The Most Unlikely Rescuer

December 25, 2016:

Still reeling from the disastrous astral journey with John Constantine and after finding out Gottfried Muller has trapped Jessica Jones in a metaphysical labyrinth of horrors borne from the scars of any enterprising intruder's psyche, Zatanna turns to the one person who she knows won't bring too much baggage into the rift. And then she meets a couple of Norse gods. In other words, it's just another Tuesday.

Shadowcrest Manor - Crest Hill - Bristol - Gotham

The ancestral home of the Zatara family.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: John Constantine, Jessica Jones, Groot, Rocket, Darcy Lewis, Dr. Jane Foster

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Without the Guardians, Shadowcrest would be less festive. She doesn't know what it is about Peter Quill and his own, but the moment they get involved, the world suddenly seems lighter and brighter, inordinately gifted in reassuring those around them that no matter what happens, everything will somehow be okay.

Zatanna is counting on this, for Jessica's sake.

That isn't to say that Peter is completely incapable of feeling regret - he claims to be human, that he was born on Earth somewhere in the midwest, but while he may have scars, she knows somewhere deep inside of herself that he isn't permanently maimed by them, not in the way Jessica and John were. If there was anyone who could traverse through Muller's labyrinth of astral horrors relatively unscathed, it would be him. She knows this, somehow - it isn't anything that stands on a stable foundation of facts and figures, or even years of acquaintanceship. It is gut instinct, built around a lifetime's worth of lessons in how to read people and to get them to follow your lead whenever you need them to.

She appears at her front porch, strains of intangible power setting her down on it, all the way from New York. The moment her feet hit the steps, she feels the sting; a sharp crackle of energy sparks off her left arm, eating away at the protective wards she has placed on it, manifested visibly as tattoos. Watching as yet another attempt at her life clears more of her skin, she presses her lips together.

She doesn't have a lot of time left.

The doors swing open when she walks in, nodding to Kasim - one of Shadowcrest's constructs, meant to personify its own will - as he bows from the waist. She pauses in her steps and rolls her head back, sighing quietly as she hands her coat and satchel back over to her non-human butler. It was /extremely/ late in the evening, which means that…

"He's walking around naked," she groans, but turns to head for the kitchen anyway. "Oh, for god's sake…"

Despite herself, she stops by the living room to pluck a small wrapped box from under the tree. This tree is Groot, who is busily napping on top of his holiday hoard.

/Then/ she moves for the kitchen.

"Peter?" she calls out. "You in here?"

—-

There is a crash. Not from the kitchen, but the living room/bar area. A crash, some choise four letter words and a few more bangs and thumps. Then more cursing. It goes on for some time, and in some languages that are obviously not Terran in origin. Footsteps approach the kitchen. Getting closer and closer and…

…and the mummy walks by the kitchen. He's got on some kind of hand-made sign that says 'OLDIE BUT GOODIE' that looks like a five year old wrote it. That or someone who was really smashed.

Should she look into the library, her proud gryffon head is weaing a party hat of some kind.

It seems that someone was enjoying themselves last night…

Peter Quill would be that someone, and its obvious as he reaches out to hold himself up with one arm against the frame of the kitchen door. He's wearing pants which she supposes is a blessing. They are not done up though, and he's holding them with one hand. Of his shirt there is no sign. He's only wearing one boot, giving him a lopsided appaearnce and it seems that someone has taken a sharpie to his face.

In other words he looks perfectly normal for him.

"Hey Zee," His voice thick as he squints towards her. "Your up early." Pause. "Late." Pause. "Whatever the hell time it is."

—-

He appears none for the worse for wear, and he's even wearing pants. With the marker on his face, his hand keeping his pants up and the bleary-eyed stare he gives her (which she suspects is alcohol related), Peter Quill looks like a regular twenty-something guy who had a ridiculously amazing time in some kind of roaring kegger. In her own house.

"….wait, you all had a party and you didn't invite /me/?" Zatanna cries, her worries presently forgotten at the sudden realization that the Guardians made themselves /right/ at home and even had guests over. "I /live/ here! This is my house!"

The swell of frustration, for something uncompletely unrelated to the last few hours, was a welcome breath of fresh air. Striding towards Star-Lord, the young woman throws her arms around his neck and hangs on for dear life. Emotional, not the sort to feel anything by halves, she feels moisture prick from underneath her eyelids, the edges of her vision blurring.

"Merry Christmas," she tells him, finally extricating herself from him and giving him a small if not somewhat watery smile.

