Shallow Distractions

February 08, 2017:

Jane Foster, sleep deprived and in recovery, receives a rousing visit from the man who is definitely Thor's brother, Balder the Brave.

Jane Foster's Apartment

Concentrated sadness.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Thor, Balder the Brave, Bucky Barnes


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Two weeks of HYDRA captivity have turned Jane Foster into something of a homebody.

Though 'homebody' puts all too lightly the agoraphobic Alamo stand she's made of her life, locking down in her tiny Brooklyn apartment in some sort of last-desperation hold to keep her sanity, her peace-of-mind. SHIELD surveils her, not as a hostile, but as a could-be repeat victim, though between custodianship of Steve Rogers and her new, invited houseguest that may or may not be an ex-assassin, they keep their distance.

And Jane keeps her own. She knows it's been going on several days now, holed up and refusing even to touch the chill air outside, and several times she even attempts something small — like a trip to the corner store, or an outing to get coffee — and something holds her at the threshold of her front door. Some trapping of reluctance, or forced inhibition, and not helped when it's so quiet — quiet enough that Jane can hear those whispers in her head. Not her own voice in there, but something thin and foreign but compulsively ground down into her subconscious: that she's a lost asset, and she should try to make contact with her handlers. Good assets, when lost, always try to be found.

It terrifies her. What if she goes out on some walk and ends up some place she's not supposed to be?

So Jane hunkers down. She doesn't sleep, because she's given up on that, she mainlines coffee from the pot, she messes up her tiny apartment so she can clean it again, she opens her laptop and stares through data like she can't even see it, and she paces and obnoxiously checks her phone. She finds herself hating these early evening hours, times when James is out — out like he is now — on his mission to reforge old bonds, speak to people, and thus leaving her lonely, unoccupied mind to circle the drain.

At this time she's cycled back to 'pretending to work', hunkered in her little living room, stooped forward on her couch, staring at her opened laptop and its scrolling page of code. A script she began weeks ago. A script she can't find it in herself to finish. It's holding up all her work. She needs to do it. She tries.

Jane paws back her hair with a huff, giving up. She reaches for her cup of coffee. Her trusty R2D2 mug is empty. She reaches for a second FUS RO DAH mug on the table. Also empty. "Wait, when did this happen?" she complains out loud, to herself. "When did I make you? When did I… drink you." She slumps back. "When did I become a total failure."

Grasping it up, the woman backtracks to her cramped, galley kitchen. "I am losing my stupid mind."

A difficult life, Jane Foster leads these days. Weeks. Months. Maybe even years.

'I am losing my stupid mind.'

"Well, probably."

But that's no reason for it to not become more difficult than it already is, is it?

"But all things considered, you're probably better off with it lost."

The voice is light and whimsical and comes from everywhere and nowhere like it was just an explicit confirmation of Jane Foster's ragged complaints. As disembodied as the Cheshire Cat's, it seems to belong to no one except the sleep-deprived lunacy of Jane's mind. Perhaps, just another facet of a conditioning yet lingering, of fears made real. Maybe she's completely lost her sense of self already. Or—

—maybe it's the black-haired young man currently sitting on her kitchen counter where her coffee pot rightly should be but absolutely is not.

It's a blink and you'll miss it moment. Within the span of a sliver of a second, the man is just there as if he'd been there all along just waiting to be properly seen. Dressed in a white button up shirt, black vest, slacks and nice dress shoes, he might be easily mistaken for a SHIELD agent if it weren't for the bright green of his tie. Or any of the other, innumerable reasons such a thing wouldn't make sense. The apparent breaking and entering is probably pretty on the ball, though.

No, whoever he is, he's just there, legs swinging idly with all the comfort of someone easing back into their own home, and all the subtle judgment lining his features of someone silently and mercilessly critiquing the home of someone else. He looks around him. His brows arch in an imperceptibly upwards tick as if to say, 'really?' His lips purse. In his hands he holds a plastic cup, beading with condensation.

