Unexperienced Delinquency


magnes_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Unexperienced Delinquency
Synopsis Melissa runs into Magnes. There's some flying, then serious talk about relationships and childhood exploits that never happened.
Date February 12, 2010

A skate park somewhere.

It's fairly late, around 11:PM. In this particular skate park, and because it's the middle of Winter, there's generally no skaters around… except one. Magnes has cleared the snow out of one of the bowls, bundled in his black denim jacket, and he's getting more than one would call massive air. He's making fifty foot leaps where he does all sorts of flips and tricks before falling back into the bowl. He's clearly using an ability, and not very hard to notice at all from outside the gates of the modest park.

Oh, and at the moment he's wearing a pair of cheap black inline skates.

Melissa is out for a walk, possibly just getting to know the city. Because of the weather she has an ankle length coat on, black of course, and a hat, scarf and gloves. The scarf has a skull at each end, one that's wearing a pretty pink bow on its head. She pauses when she spots the fantastic leaps, brow arching as she watches for a minute, then she starts in Magnes's direction.

He's having fun and showing off by himself, not to mention stretching out the limits of his ability a bit in preparation for the next day. He goes leaping from one bowl and into one full of snow, extending gravity out to send the snow flying up in a large ploom.

When the snow clears, he's jumping out of the bowl again, though in the middle of holding the back of both skates, legs bent as he's leaping for the half-pipe, he spots Melissa on the ground in front of him. "Oh, hey!" he calls out, landing a few feet behind her and turning around. "What's up?"

Melissa turns and shrugs. "Nothing really. Was just out for a walk and saw you. Figured I'd walk over and say hi." She glances back to the bowl. "Looks like you got off the booze and back to skating."

"Yeah, I can't believe I was drinking so much, I feel a lot better now. Booze was like, depressing me. I mean, my problems didn't just disappear now, but, I don't know, I just feel a bit better." Magnes starts to skate forward, then reaches out for her hand. "Come on!" He's much more cheerful, more like his old self, which she'd of course never met.

Melissa arches a brow. "To where? I sure hope you don't think you're getting me in there. Look, no skates," she says, extending one booted foot slightly."

"Don't worry so much!" Magnes extends his arm to try and scoop her up by the waist, her weight not being much of a problem for him. "Just enjoy the ride, Melissa!"

Melissa blinks as she's picked up, then she frowns a little. "How do you know I can? For all you know I'm scared of going fast or heights," she points out, though she's not struggling.

"That only means you'll grab on really tight." Magnes teases, holding her close enough so she doesn't fall out of his grip, then he dibs quickly into the bowl and goes springing back out. But this time when he goes up, he just keeps going higher, flying clear over the park gate and into the air. Soon she's seeing rooftops, and then they're going over a rooftop.

They're flying. "God I missed this!"

Melissa rolls her eyes at his retort, and she sighs as an arm slides around him, though she holds firmly, not tight enough to crack ribs or anything like that. "You know…most people would /ask/ before doing something like this," she calls as she looks out over the buildings. "Though this /is/ an interesting view."

"If I asked, you might say no." Magnes laughs and starts to descend into the alley of two large warehouses, stopping on the side of the building. Suddenly things shift in their perceptions, and it feels as if the wall has become the ground, and the ground itself is a distance wall. Essentially he's shifted her perception of up and down. "Surreal, isn't it? It's like tilting the entire world."

"Shouldn't that tell you something though?" Melissa mutters as he descends. When they're standing on the wall she arches a brow and gives a cautious little hop, before she frowns. "How are you not in Moab?" she murmurs curiously.

"I don't know, I'm registered, and well, probably a few other reasons I can't tell you." Magnes releases her, still holding her there on the wall with his ability. Anything she has on her, including her hair, would fall towards the wall as if they were on the ground. "What do you do anyway? I mean if you were in Moab… or maybe you just meant you know people who were?"

Melissa stomps lightly on the wall, then takes a few tentative steps. At his question she glances back and smirks. "I'm registered, but I'm not happy about it. And the rest…well, trust goes both ways, you know?"

"Yeah, sorry, I guess that's what sucks about leaving this sort of life." Magnes shrugs, though his tone sounds more apologetic than anything. If she walks too far away, she can feel something tugging her a bit back in his direction, though it's more of a warning nudge than anything. "Anything you wanna do? Or maybe anywhere you wanna go?"

"Yeah, well, all I know is that I'm not goin' back to bein' a rat in a cage, and anyone who tries to put me there is going to be in the worst fuckin' pain they've /ever/ felt," Melissa says, eyes and tone cold and dangerous. Oh yes, she means it.

"We won't let that happen." Magnes moves to take her hand, then suddenly jumps as up and down shift to normal, and they slowly descend to the ground again. "You'll be fine, and if they build another Moab, we'll destroy it."

