Coming to Amerika/Xavier's

August 22, 2017:

(IC date is 08262017, post-Genosha return)
Mattias' time in Midgard once again is limited by Amora (Helen), who brings him his parents and keeps her guise for the temporary stay in Xavier's.

Gothenburg, Sweden / Xavier's Institute / NY

Characters

NPCs: Annika and Olivia Larson

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Gothenburg, Sweden:

Olivia and Annika Larsson stared at a large package before they opened it, the writing on it is a cursive that is old seeming, elegant, and without a name from the sender, but directly delivered to the two by hand. A massive man had stood at their door, shadowing it, and when they stared up at him, the reach for the package is pensive, cautious.

    ”I really should have gotten that shotgun.” The look from Annika to Olivia says it all.

        Olivia just slowly shakes her head and tucks her sweater about her to reach forward and grip it quickly. “Thank you.” A toe kicking the door closed as the smile is there and gone.

            Annika just watched, eyes locked on the massive man and caught the flash of his smile in return, but it looked like a thing he just learned from Olivia before the wooden frame clicks closed between them.

Despite the size and weight they could not even hear him leave.

After moments passed and they stared at the package that Olivia had realized had a weight to it when she took it, an unexpected mass coming from something that man held in one hand like it was filled with packing peanuts.

“Ah, fokk,we act as if it will harm us, it ain’t moving, doesn’t smell funny, and nothing has happened again since that night.” Annika states as she gets a knife from the kitchen and returns to cut the tape and free the seal of the box.

“Yeah but it does not mean getting weird packages delivered by an unusually massive man at an odd hour is not suspicious at all.” Olivia watches, and as Annika opens the box, inside is an envelope, laid across the top of something wrapped in black leather.

A gasp passes Olivia’s lips and first American money is drawn free, then two plane tickets and a letter that she shakes open, the same handwriting laid across plain writing paper the hue of papyrus.

        Larsson Mothers,

            It seems as if your meeting with your son was too short, and that in part the beginning of what you want the most now for yourselves and your son, will be given.

            Answers.

            I have some, but I think this package should also be hand delivered to him in New York by the two of you.

            Rides are arranged, the flight is booked, I will see you in New York.

Helen Eve

24 hours later:

The plane touches down in New York, their trip one in comfort, first class, and needed because the massive delivery man was their escort, to which just sat in silence while Annika and Olivia stared at him and passed glances with silent words.

The plane security did not even question their package that they opened and looked upon in part with a favor, with soft smiles of knowing it so well, but what it wrapped….

Getting off the plane and ushered through the terminal they got out to the arrivals and departures drop off/pick up and a black on black, tinted window Mercedes awaited them, the drivers side door opening and the man that exits just leaves, walking down the terminal sidewalk without looking back.

Their large escort took his place after loading their bags in the trunk. A trade off like it was nothing.

“Helen knows strange people.” Olivia remarks to Annika in a lean in the back of the Limo, smoothing out her attire in a manner of security with one hand, while the other tangles fingers into Annika’s, the tattoo’d skin slipping to knot within the unmarked.

“She’s from New York. What do you expect?” Annika smiles at Olivia and gives her the best reassuring squeeze in hand that she can. Inside? She agrees completely.

    At their feet, that package.

Westchester County, Xavier’s Drive: 7 a.m. EST

Annika and Olivia stare as the long, solitary drive is crawled along by the sleek vehicle, and as they approach Xavier’s the window that leaves them separated from the driver rolls down. A tattoo’d hand reaches up, the blonde crown and sunglass covered eyes look back at them, tilting the glasses down on the bridge of nose, stopping them just over the loop laden nostril, the jade eyes tilted with the smile that comes to unpainted lips, but making those kohl lined eyes far more feline.

“Welcome to Xavier’s, Mattias will be thrilled. I got coffee.” At the gates there is pause, and the passenger door opens to meet stiletto’d feet to gravel and bring her to the comm unit as security cameras swivel and take in the arrivals. From Sverige to English and back, the gates open and Helen gets back in, offering the steaming cups through the now opened window between seats to them.

“I am sorry for the hurry, but I believe you need time before it all…” A pause and a draw of lower lip to be drug between teeth and popped back into place with a click of the loop on one side, but that smile, so cheshire even after, flashing teeth as they come to the doors of the Mansion and park.

Inside Xavier’s: Only days after return from Genosha.

There is a knock on Mattias’ door, one of the resident youths sent to get the man from his sleep, as the older boy instructed to deliver it passed it off to the younger with a shake of his head. Nope! “I ain’t wakin’ him, not that crazy, not at 7am. Lunch looks good today.” He wants to have teeth to eat it.

