two things. One is to give you this." And then he hands over the rubbermaid. It smells sweet. "They're from Abigail Beauchamp. Cinnamon rolls. Or buns. Or whatever you call them."

Magnes takes the money and stuffs it into his pocket, then takes the rubbermaid and opens the lid to peek into it. "Abby? Why did she make me rolls? I thought she was angry with me…" He seems surprised, then his head slumps a bit, expression darkening for whatever reason. "Alright, what was the other thing?"

"She did not seem mad at you. Not to me anyway. You know what she's been through. It's affected her differently than you, so you just need to accept that she'll need some time to adjust. Probably more time than you because people like her aren't as…resiliant as we are." Hiro answers, blithely including Magnes in some mysterious demographic with himself. "The other thing was to talk to you. I'd like to show you something, Magnes Varlane. I want to take you somewhere important. Bring the pizza."

Magnes skates over and grabs the pizza, then skates right back to Hiro. He just frowns as he thinks of Abby again, staring at the pizza box. "I'm not mature enough to be Abby's friend, let alone any other dreams I might have. I'm not mature enough to handle seeing her get hurt, and I'm not mature enough to handle the entire truth of what happened to her. Shot, tongue cut out, probably raped but she'd never admit that, and God knows what else. I'm just not mature enough…" He doesn't look back up at Hiro, his fingers clenching against the box, just as the knot in his stomach does.

"She wasn't raped." Hiro says with the air of someone who knows as a fact. Casually he reaches out and grabs Magnes by the shoulder, and light fills the room. Actually, the staircase disappears too, as do the walls. Instead they are replaced by shoji, and the lack of furniture instead becomes a few tatami mats and small short tables, mostly juxtaposed against the walls. There is what looks like an altar, although it's one of those mounts one sees katana kept on. The smell is probably the most radical change. Instead of the grimy cinderblock and cloy garbage smell that pervades much of that part of New York to the point one stops even noticing it, the scent of pollen and flowers and water pervades here.

Hiro walks away from Magnes with his back to the younger man, shrugging the Kensei sword off of his shoulders to place it with reverence upon the mount. "What do you wish you were, Magnes Varlane?" he asks.

Magnes… well, he trusts Hiro, and his words seem to take some weight from his shoulders. He still holds the pizza, surprised and rapidly turning his head when the room changes, and of course he can't help but take a deep breath. "What I want to be…" he pauses, then raises his head to face Hiro's back. "I used to want to be like Superman, or Batman, I still kind of do, but it's not about wearing a cape and being known as a hero anymore, now I just wanna be strong enough to protect my friends. I wanna be like you."

"Superman was orphaned, the Last Son of Krypton. He lost his whole world and civilization. Batman's parents were murdered in front of him. Don't you think by now every hero has some terrible sacrifice that makes them what they are?" Just so happens that Magnes would pick a role model who actually knows his comic book characters. Hiro places the Kensei sword and then respectfully steps back and bows to it. Turning to face his companion, he walks back toward Magnes and says, "Come on. We're going out."

"Seeing what happened to Abby was enough for me, I don't think I could handle a great loss. But, I still messed up a lot, the cage fighting only made me wanna clean up the streets more, but I guess it just made me stupid." Magnes follows Hiro, clutching his pizza as he rolls along. He keeps sniffing the air, he's just not used to it, then he just can't help but ask, "Um, where are we?"

"My family's home, Japan." Hiro answers simply, choosing only that last question to answer. "Did you think I live in New York?" He offers a small grin at that and once again grabs Magnes by the shoulder.

And then they once again are Elsewhere.

This time the place is busy, full of people. It looks like a party's going on at first until it becomes clear that this party lacks the necessary focus of purpose that most parties do. This is just a place where people gather, all Japanese. All the people are Japanese, speaking Japanese, and all the writing is in Kanji except for the odd English word here and there on signs and blaring on TV monitors mounted on the walls. Hiro has them appear next to a booth like any other restaurant booth and sits easily. "Let's have that pizza now. And the cinnamon rolls. I want to try one. Abby said I could have some."

