The Estranged of Asgard

September 16, 2017:

Mattias meets Dani Moonstar. The two bond over their connections to Asgard

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

With the new school year beginning, the halls of the Xavier Institute are rife with the sounds of much younger mutants. Teens, tweens; some nearly the age of the older crew. Sad but true, the rumors that one aged mutant who's neared X-status, Mattias Larsson, is still enrolled in this year's classes to finish his high school education.

But that doesn't mean he's going to orientation.

After a quick shower and a meal eaten so quickly that he didn't bother to taste, Mattias slips out of the main house towards Breakstone Lake. His leather jacket left behind, he's a dangling chain wallet and one TRIVIUM band tee short of looking like a heavy metal roadie. There, outside, at the edge of the lake he does what any wayward Asgardian hybrid would do with a lake: He skips stones with a paper-towel rolled 'hot pocket'(tm) in one hand. In between bites, he jerks his muscular arm back and whips a stone into the water to skip nearly ten times with the force of the throw…entertaining himself at the expense of the placidity of the waters.

*

It seems another person seeks refuge today from the onslaught of first day noise; Dani Moonstar. Or, rather, Brightwind. The word on the street (for the newer students) spread about the pegasus that now lives upon grounds. Up in the old barn that resides upon the grounds of Xavier's. As such, Brightwind has had a variety of sometimes brave, and sometimes not, visitors this day.

Upon feeling the frustration from her friend, Dani finally slogged her way out of the mansion and rescued him from all those prying eyes. And possibly a bellyache too, with all the sugar cubes that were brought.

Not that Brightwind /minded/ those sugary treats. Just the strangers.

Because of this the two now find their way down towards the lake. Dani, with bow and arrow filled quiver (because practice) and Brightwind sans saddle or bitless bridle. While they're both walking slowly Brightwind is heavy enough that the rhythmic thud of his hoofbeats might be heard. If not the hoofbeats, possibly the talking might catch a person's attention, even if Dani is the one doing the talking. Or if a person can sense anything magical Brightwind fairly shouts magic. Asgardian magic. "A few more days and their curiosity will wan - just try not to /eat/ everything they give you. It'll just make you fat." A note of humor can be heard within the Cheyenne's voice, as she teases the winged beast next to her.

As to that tease Brightwind just tosses his head an offended snort coming from him. That snort doesn't last long, however, when suddenly the horse's head comes up, his gaze turning unerringly to Mattias. "What's wrong?" Begins Dani, when Brightwind's head pops upward and before Dani can say anything else the winged horse picks up his pace and trots toward Mattias.

*

A mortal of normal strength? Five, perhaps six skips, but Mattias is flexing his muscles this morning. The next rock skips, upsetting fish and flies alike, seven times until it bounces off of a rock and flies in a high arc down into the waters. A fish nearly eats the rock as it plops into the water. Maybe it's a new method of fishing via killing fish due to blocked intestinal tracts.

Yet, even though he bites into his pizza flavored 'hot pocket'(tm) — because if it's a hot pocket, it's still breakfast, even if it's second breakfast and tastes like pizza — he cannot help but hear the sound of approaching hooves and a female voice to boot.

Mattias stays his next throw of a water-softened stone and looks over his shoulder to the wings, the feathered arrows, and the face of Dani Moonstar. The curl of his brow their way is a friendly one, even if halfway obscured by his blonde hair. He turns, tucking his second breakfast behind his back, and flashes a broad, shiny-toothed grin to the two of them.

"Good morning," Mattias begins in his thickly accented English, a twinge of Swedish on his tongue. He throws the last stone over his shoulder towards the water and lifts a hand in greeting. Still, he manages to eye Brightwind with curiosity. "May I say that it's so good to see you both after sharing a battlefield together?"

*

As the two draw closer Dani can't help but notice the skipping stones and the length they travel. It doesn't strike her as /too/ unusual, however, thanks to having already worked with Mattias. She's seen some of his strength. Still, her brown eyes follow the last rock for the seconds it skips, before they turn back to the blond young man.

Brightwind, for his part, adds a little high-stepping footwork when he draws closer. He'll even go so far as to extend his muzzle towards the young man, intending to whuffle him. It's part greeting and part curiousness from the horse.