“You got visitors! They’re waaaiiitttinnnggg~!” The young boy sing-songs and then floats off down the hall and away.

//

It isn’t the knock that rouses Mattias Larsson from his slumber.

For a man buried beneath five pounds of blankets and furs in a wholly destroyed bed of black sheets, in a room with the ever-constant din of Heaven Shall Burn’s German breed of grindcore screeching like dying vultures through his sound system, it is the memory of a rapping upon his chamber door that is off-beat to the double bass rhythm…that rouses him from his slumber.

In the eternal opposite of expectation two mothers would have in sending their son to an overseas school in a mansion, Mattias has poured himself into the room. Black curtains block out the light, drawn over in crudely designed runes that shimmer in the red, overhead lighting that makes the room itself look like a darkroom suitable for processing film. Chains hang and sway from the ceiling, constantly buffeted by the weight of wind from the ceiling fans, which also sends the silk-screened wall hangings of bands such as: Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Death, and…Goatwhore. Somewhere beneath the Goatwhore screen is a remembrance package wrapped in a destroyed shirt that was once his.

He’s moved into the place, no less.

When the furs and black sheets slide off of Mattias’ face, tugged down from somewhere beneath, the naked body of the Asgardian stretches with bowed back, shoving his belly towards the ceiling of the room in a fitful growl at being awoken. School has resumed; he’s not attending, so why would he be…

    …did the kid say visitors?

Mattias receives few of them that don’t outright invade his space without announcing themselves, message him by phone, or sneak in through the window.

The bed creaks under Mattias’ weight as he leans out, dragging a pair of battered jeans off of the floor with a bandaged wrist. With a rough tug, the denim fabric rustles towards the bed.


Slur-r-r-rp.

“Do you think we should go up there and kick his lazy door down and throw coffee on him?” Annika asks the two blonde women to her side, chattering away in Swedish. One, her wife, the other, her…son’s lover? Kohl-lined eyes meet with the dark-haired woman’s sheepish grin around the sippy-cup lid of her to-go coffee.

“What if we get the wrong room?” Olivia braces the edge of the package with her boot and shakes her head downwards. “Electricity and fire, right? That’s what they do here, isn’t it?”

“Oh, I am not getting tased by a teenager, Liv. Never.”

The creak of wooden flooring with lush carpet stretched down the center sounds the arrival from high above. Both of the Larsson mothers look upwards expectantly to witness Mattias’ arrival. Half of his blonde hair hangs in straight, wet strands over his face. Quickly towel-tried, his eyes are tired enough to have to hold the railing in one hand as he takes the first step carrying something behind his hip. Four pendants dangle from his neck about a loose-fitting tanktop that reads: HARDER, FASTER, LOUDER, a perfect shirt to accompany the torn jeans and dangling chains over the quickly pulled on boots.

Not so bad for a two minute shower and digging through a pile of black clothing on the floor for a clean black shirt.

“Hey, Matti.” Olivia calls out with a snicker. “Don’t fall down the stairs and break your neck before you get to us, ja?”

Mattias slows at the landing and blinks his tired eyes down to the three women. The first blink? Confusion. The second? Mothers and…Helen? The third blink is the hardest, shaking away the cobwebs with a quick look to Helen Eve’s face, quickly trying to read her expression.

“Holy shit…the fokk did you all get in? Helen?” Mattias tucks the bandaged wrist further behind his back, hiding the dome-shaped, purplish steel alloy of a helmet behind his backside.

The man-sized Sentinel’s head, a trophy, is currently suffering fingers through its eye sockets amidst the white war-paint Mattias has been coating onto the trophy for the last day. The robotic face is a shadow of what it once was. Now, with artfully placed paint, it’s face has become a death’s head with its mouth cracked multiple time to give it the appearance of fangs. Hollowed out as it is, it would never fit Mattias’ head, but he’s been inseparable from it since returning from Genosha, and has a small hoard of ruined tools to prove his work on it.

Olivia and Annika move to meet him at the bottom of the stairs, sandwiching their much larger son in a group hug. The three close their eyes in a triumvirate of pressed together foreheads in a brief display of familial love.

I missed you Matt-
    -You’re looking healthy, what are you hiding behind-
        -Is that a bandage?
            -We have a gift for you.

Mattias laughs his way out of the pile of his mothers, slipping through them with enough cover behind his back to approach Helen with a canted head and Asgardian severity in the question held in his eyes. Blue orbs narrow to slits, not out of malice, but a greater peering of the blonde as he reaches to her hip and leans in for her lips.

“Did you put this all together?” Mattias asks a question within a question. “All kinds of surprises this morning, fokk, what’s the occasion, mi amore?”

