1963-09-24 - Defeat Conceded
Summary: A spar reveals feelings and an impending departure.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
sif thor fandral crystal 

Off to the side of the sparring arena is a spot where weapon maintenance happens. Hot forge, cold forge, quenching buckets.. sharpeners and all sorts of blanks are within, as well as weaponsmiths to fix any issues that might arise. Perhaps a rebalance, or a recovering of leather on the hilt, or a new gilding…

Thor is in partial armor, sitting on the side, taking a whetstone to the end of the blade, shaping it with long strokes before short ones. With every motion of the stone, he pauses, sets the sword straight out to eye it, and goes back, balancing. His attention is fully on the blade, his focus settled such that no other thoughts may intrude on the work. He's trying, anyway.


The morning was long, in so much that she spent it being lectured by Heimdall. His own brief lessons and tales ended in wise words spoken and a light smack upon the back to his sister as she stumbled on her way back towards Asgard from the bridge proper. Armor was carried in a nice bundle, a webbed sack that was soon tossed upon the nearby table, an offering of coin to fix the chinks within and to round it out more form fitting and safe for wear. As pleasantries were exchanged, she turns to view the gathering few, though one figure catches her attention.

There was no sneaking up, or a slight little game which would end with a few chuffs to the back of the head. Only an approach with an offering of a skin of water over the shoulder of Thor, forearm rested upon the straight edge as fingertips dangle the skin in a tantilizing manner.

"You owe me a spar." Was her hello. "Is that blade for me? Or is there another focus that needs sharpened?"


Thor looks up from his work and it's a moment taken to focus on the further out, and there really is no mistaking that form and figure. A half-smile is offered up, and he straightens in his position and offers by way of greeting, "Aye, I do. It has been too long, and I wouldn't want you to get lazy." Of course, he hasn't picked up a sword and trained in a little too long himself.

Looking down at the work in hand, Thor sets the whetstone down and swings it around in a slow, flourished circle once, twice, thrice before it settles, hilt towards Sif if offrance. "The way things are going, the entire armory couldn't give me anough distraction from my thoughts this day. The All-Father has his audience this evening." Silent there, of course, is will you be in attendance?.



"Ha!" The half-barked laugh draws a little bit of merriment to the moment, the skin of the water soon dropped to the round in favor for the hilt of the sword, gripped and handled as she takes the necessary steps away to test her own motions with the blade. It curls around the webbing of her hand, tilting as if it were to fall which was caught soon after by the twist of her wrist. Satisfied, she draws a leg over the bench to settle in to a straddle, facing Odinson. "Not bad."

Though, with the way everything was going as of late, Sif has taken to moments of solitude. Often times attempting to get into the heart of the festivities and the incoming audience, but failing to do so with her own questions and plight. "And you are worried." She states, giving a slight tilt of her head. "As we all are. With your brother confined to the dungeons and your precarious timing with presenting the Princess of Midgard.." She wrinkles her nose faintly. "You are very well within your rights to be. Unless something else has befallin the crowned prince to add to /all/ of our troubles." Which is to say, she will be there. Her own reply.


Fandral arrives at the arena with a purpose in mind and sadly an interruption to Thor's stress relief, his blue eyes scanning the Asgardians present. When he spots his Crowned Prince and Lady Sif, he heads on over to them with a relaxed and genial matter. "Well I don't know if it's trouble or just an irritation, but Lady Amora has seen fit to case dark magic last night at the celebration," Fandral offers as he makes his way over to the two, "I'm not a caster, but when I poured mead on the glowing dark runes, they hissed and sputtered out. Hopefully prevented whatever spell that Amora was working." He pauses and then asks his prince, "Thor, is Amora still loose in the city or do you retrieve her?"


"Oh, Sif, there is more…" Thor murmurs as he watches her heft the blade and test it with her own patterns; patterns he recognizes and takes as a comfort of the familiar. These things never change, unless they have to due to war. "Sometimes I wonder if it was folly for me to depart, or to return, I know not which. One says one thing, while another.." He shakes his head and reaches out for another sword that is nearby; one that hasn't yet had the attention the one blade now in Sif's possession just received.

