Second Place


elaine_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Second Place
Synopsis Elaine and Magnes have a talk and they talk about being in second place.
Date February 5, 2011

Siann Hall: Magnes' Apartment

It's early in the morning, and Magnes' apartment looks the same as when Elaine left it, but today, for some reason, he has a black metallic drum container in the middle of his living room, as if he's about to start a fire. But when Elaine knocks, he cracks the door open, peeking out at her. "Oh, hey, Elaine. I'm sorry about last night, talking to my father and hearing the story about him and my mother inspired me, I just had to act on it…"

Elaine's eyes flicker towards the drum, a slight frown quirking at the corner of her mouth. "It's okay, Magnes, I'm not mad. Please just tell me you aren't burning all your comics or something in here… the fire alarm will go off…" She looks towards the door, then towards Magnes. "Do you mind if I come in?"

"Yeah, come on. And I spoke to Adel, she said that if I were to burn anything, I needed to burn something that really mattered to you." Magnes walks over to the drum, then tilts it over for her to see his crumpled White Knight costume at the bottom.

There's the tiniest hint of a smile on Elaine's lips as she peers at the drum, and she looks back over at him, sticking her hands in the pockets of her jeans. "She's smart. You guys made a smart choice, getting her into the band. I like her." She looks towards the drum again. "You keep coming back, Magnes. You keep coming back to me, every time. I'm… I'm not exactly sure why. I thought, after everything, you'd give up and move on."

"It's not like I haven't tried, I mean, I tried to get interested in two women who for all intents and purposes, have things that I should really like about a girl. But when I spoke to my father, I really realized that you're what I want, and if I give up on you, I could be losing, for lack of a better word, my soul mate." Magnes walks over to her, gently placing his hands on her shoulders. "My father said that he and my mother split up for six months when she found out about a big secret he was keeping, he says I get screwing up from him. But he fought, the entire time, until he finally won her back."

There's another tiny smile. "Yeah, guess your stubbornness runs in the family," Elaine says, looking back at him. "How are you sure that I'm what you want, Magnes? How am I different from Delilah?" Her voice hitches for a second on the name, but then she moves on. "Or Eileen? Or Claire? Or Abby? Are you even sure I'm what you want? Or do you want something, someone, I'm not?"

"None of them see me the way you do, Delilah comes close, but… You're one of the few people who really knows me, who accepts every part of me except the unreasonable stuff that you have every right to be angry about." Magnes raises a hand to lightly brush her cheek, a slight smile creeping up. "You're intelligent but not pretentious, you're open minded without being entirely crazy, and while you can have this adorably vulnerable air about you, you're also strong and independent. Eileen, Claire, and even Abby lead lives that I honestly don't think I could handle in a girlfriend, I'd worry as much as you worried about me. And while those things aren't true for Delilah, well… Delilah kind of intimidates me when it comes to things involving relationships, because she seems like she knows so much more than me, I feel like I'm screwing up all the time."

Elaine laughs just slightly, though it comes out sounding a little sadder than she anticipated. "Yeah, Delilah's kinda in a league of her own, I guess. Kinda really shouldn't compare myself to her." She looks back over at him. "But you know me a lot better than I thought. I… I honestly wasn't expecting that. I guess I underestimated you, and I'm sorry for that. But you do kinda mess up a lot. I can't blame you for all of it. I really wish I could."

She does offer him another smile. "You know, I wish I had time-travel powers. Because I'd like to go about… mm, maybe four years into the future and see where you are then. Because you've got potential, Magnes. Everyone else writes it off because you do mess up. But you and I both know that you've got more to it than that. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if you screw things up just a little bit simply so people underestimate you."

"I wish I could give myself that much credit, Elaine. And I don't know where I'll be in four years either, but I really am trying to get my life together, I just… want you to know that I'm serious." Magnes lifts the drum and carries it to the window, opening it so the winter chill can suck the heat out.

Then he raises a pack of matches, offering them to her. "Go ahead, you do the honors. I can take care of the smoke."

Elaine glances at the matches, but takes them anyways. "I feel like this is a really stupid idea, but I'm going to go for it anyways. Quinn'd kill me for even thinking about this." That, however, doesn't stop her, and she carefully lights the match, dropping it into the barrel. "Magnes… do you ever feel like you're in second place? Like… no matter what you do you're always second best or you just can't be good enough, but you're just a hair behind?"

"You probably think I'm just saying this, but other than Sable and maybe my former therapist, you're the only person who doesn't make me feel like I'm in second place, or third, or even last." Magnes holds a hand over the drum, and the smoke seems mostly forced out of the window as his costume burns. Then he grabs a large cloth from the floor and drops it into the barrel at an enhanced weight, smothering the flames. "Do I make you feel like second best?"

The redhead watches the flames as the costume burns, waiting until it's finished before she looks back towards Magnes with a simple reply, "I believe you". She glances back at the cloth in the barrel and the chilly open window, then she looks to Magnes. "Sometimes you do. It feels like a running theme in my life, especially lately. I kind of felt it when I was with you because there was always someone you were thinking over and obsessing over that wasn't me. Like Abby or Claire. And the way you were when we were around Dee when she was pregnant… it was like, you wanted that life but you didn't get it, so you got me instead."