//

Helen stayed at the back, in fact she spent a moment exchanging words with the massive delivery man/driver, but all of the words were her own in a whispered Asgardian tongue, the massive head nodding as he finishes unloading the suitcases for Annika and Olivia at the heeled feet of the woman, where laces carry the wrap of altered leather to mid thigh.

Once he returns to the limo, he pulls off, slow, soundless, and the gates open to allow the Mercedes’ exit that Helen watches carefully, the loft of sunglasses dropped back down to cover those pale green eyes.

A couple of the youths watching with wide eyes get the small smile of Helen’s offering, lowering to press fishnet clad thighs to leather calves in her crouch, the short pleated red-lined black pleated skirt splayed over top enough to scantly cover, a school girl gone all wrong. “Be a lamb and get the bags inside, hmm?” A reach forward to the two that only think to twitch as she draws large golden coins from behind their ears and tap them upon their lips.  

Snares, grabs, and the two gawkers are on it! The package though, is still held within a mothers’ grasp that is nearly fumbling as they greet their son inside, the sounds enough alone to let Helen know he arrived.

The door opens a bit wider, propped by a toe as the two students of Xavier’s struggle with baggage behind her and bring it in to leave in the foyer for further delivery. A hip is cocked to the side as she oversees the delivery like regality to her meeker servants. Some things just don’t go away…

Leather belts bear an effigy of a skull just over apex, hanging low on hips with the upper hem of mini-skirt, behind sunglasses eyes do not meet the reunion until all is inside and safe and the door closes behind. A pat offered to each head from ring-laden fingers with a wink to the children before they run off with their prize gold coins!

Now the reunion is watched, the sunglasses lifted to push the massive mane of blonde and pearlescent lighting back where it dangles even over the lower curve of spine and meshes with the white button up shirt left only clasped by the eyelets of two. Modest. No.

Mattias is regarded, the note of his hand from one of his mothers has her looking, watching that instead of him as he approaches her and captures her hip in a manner he can feel, beneath the grip of the slight woman before him she tenses, the smile one that flashes teeth, but during that embrace that drags them across his lips before her own meet his. “You have been busy, Elska Odr.” A placement of tipped finger pressing the narrow nail upon his nose and drawing the digit between finally parted lips.

“Surprise!” A bat of thick lashes and her smile comes to a light that is so much more innocent!  

“I have some news, but after they grant you your gift and take time to see and know exactly where their roots are planted. It will not be….easy.” A slow draw from Mattias, the last thing to slide downward is that finger that drags along his lower lip before she is smiling far more gently towards his mother (plural).

Then eyes cast up and around the place, something else touching the light within them as a tattoo’d hand rises to twist a braided strand ‘twixt fingers. “Never been inside. Very nice place.” A small smile and she moves with that departing sweep of hip over Matti’s to near his mothers.

“See, you have always done right for him.” After the conversation with Annika that night, it was something they both needed to hear…

        …before things got harder to bear.

//

“You’re always close by, Helen. Even when I’m busy.” Mattias whispers at the edge of a kiss too genuine in the afterthought to be wholly staged. It’s been nearly two months.
       
    His lips remember.

    As does the emerald pendant pressed against his sternum where it lays in ethereal warmth.

In the resident afterglow of a personalized touch of lips, Mattias draws back, lowering his lip to the drag of her finger until it flops back into place. His eyes crack open to look upon the receding lines of her face, and for a fleeting moment the hope exists there, a hope that their visit is genuine in Amora’s delivery of his parents to him, but no…business is always the matter, even if it’s business for his continuing legend. Amora steals a glimmer of light from the still-altruistic Asgardian’s eyes when she says it, and with her words his partial smile fades into….something too staged to be genuine.

“I’m not afraid of things that aren’t easy,” Mattias leans forward as he slips away, smoothing his chains against his hip and turning to the three of them to present the Sentinel’s head. His tongue grates out over lowered, white teeth and slithers back into place with a final look to the tattooed woman who is a lie in appearance, sweeping down to her skirt and back to her face. “The day you present something to me so simple is the day I should probably fear.”

“What is that, Mattias?” Annika rubs the back of her neck and waves her wrist playfully towards Helen, as if to say I know, I have good ideas, sometimes. With tattooed fingers, she reaches out for the Sentinel’s head, and Mattias rolls it into her hands. The surprising weight has the tiny woman slumping to hold it like a bowling ball. “What, did you make this?”

“I clubbed a robot’s head off and took it as a trophy.” Mattias devil horns the three of them with a lash of tongue and steps back, dipping to take up the luggage with bulging arms. “Let’s get moving up the stairs and I’ll get you all set up with rooms for…” A glance to Helen, then Olivia. “…however long you’re staying?”

