A Worthy Visit
Roleplaying Log: A Worthy Visit
IC Details

Atli comes to visit Warren, bearing gifts. Which will not Fix Everything, but which will probably suit him, since she consulted his old friends at the League of Ivy.

Other Characters Referenced: Alison Blaire, Tony Stark, Thor, Peggy Carter
IC Date: September 19, 2019
IC Location: New York Presbyterian Hospital
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 27 Sep 2019 22:38
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

For a great many hours, more hours than even she realized had passed, Atli Wodendottir stared at the sky in search of some answer to what she saw befall her very good friend. In reality, she was not thinking about what had happened to him, so much that she was wondering how it was even possible. Sure, her grandfather had scars. Badges of battles past. He’d even lost an eye (more than once, she heard), but he’d certainly walked those things off. And if anything, King Thor had painted a picture of the heroes of Midgard that had made them seem so very heroic, so very indestructible. After all, most of those she had met hadn’t any scars at all, and almost all of them other than Mr. Furry had all of their eyes.

Her conclusion had been that Thor was the fragile one, you see.

So, all of this had been difficult for her to understand. Simply put, she was still trying to wrap her head around the aftermath of a battle that should have been a victory, but only felt like defeat. Most things washed over her Asgardian sensibilities like the cooling waters of the Legendary X-People’s Washing Pond, but this stuck with her in ways that made her feel a terrible pang she could not shake.

And so, after staring at the sky and finally doing a bit of running around by goatback, Atli Wodendottir finally arrived well prepared for her visit. There is an awkward knock, and then a testing of the handle, a bag slung over one of her shoulders, a drink carrier in her other hand. She looks like a Renfest jouster caught out on a coffee run.

“Hello? Lady Lasersong? Lord Worthington? Verily, do not worry, I left the goat parked on the roof. I know the Hour of Visitation has passed, but I gave the woman behind that desk some of Lord Stark’s money that I found in his couch, and so now I have a green sticker on my wristband which allows me safe passage.” This she whispers into the room, peeking over her shoulder as if caught in a vast, Dark Elf conspiracy.

Atli might be expecting two, but when she pokes her head in, it will be to find only one at the moment. Warren is in bed, same as he has been ever since the mission that was now almost a week ago; he's sitting up, not prone, because of his wings, which are spread out to either side of him in some token attempt at healing.

Given the miracle of his blood, he should have been back to short flights by now. Instead, for whatever reason, his wings look markedly worse than before. At least, what little of them can be seen between all the bandaging that winds around them.

It doesn't even look like there is much beneath the bandaging, to be honest. His once-massive wings, each of them nearly ten feet of white feathers, have been reduced to shreds of their former selves… a pair of mangled bundles, from which the faint smell of death exudes. There is no amount of optimism that could look at those wings and not still feel… some measure of concern. No — it would take outright denial to ignore how bad they are.

Both Warren and Alison seem to have both in spades.

He glances up as Atli makes her presence known, but his demeanor is markedly subdued from what she would remember. Warren was always a showy, grand personality; here and now, as she speaks, he holds his silence, and wears no particular expression at all.

Eventually he looks down. He's perceptive when he wants to be. He knows what Atli's not calling him. "It's fine either way," he says, his voice dulled of its usual eloquent loquacity. "Visiting hour rules don't apply to me."

There is a wry twist to his voice, as he speaks of being above such petty things as 'rules.' He used to think he was above anything, really — untouchable — because he could so flagrantly ignore rules whenever he wanted. But now…

The words 'willfully oblivious' may come to mind when one thinks about Atli's outlook on the world, but here and now, closing the door behind her and faced with outstretched wings stripped of all their glory, there is no shying away from it. Her dear friend is many things, but in the end, he is only a man. And in all the time Atli had spent living, countless years she had no real count of, no amount of time seemed more important or exciting than the last, few small years she had spent here, in Midgard of the past.

Was it because of the companionship? The food? The music? Vegas?

No, the real reason she felt as if time had slowed in the best of ways was because of the heroes of Midgard, and all of their splendor. It had never occured to her that part of that splendor was sacrifice, and a mortality that was very real. Faced with such weight, Atli does indeed stay the course and do her best impression of her normal self, ignoring the terrible condition Warren's wings are in, and worse, the terrible condition his spirit is in. Her bag is set on the floor and she sets the drink carrier on a nearby swivel-tray, her smile as bright as any sun shine at ten thousand feet might be.

"Yes of course. Rules are all just made up things anyway. King Thor used to have a rule about me hanging out with Dark Elves. Ha! Fool! They were all dead before I was even born! What a laugh riot, that old Thor. So of course my sisters and I sought out the aging Goddess of Dark Elves and asked her to will a few more into being just to break King Thor's foolish rule. Verily, by the time we returned with our newly made Dark Elf friends, Thor was just so very pleased there were Dark Elves again that he barely cared. So you see, the clear lesson is, breaking rules only results in good things."

