Roots, Bloody Roots

June 01, 2017:

Mattias returns from over a month of travels to Xavier's, and gets a goodbye from Storm as well as a few parting words.

Xavier's Institute

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Amora

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Amora of Asgard has left the plane of Midgard.
 
Annika and Olivia Larsson have been marked by the sorceress, kept under watchful power for a final day with their son before one first class ticket arrives for Mattias for his return to the new world. This time, the goodbye at the airport isn’t out of bitter fear and hope, but one of love, of fond goodbye and well-wishes. Mattias, Son of Lars, leaves the land of his birth knowing who he is, and his parents, who will always fear for him, leave him fearing less for him, knowing what he’s become.
 
The journey continues.
 
Midgard, Mattias learns quickly, is different under new eyes. He is Asgardian. He is a Ber-sekir. The differences in Midgard return to him quickly. Weeks, if not months, spent in another realm had been spent with laser-beam focus on his new sense of being, and returning to walking amongst Midgardians is like cold water in the face. He cannot go bare-chested, a Ber-sekir, through the airport in Gothenburg. He finds an old King Diamond shirt that clings to his chest, though old and faded. He is without his precious leather jacket, which remains behind in Asgard in Amora’s keep, waiting for his return.
 
    The old leather jacket doesn’t fit.
        He doesn’t need it for warmth, anyway.
 
The flight back to New York, all nine hours of it, are a new experience as well. Long ago, he’d feared flying, or at least the lack of control of it, but even with booted feet and bear-hide bracer, reclined in leather with free drinks and in-flight movies, the fear dissipates. Many of the nine hours are spent looking outside of the window, over the clouds. So strange a new viewpoint, looking through a vehicle to the clouds when just days ago he’d transported through the realms under the power of magic itself.
 
It all looks like glass.
 
It is then that, truly, Mattias realizes how much the last month had changed him.
 
There is no pensive worry about terror, mid-flight.
    There is no bag to be picked up from the carousel.
        There is only a tired fingering of the emerald that dangles about his neck, in interval.
 
Nine hours and seventy minutes later, Mattias leans his head against the frame of the taxicab to peer through the trees at the first signs of the Xavier Academy. The sun, nearly set, blankets the west side of the building in orange rays, the east, in shadow. When the cab is left behind and he steps through the gates without a bag, a backpack, or any signs of his travels save for those he’s killed and strapped to his body, he walks the long drive alone.
 
Each step is meditative. The crunch of rocks under his feet were purposely placed there. The trees: potted on purpose. The mansion itself is a keep, though not as alien and hewn through magic into a castle atmosphere, but to those of Midgard, it is a castle that claims the countryside.
 
Past the front door.
    Up the stairs.
        Quietly, Mattias avoids the other students for the long hallway that leads to his room.
 When the door is opened, he stands within, stuck in the threshold, to a room he once-remembers being empty and lacking signs of his passing. With hand upon the door and another on the frame, he looks over the posters, the walls, the work he’d put into unpacking and claiming the space as his own. Then, he’d questioned home as a concept, whether he’d need to unpack for another, and…he was right. He’d known then that he was different, and had since learned the truth.
 
    His school laptop was still on the desk.
        Homework, unfinished.
            He’d not yet finished high school and he was now legally able to drink in the Americas.
 
Leaving the door cracked, Mattias steps inside and rounds his large bed. The school logo on the comforter rumples as he sits upon it and reaches out to a chest of drawers, pulling it open to find his things. Jeans. Shirts. The slick material of his boxer-briefs folded neatly gets a laugh out of him.
 
    Yes, he’d missed those. The pair he wore the night he went to Asgard didn’t fare long.
 
“I missed you, though, old friend.” Mattias picks up an electronic device with cords dangling from it. With a sigh, he plugs the headphones into his ears and turns the music on, then flops back onto his bed, staring at the ceiling, as King Diamond’s ‘Puppet Master’ album wails into his ears.
 
He is home. Another home. Yet not.
 

 
Storm was in her room, the windows tall enough to stand a shorter body within are open, airing out the space she occupies on her stays here. Once more becoming emptied as she packs.
 
The final dresser drawer is closed and the leather is traced by fingers before it is tucked into the small suit case, looking from the bag along the stretch of massive four poster bed, the semi-sheer drapery looped and falling around it like vines, silver and black in twine along mahogany bracing.
    The fabric shifts, sweeps, a breeze that even draws a part of that long mohawk over bare shoulder, a shorter edge to tease at the ridge of her cheek.
        Alabaster upon nubian.
 
