Train of Thought


magnes_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title Train of Thought
Synopsis Magnes visits Peyton for information she doesn't give him, then gives him new perspectives on various issues as he escorts her through town.
Date March 30, 2010

Upper West Side

It's afternoon, Claire's not answering her phone after Magnes finally stopped being busy enough to pay attention to what's going on in the news. He's just coming out of band practice and he's once again dressed in some custom clothing. It seems as he grows into his own style, he's gotten a little obsessed with spirals. Above his black winter boots, the wild orange lightning-like jagged spirals crawl up his black pants, stopping at the top of his shins with what looks like rough hands made of electricity grabbing around the knees of the pants.

The black long-sleeved shirt he wears is a similar style with the spirals, but the only spiral on this one is directly in the middle of the abdomen, going around in a circle before stopping at the belly button. His jacket's simple, no spirals or anything, just black and padded just enough to protect him from the winter chill.

He knocks on Peyton's door a few times, though he keeps it light, figuring that sick person is still there. The first thing she'd notice when she opens the door, other than his weird spiral motif, is the fact that he has a guitar bag strapped across his back. "It's Magnes."

Peyton is dressed, but for boots and her coat, ready to head out to visit Aaron, who has one more day of mandatory stay in the hospital. The knock on the door interrupts her gathering of keys and purse and subway card. She sets them down on the table beside the door, and peers through the peephole. She unlatches the chain lock and then turns the deadbolt before opening the door.

"Hi, Magnes. Come on in. I'll get your bowl for you," she says, letting the door swing open, before heading to the kitchen to grab the now-empty container that has been since cleaned. "My friend appreciated the home-cooked meal, thank you again." She smiles and hands it to him, waiting for him to explain his presence, if not to get the bowl.

Magnes waves a hand to close the door, then flicks a finger to lock the deadbolt with the same invisible force. "Hey, thanks. Glad you guys enjoyed it." He smiles, though seems vaguely worried about something as he takes the bowl. "I wish I were here just to visit, I was actually gonna come over here soon anyway, but I just learned about what's going on with Claire. Do you have any idea what the real story is? There's no way she was trying to rob a guy. And she won't answer her phone."

"Claire and I aren't exactly best friends or anything, Magnes. I haven't even seen her in weeks." Weeks might be an exaggeration, but he doesn't need to know that. And it's mostly because she hasn't been able to go to the library with the Company watching her apartment, then dealing with Faye, then Aaron, and not to mention the fact that in midtown, the snow is taller than she is. It's hard to get to the library without leaving tracks. "I don't know, but you have to know that she's not going to answer her phone — everyone and their brother's looking for her. She's probably thrown it away by now so she can't be tracked by it, you know?"

"Yeah, I know. I just hope someone didn't set her up or something. I have a hard enough time protecting my friends from the low-life criminal bastards I already know. And according to the news, some sort of electronics manipulator is involved." Magnes sighs, shaking his head and unzipping the rather spacious guitar-shaped bag to slide the bowl into it. "Don't worry about it, Peyton. You about to go out somewhere? Maybe I can walk you, I've got nothing better to do. Just got done with band practice and I've got a few hours free until my schedule kicks in again."

Peyton nods. "To the hospital, actually. It's a bit of a walk — I was going to take the subway, since the traffic street level is atrocious from the snow. Not that I'm too big a fan of cab rides, these days." She sits down to pull on her snow boots, which cover her skinny jeans up to the knee, then stands up to find her coat. It's not her favorite one, since she let that little waif have her houndstooth one, but it will suffice. A knit beret is pulled over her hair, and she grabs her keys and purse, opening the door to let him out.

"That person you were taking care of is in the hospital now?" Magnes asks with a little concern, moving out of her way so she can exit first. He's old-fashioned about some things! "Instead of doing all that, since you really don't seem like the type who'd enjoy subways, I could fly you."

"Does anybody enjoy subways?" Peyton tosses back, waiting for him to step out so she can lock the door behind them. "And no, I don't really wanna go flying around in broad daylight, you know? I really don't want to end up on YouTube again for some time, if I can help it." She pulls her purse up on her shoulder and heads to the elevator. "No, that person is fine. It's someone else." Yes, her life is one tragedy after another, but she's rather matter of fact about it, and not offering the details.