Sitting the pizza and the rolls on the table, Magnes slides into the booth, completely amazed by their surroundings. His eyes glue to a TV, then to the crowd, then himself. "This is amazing! I've never been out of the country before. Wow, I'm a minority! This is awesome!" he exclaims, suddenly excited. His mood has been revived.

In spite of himself Hiro finds that amusing. He chuckles a little and opens the pizza box to have a slice. "You're welcome to share. I can't eat it all." he invites. "So do you know where you are right now? Do you recognize the place?" Odd question, it seems, to a guy that's never been out of the US.

Magnes opens the rolls, he wants to taste Abby's baking before anything else, then takes a large bite out of one. He looks around in deep thought, trying to catch on to what Hiro means, then… "Hey! Isn't this place from the comic?"

There's a nod to Magnes' observation. "Yes it is. Recognize those guys over there?" Hiro inclines his head toward someone over Magnes' shoulder, requiring the younger man to have to turn to look.

When that look is taken, two very familiar Japanese men can be seen sitting at a table arguing with each other. Hiro Nakamura and Ando Masahashi.

"You read about this. Isaac Mendez already drew this as happening. We didn't know it, but at this point I had already accidentally gone one year into the future and gotten a copy of Ninth Wonders that showed us in it. I brought it back and showed it to Ando. He thought it was something I had made." The reminiscing takes a toll on Hiro really, though he doesn't show it. It isn't every day he allows himself the luxury of going back in time to see his best friend, even if from across a crowded room.

"Whoa, the real Ando!" Magnes exclaims, quietly, completely gluing his eyes to the other two. "So this means we're like, in the comic right now. But I don't get it, why are we here?" he asks before taking another large bite out of Abby's roll. That's the real Hiro, and Ando! "Man, present Hiro. This is so awesome."

"Mm hmm." agrees Hiro as he munches pizza, giving Magnes a chance to take it in. When he has a moment he explains, "It's not that we're in the comic, Magnes. It's that the comic was drawn from real life. This was going to happen. Isaac Mendez just saw it before it did and turned it into a comic book. Do you understand?"

Magnes turns around, though he still seems distracted with looking back at Hiro and Ando occasionally. "I understand. But if he paints the future, why you and Ando? I mean, why not any of the Evolved that I know?" Of course, he has seen some of the ones that he knows, he just hasn't made the connection yet.

Hiro has put some thought into that. Why he and Ando? "I think it's because we were there. When the bomb went off. And our destiny was to try to stop it, and fail. Because Isaac was close to that event, I think he reached out to those of us who would come together. Me. Claire Bennet. Noah Bennet. Peter Petrelli. Nathan Petrelli. Sylar. The others." He's seen some of the others too, and read their parts himself in Ninth Wonders. Mendez united quite a few people. "It's about to happen. Watch. He's going to tell me if I can teleport, then go to the women's restroom." he warns, indicating past Hiro and Ando again.

At the table Ando and Hiro get into a little verbal exchange that culminates with Hiro vanishing from the table. Almost right away there is a shriek in the women's restroom as he comes skittering out of there, pursued by jeers and disapproval.

"Whoa! This is amazing!" Magnes says in response to seeing it right there. Despite what Hiro says, and even knowing it's not true himself, this really does feel like being in a comic. "Alright, I heard of those people in the comic but, wait, you mean the Peter and Nathan in the comic, and the Sylar in it, they're all the real ones?" he asks, the realization suddenly dawning on him.

"Yes, they're all the real ones." Once again Hiro is a fan of Panucci's Pizza. It's good pizza. He won't get to have a cinnamon roll if he's not careful and fills up on pizza. "We're not special superheroes, Magnes. I sure thought I was though. I was like you. I thought with these new super powers my destiny was to be a hero. Like Takezo Kensei." He says that name with dullness where once it used to be reverence. "When I saw that I was in a comic book, it spoke to me. I thought that yes, that would be my destiny. To be a super hero. Do you know where it got me?"