"Shit! Warn me before you do that," Melissa says, glaring at him for a moment. "And who's 'we'?"

"Depends on who I'm working with by then. I'm not really affiliated with anyone, but I have a lot of contacts and I kind of get dragged along for the ride pretty often." Magnes shrugs, slowly skating with his hands in his pockets, sometimes in an idle circle so he doesn't get too far ahead. "And sorry, I'm just kind of used to it by now."

Melissa shrugs as she walks along with him. "I'm not really worried. They got me by surprise the first time. I'm older and smarter now. And I've had time to hone my ability."

"I don't know how I ever survived not having my ability honed. Then again, I did get shot four times, so…" Magnes smiles, stopping next to her to simply walk once they're out of the alley. "Sometimes I wish I was in a group, not a terrorist one, but a group fighting for a greater cause."

"So why don't you join one? There are groups out there that are trying to help," Melissa replies. "And your ability is more dangerous to you than mine. Mine just got me in trouble before I could control it."

"There's no point in holding my ability back, my face is already known to any organization that intends to kill or capture people like us, so what's the point in hiding it? A whole country saw me when I could barely control my ability, basically destroy a national landmark. And then when I was a cop…" He looks up briefly, then down at her. "I basically screwed any chance of having a normal life, until people forget. But how long until I end up having to save someone and a camera's there again?"

Melissa shrugs a little. "Yeah, well, I got registered against my will, thrown in Moab, and held there for a while. The people I don't want knowing about me know. Funny thing is, my parents don't. Then again, they don't know me period, so…" she trails off, shrugging again.

"My parents abandoned me, I'm supposed to go out of state and figure out why soon. I didn't know until recently. All this time I thought they were missing or something, since the Midtown explosion." Magnes looks over at her with a sympathetic gaze, then just shakes his head. "Some days I feel like we're all gonna die, other days I feel like we're fighting for our children, but it's the end for us, and other days I have hope. Those are the days when I remember what I was told about what people saw in one of my futures…"

"We're fighting for all evolved, whether they're us or those who come after us. Just consider us the slaves, only we're not worked to death, we're just hunted down and locked away," Melissa says bitterly. "What did people see though?"

"You heard of Sylar, the one they say blew up Midtown?" Magnes asks, though continues as if it's an obvious answer. "He told me that in one future someone saw, me and him were some sort of police partners. I got really down on hard times for some reason, and he got me back on my feet. He wasn't a murderer anymore."

Melissa nods. "Yeah, I've heard the name. But I wouldn't trust too much in what was seen. The future changes all the time. It's the present you gotta worry about."

"Yeah, he's dead now, so I figure that's not gonna happen." Magnes stops in front of a closed furniture store, staring into it for whatever reason as he continues talking. "But it is nice, y'know? To know I at least turned out alright once, that I didn't die like I keep expecting to. That vision often motivates me to drive harder."

Melissa stops as well and glances at him. "You don't need some sort of vision for that, Magnes. If you want to turn out alright, /make/ yourself turn out alright. No one can do that but you. You decide whether you fight or not. You decide if freedom is worth the risk of death. No one else can do that for you."

"The thing is, I can't just stop. When Claire lost her memories, I wanted to stop trying to do everything, I felt like losing her was the end of the world, she was everything to me. But, after a while, I'm starting to realize that bad things are still happening, to other people, and I can't just turn around and say it's too hard, I have a responsibility." Magnes places his hand against the glass, staring at his own reflection. "The day I was born was the day it was decided that I'd have to risk my life for freedom."

Melissa shakes her head. "I didn't say you should just stop. But neither do I believe that you don't have a choice. You could choose to just hide away and avoid the fighting. Or you could just live in the world and do your own thing. You're registered and not viewed as a dangerous evolved. /You/ are the one who decided that you'd have to fight."

"But can you really call it a choice?" Magnes steps back and turns around to face her. "With an ability like mine, someone who can fly and lift heavy things and just generally save people. Do you really think it's much of a choice for me to either choose to save lives or just turn my back? There's so much I can do, so much I have done. I helped save the whole freakin' world, and how do I know it wouldn't have gotten done without me?"

Melissa sighs. "Magnes, I didn't say it was an /easy/ choice, but it's still a choice. History is filled with people who just stood by, expecting others to do the hard work. Or people who just didn't care enough to get off their asses to fight. I'm sure there are evolved with abilities as useful as yours who are doing just that."

"I don't know how anyone could. The kind of guilt that would pile up, knowing I could be out there doing something…" Magnes shakes his head and offers his hand. "If you have a place, I can take you home. Tomorrow's one of those days when I have to risk my life. Hopefully I get to see Valentine's Day. This might be the first one where I have, well, this might be the first one where I'm not by myself." There's a frown, and he stares down at his skates again. "Damn, now I'm remembering I got my ex something, months ago."