"Though I will give warning. We may be to Jotunheim soon." That 'we' encompasses all, just as it had the other evening. Him, Loki (perhaps), the Warriors Three and Sif. If anyone else, well.. that right there is the core. "I have just learned they found their way to Midgard."

The water skin, however, isn't ignored. Thor pulls it from the spot where it had been dropped and looks to pull the cap.

Fandral's entrance gets first a wave with the skin in hand, but as he sees the expression on his dear friend's face, the tentative smile of greeting begins to depart, and his head drops. "Fandral," is murmured, and then when the rest of the information is imparted? There is that jaw set once more, and his rumbled reply, "She is currently downstairs." Deep. "It all began when she arrived. Her magic was contrived such that if I did not have distractions, I would have bedded her." That, to Thor, was the first of many problems last evening.

News of the dark magic, however, is a serious matter. Particularly on the day of feasts; the prayers to Odin for the hunt.. "I was correct. She deserves her exile. Exile would be kind in comparison to what the All-Father might do."


"As I said.." She murmurs quietly. "..tis all our fault." She leans just a touch as Thor reaches to grip the sword, her own tip pointed to draw various runes and lines within the sand. "But we must listen not to what one or the other has spoken. We must only do what we can to atone for the mistakes that we think we have made, and set it right. Whether through talks to skin our teeth or blade and shield in which to conquer." Whatever was scribbled in the sand is scraped away almost promptly, the blade lifted to stare at it's tip, her fingers reaching to pinch a tiny bit of gravel from it's surface.

"Jotunheim?" She almost looks baffled. "That is news." Still, harboring the disbelief, she was all for attending the quest to Jotenheim, "Is there a breach that failed to capture Heimdalls eye? What has occured for them to reach the very lands that do not require our aid.."

Fandral's approach? It was met with a fallen face and yet a perk of a smile soon after. And then another failure of true emotion at the news that was delivered. Whilst she possibly would have risen up to greeted the warrior properly, only a deep inhale is taken, a stiff back and glenched toes to dig into her boot, which in turn digs into the earth below that has her rising.

"What has caused her to act out in such a way that would harm her return to her homelands?" She looks to both of the men now, as if -she- herself were the crowned princess and answers were demanded that instant.


"Your princess recognized the dark runes for what they were and then I interrupted them, not wanting to put Crystalia at risk," Fandral tells him, giving him more details of the event, "I don't know her skill with runes or if she recognized them but she might be able to give you more details on the matter." There's a hint there that Thor should thank his fiance for her actions of last night.

And before this can come back to bite him later, he warns Thor, "Lady Amora did come to me one evening and I took her to my bed. I don't know if she sought to make you jealous or if she meant to blackmail me later but I thought you should know in case it comes up." He gives a smile, "I should probably note that she didn't have to use magic on me." When the woman is willing and the timing is right, he finds little reason to say no, "I had hoped she would divert her attentions and leave you and your beloved in peace."

He then turns to Sif and answers her question, "Jealousy as far as I could tell. She can't stand that another woman would get more admiration from Thor." He shakes his head and runs his fingers through her hair, "Loki, if he gets out of his mess, isn't going to be pleased. He's got a fondness for her. And that Midgard, Scarlett, grabbing her and escaping before anyone of us could grab her. Do you want me to react to that. I know she is your beloved's handmaiden."


Thor failed 'runes' in school; he wasn't the best of students when young and now, there was little reason to study them as Loki and the others were more than aware of what they are. If he recognized them earlier, would he or could he have stopped them? Probably not.

A soft breath is exhaled as Thor looks to the first of his few playmates from childhood, Sif. "I don't know that path," is murmured. "I can only go where I think the way is right." Though now, what she's said is questioned, "To reach the very lands that do not require our aid? What land is that? Midgard? Of course they need our aid."

