Through the Window


bella_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Through the Window
Synopsis Magnes and Bella catch up, as Magnes tries to hold onto the bits of pieces of his life.
Date April 30, 2010

Bella's Residential Apartment

It's morning when Magnes arrives at Bella's, in the sleet. He's got black gloves, a long black wool coat down to the knees of his blue jeans, and some black snow boots. He's alsow earing a stuffed black backpack, knocking on her window a few times with his eyes squinting from under his dark blue beanie. He can't get into her apartment from the door downstairs at the moment, mostly because he can't see how to land.

It takes a little while for the knocking to be perceived as having a sentient source. Initially Bella just imagines it to be yet another weird effect on the weather. Just the extreme cold causing her windows to make strange noises… At a certain point, though, it's clear that, even if it isn't because of the weather, it sure isn't stopping

And so the red-headed shrink, sans shower, sans makeup, wearing only a long silk robe she plundered from Leonardo (back when he was officially alive to plunder things /from/), shuffles over to the window, and perceives the rough outline of Magnes through the frost and streaks of sleet. She quickly pats at her hair and does a personal check to make sure she is no danger of a wardrobe malfunction, pulling the ties on her robe tight, before unlatching the window and trying to yank it open.

This doesn't actually work - it's frosted too tight for her. She gives Magnes a plaintive gesture, pantomimes to him suggesting, as best she can, that he give her some help from his side, then gives it another shot, hoping Magnes lending a hand will be enough to get the window open.

Magnes reaches in and touches the window, trying to focus his gravity on the frame and not the glass, which causes ice to crack and the window to slide open. "Sorry I came like this, I can't see the ground so I can't really land." He stares to climb inside, though stares at her robe with his eyes a bit wide. It doesn't need to be open for him to be floored by it, it's silk. "Ah, uh…" He clears his throat a bit awkwardly, removing his backpack and sitting it on the floor near the couch. Lucky her, he hasn't actually landed anywhere yet, so there's no snow tracked across her floor.

"You can drop you boots in the sink," Bella says, motioning towards the kitchen and the two big stainless steel basins, "Use the one that doesn't have any dishes in it. Even my cheap dishes don't need boot marks." Her arms hugs herself against the draught that dives into her apartment after Magnes. "Mind closing the window first, though?"

"Ah, yeah…" Magnes is still trying to yank his eyes away from the robe, and his hand idly swings in the direction of the window, which causes it to slam shut. "Boots, right." The fact that his brain has virtually shut off is likely not something that goes unnoticed with a therapist, and he removes his boots, heading into the kitchen to do as instructed.

"You're here to talk about something, I imagine?" Bella calls to him from the living room, "In the interests of ease, I'm going to throw something on real quick. Once you've brushed yourself off a bit, make yourself at home." Her courtesy gauge hasn't had the time to rise to its usual levels, early as the hour and sudden as the visit is. Still, before retreating into her bedroom she adds, "It's nice to see you, Magnes."

"Ah, you don't have to put anything on if you don't want to!" Magnes quickly calls out, removing his coat to reveal a long-sleeved red shirt with a yellow Robin R over a black circle on the chest, then sits back on her couch and grabs the remote. "Well, I wouldn't say I'm here to talk about anything in particular, life just feels like it's closing in on me, and I always felt better when I saw you."

Bella re-enters the room, still wearing the robe but with the addition of a big baggy white t-shirt beneath it, one with a faded PBS logo on it, and a pair of pajama pants. She smiles as she spots Magnes settling in, and ruffles his hair as she passes behind the couch. "I'm going to finish making my coffee. You have some timing…" She drifts into the kitchen, out of view, but her voice rises to carry.

"I should hope you did. I'd be a pretty lousy therapist if you came away feeling worse. Well, that or one of those crazy Argentine analyst people. What does it say about your school if you statistically /increase suicide rates in patients?"

