Maggie paints colourfully. That’s the best way to describe it: contrary to everything about the decor (or complete lack thereof) seen at her workspace, her art is an explosion of colour, creativity and expression. Most of what she paints are concepts more than “things”, feelings and thoughts on canvas, but she also paints fantastical landscapes and skies, as well as the rare person. When she paints people, I’ve always imagined her paintings to look something like this:
Fun Fact: the painting above is titled “Mad World”, which was the song playing in Laurie’s apartment the first time Maggie was there, in one of their earliest original scenes. On the topic of apartments, Maggie’s art covers hers; this “location” of Partnered hasn’t been seen by many.
* * *
The park was spacious to begin with but now, as Maggie led the way into new territory — off the path, straight onto grass — even the looming trees became a thing of the past. Here, in the very heart of the park, and thus the heart of the city itself, the whole vicinity completely, utterly opened up: a vast expanse of green pasture, open in every direction and only blocked eventually by distant trees below the city’s skyscrapers.
Maggie walked a good dozen paces onto the field’s acreage before she came to a stop. She pulled the borrowed sunglasses off and blinked, not unpleasantly, in the sun that meant to wash her pale face in its rather tremendous brightness.
“It’s fifty-five acres of just … space,” she said, reflective; a simple field, and she looked out into it with pure admiration. “The Great Lawn. I know it’s not a big secret, or anything, that it’s here… but…” Lips pressed together, momentarily disappearing, before she went on. “Everything else in this city is walls. All of these buildings, and thousands of people just … forced together with no room to breathe, and you can’t see the horizon. Where I’m from… it’s all beautiful plains and,” a fond smile, “wide, open space for miles where you can see the clouds forever. In contrast… New York can be like a prison.” It was only then that her gaze found Laurie. “So… when I miss home. And I can’t leave the city. I come here.”
She wasn’t the only one. In the warmth of the day, picnic blankets and frisbees were abundant, people here and people there, all strewn across the landscape rivaling even the allure of a good beach. For the wanting, Turtle Lake glimmered off to one end. Yet shared or unshared alike, Laurie took his first step onto the grass as reverent as though treading into the most private of sanctuaries. Serenity did not clear his face, nor the sun bother it; he gazed out somewhere in-between. Found by Maggie, he’d taken a few more strides forward. “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.” Turning, his vision changed from the panoramic required to take in the whole Lawn, to a distinct touch of blue on Maggie alone. Only her, in all the park — in all the cage of New York. Haloed by the sun, he smiled not to match its brightness — his lips stay closed — but in a wistful sweetness meant only for the singular target of his gaze. Only. “I like that.”
Such a personal touch, sincere without needing to be serious, to come from the consultant. More than the view seen clearer beyond the trees.
And just like that, gone. Head moving idly forward, he breathed deeply but forcefully, inflating his chest and motivating his hands from hanging to propped at his sides. Past all the other people, their signs of merrymaking, the grass, to a truer horizon than usual, he squinted. Nodded towards that far point even while turning to issue Maggie a second look, shallower, and more touched with mischief. Back to form, he could be said to really be grinning more this time around.
* * *
It ships itself, tbh.
“Over the announcement of their joyous reunion, he turns his head to flash his partner with an endearingly affectionate look — softer than his usual, but no warmer; he’s never hid an ounce of it before…”
Best show that didn’t exist in 2011 [x]
I need to believe
But I still want more
Touch my face
A hopeless embrace (x)
MAGGIE: “This might be… one of the strangest things I’ve done on Christmas…”
LAURIE: “That doesn’t set up a very positive platform for me to ask what you’ve been doing previous years…”
MAGGIE: “I did say might. But mostly, they didn’t involve very questionable medical procedures. At least not in the kitchen.”
LAURIE: “Sounds like these other Christmases didn’t have very good taste.”
Because every series deserves a holiday episode now and again, Maggie and Laurie once spent a whole Christmas together (and Christmas Eve — speculate at will; Kotowski did).
It was both unplanned and not exactly traditional — Maggie stitched up Laurie with thread meant for horses while he made fudge.
MAGGIE: “I’m going to stab you now. If you’re doing anything very delicate over there, you should be careful.”
LAURIE: “Stabbing! Now it’s beginning to look like Christmas.”