"Yeah, I googled you a bit, I mean, not in a creepy way, just…" Magnes coughs a little awkwardly, watching her lock the door when he steps out. "I was just curious, never really knew a socialite before, as far as I know. You seem way different than how you're portrayed on the internet. But man, the guys you've dated, lightyears ahead of guys like me." Of course he's probably the type to assume celebrity boyfriends aren't douchebags. "Well as far as being cool is concerned, I'm sure I could beat them at everything else." He laughs, possibly half-joking.

She heads to the elevator and arches a brow at the fact she was Googled. Great, Danko and Magnes have Googled her now. "Well, none of them were Evolved that I know of, unless they just never mentioned it or hadn't manifested yet," she says lightly, punching the L for Lobby button as she leans back against the mirrored wall of the lift. "But they never helped save the world from certain death, either, so I'd say you're ahead of them in that regard. Also, I don't think you can really call most of my relationships with those guys 'dating.' Hanging out for the weekend on some rich dick's yacht isn't exactly … commitment." The bell dings, and the doors slide open, so she steps out into the lobby.

"You'd be surprised at how little saving the world actually does for attracting the opposite sex." Magnes laughs and steps out of the elevator with her, then holds the doors when they're heading out of the building. Though her mention of the yacht and a weekened just causes his cheeks to go red a bit, and he responds with, "Oh." There's a clearing of his throat, and the ice on the ground around them basically fractures all at once. Easier to walk that way. To get out of his awkward pit of a mind, he simply teases her, "You have a deceivingly innocent face, y'know."

"Innocent?" Peyton says with a laugh, heading toward the corner subway station. "Facial structure and experience don't have a lot to do with one another. I haven't been innocent in that way in quite some time, though I'm naive as hell in other ways, I guess." Her long legs make quick enough work of the sidewalk between her building and the corner, and she heads down the concrete steps to the station that is warm and steamy in comparison to the ground level they just came from.

Magnes follows her down, so he's possibly intent on seeing through this whole escorting thing, though he subconsciously pushes the steam away. His ability seems to kick up in lots of subtle ways when one pays attention. "I, well, I wasn't trying to say anything bad, y'know? I like your face. And I always thought being naive and being innocent went hand and hand, which goes to show what kind of bad grades I had in philosophy."

Peyton gives a soft chuckle, stepping into the waiting train and reaching for one of the poles, rather than sitting. Her next train is only a couple of stops away, so there's no reason to bother. "Innocent and naive can be the same thing. I'm saying I'm not innocent in the way I think you are thinking, but I am in other ways. Like the stuff you did… in January." The train is rather busy so she has to speak in "code." "I don't know or understand most of that stuff, but I'm learning about it, now."

"Yeah, I'd say I'm probably a hell of a lot less innocent than you in certain things, especially after January. But I'd rather you never have to do any of that." Magnes keeps his hands in his pockets. He's only been on the subway a hand full of times, and he doesn't exactly realize the train is jerking around, except for the few people who lose their balance. "It's strange. I understand the world isn't black and white, but I think this is the first discussion I've ever had that properly illustrated it."

Peyton raises a brow at him and shakes her head. "What do you mean? Why is this conversation more … illustrative… than others? I didn't think I said anything particularly enlightening. That's not usually my part in the story, you know?" The train comes to a quick stop, the doors sliding open as a voice announces the street name, before people bustle and push on their way out and in.

Magnes makes eye contact with her, then looks to the door to see if this is where she's getting off, before continuing. "It's not so much what me or you said individually, but it's the analyzation of our contrasting lives. The words 'innocent' and 'naive' are normally used as catch-all terms when used to describe a person, and that's how I normally think of them. But this discussion, I don't know, it makes me realize that even though I say I don't see things in black and white anymore, I still kind of am." He reaches over his head as if trying to find something. "I think I just levelled up."

Video game allusions are lost on a soul such as Peyton Whitney's. Her brows furrow as she watches him grope around above his head. "Umm. Okay," she says, clearly not getting the same epiphany he has out of the conversation. "And no, things aren't really black and white, not really. Maybe when it comes to someone like Danko, they might be, but normal things, normal people, aren't black or white. I had that lesson last week. The people who are the extremes? Really fucking rare." The train comes to a stop again, and she lets go of the pole. "Swapping trains," she tells him, and darts out of the opening doors before the wave of new people push in.