"… Well, whatever, you're clearly out of sorts right now," he ultimately decides, as if coming to some sort of silent conclusion on a conversation that Jane wasn't allowed to be privy to. "I'd almost feel bad about coming to you in such a…" What's a delicate way to put this? "… sorry state," Perfect, "if this wasn't a matter of utmost importance. But it is, and so here I am, and you're probably not crazy, but just in case you are, you're going to need this."

His arm outstretches. Bringing that cup up just within Jane's reach.

"Iced mocha?"

He offers, with his most winning smile.

Of all the things Jane Foster expects of this strange, turned-upside-down world, it's not that when she tells herself some empty, meaningless, rhetorical comment —

— someone else answers.

It makes her stop, heart stuttering in her chest. That's not a whisper in her head. That's something else, something that pauses her inside her kitchen, makes her turn a full circle in sinking dread.

Jane glances over her shoulder, and there it all is, there someone is, there /he/ is, occupying time and space, making a seat in her apartment right at her side, making himself home in her personal space, and she does the only thing she can. She startles backward and shrieks, loudly, embarrassingly, fumbling with the empty coffee mug in her hands, almost dropping it before she clutches it close like something that would save her from drowning. Shock melts away into fear, and the woman freezes, every joint locking up in her body, going cold to all but the concussive thunder of her blood pounding in her ears.

Jane stares like she's gone crazy. Because she is, she's crazy, because there's a MAN in her house, someone she's never seen before, someone she doesn't know, and he's sitting on her kitchen counter, and he's talking to her, and he's IN HER APARTMENT, and just appeared. Perception is an incomplete process, and already her harried mind tries to dress the space between the seams, tell her he must have let himself in, must have broke in, but he didn't — he wasn't there, he WASN'T THERE, and he /appeared/. He's in her house. She's alone. No, no, now she's not. She's not alone at all.

Her mind spins far beyond her reach, and unable to get off this ride, the woman merely stands there and stares, her too-wide eyes blinking to try to catch up. Try to understand what the hell he's saying to her.

Some part of her realizes he's judging her apartment. Looking around and judging her life.

She can't even find her outrage. She's still too terrified. Terrified and thinking every worst thought she can. Men who appear out of nowhere, because this happened? This HAPPENED? Magician? Hydra? Something else? Where is her phone?

Her lips part but she can't speak, can't say a word among his long, lazy, almost-bored spiel. Jane just stands there, more than a little uselessly, her hands white-knuckled on the ceramic mug she forgets she still holds. She doesn't speak. Doesn't move. Doesn't do anything but — jerk a little, backward, when he proffers her —

— an iced mocha.

Jane eyes it incredulously, before her lips press together, courage summoned enough to stare him abruptly, furiously in the eye. "Who the hell are you?!" is her first demand. Followed by: "Get out of my house!"

Shriek does Jane, and the man looks at her with a blank-eyed stare as if it is -her- fault for making such an embarassing spectacle of herself. He makes no move to help or go for the coffee mug, only offering a thoughtful little, "Got that?" when she fumbles desperately for it. "Oh, good, I was worried for a second there." He doesn't sound particularly worried. He sounds particularly like he's trying to get a bad taste out of his mouth.

He's silent for a moment then, as those bright green eyes stare at her, as he watches her come to grip with her situation with a subtle sort of impatience. His shoulders roll in a quiet shrug and again, when the man speaks, it's to himself once more, in a conversation Jane is decidedly not a partner in and yet is unmistakably about her:

"I -really- don't see it."

And so, that iced mocha is offered up, and so, Jane jerks back as if he were offering her venom straight from the serpent's fang. The man tilts his head with a look of mild disapproval like he was the host here and she the rude guest, rebuffing his attempt at being warm and welcoming. That this isn't actually his home, that she has every right to be upset or confused, never seems to enter the equation — for all the world, he makes himself look like the slighted one.

"So that's a 'no' on the iced mocha then," he slowly surmises in lieu of addressing anything that she actually demanded. "That's fine. I guess everyone has a right to forego manners. But you're probably going to want it. You look like you're hanging on by a thread, Ms. Foster," maybe it's an innocent accident he got that wrong. He chooses not to dwell on it. Instead, he just carefully sets that cup of caffeinated beverage aside, right in grasping range of the poor, terrified, angry woman, uttering a little, "I'm just going to put that right… here," of an aside before looking back at her, even and with furrowed, almost confused brows.