Fandral's admission to bedding Amora is greeted evenly by Thor. "There is no blackmail there, friend. Nor is there any surprise." Thor actually chuckles at that and shakes his head. "Her charms come naturally. There just hold no allure for me, much to her chagrin. But that magic…" Another chuffed breath escapes the Prince and he puts the water skin down in favor of the whetstone in order to sharpen the blade.

"I feel there is much I need to say to Crystalia in regards to last evening. She bade me apologize to Amora for my sharp words, but then, as you say, discovered the dark runes etched into the dirt. Can she not see I was right?" And what to do with Lady Scarlett…

"I am at a loss for that Midgardian. Regardless, I am certain she will be sent home this evening."


"Ah, but our earlier conversation.." Those words were cut off almost immediately. Whatever she thought would be kept for now, as for the problem presented itself in the wiles.. well.. Fandral and Amor.. well..

She breaks out into a fit of laughter. Oh how tainted Fandral was in her eyes now! Though she never digned to even think that way about the poor sod, but then again.. Amora had her reasons. Jealousy. She could only admire the woman to do what she could not. Acting rash was one of them.

With a rise from the straddled position that she holds, the blade itself was turned to point backwards, the but of the hilt lightly jammed in Thor's shoulder as she gives him a slight motion of her head towards the center of the makeshift arena. The sword that she holds herself, soon tossed towads Fandral. If they were going to work out what to do, what better than in the middle of a three way spar.

"Ever the friend you are, Fandral. But this is a precarious matter of the heart and I do believe that Amora would not want to invoke Loki's ire. Though if she is not returnt by nights fall someone -should- seek out Lady Scarlett and return her post haste." Absent sword, Sif was still ready. Both arms strung out. "Clear minds, boys."


Fandral notices the look on Sif's face and gives her a flirtaous bow, "I only sought her affections because you refuse to see my undying love for your sweet skills as a swordsman." He's always teasing Sif, even if the affection is not returned. He sees the arching sword coming his way and grabs it out of the air, testing the blade for weight for a moment, "And I am more than willing to give both of you a workout." He blows a kiss to Sif and then winks at Thor before joining them, "So are we all foes or are one of you my ally?"

He readies himself, stretching a little as he gets into his fighting stance, "And believe me. I do not plan to get in the middle of Loki and Thor over Amora." He looks at Thor and there is a bit of thanks that he isn't judging his friend for his loose morals.


Thor puts aside the whetstone and was going to offer that sword to Fandral, but Sif tosses the sword over and now holds nothing. He laughs, catching what Sif is planning- disarm one of the boys, and she has all the weapon she requires if not more. Dangerous game, but the friends are more than aware of it.

Thor gives Sif a lingering look before he inclines his head, turning about now to the other. "I found a young lad the other day, Fandral," he gives as he pushes himself off the bit of wall where he was sitting, a smile creeping across his face, "And I saw in him a potential that he would serve you well as an apprentice one day." In another 500 years, but what is that for Asgardians? A mere blink of an eye! "So, have to keep you in fighting form so you don't land on your face before him."

He holds the sword down, very much like he holds his hammer.. loose, casual, "Even Amora is a fool to get between my brother and I. Countless have tried. You, my friend, would not even remotely concern either of us were you to bed her these cold nights until Ragnarok struck."

Sif's posture gives her the appearance of being ready, as well as Fandral. "I would say all foe."

In the next moment, Thor is on the move, from lazy and loose to springing towards Sif, feinting with the sword high just to see if he can't get deep within her personal space to sweep a leg and push with a forearm.. Defending while attacking.


"Aye Fandral! Busy was I!" Lady Sif barks back with laughter, both hands clutching her heart in mock adoration. "By thine lips and blue eyes, I see your undying love and return my affections ten fold!" Hands lift to blow kisses towards Fandral, one after the other with each step taken back, aiming to gain distance from the two warriors to solidify her own stance.