There is something /wrong/ here.

But he'll find out shortly. Her relatively cheerful expression fades.

"We need to get you a cup of coffee," she says, grabbing his arm and dragging him back into the kitchen. "You're going to need it. I need your help."

—-

"Wasn't a party," He tries to explain. "Was research. Trying to get Thor's attention, bastard didn't leave me with a cellphone number or anything!" Frowning mightily. "Don't worry, gonna have an amazing New Year's bash. Yeah. Decided right now and your totally invited. Rocket can cook something up and I'm sure it won't make anyone explo—"

And suddenly he has a sorceress in his arms.

This is a fairly suprising turn of events but automatic reactions kick in. His arms curl easily around her as she clings there, slightly lopsided due to a missing shoe. He's quiet, holding her as she clings silently, stroking comfortingly at the long waterfall of midnight that is her hair. There is a slightly bemused expression on the man's face, as if he has no idea why this is happening. He does at least have the braincells left to just let it happen so he can figure out why. He's learned to /not/ start apologizing till he figures out why they are crying.

…he got stabbed so many times before he learned that one…

"Easy there, Fishnets." His reply warm as braincells slowly awaken one by one like christmas lights. "Merry Christmas back at you." A pause. "I mean missing a party with me is a horrible thing, but its nothing to cry over."

"Woah!" And now he's being dragged, kicking off his other boot to make this easier the man stumbles in behind her. "Coffee right now huh? Well this sounds serious." He drawls, a smile on his face. But his eyes express just a touch of concern. This actually /does/ sound serious.

Serious sucks this early.

"Tell Uncle Peter what's wrong." A pause. "After you magic up coffee or whatever this house does. I sware Rocket went to use the microwave at some point and it yelled at him."

—-

"I'm not crying about missing the party," she says, laughing once and blinking back the fresh wave of moisture drawn there by his comforting gestures. "I'm just….I don't know. /Relieved./"

She doesn't explain that either. The raven-haired magician moves over towards the coffeemaker, her fingers getting down to work on filling two cups; black brew spiced with hazelnut and a touch of cinnamon fill the air, moving back to where the alien has parked himself. There's a slight furrowing of her brow, giving him a sidelong glance, but she hands him a mug and she cradles her own, taking a seat next to him in one of the high chairs surrounding the breakfast bar.

"So you're still trying to summon the God of Thunder, huh?" she muses, taking a careful sip. She remembers what Peter has said about Asgard, that it was somewhere in space, and the Norse deities that she read about as a child weren't just real (though she already suspects that they existed in some fashion, considering her profession) but /space-creatures/. "If he's an alien, can't you just hail him or something? Use a space radio?"

After a few more sips, she looks down at her distorted reflection, the glassy black surface of her coffee reflecting her own expression back at her. With a grimace, she looks up to meet Peter's eyes.

"Jessica's in trouble."

Exhaling, she slowly unravels the yarn for his scrutiny: "I hired her originally to help me look for my dad. The trail led us to Chinatown in New York, and then in Gotham where our single lead is. Daddy's been chasing a book at an auction scheduled for the New Year, but apparently other people are also after it, including some Nazi sorceror named Gottfried Muller. Jess found out where he was staying and she told me she was just going to stakeout the place and rummage through his stuff when she's sure he's gone and…oh, god, Peter. I'm so stupid. I shouldn't have let her go alone - I /tried/, but she said it would be boring and I had other things to take care of and that she would be fine."

It was her fault. Oh god, if she's dead, it was her fault.

It's almost enough to coax the tears to start pouring again, but the young woman takes a breath, taking a further drag from her coffee.

"It….a friend of mine and I tried to get her back, just now," she continues. "But the place he put her in….it feeds off whatever you bring into the maze. So any sadness, any regret, any bad memories….they become real there. I was able to break through my trap, but my friend…"

God damn it, John, couldn't your life be a little less miserable?

"…let's just say the place almost /probably/ killed him. I had to bring him back myself, he couldn't return on his own."

She rocks back on her seat, looking at Peter. "It's been days. I don't…I can't even begin to imagine what she's suffering in there. I want to go myself, I do, but I can't. I have to go back, otherwise…"

There's another pop and crackle from her left arm; before Star-Lord's eyes, the intricate band of tattoos that wind down that slender limb start fading from the forearm upwards. It cracks away at the sigils just under her elbow.

"…otherwise I won't be able to attend your New Year's party," she says finally.