There is a thoughtful look, and she raises a finger. "Actually I suppose Dark Elves are evil, so in that case it resulted in a bad thing, but the important thing here is that Thor was wrong and we were right." A firm nod.

The Goddess of Thunder finds a chair to pull up, wiggling a cup out of the drink carrier to slide on the tray towards Warren. "Brown morning potion for both you and Lady Lasersong. You must keep your strength up. Speaking of which, where has The Dazzler run off to?"

It is a startling thing, to look at someone who used to embody one of humanity's most potent icons, and realize that beneath the beatific imagery of his appearance and the grandeur of his personality… there truly is nothing but a man. Flawed and fragile as any other mortal Atli has ever known.

He barely even looks up as Atli makes her entrance, though after a moment — perhaps thinking of her as innocent, and therefore feeling a bit like he's kicking a puppy to be so indifferent — he lifts his head more completely and actually engages Atli with his gaze.

Still, it's difficult for him to engage her on any level beyond mere eye contact. Certainly, it's hard for him to 'just cheer up,' even to one of her rousing stories told in her typical flamboyant way. He smiles faintly — manages that much — but the expression is as wan as his skin.

"Breaking rules usually did work out for me, as well," he says. "Usually. Sometimes they got me in trouble, instead. I usually just broke them again to get back out." His smile shades wistful, before fading entirely. "It would be nice if it were so easy to do that with this."

His eyes follow the 'brown morning potion' as it's slid over. He takes it, but doesn't try to drink it quite yet. He looks even less inclined to drink when the topic of Alison comes up; his eyes avert automatically, shame flickering in his blue lenses.

"I told her I needed to be alone," he says eventually, with a sort of candidness he hasn't had with anyone else, but which he feels is easier to have with Atli. Perhaps because her understanding of things differs so much from the Midgardian, at times, that there's no need for the usual social obfuscations and little white lies. "But I think I spoke a little hastily."

It's a lot. Some of which, surprising no one, Atli does not fully grasp and probably never will. There are simple notions that took Thor a hundred thousand years or more to understand and cherish. Atli's barely been born, by comparison. But she can understand pushing people away, even when that might be the worst of things to do. "Yes, well. It eludes me, the bonds Midgardians seem to have with one another. Probably because there were so few people to bond with on the Asgard of my time that it simply did not come up. So you see, I am quite bad at it. Still, I had my sisters. And when I arrived here, I had no one. Not even Toothbender. It was my first time knowing what it was to be alone, even surrounded by more people than I had ever seen before. Verily, I hated it."

Her gaze wanders backwards to that time, and Atli reaches out to touch Warren's knee, giving it a little squeeze. "But then I found my goat, and the Child of Wehrsweir, my grandfather in a more foolish but less onery form, and hero after hero, each more magnificent than the last. Willing to break rules for the good of the whole universe, and sacrifice everything to safe even a single, innocent life. Know that what you did to save that boy was noble, and worthy, and the universe will notice. It'll sort itself out and get you flying again. And I will retrieve the Dazzler after our visit and bid her back to your side."

As the weight of her statement settles in she brightens a bit, casting it to the side. "But in the meantime, you need not only your friends to surround you and bring you their strength, but also the vestiges of familiarity to remind you that soon you will be as you were. So I did some asking around." She grins, you know, that one. That grin that says 'I Have a Plan', which usually precedes something terrible happening.

"It was quite difficult but I'm quite the detective you know, and after speaking with a number of your friends from your years in the League of Ivy, I have brought you all that you shall require on your recovery. The first item can remind you of breaking the rules."

From the bag, Atli produces… a sailboat. Well, a little sailboat. It's the kind someone might have made of their full sized boat, to display on their mantle. The boat's name has been scratched out. Below the scratched name, it says 'Worthington's Boat'. On the back of which, there is a tiny LEGO Angel, and a tiny Lego IRON MAN. Atli beams and sets it on the little table between them.

A flicker of guilt passes through Warren's blue eyes as Atli speaks so casually of how few people were left in the Asgard of her time. He doesn't speak to it, though, his gaze simply turning away again to stare out the window. It seems almost a reflexive thing, that constant way his eyes keep returning to the open sky.

It has been a week since he's flown, and that's the longest he's been grounded in over ten years.

His gaze only leaves the drifting clouds to her touch on his knee. She speaks of how what he did was noble and worthy — the sort of heroism that would sacrifice all for the life of one child — and that the universe would surely take notice and balance the scales. A brief struggle crosses his expression, like hope warring with tired cynicism, before he pushes down whatever bitternesses he might have said, and covers her hand with his instead.

