Finding The Roots Pt. 3

June 03, 2017:

Amora and Annika have a 'Come to Odin' moment, and barriers are cast. (Emits by Siege.)

Gothenburg Sweden

Characters

NPCs: Annika Larsson

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

“Helen, it looks like I'm going to buy a shotgun.” Annika retorts to Amora and slams the door shut, throwing every lock she can find into place as if it'll hold the four of them from the chaos outside. One towel handed away, she leans into a hall bathroom lined with old concert fliers and rips another off of a rod. Her sock covered feet sweep the wood flooring and she crosses before Amora's gaze upon Mattias, reading it quietly, before the towel is offered to her son. “One of the big ones with the pistol grips, not that hunting shit, and, no, you're both definitely staying in my sight until I'm convinced none of that shit is coming back. Prolonged visit is right.”

White towel over black fingers, a running theme of black blood on cream colored hands, Mattias does what he can to smear the mix of his and Malekith's blood from his dominant hand. He looks up past the hanging frame of his blonde hair, remaining silent in his own counsel and weathering the flurry of questions like an ancient, stone carved wall. From Olivia, to Annika, and then Helen, his blue eyes sweep, and the youngest appearing blonde who is far, far oldest in the room, gets the longest share of his attention.
They don't deserve this.
His chest heaves in a one-punch chuckle. The shine of laughter in his eyes disappears as soon as it appears, humored by what she says to him. Their private eyeball language is improving.

My journals. Oh. The horror.

“I don't care if we have to get the army involved,” Olivia returns to her son's side, cell phone swiping to unlock a family photograph. A local hockey game. Yet, before she can press a button to dial emergency services, she is halted mid sentence by Mattias’ hand coming to rest over her fingers.

“No police.”
“Mat, this isn't going to stop until someone gets hurt and I'm not going to let-”
“-I'm not human.”

The sound of a pin dropping could be deafening.
Olivia stops.
Annika stares.
The relative silence of the room is smothering.

Mattias, having laid down the hammer into stone, parts his lips and bares his teeth towards the hint of Helen's smooth knees, where her dress allows. No turning back, now. Brows flatten towards Amora's Helen-stylized eye makeup and his lips follow suit. Displeasure, but in his brief display of post-battle, pre-war plea of eyes is a very real, personalized display for her.
I am not weak.
Do not judge what comes next.

“He is no doctor, he is an Alfar and he is a sorcerer; I do not know his name,” Mattias returns his eyes to his cleaning work. His lips tighten as he speaks, teeth flaring as he pulls back as much of the veil as he dare. “I may be mutant, as well, the institute in New York isn't wrong, but if I must be human to be mutant, then this is all of me that is human. This man, this creature…” Mattias wets his lips and throws the towel into the kitchen, into the sink. His hip presses back against the wall and his fingers come together, as if praying, if only he didn't point his fingers from Olivia to Annika. “…apparently needed a host to give birth to a child of Asgard. Like the Thor you see on television, on the news, only different. An…alien.”

His eyes lift, searching their faces for response. Olivia and Annika, having turned to stone, stare at their son, frozen into place.
Unsure.
Violated.
Somehow, they'd always suspected.

“Mother, Helen.” Mother. Plural. Mattias breathes in slowly and folds his arms across his sculpted chest, idly thumbing the tooth hanging about his neck and the emerald beside it as the lie comes. Some lies…protect. “We have been hunting each other. I do not have all of the answers, but it's time that you know. To make your own decision.”

Just like that, Mattias protects Amora. Her anonymity secured in a lift of eyes to staple her into place with a look of knowing, of sharing knowledge of his lie.
You're welcome.

Olivia, speechless, swallows hard as tears form in her eyes.

“That…” Annika’s fingers curl until her knuckles turn white. “…motherfucker.”

The world around Helen seems to drown out for a moment once more as words are exchanged between Mattias and his Mother(s).
                Shotgun…
                    Not human.
                        Tears.
                            Curses.
                                “Helen”…

A meet of eyes. She blinks slowly and for a moment her eyes lost their iris’ hue completely.

Not only knees are bare in her cross of legs, she is exposed to the curve of hip where crisscrossed laces keep the cloth of Deep Forest tethered and bound over… Tattoo’d flesh?