—-

"Asgardians," Peter's tone is somewhere between exasperated and amused as he plucks his coffee. "Have elevated pretentiousness to an artform. Its not 'science' or 'technology' to them. Its…instead of a space phone they'd have something like…The Hory Horn Of Honor. Or Destiny's Word of Law. Or The Eyeglass of Odin's Left Toe." His head tilts back towards the ceiling. "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST HAVE COMM ARRAYS LIKE NORMAL PRETENTIOUS PEOPLE!!!"

A sigh before he continues in a more normal voice. "It works just like a goddamn comm array. But since its just /slightly/ different they don't get calls…and I need to find him because that gemstone thing can melt ROCK now. Stupid psudomagic piece of space junk."

He blows on the coffee while he listens, most of his attention on the black gold in his mug. He lifts it to his lips to take a long pull and sighs.

Or at least starts to sigh.

Then she drops the first bomb. Jessica is in trouble.

"Wait what? She got magic'd into a trap or something that she can't cuss her way out of?" Then comes the second bomb. "And what do you mean you can't attend my new-years party. I'm gonna assume that has something to do with your new ink."

He takes a second drink of his coffee. Watching her over the rim of the cup. Now it would be pretty easy just to blow this joint. Thank her for the coffee, grab his clothes and jet off in the Milano to the next crash pad he can find. But…

But he owes her.

"First off I hate Nazis. Second off you lay off yourself." His bright eyes fix on her. "Not helping. She's a big girl and can drink the whole house of us, the mummy included, under the table. Third off…who am I gonna have to shoot to get all this fixed so my damn party isn't ruined?"

—-

KRA-KA-THOOM!

That would be thunder, and most definitely lightning, a massive strike of it sizzling down from up high to slam down into the grounds that Shadowcrest currently resides upon. There's something about that beyond the heavy smell of ozone — something bordering on magical, something that's beyond the mere fury of nature. The Lady of the House will most definitely feel it. Electronics are likely to feel it also, though the defenses of the house may assist with that; they're called surge protectors, people!

The bolt's point of impact becomes more than just that. Down the stairs, down by the lawn, the very air rips itself open as a shimmering portal between one place and another springs into existence.

Tonight, Shadowcrest has two intruders, they themselves all but draped in the mysticism of being an alien race from another Realm entirely. Tall, shoulders back, the figure that is the God of Thunder steps through, plated armor covered by a deep blue cloak. His left hand holds a heavy weight.

"— too much to expect that he would heed the call of the stone," the conversation started on the other side continues, "though by now I expect it has near burned a hole within his pocket."

Thor turns an eye towards the impressive stairs, sparing a glance for the beaked gargoyles on each post, before his gaze lifts towards the mansion itself.

"And what an interesting location our charge has found himself in. Where has your portal taken us, Lady Sif?" He questions with a grin, the heavy weight of Mjolnir beginning to swing from the handle loped about his wrist, sending off crackles of blue lightning. Is he planning an entrance most spectacular?

—-

"That's what we think," Zatanna tells Peter, draining half her coffee. "That she's trapped in there….I can transport you and maybe Rocket and Groot there if need be, but it's definitely a bad idea to go casing that particular joint of horrors by yourself. It…." She falls quiet. "The last time I talked to her, she mentioned something about having some experience with mind control. I haven't really pried into her history much, but that's never a good sign. I need to send you and your crew there quickly to pull her out, like I said it's been days already and….time moves differently there, depending on the caster, and Muller's a nasty piece of work."

His remark about hating nazis and his admonishment for her self-blame has her smiling. She pushes the small gift across the counter towards Star-Lord, for him to open.

"Take that with you for luck."

She rolls her head back, a hand lifting to roll her fingertips against her nape. "As for who you need to shoot to fix this….I don't know yet. That's what I'm trying to find out." She glances down at her arm. "This kind of magic has a cost, Peter. It always does - seconds, days, months of a life. I was hoping that would give me time, at least….I mean who wants to keep spending years out of their lifespan trying to get through this, right? But if they don't care, then….I'm playing chicken for nothing."

And that would inevitably mean that they have /bigger/ problems than just a Nazi sorceror with a boner for an old book; there are only a few occult sects that foster that sort of fanatical dedication among their ranks and all of them are serious contenders in the mystical world she operates in.

Still, one thing at a time. She banishes those thoughts and reaches out to interlace her fingers with his, squeezing them. "Thanks, Peter," she tells him quietly. "I mean it…and I'm sorry, for pulling you into this. I wish I had a choi— "

The lights around them flicker.