Dani, who's only a few steps behind Brightwind, gives her winged friend a bit of side-eye. Sure, Brightwind is typically polite with people, but only after Dani has introduced them. This behavior of his now earns a slightly surprised look from the dark-haired woman. That doesn't stop her from switching her gaze from horse to Mattias, when he offers those greetings of his. A corner of her mouth slants upward, as she says, "Good morning." And then, "And yes, good to see you too. Glad we all mostly made it back in once piece." And while the two likely know each other's names, Dani extends a hand nonetheless, "Danielle Moonstar." Then a head-tilt to the winged horse, "This is Brightwind. Seems he likes you already."

*

Mattias lifts his chin to the approaching pegasus with a twist of lip. Blue eyes widen a share in the turn of his stance to squarely face the beast. With a curiosity of his own, Mattias reaches a hand out to the side of the horse's head, fingers splaying for a brush and caress of his own.

"Brightwind? A good name. I nearly fell over surprised to see this one in Gen-" Mattias quickly corrects himself with a chuckle. "-that place we never were and shouldn't talk openly about." A beat. "You fought well." He pats the horse's neck, then looks around Brightwind to Dani.

"Mattias Larsson," With a sidestep, his chain wallet bounces against his thigh and his hand slides into Dani's for a firm shake, though admittedly one on the weaker end of firm, knowing his own strength. "It's nice to finally meet you both on a name basis. I'd seen you around here and there, but I haven't been really…social. Coming and going; hopefully now staying for a little while before the inevitable." Mattias grins quietly and releases her hand.

"You were giving Brightwind room to stretch his legs?" Mattias motions to the path behind him. "May I walk with you two?"

*

Brightwind allows the touch and then the pat from Mattias. In fact, the horse will offer another faint nose when the man turns to face his rider. Dani continues to watch the horse's antics with a thoughtful look, before her attention shifts away from horse and back to the slightly younger man. His agreement upon the choice of names for Brightwind earns another one of those crooked smiles from her. "Thanks." She states, "I'm told he has another, but I can't quite hear him like some others can." She shrugs, any notes of wistfulness to be able to hear Brightwind no longer found within her voice, or expression.

The near mention of Genosha earns a faintly amused snort from the Cheyenne, even as she adds, "You weren't too shabby yourself. You've a pretty good throwing arm there.", and while more could be said about Genosha, it's not.

His mention of not being very social allows a fuller smile to twist Dani's lips upward, "I know that feeling. I've been mostly tied up with SHIELD training. Now I find myself back. I won't lie it feels a bit weird." When he motions to the path behind him, Dani will nod and Brightwind pivots slightly upon hooves and pulls ahead. Allowing Dani and Mattias to bring up the rear, it seems. Once the two have found an easy walk, the Cheyenne will finally ask, "Inevitable? You going somewhere? Or just talking about eventually 'graduating' from the school."

*

The hard-packed dirt at Mattias' feet cracks as he twists the heel of his steel-toed boot. In the turn, he lazily swings his leg out, giving Brightwind the room to bump ahead. As the pegasus trots forward, Mattias reaches out to stream his fingers past the horse's flank, reminding him where Mattias is until the distance passes and he's left sidelong with Dani.

"I won't lie, it's fun making large things fly far. Bit of a trip." He smiles into his last bite of the 'hot pocket', which is torn from the paper and quickly swallowed. A smug, if not slightly cocky grin shoots up while he chews and rolls the paper towel to stuff into his back pocket. For a moment, he is quiet, walking with shoulders forward and head bowed, thinking through his meal where his stomach might give his morning-brain a little extra fuel.

A gentle 'MrmmM' escapes him at the mention of SHIELD, familiarity with the name and a finger held up, post swallow, but before he speaks, he falls quiet, eyes ticking to the corner of their sockets to consider.

"I…have a bit of a double life. Not a SHIELD life, but things involving my family, of Asgard. I'm trying, maybe failing, to balance my life here with figuring out who I am there." Mattias lifts a shoulder and dips his head towards the school. He briefly meets Dani's eyes with a tug of his lip to the side. "I overturned a bit of an ugly rock not so long ago, but still I should finish my school here; it would make my parents happy. Beyond that?" His should lifts once more, a half-thoughtless unpainted canvas for his future. "I have a friend in SHIELD, but I don't see that in my future, but I never know when I'm going to be pulled away." His eyes tilt to Brightwind, then curiously, to hers.