From mid-thigh and disappearing beneath cloth there is more ink, in cloth partings and lacing revealed in parting due to the lofted press of flesh, it reveals to go all the way up her side and mate with what descends down her arm that is lifting a towel now hanging lazily from fingertips…

“Helen” stares at Mattias in disbelief, but not for what he revealed to his Mother(s), but to the lie he spares in his admittance of truth…
        Olivia verging upon tears…
                You lie, silent there before me.
Your tears, they mean nothing to me,
The wind howling at the window…

Her jaw clips closed, as it had unhinged and she did not realize it, while wrist rotates and draws the towel up and around her hand, her form rocking back in the chair, head lolling and towel replaced over expression within the fist formed underneath, now wearing the cloth like a boxing glove to ‘staunch blood’ long ceased in flow.

“You’ll need more than a shotgun… Perhaps silver bullets?” ‘Helen’ acts ignorant as she asides with Annika and then rocks to a stand, a mere 5’9 even in those heels that lifted her 3.5 inches in soles of boots.
    “I need… Sleep. You all should…Have your privacy.”
        Really don't deserve it,
but now, there's nothing you can do.
So sleep, in your only memory,
of me,
My..
    Dearest..
mother…

Pausing by Olivia, the fisted hand remains placed before nose and lips, a glance down of frosted over Jade gaze, the other hand rests down upon her shoulder, fingers placed in ribbed knitting of her sweater. “Be proud. Mother.” But the final word looks between the two of them (plural) and Helen is down the hall and the door closes with a *click*. Subtle in comparison to the slam she wanted to offer, the storm evident in the prickle inside - riding upon the air.

Later…
        When MAttias is done speaking with them, he comes back to his room, Amora is there, in that form stripped of heels,  
stripped of height
            Her dress. Goddess Garb.
                .. An old DIO ‘T’ of his, and shorts he used to wear for street ‘hockey.’

Amora was Midgardian… Petite!!
    An arm is thrown over her face, one leg dangling off the edge of the bed, bare toes pressed upon a page of a book, journal, album… It is all scattered there…

        ”I’m so teeny tiny!”
        ….
        …”Cannot keep this up!”
        …….
        ”HOW LONG??”
        ….
        ”Oh… By Odin’s beard laden with ..feast!!”
        …
Eventually the night went on and silenced reigned.
       
        Here’s a lullaby to close your eyes…

Sleep had or not with Mattias, Amora eventually rose..
        Her little feet..
            Her little curse…
                A disgruntled toss of hair after she finally cleaned her forsaken facade of smeared makeup and mess…
                        … More curses…

Bare feet sweep over the floor, a ballerina, a gymnast, body weaving between objects within the house, dodging and catching an empty cup a braid catches and nearly sends to pieces upon the floor, coffee long gown cold, spilling over fingertips in her catch of porcelain.

But as she moves, as she (silently) breathes, there is an approach to a window, and when she leans down to look out, platinum braids descend over shoulders laden in a faded black ‘T’’, the glass frosting with a drawn exhale, and a single digits lifts, steaming as a sigil is being painted upon the pane….
        One.
            By.
                One.

    “Sentimental Bitch!”

Fokk, you… Maleki`th~”

The minutes that ticked away in Mattias’ childhood bedroom are many. The mumbled voices down the hall shed feminine tears over masculine reassurances. Mattias has grown in the way children become adults, and now, they look to him for answers, for direction. In so much can be gathered from the tones, but the details gleamed through the muffled walls aren't as crisp and handwritten as his books and journals.
Album covers with warriors, swords held high.
A tale of a curious Hobbit and his ring.
A thin box with a silvered disc inside, the art on the cover a man with a chainsaw hand.
The journals…are extensive.
Isolation.
Anger at his differences from the children of Midgard.
His first kiss.
Stories of a boy named Joakim, who would rival Loki, himself.
Hope.
Misplaced hope in a doctor.
The last entry, three months ago, to visit and train once more.

The door clicks open and Mattias slips inside his room in silence. Fatigue written in his very aura, he steps through with a small bowl of fruit and cold water, which is set on the nightstand beside her. With a click of a feeble lock on the door, the very kind of denial of polite entry the people of Midgard care so deeply about, he undresses. His only words his offering of peasant-grown fruit, nothing so rare as apples from an ancient tree, he climbs onto the thin width of the bed, a width called a twin, and burrows under sheets that pass as mid-grade for the people of the realm. There is so little room, closeness, despite nerves, is unavoidable.
Mattias closes his eyes, and with an arm draped across the flat of her belly…
…fingers trace a circle around Amora's navel…
…it takes an hour of silence until his breathing slows, and sleep takes him.

“Couldn't sleep, either?” A voice whispers from the hallway arch.

