Trying Not To Hurt


magnes_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Trying Not To Hurt
Synopsis Magnes threatens to quit the Company after making mistakes that got him hurt, and Veronica feels the pang of a guilty conscience for recruiting him in the first place.
Date August 4, 2009

Fort Hero Infirmary

After a long and painful healing process for his arm, Magnes has to sit there and deal with the pins and needles until the blood is properly circulating again, laying shirtless with the bandage from his gunshot bandages, the blanket covering the rest of him while he stares at the ceiling. He is not happy, at all.

After debriefing, Veronica heads into the Infirmary wing to check in on her fallen comrades. First on the list is Magnes, the most grievously injured. She comes in with a soda and a burger and fries she had made by one of the cooks especially for the young agent. She's wearing a clean t-shirt, her bloodied one thrown out.

"Hey, Magpie," she says softly as she steps into the room. "How are you feeling?" The tray is set down on the bedside table, rather than giving it to him directly, knowing he may not be hungry.

"I'm quitting." Magnes states, continuing to stare at the ceiling, barely budging. "I don't care if you guys discredit me and take away my pardon, I'm quitting."

Veronica's brows furrow a bit in concern and she sits on the edge of the bed. "It's dangerous work," she says, matter of factly. "But you do it well, Magnes. You're good at it, and you do good with it. And you're all right — I know it hurt and was horrible and scary, but you're all right. I'm proud of you. And… I wanted to thank you. For helping me with that guy. I'm sorry that he went after you, instead of me. I'm really sorry." Her stoic mask slips a bit, and she looks like she might cry for a moment.

"I knew about his eating thing, I met him before, I didn't want him to bite you…" Magnes says as he tries to raise his arm, but winces when the pins and needles hit again. "I could have shot, or actually hit him, anything would have been better than the stupid thing I did. I keep hesitating and worrying about hurting people, even after all my training to learn how to not hurt someone."

And here, she shot Cook in the leg after tranquing him, just to be spiteful. "I'm sorry. Remember your tranq guns, in the future — they only hurt for a moment. Don't worry, just do. And don't be hard on yourself for that — hell, Magnes, it was your first mission! And we got what we came for! That's a success. I'm proud of you. Len's proud of you. Minea, when she wakes up, she's going to be damn proud of you, Magnes."

"Usually people yell at me when I make a mistake." Magnes points out with a look of confusion, still clearly new to the whole agent thing. "But, I guess if you guys are happy." he decides, before closing his eyes. "I'm going out late tonight, but I'll be back quickly, I just wanna check on someone, well, if the feeling in my arm comes back.

Her brows knit together. "Who are you checking on, Magnes?" she asks, a little suspicious of this. After all, he keeps talking about his friends in Phoenix. "I'm not sure you should go anywhere tonight… people might be looking for us, and if you're heading anywhere near the Phoenix people… That's probably not a good plan, kid."

"Just this new person I met, but, I guess you're right." Magnes agrees, though the disappointment is evident in both face and tone. "This really nice girl named Claire. I never had an easier time talking to a girl in my entire life, it was, well, new."

"If she's in Phoenix, or in any way affiliated with them, friends with them, living with them, next door to them, et cetera, Magnes, I don't think you should go right now. Cook probably figured out who you are, if you figured out who he is, mask or not, and you're not in the right frame of mind if someone attacks you. Maybe you could just call her or something," Veronica says, with a stern gentleness to her voice.

"I can wait." Magnes moves to sit up, wincing when his stitches pull slightly. "What are we gonna do if he did recognize me? And I only met him once, I think he knows Abby or something…"

"Not sure. We'll talk to Len about it. But maybe not, since you've improved your powers a lot and they don't necessarily look like they did when you were just a civilian, right? When did you last come across him?" Vee says. "And there's food, if you want it," she points out, though the smell should be obvious. "Are you okay? Is it about making the mistake, or is it about hurting people, or is it about almost … about getting hurt, yourself?" She tilts her head, her eyes worried as she watches him.