Outside, Shadowcrest protests, the vibrations of living wood and stone creaking in disapproval at Thor and Sif's sudden arrival on the grounds. The very earth outside /feels/ wary, the air suddenly cable-thick with tension. To Thor, he would get the very distinct impression that the house is not happy that he has shown up unannounced.

"….someone's outside," Zatanna says, rising up from her seat. "You expecting anybody?"

With that, she starts moving out of the kitchen and to the front doors.

"I don't need luck, Fishnets. I'm just that good." The reply came with a smirk of course, but Peter reaches out to slide the present over to him. "I like presents though, so I'll take it anyway." He ads as he plucks it up. "I should have got you something too. Oh wait! I did." A grin at that before she is back to the serious stuff.

He sips the coffee, mind rolling over the words that she's filling the space with. "Seems that magic sucks as bad as Infinity Stones." He finally gives his entirely unvarnished opinion.

He squeezes her hand back, the smirk coming to his face bright and cheerful as if to dispell the slight awkwardness of well…everything. "Don't worry about it, Zee. I was getting bored anyway. Gives me something to do other than throw parties and get SHIELD mad a—"

The lightning bolt intrupts the moment.

He finishes the cup of coffee and thumps it down on the counter. "Expecting anyone? Darcy and Rocket and Groot are out somewhere but…" He scoffs. "…besides freeking Thor that I've been trying to call for the past goddamn week nope. Not expecting anyone."

Hitching up his pants, not bothering to find his boots or his shirt he starts towards the door. "Come on then, let's welcome the company. I'll grab my guns on the way there."

—-

"Humans have one of two reactions, I'm learning, to things they don't understand. Meddle too much or ignore it completely. It would seem as if he chose the latter route," Sif continues the conversation without falter despite the teleporting.

A brow arches at the manor, silver-blue eyes looking less than impressed. "Other than somewhere that looks as if it's been styled for L— I do not know the exact location."

She looks up at the God at her side, smirks and then turns and starts towards the stairs and then opts, last moment, she rolls her eyes. "Would you mind?" The trek up the stairs is made much shorter by Thor's flight.

Once at the doors, Sif smirks. "I am tempted to simply teleport in." The human has annoyed her. Mildly. She doesn't though! What she does do is raise a fist to pound on the door. Hopefully not hard enough to break anything!

—-

The door opens before Sif has an opportunity to hammer on it; it's a young woman, with skin so pale, it looks downright white under the crescent-moon's light from overhead, shadows seamlessly blending into the color of her hair and ice-blue eyes that straddle the fine line between striking and unsettling. She is tall for someone so young, above average height on her own but with the boots she favors, she is just an inch or two shy of six feet. Whoever she is, she greets her visitors with her dark brows stitched together in the middle in confusion, taking in their attire.

Was there a Renaissance Faire in town?

"…I wouldn't recommend it," Zatanna tells the Lady Sif conversationally, the corners of her mouth quirking upwards in a half-smile. "Anyone who teleports inside directly doesn't just get punted out automatically, but they also spend the next hour as mollusks on the banks of Gotham City Bay. Daddy never liked trespassers, though the mollusk thing was definitely my idea."

She looks over her shoulder. "Peter, you know these guys?"

She takes a step away from the doorframe, to leave room for Peter to take a gander at the new arrivals. Somewhere over his shoulder, she murmurs softly, "What the hell, Peter? Is this a thing? Are you a LARPer?"

—-

Ambling up to the door, Quill just squints at the sorceress. "LARPer? What the hell is LARPing?" Nope. Never heard of it. He was too young when he was abducted. He does obligingly let his blue eyes slide over her shoulder to peer at the two who stand on the stoop of the great mansion that is Shadowcrest.

And stare he does.

For a good long while. At least long enough for Zee to note his eye twitching just slightly.

Without a word he spins on his heel and stomps back inside to return a moment later with a well worn book on mythology. It's open to a page on the God of Thunder and his Mighty Companions.

There is an ancient sketch of them there. Two of which look very much like the pair on her steps. They happened to be marked. 'Thor' and 'Sif'.

"Really?" he finally says. "THIS is what gets your attention? Me getting drunk and shouting at the ceiling all night? I have heard of some goddamn /weird/ ways of getting a hold of people…never ask an Iskiverian to call you by the way…but man. /Really/? I've been trying for WEEKS to get your attention so that damn gem wouldn't burn a hole in my ship!"

Finally done with his venting, Peter Quill blows himself off. Then slowly draws a deeper breath.