"Maybe they're mad therapists, like a mad scientist." Magnes pulls his feet up on the couch, wearing white socks, then crosses his legs. "You know, people would probably kill me if they knew I still spoke to you. But I don't think most people would understand my position. I can't just throw the Company and the government out the window, I can't easily agree with anarchy and toppling everything holding the country together. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing the right thing. I mean, if the government weren't herding Evolved, I could at least live with registration until it got improved…"

Bella reappears once again, this time with a mug of coffee in each hand. She's walking without the aid of a crutch, though she still has a prominent limp. She /just/ took painkillers when she brushed her teeth this morning, and they have only begun to kick in. Bella very carefully takes a seat on the couch next to Magnes, and sets both mugs on the table. The one on her left, the one closest to Magnes, is straight black coffee. The one to the right, which is likely hers, is a creamy caramel color. She leans forward and warms her hands against her mug. "Neo-Freudians," she explains, referring to the 'mad therapists', "I've met a handful at conferences. Nice enough folks, though they seem to think everyone /else/ is practicing bad psychology. Matter of perspective." She takes a sip from her mug, "Well, the Evolved come from every strata of society, every ethnic group and every creed, and there is no long-standing cultural tradition condemning the power to fly, so they have better odds than a lot of other minority groups."

"I just wish people weren't so extreme. They feel like they have to kill people and blow things up to get things done. They're acting as if we're a third world country or something. I try to make sure people don't cross the line, I really do, but sometimes I wonder if we're all just dooming ourselves… and then I wonder what the alternative is." Magnes grabs his coffee with both hands, taking a light sip at first, wincing slightly, then just keeps drinking. He won't show a lack of masculinity in front of Bella! He will drink the black coffee. "On top of that, my personal life is a bit of a clusterfuck. I rejected a nice girl named Sparrow so I could dedicate myself to supporting Claire, and when I told her, Claire gave me a bit of a soul crushing friendship rejection. I learned Delilah's pregnant by Teo and then I proceeded to get drunk and punch him in the face. Abby… I don't even know what's going on there. My bandmate's probably moving out. Everything's just… I don't know." He lays his head back, and she's probably noticed his face is covered in bruises, though they're a good week old now, with no swelling. "That's why I came to you, you're one of those solid things in my life that reminds me that some things at least somewhat stay the same."

Bella glances up at Magnes, sidelong, with a look that manages to be both studying and sympathetic. Most of the names he uses are familiar, and while the events he relates could, each of them, receive a fairly extensive opining from the good doctor, she holds back for the moment. She nods, reaching out to squeeze Magnes' forearm lightly before returning both hands to her mug, "I don't intend to go anywhere, so don't worry, and the people who would kill you for talking to me would probably skip that step in order to just go ahead and kill me first so-" her smile is wry, "Let's avoid /that/ particular kind of change, at least." She settles back into the couch a bit, giving a small sigh. "What's foremost on your mind? The first thing that upsets you that you can think of?"

"I wouldn't let anyone hurt you, Bella." Magnes smiles, then starts flipping through channels as he gives her question some thought. "I guess… the idea that I could be alone, that I might end up pushing people away or be disliked by lots of people. That all bothers me a lot. So I guess it's nothing to do with any particular individual…"

"You've identified the central theme," Bella says, with a small laugh, "You really don't need a therapist any more. So… is it these romantic entanglements that have caused you so much trouble? Have you been doing more reckless things lately?" an allusion to his bruised face, no doubt, "I know you lead a certain kind of lifestyle, but have you noticed yourself taking extra risks, or taking risks for their own sake?"

"I wouldn't say I've been taking risks, but I'm gonna be trained by someone soon, and I've been working out and practicing a lot." Magnes raises his shirt slightly, pointing. See? Also covered in bruises. "I've still only slept with two girls, and the one was a spontaneous one time thing, according to her." He doesn't sound entirely happy about the last part. "It's not so much that romance is causing me trouble, it's just that it keeps exploding in my face. There's one girl I'm not even trying to be romantically involved with, even though she is very cute, but sometimes I slip up and compliment her or something, and suddenly she's uncomfortable and leaves."

Bella listens closely, though Magnes may be able to tell that her receptive expression is not the same as when they had a professional relationship. She seems less pointedly attentive, less clear about the fact that she's /hearing/ and /understanding/. The understanding is, itself, understood. "I don't usually favor holding back or dishonesty," at least in other people, "But if you find that your current mode of interaction is causing you social trouble, maybe you could find a different way of expressing yourself."

"Or maybe accept that some people don't accept me." Magnes offers as an alternative, laying his head back and sliding the remote over to her. "Sparrow really liked me. I don't know why I always turn people away who show an interest in me, for something I'm pretty sure I can't have."