“Wait, first, you’ve got to see this.” Olivia holds up a finger and presses her knees together, lowering before a package; the very gift delivered to their doorstep. “Helen sent us this package, paid for the tickets, everything, but this has been burning a hole in our pocket?”

“Well, it wouldn’t fit in our pocket.” Annike rolls the Sentinel head around in her hands to look down into its eye sockets. “I always knew my boy would grow up to kill robots. Sigh.”

“Well, no, but it’s a thing they say.” Olivia grins and opens the package, tugging the leather out. Now, she has something to hide behind her back when approaching her son, but on her way she stops, slinking a tee-shirt clad arm around Amora’s shoulder to press a kiss to her temple and whisper in her ear.

“Thank you for this.” Olivia whispers. “If you must know…I do approve.”

Turning on the squeak of a heel upon polished Italian marble, Olivia unfurls the leather and holds it for Mattias to see.

//

        My Roots,
                My Roots,
                   
                        Run deep into the hollow..!

The look exchanged, is this for real? Is looked away from, as the true answer is not yet given while heels are muted on an oriental rug, then come to cadence in the echo of her nearness to Annika and Olivia as the massive MetalHead is hefted, a brow slowly rising as she watches it and then look towards Mattias.

“Not always..” Those two words show she missed some things. Not wholly, but in part. The drag of eyes to his wrist once more but her words stay silent, as the exchange commences, the gifting and exchange of stories is a thing meant for late at night and for the ears of those close alone, but this… It has to occur right here, right now. Helen will not take it from them.

The leather held behind Annika’s back unfurls from the folded placement in offering, a sleeve descending, but where parts were burnt, ruined, torn, there is a tanned fitting with runic effigy, bleeding it back into its origins of cattle from bear. The leather jacket he left behind in Asgard wrapped something far more heavy, akin to the weight of Sentinel head, but a differing kind of metal completely.

Mattias’ leather jacket may have taken a different making, but when Olivia embraces Helen, the woman smiles, not having to bend to accept it and then slowly ric-tack her heeled footfalls to Annika and Matti, but placing her just beside Annika. “Both of you must hand it to him.” A beat and she looks at Mattias, her hand departing Olivia and in turn squeezing Annika’s shoulder as she walks backwards, that altering step-by-step gap placed with a svelte sway of hips, showing her very own natural nature in pace and tandem that could hammer the echo of footfalls to that of heartbeat.

So when the mother(s) let the jacket known to both them and him, inside it protects the heavy Uru metal head of the dual bladed Axe Head, shaped, but not honed, not edged and deadly until both hands of the women, inked and virgin make contact in the offering to Mattias.

        //An emerald light omits, and from their hands the engraving designs begin to carve a path along the Asgardian metal like lashes from fingertips,

            Stopping at the empty middle the sparks rise, a path of lava blockaded in its directive, a coursing along a nigh unbreakable metal, but bonds have not been tied, tethered.//

“Oh, it is real, Mattias.” Now Helen answers Mattias’ look of hope with words. “Take your gift, Ber Odr.” And here, before his mothers, beneath the roof of Xavier’s, the near finality of his roots are forged, a veil keeping wandering eyes and ears free if possible at all within these walls of Mutants.

//
The two suitcases, tagged with white strips of paper and barcodes on the handles, wobble in place with hard, plastic handles sticking out from the tops of the cases. The equally plastic wheels roll back in place until the weight of the luggage bids it to stop.

Like many things Mattias, he was caught up in the rush of placing his guests in his home, in rooms where they will be safe until ultimately they are not. To place his mothers in their bed, Amora in his, for ten, sweet seconds before the coming difficulty, his face twists into a momentary state of perplexed at a gift.

Such things, like gifts, used to be simple.

“I know that leather.” Mattias rubs his hands together at the first fall of the black arm-sleeve of a jacket, brows shooting high. Pure, scarless fingers without rings press together and tap at the brushing of scruff on his chin. “Is that…really?” Mattias asks pensively, blue eyes hobble-bouncing from face to face to watch Amora direct his parents together towards him, her sashaying hip and devil’s eyes between their shoulders in the fading background.

Quickly drying blonde hair shifts across his scarred shoulder as he answers his own question.

“It is.”

He’d almost forgotten the leather jacket he’d loved so much. Shed aside for what felt like months of a life he’d learned would last thousands of years in Asgard, he’d spent his time there, naked, fighting, cutting. Left with Amora at her keep, it was ruined, left with a vow that he’d return for it one day.

The nearly useless bandage around his wrist reaches out to the jacket, to brush fingers over the runes on the sleeves and the front zippers, replaced with heavier metal. When the folds open and the light from his mothers rends detail into the metal, the emerald light show bounces off of his blue eyes as once-broken wrist healed by his Asgardian blood digs through the folds and wraps about the underside of the axe-head at its least dangerous point.