"Do you know of Asgard?"

*

Dani's own pace is laid back, measured, not too fast, nor too slow. There's the gentle jostle of the quiver upon her back along with the light clasp of her bow in her right hand, as she moves, but all in all she's rather light upon her feet. Nearly silent with her movements.

She's equally one who knows when to stay quiet, versus speak, and she does that now when Mattias takes time to answer her inquiry.

Brightwind continues his own wandering gate, though every so often he'll dip a look over his shoulder, eyes searching out Dani and then Mattias. It's clear he's far more intelligent than a regular horse is. It's only as Mattias invokes the name of Asgard that Dani's gaze sharpens, her eyes narrowing slightly. The puzzle pieces now fall into place as the dark-haired woman looks from Mattias to Brightwind and then back again. "I see why Brightwind likes you then. He's likewise from Asgard. One of the famed steeds of the Valkyrie. He must have sensed you were kindred." Her head tilts to the side with her words, "So, I suppose that's a long winded way of saying yes. I know of Asgard. And I understand the feeling of never knowing when you might be pulled away. The gods and goddesses aren't ones to check schedules." The last bit is said with a note of wry humor from the Cheyenne.

There's a pace or two of silence from Dani, as she carefully considers her next words. "Ugly rock - sounds like some family drama going on."

*

"I was wondering if that was the case," Mattias jams his palms pointed backwards into the back pockets of his jeans. The move shoves his shoulders forward, and when he leans back into an easy walk, his hair falls back into place along the sides of his meaty, jagged face. He nods towards Brightwind, right back at the pegasus' flickering eye. "I felt something when he came onto the scene. I couldn't piece it, but I wondered." A quiet creeps over the large man. "It felt good." Another beat. "Like being in the right place at the right time."

Mattias creeps his smile down behind a bite of lip and a flick of tongue. The pendants around his neck, all trinkets of a hammer, a tooth, an emerald, and a dried up berry, sway in a forward lean to dip under a low-hanging branch. A stray thought twitches his brow and, without explanation, he laughs under his breath.

"No, they never really ask if it's a good time, do they?" Mattias flares his half-grin Dani's way with a roll of his eyes. "They don't use the Googles calendar." He butchers the slang and wavers his smile downwards. "But it isn't so much trouble with my family, but trouble thrown towards my family. So-"

Mattias shakes his head and hooks his blonde locks on Dani's side back behind one ear, to better see her.

"-when my family is in trouble, I'm obligated and it's my duty to protect them. I don't know who my parents in Asgard are but…I have mortal parents who raised me here who are in danger. As much as I want to be here to protect mutants and these children, there's only one of me." He pauses. "Is it the same for you and Brightwind?"

*

"Like always speaks to like." Murmurs the Cheyenne, her attention mostly upon Mattias, though it does stray to Brightwind every so often. The pendants around his neck do capture Dani's gaze for a moment, a curiousness inspection of the jewelry, but for now nothing is asked of them.

As to the Asgardian steed, he seems content with continuing to trot ahead of the two. Every so often pausing to neatly clip a patch of overgrown grass. Then, with his 'gardening' done, continuing his land-based trotting.

The mention of google calendars earns another grin from Dani, no matter the butchering of it. "Mmm. Right, could you imagine getting a calendar invite from them? Do you accept, decline or click tentative?" Those words of hers are enough to allow a chuckle to be heard from the Cheyenne, but then her demeanor changes; it turns more serious with Mattias' next words. Family. Trouble. Protection. Her chin dips in understanding, even if there's something held within her gaze, an old pain. It's enough to cause Brightwind to pause and turn a look back to his rider. "The school here is my family. SHIELD too now. If they call upon me it's much the same. I help where I can. I protect who I can." Her head tilts to Brightwind, "And if Asgard calls I too will go. That's Brightwind's family and in extension my own."