Her head lifts then as a sound carries upon the wind and heralds Mattias’ return, but keeping back from windows open view, her arms fold across corseted chest while those pale blue eyes follow without movement of head until he entered the school and makes way to his room -
                A room over a month ago she told him to stay in. Be welcome to a home.
                    What had he found that kept him from it?
                        Changed his //silhouette
.
 
Ororo gave him time, she zipped her bag closed over her belongings, looking around with a brief touch to the mahogany pillar at her side before she is leaving her room and heading down the halls towards the wing where the students reside and he had taken up residence.
 
A pause before his door and she knocks lightly.
        No response.
            What a magical mystery feeling
Dancing at the end of their silvery strings..

Storm opens the door then and steps within, leaving it open wide enough to cast the square of light from the hall into his room, another polite tell of presence that comes bidden with a chilled breeze from behind her to bask across his laid out form.
 
There she will remain, leaned upon the wall just before the opened door, watching him carefully, exploring this change that is visible, at least to her.
 

 
If Mattias only knew how important the lyrics were to his life. Puppets on strings. Yet, he could never be a puppet, he was a //Ber-sekir
now. Instead, to Mattias, the song is an old album he’d spent days of his life listening to, an anchor to Midgard that he holds dear, one that has his foot tapping against his headboard and his fingers drumming upon his chest until light from the hall creeps over them.
 
Mattias turns his head, eyes lifting to the nubian skin, a shadow framed by golden light from the hallway. The shadow of her body covers his face, darkening his eyes despite their widening at her presence. It wasn’t so long ago when they’d first met that his eyes were so customary, but now, Mattias looks to her face, then down to her toes, before he pulls those earbuds from his ear.
 
“Storm? Hvor lenge har du vært der?” Mattias asks at first.
 
He catches it, quickly, shaking his head in his press against his mattress to rise and sit before her, hands pressed to the mattress at his side. He tilts his chin upwards. Boots creak against floorboards as he rises, presenting himself to her.
 
“I meant, how long have you been there?” Mattias asks without a smile, one brow cocked curious in his study of her face. “It’s been a long time since I last saw you. Where have you been?”
 

 
He took note. Storm knows he saw her look with that realization within his eyes…
    ..Eyes that have changed.
        Right there with his //words
, that ring forth in a foreign language.
 
A slow tilt of her head and that spindle of mismatched and mohawked layers fall over exposed shoulder to arch and spiderweb in a cling that is futile, but easily defeated when Mattias acknowledges and sits upright.
 
Pushing from the wall, booted feet carry the woman forward and closer - but not too close. It is evident, Storm knows something in him has changed and she is walking is chamber with a silent stride fitting a predator. It’s the words that change the tempo, the way they are spoken in a light, in a truth - Matched with the gaze of a cerulean blue that only bears a worry, a tenderness, but a firm remand should it be necessary.
 
“I have been here, it is you that has been gone, Mattias Larsson.” A press of fingers to exposed plexus, and then that small splay is extended towards him. “Things have changed. People have changed.”
   
There is a few heartbeats that pass as she stops at the foot of his bed, her eyes moving along the threaded electronic line of his headset, to the upper greave of bear fur and then where they hooked into his ears. His face.
 
        “The world has changed and in the passing month or more - So have you.”
 
A stroke of fingertips along the baseboard and Storm presses on to opposing side, leaving his back to her if he does not turn. But all he will find, is her settling to sit just behind him. No longer looking at him, no further assessment. Just company for that moment.
 
“Have you at least found happiness?” The question spoken after that long pause, one that has her looking back over her shoulder towards him, but not at him.  “You are okay?”
 
And there it was, that worry that comes with family and a belonging, but from Storm’s lips…
    A pledge.
 

 
Mattias’ blue eyes meet Ororo’s. He stares at hers in her pointing that he has been gone, not her, though his posture doesn’t tighten, there is no //wall
. He’s learned to stand differently, with tall back and broad shoulders, no longer so afraid of damaging the room he chooses to place himself in. His eyebrow remains his sole point of expression, lifting with his chin at her approach, curious, ears perched and ready, though for all of his willingness to communicate comes a network of lines written beneath his skin.
    New rules.
        New laws.
 
