Finding The Roots Pt. 1

June 01, 2017:

Enchantress sends Mattias back to Midgard to solve a riddle and find pieces of… To be determined. ( A scene that took place following http://cmbeta.wikidot.com/log:6138 )

Gothenberg, Sweden & Asgard

In RP

Characters

NPCs: Annika and Olivia Larson (Matti's mothers)

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Hours…
    Days..
        Midgardian weeks… Perhaps..

Time is different here. Blood has been spilt, runs like rivers as the Be(a)r is stripped of its skin, bones withdrawn from tooth to fang…
    That which was embedded in Mattias’ shoulder that Amora withdrew…
        Watching him peel skin from meat, a leg is cast over the arm of a chair, the splits in fabric of a deep green leave appendage bare, from the flex of thigh to the press of calf, the lightly strapped sandals criss-cross up appendage like vines to the contours of thigh, the flat of sole giving way to the curling arch of bare foot strapped within.
            That carnivorous hook wrapped in a twine of a string of metal, heated by the cast of fingers that glow red in the emanation and bind it, but it does not go onto a singular chain, the Hammer that was gifted to him now has an addition to the chain, and the entirety reinforced.

An outfit shattered, unstrung and pulled apart beneath his hands in their own beastial rage and claim, bore teardrops of emeralds, now coated in the same droplets of vitae, one of which hovering just above index finger, dancing in a slow spin as if in a tumbler, the rotation polishing the stones surface with the mix of visceral essences in combine.
        Blood is binding…
            Mistakes(?) have been made…
                No regrets. At. All.

    Cuz I fuck with myself,
            More than anybody else.

Splits in seams rise to just beneath the rise and fall of plexus in breathes, but once one rite is done, another is to begin.

“The fur,” Stated as she uses her other hand to hold his laden wallet and chain aloft over her… That tuft disappears, but a shift of reposed posture and she moves to him and that clutch of massive hide he has gathered is stroked through, and a quick motion a piece is severed and put in re-place. “You have gathered One.”

Enchantress knows this now as that pendulum sways on the laden end of chain and one of three is replaced.

“The root. You must find where it belongs, where the very essence is burrowed.” Amora speaks in riddles then, much akin to that of Loki, but not coming from the Trickster’s lips, though she knows the spin of thread well enough.
        Is it a trip “home”? In Midgard?
            A return to the Hall?
                    … To the Club?
                            .. To Xavier’s?

“Just do not eat the berry, nothing good comes of it.”
                ”What. Are. You. Doing. Enchantress?”
                            What no one else should.(Would).

                ”Do not play..”
                        ”It is what I do best.”
                                “It is…!”
                                    ”He… is..!”

“The gem will call upon me, and vice versa.” A pause as it is lowered upon fingertip with a bow of her body to bring it before his eyes, balanced before the backdrop of paled Jade gaze, that hangs in parallel to his own azure. “Until you can present before Heimdall, your passage is tethered.”  

With no clothes to speak of and having long lost the rise and fall of the sun, Mattias has lost the dates upon his mental calendar. Asgard is different, this he knows, though he has not asked once how many days pass on Midgard in a single day within the realm he has lived for long hours now. Not a syllable passes his lips in concern, and in the moments where concerned began to well, his attention has been directed elsewhere.

Naked for longer than he's been since childhood, his shoulders arch and flex above the gore-lined, pink carcass of a bear the size of a small truck. The longer Mattias takes to saw skin from fatty muscle, the more his own skin breathes and heals, binding superficial cuts into unblemished skin. The blackened outline of a pair of claw rakes upon his chest, and the puncture wounds from teeth upon his shoulder, will forever remain. His smooth skin has been improved with signs of tales he may one day tell, each written upon his muscle high above the stream of blood from the bear that has been his project for hours? Days?

Blood runs down into a drain.
Claw is separated from paw.
The head of the bear removed, scoured clean.
It is brutal, but necessary.

Bones and teeth have been gathered into a large bowl. Cuts of hide have been hung, painted with noxious chemicals that drip into the drain, stinging the sinuses. Already, his work is taking shape, but one such wrap of bear’s fur has been tied with cord about his wrist in a bracer, where two long claws from the beast lines the sides in connecting clasps.