"I met him right after I came back from Japan, so he's never seen me fly or anything, just walk on the side of a building." Magnes holds his stitches, the pain apparently starting to bother him. "I got my arm practically bitten off, it hurt, it botehrs me, it's not something I wanna feel again. And I wasn't thinking, I could have avoided it all, but I was hesitating and worrying. I'm not saying I wanna kill anyone, but there were a whole number of safer ways I could have handled that situation."

"Why didn't the healer take away your bullet wound?" Veronica says with an irritated shake of her head. Kevin Mulholland the healer is on her shit list lately. "God, he's a moron." She gets up and goes to the cabinet, finding some Tylenol with codeine and tossing the bottle to Magnes. "Yeah, I get that, Magnes. I hate when I get hurt, and I hate when I make a mistake. But we all do. Hell, you were gone, you didn't see. Hugh got shot AND pistol whipped by Minea. That shouldn't have happened. Mistakes happen. And yeah, a mistake can be lethal, in this job, but what would you be doing if you weren't in the Company? Dangerous stuff, right?"

"Delivering pizza, dating Delilah, and probably doing dangerous stuff, yeah…" Magnes starts reading the instructions on the bottle, being the boyscout that he is. Pills by the book! "Instead I'm getting shot, dating Elle, and doing dangerous stuff. I guess I'm in a slightly more lethal situation, but I'm also better equipped to handle it now."

She hands him the soda and watches him as he reads the bottle. "Geezus, just take two." She shakes her head with a laugh and then grows serious again. "Do you… regret being here, Magnes? Do you wish I never knocked on your door?" Her dark eyes are solemn, as she watches him.

"I don't regret that I have a lot more control over my ability, and that I can defend myself." Magnes kinda sorta half-answers, taking two and quickly downing some soda. "I don't regret you knocking on my door, I regret going to Japan and having it lead up to you knocking on my door. I regret taking the choice out of my hands with a stupid mistake."

So much for assuaging her guilt — she still feels like shit. Her own recruiter was a telepath, but Veronica feels like she manipulated Magnes just as she was manipulated five years ago. "I'm sorry," she says. It's almost inaudible — just a breath, really.

Magnes, holding the bottle in his still-recovering hand, reaches for her hand in his good one. "I don't regret meeting you, I don't regret you being my friend. I may or may not be doing good work here, I haven't decided yet, but I do still miss my old life. And I won't lie, if I had the option, I'd return to it."

Veronica nods, curling her fingers around his. "Sorry. I didn't mean to get serious with you. I just… kind of feel responsible for you in stupid ways. I know I was told to recruit you, and I was just doing my job. But…" But, she has a conscience, and it's been getting chipped at steadily for the past few months, making her doubt the good she's doing in the world.

"Don't blame yourself for anything. I just didn't wanna run, I didn't wanna be a fugitive or something." Magnes' hand tightens around her's slightly. "I could fly away and go where ever I want, but I wanna be able to be near my friends in peace."

"You're a good guy, Magnes. You're a good friend. I hope your friends are as loyal to you as you are to them. It'd be hard to live up to that, though. You have big footsteps to fill in that way," she says softly. She bends down to kiss the top of his head. "I'm sorry you got hurt. I made mistakes today too. You shouldn't have gotten hurt. Not like that. Not that bad."

"I just want us all to be happy." Magnes closes his eyes, moving her hand to rest it against his stomach as he begins to drift off. "I'm getting tired. Will you stay here until I fall asleep?"

What does one say to a request like that, especially with a guilty conscience? Veronica nods. "Of course." She lifts her legs to stretch out on her side beside him.

"Thanks, Veronica…" Magnes' head slumps to the side, affectionately holding her hand in both. She'll notice when he's officially asleep, since he starts to float, beginning to lift her up with him.

She's half asleep when that happens — and for a moment begins to panic, before realizing as long as her hand's in his, she'll be fine. She smiles. There's worse ways to sleep than on air, she supposes, before she closes her eyes. If it helps Magnes sleep better, she's happy to stay.

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