Winter Wonderland


brian_icon.gif elle_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Winter Wonderland
Synopsis Magnes terminates his relationship with Elle, whatever the hell it may have consisted of. There is some one-sided nastiness before they run across, clash with, and bag themselves a scarily informed Brian.
Date August 13, 2009

A street outside a cafe somewhere

"Thank you."

Pouring his own glass of water, the pitcher is set on the table after he finishes. A quick sip is taken before the glass is set down. His camera is in his lap, obscured by the way he folds his legs. Every now and then a quick snap is taken. Surveilance. He's been doing a lot of this lately. Yet it always is oddly exciting.

It's a warm day, and Brian Winters is the customer of an outdoor cafe. His meal has long been digested, the dirty plate sitting out in front of him. But he has stayed on, asking for water so much that eventually the waiter just gave him his own pitcher. One hand sliding along the rim of the glass idly, his other hand mans the camera in his lap.


Dressed sharply, a black suit, white shirt and of course a pair of aviators. He still looks the part of Company Agent, or thriving young businessman whatever you choose.

Walking next to Elle in his semi-casual suit and a pair of black loafers, still trying to dress at least a little nicely with company people, Magnes is stammering over every word. "What I'm trying to say is, I mean, it's nothing to do with you as a person, you're a great person, and I really wanna be your friend, but I just think, well, this isn't a good time for there to be an us. That make sense to you? I really like you, Elle, but for now, let's just be friends, alright?" Well, that wasn't so hard, but now he's squeezing his eyes shut, awaiting the inevitable…

The inevitable what?

"Maggie pie. Oh, no. You thought there was an us?" Unlike Magnes, Elle is still rotting away on the inactive duty roster and thus, feels no obligation to be dressing like a ~proper~ agent at this moment in time. Perhaps it's a paltry, impulsive act of rebelliousness, in its own way. It's skinny jeans for her tonight, plus a white zip-up hoodie partially opened over a crimson blouse. Oh and heels. Completely, utterly, impratical heels of skeletal thinness, though she manages them well, sauntering down the street beside her fellow agent without a blessed care in the world.

Her eyebrows are quirked upwards, a good indication that she had least been taken by slight surprise by Magnes's sudden declaration of a breakup (if not his insecurity and stammer), but her voice is a sincerely amused purr. She does not even bother to lift her volume. She reaches out one hand, in fact, to affectionately pinch Magnes right on the cheek. Hur. "That's so cute, that you ever thought we were. You know." Not master-and-toy?


But this picture is not of his target. There are interlopers. Annoying people walking in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Cursing them mentally, he pauses. A double take is given to the couple he just snapped a picture of. Elle Bishop. Elle. One of the legions of attractive woman employed by the Company. But this one he got warned about a few times. And as such gave a wide berth. And..

That must be Magnes. The man Veronica had been telling him about. A man he supposedly knew. But not anymore. For a moment his eyes drift off…

A boy rollerskating up a wall, an african woman standing in the alleyway…

Coming back to reality from his glimpse of a memory, he practically shakes it off. Two Company agents, and one he promised not to harm. And the other is just too cute to harm! So the camera is slipped away inside his jacket. A little more water is poured into his glass… Time to leave.

He hasn't caught sight of Brian yet, Magnes is a bit too busy being completely embarassed by Elle's, well, personality, again. His cheeks flush the instant they get a pinch, and just as he rubs it, he turns his head down to his shoes, almost ashamed. "I uh, I mean, I thought we were. Weren't you hinting at uh, y'know, s-e-x?" he asks, referring to the moment in Bella's office, he whole her not saying no thing.

"…Was I?" Dropping her hand back to her side and letting it swing, Elle puts on an innocently-trying-to-remember look. It might be that she honestly can't remember, because the incident simply hadn't been important enough for her brain to relegate precious space into making a memory. "Look, Mags, you're an adorable little boy. You really are. It will go better for us, though, if we just stay friends. What, were you worried? Hm?" She punctuates this with a glance sideways at Magnes, her dark-blue eyes widening and lips curling into a gentle pout, as if just to make the affirmation clear. It's alright.

