Magnus Burnsides, rustically-hospitable and notoriously kind to those he loves, is pretty difficult to piss off. Not many people are on his bad side, and when they are, they've really fucked up in a major way.
Magnus can't even say that he hates anyone, (well anyone besides Governor Kalen).
But oh, oh . Magnus has a good portion of people he would gladly chokeslam any day.
One of these people is Lucas Miller
Magnus doesn't hate Lucas Miller, no he couldn't say that. Magnus only hates one person, and it's just not Lucas. He can say, however, he has a strong dislike for him.
The last message Magnus sent the scientists way was a simple one: if I ever see you again, I'll kill you . Simple, right?
Well apparently it wasn't to Lucas.
Taako sat across from Magnus holding a navy blue mug filled to the brim with a sweet smelling drink. The elf stole a glance at Magnus who gripped a similar mug in his hands, though it looked much smaller the way Magnus held it. His drink had long since turned lukewarm, but it seemed he didn't even notice the drink at all. The fighter simply stared out the window with a sullen look spread across his features.
"Got anything on your mind, Mags?" Taako inquired, making sure to be cautious in his words in case something was truly wrong, and he did not want to make Magnus upset.
Magnus simply threw a look at Taako that said, 'Yes, dumbass'. He wouldn't say that out loud though.
The larger sighed, and released the cup from his grasp, scratching at his grizzly beard. He carried a look of annoyance in his eyes, but Taako could quickly tell it wasn't for him.
"Just thinkin'." Mags finally answered, resuming his staring out the window
"Wanna think out loud muchacho..?" Taako lightly pushed, also setting his mug on the table and placing his hands under his chin.
Magnus really didn't want to. The fleeting thought of all the times he told Julia simply what he was feeling and instantly feeling better crossed his mind. Why not?
"I can't stop thinking about the lab, back when we were reclaiming the Philosopher’s Stone.”
“Anything in particular, or just about the whole experience in general? The place was real fucky. I mean, Merle got his arm chopped off and I flirted with the Grim Reaper.” Taako joked, hoping to lighten the mood.
“I’m thinking about that slimy, cowardly, danger-to-society Lucas fucking Miller.” Magnus growled through his teeth. It’s been awhile since that happened, enough time where the BoB has already reclaimed the Temporal Chalice. It’s been enough time for Taako and Merle to brush off what Lucas did. But not Magnus, no he couldn’t do that. “He put everyone in danger. Not just us, but the whole fucking world! He did it because he was selfish and stupid. He put you an-and Merle and Killian and C-Carey in so much danger. He couldn’t just grieve like a normal person! He couldn’t just accept that his mother was dead and seek help! Instead he put us through so much shit! You said it, Taako. Merle got his fucking arm chopped off, and still had the audacity to try and leave us there! ”
Magnus had a few tears welling up in his eyes but kept his voice to a dull roar. His large hands were curled into fists and pressed onto the table. He was so fucking angry . Taako placed a delicate hand on each of Magnus’. A little anger seeped from him, and was replaced by comfort.
“But we didn’t get hurt, well okay maybe we got hurt, but we didn’t die. The world is still here.” Taako spoke quietly.
Taako gave a quiet snort, “You know we didn’t give a shit about Boyland.”
Magnus’ face scrunched up a bit, he he let out a strained laugh. “Okay, okay, fine. No one gives a shit about Boyland.”
“Except his 413 kids.” Taako chimed in, though he still had a grin on his face.
“Yeah, his 413 sort of racist kids.” Magnus laughed, now much less mad and a lot more happy.
The two began to sip at their coffee and idly make fun of Boyland and his dumb sounding name. Boy-land, man that is kinda dumb when it’s said like a fucking amusement park.
Magnus had his eyes closed now, smiling to himself. He paid no attention when the bell above the door to the cafe rung and someone entered the store. It had happened a few times in the twenty or thirty minutes they had been sitting there. He didn’t catch when Taako tensed up and gulped down his drink when he caught whiff of the man who just entered the store.
Magnus did, however, notice when a nasally voice muttered out an order for a small black coffee to the dwarven barista.
The fighter’s eyes creaked open to be met with Taako’s panicked eyes. He slowly turned his head to the slight figure now leaning against the counter stacked with different creams, sugars, and spices in metal containers.
Lucas Miller, looking frazzled as ever, with slightly tangled hair pulled back into a bun, with nerd-ass glasses pushed high onto his pointed nose, with tan skin that seemed to cling for dear life onto his frail body, with a stupid white lab coat draped across his frame, made eye contact with Magnus.
Lucas stood rigidly, not breaking eye contact with Magnus until the burly human stood up and politely pushed his chair in. His face turned pale as a ghost and he slowly started to slide along the counter, away from Magnus.