"Now, which is it — do you want to know who I am, or do you want me to get out of your house?"

Fortunately, he decides only to wait just long enough to almost get a thought out before hopping off that counter and leaving that cup behind. Almost like he might leave. Maybe.

… or he might just wander over to her fridge to open it up and take a look inside.

"Well, to answer the second request: I'd like nothing more than to get out of your… house…" The curdle of his lips can just barely be caught before he leans in to rifle through the contents of her fridge, not necessarily looking for food — there's still that pervasive sense that he's judging it. Judging whatever she's keeping in there. Like a quiet and noxious sense of superiority.

"… but to my great misfortune, I can't quite do that yet. Which brings me around to your question." Who the hell are you?! The man lifts back up out of the fridge, addresses that question as if it were something more than a(n understandably) rude and (rightfully) angry demand by placing a hand to his chest and lowering himself in the most formal of bows.

"I am the son of Odin All-Father, brother of Thor Odinson…

"… Balder the Brave, my lady."

His voice is imperious and brooks absolutely no argument about the unquestionable truth of his identity. Which it most certainly is.

"And I've come looking for my brother."

He really doesn't see it.

Jane Foster has no idea what he means. Just Jane, simple, mortal Jane, tiny and ornamental and breakable in every way; Jane, dressed in jeans and a battered t-shirt with a faded picture of a tired, floppy Pushkeen; Jane, the sleepless-eyed mistress of a cagey little apartment that stands as pointless as her, taking up insignificant amounts of time and space and doing nothing, worth much less; Jane, looking halfway to some sort of mental spasm as she tries to deal with sudden, unfamiliar men materializing out of nowhere into her kitchen.

It's a definite no on the iced mocha.

She doesn't spare it a glance. The beverage is non-existent to her in a moment like this, something tertiary and extraneous, and even if she did expect it, she's in a paranoid sort of state to wonder about poisoning. But this man, suited and green-tied, occupies her eyes and all of her attention. Jane keeps her attention rivetted on him, as if aware possibly one wrong blink may lose him, have him disappear or dance out of sight, and take what faltering, little control she even /feels/ in this moment.

Her frown widens when he speaks her name to her. Knows her. Of course, she thinks. Why not. Her life is already insane enough. Her eyes follow his movement, locked on like a laser scope, as he wanders perilously close enough to set that iced mocha juuuuuust so, arranging it inside her reach, though she makes no move for it. Does not speak a word of it. She says nothing until his first question.

Which is it?

"Both!" Jane answers fiercely. Fierce enough, because she backpedals a half-step as he unfolds himself from the counter and stands, and Jesus Christ he's tall, making the rest of her apartment look miniature in comparison. She lingers in place, her mind already racing: phone is by her laptop? Left it on the coffee table. She might be able to reach it in time. Call James. Then call John. He'll call John. They'd know what to do, between the two of them. Know something about this, know what to do.

And then there's a creak of hinges, a sound that pulls her briefly back — and Jane, somehow, in the chaotic, tornado trajectory of her life, finds it all colescing to this single point. Some strange man is looking through her fridge. He is looking through her REFRIGERATOR. It's so ridiculous, so absurd, and at the same time — infuriating, because it's something private, a deeply personal bit of her life, and he's just helping herself —

"/Stop/ that!" She sets her mug down and forgets about fleeing, forgets about fear, as she enrages snap-quick enough to step forward, and with one hand, attempt to force the fridge door back shut.

He's over a foot taller than her. In such close space, Jane Foster has to crane her head back to look up, to be able to try to cut this strange, home-invading man with her scalpel-sharp frown. Her dark eyes tighten, though she radiates with transparent tension, still afraid, still uncertain, still dancing a knife's-edge decision on what to do. And then —

— going silent. Going absolutely still. And staring forward, eyes bland, as her home invader announces himself with a sweeping, royal bow and a grand flourish. He introduces himself as Balder the Brave. And he's come looking for his brother. He's come looking for /Thor/.