After a long and tension-filled moment, the light in her eyes goes flat without warning, her arm shooting out so that she has trapped Magnes's wrist in an iron-hard grasp, cruelly puncturing her nails into the flesh of his forearm. On top of the knuckles of that hand, a tiny, blue line coalesces erratically and then ZZZAAPS its way into the gravitokinetic with the speed of a stinging fly. That? Is going to hurt like a taser, bro.

"Well, maybe you should have been." Hell hath no fury like an electrokinetic scorned.

But then her gaze darts to the other side, more on a whim than anything else, and spots the figure of Brian about to depart. "Hey," she calls out at him, more on impulse than anything else as she finally lets go.

"Damnit!" Magnes suddenly exclaims, holding his arm when she finally releases it, jumping a few times at both the shock and the pain of nails. That's gonna leave a painful mark. "Well, I'm not dead, so, worst case averted… I hope." he says under his breath as Elle begins to call out to Brian.


It's the look Brian directs to Elle and Magnes as he gets called out at. Mentally cursing himself for looking back, he knew better than to give a clear view of himself like that. Damn her little cuteness. Perhaps they haven't recognized him, perhaps they don't know he's wanted by the Company. Perhaps he can still get away without things getting violent. Laying down a few bills for his meal, Winters hastily steps away from the table. Taking his glass of water with him…

Walking briskly away from the cafe, he goes to make a sharp turn into the first alley he encounters. Making a quick exit away from the adorable couple.

"Quiet." That is your second strike. The slender blonde has the ears of a hawk, it seems, without even trying. Nor is she to be done with him so quickly; there is one more attempt to grasp his jaw right around his mouth and give it a good, hard clench with her fingertips. Her lips are in a razor-thin line.

The point, of course, isn't that she had ever considered Magnes and her to be a pair. That much had been true. The point is that Magnes had dared to walk out on her, rather than the other way around, and the irritation of it still shows in her face and the remaining tension around her lower jaw.

Much of that drains away, however, reduced but not fully gone as she quickens her pace to keep up with Brian. She hadn't even been about to do anything rash— really!— but anybody who starts walking very fast when all you do is call out to them is naturally suspicious. "Hey," she repeats, a little more vehemently this time as she speeds up her stride. Partly to catch up with Brian, and also partly to haughtily lengthen her distance from Magnes. Has she seen him somewhere?

"Elle!" Magnes exclaims as a bit of blood drips down his jawline, and he raises a hand to firmly grasp her arm. "Calm down, we're still friends, I just…" But then she releases him and starts walking after Brian, which prompts him to quickly follow. "I know that guy." he informs her as he wipes the blood away from his cheeks. One might wonder why he's quickly forgiven her for the not-so-sane abuse, but he has his reasons!

'Hey' doesn't readily translate into 'Stop we're going to kill you'. And Veronica had told him, Magnes would be gung ho about bringing him in. If he even realized who Brian was. Taking a sip of his water he pauses in his stroll. Perhaps he could get rid of the duo with words. Pausing before rushing into an alleyway, Brian Winters slowly turns to face Magnes and Elle.

"Hi." He greets levelly towards Elle, reaching up with his free hand to take off his sunglasses. Eyeing her, "Can I help you?"

But Magnes has been shoved to second priority about for now. Elle does give him a quick irked glance when he lays his hand on her arm, but otherwise does nothing immediate about it, returning her focus to Brian. Whatever semi-calm malevolence she had displayed before now evolves further, becoming an expression that seems genuinely concerned, mellow, and mildly thoughtful. "You looked like you were running away from something," she observes with her head tilted to one side, taking the moment to twitch her arm out of Magnes's grasp. "Scared. Maybe we can help."

"I remember you, you're that guy who offered me a ride, and you're Abby's friend." Magnes leans over to whisper lowly into Elle's ear, covering his mouth in case Brian can read lips, "He's wanted, not sure why, but he is, we have to take him. Non-lethal force."