"You know, if most people could really feel the gravity of a train and the tracks below, I don't think they'd ride them." Magnes quickly follows her lead, not being one who knows all that much about navigating train routes. "Danko, should have finished what I started when I had the chance. And yeah, I always thought I knew the extremes, then I met people like Danko, and the people from back in January. There's a guy named Logan, he did some horrible crap to Abby when he kidnapped us, I thought he was the height of evil last year. I was definitely wrong about that, it can get worse. But I'm stronger."

"Logan?" she asks, as she navigates the tunnel, going up some steps, turning left, and then out to another train platform. She may not look like someone who prefers subways, but she grew up here; it's the easiest and most cost efficient mode of travel for wayward teenagers, which she once was. "John Logan?" she asks, scowling a little. She didn't like the man much, but kidnapping?

"Yeah, John Logan. Former pimp, current owner of the strip club Burlesque." Magnes clearly doesn't believe she's a person to be kept in the dark, so he offers information, wanting to keep her educated on the horrible crap she should avoid in this city. He appears a little distracted as they walk, occasionally touching a thin wall or looking up at a flickering light. He certainly grew up in New York, but he didn't lead an average life, and certainly not one that involved going very far from home or using public transportation. "Kidnapped us. Forced me to fight in a cage against other Evolved, back before I knew how to fight or even use my ability offensively. Bastard cut Abby's tongue out, I saw her trying to talk as her mouth was bleeding, and he shot her in the thigh. I got nearly every bone in my body broken in one of those fights, and in another fight, I had my blood manipulated."

Peyton's eyes widen and she closes them for a moment. "God, Wendy, your taste in men was worse than mine," she mutters, as she aits for the next train. "I'm sorry you had to go through that, Magnes. I didn't realize you'd been — or Abby, too — had been kidnapped." She shakes her head at that. They need a kidnap victims support group or something. "Everyone I know seems to get kidnapped at some point — I shouldn't be surprised, really," she says darkly. A train enters the tunnel and she waits for it to stop, then joins the crowd of people clamoring to get aboard.

"I've been kidnapped a few times, for different reasons. And don't worry, Peyton. It's really made me stronger. I've been shot a bunch of times, beaten to a pulp, banned from a country, and a bunch of other stuff. But it made me who I am, for better or for worse. I like having the ability to protect the people I care about, and the confidence to do it." Magnes enters the train with her, standing with his hands in his pockets again.

"I like to think I went through a lot of hardships so I can make sure no one else has to." He smiles, not very bitter at the moment when he's in one of his more heroic moods. "God I almost feel mature." There's a laugh after that, because deep down he's pretty sure he probably isn't.

Just one more stop. "Well, thanks. I certainly don't want anyone to go through shit like that so I don't have to, though. I mean, I appreciate it, but why is it better that you go through it than me? I'm certainly not worthier than you. I don't deserve an easier life just because … I don't know. Because I look innocent." She snorts a little again at that. He clearly hasn't seen the pictures of any of her wardrobe malfunctions. The doors slide shut and the train rocks into motion.

"Maybe I went through it because I can take it. I mean, I've certainly come close to breaking a few times, but maybe all that stuff happened to me because I wouldn't break, I'd just be a better person after it, I'd be motivated to help others. I know there's less harsh ways to learn that lesson, but… I don't know, maybe this is just how I explain that it wasn't all for nothing." Magnes reaches from his pocket and lightly rubs his abdomen, a place like many other parts of his body that's been wounded at some point. "But y'know? I'd rather it be me than you, or anyone else, no matter who deserves or doesn't deserve it."

"I guess," Peyton says quietly, dark eyes looking out the window at the tunneled wall flashing by. "I don't really believe in all that — that things happen for a reason. No offense. I mean, more power to you if you do, because it'd be a lot easier to get through all this shit that happens if I did believe it. I just … don't." It would help with such things as Wendy's murder and their kidnappings and Cardinal and Winslow. The train comes to a stop again, and she's moving toward the doors as they slide open, adept at slipping through the pushing bodies with her slim form.