"All foe." Sif echoes Thor's sentiments, it would be a fair fight after all, even if it were two for one or all against nothing. Thor's swift movements have Sif crouching ever so slightly, a backwards strafe and a sudden forward to bring vambrace high to stop the striking of the sword. Her hands seek to capture that arm, yet the sweeping of his legs send her backward with a push of his arm, her using that momentum to tuck and roll in a backwards somersault that rolls off of her shoulders and onto her feet with a bend of her knees.

And then she leaps forward, arms lifted in an attempt to capture Thor's neck. Granted, it was not true to a warriors form, but much like they were when they all were children, there were no holds barred.


"It will take many centuries before I pass my prime," Fandral tells Thor with a laugh, "So telll lad to keep training and work hard, when he's finally proven himself to be a man, I will take him under my wing." He then turns the conversation back to Amora, "For all the trouble that woman causes, she is…worth it." Of course, Fandral's taste in women is suspect considering the harpy of a wife he married in Norse times. He grins when Thor mentions the 'all foe' placement and then makes a point of watching both of them.

The minute Thor pounces on Sif, Fandral moves to get Thor's lega, hoping to trip him when Thor's actions fails and Sif goes on the attack. He's expecting an attack because Sif is aggressive on the battlefield.


Thor feels the give, the push, and he presses only to have his head pulled, his neck attempted to be locked. There is a concerted effort to shift such that the grasp isn't as successful as it could be otherwise, but Fandral's legwork does indeed trip up the Prince, and some semblance of balance is lost. If Sif was expecting only to hold some weight in her hold, there is a great deal more to contend with.

"He's still playing with his friends and keeping watch over the younger." Isn't that what all Asgardians do, after a fashion?

Thor goes down, and isn't near as graceful as Sif, or perhaps even Fandral, but at least he knows how to fall and not gore any of his friends in the process. "All-Father," Thor swears, "I have missed this."

There's a roll, and Thor is searching for his footing once again.


How could lovely Sif ever forget Fandral! The leap upon Thor was successful, the capture of his neck moderately so. Whilst he still holds the blade, she was ever mindful of the way in which to fall but allows Thor the grace to adjust his own footing. Sif was light, and carried herself gracefully in battle, for as he tips she allows her weight to -push- Thor with her own momentum to the ground whilst releasing to allow herself to fall by the wayside.

The tumble and roll was quick, for a gnashing of her hand against the sand has her fingers clenching, her feet pressed to the ground as she rises in a half run towards Fandral. A fake with the left, a toss towards the right which sends sand sailing into Fandral's direction and a tuck of her head to aim towards his middle in which she could tackle.

Hopefully. Fandral is and possibly will always be a capable warrior.


Fandral is more than willing to allow himself to be tackled by the fair Sif as Thor regains his footing. He actually embraces her with an, "Ooof…" And then twists his body so that he's falling on top of her if she's not quick enough to stop him. He makes a point of giving her deep blow of breath in her ear, "If you wanted me on the ground in your arms my love, you only had to ask." And before she can lose her temper and knee him in the family jewels, he rolls and kicks outward to try to catch Thor in the leg and send him back on the ground if his shot is true.


Thor is a touch slower, but that's by virtue of being the 'tank' in this crew. Normally he's with his hammer, but it's unnecessary in this particular match. He regains his feet, and there's a grin that comes across his face. He has missed this..

There's that moment when Thor realizes that Fandral really hasn't lost his ability to fight, much less take on two opponents, and there's a flip and the Prince is once again in the sand. The sword is pushed out of the way, and he rolls such that he's ready to regain his feet in a push to take Sif by the side and down.



The tackle that she puts upon Fandral was light. Any harshness in that movement would follow with a possibly broken bone or a ruined spine. And clever as he was, Sif wound up upon her back, Fandral in between her legs in which she gives off the most bewildered look. "Horses ass!" She growls out, her hand swiping at the air of where Fandral used to be, Sif rolling back upon her shoulders to kick up and out into the air to land upon the tips of her feet.