The glass is lowered slightly. His hand doesn't yet move for the holster inside his coat. He watches Elle quietly for a moment, frowning down at her. "That's very altruistic of you." Though his brows arch at Magnes' actions. "Secrets aren't very nice in public." One step is taken back. Placing him outside of arms reach. The glass is gripped tightly, as well as the sunglasses in hand. "I'm fine, though, thanks. I'll be going now."

Hmph. Elle does her best not clench her jaw when Magnes leans over to whisper to her; thanks for the info, but way to make it look like there is something seeeeeriously fishy going on. Two agents of a secret organization on the prowl, for instance. "Um, you have something green in your teeth," she tells Brian with her brows earnestly lifted, bringing one forefinger up to vaguely wiggle it in front of her own, as if that had really been the terrible secret whispered to her.

"Sorry, I was trying to be polite." Magnes smiles, beginning to approach the man, then offers his hand for a friendly shake. "It's been a while. You talk to Abby or anyone lately?" Then, reaching up with his other hand to wipe at his bleeding cheeks. "Don't mind that, we're sort've, uh, having a moment."

"I don't know who you're talking about." Winters murmurs to Magnes. This is strange, having to pretend to be Winters rather than the other way around. "But I need to be going. I hope you two work everything out." Another step back is taken.

"It's cheek rash," Elle says sunnily in a complete, two-word description of why Magnes's face has clawmarks in it. "Infectious, too. It's horrible. And Magnes, I think we've made some mistake." She digs an elbow into his stomach without looking back at him. There is a one-shouldered shrug at the duplicator. "…if you want me to get it, sure." Her eyes are wide. She is, apparently, totally being serious about digging around in Brian's teeth for him. His hands are full, after all! She even takes a tiny step forward as if to do so.

Magnes winces at the elbow, looking over at Elle, then just nodding. "I guess everyone has a twin." he decides, awkwardly scratching the back of his head as he watches Elle actually go over to pick food out of his teeth. "You never picked food out of my teeth when we were together." he teases, apparently keeping up the act.

Brian however was totally not serious about her digging things out of his teeth. When she steps forward he watches her icily. That glass of water still hovering in front of his chest. His hand holding the sunglasses goes to tuck the pair of spectacles insie his suit jacket. And for a moment his hand remains in there, one finger playing at the end of his gun.

As Elle is much shorter, he bends slightly. Bringing his face down level with hers. Opening his mouth he whispers softly to her before baring his teeth. "Your boy is a terrible actor."

The gun is gripped inside his jacket.

That's met with a silent snort, though Elle is actually half-inclined to dryly agree with Brian on that, because as far as she is concerned, it is true to the nth power. Plus she is choosing to operate under the impression that this is Agent Winters, and not… another clone. If it isn't? Then that's fine too— most hopes of peacefully bringing him in seem to be over this point anyway.

There is no recoil when Brian looooms over her, only a careless quirk of her head upwards as she re-orients herself to meet his gaze. Out of the corner of her eye, she doesn't quite miss the positioning of his hand, nor how unusually still he seems to be holding it. Not for nothing has she been playing agent years longer than her supposed 'boyfriend'. "What've you got in your jacket?" she questions nonchalantly, eyes dropping downwards for a second. There is just a hint of cautious tension in her casualness that hadn't been there before.

On edge, Magnes tries his best to hide the tension in his demeanor, keeping his eyes squarely on Brian, just waiting to make a move. He doesn't even speak again.

"Toothpick." And his hand comes out of the jacket, indeed holding a toothpick. The small sliver is offered over to Elle as he continues to loooom over her. Bringing his hand down he drops it. Magnes hasn't moved yet, and so he does not need to either. It's like a game of chicken, who will break the facade first and bring it all tumbling down.

Elle does not take the toothpick, but resumes staring at Brian as though he has a straggle of vegetable stuck in his eye sockets, now, rather than his canines. "Hey, you're the one who needs it," she points out as she folds her arms across her sweatshirt. But then he drops the thing, and the issue is over. Her breathing is still going at a steady rate; she stays carefully watchful. "Why were you in such a hurry before?" she wonders, picking up the thread of conversation again. "It almost seemed like you were afraid of Magnes. Though I would be, too, with his cootie cheek germs." It's understandable.