Magnes finally fishes his roll, then he reaches for a slice of pizza, taking a bite as he listens. There are a few nods here and there, and when asked a question, he answers, "Well, you're really cool now, so I always thought you teleported around, saving the world, right?"

"I can't save the world, Magnes. I've tried. I never manage to do it." explains the time traveller with a frankness that surprises even him. "The best I've managed to do is to preserve History as it was already written. So I helped Destiny. It's like holding up a wall that's in no danger of falling anyway. For all the things I can do, I'm really almost powerless."

"But, me and you, we can go back and stop Logan and Muldoon, I /know/ we can. And even if we can't, we can go back to the present and find Muldoon, then put him away. It's not messing with the future if it's the present, right?" Magnes asks, having only heard of Logan being taken care of, but as far as he knows, Muldoon is still out there. "And if we can't do anything at all, why am I here?"

"I don't know why we exist, Magnes." answers Hiro sympathetically. "But I do know the world has bigger problems than Logan and Muldoon. They're petty criminals. What they do is wrong and evil, but it's not like the threat of the Bomb. Or the Company. Daniel Linderman. I couldn't prove it but I'd be willing to bet that Linderman is at least partly behind that fight club on Staten Island." beat. "Which, by the way, does not exist yet. This is the year 2006."

Magnes thinks back, 2006, what was he doing in 2006… "Whoa! I was still skating and impressing all the older guys, this is before I got beat up." He seems surprised, but then Hiro's words register again, a bit faster than it usually takes them to register. "What company? And does that Daniel Linderman guy have anything to do with registration?"

"What does Daniel Linderman have to do with the Linderman Act? Did you just ask me that question?" Hiro asks blandly as he tries a cinnamon roll. Mmm. Abby knows how to cook.

Magnes frowns in the middle of biting his pizza, mostly because he has the sneaking suspicious that Hiro just called him stupid. "Hey, it's not like I sit around watching politics all day or something. And if Daniel Linderman is a criminal, it could have easily been a coincidence. I mean, forgetting the fact that Nathan Petrelli is a criminal, you could just…" He pauses, staring at the pizza, then looks up at Hiro. "Alright, I'm dumb. Let's move on."

Hiro kinda did, but he didn't really want to spell it out as such. Half a cinnamon roll in hand, he gestures at Magnes, "Nathan Petrelli is not as simple as that. Do not be fooled. He is a good man. I know what it looks like and how it seems but just trust me. Nathan Petrelli is a very complicated man with a good heart. I have seen it. This is just one example of the world you live in Magnes. Nothing is as simple as good an evil. Even I make that mistake. I'm still learning it."

"But what about how he blamed everything on Sylar, when it was really Peter Petrelli?" Magnes defensively asks, appearing fairly set in his views of Nathan, even before he knew about Peter. "And he ruined our lives with the registration, it's illegal for me to live and be who I am without checking into the government, do you know how scary that is?"

Nodding easily Hiro says, "Yes I do. I know how it can get worse too." After another bite he adds, "Registration is Linderman's plan. I have never even met him but his name is attached to everything that is evil and corrupt in our time. But I didn't bring you here to talk about these things."

By now past-Hiro and Ando have left, gone to argue in the alley. They'll more on to their fate without interference from the time travellers.

"Ready to see something else?" Hiro asks cryptically.

"I don't know anything about this Linderman guy, but we should probably do something about him when we get back…" Magnes takes a deep breath, finishing his slice of pizza before putting the top on Abby's rolls. He will not leave her rolls in the past. "I'm ready, but is it safe to leave this box? I mean, couldn't my pizza destroy the spacetime continuum or something?"

"It's coming with us. I'm not wasting good pizza." That last Hiro says indignantly. As if he would dare waste good Panucci's. "You take the pizza box. I'll take the cinnamon rolls." See, they have snacks for the trip. Getting up from the table, Hiro picks up his chosen parcel and waits for Mags to get his own.