With Thor Fandral's next victim, Sif sees to it that she's the first to grab the sword, a quick scramble in the sand has her picking up the blade by the hilt. Her stalk towards Thor was with purpose, though that other hand attempts to grip Fandral by the scruff to toss him aside. Whether or not the Lady was successful, the pointed blade either way would be tilted towards Thor in the most threatening manner.

"WHY." No, it was not a game anymore. Even though her anger is getting the best of her, she needed this one thing answered. "Why.. -HER-."


It was all fun and games until Fandral is grabbed by the scruff of the neck and tossed. The surprised man lets out a yell as he's thrown out of the vicinity, into a bench of armor and swords, swearing under his breath as he gets up. He grabs one of the weapons, giving it a quick swing and is about to jump back into the melee when Sif goes off on Thor. Her harsh words gives the man pause.

He then puts down the sword and steps back, letting Sif have her way with the God of Thunder. Although, right now there's more storms on her face than the Crowned Prince. He glances about and nods to a few other groups that are sparring to let them know to leave the field and give them a little space.


Maybe not such a good idea!

Fandral is thrown and when he lands intermixed with the weapons and armor, Thor looks in that direction checking briefly on his friend's health before moves forward, only to find a sword tipped pointed .. pointedly at him. His smile fades with each breath, and his brows rise in question, then confusion.

"Sif?" It's the anger, the frustration perhaps that tinges one of his best friend's voice that causes him to pause, his jaw dropping, working, but there isn't an sound initially. "Are you gaming with me?" Obviously not.. but one never knows with Sif!

His hands are to his side, and they rise slowly, blue eyes watching Sif's. "Shouldn't this be over a pint of Ulfgar's ale? Come.. and you can tell me what a fool I've been for relying too heavily upon Mjolnir and having forgotten basic sword techniques."


Crystal hasn't spoken with Thor since he rode off last night after Amora's…episode. But they've been in Asgard for nearly a week now, and after the conflict, it seems she's grown more restless. At least, she's no longer quietly moving through the halls and the city in unremarkable wool. Instead, she's broken out another of the fine gowns that were made for her, a confection of blue, gray, silver, and platinum like lightning-split stormy skies. The material is fine and light, like mist or fog, fitted to her form only over her shoulders and beneath her bust. With her hair piled in loose curls atop her head and even make up done in shimmering tones, she's no longer trying to hide.

The confrontation in the training grounds, though, is evident even as she approaches - most notably from the sea of warriors already fleeing the place. A few look like they might warn the princess, but she moves forward, resolute.


Sif was not as cold as one might think. Granted the toss that she had given Fandral was wreckless but she does glance back for half a moment to ensure that he was safe. Fandral was durable. There was a time or two when she's seen him knocked from a high horse and rose with a smile. At least that is what anyone could count on.

But the sword she holds upon Thor was steadied. And while the tip of the newly sharpened blade by Odinson's on hand was not close, it's direction was clear and cut. Tip marking an invisible spot upon the neck where adams apple lay and the most sensitive point of where nerves connect at a cluster within the spinal cord rests in safety.

"Nay." She says quietly. "You have been a fool among other things and now you invite -this- into our homes." The sword lowers just as his hand rises, but lifts yet again. "I've held my tongue for far too long, especially in Midgard, especially -here-. And the more that we have fought the more that I realize, -I- too miss this and yet it angers me all the same." She shakes her head faintly. "Nay. I do not blame Amora.. Nay. I admire her, for only a fool would keep hearts content bottled so long that it spills with harsh /thought/ to murder the object of her affections!"


"Sif, lower the sword," Fandral tells her in a serious voice, knowing that while he understands her anger and frustration, he can't allow her to continue to threaten Thor in this matter, "As our prince has suggested, this conversation is better suited with some mead." He doesn't want to attack Sif for real but if she crosses a line and he thinks she's going to attack, he will interfere.