Magnes walks over to a dumpster, seemingly just waiting for Elle as he leans forward against it, watching the two. "You're sure taking a long time over there, it's not a dentist appointment."

Closing his mouth, he stands back up. Flicking the toothpick to the side, he takes a step back. "Maybe I'm antisocial. And maybe you two are making me very uncomfortable." Brian muses, "So if you'll excuse me." Brian makes a very bold move at this point. And possibly a very stupid move. Taking one more step back, he fully turns his back to Magnes and Elle. "You two have a great night." He murmurs over his shoulder. That glass of water sitll being held now awkwardly in his hand. Brian walks down the alley, away from the pair.

There is a split second when it looks like Elle teeters; she lets her eyes stay on Brian's back as he strides away from her, pressing her lips together more thinly. "Magnes. What do you think you're—"

Suddenly jumping into the air, a good twenty feet, he grabs two tranq guns from his jacket as he hurtles towards Brian. There's no speaking, he doesn't intend to make a sound, he simply starts firing darts at the man, flying incredibly fast with the apparent intent to collide.

Thank you Elle! Thanks to Elle's amazing warning, without thinking as to what Magnes might be doing, Brian leaps into motion. And hopefully he is attacking him, or Brian's going to look stupid for no reason. Dipping one shoulder, his body lowers and immediately goes into a roll. Colliding with the ground, his glass of water is tossed to the side. Shattering against the alley wall, water sprays in a little puddle. The tranq darts strike deep into hardened concrete, as Brian's loafers crash against the alleyway ground.

With his momentum, he's back up on his feet, his hand leaving his jacket once again. But this time there's no toothpick. His 45 milimeter firearm is what comes out instead. Much bigger than a toothpick. :( He promised Veronica he wouldn't hurt Magnes. So he'll try not to. But ff—

Spinning on his heels and dancing backwards, the gun is held level with Magnes moving at him very quick. A look is given to the other man, a look that quite plainly says : Stop

It had been more of a warning, actually, at Magnes. The usual practice? Is to maneuver the victim into a corner first, where a capture can be guaranteed (a lesson in hypocrisy which Elle has too often had to personally learn). Seething, the blonde pursues the pair as swiftly as her heels will allow her to, stepping right over the puddle of broken glass and water when she comes to it.

Brian might be threatening Magnes with the barrel of a 45, but she keeps moving straight towards him specifically, holding up both palms right in front of her and visibly slowing down as she nears. She does not stop, though. Unless he has two guns, he can't point it at them both, and well— she's taking a gamble, here. "—Just listen to us."

Magnes suddenly spins and flips around when he gets that look from Brian, and Elle speaks up. Changing your momentum without slamming directly into the person you're flying at is usually difficult, so the series of cool mid-air are completely necessary before the completely cool pose where he lands on the ground with his legs partially bent, standing in front of Brian with his tranqs aimed at him. It was all necessary, really!

The gun remains steadfast on Magnes, despite all his midair acrobatics. Though his eyes follow Elle. "I know what you can do, Elle." There is no venom in his voice, just conversational sharing. "I so much as hear a crackle, and Magnet gets two to the dome." His face momentarily screws up. That was a very not cool sentence and he partially wishes he wouldn't have said it. "I'll shoot him." He corrects, no flair, but at least it's not corny.

Watching Magnes in his peripherals his eyes mostly follow Elle. He is mostly defenseless from her shock, his only collateral being Magnes' brain. A shot which he is mostly unwilling to take. Due to a promise he made, but that fact is not betrayed through his composure.

"I don't want to go where you want to take me." Brian says softly to Elle, grey eyes softening slightly.