Jane stares for a full beat. That tiny, silly, shrinking mortal woman. Probably doesn't get it. Probably needs more time. Probably —

— is just too busy gritting her teeth in a snarl, and in one swift, sudden, /surprising/ strike, tries to slap him right across the face.

Simple, small, delicate Jane Foster. The way he looks at her must certainly be as such. Like she's nothing more than a decoration in her own apartment, or perhaps some particularly yappy house pet to be addressed when needed and otherwise ignored. The way he moves, way he acts, way he speaks, it is as if this space is now his simply by the merit of his being in it.

The casual and thoughtless arrogance of a god.

Which is why, for all her fury, he still seems more interested in the content of her refridgerator than he is in her. Like the contents therein could tell him all he needed to know about her. Which is exactly thus, as she slams that door shut and he turns that bland stare on her again:

"You need more food. You're obviously very frail. It's…"

The little scrunch of his face says all that he is clearly too polite to say out loud.

He is tall, he is towering, and in that moment he introduces himself, he carries all the haughty arrogance of someone who's been raised as royalty and who recognize it as their sovereign right to command. It brings with it a different sort of tension to the room.

One that is swiftly and decisively overpowered by her rage.

"And I'm already well aware of who you are, despite your insistence on not introducing yourself to a guest. So, now that all that ridiculousness is out of the way—"


This would be the sound of Jane's palm making contact with the man who calls himself Balder the Brave's face just before he can actually straighten out. The clapping impact resounds as Jane meets that immensely dense Asgardian flesh and bone just suddenly enough and just surprisingly enough to make his head snap to the right. He blinks. He pauses in the midst of straightening out. His left hand comes up to rub idly at his jaw with the slow and confused purse of his lips. And then, something dawns on him, amusement curling his lips upward at their corners even as he flatly observes:

"Oh. I see now. That's probably why."

As if whatever behind the scenes decision making he had been deliberating on had finally come to a revelatory conclusion.

And so Balder the Brave, as he has so named himself, straightens back up and stares at Jane for a long, quiet moment. "Right then," he decides roundly, with every intention of brushing her aside to make his way out of her kitchen and into her living room, hands shoving into his pockets as he looks around, sparing a thoroughly unimpressed look for a thoroughly unimpressive room.

"If that's out of your system now, Ms. Foster, we can get to things that are actually important," declares Brave Balder Odinson as he nudges his the well-shined toe of his shoe against her laptop inquisitively. "I'm not any happier to be here than you are to have me, but my brother's left me with little alternative." Truly. "He only came back to Midgard to complete mission of grave significance to Asgard and all the realms. Even this mortal plane."

"The All-Father expended a great deal of energy to bring him here, and already it's been too long since we've last heard from him. My father's patience is a short and spectacular thing when it's been tried." He sounds like he speaks from experience. "Given my brother's typical pattern of behavior in the many, many occasions he's found himself fleeing to Midgard, we assumed he just found himself being waylaid by trifles and…"

He looks back at her. Pointedly.

"… shallow distractions."

And so does he who calls himself Balder the Brave bravely court Jane's fury.

"So, if you've seen him, or know where he is, I'd humbly beg you the great service of telling me so we can finally finish what he actually came here to do and leave this… quaint place."

Maybe just a bit.

He sees now. That's probably why.

The words move through Jane Foster. She isn't listening. She isn't /caring/. She's only standing there, locked into place, every inch and once of her tiny, petite body rigid with fury. Her hand stings from the slap, but it may well be the best thing she's felt in /hours/, like all the fear and anger and helpless torment given shape and forged into form — made into something physical, something visceral, something bearable, a burn of violence against the nerves of her palm.

