1963-09-11 - Interdimensional Incident
Summary: Illyana makes a very ill advised visit to Asgard to set Odin straight on some things (Guest starring Thor as Odin!)
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange piotr illyana thor 


Illyana had done something a bit uncharacteristic of her after the last jaunt into Limbo, where she and Strange and Rory had fought off Jotuuns in her home— she'd hit the books. It had taken a few hours of scrambling through Strange's library (and leaving his faithful butler despairing of ever getting all the books back where they belong), but Illyana had discovered the relationship between that fabled land, Jotunheim, and Muspelheim.

"Odin does not sound like much of king," Illyana scoffs, flinging spare clothes and baked goods into an old cloth haversack. "If cannot even control borders, then must not be strong king. I will have words with him," she tells Strange, cinching the bag shut. "And will bring Piotr along too, he is big and scary looking. And somewhat good in fight," Illyana concedes, a beat later, before walking out of her room in Xavier's to go fetch her brother, leaving Strange in her wake like a comet made of despair and panic.

She walks up to Piotr's door in the men's dorm (ignoring the rules about women in the mens' dorm area) and bangs on his door with her small fist, three times.

"PIOTR! Wake up! I am running errand, and need you to come along!" she shouts into the wood. "Put on pants!"


For someone who is 'big and scary looking,' Piotr looks more perplexed than anything else when he opens the door to his room almost as soon as his sister knocks. Jeans and a t-shirt, as per his standard, and a thin frown offered down to his sister.

"'Wake up,' she says. I have been up since dawn," Piotr grumbles, already moving out into the hallway. "Is this like the last errand you took me on, Snowflake? I do not really want to be dragged off to Limbo again," he says in a low voice, his tone almost a warning one.

It will do very little to stop her from dragging him anywhere she wishes to go.


Illyana ranting about things: normal. Illyana complaining about the so-called oddities of this world: normal. Illyana reading for more than five minutes: not so normal.

Strange looks up from his book when his apprentice leaves the library, clearly on some mission, and his brows draw together in a suspicious frown. What had she said? Something about a king and Piotr? Rising from his seat, his reading book still spread and balanced expertly across the width of one hand, he walks over to the scattered pile of tomes. It only takes him a moment to put two and two together and it equals an utterly-ridiculous move on Illyana's part.

"No," he laughs, shaking his head, "she wouldn't—"

And then he feels the ripple in reality from her stepping stone and the white of his eyes show brightly about his steel-blue irises. "AGAMOTTO, NO!" Dust wafts in the slamming-shut of the now-discarded book that slides across the desk as he runs with long strides upstairs to the Loft. The Cape flies to him like a bird of prey from across the room and clasps about his shoulders, adding its familiar weight and Mystical bulk. With power flashing behind his half-lidded gaze, Strange opens a gateway to the Institute. Reality rips open with a sound like tearing sheets and he strides into the main hallway of the Men's Dormitories of the Institute. His gaze zeroes in on Illyana and Piotr and he stands there, controlling his breathing, but looking no less thunderous. Gods above and below, she scared him for a moment. "What are you planning to do, precisely?" he asks, enunciating each consonant sharply.


"Do not be silly, I was in Limbo earlier today," Illyana chides Piotr. "Killed several fire giants with that cute wolf boy." She glances over as Strange thunders down at her, lifting her brows at him rather fearlessly. "I am going to handle Giants on their end of things. If they will not stop coming to me, I will stop them from going to Limbo."

"So! We go to Asgard to have a word with this Odin fool."

And before either man can protest, Illyana grips a bicep in each hand and summons a glowing circle of eldritch yellow light under their feet. They get dragged along and then— Illyana seems to bump into something, the world a sea of riotous colors as the stepping stone is stymied by Something preventing her from simply appearing where she wishes.

"Is fine!" she yells over the screaming din of Asgard's magics trying to prevent them from entering that realm. "I can bypass!"