Elle takes another step forward, but she lets her arms drop to her sides now that it is apparently a pointless exercise to pretend she is a helpless little she-lamb. "At least one of you did," she remarks in easy reference to Agent Winters, not bothering to inquire where, or how, he had learned all about her. One of the benefits of repeatedly bumping up against a rival fledgling organization; eeeeverybody ends up knowing who you are. "I know what you must've heard about us. But we can help, maybe. I know you've been looking for answers."

She does? Well no, she's just bluffing, but hey it's a phrase that has served her well in the past.

"You should put the gun down, if you know what she does, you should know what I do too. Gravity manipulation, and I've learned to expand it, but it's highly unstable when I do…" Magnes warns, giving an apparent reason as to why he's not 'expanding' his ability to stop Brian, but otherwise shuts up and allows Elle to do the talking.

"Who do you think I am?" Brian asks of Elle, a little smirk rising up his lips. "Answers? Yeah. Answers would be great. Why the Company tested on children to give them synthetic powers, killed children. Or when parents refused to allow their children to be tested on were killed." His gun remains trained on Magnes. "You know about this Varlane?" His eyes remain on Elle. "You're like me, Varlane. They're using you. Just like they tried to use me. How they use Elle." Veronica's going to be mad at him later.

"How many times do you two think you've been wiped of your memories when you see something you don't like? How long have you been with them Elle, how much do you think they've done to you, that you don't know about? You really want to bring me in? Why?" Brian asks, his gun remaining steady on Magnes. This is definitely Agent Winters.

"Maybe it's you that need help from me." That said expressly to Elle.

…Way to reach into a very badly healed-over pit of confusion, feel around in it, and scratch it up as violently as possible. "I don't know how you know all of that," Elle answers acidly, utterly still herself, now. The mention of wiping memories and being used had particularly stung. "Boy. If -they- knew you're mister smartypants, the Company would die to get their hands on you.

Her lip curls. "Magnes." It's sudden. Too sudden. She does not remove her gaze from Brian; the look in her eyes is cold and withdrawn. "Put your stuff away."

"You don't know the half of my situation." Though Magnes has definitely taken note of killed children, he's certainly not going to comment on that now, especially not in front of Elle. And the thought of memory wipes, well, that's definitely crossed his mind too. But now isn't that time for doubts, Brian could be dangerous for any number of reasons, and Elle gets a quick glance, as if to say 'Be ready'.

He puts his tranqs away just as instructed, then suddenly wooshes into the air, just directly up, trying to grab Brian's attention in the hopes that Elle will take advantage of the distraction.

Lowering the gun, Brian watches Elle quietly. Even though he had been stern and evil moments ago, his features seem to express something different now. Something apologetic. And then Magnes does his dramatic whoosh. Brian does indeed get distracted, sending a glare over at the Agent flying up.

His attention turns back quickly to Elle. Something is whispered to the female Agent, his eyes settling on her. A subtle nod is given as he just watches her.

Very little in Elle's face changes, except perhaps a sharpening of the deadness in her eyes, but it is possible to detect something roiling around just beneath an otherwise prim expression. It contributes to a second of hesitation; just a nanosecond, really, but then whatever Brian had whispered seems to do it for her. She unfurls one of her hands by her hip, fingers spreading and flattening downwards as if she intends to beg for change— then a blast of thick, sizzling lightning that'll travel right into Brian's stomach if he doesn't move, instantly brightening its path in a smooth blue glow.

The crackle of electricity stops Magnes' ascent, causing him to begin flying down again, figuring Elle's done her job. "You alright down there?" he calls out once he's descended into the alley again.

His brows narrow for a fraction of a second until the lightning blasts into his stomach. His arms fly forward as if kicked in the guy by some monstrous mule. His gun flying and smacking into the alley wall before clattering against the ground. Brian himself flies into the wall behind him. And then crumples in a heap at Elle's feet, his arms laying slack at his sides.

Expression difficult to interpret, Elle doesn't answer Magnes or even look back up at him, really, still watching the rumpled tangle of torso and limbs at her feet. "Yeah. Grab his gun," she finally breathes, tipping her head over at the fallen object and reaching into her own pockets to locate her cell phone. "…Let's get him out of here."

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