Nukes Making Popcorn


gabriel_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Nukes Making Popcorn
Synopsis Magnes has two requests, one more preemptive than the other.
Date January 13, 2011

Siann Hall: Magnes' Apartment

It's late Thursday morning, Advocate day, and Magnes is just trying to rest up for it. It's going to be hell.

He's lounging back on the couch in a Green Lantern shirt and a pair of blue jeans, staring at the computer screen where a television should be. "I should have made a sex tape…" he mutters to himself, then closes his eyes and settles in for a nap, hands shifting behind his head. No serial killers around here!

But maybe there's a reformed serial killer in here.

Or. So they say.

There's the mechanical spring of a toaster coming up, suddenly, despite very little in the way of audible lead up. Gabriel has his back to the wider apartment as he sets about getting something to eat, having come out all this way in this weather. Wet foot steps are only evidenced upon the kitchen tile, vaguely muddy and icy, but nothing from the front door or even any of the windows. There's the scrape of a butter knife against crusty bread, an open peanut butter jar just to his left.

He's in his customary black, and hasn't yet set about shedding his coat — and probably won't. The ability to exit quickly is something to be valued. Upon the window sill outside, a total of three pidgeons have alighted on the ledge, puffing their feathers against the chill and staring inside with beady eyes.

Magnes rolls over and hits the floor. "Elaine?!" he asks with obvious excitement, scrambling up from the floor and rushing to the kitchen. When he sees not-Elaine, there's a frown. "Oh, sorry. I mean, I'm happy to see you, just, I like redheads."

Gabriel steers a glance over his shoulder at the commotion without pausing what he's doing — tossing butter knife underhand into the sink with a loud clatter, before capping the peanut butter once more. Picking up breadboard one handedly, and a piece of toast with the other, Gabriel turns to face him — and in the same motion, transforms into Elaine with a ripple that implies more illusion than flesh changing, especially as she's dressed in a manner Magnes not only would expect her to be, but remembers too.

She nips a bite off the corner of the toast, and blinks brown eyes across at Magnes. "I don't know many," she asserts, in Elaine's voice. "Redheads."

"I don't think you'd want to be on the other end of half the things I did to her, and that's kind of creepy." Magnes motions a dismissive hand. Do Not Want! "I wanted to talk to you about something. See, uh… do you like science?" this is asked in the broadest of ways, since who knows if Gabriel is familiar with terms like molecular biology.

But he's only helping, Magnes! Despite wishful waving, Gabriel remains as is for now, chowing down on peanut butter slathered toast, with the kind of enjoyment that implies she'll have to pick up some more on the way back. Simple pleasures in life that don't involve murder or preventing murder. At the very least, Gabrielaine is being careful not to dirty the floor with spilling crumbs, conscious of cleanliness. She does pause, though, to squint across at Magnes at this question.

No yes or no. Just a puzzled kind of silence that, if anything, acts a prompt to explain.

"I'm trying to discover something about Evolved DNA, which is if DNA changes when they change into another form. I remember you turning into some sort of shadow before, that's what I mean." Magnes opens his fridge, pulling out a large bottle of some sort of red juice. "I was wondering if you or your father would like to give me DNA samples of you in various element forms, for the future of science."

"What?" is probably— a valid question, of sharp interjection. The transformation breaks, Gabriel's image melting through that of Elaine's with the same motion of heatwaves. No more joking around. Breadboard and toast both are set down without breaking an incredulous look towards Magnes. "First thing's first, you're not a scientist. Last I checked, you're a flying comic book junkie. Second thing, you don't want anything from my father, and if I see him again, it won't be to ask him for DNA samples."

"I know more about science than most people should without going to college first. I'm going to be an intern to the person who taught me everything I know about molecular biology when I was still under the thumb of my parents, and I want to prove that my thesis has some weight." Magnes sighs, starting to walk back into the living room. "We're going to do a lot of valuable research on Evolved abilities, and your DNA is like this insane variable. You're a Pandora's Box of ability knowledge. I can't just waltz in with Gabriel Grey, which is why I'd rather just have your DNA and say it's from an anonymous doner."

Strong eyebrows write themselves into angles of critical analysis, a hawkish look up and down the other man for a few stagnant seconds before Gabriel is— returning to his toast. Before it gets cold. With one slice devoured, it's a matter of picking up the second and tearing off pieces, birdishly consuming in bits, tongue working behind teeth to make sure nothing sticks. He juts his chin up in something of a nod to indicate Magnes.

"This is for the Institute."

"I, well, yeah, but only the team I've put together. I'm joining the Institute so I can find out what they're really about. I feel like there has to be some justification for what's going on in there. My father is a high ranking official." Magnes finally reaches the couch, sitting back so he can watch Gabriel's toast devouring.