She rips her Soulsword from the aether, summoning it into her hand, and slashes the air twice in an 'X'. The universe momentarily turns inside out, feedback slamming around them, and then the trio appear in Asgard…

….right on one of the balconies in Odin's Palace, and right near what appears to be an /extremely/ surprised group of courtesans and nobles enjoying their lunchtime repast.

"I am Illyana Rasputina, Sorceress Supreme of Limbo! I demand to speak with Odin!" the petite blonde girl bellows. "Someone fetch him!" she adds, ignoring the fact that she just teleported her hulking warrior of a brother and the Sorceror Supreme of Earth right into the near-heart of Asgard's most redoubtable and defensible fortress.


Almost as soon as Piotr feels comforted by Doctor Strange's presence, the man's demeanor makes him rethink that emotion. And then Illyana speaks of Asgard and Odin, which are words that he knows, but this is all absolutely ridiculous -

By the time the trio land on the balcony, Piotr has grabbed onto one of Strange's shoulders to keep his own balance, his expression twisted into one of mild nausea. As he slides his gaze around the balcony, that feeling does not subside, and he very slowly straightens up and tightens his jaw.

"Illyana," Piotr says in a very quiet, very tense voice, "What. Did. You. Do."


The crunch of Piotr's fingertips into Strange's trapezius muscles brings him out of his shocked state. His apprentice just did the very thing he wanted her to do the very least. Glancing over at the petite blonde waif, he sees her now wearing her battle armor and the ambient light of the room glints menacingly off of the burnished metal. Some quick formulation of connection between the Soulsword and empowerment races across his mind before he tries to focus on the present. No panicking, no panicking, just remember everything he can about this realm.

Disengaging the young man's hand from his Cape, Strange steps forwards, hands held out. His positioning places him between the lunching group, a few of which have now risen to their feet with various expressions of consternation and fright on their faces, and the two young people.

"Please, don't worry! It's just momentary, we'll be leaving shortly." And he looks back over his shoulder at Illyana with coldest warning in his eyes, now limed in the centers with Mystical energy. "Very shortly."


The surroundings are Norse, dripping with history and an age that simply cannot be counted. Thousands of years? Tens of thousands? The Royal Family goes back, and back into the mists of time, and the palace radiates it. Yet, it doesn't have that mustiness that such antiquity brings. There is a life that flows, a vibrancy that exudes. Carved wood, carved stone work in harmony and balance in the decor; the things the brutish Vikings only hinted at in their art and their carpentry.

The courtiers are indeed surprised, but not so surprised as, say, the palace guards who aren't there just for ceremonial purposes like in England. Due to the concerns with Muspelheim and Jotunheim, the guards are in something less affectatious and more utilitarian for armor and armed with useable weaponry. So, while those ladies and gentlemen move towards the door, swords are drawn and those rather large Asgardian warrior/guards advance, wary but with purpose. At least they don't strike first and ask questions later!

In the next heartbeat, there is a horn… very much like the Horn of Gondor that some upstart author wrote about only a few years earlier reverberates down a hall, and another.. and another.

In case anyone was curious? "No one demands to see the All-Father, sorceress!" Of -course- the guards know of magic! After all, their Queen has such talent, the Prince, the Enchantress.. and more than a host of others. "You will be escorted out or you will be escorted to the dungeons."


Illyana starts to draw herself up to her full five-foot-six with all the righteous indignation she can muster, but a big hand clamps on her shoulder and then another one wraps firmly around her face, muffling whatever it is she was about to tell the guard.

Knowing Illyana, it was going to be a /scathing/ rejoinder. The petite blonde is momentarily rendered rather powerless by Piotr rather effortlessly preventing her from barking out a command at the guard that would no doubt be long on piss and vinegar… and possibly something that would kick off an interdimensional incident with all Asgard.

Good thing Strange is there to smooth things out.