"Valentine's Day? Oh, yeah, guess it is coming up," Melissa says, sounding unconcerned. "And I can get home by myself. I'm just gonna keep walkin' for a bit, get to know the city."

"I was really excited, to have a girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Now I don't know what I'm gonna do." Magnes' cheeks get a bit red after a long pause, slowly skating at her walking pace, though he doesn't seem to need to move his legs to do so. "If you, um, have a friend with benefits, do you think it'd be awkward to celebrate Valentine's Day with them, and like, get them a card and a really thoughtful gift?"

Melissa considers that for a moment before she shrugs. "Hell, I don't know. I haven't celebrated Valentine's day since the third grade. Guess it would depend on the friend, though? If she seems like the sorta girl who'd be good with that, then go for it."

"This whole arrangement is so complicated, I wish she was just my girlfriend, but I had to go and play like I'm a mature adult who can perfectly handle this situation." Magnes lets out a sigh of steamed breath, not sounding at all bitter, really, just mostly making self-observations. "She was completely right, the reason she didn't wanna do this before. I know I could be with other girls if I wanted, that's why I tried with you, but with her it's completely different. It scares me to think that she'd be with some other guy, even though I know we're not together. I just wish I'd grow up."

Melissa glances over at him. "How long has it been since you'n your girlfriend broke up, Magnes? Heard of rebounding? This new chick may just not want to be the rebound girl. And really, who could blame her?"

"All this stuff happened in a span of about a month or so. After the break up, I felt worse than I ever have in my entire life, and one day I just went for it, and the girl became my first. She's one of my best friends, I didn't think it could turn out bad, I mean, I did have some doubts, but I realized today that I get jealous." Magnes doesn't say why exactly, but he seems very sure as he frowns and stuffs his hands deeper into his pockets.

Melissa looks like she's trying not to laugh. "Magnes, /anytime/ a guy and girl get together and jump in bed it has the chance of turning out bad. And if you just lost your first girl a month ago? Yeah, I'd slow the fuck way down."

"Losing my first girlfriend and then jumping into bed with one of my best friends and losing my virginity all in one month, probably means I'm screwing up somewhere. I just feel like… I want it to stop hurting, I feel like there's some button that'll make it stop." Magnes pulls a hand from his pocket to place it on to his stomach. "I don't know how to deal with a breakup, but I'm pretty sure I'm doing it wrong, aren't I?"

"Well I wouldn't say you're doing it /right/, but you're hardly the only guy to try to recover from a breakup by jumping into bed with someone," Melissa says, shrugging a little. "I'd seriously just back off. Forget about Valentine's day and just be yourself. And /relax/. I can't say that enough to you, it seems. Being with someone doesn't automatically mean happiness, and being alone doesn't automatically mean sadness."

"What about you?" Magnes finally looks up at her, making eye contact. "Are you lonely? Happy? Sad? Somewhere in-between?" he asks, sounding genuinely curious.

Melissa walks in silence for a minute, looking as though she's really thinking the question over. "I don't know. Maybe neither. Just full of purpose. Purpose and rage. I keep myself busy so I don't guess I have time to be happy or sad. And lonely…well, if I was, could you blame me? I just moved to a place I'd never been, with a bunch of people I've never met."

"I'm sure you'll do fine. I'm finally realizing I have friends, and that much I'm really grateful for. I just… really seem to like the whole affection thing. I like everything about being close to someone else… I guess it's almost like a drug. Me and my ex slept in the same bed so many times and never went all the way, it was just nice being next to each other." Magnes stops at a closed video game store, marching over to the window to hunch down and look at some import games that catch his eye.

"Of course I'll do fine," Melissa says automatically. "And you /do/ know that you can have affection without having a girlfriend, right? And how in the hell did /I/ end up having this conversation anyway? I am /so/ not the girl you wanna be talking to. I'm too practical to be romantic or whatever."

"I know I don't need a girlfriend for affection, why do you think I tried to pick you up?" Magnes laughs, moving a hand to lightly nudge her. "Which, by the way, is seeming sillier and sillier the more we talk. I can't even remotely picture us doing something like that."

Melissa glances over at him. "Especially not if you have to phrase it like that. Something like that? All the way? Sex is not a four letter word, yanno," she says with a quick grin. "But you don't need a quick romp beneath the sheets for affection either, or so I'm told."

"It's not that I'm shy about using the words or anything, it's just that we don't know each other that well, so, I don't wanna be too lewd and offend you." Magnes' cheeks are suddenly red, embarrassed and rubbing the back of his neck. "And you're right, you don't need sex for affection, I learned that with my ex. It really is nice to just lay next to each other, talk, watch TV and stuff."