Her voice brings about the pull of the last strip of hide from the bear. The ritual, now completed, separates enough of his attention to lift his eyes to her. In silence. His chin and jawline lift, reflecting a growth of long stubble from days spent without razor. The jolt of his neck sends his pendants swaying, much like her emerald drop of tear, stained with blood. The hammer, silver and stained with kraken blood, is hidden behind the wire-wrapped tooth.

Does Mjolnir live closer to his heart?
Or is it the tooth he wants to be seen first?

Reflected in the emerald held before his eyes is the remnant of firelight and shadow, pale bodies writhing, recent memory of a state that may one day be repeated, but could never be truly undone from history. The ber has survived the night. The blood on the jewel calls to his senses, flaring his nostrils despite the tanning chemicals.

One step closer to his bloodright.
Midgard wanes.
Asgard waxes.

“I'm not presenting myself to Heimdall naked,” Mattias rises from his kneel, bringing the sharpened elk horn blades with him. With a sniff, he brushes his forearm across his lips, fingers stained with gore, and plunges his fists into a once-clear bowl of water, now pink. He washes his hands, then grips a cloth to dry them.

“Where are my old clothes…?” Old. It flows off of his lips almost naturally as he reaches for the jewel. He's done the simple math on her riddle. He will travel Bifrost soon. His fingers wrap about the jewel, cradling the cord around his fingers, though his grasp continues further for the chain of his wallet. More than a mere accessory, it is a part of his identity, an identity stronger than mere Midgard, though less than Asgard.

Mattias pins his blue eyes against her pale green, lip tugging in a mote of arrogance, power drawn up from within.

“Not that in this quest I'm above making an impression, Amora of Asgard, but Mattias the Naked Wanderer is not a title I'd allow.”

His eyes narrow to slits with the wry humor, refusing to truly smile.
His quest is more important than her, than himself.
His eyes betray what he would miss of her keep, of her.
He speaks nothing of it.

Enchantress watches every motion, every shadowed contour pressed by the flux and curve of muscle as he proceeds with his work and finally rests once the final strip is cleaned from meat and slaps to the floor like a laden whip, scattering the trails and small rivers of blood and chemical beneath his bare feet, and her own with the hardened sole keeping her just over the crannies of cobble.

Everything worn, everything added, everything ador(n)ed in his own way that is truly becoming just that…
His own way.
    The truth.
       

Mattias’ rise and words only have her smiling, a cheshire thing if not for the fact that somewhere in there, shadows never move and new ones form, even as the wallet is taken.

For a moment her fingers tensed, stopping the disembarking grind of chain in passage, a moment, a light prod that does not linger..
            Like a release of stardust to scatter galaxies, her fingers splay and the Serpens slithers free of her hold - into his.

“Scattered like the body of an Old God King of another ancient Lore.” The smile depthens, fathomless in the frame of eyes lined lightly in a darker kohl, accented by the green in mate of slitted dress that flares in her spin away from him, but almost performed like a ballet as hand rises - extends… Fingers curl…
        Emphasis of time and place. From Midgard to Asgard.    
                From Club, to Hall, or Falls…
                        “Something old…”

And in those words the room razes, like electricity forgot to stop and find a conduit. A draw back of wrist, a pinch of fingers while eyes close and torn asunder jeans lacking a back pocket, draw into existence through the ether.
        Hairs stand upon end.

Bones splinter, the remnants of the carcass lifted, opened like a Turkey on a savage holiday in Midgard, but this celebration is one truly earned, the scars as plain as day upon his canvas that never before bore scars, and now has ones he will pass on in story to…
                One hand bears the hover of denim, mortal made, the other is rending, a mass of meat, blood, bone and sinew hovering, but not avoidant of dripping the vigor that once was along extended hand, fingers curling to press it between pads like testing a consistency of paint.
                    “Something new..”

It was like a splatter painting where it involved the whole body, two whole speeding trucks playing a game of chicken Enchantress was already set to win. A maestro that stuck the conduction and with the twist of palms they collided and left the room in its own spray of violence.
        Button replaced by bone.
            Torn seams sewn of sinew.
                Where holes were, a stretch of leathery hide remains.
                    Take that hipsters! Stonewashed? < Asgardwashed.