“I about died when I saw it, Matti. It was great before, but she did something killer to it.” Annika grins wide enough that her upper lip bounces against her nostril, pushing the leather towards him. “Seriously, is someone filming this? Someone should film this.” Annika hip-checks her wife and jerks her head towards her son’s shoulder.

Axe-head in hand, Mattias smiles towards a painting on the wall and slicks his hair over the top of his head. Twisting and turning, his mothers slide the jacket onto his shoulders, putting it back where it belongs, not yet asking about the head of the weapon that’s been given to him.

As his body shifts, slinging his scarred arm through the arm of the jacket, there is time. Time to look Amora’s way with the ever-present grade of suspicion and post-warfare desire he often casts in her direction. An eye-fucking, the simmering sliver hatred for what is about to come that he cannot sustain. The moment of honesty dissipates in his turn to switch hands of the axe head, taking the other sleeve.

He shrugs the jacket onto his body.
    He flexes his fingers, drilling them past the zippers in the wrists.
        The jacket’s zippers jingle, chiming with the chain dangling from his hip.

The video from Olivia’s camera, and the stills from Annika, capture Mattias being reacquainted with an old friend that he’s had longer than his only friend in Sweden, Joakim. With each still, he tugs at the lapels and breathes over the leather, reading the runes.

“Thank you.”

Mattias is gathered, once more, by his mothers in their arms. To each, he presses his lips to their foreheads and watches Amora from his human dogpile of fleeting, Midgardian happiness.

“I’m going to wear this everywhere. Everywhere I go. It’s a skin that I’ve earned.” His cheek tightens wryly in explanation to his mothers, though his stare upon the blonde doesn’t falter. “This means more than you know.” A beat and Mattias clears his throat, the Larsson family untangling.

//

The moment he comes in contact with the head of the axe, a weapon meant for the /Bersekir/ of Odr, did it finish its lining in tracers of effigy into the metal, marking paths that come in runic ancestry, unreadable to Midgardian eyes unless they know…

But the contact of familial rankings is binding, fingertips even seem to burn before contact and exchange is left with the slide of the leather jacket along Mattias’ shoulders to fit him as it did when Olivia and Annika first got it for him, it is just remade to fit his current status…
                                        …in entirety.

    By blood and bonds,
            The single eye of the All Father…

The dual-head of the axe finishes paths that are in a script unknown to most within these halls and down these halls, the veil cast one likely sensed, but no harm can come as what they ‘see’ is a gifting between mothers and son. Harmless, aside from the woman who takes steps back to watch as the casting of binding is finite and drawn along the edges of ace heads, now honed enough to let that of Midgardian blood with ease in a slip of skin.

You are not fully tethered. No coming back, but to finish this. The eye fucking Matias gives Helen is returned, her own jade gaze flashing under the sparks of the finality etched upon the double-edged Axe Head. Unless desired.

A tip of hip upon a small round table holding a vase of flowers upkept daily and replaced as needed within the foyer. The vase rocks, the impact so very real, and the smile upon lips, a drawn thing as she watches the exchange between them, the embrace parting with Mattias’ look making the smile wither only at the edges of honed perfection.

    Damn this form, I -have- to look up to him!

Jawline tenses and words come slowly, carefully. “There is plenty of time. My driver will accommodate where needed, I ensured this will not be brief. Round trips are expensive if rushed. I enjoy seeing you all happy.”

The money sent to them was for here, but when they checked bills and called their work, their time was accepted off, their stipends and notes paid ahead. They had months if needed, as Helen is more than willing to take her sweet time to get this right!

Malekith crossed a line when he made her position seem like an option only he could offer, and to treat her and Mattias as playthings. Her work is not to trifle with.
Business?
Pleasure?
Life?
    Sentimental Bitch

Those words are enough to cause a scar worth avenging. He made the wrong man to play with, and made the enemy of the wrong Enchantress.

Mattias has more than ten seconds, told in the way she folds her arms across her chest clad in the white blouse barely buttoned, resting over the crest of chest that heaves with a deep inhale and release.  There is more, but for later.

        “So who is hungry…?” Her eye meeting Mattias’ full on after tearing from Annika and Olivia with a tilt of head that casts pieced-apart strands over exposed collarbone and that hollow when it lifts to roll in the drop along lacquered surface of table.

            You’ll need to practice that hatred, Mattias, Son of Lars.