Oh, Thor is more than aware that Sif could do great harm to him. Could even kill him if she so chose to do so, though he'd have no little attempt at defending himself. While he doesn't hold Mjolnir at his side, it is but a call away, and he could give himself the extra couple of heartbeats that it would take for the hammer to come to his hand. But there are very, very few that he would give the benefit of the doubt- to allow their venting, their rage to come in his direction.

Particularly if it was deserved.

"I am a fool, Sif.. but what is done is done. I value you no less than I ever have; rely upon you no less than I have in the past. For all of this, I still do not regret the friends I have made, the people I have met on Midgard." Thor watches as Fandral comes up, he inclines his head, "Over an ale. Or a mead.. you would still not be weaponless for you know the words that could wound me more deeply than that sword could cut."

From the corner of his eye, Thor can see Crystal, and it as resolute expression on her face as the one on Sif's at the moment. Lady or the Tiger?

It's what Sif says at the end that truly begins to sink into that head of his, and there's a moment when he just.. stares at his childhood friend. She that grew up side by side, that laughed and ran and hunted with him, with him and his brother. There is simply no answer… for what can he say?


One at a time, when it comes to giving the Prince the scolding he's earned. Crystal, it seems, is content to let Sif have her piece. She stays at the edge of the circle, arms crossed loosely over her chest as she watches the trio.


"Fandral." Sif murmurs, finally turning her gaze towards one of the most treasured. It has been a while, since Thor and Loki had parted Asgard, since Sif sought to make her own name in her own right, embedded with magic that not only brought out the strength but a bloodthirst that could be matched. Heimdall was wise for putting her in time out. Though she was sure at this point in time? He wished she would have been kept there.

Her lips curl to speak ire, but the sword itself was lowered, turned in such a way it nearly scrapes against the leathers upon her leg, pointed outward behind her as her shoulders slump. What could be said. Absolutely nothing. But the blade was soon tossed in an easy, relaxed manner even though the anger had retained it's height. "That will not be required."

Her hand lifts then, brushing away a few of the strands, her gaze alighting upon the now empty courtyard with a press of her lips until her eyes land upon Crystal. It was a beautiful garb she wore, and almost as if it were a bold statement of belonging. Sif bowed her head briefly in acknowledgement, then takes her step back.

Thor's words strike a chord within, a shake of her head given. "There is no ale or mead that could quell nor conquer the anger within, in which I concede defeat." At his silence, she turns away from him, her fingers soon clutching in a grasp that releases, only to repeat.. over and over and over.

"Then allow me to form my own bonds, Prince Thor Odinson of Asgard. After court. After our travels to Jotunheim. Allow me to take my leave of Asgard by permission of you, All-Father and Heimdall to travel as I see fit to cool tempers and return once better heads prevail."

In other words? Sif needs a vacation.


Fandral relaxes once she lowers her sword arm and throws the weapon away. He gives her a grateful look because Sif is never someone he ever wants to meet in battle for real. Thor gets a respectful nod and he takes a step back, now giving them as much proximity that they wish. While Sif has a wicked temper, he can tell that her head is prevailing today.

At her request to take her leave, there is a quirk of the brow. He is surprised that Sif would want to seek company elsewhere. He looks between Thor and Sif once again, mulling something over as he makes his way over to Lady Crystalia. He gives her a smile and murmurs, "Now may not be the best time m'lady."



"Sif.." Thor begins again, and he steps forward a half step as the sword is thrown from her. It's her next words that address the 'Prince' and not 'her friend', and there is a mask that Thor so seldom wears. There is little that is hidden from view, however; he doesn't wear it as well as, say, Loki does. His expression drops, as does his voice, his tones one of disbelief. "Sif, where ever I went, you have always been welcome. I have never.." He pauses in mid-sentence before he looks at Fandral, beyond to Crystalia and back to his childhood friend, playmate.. and up until now, he'd thought was his partner in crime. He'd never, ever realized..