"Zatanna Zatara," His voice dry. "This would be…Thor. And…you have to be Sif. Since Darcy told me about your hair. Looks nice by the way."

—-

"I am uncertain as to whether magic from this Realm would affect us and even if it did, I do not believe it would be allowed to stay in place. That said…" She halts as Peter comes up to the door.

The Goddess crosses her arms over her chest and a single brow arches as he walks away. The Lady stands six-foot-two, easy, without her boots. With them, she's as tall or very close to as tall, as Thor. When he returns and starts to rant, the Goddess cuts her eyes up to Thor, lips twitching as she tries not to smirk.

Finally the mortal quits. "Did you ever consider responding to the stone?" Her eyes roll before she snorts an amused huff. "I am indeed. And you have my thanks. It looks like I am attempting to replace the Bifrost but my thanks all the same."

—-

The God of Thunder is all set to simply stand there and be polite as the Goddess of War takes the lead. He even wears a polite smile, inclining his head towards the tall lady who opens the door. That doesn't last very long - not once Peter Quill enters the fray, disappearing to bring back a book.

That brings a deep belly laugh out of Thor. "It is good that you have chosen to educate yourself, Peter Quill, but I assure you that anything you find written in this day will be largely inaccurate," he chides, tone playful, as he loops Mjolnir back onto his belt. "I wager it only mentions one of my goats, if that at all. I have two."

That doesn't exactly help with Zatanna's whole live-action roleplayer accusation. At least he isn't wearing his helmet. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Zatanna Zatara. An enhanced castle, how delightful! Thor Odinson, and yes, this is the Lady Sif." That very Goddess describes her hair as the resurrection of the BIfrost, and it draws a fond smile to his face. The educated can read through the lines there, with the way he regards his fellow Asgardian.

Still, the matter at hand is there, and it draws the mirth away from Thor's rugged good looks. He's the tallest here, and Peter is the shortest, which is fantastic.

"All you need do was tap the stone twice and utter the incantation to speak with us," Thor half-chides the errant parolee. "But let me guess - you don't remember that conversation at all, do you Peter Quill? I am not surprised, considering the state you were in upon Asgard when the sentencing happened."

His attention shifts to the homeowner, and he offers an apologetic inclining of his upper body and head. "My apologies, good woman. I do not know how much this man has told you, but he is long past due to check in with the two of us. The actions he has taken inside my father's house are still keenly felt to those there. I am sure you can sympathize, were we to have destroyed your hearth, half your house, and defaced the statues."

With that, he gestures. "Come along, Peter Quill."

—-

"…..what. Really?" The young woman reaches out with black-lacquered fingertips, taking the book from Peter and squinting at the pages, making wordless, visual comparisons between the depictions in the book with the people standing at her door. The expression on her face shifts between surprise and resigned, her eyes turning accusingly at the ceiling, privately wondering if this was yet another sign that the universe isn't done with her and her own just yet. In retrospect, maybe hiding in John Constantine's bunker for a few days until she finds a more permanent solution to her 'terminal illness' wouldn't be so bad. It will at least enable her to escape the demands of Unlikely Circumstance for a week or more.

What does capture her interest presently is the other woman's words about magic - if these really are the gods from legend, it wasn't surprising that they would know its principles. Still, she senses the presence of a fellow practitioner and an easy and slightly exhausted smile returns.

"Believe me, it will," Zatanna tells Sif, quietly assessing the other woman's hair and flashing Peter a /look/, wondering whether he had something to do with the plethora of colors currently adorning the Norse Goddess head. "You can say the moment you stepped onto this threshold, you're not really on Earth anymore, even if it looks like it hasn't moved. My father's rules govern this space, so please tread carefully. Not like /that's/ stopped this bum from causing trouble anyway." She jabs a thumb towards Peter. "He mentioned you guys the night I took him in, I always thought Asgard occupied an entirely different plane, so you could imagine my surprise when this guy tells me Asgard's in /space/."

Her attention finally falls on Thor when he introduces himself….and lingers, because she can't help it, her lips parting slightly when the man steps forward. Taller than the videos, broader than the pictures, to say that the man was larger than life was a gross understatement, golden and handsome and resplendent in his LARPing attire. She doesn't say anything for a while, extending a pale hand for him to shake as he compliments her on her 'castle'.

Look, she's /dying/, or at least she will once the arcane agent eats away the last of her wards with his cursed attempts. She's not dead /yet/.

"Pleased to meet you both," she says, giving Thor and then Sif a firm handshake each once taken. "And if you want to take him, be my guest. I hope you'll return him tomorrow, though. He owes me a favor and I desperately need to collect."