He pats it, appreciative — but a little less certain of how well everything will work out. "You know," he says, perhaps in a bid to distract her from reassurances he cannot quite bring himself to believe, "I can't recall if you ever told me how you came to be here."

But of course, Atli is here on a mission, and the mission will not be denied. Her talk of making the rounds with his friends from 'the League of Ivy' gets an actual laugh. It's rusty, and he seems surprised to hear it even emerge, but there it is.

"We broke a lot of rules, that day in particular," he notes, long fingers delicately turning the boat where it sits so he can look at the lego figures. "Tony's Aunt Peggy was furious with us. A story for another time."

As Warren laughs and recounts some small portion of that story, that is, Peggy's wrath, Atli smiles. It brightens her, all over, to see that he can still laugh. That he is still him, somewhere in all that pain. And it's a smile she maintains as Warren prompts her about how she ended up here. It is a subject she avoids, but today is a day filled with the unavoidable.

"Tricked through an omni-powerful time portal by my great uncle, after he stabbed my grandfather through the heart. Which, of course, prevented King Thor from going back and saving all of creation from Galactus, the Butcher of Worlds and his shadow duplicates!" The enthusiasm with which she tells the story is a front, smiling through the pain of memory that reaches back through a twisted timescape with detail she wishes she might forget. The color of King Thor's blood, and so very much of it, as Loki killed him. Her inconsolable, impotent rage, and the charge that brought her here. "Which were on the very precipice of devouring every world known to exist, all at once. A billion billion Galactus-Butchers, all simply ready to end what little life was left at my time. Which, I am certain he did, with no one left to stop him."

There is a pause there, as she tells the basics of her story, her head tilting slightly, her smile faltering just a bit, but surging to a renewal once she meets Warren's gaze. "But it keeps me going, you see. It's my duty now, to make sure it doesn't happen. To make sure this world full of heroes never becomes a blasted landscape, as it was in my time. To make sure we can all save each other." Her hand slips from his, but only because she's rumaging in her bag again. Her gift giving is not yet done, it seems.

"Of course I thought you might need something to keep your mind sharp while you rest your body, and so I thought you might like to keep working on our mutual puzzle." She produces a bird box. Not the bird box, with the symbol of some anti-Phoenix cult on it. It is, in fact, a shoebox with a crude anti-Phoenix symbol drawn on the outside in black marker, with duct tape for hinges, and question marks drawn all over it's sides. She leans in a little, and slowly opens it, revealing the inside.

Which are filled with all sorts of bite sized, individually wrapped candies. "You see, while everyone thinks you are working on the puzzle, you can have these sweets, even if they say you can't, because it's all so well hidden."

Warren absorbs Atli’s story in silence. It might have been a far-fetched story for some, but for Warren — who’s seen a lot of strange shit over the course of the X-Men’s career — it honestly doesn’t sound that outlandish.

It also all sounds like something which should put his pain in perspective — the loss of billions of worlds, of life itself — and yet Warren finds it hard to feel that sort of altruistic empathy right now. Humans are rather selfish creatures inherently, and Warren has a bad tendency to occasionally be even more self-centered than the average.

He certainly doesn’t stop her from telling her story, even now, when it is obvious to him that it still hurts her to tell it. It distracts him from the pain in his wings to hear it, and that’s all that seems to matter.

“It’s a good duty,” he says of her resolution, patting her hand. “This world will need looking after.” His tone implies that he no longer sees himself as someone who will be looking after it. Sometimes he can still live in denial, but those moments grow fewer and farther between.

Atli isn’t finished with her gift-giving, however. There’s a bit of a pensive look when she hands him the bird box; not because he mistakes it for the real thing (who could?) but because it reminds him of the mission associated with it. Flying through the thin atmosphere of Mars…

“Thank you,” he says instead of finishing the thought, turning the revealing candies over. “They really have been tyrannical with what I can have here… and I prefer this to the actual bird box.”

As oblivious as Atli mostly is, Warren's sentiment about her looking the world is not taken at it's blind, face value. But she does not confront him or reassure him, because she doesn't really know how to do either. Not right now. Not when he needs company and friendship, and the latter would be a lecture. Which Atli literally doesn't know the meaning of. And so, she nods eagerly as he accepts the candies, considering it an absolute win. Of course Warren's choice of words returns Atli to the conversation in the most Atli of ways ever.

"Yes, well, it's understandable. There's only one perfect bird box in the universe and… " Atli's gaze grows distant as she trails off, her eyes lighting up with what could only be described as the purest form of love - the oblivious kind - and then immediately, awkwardly laughs, reaching back down to her bag. "But that is a conversation for another time! Yes, try that one there, with the peanut butter that is inside chocolate. Astounding. Now, I have one more gift for you."