“Mattias Who Wore Pants,” A pause. “At least. Your boots are by the falls.” A roll of her head back, just as a finger rises and curls against her own cheek to smear a bit of the remains from the cut ridge of cheek.
        Preening still..

“Midgard first. Find your Roots.” A wrinkle of her nose and she sniffs, there is no smile now. “May want to use those falls.”
            No, there is something reciprocal as she swept past him, the whisper of passing only in the brush of attire.
                “Use the gem when you are ready to go.”

Neither of them have to share what lies beneath.
                         There is work to be done.

The tiny hairs that line Mattias’ forearm stand on end. The static comes, a snapping of magical energies that are felt, but he has no knowledge to control. His feet are rooted firmly in place in her turn away, eyes only briefly noticing the spin of skirt in the show of power she displays for him. Eyelids tighten against the light, muscle tenses, the ber too close to the surface to be welcome to such energies, but once his clothes repair before his eyes, understanding seeps into his pools of blue.

His brow twitches.
When was the last time you wore pants?
…fokk.

“I wondered where those went to. My jacket? Or is this all that I get for this one?” Mattias bends his brow towards her chair, seeking her eyes. The poise he finds there, the tiny insult to his stench. The wall of demand he earn her esteem is met with a slammed down wall of resolution in his features.

They have work to do.

“Keep it, for now.” Mattias shifts his head, eyes sweeping down to his forearm and the two slots in the bracer he'd worked in. There, he sheaths each sharpened bone shiv, then turns his back to her. “Do what you will with it until I come back for it. This is everything I need to get around Midgard without fear of arrest.” Mattias adds, speaking to her in Asgardian, an Asgardian tone that grows quieter the further he walks for the exit.

The old leather, stained with blood and his sweat, a garment that smells like Mattias, may just anchor him to this realm.
Or so, he hopes.

He stops at the open double doors and turns to stare down the long hall to her seated position. Graze and luxury, his eyes halt upon her presence, offering her a curt nod of his head, a bow of respect, yet not humbled supplication.

Mattias, Son of Lars, leaves for the Keep on a stern walk for the falls. He wastes little time in his new instincts; his bath is short, he dresses quickly. He ties his boots with harsh tugs of the laces against his fingers. The need for relaxation in his dressing ritual is a thing of old, not when there is work to be done.

Creature comforts have their place, now.
There are greater things to seek.

The chain dangles from a leather pocket on his backside, looped to the ringlet above. It sways like the necklaces he wears, now having added the emerald token, clouded with blood smeared with magic onto its surface. He rakes his fingers through his hair and grips the emerald.

Enchantress. I am ready.” He mutters and squeezes the green crystal. “Take me to where this begins.

Mattias breathes out a sigh.
The part of him which worries over never making it back, mourns.

Enchantress did not want supplication from him.
                                    Not anymore.

For a bit is was a toying thought, very much like a look he had shared with her just the day before. The cat that brought in a mouse to toy with before the Owner, to terrify him and then present a worn down gift.
        But Mattias showed so much more..
                In the matter of time here, became so much more.

She knew he was willing to know his worth of so much more, his reverence to that alone, and his place in Asgard being rooted….

When he looked at her the first time, she was taking her seat…
                The second, she merely blinked, long-and-slow. “Of what hide do you wish your jacket?”

No answer to return it to him. Ber-sekir’s were ‘bare chested’ and this much will not break him, but as the door closes behind him that form rises, the splits in the dress that rise to the base of bowed cage part with every stride, painting exposure in games of a winds torment that reveals only what it wants and leaves the rest to imagination.
        Fingers splay over the rim of the scrying pool kept in a flip-side shield of olde…
                        Like what reflected on that wall in the room..

The water's ripple, but not with her impact, with a quake that once more seeks to batter the walls of the keep.    
            ”You. //DARE……!
                //”Oh please. You paltry ire means little to me. Try harder to not be Accursed. Hm?”