Later, Piotr might reflect on how upsetting it is that he's already feeling comfortable anticipating when he needs to do everything in his power to keep his sister's mouth shut. Right now, he's just focusing on doing it — and rather than risk saying something wrong himself, he just looks between the advancing guards before giving Strange a vaguely pleading look as he keeps his hand firmly over Illyana's mouth. Help.


Once Strange sees that her brother has Illyana, at least, momentarily contained, he slowly brings his hands back towards his body, angling his palms outwards to continue showing the universal gesture of peace. Giving his apprentice one last blistering glare and planning on creating a particularly personal form of grounding for her, he looks back to the sword-wielding guards and offers a thin smile.

"Please, allow us to escort ourselves out. We meant no harm and apologize for any issues we have caused. I will simply draw up a gate back to our world and you will not see again like this." Without forewarning, he means, and plans on sending some form of interdimensional apology note once this fiasco is all settled.


The child is restrained, which seems to make the guards a little less, well, guarded, but they are no less insistent as evidenced by the fact they still have their swords out and they still look very much as if they're more than willing to use them should the need arise. There is some commotion in the corridors; apparently the horn sounding was a warning that there were intruders within the palace. And, this is not a Realm ruled by those who are unused to battle, no. This is Asgard, where its history can be told by drawing lines from battle to battle won by her kings, her princes.. and battles, potential battles within the palace is certainly no exception.

While the Queen remains away and protected within (though argument can be made that she is more than capable of protecting herself), the King makes his way, armed.. and very, very dangerous. Perhaps it can be read upon the Guards' faces; they know who is coming, and when…

"Departing by any other manner than the Bifrost is a crime of the highest in Asgard.." Just in case it wasn't known. "Come with us."


Illyana finally resorts to the slimiest of underhanded tactics— she licks Piotr's palm, slobbering all over his hand.


She manages to wriggle loose and dart out under Piotr's grip, though there are fortunately two lines of interference stopping her, and Strange neatly prevents her from getting too far ahead of the pack.

"I am Queen of Limbo, and I demand parley with your King under the accords of the Covenants of Ashram!" Illyana shouts, speaking quickly. "Asgard claims the worlds of giants right of triumph and I demand redress for their trespass under the… uh…" she flounders a bit. "Articles of the … Shadow Convention, during the… uh…" She gives Strange a somewhat helpless look as the nuances of the various agreements escape her memory.


"Oh, for — Illyana!" Piotr hisses her name with the kind of venom only siblings can muster for one another, hurriedly wiping his hand off on his pantsleg as he turns to rush after her. Good lord, he needs to get ahold of that girl again before she gets them all killed.

However, Piotr needs to do it without making any sudden movements. His pursuit ends before it even begins when he remembers the guards and his own desire to leave alive. Right. Slow, easy movements. Nothing threatening.

Very quietly, Piotr Rasputin lets out a sigh that carries just a bit of a whimper.


The Sorcerer Supreme doesn't quite clothesline his apprentice, but he comes awfully close to it. With one hand now spread across her lower ribs, his arm bisecting her body diagonally, he prevents her forwards rush towards the Asgardian sword-bearers. He can't stop her spittle-flecked declaration and when her venom finally begins to drain away, he returns her helpless glance with a slit-eyed glare of threat.

"Get…behind me," he growls through bared and clenched teeth. "There was no Convention of Shadows and we - are - leaving," he says, loudly enough for Piotr's edification - and probably gratification. Once he's sure that she won't be bullrushing the guards for the moment, he turns back to the armed audience that now most definitely seems to be standing closer to them than before.

"We will go quietly with you, if that is what allows us safe passage from this place. Again, we meant no harm." However, he doesn't make any move other than to deliberately place himself once more between the guards and the two young people, a silent warning that, should the guards mean violence, they will meet him first. Oh, and to block Illyana once again.