"I could never hold you where you did not wish to be, Lady Sif." Thor is trying, he is. "Should you leave Asgard to pursue those.. bonds, know that you will always have a way home once again. The golden city will always welcome you." As will he, but that isn't quite as easy to say. Not now. Not when his heart is heavy, and there is that distinct feeling that he is losing a friend… one of thousands of years.

"You know, if you ever need a partner in battle.." is offered in a sotto voice.


"Fandral, if I am to wait until there is no other woman upset with him for not seeing what's right in front of him, it will never be the best time," Crystal murmurs to the warrior with a dry look, arms still crossed over her chest. She does, however, see the weight of what's happening, turning enough to grant Thor and Sif at least a semblance of privacy as she sets her questions to Fandral.

"Last night, Amora. The runes. What was happening?" No longer does she sound idly, politely curious. Now? Now she demands answers.


Her eyes lift towards Fandral as he strikes away to approach Crystalia, Sif keeps facing forward, her back towards her own friend. "I do not read minds, Thor Odinson. How could one know that they were welcome when one night they are there and a ghost the next?" She shakes her hands out then, fingers still clenching and unclenching. The permission was granted, much to her chagrin, her shoulders lowering as she lifts her head high with a deep inhale, allowing the breath to flow through from her as if it were the last.

"I know. I shall call upon you before the hour of first sword struck." She turns, looking towards him over his shoulder. Her eyes squint, as if there were a smile there, but there was none present. "For there is no greater might than the Thunderer and the Warriors Three." With a turn once more, another inhale given to lift her head a second time, her hands lifting to brush along her cheeks to check. The hotness that arose there does not allow for the feeling of tears, and yet oddly enough none were spilt. Not in present company.

"I shall take my leave to prepare for court. Prince Odinson. Fandral. Princess Crystalia." With a nod of her head which soon was held high, she departs the grounds, not heading towards the castle itself, but deeper into the rows of shopkeeps and barterers.


"I am glad m'lady that you are keeping things into perspective," Fandral gives her an approving look, "You'll need that once the two of you are married. It's not easy being married to an Odinson. And there will be times your goodwill will be tested by those who are jealous of your position." He turns and looks at Sif with a bit of sadness, "I'll be honest. If I thought that Sif had a chance with Thor, you wouldn't get within fifty feet of my prince, because she's my best friend, my confident and I'd move mountains to see her happy." He turns and looks at Crystalia with a half smile, "So be kind to my angry warrior because I have a thousands of years of friendship invested in the girl and I would hate to see her more heartbroken than she already is."

I think it's pretty obvious what she was doing," Fandral gives Crystalia a grim look as he turns the conversation to Amora, "She was casting dark magic on a holy day against the son of Odin, All-Father." It's clear from his expression he's not happy about it, "I can't…look, I would love to help Amora out of this because I am fond of her, but she did try to hurt Thor and a score of other people. If she had released her magic, who knows what havoc it would have wrought on the land.


Fandral glances up as Sif takes her leave, sending a look in her direction and nods as she heads off.


There Thor stands, a knot in his throat, his heart heavy as she says everything that was true. There is no response for it… but beyond it all.. but… aren't his friends supposed to be there? To be happy for him? To share in those moments? Permission is granted, for what else could he do? Forbid it, and have the anger grow? Or.. forbid it and it would be a statement that he couldn't live without her?

Damned if he did and damned if he didn't.

It's when her back turns to him that he has to shore himself up lest he fall into the sand, and he swallows hard, holding his head up. Watching her walk away. He ghosts a smile, a grimace at the declaration of the Thunderer and the Warriors Three, he wants to add, but ends up whispering, "And Lady Sif."

When Sif departs, Thor sinks slowly into the sand and sits there.


"Fandral, if I could make it so, you wouldn't need to keep me away," Crystal confesses quietly. "I would cede the field in a moment. Lady Sif," she nods as the other woman passes. "I am not familiar with runes," she adds to Fandral, apologetic. "And it seemed prudent to confirm the truth before I settled on plans."