                    Arms splay in a brace over the large bowl, nearly bending her in half over the surface in a motion that could very well seem…. Pleased with herself. A show, a dance, and just as tips of that freshly adorned hair hangover the surface and nearly dare to touch, ripples form and when droplets rise it is like they seek to grip…

Pulling back the sliding draw of hands close off that gateway, and the pleased moment, fades. A glance down and another bit of that raw meat is plucked from her bosom to sling across and back and land within the waters of scry.
            “Feast on that.”

The call though, his readiness has her freezing in place, fingertips twitching and for that moment feeling like her blood flowed with nothing but tiny ends of pins, scraping their way through to find an exit…. Until she answered.

A deep breath and she was gone from the keep to appear before him, the mist of the falls clouding up and around her, coating her in a sheen. Hands extended to him then, palms up-turned, fingers curling in slowly in that beckon he knows oh so well.
            “Where did you begin as Mattias Larsson?”
                    His Midgard mother.

He does not even have to say it, the thought upon touch alone…
                    Will leave Asgard behind.

//

Bare chested.
Bare. Chested.

On the long walk down the falls, unaware of the voices who plague his bruni, it is only the fact that she cannot read his mind that whatever esteem she's found in his strengths are not weakened. Grave and serious in so many ways, the prospect of returning to Midgard has Mattias thinking to the rush that he will assuredly feel returning to a land of plastic and circuitry.

My hide is my skin now, I am Ber-sekir.
I need no shirt, no jacket.
It took months to get the stencil right.
Restaurants won't let me dine without a shirt.
…but the food there tastes like Aspirin compared.
I am stronger now. I belong here…
Trivium is playing soon…
I can definitely go shirtless to that.
I don't need a shirt. I have earned this.
…if the root I seek is in a restaurant, this will be difficult.
Nothing will stop me, no longer.

With a blink, Mattias double-takes through his distraction at the arrival of Amora. His dusty boots twist against mud and rock to face her. Chains and pendants sway against the scarred and sculpted perfection of his chest. The inner-monologue cuts off like a stereo run through with a spear. So sudden it is that his attention snaps and he us reaching for her hands. The brown, black-claw lined bracer that runs from elbow to wrist extends. His fingertips curl towards hers.

His lips part to answer her…

*SNAP*

Mattias stands in a darkened room. Walls lined with posters of corpse-painted Scandinavians, bearing axes and spitting blood, look down upon him. From Skid Row to King Diamond to Dark Funeral, he is in the presence of the bards of Midgard, as well as true bards, so says the Blind Guardian poster on the back of his closed door. His tiny bed is made, covered in a heavy black comforter, and his bookshelf and desk, lined with graffiti and a mix of horror, legend, and history books are covered in a light layer of dust.

They touched nothing.

“Mother?”

Mattias is out the door before he can realign himself.

Past photographs of Mattias as a child with two women overseeing his growth, his boots clap down the long hallway.

A fish in hand. He's missing his front teeth. So young.
Thirteen. Black and red hockey pads.
Matti’s first time corpse-painted. Fifteen. His long, blonde hair since.
Teenagers, all in black and fishnet. Friends.

“Matti?” A woman calls from far away.

When Mattias Larsson rounds the corner, two women in their early forties are sharing a blanket. Olivia, the birth mother, with her long, blonde hair and her tired eyes over a frame that once danced, shoots up first. Annika, the second, with her pixie-cut of black hair and tattoos, ever the supporter of his corpse paint habit, leaps up second. The trio meet beside an opened door to a kitchen that paints the family as middle class. On the screen in the center of the room, the television depicts a sassy, Spanish woman making a disgusted face at a backside wearing unimpressive panties.

…that's a dai-purr

The three meet in a crush of arms and bowed heads, a group hug, often practiced with the love shared. The response is immediate, and the half-started questions flow in Midgardian gibberish, Svensk. Their tongue:
“When did you get i-”
“-Are you okay?”
“-what's this on your arm, is that fur?”
“-your shirt?”

“Mother.” Mattias rises above them, easily half a foot taller than each. Each…is called Mother. One hand clasps about each of their necks, where shoulders meet. He lifts his head and looks from face to face, shaking his head quickly. There is work to be done.
…neither are your mother.