His eyes trail her as she passes his side, watching until he cannot any further. He pulls the final earbud from his ear and leaves the media device bouncing in the bed next to her as he stands to absorb her words. His shoulders roll just a little, not at the forming line of tension, but at the density that has filled the room.
 
This isn’t just meeting once more; it is presentation.
 
The youth in Mattias that has yet to reach its first century and outlive his peers holds his gaze to the floor where Ororo once was, and thus, when she turns around to look his way, she finds his head cocked, angled, waiting for her, though she’s just outside of his peripheral vision.
 
“I have more answers.” Mattias answers, yet doesn’t, in his turn away from his door. Three steps to his right and he lowers into his desk chair. With a press of boot, he sends it wheeling closer to where she can see him, his arms balanced on the armrests.
 
What can anyone say?
    Moving chairs are in this season at the Xavier house.
 
“I haven’t had the time to really think about happiness, but I’ve had moments of it over the last four weeks.” Mattias adds, mindlessly brushing a thumb over an emerald that hangs around his neck. “But it’s…not about happiness or being okay anymore. It’s just about being.”
 
Mattias drops the trio of pendants, one hammer, one tooth, one emerald, back down to his chest.
 
“What I have now is control over myself,” Mattias admits with a furrow of brow and a nod her way. “With that, I don’t need to worry about it. My happy moments will find me, here and there.”
 
//

 
Storm is long silent then, from looking at Mattias to out the window that basks moonlight into his room. Remaining seated she rocks forward, elbows upon knees, hands pressed as if in prayer before her, but the peak of the joined limbs is pressed into lips, shadowing them with the light indent caused.
 
He rises, she feels the weight lift from the shared seating, so he could face her.
    Predator to predator.
        Smiles protect things here.
 
 
“Do your answers make you at ease?” Spine stretched in her lean the leather corsetry that captures the Nubian torso bears unknown language and designs down the spine in a stretch like filigrees around the span of ribcage that draws out from the slender bend of waist.
 
Not one look back, even as he moves like he does, until he finally reseats with more distance between them. A subtle roll of shoulders and Storm is pressing upright with the slow slide of hands from her facade. “Because you seem more like a predator, now. More found, less lost.”
 
The silhouette of her profile now shows as she looks back towards Mattias in his rolling seat. “In being, you will find you happiness and moments. They always come and go Mattias, some stay - some do not.”
 
A push to rise then, the moan of leather comes just after the tenor of Kenyan accent. “Just know, with a division of self, comes a division of duty. Never lose your family and personal truth.” A tilt of her head then as she turns to face him, keeping space between them, moving closer to the window just to stare at the sky and gain a ‘full view’. “Once you do, it is where loss and darkness is let in.”
 
Storms voice had lowered then, half her face aglow in the sliver of moonlight allowed through, the other dark, but somewhere in that shadow the flash of eyes can be seen still upon him.  “I am leaving to return to my duties in Africa to my people, Mists touched them too, and now that this home is settling and Scott is ready, I must go.”
 
Those azure eyes fall upon the necklace Mattias thumbs over, then his brace, a small smile curling her lips, but what draws it down is that cast of shadow. It resembles a tension - internal turmoil.
        War.
 
“You need to seek him out, and I will leave him word on your behalf,” A rock forward to leave that lean and bring her to a full stance, the one she was known for as a leader, as a Goddess…
        … A Storm.
 
 
“Even in duty, you can be happy, Mattias.”
 

 
“You’re leaving?”
 
The words escape Mattias, unexpected. His brows tip together and his arms fold across his lap, repeating the obvious request for clarification //despite
the fact that she’d just said that she was, in fact, leaving. Unexpected, it is, or so Mattias’ face betrays. His face scrunches on one side.
 
Africa.
    Africa is far away.
 
“Storm.” Mattias rises from his seat, which squeaks when released from his weight. His heavy boots tap the wooden floor as distance is kept, but he takes a stance near the door, to be the last thing she crosses before leaving his room. There, he presses his hands to his belt and waits for her.
 
“I’ll stop speaking in riddles. I can’t do it forever.” Mat snorts, head shaking in some manner of sarcasm. “I understand the need to be there for your people. You’ve got people. I’ve got people, and we’ve both got a whole other set of people here, in America.” Mattias pauses, frowning her way. “I might understand you a bit more than I did months ago, and I’ll write to you. I’m…forged differently now. I’m not so concerned about where my home is as I am that I’m getting the chance to stand for it.” Mattias adds, once more, a tiny tick of a shaking head.
 