The bag ends up on her lap, and she's still rummaging around in it. Why? Because it's filled with all sorts of things. She's had this duffle bag since one day after she arrived on the Midgard of Present, and it is filled with all sorts of keepsakes. Her face scrunches up a bit, tongue poking out the side of her mouth as she searches. "It was not easy for me to decipher all the things your fellows from the League of Ivy said you enjoyed during your time there. Midgard is filled with many very ridiculous things, with ridiculous names. But I did recognize one!"

Atli sets a bottle of coke on the table. And then another. She slowly turns it. One label says 'Share a Coke with Warren.' The other? 'Share a Coke with Alison'.

Clearly when Warren's old buddies were asked what he enjoyed back in the day and said 'probably lots of coke', Atli knew just what they were talking about. She beams at Warren, looking quite proud of herself, and even leaning in and sortof around to point at the names. "You see they even have your names, right here. Though." Her expression falls just a little, and she looks a bit annoyed. "They didn't have my name." She holds up a third bottle, one that says 'Share a Coke with Thor' on it, making a face.

Atli promptly drops that one into a nearby trashcan and crosses her arms.

Warren does take the peanut butter cup, because he’s been seriously deprived in the hospital and he’s already broken their rules flagrantly once. A few others follow after the peanut butter cup, in fact; his wings might not be healing, but the rest of his constitution seems unchanged, and he always had a far higher caloric requirement than the norm.

Folding out and smoothing the foil afterwards also serves as a decent distraction from Atli's fond thoughts about certain perfect bird boxes, which is a line of inquiry it's perhaps best not followed.

But Atli has one last gift, it seems, from the infinite depths of her duffle bag. Warren tilts his head, birdlike, curious despite himself as Atli speaks on of how she interrogated his fellows from the League of Ivy. What might they have said to Atli about the things he liked? …Should he be concerned?

As it turns out, the answer is yes.

Warren regards the bottles of Coke, a little confused — he was never a soda person — until suddenly it clicks. His expression catches somewhere between dismay and a laugh. Maybe a little outrage. "Jared told you about this one," is his assumption, with that 'I'm going to kill Jared' tone to his voice. "Well, he liked coke even more than me, so he's not anyone to judge."

He can't suppress the laugh any longer. It's not up to its usual strength, but it's good to see he can still be amused at things. "Thank you, Atli. It's just what I wanted. Perhaps I'll lobby to have all the Thor ones replaced with your name, instead."

In the space of moments between confusion and that laughter, Atli watches him as she has since the beginning. With the look of someone who is simply happy to be here with her friend. Of all the things in all the realms that might need doing, or that a hero might do, there is no where the Girl of Thunder would rather be. Her good nature does not falter, and whens he mentions Jared's name she reaches up to rub at her chin a bit, thoughtful in only the way a person who does not do much thinking can be.

"Hmm. He looked very much like a 'Chad', but I believe you may be right. If he has somehow betrayed you let me know, and I shall send Toothbender back to his boat, for the goat very much wished to eat part of it. As far as my Grandfather's name…" She makes that little wince face of hers, to show that what she did was somewhat in jest. Really, the situation with Thor always has her torn. King Thor will always be her hero. A man that raised his grandaughters all on his own. Who taught them to fight and be heroes in their own right, and who gave them the spirit and power to make very, very questionable decisions and yet continue onward. But he is dead.

And the Thor of the present is quite the bafoon by comparison. But then, so is Atli. Which is why sometimes she knows such kinship with her present-day grandfather that is beyond compare, and sometimes it feels as if he is stealing all of her thunder, almost literally.

"No, I suppose we need not strike Thor's name from recognition on these dark and ominous bottles. I wish not to damage his ego, lest he be unable to lift his hammer after. It would be a terrible shame. Besides, you should save your strength for candy eating, and getting better. And I shall go on a quest to find Lady Lasersong, and tell her you wish to do lots of Coke with her, which, given the way this Jared of the League of Ivy spoke of it, should bring her rushing back to your side with haste." When she stands she looks at him with her infectious smile, bringing an ever-present light to the room. "And then you will do what you always do. You will say the words to her that make everything right. You'll tell her that of all the fools in the galaxy, only you were brave enough to stand up to her impossible radiance and raw, destructive power. Nevermind all of the danger you put yourself in because all of the space entities who would wish her to sing for them." She says matter of factly, elaborating no further.

"So don't worry." she says, reaching down to slide her fingers around his forearm, giving a little squeeze. "As you can see, I have a plan. A plan to Fix Everything."

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