“I don't have time to explain and I will, soon, I am safe.” Mattias clarifies, quickly. Blue eyes wreath in shadow as he swallows in preparation of his question. “But I need everything you have on Doctor Helmstrom. Everything, like letters, addresses, if he's called. Everything. I need all of it.”

Olivia, more grave than her wife, makes a pained face at the scars she finds on her son, but she leaps into action, pawing at the scar before she turns to jog towards their home office.
Leaving Mattias with Annika.

She turns her nose ring upwards, balling a fist and batting it against the meat of her son's shoulder.

“Matti?” She whispers in a hiss. “If you need that stuff because you got a girl pregnant, I am going to kill you before she kills you.”
“I didn't-”
“Good.”

Heavy handed, rapid fire…
        Infatuation with my filthy pride..

Mattias left the room before she could even fully gather. But as she turned in the space and took it all in, even after his rapid departure she looks closer…
        The posters…
            The pictures..
                And through the reflection of glass and the growing child that stared back at her through life and all the phases of Mattias’ moon

A hand rose and stroked along her cheek, a press of fingertips as everything occurred down the hall and in another room beyond her, she presses into skin and with a swift stroke upward!

    This is what happens when I show you my demons.
                          Repeating the cycle that turns love into indifference.

The words behind that carry, the Svensk, her lips part and when fingers trace over them it smears a lacquer of a deep red, the reflection staring back one of long blonde, but bearing many pleats in comparison, woven tight and tipped in the runic decal ends of metal clasps, all falling in a spill over shoulders.

The dress remains almost the same, but where dips and slits would have risen towards Hel, or Heven, they are laced together by black-on-gold threads that criss cross much like the boots that take place over sandals residence, although a moment passes where she remains there, in a crouch that spills fabric between split appendages while fingers draw over dust-laden tomes, one tugged free to fall open where it was most worn…
                Paled jade falling upon the writing within.

    Mirror mirror on the wall.
Who's the fairest of them all?
Tell me I'm the perfect queen..

Slowly his door opens, her height even lessened to fall a mere couple inches below Mattias’ even in heels, but eyes lined in a darker kohl (unsmeared - unlike the images on his walls) she approaches slowly, the words exchanged between him and Annika, drawing up a pale brow while her head tilts and her gaze flicks between the two before drawing in the direction Olivia departed to, and then snapping back.

“Not for that. Promise.” Her words are low, arms slowly folding across abdomen as she finds a lean against the doorway, but her Svensk is spoken slowly, as if newly taught, but even Mattias knows better.
    “But it is a question,” A small smile plays upon her lips, but it is not the scenario, nor the familial layout, it is what lays behind those eyes. “He needs an answer to.”
   
A roll of bare shoulder and she is moving forward, a hand extended to greet Annika, but from it tattoos line upward, covering the single appendage in old Nordic effigy, grayscaled with only hints of green in the backdrop.

”Helen Eve. Pleasure to meet the mothers he spoke so highly of.” Even in guise Amora could not back-burn the nobility in which she was present, nor the way she treated others, but there is something in that glance, that pass Mattias’ way that warned.

    Maybe I am not all that I've learned..
                    Close your eyes,
you twist and you turn.

Amidst the sounds of filing cabinets being opened and slammed shut down the hall, both Mattias and Annika jolt and turn like two surprised cats at the sudden arrival of Amora. A line goes taut in Mattias neck in his turn, fingers twitching for the second in which his mind had to race to recognize her voice. Annika, short and wiry, jumps and places a hand over her mouth, then to her chest. Jolted, she responds in her seasoned horror-movie fan manner, with a laugh that barks past her teeth.

Color them both surprised.

The change in dress and makeup has Mattias’ jaw unhinging. His eyes sweep over Amora, pausing at the artwork upon her arm and the lacing holding the strips of dress together. His own hand lifts, digging under the long hair at the back of his neck, reeling in his surprise to better uphold the ambush of facade.

She gives him her look of warning.
His is brief, but a look of warning, as well.