Mattias drums his fingertips against his belt buckle, eyes falling to Storm’s shoulder above the line of her corsetry, caught in a moment’s thought that he cannot escape. When he swallows, his head shifts, and a few strands of blonde hair fall over his ear and against his jaw.
 
“I’ve got a long time to figure out what I want, Storm.”
 
Mattias lifts his head, eyes to her face, resolution reigning in there and sent, in offer to her.
 
“I don’t know if I’m going to be happy, but at least I know the places I belong, now. I’ve got an Africa of my own, and I’m building out in the world. So…” Mattias steps forward and outstretches his arms to Storm. “…will you accept that, happiness or not, I know that I’m on the right track, even if it took being hit with a hammer a few dozen times to understand better who I am? I wear my skin as my own now, the bear I’ve become. It just took some eye opening to understand whose skin I was wearing.”
 
Mattias smirks softly.
 
“I know who Mattias is far more, now, than I did then.” He admits. “But there is more to be done. Scott? This place? I will be here for them, but…expect to hear that I have places I need to go to, sometimes.”
 

 
“Kenya.” A pause and her lips curl into a smile, small and wistful, but even as she does such, Storm is looking out the window that casts those slivers of silver lighting to accent the fall of alabaster mohawk and glint off the metal studs and loops that rise in tiny eyelets along corsetry and accent attire.
 
Looking to Mattias her smile lightens moreso, looking to the table his bag had rested on, unpacked the day after his arrival while he was so unsure, so unknowing, and would not stand between her and the door..
    But now, things have changed. He has changed.
        His shoulders are more broad, more straight, more //sure
.
            His eyes have a different light, a hardened set.
                    Tired as well.
 
So many meanings in that one silhouette he came bearing that changed the very shadow he casts over the door, his necklace even given a moment of lingering in passing to rest back on his face. “Write. Visit if you desire. But there, I am not the same woman I am here. Not to my people in Africa.”
 
Stepping forward now, closing the gap, Storm extends a hand, pausing, to bring it down upon his shoulder in an embrace that says everything from the light clutch of fingers to the slight tilt of her head and the slow smile. “We do not have to have one home, Mattias. Nor one people. Just as we are one person, but each part of us that belongs to one or the next is only the clothing, the accents, the exterior costume. Beneath it all,” A draw of hand from him to fall to her side.
 
“The same heart beats. Happiness comes in so many different forms, Mattias. Sadness, rage, pain… You just need to focus on why you endure it all.” Her focus on him is unwavering, the way her jaw is set is already showing the skin she wears the minute she leaves these doors and heads for the airport.
 
“It makes me happy to see you as such, and to hear you will still remain to help them. They will you as well.” A light step to the side set leather to moan in the painting it holds place in over her Nubian figure, pausing just beside him to lift her gaze up and away, the calm in the room and the climate saying enough about how she is keeping herself right now.
        No one is good at goodbyes.
 
“Do you have any question, or anything you need before I go, my friend?”
 

 
Ororo Munroe has a //way
about her.
 
The bold lines hammered into Mattias are true and real. He has changed, though under her gaze he is reminded of older, stronger things, such as Amora of Asgard. Mattias isn’t so strong yet to entirely weather such a stare, but he does, holding it until the little tells form along his eyes and the strain shows. His cheek flexes above the line of his jaw. His eyelid twitches. The fold of his arms tightens quietly in her approach, holding not to his nerves but to the stature he’s selected for himself.
 
She’s a danger to his position of strength, with eyes that see too much and the one topic Mattias has sought to avoid in every second he’s spent with Amora.
    Happiness.
        This isn’t about happiness, this is about purpose.
            Yet…he wants happiness, too.
 
Mattias is the first to look away. His eyes turn down, guarding the way his teeth mesh a little more than necessary against each other behind his closed lips. His eyes sweep down to her side, watching the leather turn against black skin, a casual distraction for the slow nodding of his head as he listens, which, he does. Storm doesn’t require a dozen conversations with Mattias to know when she’s got the whole of his attention. Mattias is prone to looking within, and her insight seems to kick him into doing so.
 
“Knowing you’re capable of enduring it all is a place to start, as any.” Mattias finds his words, looking up to Ororo in her passing away from him. His eyes lack the need for validation with his words. He’s said what he wishes to, so much is apparent in the way he resumes his search for eye contact. “There’s a greater weight of responsibility now, for who I am, for what I can be. Weeks ago I was a child unsure of where his place in the world was meant to be, but now? Now I know what I am, what I’m capable of, but I have no wish to lose who I am in the search of what I’m meant to be.” Mattias wets his lips and turns with her, his body perpendicular to her sideways stance.
 