A booming voice can be heard from the corridor just beyond (ever wonder where Thor gets his lungs? Wonder no longer!), and a man enters in partial armor. His, too, is far from ceremonial, and he, too, has a sword, but it is currently sheathed. His hair is a salt and pepper, his beard the same; and there is that one distinguishing feature that those who have studied the past, studied Mythology would recognize immediately. The eyepatch covering one eye, and the other of the deepest of blues, now icy and cold. "There is no 'demanding' here… and he looks to find the voice with body and he continues, "Child. And I recognize no such place as 'Limbo' as a Realm on the Tree." As he enters, the guards do the briefest of obeissance; their job is to guard, after all, and their eyes never leave the trio.

"Your Majesty," one begins, "They simply appeared." And witnesses can attest.

The single eye doesn't leave the three, and it narrows as his gaze lands on each in their turn now. It's to Dr. Strange that it completes; the eldest, apparently. "Is this true." His words are clipped, each one enunciated such that there is no confusing what it is he wishes to know. "That you simply appeared."

And there, there is the truth of it. The fact that Odin's more paying attention now to Steven gives the group a chance, perhaps. "Tell me how you appeared and you may depart via the Bifrost. My guards will escort you so there will be no incident." He's more than aware that Loki knows how to do such a thing, but Loki's magic would off flares when used in the proximity of the Palace if he attempted to depart. And there are sections of the Palace that are keyed specifically such that no magicks would work. Throne Room. Dungeon.


"I am Queen of Limbo, Sorceress Supreme of the Netherworld!" Illyana repeats, blustering a little. She's clearly a bit cowed by the sheer /presence/ Odin exudes— nevermind the gruff and mighty warrior, or the king used to commanding with a glance. He has a metaphysical mass on par with no one but Strange himself, exuding so much raw power against Illyana's senses that it almost hurts.

She's a wild and savage looking this, this Queen, but— there's that sword in her hands, and the armor flickering into existence around her wrists and shoulders. The sword crackles with amethyst and white light, and compared to the magical heat rolling from Illyana and Strange, that blade feels almost cold to the senses, as if greedily consuming any magic that drifts towards it.

It is a profoundly unsettling tool.

"And the giants of Jotuunhim and Muspelheim are invading my domain, and I—" Mercifully, Piotr reigns his sister in with a /pair/ of big hands, silencing Illyana rather effectively once more.


Piotr knows very little of magic and the truth of the Nine Realms. But he reads. And, as impossible as it all seems, he knows exactly who that is, and as his eyes flick between Odin and his baby sister, the color drains from Piotr's face.

Yeah, Piotr is no longer so worried about making sudden movements. He practically lunges forward to clamp his hands over his sister's mouth again, and this time, no amount of slobbering is going to get him to let go.

"I apologize for my sister," Piotr says quickly, his accent even heavier than normal from the actual, legitimate terror he is having to stomp down on. His eyes go again to Strange, plaintive.


Strange has raised one scarred hand indecisively, perhaps vacillating between separating himself from his apprentice (boy, is he tempted to leave her to her fate…perhaps some time in Asgard's dungeons would cool her heels…) and even spelling her to silence. Thankfully, Piotr beats him to it and physically muffles his sister once again.

Giving a sigh that quivers near its end, he faces Odin - whom he suspected would show and hates the fact that the Allfather has actually shown - and straightens his posture. With the crimson Cape providing backdrop to his form, he's tall, proud, and exudes his own benign aura of Mystical magic. He clears his throat and then bends at the waist in a courtly bow to Odin, not quite as deeply as your everyday courtier, but enough to acknowledge the true ruler of Asgard.

"Your Majesty, my apologies. Dr. Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, as you know as Midgard. We do not mean to interrupt your afternoon with such a trivial waste of your time. You ask how we entered this realm." He pauses and glances back at Illyana; he's unable to keep his eyes from narrowing at her briefly, but does school his face back to neutrality when he looks to Odin once again. "These young people are under my protection and taking their ages as such, I ask that you grant pardon for our accidental intrusion. The young woman has a weapon that is able to penetrate magical barriers and it seems that she was able to bypass the divisions between our world and yours. I would be more than happy to return at another time and discuss future prevention of such an event occurring." /MORE/ than happy.