“Oh my you have an American girlfriend! Helen-” Annika cuts herself off to twist her head between the two. With a twinkle in her eye that might make assumptions now as to why Mattias is shirtless, she rolls up her sleeve to extend a tattooed arm of her own, devils and crosses, to wrap her slender, far weaker Midgardian fingers into Helen's palm. “-you're the first friend he's brought back from New York. Mat, you should have called ahead; we'd have cooked.” Annika twists her lips into a smile while she shakes, casting a subtle scrying of her own, visible as daylight to Amora, a lioness to her cub, but friendly, nonetheless. “I'm Annika. Mat’s mother.”

Though she is not. This one, not a shred of blood she shares.
With Mattias, son of Lars

Mattias, out of eyeshot of Annika, runs his tongue over his teeth to dispel the warnings being thrown between himself and the Enchantress. With a flicker of teeth, he swallows it down and strides across the room to Amora, lowering his head in a press of his lips to her cheek. Fingers find the swell of her hip, and his own breathy laugh is quickly devised, a mask to hide over the burning desire in his fingertips to lay down some ground rules where these two mortals are concerned.

“Totally my fault. I wanted to surprise you two and Helen said I should call ahead.” Mattias explains to Annika, lips drumming up into a smirk. “She's been showing me everything about my new home so she helped me get back here to see you. What, with all the homesickness.” Mattias lifts his scarred shoulder high, fingers leaving Amora's hip to brush the center of her back.

Annika steps back towards the kitchen, beckoning Helen and Mattias to follow.

“I don't know how long your mother's going to be in there, so let me put the coffee on because I have every intention of grilling you to make sure he's been keeping out of trouble, Helen.” Annika stops at the counter, turning over mugs. “Did you two meet at the Xaiver—”

Olivia…not his mother, either.

It's a lie that Mattias is now living. Every moment he doesn't explain the truth, his two Midgardian parents, he delays the inevitable. The press of his fingertips into Amora's back are his silent request.

Not now.
Not here.

“-Mother,” Mattias interrupts with a clearing of his throat. He untangles his fingertip, once hooked in one of the many ties in Amora's dress, to step closer to the office where Olivia is. The timing of his interrupt, curious as it is, he tries to make seem natural despite the untrained courtly ability to hide it from Amora. “This is just a quick stop. Helen's family works with a powerful legal firm in New York, and they think Helmstrom might have come across some other people in America. So we've got to send it over. Fast. People abroad are waiting for it tonight.”

Annika frowns, though in the look she casts the two of them, she missed her son.
She will continue to.
The hooks in Midgard will be lasting.

“Well, maybe after that you could come back? Stay over? We don't care we've just been worried because we missed your call on your birthday. Oh! Fokk.” Annika, spurting out the curse just like Mattias, rushes past them with a squeeze of Helen's arm to hustle towards a closed bedroom door.

“Livia,” Annika stops by the office door and leans in, whispering conspiratorially with her wife, leaving Mattias and Amora alone to trade glances for a dozen seconds.

When the whispering comes to an end, Olivia replaces Annika, shutting quickly across the floor with a bundle of papers trapped in a folder. She hugs the Intel cache to her chest and leans out, extending the offer of a faint hug to her son's date.

“Sorry the place is a mess, please don't hold that against us,” Olivia blanches into a quick, stolen hug to the edge of them, then offers the fat folder in the air between them. “I'm his other mother, Olivia-”

She's proud to be a mother.
She draws strength from it.

“-I hope he told you all of the good things.” Olivia wets her lips and puffs a lock of her long, blonde hair away from her eyes. Without makeup, the leftover stress deepens the crow’s feet forming at the pinched edges of her blue eyes. “But we will love you forever if you can help us catch this son of a bitch. I don't know what he did, but if it ends up with him behind bars, I will send you two to Metalfest in Wacken every year as long as I can afford it.” Olivia rolls her eyes. “If this Helmstrom is rich, after the lawsuit, that might be every year until both of you are gray.”

Olivia snaps her hand to the back of her neck to rub the stress away.
Another gesture Mattias learned from them.