//

”I WILL be finishing this. I won’t stay here forever; I DESERVE my home.” The returned snap of eyes to Amora, even downwards in her form as Helen, is rigid. Asgard has been on his mind, his last few months like a vacation in Midgard, but the lack of tethering to Asgard, a lack of right to travel by Bifrost, hasn’t been forgotten. ”Don’t even joke at the idea that I wouldn’t claim who I am now, and don’t you make that decision FOR me. It’s mine to make.”

Mattias gingerly slides his fingers through the offered eye-sockets of the Sentinel’s head, and with the axe’s head in the other hand, he’s plum out of carrying fingers. Though his eyes carry his brief, burning look to Amora, he wipes it away quickly with a broad smile and the jamming of the Sentinel’s head between the carrying bar on Olivia’s luggage, and the top of the zippers.

“I could eat my own arm,” Annika continues in Swedish, in Svenska, as she tugs at her wife’s suitcase and plants the Sentinel head on hers. “But I want to eat something we can’t get at home, like Mexican food or something. America time, ja?”

“Something new.” Olivia sways her thin arms around, blonde ponytail swinging as she does a full turn to breathe in the smell of class emanating from a house that could eat her home in Sweden ten times over. “And wine. And then TOMORROW I want to see this town; we barely got any time the last time we were here.”

    “And the pool.”

        “AND the pool.” Olivia laughs.

    Hunger. Mattias glances to Amora through the veil of his hair as he takes up a suitcase. Now you’re just being coy.

“I’ve got to put these things in my room and get you to yours, then I’ll grab a car from the garage if your driver wants a break, Helen.” Mattias’ jacket creaks as he lifts the suitcase as easy as if it were made of paper. “If you’ll all follow me, I’ll show you where my room is if you need me while you’re here.” Mattias cranes his head towards the staircase and starts off at the head of the group. “Come.”

Mattias crosses in front of Amora on his way to the stairs. The rolling wheels of the suitcase lift off of the ground in time to avoid knocking over the table with the fresh flowers. The near-hit is accidental, by the grace of the gods he may one day call peers, because he’s too busy clapping one eye closed in a humorless wink to Amora before the first boot hits wood.

    …maybe I’ll practice that anger on you.

“What happened to your wrist, Mat, you still haven’t told us. Are you okay?” Olivia speaks up, waddling her arms behind her back to shove them into the back pockets of her blue jeans. She swings a leg out, stepping up to go before Helen.

    With a skirt so short, it’s either best to go first or last.

“I’m okay, Mother.” Mattias tromp-tromp-tromps up the stairs. “They thought I broke it while we were exercising, but it’s just a little sore, so I wrapped it last night.”

    Mattias doesn’t need to exercise. Exercise is war.

//

“If we all go, Jo-nus can take a break.” Helen states in response to Mattias’ offer of drivers and driven. Helen waits for all to pass, lingering by the small centered table in the foyer, fingertips braced upon the lip of the vase in Matti’s near miss.

A sweep of gaze leaves the departing forms to that of the opening and entry of Xavier’s, the veil that falls shows no one onlooking in body, and in truth, it no longer concerned her, as in the End of all of this, hiding it will risk more than it will gain.

        //You need to know what you love,
                    To know what you lose.

                            … Keeping planted is the crux.//

But her eyes did not lift until the ascension was partially gone, voices of excitement and adoration, caring, mothering, her herald to guide her behind them. A lift of that paling green gaze and she catches their heels while her hand slides delicate ring-laden fingers over the carefully polished wood.

Every touch is with care, barely any lines drawn over the polis from the tipped digits that stroke along the banister as if a serpent in Eden to the Eve… Through the loft of thick lashes she watches, listens and comes to the hallway, one of many upon the second floor that has her waiting just outside.

“Yes, what did happen to your wrist. I am sure that massive metal head has nothing to do with it?” A narrow of gaze and arms fold over her chest once more, a shoulder pressing against the wall of the hall while she allows the family to settle into their places and rejoin for that afternoon in New York.

        Taking trophies? I would love to hear the whole story behind that man-made skull.

A slow slide of gaze from Mattias, back to the stairs.

        How much anger is left?

The smile that tilts her lips is one that even pronounces the high placement of cheek bone, a rise of hand to sweep blonde from her face and tuck it behind the shell of loop riddle lobe.

“Let’s eat, then.” A smile could tell Arabian Knights, or blanket things into darkness, even the way it casts shadows upon jade(d) gaze. “I’ve worked up an appetite.”

    Shop…

        10 minutes before the pool, afterall…

Safety first.

//

For a hallway lined with precious art and suits of Medieval armor, it lacks the telltale signs of Mattias’ lumbering passing. The frames of doors at his home in Sweden have cracks upon them, shoulders banging into them and leaving their mark where his forehead didn’t one time or another leave a divot upon a door’s higher frame. It is pristine. A palace, of sorts, give or take thousands of years of evolution.