"To a guest?! To a GUEST?! Now you listen here, you absolute and COMPLETE asshole, Boromir the Brave or whatever-the-hell I could care LESS your name is," she snaps, vehemence stoked in every syllable of those words, "I frankly don't give a shit who you are, or where you come from, or WHOM you're related to, but there's nothing really BRAVE about breaking into someone's home and acting like a /bag of dicks/, and SERIOUSLY how dare you?! How dare you even — "

He brushes her aside. It doesn't take much to do so, not for a mortal man of his height and build, and certainly not for an Asgardian god.

Jane presses briefly back against her own kitchen counter, choked into wrathful outrage she can't even speak, fuming at this Balder's tall, turned back as he simply /walks away from her/ and into the living room of her apartment. Toward her /things/.

She angrily stalks after, her previous fear all by forgotten, at least overwhelmed by constant, incessant, persistent things enough to lose her temper over: the first of which is Jane, scrambling around the corner in time to witness Balder /toeing/ at her opened laptop. Putting his SHOE on it.

"STOP that!" she snaps again, dashing past him to grab her coveted little machine, snapping the lid down to hug it close to her chest. Jane frowns at him, glaring through her lashes, narrow-eyed. A thought comes, and she takes a half-strafe to put herself in between him and her work she's left piled in one corner of her strangely-clean apartment, an orderly mess of charts, papers, and half-dissected equipment, cobbled from the tools of an astronomer. She looks tiny and tenacious, and more than ready to protect it all from this interloper in her home.

It's with that, Balder the Brave announces the reason he's even here, and that after so much preamble, he's actually here on a scouting mission for Thor. For /Thor/. Even though her expression is hostile, uncharitable to say the least, Jane still listens, in a way forced to. Even forced to listen as he calls this, calls here — calls /her/ a shallow distraction.

Shock, fury, perhaps even a bit of hurt, transparently moves over her too-honest, too-expressive mortal face. Not even Jane knows why that particular slight stings the way it does.

"Oh, you humbly beg?" she answers, her voice too-thin, too-soft. "First off? For being some sort of omniscient god — which you aren't, you're an alien — you guys seem to lose each other rather easily. Seems to happen a lot. Kind of embarrassing really. Second of all, it's really none of your business. He's a grown man and he'll find you if he wants to. Third?"

Jane's eyes narrow. She looks him up and down, and finds him wanting. "You're really his brother? Because I don't see a resemblance."

"Balder," he reiterates, ever-so-calmly, ever-so-slowly, as if there was nothing more important in all the stoked anger of her tirade than the fact that she got her name wrong. "The Brave. Balder, the Brave. The All-Father himself gave me that title, for staring down the arrows of our greatest archers without so much as flinching when he ordered each one of them to fire upon me."

As if that's the only thing he even cared to pay attention to.

"Which means I'm certainly brave enough to deal with the unrighteous anger of a creature that amounts to little more than an eyeblink."

Nothing he says seems to care or consider the fact that Jane is becoming an increasingly smoldering, increasingly volatile tiny volcano of vastly outsized (completely understandable) rage. He doesn't even seem to recognize she's still there the second he turns his back on her to start prodding away at her laptop with a steadily growing frown. He looks as if prepared to bend down at the waist to peer at whatever contents that silly little thing might have on its screen, mere seconds before she filches it from his sight. Vividly green eyes squint. A brief frown settles across his lips. "You're a very strange woman. Are you normally this defensive about your messes? Or does this junk just have sentimental value?" His eyes sweep around all those dessicated tools and charts with one judgmental brow raised. "I believe you mortals call people like that… 'hoarders'?" And just like that —

"Oh, well."

— he just shrugs it all off.

It's not nearly as important as the rolling glimpses of a multitude of emotions that run past Jane's features. Surprise, anger — pain. The look of a person slighted. Balder the Brave, as he is so called, knows that look well. It doesn't at least seem to cause slightest hitch in his expression as he carries on. No. That doesn't.

'You're really his brother?'

That does.

He pauses. He finally looks at her. He finally turns to face her. He steps forward slowly, slowly enough that his shoes creek with the weight of him on Jane's poor, untidy floors. Towering over her, the man lifts a hand to place it on her shoulder.