“Stay…long enough for her to give you your birthday present?” Olivia motormouths, brows shooting high with months of unspent anxiety and a ray of hope. “And then…spare us some time before you leave?”

Enchantress is simply bearing a smile that portrays preening, even her chin lofts lightly when his lips graze along her cheek, the smile that flashes could very well be seen as carnivorous, but something seems to soften somewhere in a backdrop as Mattias’ finger thrums out of the lacing of dress like a guitar chord plucked to tuning.

Annika’s reciprocal shake is met with one of equal pressure to Midgardians, no push, no press, no show - Enchantress does not need to, and even as she knows..
                    Mattias knows
                        And the look in his eyes…

Jaw clenches, those sinewed coils that wrap over strong line of her jaw come and go like a haunt beneath pale facade but only after Annika turns away to prepare the coffee. “He has been as behaved as he should be, as any of us would be.” Again, the brief mention of Xavie—- and her eyes dart to him, a note taken and marked doubly, it shows in those pale depths.   
                But Helen only smiles, a flash of teeth, a lilt of tone.
                        She laughs and returns the kiss to Mattias’ temple.

But when Annika is busied her lips lower from temple to the shell of his ear. “Careful,” But the warning is not only to him, he can feel it. “There is a power in the mother Ber..”
The smile can be felt…
        A flutter of lips along lobe and gone..

‘Livia surfaces from the bowels of den wit files, folios, and dis-aligned papers clutched and then thrust hopefully towards The Enchantress. The hope in her eyes..
                        .. the determination…
                                … The love…

Papers are taken in fingers, chin lifting lightly as she looks down upon the stack delivered, fingers delving ‘tween and peeling/ apart for so much as a scandalous peek.
        “Oh, I promise… Mothers—… Mattias’ mothers.” Something in the backdrop is turning, gears grind and as that occurs a hand lifts to rest upon Mattias’ bare shoulder, those nails honed into fine points only dimpling just beneath his ridge of collarbone.
            “Helmstrom will face all levels of //Justice
for his meddling in the affairs…”
Her hand withdraws slowly, painfully as brows furrow over the defined bridge of nose, a gentle slope that only lifts at a tip enough to be Proud.

“Have your day together, I must send these to my Firm so we can begin the process,” A glance to Mattias’ one of a ‘different’ warning as she spins upon stilettoed heel to find the door…
            Amora never knew her lineage, parentage, only a sister -
                                Tough love…

Awkward was only the tip of that iceberg, and the pleas from the móðir/s/ // has The Goddess hesitating. Looking from one to the next.
            A single golden fruit plucked could tear it all asunder…
                //..This time…
                        I’ll get it right..

Olivia is returned the embrace, hesitance is shown in the sing of muscles beneath tightened lacings and stretched fabric of Deep Forest…

Mattias can feel it. Against the shell of his ear, his skin is warmed; it is tingling. A sense of danger in the air and not from Amora's magics has his senses on end and radar extended. Though he can feel it, though the blonde beauty had scratched a brief resurrection of his ire, Mattias cannot place his finger upon its source. The facade of happiness is easier for her to uphold than he; he is no trained liar.
The ber has no need for lies.
The dark elves, murderous and silent, do.
Mattias fights like one.
Malekith may not have gotten to that chapter, yet.

Has he ever killed a man?

“Helen,” Mattias speaks out, eyes still fresh with warning glares to her and the shining orb of knowing he glazed over the academy to keep secrets from her. It's fresh mud on the cord that has formed between the two, and he knows it. His fingers twist against her hip, sliding off of the swell or her backside in her turn away.
Complication.
Too much emotion in one room.
The Ber within him isn't so furied to not sense it.

“…come back when you're ready?” Mattias drags his fingertip over the beige-painted corner to the hallway, where she once stood. It flops to his side and he digs said hand into his back pocket with a withheld grunt. Trapped. Wanting to go, encouraged to stay. “There's a few things I could show you around town, show you my roots, but I don't know how long it'll take.”
Don't you leave me here.
…you be careful.
…these two are mine to protect.

The stare from across the room to her retreating form is lengthy, deliciously complex, and unpracticed subliminal the two hadn't often had the chance to learn. Only do many looks are known, and of those few, even less are proper around his parents. With lowered brow and a tightening of his pliant lips, it all seems so grave, so forceful.