    Like an archaic Asgard.
        With all of the wonder having to be dusted daily by work-study teens.

“The massive metalhead is attached to the wrist.” Mattias muses, eye cast down over his shoulder in his walk down the hall. He captures the slinking of one tattooed leg, but the angle so severe, he can’t lift it to her face. It’s okay. Her leg is worthy of seeing. “I’ll fill you in on the details later tonight; you’d probably like the story about the metalhead versus the giant, metal…”

Thunk

Mattias stops near a door and shoves it open to the red-lit room. The low din of the devil’s chamber music, heavy metal itself, doesn’t come pouring out. It’s been turned down low in a constant ambience to the Luciferian mystique of the home he’s made for himself.

You shall regret your felonies
We took a stand and won't retreat
And hunters will be hunted
Until the slaughter ceased to be

The Sentinel’s head spins to stop amongst the black sheets and furs, and in leaning across the entryway, Mattias leaves the axehead on his desk and motions Helen through for a look into his room. The heel of his book clocks the heavy door wide open with a flick of his brow. He looks down upon the smaller blonde, relishing in the point of strength that comes upon looking down to her slight form, even if she’s at no lack of Asgardian strength.

    Plenty of anger is left. Mattias stares, then begins to turn. Plenty.

He leaves Helen to his room, for a few spared minutes of exploration of his private cell, while introducing his mothers to a room down the hall and around a corner. Their echoed words in Svenska chatter about being afraid to knock anything over and whether or not the books on the shelf were free to read. The suitcase is stowed and Mattias returns, slipping an elbow around Helen’s, to lead the march down to the stairs…

    …and out into the pastoral elegance of…Westchester County.

A three-star restaurant at best, but the BMW parked itself outside of the Brazilian restaurant for nearly two hours of Midgardian nicety. Each tray of meat arrived with an accompanying bit of wine while the four sat on opposite sides of a squared table in the empty restaurant. Through dark lighting, Annika held her wine glass aloft and explained to Helen the dozens of stories she’d submitted for publishing, and how close she felt she was to having one selected.

    Olivia, with each glass of wine, opened up into a tale of two women meeting in a used record store in Gothenburg, and how their relationship was hidden from their parents throughout the nineties in a city that had truly yet to embrace their unorthodox love.

        Normal.
            The acceptance of growth.
                Mundane.

And though Mattias smiled and laughed along with his parents as his fork cut through the meat and he dangled an arm about the back of his date’s chair, there was always an extra bit of grit to his bite down upon his fork. The responding pain that comes from the hard chewing a conflicted place, sharing the little white lie with Amora that his parents, despite their growing confidence in Helen had yet to learn.

    That she was not Helen.
        That he was becoming less of Midgard.

A perfect evening for two loving, relieved mothers. It’s one that comes to end with the flashing lights of a BMW parking in the garage and the Larsson wives disappearing to their rooms to gather their swimwear for the pool in a heat that was unknown to Sweden. The American Summertime.

//

Helen waits. For once, she is showing patience, but it is like a fine metal under a blue flame.

        Tempered.

                Paced.

                        Learned.

When she steps into the room Mattias posesses here, heels burrow into the carpeting and hanging tails of furs from the edge of his bed, speared tips bearing an unspoken threat to the residence, and yet the very presence and appearance seems as if she belongs in this blacked-out space with a cadence of grinding music and chains

Hands lifts, the tipped nails barely hitting the dangle of his decor, the chains that sing their own sweet tune in the clash of ends beneath the stroke of air omitted by the silent whir of a fan above.

    Anger is only the acceptance of fact.

The restaurant is yet another breach beyond walls, and despite the sing of tension that is palpable from the stretch of Mattias’ arm along the back of her chair, Helen is reclined into the polished wooden seat with shoulder blades impacting the upper-most rung of the chair, just below his arm while a piece of meat is speared and drawn to lips. A twist of fork before pierced lips and teeth flash, snapping in a manner that resembles a predators grip of hide and the pull to rend…

    What is the name of the publishing company?

            They did not accep—-…? The thump of a thumb against the back of her neck has eyes narrow, but understanding dawning slowly, despite transgression…

Back at Westchester and slipping within Xavier’s they still got curious glances, but visitors are not uncommon… Despite sparse.

        Me and the devil..
                    …walking side by side.

Once they reach the hallway, the smaller blonde figure beside Mattias reaches to the side and with a force backed mystically, her hand shoves him to the side, her figure standing 5’6 in those heels approaching with a finger out to poke at his chest with a slight lift in angle. “Don’t you thump me like a scolded child, I may not know the ways here but your looks are enough. I get it! They will know soon enough anyway! So tired of hiding in this form befitting little people!
                            … But prettier!//”

A small outburst, one that has her exhaling in a snort from nostrils flared as if ready to charge, but in the language of Asgardian tongue with the shift in reference and surmounted frustration.