That grip is strong. Too strong. Perhaps it's meant to be a reassuring one, as he speaks again, as if to assuage her from what is clearly her own worries, her own paranoia, her own confusion.

"I can guarantee you, royal blood flows through my veins just as much as his."

But it's still a very heavy hand that rests there. A very heavy hand that could powder bone with the slightest squeeze.

… and then just like that it will slip away as if it had never been, after a few, lingering moments of quiet tension. "If it comforts you to believe we're nothing more than aliens, Ms. Foster, then by all means. It's a very cute notion." It slips away…

… so that the man called Balder, who is quite Brave, can bravely start walking away.

"As for the rest, I'm sure he will. I simply thought you might leave him a message, since you seem to be his new, fleeting mortal interest. What does he call them? 'Wenches,' I believe? Sadly, I think it's simply too hard for him to care to remember all their names as the time passes."

Walk away, while digging a barb. So he can plant a little seed in the fertile soil of her curious and fuming mind.

"Should you see him, my… lady… please inform him that his brother is looking for him, would you? About the reconstruction of the Bifrost."

This would probably be when it would be dramatically appropriate for him to walk out the door.

Except he's not, quite, doing that.

He's just leisurely, bravely strolling his way to her bedroom. To open the door and shut it behind him.

"I'd be -deeply- appreciative." Slam.

The laptop lid closes angrily, adamantly on half-written programming code — a script Jane Foster is writing to input millions of celestial coordinates.

A single woman trying to make a highway map out of the heavens, solving for the unseen, undetected, and unknown curvatures in spacetime she knows are real, knows exist, knows are paved in billion-year straits all around this world. This world to other worlds. This universe to other universes. A matter of finding. A matter of seeing. A matter of uncovering their overgrown, dusty roads, and trusting them to take her —

— straight in the path of this intruder in her apartment, tall and lean and dangerous and not human. Jane glares up at 'Balder the Brave', laptop hugged protectively to her chest, her widened stance bringing herself in a defensive last stand to keep him away from her work. The words he turns on her — barbs in themselves — hit their mark. And it hurts, hurts in a way, because it seems to just in one sentence undermind her entire encounter with Thor. How it changed the entire trajectory of his life. How it changed hers — made her a believer. Made her revolutionize her work. Made her streamline a thousand daydreamy thoughts and calcify them into a goal — a future.

Of course, her passion may have lapsed a little, and she hasn't looked up at the stars once since her recent freedom out of captivity… but Jane… she'll still try to protect it.

She's so tiny, and yet in this moment steeled in place, not so much as hitching a step backward when the Asgardian moves for her. Her words hit something, some bullseye she neither notices nor particularly cares — but Jane won't give "Balder" the satisfaction of seeing her cower. She's tired of feeling afraid. She can't even leave her apartment these days without the anxiety, so it's all she can do for her fractured pride to at least have some courage /in her own home/.

He weighs his hand down on her shoulder, and her eyes narrow, but Jane does not move. She's aware, keenly, the fact like a hanging guillotine, how strong Asgardians are. How casually, even boredly, he could turn his hand and… break her. Break her neck. Pop her head straight off. She tenses, but doesn't take her eyes away. Is Jane afraid? Absolutely. Does she possess some deathwish? Absolutely not.

He talks of royal blood in his veins. Her mouth twitches as anger stirs. She wants to say something to that. She needs to. Even as sensibility urges her to take care, hold her tongue, remember danger —

Jane Foster sometimes can't stop herself. "It's not Thor's blood that makes him a prince."

But he lets her go. She vents out the breath she didn't realize she was holding. She loosens her hands that were white-knuckling her laptop. And with sharp, watchful, reproachful eyes, maps the way the Asgardian shrugs off the moment like yesterday's robes and goes on to compare her memory and role in Thor's life — the reclamation of his worthiness — as something… something /coarse/.

"Did you /seriously/ call me a /wench?!/" she blusters after him, sputtering, the first time in her life she's ever been /called/ that word. "That's real godly of you. Real royal! You move between realms, you barge into someone's house, and for what, to call them a slut?! Who /does/ that?! You're just — just an overgrown baby, and you're having a fit, because what? You can't find your brother? Who, count me surprised, is somehow /avoiding you/. I'm not his 'interest'. I'm his friend! And if he has you for family, I can see why he needs some! If I'm going to inform him of ANYTHING, it's to put his boot right up your — bifrost?"