In a few long strides, Magnus towered over the smaller man, face holding no obvious emotion, but Lucas could quickly decipher what his foe was feeling by a quick glance. His arms were fixed to his sides, fists clenched into tight balls. Magnus turned his head towards the half-orc woman about to pour Lucas’ coffee into a blue mug with gold accents. A kind smile spread across his face as a gentle hand fell upon the smallers shoulder.
“Actually, ma’am, this young man will have his order to go, if that’s alright.”
The barista smiled and grabbed a paper cup and lid, “Of course sir!”
She extended her arm to hand Lucas his cup. The scientist brought a thin, trembling hand up and grabbed the drink. Magnus had a vice grip on his shoulder, which’ll probably give him a nasty bruise if he survives long enough to wake up tomorrow morning.
“Thank you, have a good day.” Magnus chirped, “C’mon Lucas, shouldn’t we be going now.”
Lucas didn’t respond, but simply nodded his head and began to walk with Magnus out of the store.
Taako stared at Magnus, stunned. The darted a hand into his hand bag and fumbled around, searching in a blind panic for his stone of farspeech. Magnus and Lucas exited the store as he found it, and Taako followed suit quickly dialing The Director’s emergency only line.
“He-hello? Taako, why are you calling the emergency li-”
“Oh gods uh Director? I’m sorry uh, this is super important.” Taako interrupted, speaking in a low voice and pursuing Magnus at a quick pace, who was heading towards a nearby ally way.
“Yes? What is going on, Taako?” The Director questioned, sounding increasingly worried.
“Yeah uh Maggie and I were at a coffee shop in Neverwinter, and fuckin’ Miller came in and oh god Magnus is taking him into an ally oh he’s gonna kill Lucas.” Taako sputtered, quickly pulling the umbra staff off of the strap on his back.
He let the stone of far speech hang loosely around his neck as he turned the corner, skidding to a stop.
Magnus had Lucas backed up to a wall, a hand digging into the smaller’s shoulder. Lucas clawed at the burly hand, whimpering in pain.
“Do you remember how I told you that if I ever saw you again, I’d kill you?” Magnus spat through his teeth.
Lucas simply trembled in response, and Magnus took that as initiative to place his other hand on the remaining shoulder and squeezing just as hard. Lucas cried out in pain.
“Do you?” Magnus muttered.
Lucas slowly but surely began to cry. Magnus’ grip loosened just a fraction.
“I-I sorry Ma-Magnus, I’m sor-sorry..” Lucas sniffled through small hiccups, “I’m sorry I d-did a bu-bunch of stupid shit. I d-didn’t want anything to happen, I j-just wanted my-my mom back.” Lucas began to sob.
Magnus clenched his teeth, and took a step back, his boot making a soft splash in the coffee laying in a puddle on the ground.
“I never wa-wanted people to die. I n-never… I di-didn’t want people to get hurt…”
Magnus took another step back, releasing his grip on Lucas. The frail man slid down the wall and crumpled onto the floor, shaking. The burlier of the two stole a look at the entrance to the alley way to see Taako shakily holding the stone of farspeech to his chest. His hands began to shake.
God, Magnus had felt just like Lucas before. They’d both lost such important women in their lives, he just never focused on that because he’d thought Lucas wasn’t deserving of forgiveness. I mean, he isn’t . Not only did he do a bunch of whack ass shit with a Grand Relic, but he also mind-controlled a family of bugbears into being his slaves and literally defied the laws of death to put souls into robots.
But Magnus has felt this pain, this gnawing, terrible pain of losing someone so important to you. It makes you do stupid shit. Usually it doesn't make you experiment with a crazy-dangerous magical item, but in a way Magnus understands. Lucas just wanted Maurine back.
Lucas’ sobs calmed down, and now only a few tears fell from his eyes along with a quiet stream of apologies.
Magnus bent down, and Lucas flinched. Magnus sort of regretted being a huge asshole. Only sort of.
He placed a large hand softly on Lucas’ much smaller hand, which tightly grabbed his black work pants. Lucas looked up with wide, shiny eyes, absolutely terrified.
“I... “ Magnus sighed, “I’m sorry, Lucas. I don’t hate you… I.. I-I can’t… hate you. I know what it’s like, to lose someone. The things you’ve done are stupid, and irresponsible and awful, but I guess I could forgive you.”
Lucas looked confused for a second, and asked, “W-what?”
“On one condition. Do some good, will you? Release the bugbears, invent something that’ll put something out into the world that can help people. Please…” Magnus muttered, retracting his hand from Lucas’. “Lucas?”
Lucas stared at Magnus for a second, and then quickly hugged the bigger man. Magnus stiffened up and didn’t really hug back, but didn’t really pull away.
“Th-thank you… Magnus.”
“Don’t push your luck nerd boy I still don’t like you.”