Annika Larsson, no Son, not of Lars, crosses through in faded plaid boxer shorts and an old, white tank top that reads in unkempt lettering: SeX PiStOls. Her once straightened pixie cut of short, black hair stands in awkward ends. Her eye makeup removed, the signs of her age shows more deeply in the way the dim lighting pools against her face. Dark circles shade beneath her eyes, illuminated by the bounce of light off of the thin stud of metal pierced through her right nostril.

If Annika has one skill, it would be to read a room, an aura. She hovers her eyes briefly over Amora's reflection in the mirror and tightens her features. Draped in a veil of her own frustration, of bitterness, she steps carefully across the floor as to not cause the boards to creek in her path behind Amora, towards the kitchen.

Once inside, the cold comfort of darkness is sliced through by the harsh lighting of a refrigerator door opening. A plastic-covered plate is pulled out and balanced in one hand. With all of the stealth of a stiletto-bearing courtier, Annika opens a drawer, pulls out two forks, and returns.
Only…Annika doesn't return to her chosen or her taken son.
She pulls out a chair from the table, across from Amora, from Helen.

“I apologize if I'm invading your quiet time, but since we both seem to be up filtering all of this or maybe keeping watch,” The plate set down is a large slice of chocolate cake, drizzled in fruit-smelling syrup. What strawberries weren't plucked from the plate in its earlier iteration remain nestled against the dessert like bedding.

Pointedly, Annika lifts her arm and sets a fork down in front of the empty chair across from her. An invitation without fanfare, the tattooed woman turns her fork over and stabs it into the plate she pushes to the halfway point. Two wolves, sharing Godiva.

“Eating things that I shouldn't at three in the morning usually helps.” Annika whispers, eyes hovering upon her meal. “I can be quiet, too, Helen, but I did, at least, want to check in on you two and make sure you were doing alright.”

The fork disappears into Annika's mouth. Lips clamp shut and wipe the fork clean. Only then do her brown eyes lift, looking to Amora's face.

“Sss-th’onleh pryiing I'll do right now. I promuthh.” She speaks with her mouth filled with food, fork waving in a circle.

All I know..

Helen sees he reflection in the glass of movement, despite Annika’s silence.

The mug is left upon the shutter of the window she just exhaled frost upon, and etched within pa(i)ne, a sigil of protection…
        She still felt the draw of his hand around abdomen, calloused fingers, stressed breathes..
                “Sentimental Bitch!”

                        You’re not with me…
                                Like me…

Eyes close for the moment, the taste of (forbidden) fruit still sweet upon lips, even if drowned by water (like wine), tip of tongue pressing between the ridge of teeth that still bear copper, in flavor.
    Lacking hunger still…
            But hands press away from the sill and she is turning to join Annika.

    Some can shine,
some can fly,
   some are glorious…

“How can I?” Sleep.
        The bed is small.
            I! Am small….
                My skin crawls…

A small -hop- and Helen is in a chair, the offered fork is plucked from opposing end and she partakes of the Godiva…
            Can we slap her more please?!?

But the fork pauses in a sweep off of palette, and eyes close, nostrils flaring… “Dah-lith,uss..”
        Okay… Godiva can keep its name.

        Some are Ancient…

The lowering of utensil leaves tines hovering over the table beneath her pyramid-shaped prop of arms, a rock forward and she is peering over the plate with eyes that nearly facet with emerald depths now… Decisions, decisions!

“You are a mother, you can worry for him. Feminine nature…(?)”
        But even Amora… Helen lilts at the end like it is questionable.
            She knows nothing of it.

    Some are wise,
        Some are strong…

A further spear of the fruit-laden concoction and helen stares over the top of it at Annika. “You and Olivia…Okay?” A tilt of head then and those locks of faux-dread spill over a shoulder, teasing over tops of thighs where the band of YOUTH shorts cling high upon the taut formation of quadriceps that are coated in the peek-a-boo fringes of grey shading ink.

    Some are everything…
            You can dream of.

Something in every syllable, every moment… If one knew what to look for… Seems hard on Helen. Not engrained, not trained… Unnatural.
            Not her hunting grounds…

But another bit of that shared plate is skewered like a prize and brought to lips. “Sleep is overrated anyway.”
        At least she tries.
Two wolves over heart-shaped fruit of the same hue…

One wolf to the belly, the other gets the throat.