“I’ll sit the pool out. Maybe loot the Hall here for some God-eeva.” A flick of eyes to his wrist once more and her snap of eyes keeps the rest restrained. “You have had your fun on Midgard, with the mortals and their foes, the mutants and their monsters, but what on this plane can do that?!” A snap of eyes in a broad up-down in sizing him up in disbelief.

Once his door is opened, Helen enters, moving to where he set the Axe Head down, lifting it within both hands that showed its immense mass in comparison to her smaller mortal frame. The blades spread wider then that of her head and the massive flow of pearlescent mane, one blade alone broader than exposed throat int he proud up-tilt of her chin. “It will not happen again. Cannot. You have heavier burdens to hold…. Things you have to protect…!”

    …Things? It is broader in scope, all of it.

//

The sideways push is timed somewhere in between one of Mattias’ steps and a lapse in thinking. Smaller, Mattias has forgotten Helen is just as strong, and the push sends his shoulder swinging out and his boots scuffing the carpet. His hand plants to the wall for balance and his chin comes snapping down with eyebrows drooping low to cro-magnon levels. Immediately perturbed, he is, lips parting and tongue preparing to lash with the leftover taste of Brazilian Steakhouse on the tip.

    But the poke to his chest is hard enough to stop that before it begins.

        Because, GOD, it stung.

    Ow. Eyes widen in their downward stare to Amora, meeting her challenge with a quieted tongue and the born and bred quality of an Asgardian who, just like her, won’t be scolded.

“I KNEW where your head was going when you were asking about who she sent writings to.” Mattias hiss-pers back to the blonde in her native tongue. “Your generosity they don't understand the depths of. Piece by piece their hearts are going to be broken, but I don’t want her dreams coming true just because she has a good connection unless that’s what SHE wants. She'd never forgive either of us for that. Fokk. They're already confused as to what is and isn't actually theirs anymore as it is.”

It’s a moment captured by no one. Two blondes from another world, looming over each other in the hallway with angry faces, whispering angry words to each other in a foreign language. Quickly rattled warnings and shots across the bow, with the larger man rubbing the sore point of contact to his chest, then pointing to their feet with angry face.

“Maybe I should throw you into the pool to cool your head.” Mattias grouses as she turns, yet he follows, the rest of the way down the hall to his bedroom door. An idle threat, at best. “I hear your words and I see where your eyes go. You see where THEIR eyes go. A small form? The power radiates off of you, small form or not, you see where MY eyes go, but I will always watch the way others watch them. It doesn’t matter what kind of hot package you wrap yourself in.”

The door closes behind him. The weight of his body took the squeak out of the heavy door as he ends with his back to it, fingers twisting the lock in place. The metal rivets on his rugged leather jacket scrape at the door as shoulders drop and push forward towards his bed.

Mattias pins his shoulders back and drops the leather from his body. Fingers catching it behind the rear pockets of his faded blue jeans, he swings the jacket around to lay it with the back facing upwards, inspecting it for the first time.

“I am the thing on Midgard that can break my wrist.” Mattias continues in their tongue. He draws a fingertip down the faux-Luciferian stenciling on the back of the jacket, smirking to see some of it survived. “I just came back from war in Genosha, a human country with mutant slaves. Days of giant robots torn apart with my hands, tearing apart factories, yelling at fleeing sales to clear out of the fighting; it was fun.” Pride swells in his voice, cast downward, as blue eyes creep to watch her out of the corner of his eye.

    “They sent someone strong to fight me. They locked my wrist to try to subdue me.”   
            Mattias’ cheek extends.
                “They were foolish to think I was afraid of pain to find victory.”

The bandaged wrist is lifted to his eyes. The weakest joint in his body rolls against the bandage and fingers flex, testing for pain. Digits flail and type at buttons in the air. Pain or none, Mattias turns to step into place behind Amora in her smaller form as he begins to unravel the ACE bandage.

“It won’t stop me from the weight of my burdens, Amora of Asgard.” Mattias lowers his voice to match the downward cast of his head, eyes sweeping over her form from behind. Honeyed strands of his hair droop in reverence to the woman’s tattooed arms and hips. The unwrapping of the bandage is placed between the two of them in the foreground. Tiny, little skirt in the background. “Allow me my temporary burdens until they become memories.”

Mattias pauses into a momentary silence.

“Someday…I’m going to use that axe to punish someone for thinking you smaller than them.” Mattias pauses, a beat. One hand wheels over the other, unwrapping. “I know what is important.”

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