"One of Hel's minions, then?" Why does that sound darker and a touch more ominous than it should? "She should know better…"

If Illyana was looking for that much more attention, the single, cold blue eye is settled upon her, and the booming voice becomes very quiet. "Do you dare bring your armor forward and you still hold your sword in hand in my presence? Either you sheathe your sword, child, or use it. Do not pretend you can threaten me."

If there was any hope of getting through to the All-Father, the show of force simply isn't carrying the day. It's more the other two that show proper respect, and there.. proper courtesy that gains more favor from the man, the god of myths and legends in the flesh. Never let it be said that he doesn't hear, however, and the names of the Jotun and Muspell certainly make it through that haze of anger.

"Midgard.. hmmm.."

To hear from whence they've travelled, Odin remains very still, considering the words. Now, he points to Steven and he makes note, "Heimdall will allow your arrival to explain to me these things; particularly how the Jotun and the Muspell invaded this…" and he waves his hand in the air idly, "Limbo."

Now, he looks to the guards; he's done. Odin has other things that require his attention. "The guards will see you to the Bifrost. From there, Heimdall can send you home to Midgard."


Illyana looks a bit perplexed— after all, the /guards/ are waving swords at /her/! But she twists around to look at Piotr, as if finally sensing how very, very, very far off the rails this has all gone, and she tosses her blade negligently aside. It vanishes in a cascade of sparks, and a moment later the armor dissipates in shadowy wisps, as well, leaving her in black leggings, a yellow vest and skirt, and boots and gloves. At least she's not wearing her old shift that looks like she washed it in a dirty stream.

She mumbles something muffled against Piotr's palm, but it's pretty clear that Piotr and Strange have decided she's out of chances to re-roll her Diplomacy check today.


Very much so. Possibly forever. Piotr's hands remain very firmly clamped over his sister's mouth, but he does allow himself the quietest of relieved sighs when she disarms. Thank god. Well. A very specific one.

"Thank you," Piotr says to Odin's back. Not trusting Illyana to… do much of anything, frankly, he pulls her along — first to Strange's side, and then wherever the guards guide them. And on the way, he leans down to very quietly hiss in her ear. "We. Need. To. Talk."


Other than the slow, silent sigh that escapes Strange's parted lips and the quick shutting out of the world around him behind closed lids, the man shows no other sign of the immense relief that floods through his body like cooling water. His hands, clenched at his sides, are kept from trembling by a constant low-volume recycling of magic through the damaged nerve fibers. Inasmuch as he doesn't want to entertain parley with the ruler of Asgard for any bit longer, he needs to know more about his…future meeting.

As Odin turns away, he hears Piotr's words of gratitude and is quick to echo them, a bit louder than the young man, since the All-Father is in the process of leaving them. "Yes, thank you, Your Majesty. If I may, how will I go about accessing the Bifrost? As your guards explained, any entry to Asgard beyond that of the Bifrost is discouraged." He doesn't use 'criminal'. No need to remind the royal family that they were absolutely caught in some twisted version of 'breaking and entering'.


Odin is beyond, and as the guards stand forth, one helpfully supplies, "Heimdall sees and hears all within the Nine Realms and beyond. Speak his name, and you will gain his attention. State your intent, and he will bring you forth upon the Bridge." And from there, an armed escort into the City, then the Palace. It is the means of entry of both Royalty and common folk.

The path in which they are led (should they go quietly and willingly!) is filled with that same antiquity; arms and armor in display, the melding of ancient and current with that underlying humm of magic in spots. Probably the wake of someone who had been there previously and simply moved on….