With a propped elbow that is tattooed a red and white bull’s eye, a target an archer would fire upon, Annika guides her jaw into her palm. She looks out past a messy lock of hair to observe Helen as she eats; as she bites into the offered food and conversation. Her wrist goes limp, dangling the tines of her own fork above the cake before stabbing into a strawberry. If not so exhausted, she would seem bored, but past the fuzzy lines in her eyes and blurred, nighttime vision, Annika is anything but.
Driven to walk the long night

“It's…weird. You feed a kid from a bottle and whole years of your life get dedicated to taking care this little person the size of a loaf of bread, and then all of the sudden he's taller than you, can hold your car up while you change a tire, fighting evil elves.” The fork scrapes the edge of the plate and the morsel lifts. Past her lips and teeth, she tucks it with her tongue to her cheek, freeing her mouth enough to continue speaking while she chews. “It was one thing when he was this super strong kid, but now I feel like I should worry more about him than I ever did.”

Annika shakes her head, and with a bitter smirk to Helen, lowers her gaze downwards once more.

“And all we can do is watch and hope.”

Another bite is taken. A glittering wedding ring, a tiny diamond bought with a meager salary, shows itself as Annika uses the edge of a finger with chipped, old blue polish to wipe a fleck of syrup from her lip.

“Men shouldn't lie to women where their womb is concerned. Doctors shouldn't lie to mothers where their babies are concerned. So,” Unpainted lips curl in a downward pointing bow. “I'm angry. Olivia…is going to need some more time. Matti tried hard; he always does, but in the end this was our choice to trust Helmstrom.”

Annika lowers her voice further, her whisper more faint.

“I didn't trust him to begin with, but Liv did.”

The sigh that escapes Annika comes with a shy whistle over her teeth. The fork is set down in sudden loss of appetite. Both arms bend, triangular hosting for her hands, and Annika scrubs at her face, fingers kneading her sinuses and brushing back her hair. Tight cords of tension run up her shoulders, and when the self-massage ends, it is with closed eyes and fingers rubbing circles into each of her temples.

Helen had avoided answering Annika's question about her and Mattias.
The avoidance…had not gone unnoticed.
Annika would be the valkyrie of this home. Watchful. Stronger.

“Well,” Annika's voice turns to sarcasm. “I guess there could be worse things that could happen when meeting someone's parents for the first time, right?” A beat passes.
One of the two women was a finger-snap from dying.
A funeral…would be worse.

“All I ask is that if he did you wrong by not telling you that he was different, consider giving him a chance. He doesn't know his own strength sometimes; we've had to fix so much drywall, you wouldn't believe, Helen.”

Helen… Listened.

She asked, and so, when Annika spoke of Mattias like a mother should, there is a heed there that almost puts Amora into a curiosity, one that left the guise tilting her head, her own tines resting like a trident over waters surface - of syrup.

A final chew comes slowly, the swallow… Even slower, backed by eyes that settled upon both of their utensils left resting and then forgotten. Her own casually set to the side of the plate now as she is officially in the role of ‘ignorant bystander’, and yet….
        She could lie…
            Tell them not to worry.
                Tell Annika to go to sleep so she could finish…

That look, though, the focus from Annika across the table to Helen… There is a narrow set of eyes still darker upon lids from the sloppy removal of makeup she (never truly wore before…) sopped off with a towel still spotted in blood that she lit in an eldritch flame and made vanish afterward.
        Staring at herself in a mirror she wanted to hammer a fist into.
                    Choked Sob in the backdrop
                        Fist unclenches and the ashes disappear before they hit the floor at bare feet where toes curl into chilled tile beneath.
                            “I need beauty sleep.”

Staring across the table, Helen watches Annika’s actions. A pale brow lifts and several of those dreads are tucked behind an ear laden in loops and industrial piercings, a webwork of metal revealed, inlaid with emeralds.

“What am I supposed to say? Annika.Larson.” Forget that reality.
        “He’s a surprise…” A clutch of hands together.
            “Not his fault. Not yours.” And like Matti had done to them both, she uses the pyramid steepled hands to point at Annika.
                “He… and… Me? I am fine. He’ll be better when both of you are.”

Just like his battles, just like his struggles in Asgard, Amora/Helen will not act or speak for Mattias, only herself.
            “The rest is up to him.” A roll of shoulder beneath the faded ‘T’-sleeve in a shrug.
“New York. That coast… He cannot so easily scare me off.” And with a smile she plucks the fork up, stares at the tines, at the syrup dripping from them as she spins it between two fingers.

“I have enough to hang Helmstrom by hamstrings.” The smirk is there, but on hidden side of facade that lofted corner of lips -quivers-.
                        War.

“You should sleep so you can spend that time…” A glance to Annika, a small smile, and then a look to halls and doors where their family resides.

He’s a surprise.