“You're both more than welcome to stay,” Olivia repeats as she places her hand upon the tattoos lining Amora's arm, guiding her to the door. “And my phone number is in there on, the top. If they need any more information, please don't hesitate to call. If Mat has told you enough, you understand the level of…” Violation. “…trust he abuses.” The door swings open, exposing Amora to the cool air of a city street on the outskirts of Gothenburg. Olivia squeezes her bicep, then leans against the door, blue eyes hopeful.

“This means a lot to us, Helen.” Olivia smiles a wan smile. “Thank you. For everything.”

Mattias, a shirtless sentinel from the center of the room, watches the exchange. His hands come together to rub over his lips and nose, like a prayer into the triangular hollow it forms around his mouth. Palms rub over palm in final widening of eye, some demand sent to Amora. His chain flops in his turn for the kitchen.

“We're going to get him. Sooner or later.” Mattias announces, a vow.

The door clicks closed behind Amora.
The voices become muffled from the other side.

“…coffee?”
“Please.”
“Okay, so I like her, where'd you meet her?”
“…a club…New York.”
“Is she why…didn't call…birthday?”
“No, no I was…where else…-iguring something out.”

The ber becomes grilled, pulled further into the den like a cub. Annika and Olivia descend upon him in a flurry of questions, though their voices disappear further into the house to the tune of tearing wrapping paper.

It is a life crafted through treachery.
An undefended home made of wood.

And there, Amora stands, with a folio of addresses and photographs of an old warehouse, her two feet standing in a place where Malekith the Accursed, has undeniably, stood. It stains the wood like spent ink, his scent is everywhere, on the wind, in the roses growing in a tiny garden beside the door. The humming of bees around this house mutter his tone, and when the wind whips up, capturing her hair in an otherwise normal breeze, it sighs the memory of his presence past the lobe or her tender ears.

Dark magic has seeped into the dirt beneath this place.
…he may have a scrying pool of his own, watching her, in this moment.

Screaming comes in staccato..
                   
                        A warning,
                            To the people…                                                    The Good and the Evil…
                                            This. Is.War.

The files are held in a clutch, and everything else around her moves in a blur..
                            Embraces.
                                Well wishes.
                                    Hopes.
                                        Prophecies.
Looks..

Something now crawls along her skin like a slithering of ions and broken paths, those fine hairs of nearly translucent blonde come to end and her throat works as she looks back at Mattias, the exchange and challenge, evident and when his fingers fall from her in a grip of …
                        Life or Death..
                   
    The looks from both Annika and Olivia are glimpsed with a curiosity that cants her head but upon features there is nothing, not even a show of gratitude in the tip of her head in Thanks, the files clutched to her bosom as the door is *clicked* closed behind her and the murmurs are but an /echo/ behind her and that slab of press-wood.

        There is a tilt of head, a moment of listening, but more to learn then to eaves-drop, the many files clutched abreast now suddenly emanating into a golden glow.
                    Burning asunder..
                        But not to waste, every page flitted through..
                            Wings of a Butterfly…
                                Fanning out and up as every piece…
        Cinder…

But to where?

”Father. Odr. Know the fault, know the Ber into creation…”
                A rise of hands as she descends from the apartment into the streets and the charred edges float upward, still burning red.
                    ”I test the //mettle!”
                            //Lay it upon your feet.

                                Send him your Raven!

    ..and the Cracks begin to Show…

But then around that area, despite who is watching, Enchantress’ guise falls away, height /lofts/, ties unlace, and from the very crevices within sidewalk things reverse, bits of earthen /time/ crawl away or rise, beckoned by a curl of fingertips.
                    The gaze of pale jade is viewed from beneath a platinum brow, behind a smile, and shadowed by the fall of dreaded braids.

            ”You CAN-NOT!”
                    ”Dare ME!”

But even as the world around her spins asunder, a veil is cast inadvertently, one that challenges a war of realms, of Olde, only is perceived…
                    To dance as the sun falls is Sweden.
                            Leave the past behind, just walk away..

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