And then, the Bifrost. Resplendent in colors and light, on either side is an obvious drop into the cosmos.. into that abyss that is, as of yet, unknown and uncharted. Beyond? The gatehouse where the Gatekeeper works, his eyes unblinking, and the 'landing pad' that has a distinct Nordic pattern to it. Soon enough, home…


Thor leaves, heading towards RP Nexus [O].


Thor has left.



Once out of earshot of Odin (and on the way to the Bifrost), Piotr had mercifully released his manual shutdown on Illyana's voice, ie, clamping a hand over her face. They'd been more or less frogmarched to the Bifrost and escorted off Asgard, leaving them flying in a whirl of colors and energy to be deposited near Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning. There's a silence as the spell dissipates (it's not a comfortable way for mortals to travel, after all), but Illyana seems to recover her equilibrium first, stepping away from the two men, then turning and putting her hands on her hips.

"I think, that went pretty well," she summarizes, smiling widely.


When Illyana turns, her brother is standing next to her mentor with his fists clenched at his sides, his jaw closed nearly as tightly. Piotr looks furious — possibly even more so than he was the other day in Harry's.

"That was your errand?" Piotr asks in a tight voice, clearly having to expend some considerable effort to keep from shouting. "YOU COULD HAVE GOTTEN US ALL KILLED." …well, so much for not shouting. That lasted longer than it probably should have.


The world around them rearranges as the front lawn of the Institute, a place of familiarity that leaves Strange a bit less dizzy than he was initially. Grasping at one side of his head and blinking in momentary slack-jawed confusion, the Sorcerer Supreme slowly stands up after one more wobble in place.

If that is how this…Heimdall is going to whisk him back to Asgard, Strange is going to need to sufficiently ready himself the next time. It isn't as if his brains rattled about in his skull or anything, but he can feel a looming tension headache and the sudden explosive yelling of Piotr beside him makes him wince once again. He glares at the young man and then really ups the chill factor in those ice-blue eyes ringed with lambent power when they settle on Illyana.

It's been a long time since Strange has had to draw on the ambient magic of this world to make a point, but if it seems like the area around them darkened a bit and the shadows began to writhe and gather about his feet and perhaps even whisper in the breeze that's kicked up…well, it's not far from the truth. He doesn't need to say a thing. He just stands there, arms crossed, his hair beginning to float as he continues slowly drawing in the nebulous strands of Earth-borne Nether-power.


Illyana's smile drops away, replaced by a shocked expression— one that quickly turns pale and long as Piotr's voice raises to an explosive booming. He's big, he's angry, and he's not just yelling at Illyana— he's scolding her, with force and fury alike on his features. It starts to dawn on her that he's beyond exasperated, but well and truely /angry/ with her.

And then Strange silently joins in from the other side, and his silence and angry, flint eyes thoroughly cow her— shrinking in as if each unspoken word smacks her upside the head, shoulders and chin drawing towards a point as she hugs her stomach protectively. Her mussy, tangled blonde hair covers her face and features as she withdraws.

There's that lull in the tirade, that quiet 'And what do you say for yourself?!' hanging like a demand in the air.

Illyana sniffles once, loudly, her shoulder shaking. Then she starts /crying/, very, very quietly, but obviously, and with both men bracketing her, unable to run and hide— or do anything but fall on her butt and cover her face.

Which she does. Still sobbing.


The expected reaction to this is probably not what she gets: Piotr casts a searching look to the sky and one sharp, disbelieving laugh bursts from his chest before he can even think about it.

He'll feel guilty later. Maybe.

When his gaze settles onto his sister again, Piotr looks no less furious, but he does at least rein his volume back to something resembling a dull roar; his words are clipped and heavily accented, but no longer risk shattering windows. "When you learn to be less reckless with your power, you can come to me for assistance again. But if this is how you will use your power — shouting at gods, brokering fool's bargains with demons — then I will have no part of it."