Magnes of course, would rather be protecting Abby's rolls, but they're in good hands. His specialty is pizza anyway, so he grabs the box and slides out from the booth, waiting for Hiro's squint. "I'm ready."

A brief physical contact with Magnes and Hiro brings them elsewhere and elsewhen. They find themselves on a daylit street in America, as evidenced by the English signs and predominantly white people to be seen here, as well as the cars going up and down the right side of the road.

The cars have Texas license plates on them.

"Know where this is?" asks Hiro, sitting down on a nearby bench next to a diner.

Magnes looks around, he doesn't immediately look at the license plates, he's still a bad hero, but he notices the diner, and he /is/ here with Hiro. "Um, is this uh…" he pauses, appearing reluctant to say. "You know, with the girl."

"Yes, with the girl." Hiro says simply. "You have Abby. I had Charlie. For six months I had Charlie." He takes a deep breath and explains, "She's getting killed behind us right now. Ask me why we're just sitting here letting it happen." There's pain in his eyes, and he just holds the cinnamon rolls in his lap, looking down at them. Doesn't feel like eating anymore.

Magnes almost runs in, the association of Abby with Charlie hitting him hard. She's getting /killed/, he knows that, but he read the comics, he knows what this lesson is about. He stares down at his pizza box as Hiro stares down at the rolls, nodding slowly. "Because no matter what you did, you couldn't change it…"

"Right. I tried. I think…I want to think…that in another universe I succeeded. And maybe it turned out worse, but maybe it turned out better. And there's another Hiro somewhere that did it. And there's a Charlie that lived." He gives Magnes a heavy look and says, "This time Sylar won. He took her brain and taught me a hard lesson. Magnes, listen to me. As bad as things have been for you, you have not lost Abby. If she's hurt, it can be healed. If she's dead there is no healing. You have a future that can still include her. Pay close attention to what you still have."

Magnes holds the pizza in one hand now, placing a hand on his stomach, looking down as he takes every word to heart, soaking it into his very soul. It could be worse, it could all be worse, Abby could be gone. "And I'm worrying about hurting her, worrying about what I may have done, what I couldn't or didn't do, about if I'm mature enough or not. I should be there, I should be helping her heal, this /isn't/ about me…" Finally it means something, finally it makes sense, what it really means for this to not be about him. "I understand."

Slowly Hiro nods. "You're starting to. Yeah." He puts a hand on the younger man's shoulder as a gesture of comraderie, and almost like he's just a little proud.

About then the screams can be heard from inside the diner. They just found Charlie. Or what's left of her.

The scenery shifts again. This time they're sitting on a different bench. It's near Kirby Plaza in New York City. The lights are all on. It's relatively clean. The buildings are in good shape. It's night time. It's before the Bomb.

"Kirby Plaza!" Magnes exclaims, looking around, crouching down and getting ready to jump, but stops when he realizes they're in the past. Lucky for Hiro, the delivery boy is far too easily impressed to comment on the screams at the moment, they're pushed to the back of his mind for now. "I didn't know how to use my powers well enough to skate around here before the Bomb, so I got a bit excited, sorry."

Hiro waves once dismissively, as if there's nothing to apologize for. "I could take you other places and times, but this is the worst of them. This is the one…" he hesitates, "…just sit back and watch, Magnes. And don't say anything. And remember what you see."

A man walks around in the middle of the plaza. It's Sylar. Hiro and Magnes are sitting far enough away that they don't appear to be on his radar.

Magnes doesn't speak, but he looks at Hiro as if to say 'Hey, that's Sylar!', then looks back to continue watching. He seems excited at first, but he starts to put things together. Sylar is here, this must be big, and Hiro is treating this as incredibly important, and they're in Kirby Plaza… Oh shit.

It's about now that Peter is supposed to show up right? Or Hiro perhaps. And sure enough here comes a Japanese man with a sword. But that sword is not the Kensei sword, and the man is not Hiro.

Ando looks at Sylar. Sylar looks at Ando. Ando raises his sword and charges.