"I don't believe it's a philosophically magic point of view." Magnes corrects, assuming it's what she meant as he starts walking next to her when they're out again. "I don't believe that all things are in motion with a general purpose in mind, but I believe that something good can come out of everything, we can take our lessons from everything and become better people because of them. After getting shot for the fourth or fifth time, I learned the value of cover. After getting the crap kicked out of me so many times, I learned how to fight. After my friend Isabelle was murdered, I learned I have to value my friends more than anything, and do my best to protect them."

"Only the fourth or fifth?" Peyton says, a slight smile tipping her lips upward as she makes for the stairs that will lead them back up to the street. "I'm trying to learn how to fight. I'm supposed to go to some krav maga guy, since whatever I tried with Danko didn't work. They always say to go for the nuts, right? So much for that." She begins climbing the steps, the air getting colder as they near the street level.

Magnes smiles when they start walking, zipping his long leather coat up to shield himself from the cold, then plants his hands back into his pockets. "Despite what Hiro taught me, honor has no place in a fight, honor will get you killed. And not every guy has the weakness of a crotch shot, for a number of reasons. Don't think about a specific spot to go for, just think of anything weak and squishy. Stuff your thumbs into his eyes, stick a pen into the side of his throat. With a guy like Danko, anything less than disabling him isn't gonna work. I pushed him to the limits of pain that a human could possibly take, I hurt him in ways that only a person like me could hurt someone in, and he didn't even pass out. You have to fight people like that as if you're trying to kill them, because it probably won't anyway."

He moves a hand to lightly pat her on the back. "I think krav maga is an Israeli fighting style, probably better than anything I can teach you. But I'll certainly spar with you… Oh hey, do you play an instrument?" He nods his head back to the guitar case he's lugging around.

"I was stupid and had my hands tied, in the figurative sense. I basically acted like a victim, and I need to not do that anymore. I mean, I think I'm taller than he is, and maybe even outweigh his sack of bones, I should be able to kick his ass if I learn how," she says with some amusement at the thought. She glances at the guitar case as she begins the walk toward the hospital that's down the street. "Piano but not very well. I took lessons for a couple of years, but I didn't have any sort of discipline and made my teacher cry a few times."

"I'm pretty much a pro at piano, I could probably teach you. I'm getting pretty good at bass too, I can't wait for our first show. If only we could think of a band name. And the next time I see Danko, I'm not gonna kill him, but I'm certainly gonna make sure no one sees him again. I can make it so he's never able to move from one spot for the rest of his life, if I concentrate long enough." Magnes stares over at her, and occasionally a heap of snow or some ice gets knocked from in front of her to clear her path. "You should let me play something for you some time."

"It's okay. I wasn't any good and I don't think it's my thing. Aaron's the musician, not me," she says, as she makes her way to see Aaron. "And isn't that the first mistake in all those comic books and movies that you like? I mean… the people who try to do the right thing by not killing the villain. That's what Ferry did, right? And he got away. And now he has a clean slate and can do whatever he wants again. He'd escape somehow. You can't concentrate forever, and what if something happened to you? Then he'd be free again." She stops and looks up at the hospital steps. "Well. This is me. Thanks for the walk. I'd say come on up and all but it's not anyone you know, and they would probably not like anyone to see them sick."

"I don't know the Ferry or what they're about, but I'm not them. I know how dangerous he is. I'll put him in the deepest, blackest hole I can possibly find. And I don't have to concentrate forever, I can permanently alter gravity, it's just very difficult for me to do. It may seem like a mistake, but all those heroes in all those comics, they're just trying not to sink into the same depravity of the people they fight." Magnes looks in the direction he's likely gonna head off in, then nods to her.. "I'll stop by and play some songs for you soon. Good luck with your boyfriend." Must be her boyfriend, why wouldn't she have a boyfriend?

"Maybe. But they made that mistake, and he got away, and he's clearly not reformed," Peyton says dryly. "You don't know what he did to my friend. He doesn't deserve second chances." She doesn't correct the assumption that she's visiting her boyfriend — Aaron's a boy. And a friend. "Good luck with the epiphany. Once you see things from a different perspective," something she knows about, in a very literal sense, "you're in for a bit of a mindfuck. Things will be confusing for a while, now that you see the grays." And up the steps she goes.

"I'll think of you the next time I see him, then see if I feel like shooting him after." Magnes promises with a smile that says he really means it, then jumps high into the air, eventually disappearing into the sky. See? They wouldn't have gotten pictures taken!

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