Bella picks up the remote, lifts it to her eyes. "I had my TV linked to my sound system… so this remote should be able to play music. But for the life of me I can never figure out which play button is for which function…" She shrugs, helpless, and sets the remote back down, "The question, then, is whether or not not being able to have something is what makes you want it, or if you've just had bad luck."

"I think it's bad luck. A nice girl always comes along at the same time there's a girl I really like. The only time it worked out was with Claire. I broke up with a girl for her, but I can't remember who, I think she was in the Company… kind of crazy, I remember that much about her. I kind of miss her, sometimes I wish I stuck with her instead of going to Claire, maybe I wouldn't have been hurt by that memory loss." Magnes closes his eyes while his head's laying back, just going a bit quiet for a few. "I'm just gonna throw this out there. I don't think I'm going to be dating, for a long time, so…" He starts to ask something, but in the spirit of a bad habit he seems to be getting lately, he adds, "No, nevermind."

Bella can't suppress a smile at Magnes' recollection of Elle Bishop. Hoboy, she sure remembers that. "Magnes, I can tell you, no matter how things ended with Claire, even an instant with her was better for you than any length of time with that other girl," she assures him, "Trust me on this one. I was actually worried for your physical safety." She tilts her head at the aborted question, "Now, see, you can't do that. You started, so finish."

"It was a stupid thought, a really stupid thought. I seem to have a lot of stupid thoughts lately." Magnes finally just opens his eyes and peers over at her. "But, I was thinking, I don't think you're really involved with anyone, and I'm not involved with anyone. And with Delilah pregnant, I don't have much of an outlet for anything… and it's not like you're much older than me." He doesn't outright ask, he just awkwardly explains.

Bella doesn't look upset or shocked. She had a feeling this was in the cards. "Okay, so, do you want the straight answer, the clever answer or the bantering answer? They all amount to the same thing, and I'm afraid you'll be disappointed with the result, so… sorry ahead of time."

"It's alright, I'm not, like, broken up about it or anything. I was mostly asking you because you're attractive, and you're a therapist, so if I started getting attached to you, you could just wave your magic therapist wand and fix it." Magnes shrugs his shoulders, eyes closing as his head lays back again. "To be honest, I'd rather be with a girl I'm in a relationship with, but when I was Delilah, I could at least pretend for a while, y'know? Life just doesn't seem to suck as much when I'm in the middle of 'that'. I have a friend, the one I had the one night thing with, she says I shouldn't fixate on sex and girls, and while I'm not quite fixating, whenever life gets hard, I either start fighting people more, or I try to get involved with women more."

"Coping mechanisms," Bella says, "Some people start eating more. You might want to find another hobby. Just from personal observation, I think you'd have better odds toning both down if you want a stable relationship. However real your feelings, women will tend to suspect you only say you want to be with them because they are the ones that are there, especially if they know you've made passes at their friends. Personally, I think you're honest, not pushy or sleazy, but I have an uncommon perspective."

"I have reasons for wanting everyone I do. But I do have hobbies, I just… don't know how to use them as an outlet for how I feel. Like my band, Sable's good at letting her feelings out through music, I'm not." Magnes opens his eyes and sits forward to start sipping at his black coffee again, still wincing occasionally. "I don't care that much about relationships when my life is doing better. Like when I started my job and everything was looking up, I didn't care about being in a relationship too much at all. I'm really hating this whole coping mechanism thing…"

Bella notices the winces and smiles, "I'm sorry, I should have asked. I figured you'd like black coffee. I don't really know why, even," she reaches out for his mug, "Here, let me."

"I just didn't wanna seem, uh, less masculine." Magnes admits, usually able to be more truthful with Bella than most people. He sits back and lets her take the mug, licking his upper lip. "Let's watch a movie, I don't feel like going back out in that sleet yet."

"I've got a secret," Bella says, lifting his mug into her hands, "No girl worth dating gives a shit." She gives Magnes a small wink, then turns to retreat into the kitchen.

"I'll remember that." Magnes says as he begins curling up on her couch again, yawning. It's morning and he's not all that up himself. "We can watch a movie you wanna watch." he suggests, staring at the screen from his curled position.

When Bella returns, Magnes coffee is the same caramel shade as her own. She sets it down in front of him. "Do," she says, "Drink up. If you fall asleep in here, I'll kick you out the same way you got in."

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