"I have a terrible dad too." Gabriel leans against kitchen counter, tearing down the last bites, and his palms clap together smartly as he divests them of crumbs, turning on an almost loosely jaunty pivot on his heel to cleanse breadboard beneath a running tap. Shakes it free of droplets, stacks it neatly, and follows Magnes into the main of his apartment. "Don't get me wrong, this is way better than the Company's method of keeping me in lockdown for a year on some of the best pharmacueticals money can provide— "

Hands come apart in no can do gesture. "I don't like science. To answer your question. And they," and his voice carries a somewhat edged tone to it this time, knife-like and hidden beneath his previously conversational tone, "don't need to know more about us than they already do."

"They have no idea I'm coming to you right now. I just thought I'd ask, on the off chance that you'd agree. I don't want them to use these things against us, that's why I tried to put together a team I could trust." Magnes sighs, resting his head back against the couch, closing his eyes. "What are you doing with yourself, Gabriel? Don't get me wrong, the fact that you're not going on killing sprees is great, but you're about as close to god as a human can get. Why are you screwing around with any organization? Do you have any idea what I'd be doing if I were you?"

"Your intentions being noble is a given." And that seems to be the last thing Gabriel has to say on the request, with only a minor tone of sarcasm. Pacing carries him in a customary walk along the perimeter of the room, hands tangling behind his back as if to stop him from touching things, before he twitches a look back towards Magnes, brow furrowing. "I'm not screwing around with any organisation," he quasi-repeats, a little blandly. "But go ahead. Enlighten me."

"First, your ability has a seemingly untapped precedent. You can copy abilities without killing someone. I'd be trying to master that so I can gain even more." Magnes explains this as one eye opens, and he lazily aims a finger at Gabriel's head. "Next, I'd start flying or teleporting or whatever to battlefields, completely ending world wars over night, and stomping out anything that even tries to come up again. You'd sway the entire world psychologically…"

He halts as Magnes explains, head cocked quizzically but with clear interest and attention, as if intrigued but not surprised that someone else has an opinion on what he could do in the world. "Like all those old wartime superhero comics, right?" Gabriel agrees, with an almost crooked smile. "I don't have a death wish. Heroes don't work in the real world, people don't like gods they can see and touch and make bleed. I'd just be a tyrant, the new threat to stomp out — more than I already am.

"It would take a lot of hard work to kill me. But I'd be fighting forever, whether I was alone or had an army at my back. I can barely sleep now. Just— " He snorts, once, and turns his back to Magnes, which only means so much when there are three pigeons peeking in from the window. "Don't think I haven't thought about it."

"Yeah… I guess you have a point. I just always find myself wondering what it is you're doing, or going to do. You have so much potential, and it seems like every few months I find some new people trying to use you for some trivial goal. It's like using a nuke to make popcorn." Magnes crosses his legs on the couch, looking around for a long moment, then just blurts, "You should be my roommate."

That long moment just prior is taken up, on Gabriel's end, with a cynical look cast Magnes' way, eyebrow raised and silence black and glacial. It cracks, though, at that proposition, eyebrows evening out and the corner of his mouth twitching in what could be a smile. Could be a scowl. That it never comes to be makes this difficult to tell. "Mm," is a thoughtful noise at this concept, a hand creeping up to skritch along his slightly silvered hairline at the nape of his neck. "Is this because I clean up after myself?

"Or because I can turn into Elaine?" That's practically a sense of humour.

"Come on, don't be gross! I was just thinking, I hate living alone, and I've never had a guy for a roommate. We could do all sorts of guy stuff, like inject cheese into a turkey and deep fry it." Magnes seems excited about the idea, eyes wide as he's sitting up and alert now. "And you'd be a very reliable roommate. You have all sorts of perks. Security, neatness, that 'he was such a quiet boy' appeal that most people in your, uh, former position tend to have, so you won't be throwing any parties."

"I live with people already," is what Gabriel says after a moment of thought, regarding deep fried turkey and whatever else might qualify as guy stuff. "And they'll tell you, the costs outweigh the benefits. Beside, my car's on the wrong island." He waits a beat, backtracking over this conversation and leaving the prospect of a new roommate behind in the dust as he asks, "Are you going to ask Samson for a DNA sample too? Because you probably shouldn't. Do that."

"Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't know where to find him. I was hoping you would, but obviously you don't, so it seems like this is a dead end for now." Magnes lays back on the couch again, yawning. "I'd ask Peter, but fuck Peter. If you're going back to the island, make sure you get Abby a nice present. Her birthday is the 18th, there will be a party, but I'm not allowed to go back there after a discussion with Eileen."

Gabriel closes off his winter coat in preparation for the great outdoors, and huffs a chuckle. "Obviously," is repeated darkly, before he tosses a glance back to Magnes, shrugs smally. "If I told you where I was going, I'd have to kill you. Thanks for the toast." And the offer, maybe, in its own way being slightly sweet and certainly flattering, but, as with most offers and cards fate tends to deal Gabriel's way, it remains turned down.

One day he'll pick one again. Maybe it'll even be a good one. He turns and walks, straight through the wall as has become customary for him, foot falls silent on the other side, potentially halfway across the island by now.

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