Annika boggles her eyes in agreement with the blonde the moment the words leave her lips. Wide, brown eyes open owlishly, nodding slowly in overemphasis like a cartoon character heartily agreeing to the commentary. Her head bobs over and over again as she arcs the tines of her fork downwards, nodding and tapping, nodding and tapping, each time spearing through her last bite of cake. She doesn’t cut it with the edge of her fork. No. She stabs it in a line to the tune of her bobbing head, until he’s separated from the rest of the cake, nonetheless.

“Hey, if Liv and I sue the son of a bitch, we’ll all go for drinks after court.” Annika daydreams, stuffing the last bite of cake past her lips. She chews quickly and pushes her chair back, palms extended to the last few bites. Nuh-uh. Done. “And about that Metalfest Wacken thing? I’ll probably make her take me, too, but we’ll camp it out away from you guys so you don’t feel all smothered.”

Annika rises, leaving the plate, and the rest of the dessert, for Helen. Hips shifting to the side, she wheels around the table to the kitchen, turns on the tap, and pours fresh water over her fork. Cleaned, she leaves it in the sink.

“You’ll find that mothers take the blame for everything their kids do, Helen.” Annika whispers, her voice returning over the blonde’s shoulder, growing closer. “So everything bad that happens to them is because you fokked it somewhere. Didn’t look closely enough, didn’t pay enough attention, didn’t read the fine print.”

A tattooed hand squeezes Helen’s shoulder, Annika glances down her arm to the blonde.

“So, on that note,” Annika gives a final squeeze and then sneaks, carefully, for the hallway. “I’m going to claim victory that he turned out brave and knows how to pick the good ones.” Annika turns the corner, extending her hand around the edge like a Vaudevillian cane pulling her away from the stage. Fingers wag in a wave.

Ten seconds later, a bedroom door opens…then closes again.
    Leaving Amora the Enchantress, yet again, unsupervised in the Larsson home.

Helen: One
        Game. Set. Match.
                    She should be smiling inwardly.

But as she listened to Annika, saw her reaction, felt that clasp of hand on her shoulder.. A tension unsung was about to rise but remained subdued until after the woman disappeared down the hall and the door clicked closed.

Shoulders hunched, her hand that once held a fork began to fist, nearly scraping/ nails over the table's surface.
        //”Sentimental Bitch…”

                “Indeed…”

This was not her place, these were not her people. But if anything happened to them everything would come undone like a strike to heel in the final battle.

“For fucks sake…” Muttered as hands smear over her face and she slides to her feet to come to a rise, the shadow cast by the low lighting much taller, far broader, and atop a silhouette of tendrils that fall all the way down beyond the curve of ass - a circlet of spires rises, a multi-horned devil in the midst, in the Midgardian guise of a small mortal… Whose makeup is still smudged unceremoniously under eyes and some still rimmed on lips, only smudged further by the gesture of exasperation.

But instead now, of doing so slowly, and with stealth she rips that shadow from beneath her feet and from dark it is brought to light, the very ether and essence ripped from it, casting a brighter glow that builds within the room, halo’ing around that small form, bright upon the dance of every fingertip.

Lying on a hunt as I figured out my target.
Stare through you like window glass.
I'm only getting started…
See the moon in your eyes,
I'm dangerous and you want it..

Like a rain of tiny flames after an explosion, embers spark outward, arching between the splay of fingertips, like a weave of threads that come to crochet into sigils and emblems of ancient and archaic.

Fingertips shake, the dark circles of mascara a bit darker when she walks back into the bedroom where Mattias sleeps, closing the door quietly.

“None shall pass.” A whisper in Asgardian now, as she settles on the edge of the bed and stares at the door she just walked through.
                        Fokk, is right.

The sparks and glows of a spell cast descend in the rooms outside of their own.
         Like a glitter and flame unkindled…
                 But once they hit the floor, the sigils, the glyphs, the pact… Shoots like vines through the apartment, ascending walls, doors, and the fog blown over windows before Annika interrupted seems now clawed into place like nails drawn over that glass.

Mattias' mothers' sleeping forms are coated, a serpentine coil of imbued ethereality, a blessing and a curse combined.
From outside?
         The whole building is suddenly enveloped, the flashing lights of officials investigating the multiple accidents outside on the street, the medics hauling off injured… the bend and bow, removal, breaking…
                 The complex of flats goes up in a hue of golden heat as if aflame, the sky even flickers like an aurora borealis that shot across the sky in fast forward!
If any are mystically attuned…. the building now bears a netting nigh impregnable, if they touch it, they will feel a Burn.
         One moment aflame, the next still, silent…
Save what occurs within, the spell finalizing raising hairs on very end as if a current of electricity passed through.

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