Piotr throws his hands into the air and pivots sharply on his heel, beginning to pace away. <And I cannot even go to Harry's for a drink after what you did there! They will chase me out with pitchforks and torches!>


Strange's eyes slowly slide over to Piotr and he waits - and gets the reaction he had hoped from the older brother. Good word choice as well. He lets Piotr get some steps further away before he begins slowly releasing his hold on the icy tendrils of Nether-magic. It seeps away, back into the deep of the earth and the shadows beneath the trees and leaves him standing there, still wearing an expression of cold anger.

"I believe your brother said it well enough." His voice isn't loud at all. It's quiet and devoid of all emotion except a twang of disappointment. "However, I will explain it for your edification. Here, in this realm and on this Earth, we expect that those who care for us keep us safe. They do not drag us on…adventures," he snarls momentarily, turning the word into a curse, "into other realms and place us in mortal danger. You do not understand one bit about whom you spoke so sharply to, so again, allow me to do so. That was Odin, All-Father and King of Asgard. He is my equal in his realm, Illyana. If you had gone without me, you - and your brother - would be dead." Toast. Plain and simple. "You do not gallavant into realms without asking me first. In fact…" And he leaves the sentence hanging ominously while he seems to consider something. Then, he kneels down, very close to Illyana's face hidden behind her hands, and speaks coldly, "Give me one good reason - ONE - why I should not lock you away."


Illyana looks like she's about to just curl into a ball and die. Twisting, turning, trying to escape Strange's words. He's right— she knows he is. and then Strange says The Wrong Thing. Her eyes snap to his, and something hot and horrible fills her eyes— and it goes from horrible, self-deprecating, humbled pain to a fury that…

Well. Her eyes don't just turn hard. They turn /black/.

Dark, furious chaos wraps around her like a cloak, the raw stuff of Limbo slithering into existence around her. The grass dies underfoot, and armor snaps into existence around her. Her fingers curl around the air… but she doesn't quite summon her sword.

"NO ONE IMPRISONS ME AGAINST MY WILL," Illyana says, her words underscored by a cacophanous din— a thousand sepulchural voices singing songs of madness, rage, and demonic fury.


"NOT BELASCO. NOT YOU. NO ONE," she grates, still weeping and slavering, teeth gritted against the pain of Piotr's dismissal— and rage as Strange threatens to put her in chains once more.


The good news is, Piotr has managed to put some distance between himself and the pair of magic-users — he doesn't hear Strange's question for his sister.

But he damned well hears her response to it.

Piotr freezes mid-step and, slowly, twists at the waist to look back over his shoulder. Honestly, he kind of regrets it. He's never seen her like this, and while it's likely for the best that he sees it now… he'd be happier remaining oblivious. Wide eyes flick between the two, uncertain.


Illyana has reconnected.


Strange's eyes widen a touch, but then again, he's seen this sort of thing before - demonic possession and influence and all that. Raising one eyebrow, he slowly stands up and takes a step back. His hands drop to his sides and the air about them begins in quiver, like heat mirages in the desert. It's a very subtle response to the threat of Illyana's blackened eyes and she should feel the beginnings of the Sorcerer's aura tingling with suppressed power.

"If you mean to frighten me, you don't, Illyana. The moment you start acting like the responsible young woman you could be is the moment I stop needing to remind you that there are results to your actions. You can sit there and wail and gnash your teeth until the world ends." He folds his arms again. "I have time," he adds flatly. "The reason people would attempt to lock you away is because you do not /think/. Now, take a moment…and think." He settles his weight to one side, that arced brow never dropping from its high position, and waits.


Illyana has partially disconnected.


Illyana floats skywards with a surprisingly deft display of talent— levitation was something she was struggling with only a week ago, and now she rears up six inches above the ground, the grass withering around her. Fury and shadow coalescens around her and amethyst light glitters like a star in her fingers— she looks like she's ready to throw down with Strange, and to hell with the consequences.

Then, a voice. "Illyana… Snowflake." Piotr. She looks at him, his face earnest and pleading. "Stop."