There's a bit of a sigh, Elaine blowing her hair out of her face. "And even after you, it's like… people want me, but I'm just not good enough. I'm the second choice. Sable probably didn't tell you yet, and I'm sure she'd want to be the one to tell you, but… there was something, with me and her. And I thought it was something it wasn't. She made me think it was something good and then she picked Delilah. And Quinn… Quinn's in love with me, but she's with Ygraine. Here I am, with no one, and they're both picking someone else but expecting me to feel okay." She huffs out a breath of air. "I just want to be good at something, to make a difference and mean something, but it just feels like I'll always be in second place, in relationships and in everything I do. I'm just… I'm not so extraordinary no matter how hard I try."

"Elaine, you were never second to me. Delilah is a single parent, she needs all the help she can get. I know I can be weird about the baby since for a few minutes I actually thought he was mine, but I don't stay up all night wishing for a baby, I'm not nearly mature enough to be someone's father right now." Magnes moves to slide his arms around her waist, trying to reassure her. "In the very beginning, before I said let's be together, I was still hung up on Claire. But that was complicated, very complicated. I didn't finally make us official until I was sure I could commit myself to you. And the last person you should be worrying about is Abby. There's always that lingering crush, but you're who I love."

He leans in, gently kissing the side of her mouth. "Don't you understand? It's everyone else who comes second, everyone else I've left behind, gotten over… Christ, Elaine, if I didn't feel completely confident in our relationship, do you think I'd have you roleplaying Harry Potter before sex?"

There's a bit of a laugh, and Elaine slides in closer to hug him tightly. "You have no idea how much of a dork you are and I cannot believe you convinced me to do that." There's another sigh, a tired sound as she remains there. Hugs are nice. "I guess things started out weird with us in the first place. It wasn't really the best way to found a relationship, but… it just happened. I don't regret it, but… it was a mess, Magnes. And it ended up a mess. I don't exactly know how to be in a relationship, and I'm not sure you do either. It's not like we've both had a lot of experience."

"I know that, Elaine, but… I made my mistakes, I learned. I took you for granted, and that won't happen again. You made a great girlfriend, you didn't do anything, you weren't wrong for breaking up with me." Magnes' gaze turns serious, letting out a soft sigh. "Give me another chance to show you this."

She pulls back a little, and Elaine levels her gaze on Magnes. "Things are complicated now, Magnes. It's not like things were just as simple as they were back then. Sable broke my heart and Quinn's in love with me and those are two things that really, really make things hard for me emotionally. I thought a bit, thought a lot, when Sable hurt me. I thought about how much I trusted her and how much she hurt me and I knew that when she hurt me… she knew what she was doing. A lot of the stuff you did, you didn't know. It doesn't seem fair to me, that I could trust her like that and not you, but…" She leans in and kisses his cheek. "There's so much I'd do differently second time around, and I'm not sure we could do that. I'm not sure I'm strong enough to do that. I don't know that we could make it work. I wish I was wrong."

"Sable's not a bad person, you know that. She's just… who she is." Magnes shakes his head, starting to walk over to the couch, though he keeps a gentle hand on her back. "Don't wish you were wrong, let's do this. I've had months to think about what went wrong, what to do differently, and so have you. We can't let the fear of pain keep us from possibly losing a good thing. We were together too long… let's give 'us' another chance."

"Sable's not a bad person, but she fucking hurt me. I mean it, Magnes. She hurt me like no one ever has and she broke my trust and she lied," Elaine moves to the couch, sitting down as she shuts her eyes, trying to clear her thoughts. "Magnes, I can't just jump back into a relationship with you. Like I said, things are complicated. If you didn't get it before, Sable broke my heart and Quinn loves me."

"I guess that is pretty complicated… this is kind of my fault, in so many ways." Magnes holds her hand there on the couch, and closes his eyes after laying back against the cushion. "I'm sorry that you got your heart broken, I don't really know what to do or say right now."

Elaine's fingers squeeze his gently, and she leans up against him. "We should hang out more. And you need to prove you know what you want. Prove you've grown up a bit and we'll see where that takes you, okay? You don't have anything to lose. I can't promise you anything, but…"

"I'll try…" Magnes lays his head back, and raises a hand to lightly stroke her hair when she leans against him. "I miss you a lot. I'd been trying to pursue a woman who everyone agrees is secretly a little crazy, and a woman who wears an eyepatch. I just thought that maybe if I tried to get someone else, I wouldn't want you back so badly. But I still do…"

The redhead makes a soft sound in her throat, eyes remaining shut. "You really don't do well without me, do you?" Elaine murmurs. "I'm sorry. I guess I left you so abruptly I didn't think about how bad things could be for you. Gotta keep you from doing crazy stuff, you know? That's what I'm here for."

"I'm already stopping a lot because of you, but that's a good thing." Magnes doesn't move from his position, yawning and starting to lay back on to the couch. "If I take a nap, will you be here when I wake up?"

Elaine smiles a little at the request, opening her eyes to peek at him as he lies down. "Yeah, Magnes. I can do that. I'll stick around for a while." She leans in, pressing a kiss to his forehead. "I can do that for you, if nothing else."

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