Hiro doesn't watch. He looks down at the cinnamon rolls and puts a hand over his mouth as tears well in his eyes. He doesn't watch as there is not a theatrical scream of death but a sickening series of noises that sound like they come from a butchery or perhaps an autopsy. The noises echo with stomach-churning clarity across the night air in spite of the observers' distance from the event. Ando doesn't even have last words. Hiro and Peter will come along not so much later.

Voice thick, Hiro says, "This is the sort of thing your friends are afraid of for you. Don't let that be you, Magnes."

Magnes has seen a man be killed before, and it was a very terrible thing to witness, but that man wasn't someone with meaning, that man wasn't someone he could put a man to, or family, or friends. Ando is, he knows Ando, anyone who reads comics knows Ando, but Ando is real, and Ando is butchered right before his eyes. He doesn't speak for a while, his hands are tightly gripping the pizza box again, shaking in horror. Sylar seemed nice, it's his power's fault, right? But even if it is, even if Sylar can somehow be redeemed, he simply cannot continue making excuses for the man. Either Sylar changes, or he is a monster, there's no other way to look at it. "Oh God…"

Hiro sits in relative silence, the normal buzz of city noise being the only thing that breaks it until he speaks after a moment, "As much as people care about you, it will never protect you. Will you think about it? We need to go before Peter comes and explodes."

"I will, I'll think about it…" Magnes says with a deathly serious tone, barely able to speak above a whisper. It appears that things aren't simply going in one ear and out the other, he is listening this time. "I'm ready to go now, please."

Truth to tell, Hiro's ready to go too. He stands and gestures Magnes to do the same before once again putting a hand on the younger man's shoulder and bringing them back to the townhouse he was waiting in originally. Where a pizza was delivered just a minute ago and where Magnes and Hiro vanished from a mere second previously. Such is time travel. He turns away from Magnes, still holding the cinnamon buns in hand. "You're like I was in some ways, Magnes. I don't want you to be like I am now if you can avoid it. I can't help what I've seen and what I know. Do me a favor and find a better way to change than I did. Some way that makes sense, but doesn't mean you have to lose everyone you care about first." Thoughtful pause. "Here." He holds the cinnamon rolls out for Magnes to take. He'll know what to do with them.

Magnes holds the pizza out to Hiro as he takes the rolls, a simple exchange. "Keep the pizza, I made it, I can make more." he offers rather calmly, trying not to act too shaken at the previous few minutes now that they've returned. "I'll try, I've learned a lot, and many things make sense now. I may take a different path than you, but if you say you're not a hero, I disagree. If you were anything but a hero, you wouldn't spend your time trying to keep destiny on its course, a normal man would have thrown his hands up and said forget it. A normal man wouldn't re-live horrible events in his life just to teach someone he barely knows, a lesson… You are a hero."

Hiro has no problem taking the pizza. He did pay for it. And later he'll feel like eating again, eventually. He does have to wipe his eyes before he turns though, unable to keep himself from that little bit of male vanity that a guy doesn't want another guy to see him cry. It's not beneath him. He nods to Magnes' words. If not in agreement, at least in acknowledgement that he hears. "Go tell Abby I think she cooks very well." he says quietly after exchanging rolls for pizza.

Magnes nods affirmatively, jumping down the stairs in a manner that would kill a normal man, but he just lands safely and starts skating for the door. He yells back, waving even though Hiro can't see, "Thanks, Hiro!" Then, out the door he goes, woosh.

In silence and alone for now, Hiro looks at the pizza. He walks through the dark townhouse and goes to lock the front door. And then he walks back into the darkened house.

A battery-powered lamp clicks on at a touch, and a door opens. Hiro Nakamura walks down into the basement with the rest of his Panucci's Pizza, turning on a series of battery powered lamps to illuminate the basement and its contents. Those contents stretch from wall to wall through the open space, photos and snapshots here and there, all put together with a careful hand. They hang in the basement, a road map of the known past that is better, more informed. And includes more lives than before.

He will spend the rest of the night working on the Strings.

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