The scuff of her boots might be heard as she falls to a thoughtful silence. "It gets easier." She finally admits, "Juggling it all. Or maybe you become used to the stress of the situation. After awhile it doesn't affect you nearly so much. In the end, all you can do is your best and hope it's enough."

*

"Click tentative and darkness and light strike the next moment, their way of saying: Fokk. No. I will not be ignored." Mattias finally laughs at the idea. It's a purely temporary grin that comes with the laugh, though, for the shifting tone of their conversation has a sigh escaping his lips and his eyes shading to more somber tones, catching onto the shared pain they seem to have.

He swallows.

He tries a quiet smile, to reassure, in return.

"Thank you for saying so, Dani." Mattias replies, voice scratchy in his 'being real' tone. His face scrunches up, brows tightening, a pained look cast her way before he turns his eyes forward. "There are some who tell me that my birthright isn't here, but there; that I'll live for thousands of years and all of this is temporary, but that's what makes my family here more important to me. I'll go wherever I'm called, too, but I grew up thinking I'd have what…seventy, maybe eighty years? I still can't wrap my head around the changed timeline."

Mattias falls quiet, eyes to Brightwind's hooves for ten steps. His tongue presses against his closed lip while he thinks. It isn't until after he steps over a large stone that he looks back to Dani Moonstar.

"But we should be positive, right? That's what my mother would say." Mattias throws the idea to her. "You and I now have one more person who understands, and if Asgard calls, one more person we can keep an eye on should all Hell spring up?" The blonde Asgardian grins. "One more person to slam a mug against after the fight? Friendship knows no realm."

*

His thanks earns a crooked smile from her, and then, "Don't listen to what others say." Is Dani's immediate response when he reveals what 'others' say about his birthright. "Listen to what you feel, what you have to say, what you decide. If you stay true to that, then you'll be okay." And while the Cheyenne could say more, she doesn't. Not when he offers similar words that she was just about to say. It's enough that she nods and says in agreement, "Blood isn't what always makes a group of people family. Love does too." The mention of an extended life causes the woman to fall silent, as she considers what to say to that. She's still considering what advice to offer when he speaks again.

"My mother would have said the same thing." Dani agrees, even as she adds with humor to her tone again, "And perhaps a wallop upside the head if I were being too melodramatic about something." His idea, which sounds almost close to an oath, pulls forth an answering nod. Her expression somber again, at the pact heard within what he says, "Yes, we do." And while she could have stayed somber those last words of his causes her to laugh again, "As long as it's plain old ale. I'm not sure my 'mortal' constitution could handle Asgardian Mead." Which is the truth, even if she offers those words jokingly, before saying, "Friendship and /family/ knows no realm." By this time Brightwind, who is still stationary, snorts an indigent sound and Dani just laughs. Then she turns to Mattias, "I believe Brightwind is telling us we're getting to maudlin for his tastes. The sun is up, the air is fresh, life is good. Paraphrasing his emotions here." With those words the pegasus continues on his way, though his ears are turned backwards to catch their conversation, "So, what brought you to Xavier's originally? I could take a guess, but I've found assumptions are never as good as the facts."

*

Mattias' lips crackle into a smile at the mention of her mother. It needs not be said, by the tightening of his eyes and the cheesy smirk that comes, that he approves of this woman. A croak escapes his lungs as he opens his mouth. "My mothers here on Earth, adopted? One of them would punch my arm as hard as she can because she knows I can take it and-" Mattias bites down on his tongue at the derisive snort of the pegasus. "-Okay, okay, I know. My friends in Asgard would say the same. Enough wallowing."

The Asgardian's laughter echoes off of the rocks surrounding the lake, off of the trees, as the three, visible in the distance can be seen in their lazy walk at what appears to be the entire length of the lake. Even from a distance, the way Mattias throws his hands out of his pockets and whisks them towards his feet is obvious. SHAKE IT OFF, BLONDIE.

"What brought me to Xavier's?" Mattias grins and picks up a fallen branch. His boots press into the mud and he begins to jog. With a gentle bat to Brightwind's flank and a wink to Dani Moonstar, he begins to pull ahead away from the two. "The top-notch education and access to a year-round pool." He throws the log into the lake and continues to run. "Like Brightwind says. Enough talk."

With that…the three begin the morning run around the lake.

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