She hesitates, and the black shadows around her state to fade— but she turns her defiant gaze to Strange again.

"Belasco," she says, spitting the name, "locked me away for /looking/ at him," she snarls at Strange, eldritch voices crackling at the edges of human hearing. "For /daring/ to speak to him without permission. For asking for /food/."

"If you want to lock me away, you may as well kill me, because I swear to all the powers that will hear me, I will /claw/ out of whatever hole you put me in before I'll be anyone's prisoner."

"Never. Again," she hisses. At least she's not leading a chorus of damned voices anymore, and her eyes are turning to a more human blue, as she regains control of her temper, and her toes scrape the grass as she floats back towards the ground.


Through all of it, even as his sister drifts back down towards the grass, Piotr remains where he is. He no longer appears furious, but he is far from okay: his face is etched with concern. Resignation. Disappointment.

"Your mentor is not Belasco," Piotr says in that same quiet voice, sounding more tired than anything else. "I am not Belasco. I am your brother, and I am afraid for you." Not of. For. His eyes drift down to take in the withered grass around her feet.


His steel-blue eyes flicker over to Piotr and Strange doesn't miss how influential he is on the young apprentice. It is duly noted.

"Yes, Illyana… Never again," the good doctor echoes quietly, with firmness. "As your brother says, we are not anything akin to that…fiend. Listen to him if you will not yet listen to me." Gods above and below, he was shy of praying for her to at least /think/ about what he had to say - and he hadn't prayed in years. "We are not demons. We are not gods. We are human…like you. However, this realm has its rules and I am its keeper. I ask that you aid me in ensuring humanity's safety and those you love. Your friends, your brother." He levels an even gaze to her. "You /will/ tell me /before/ you leave about any travels to other realms, are we clear?"


The jagged pendant under Illyana's heart darkens just a little— but then a droplet of something like sunshine dissolves some of the shadows inkling under her shirt, and she turns away from Strange and buries her face squarely in Piotr's chest. She can't wrap her arms around him (he's built like a redwood), but she tries her best to burrow into his thick chest and hide there.

"Never again," she whispers, hiding her face and taking refuge in Piotr's presence. A stark reminder that the bold, self-styled Queen is, in many ways— still trapped by the weight of a decade of demented torment at her former master's hands.

Finally, she sniffles and wipes her nose unceremoniously on her sleeve, and nods at Strange— not quite looking at him.

"Yes. Is clear," she says, her voice a hoarse whisper.


It is difficult to tell just from looking at Piotr if he fully comprehends what his presence has helped avert here. Or even if he appreciates just how unusual his sister's circumstances truly are.

With a quiet sigh as Illyana steps into him, Piotr just wraps both of his massive arms around her and hugs her into his chest, one hand falling to rest against the back of her head. Not the Queen of Limbo. Just his baby sister.

<Everything is going to be alright, Snowflake,> Piotr rumbles softly, looking down at the top of her head. <It will not be easy, but we will make it so. Okay?>


A familiar process, one very similar to that seen earlier when receiving Odin's blessing of departure rather than arrest, ghosts through Strange's being. He isn't quite sure about the minute light play he saw about the pendant, but he suspects that something good came of this entire fiasco.

"And that's all I can ask for now," he allows himself to say in a murmur as he watches Piotr console Illyana further. Whether Illyana heard him or not, who knows? It doesn't matter. No one died, he supposes, as he looks around the expanse of green lawn. No odd audience to their near-disaster. For now, they all need to rest.

His gaze drops momentarily to his booted toes before rising up to look at the Rasputin siblings. One corner of his goatee curves up in a moment of wry acknowledgement to something he clearly will never be a part of and then he turns away, Cloak swirling about his form.

"Illyana - and Piotr…I will let you know what the All-Father has to say about our visit." With that, he opens a gate back to Sanctum and steps through it, leaving the Institute to bear witness to whatever else happens.

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