He turns away with the patience of immortals. And walks away. Walks away into —


Jane makes the most feeble, frustrated of sounds. Then she hurriedly sets down her laptop, and scrambles to grab her phone instead. What does she —

She touchscreens a text to 'James':

'Someone in here'
'As garbage'

Autocorrect hasn't learned 'Asgardian' yet.

She should make it out the door while she has a chance. Get /out/ because there's some unknown variable here, alien and dangerous and a total asshole and — in her BEDROOM.

Jane grits her teeth. She moves furiously after, because she's NOT going to be scared out of her HOME, and reaches for the door handle to try to force it open.

A path to all places, all universes, all worlds and tales both told and untold, connected by a tree whose branches and roots weave the space between worlds. Now wouldn't that be a thing to discover? A thing to witness?

And so does 'Balder the Brave' quite carefully weave his words. Tenderly till a field of anger with oafish cruelty to hide a seed of curiosity in the soil. Confusion and rage, after all, make the best cloaks to obscure one's intentions in. He should know. And, well.

Let it not be said that the man who calls himself Asgard's Most Brave Balder is not sometimes petty and vindictive.

On some, rare occasions.

And so he walks, his hands tucked into the pockets of his pants as that subtle threat is discarded as quickly as it is conjured. As quickly as her words forgotten. He only pauses, briefly, at Jane Foster's insistence. It's not Thor's blood that makes him a prince.

A sentiment answered with a snort filled with such derision as only Balder the Brave could have the courage to muster.

"Rage as you wish. I've much more important things to be tending to than the bewildered bombast of an ungrateful mortal with lackluster listening skills," is the lean man's most gracious words as he makes his way towards that bedroom with really only one purpose in mind. 'If I'm going to inform him of ANYTHING, it's to put his boot right up your — bifrost?'

The smile that briefly knifes its way across his lips as he opens the door to that bedroom and slips inside is many things.

But it is most certainly not the ever-bold smile of Balder the Brave.

"You may believe yourself to be what you will to Thor, Ms. Foster," that voice comes, aloof and ever-pretentious from the other end of the door as Jane types. Asgardians certainly know how to project. They also, it seems, know how to make the sound of furniture being moved and drawers and closets being opened disastrously audible to the mortal ear when they are rummaging through things they should not be. "All that concerns me is the reason why Thor has come to this world, and it is certainly not to address and path out the terms of your relationship, transitory as it shall be. You are a finger snap, Ms. Foster. Enjoyed and appreciated when properly timed, at its best, and always to be forgotten when its brief existence is finished. Restoring the path to the realms weighs more heavily to me than the injustices of the fleeting fire of your life."

Certainly, to Balder the Brave, duty reigns above all things.

-He- happens to hold both in equal terms right now, however. Which is why he can't help himself.

"And I assure you, if my brother knew I sought him out, I would be the last person he would avoid." He can't.

"Such is the strength of our brotherly bond."

He really can't.

The sound of the Balder, God of Purity, rifling through helpfully punctuates her angry message about 'As garbage's. She reaches for the door. She yanks it open. Just in time to see Balder the Brave calmly stepping inside whatever amounts to her closet, and disappearing within.

"For the sake of the Nine Realms, Ms. Foster, if you see my brother, tell him I am looking for him. And then we shall never darken your… homey doorstep again. … This is all -vastly- disappointing…"

That judgment, again, pervades, like the fiercest of fashion critics. But if Jane should be as brave as the one who currently claims himself to be Asgard's bravest and look inside—

—the man is gone. Like he was never even there.

Aside from all the opened drawers, and a fleeting voice.

"And for the sake of yourself, you should consider diversifying your wardrobe."

Perhaps Balder the Brave wouldn't care about fashion. But that's fine. She's already angry enough with him already.

And that's what really matters.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License