Melissa looks amused. "Dude, sex isn't lewd. Sex is as clinical as you can get without using vague euphemisms. Besides that, it's nearly impossible to offend me with 'bad language'," she says, making air quotes.

"However much older you are, you really do make me feel young. But somehow I think I come off as much younger than I am anyway." Magnes pauses a bit, clearing his through as he quickly looks away, then back to her. "Is it normal that I think I like that? I mean, about you being… Alright I don't think I like where I'm going with this. I thought I'd stop making passes when I stopped drinking."

Melissa only looks more amused. "Should I apologize? I hope not, 'cause I rarely apologize for anything. But what am I? You can't start a statement like that then leave me hanging."

"Older than me, hot, more experienced probably. I don't know, I just suddenly started thinking about all this. You just kind of…" Magnes shrugs helplessly, though is still perpetually red. "Got more appealing in a matter of a few seconds."

Melissa busts out laughing. "God…I've never made a guy blush so many times since my weekend in Vegas!" She grins and shakes her head. "You're cute, Magnes. Still not gonna hop in bed for a quick fuck or two, but you're cute."

"Well, like you said, you don't need to… have sex, to have affection." Magnes throws her earlier words right back, not sounding all that anxious about the sex part. "But you're right, we should really kind of stick to the friend zone. We seem like complete opposites."

Melissa's brows arch and she grins. "Mags, you really don't know that much about me, but I can't argue, really. I do get the feeling that you get attached to people quick, whether sex is involved or not."

"I don't know you, but I mean, I don't think we're gonna suddenly discover that we're bonded in a very profound way… then again, my ex used to be a hot cheerleader who… oh god I just remembered my ex was a hot cheerleader." Magnes remembers this more in a vaguely amused tone, shaking his head and smacking his palm into his face. "Sorry, ignore that, just had a deep feeling of… I'm not sure what that feeling was. Anyway, you're right, I do get attached to people, I like people."

Melissa wrinkles her nose. "I always hated the cheerleaders. Too blonde, bouncy and all that school spirit crap? Ugh. Then again, I guess most high school chicks either want to be a cheerleader or hate the cheerleaders."

"I'm a geek who never went to a real school, and I didn't have friends until I was a teenager. I still haven't looked at porn. Just dating a cheerleader was just… mindblowing to me. But to be honest, I think it's mostly the fact that they can bend that I find appealing." Magnes is suddenly staring down at her legs, which causes his eyes to once again revert. "Great, now I'm gonna wonder if every girl I look at is bendy. I'm gonna turn into a normal jerk guy by the end of the year."

Melissa glances back at him. "Sounds like being a normal guy'd be good for you." She pauses a beat, "You've /never/ looked at porn? Not once? You don't have to go to school to have access to porn so long as you've got a computer," she says, sounding skeptical.

"My parents monitored my computer use, and when I had babysitters they'd have it on complete lockdown. The most I got was some violent TV." Magnes scratches his head, seemingly thinking back again. "I've only seen two girls naked, my ex and my friend, and both of them are younger than me, so, I pretty much have no idea what a girl over twenty looks like naked."

Melissa stops in her tracks and gapes at him for half a minute. "Damn dude. Okay, I'm taking you to a strip club. You are so damn deprived, Magnes. Have you done other things most kids do? Did you sneak out? Try smoking? Drugs? Prank calls? TPing someone's house? Anything?"

"When I started skating, I snuck out to skate, that was fun. Never smoked, did drugs, prank calls, or… that last one means toilet paper, right?" Magnes is… well, very very sheltered, but he's smiling, kind of amused at her reaction.

"Jesus Christ," Melissa mutters, shaking her head and looking pained. "Yes, it means toilet paper. You cover a house and trees and crap with toilet paper."

"Oh yeah, like on TV." Magnes finally remembers with a swift nod. "So, I mean…" He lightly kicks one of his skates forward. "Are you gonna make it your mission to make me experience delinquency?"

"I very well might," Melissa mutters with another shake of her head. "You make my head hurt thinking of how sheltered you are. I think I might be developing a tic too."

"Don't worry so much, at least I've been with a girl now. I'm pretty sure there's nothing that'll top that. Skipping porn and seeing a girl with a completely filled out figure for the first time…" Magnes shakes his head, briefly trying to whistle, but, it kind of fails. "I thought my brain was gonna melt out of my nose."

Melissa shakes her head. "Okay, here is where we part ways. You make me feel old and dirty. I kinda like the dirty, but the old? Ugh. I'm going to go find some sleazy bar to have a drink or two in so I feel more myself again."

"Sorry, if it makes you feel any better, my friend is four years younger than me and I make her feel old." Magnes laughs, then leans over to give her a peck on the cheek, and suddenly he's flying into the air. "I'll see you later! And you should call me some time. I live above a pizza shop, stop by and meet my roommate!"

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