“It’s not strange for men, like me, to want to conquer, even if the thing they need to conquer is themselves or some mountain, just to know that they can.” Mattias reaches out for her shoulder, this time, squeezing it softly. “I won’t forget you, or the friends I’ve made here. I can promise that.”
 
And then…Mattias slows. His fingers curl at her shoulder in a squeeze one last time, and then his hand retreats from her.
 
“Leave me a way to reach you before you go.” Mattias smirks. “A hug, then, and then I’ll let you go and wish you well.”
 

 
 
Storm pauses beside Mattias in that perpendicular posturing between them.
    One not wishing to falter…
        One not wishing to /show/ falter.
 
 
From periphery, Storm watches as Mattias’ mind boils - his features roil, and he still speaks.
Still looks upon her with a brazenness..
 
 
How long ago was it that Storm had come upon his room after his greeting by Cyclops? That night?
    //The gate is opening,
        Hands finally clasp.
            A welcome in formality and truth..

 
 
But to stay?
 
 
    I’m finally at peace,
            But it feels wrong…

 
Storm would have up-ended his pack had she been less restrained. Mattias belongs here. The lost belong here.
 
    There’s nothing that I take back..
But it’s hard to say there’s nothing I regret.

       
 
A look is cast from him to his stand where an empty pack is folded beside it now instead of on top, a lowering of posture to grip a loose handle and finally give it a flp as she rises to full stance and into the clasp of his reciprocated grip upon shoulder, speaking in a manner that fully stills the woman. Not even a strand of alabaster shifts over darkened marble skin. A plane his hand rests upon and dares to curl fingers into.
 
Beneath his grip,  he finds pliance. So very ‘human’ in comparison to the granite that holds her features, aside from those eyes where in the depths a tempest all it’s own is harbored. Somewhere surrounding abyssal eye of that storm is a hue that softens in a flicker of light.
 
 
        I’m already there…
            I’m already there….

   
    Amora…
        Storm…
           
 
“But you are happy in your pursuit. You  have peace, even if just a semblance, Mattias.” He does not have to finish his askance for a hug, Storm draws him in and holds-fast even as the up-ended bag spills forth the slight show of a handle of wood and the long draws of shadowed engraving hidden between stand and beneath the folds of his bag.
 
“Weeks ago you were a youth seeking a place you will always have a hold no matter who or what  you are.” A slow draw back from him and lips press to his temple.
 
“Welcomed then, and now.”
 
Storm will leave him a map and a way to get to the village in Kenya, as he asked for. Because even if she is not -here-,
        A part of her always is.
 
 

 
For the now.//
 
Mattias doesn’t say it, but the thought crosses his mind during his embrace with Storm. His own cheek twists, matching her kiss to his temple with a press of lips to her cheek. His bear-hardened arms wrap around her ribcage and he leans into the squeeze, pressing in as tightly as she does, a hug for saying goodbye that lingers with a locking of fingers. They’re both so tall, neither has to lift a chin.
 
The silent moment comes and goes, and with no other imperfect words to be shed, Mattias is left in silence, in his room, with a map in his hands and his mind straying to the thousands of roads that he can take in the thousands of years he will surely live past the time when most of Xavier’s brood have long become dust.
 
He’s made a choice.
    That choice is to remain, but to know the temporary state of things.
        In this, Amora has found victory on Mattias Larsson.

“I really have changed, haven’t I?” Mattias asks the room at large, idly thumbing the emerald dangling from his neck when his thoughts stray to Amora, which they often do. “There was a time when I was ready to make this my home for the years to come, but now…I’m not sure if it’s the right place.” Mattias adds, unsure as if Amora would hear, or if she watches, but the words every bit as much for her as him.
 
Mattias shakes his blonde hair and his head clear, and turns for the door. He reaches out for it and with a press of his fingers, the door squeaks closed and latches. Alone now, he turns for his pack, where he’d seen a flash of wooden handled grip he’d not noticed before. Like pulling out a gun or any other secret item not meant for outside eyes, privacy is necessary, and the time for privacy has come.
 
Mattias lifts the pack onto his desk and reaches in for the handle, pulling it free.
 

 

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