—-

"Well technically it's not in space, you have to get there though this weird series of portal things that…look the point is you can get there /from/ space." Peter pauses. "Sorta."

He just asked where the best beer was in the Galaxy and went from there. "I left navigating to Rocket."

"ANYWAY. It wasn't half the city it was one meadhall, that we didn't know was gonna be so explosive!" He defends himself the only way he knows how. By passing the blame. "And your whole booming voice and thunder and shouting didn't help that hangover we all had. I couldn't remember the incantation…" A pause. "…and before you ask…" He fishes around his pockets for a small case, opening it. "I do still have the damn thing…"

Sitting inside is a ruby pendant on a sliver chain that is radiating heat at the moment. To Zee's trained eye it would be also radiating magical power at a…well frankly almost godlike level. Not really suprising when you consider where its from.

There also may be a few souls in there.

Or people.

Maybe he should have showed this to her earlier.

OH WELL.

"The hair wasn't me." That to Zee. "It was Darcy. She says hi by the way." This for the two godlike guests. "And Jane thinks you're a jerk for not calling." He adds, as he totally missing the smile that he had aimed at Sif.

HE'S BAD AT SUBTLE OK!!

At the command to come though he holds up both hands. Thankfully not quite loosing his pants in the process. "Woah woah woah. I just promised Zee here to help her with a thing. I can't…" She cuts in to tell them. "…yeah. That." He pauses before glancing at the pair. "…it's an adventure. You like adventure right? Save the damsel, punch the nazis, might be a demon to fight."

Gods will be helpful right.

—-

Sif meets Zatanna's gaze as her hair is looked over and a smirk grows as the woman shifts her gaze to Thor and it lingers there. It's rare that Sif shows jealousy. It may be that she doesn't feel it or simply confident enough that she isn't threatened by other females. In either case, she is amused. "Quite nice, no?" Yes, she's talking about Thor. He's wonderful on the eyes.

"A pleasure, Lady Zatanna." There's even a small bow of her head.

Silence from the Goddess as Peter attempts to explain. Her eyes roll. "You should not be toying with things you do not understand anyhow." It's like she's chastising a child. Of course, the mention of Darcy brings a smile. "We will need to see her soon."

A smile that fades immediately. The Goddess stiffens and her eyes harden, the color growing lighter as her mood shifts. "Forgive me, Lady Zatanna… Might you have something to drink in there? Something strong? Very very VERY strong?" Because now Sif could use a stiff drink and something to put her sword through. Especially as Peter keeps talking.

—-

The fact that Sif even points out that she's looking at her earns the goddess a brilliant smile; bright, stage-worthy, white searing from between parted dark-cherry lips. Zatanna even winks at the Goddess. "Very," she tells her, completely and utterly unashamed that she had been caught. "I never knew they made them so impressive in Asgard. But I've never been, maybe one day I'll find my way there." She is no goddess, and the young magician is presently unaware of the secrets she carries, herself. Her own looks have an expiration date, and so does her ability to see. And considering what she has been through in the last week, looking and appreciating isn't just imperative now, it's a holy responsibility from Heaven itself.

When Sif asks for a drink, and therefore delaying the Asgardian group's departure, she waves the God and Goddess in. "Of course, you can all confer in the living room. Kasim will see to your needs," she says, her air certainly a little more genial now after her commiseration with the warrioress.

"Peter, I /know/ you know where the bar is," she says, closing the door once Thor and Sif have been brought in and away from the cold - Gotham has terribly bitter winters. "Why don't you take your guests and you guys can talk th— "

As Peter reveals the red stone, her eyes widen in alarm. Reaching out, she takes the artifact by the case, unwilling to touch it with bare fingers as of yet. She leans in to look at it, staring at its multi-faceted surface, the fractured image of herself reflected within. "What the….Peter how the hell did you even get something like this? And it's in my /house/ this entire time??"

She's going to have to examine it. Her fingers move to test the air above it, drinking in the strains of power that she can sense vibrating from the artifact.

"….alright. I need to check this out, we could use this. /You/ behave." Though she reaches out to touch Peter's cheek, patting it lightly and giving him a smile. "And be nice to your visitors."

Kasim is suddenly there, as usual sensitive to his mistress' needs without her calling out for him; tall, broad and pudgy in the middle, the Hindu man bows from the waist, feather bobbing from his turban.

Taking a few steps back, she pivots so she could go up the stairs, vanishing at the landing.

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