Thor falls to the sand, and Crystal closes her eyes, taking a deep breath and centering herself before she moves across the sand to crouch at his side. The fine fabric of her gown drifts gently into the sand, her arms draped loosely over her knees as she studies him. "You've left quite the trail of broken hearts, Thor," she murmurs, reaching a crooked finger to his chin. "Do you know why?"


Fandral nods to Crystal and tells her, "I'll consult with Frigga on the matter. I remember what I saw in the sand and will draw it for her." Now having an excuse to leave, he steps away from the couple, leaving it to a woman to explain to Thor why Lady Sif feels the way she does. He heads out of the arena, motioning to a few guards to watch over the prince and his beloved. Perhaps after talking to Frigga, he can get a drink. Because just like Thor, Fandral's heart is breaking that Lady Sif wants to leave them and unlike the prince, his lady loves are shallow comparisons to Sif and can not compete with the emptiness he feels with their cadre being broken.


Thor's head is down, eyes closed, the skies darkening in the distance and rumbling. It's not a rainy thunder.. it comes with promises of a storm. He doesn't hear Crystal's approach, and when she kneels he doesn't respond. It's when he catches her breathing and then the words that he looks up at her, blue eyes red with unshed tears. His jaw shifts, his cheek twitches as he considers her before his head shakes.

"Do not play with me, please. I could not bear it."

"I would not dare." As he looks up, Crystal's features soften to sympathy. Giving up her crouch, she instead shifts to sit next to him, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder. The dress will be fine. She'll just summon all the dirt out of it later. Still, for all her sympathy, she's not content merely to offer comfort. She reaches for his hand, seeking to hold it palm up in one of hers as she traces the lines within with one fingertip. "Thor, they love you because you are kind, and brave, and handsome, and good. Loyal and true. Honest and forthright. These are all good things, Thor. And for these, they love you."

Her finger traces still, moving to soft, soothing circles, letting touch take the place of eye contact. "But you are not perfect. You are rash. Forthright sometimes becomes simple. But your deepest flaw, the one that has driven Amora and Sif both to destruction, is that you are blind to others, Thor. You see what you want to see. You see the world as you wish it to be. And even if you do see, you pretend it is as you want. You are thousands of years old, a prince with a power and duty of nine realms waiting for him. And yet you still treat it all as a game, and then are unhappy when you lose."

"I don't say this to hurt you." Her hand tightens on his as she finally looks up, ready to meet his gaze. "You have been hurt enough this past week. But Thor, you have to learn. You have been timeless for too long. It's time to stop being afraid of change. It's time to embrace it, to see where it will take you. To grow with it. To become more than you have been. And I will walk that path with you, if you will let me. But I won't let you stay small for fear of what you could become."


Thor sits silently in the sand, and as Crystal takes his hand, he makes no protest. He doesn't look at her either, and it's hard to know if he's listening at all, or if it all falls on deaf ears. He is listening, however, and the contact is warm upon his hand, and at his shoulder and hip. He hears that first, and then the second bit.. and he shakes his head.

"I know I am not perfect." The bass tones of his voice are soft, barely above a whisper, and he still works to keep it all level now as he stares into the middle distance. "Amora has always wanted me.. but I have never had interest in her. She would bed my brother, she would bed Fandral believing she could make me jealous, but I wasn't blind to it. Last night, she attempted to force me to it. To have her there, at the fire.. to breath in only her and her magicks." He shakes his head and looks down at his hand as patterns are traced and he attempts a grimaced smile, but there is no heart to it.

"And Sif.. I could ask my Warriors if they knew of Sif's fondness of me, and I would bet you that not one of them would say they saw a thing. She.. she was my friend from childhood. Practical jokes, fights, feasts.. we all were inseparable." Thor looks away again, and swallows hard, adding, "This is no game. It never was."

There is a long moment before he looks to Crystal, searching her face before he chuffs a soft breath. "Change. It's what I've been telling my father that he must do. That nothing is the same as when he last remembers Midgard, nearly two thousand years ago. I am trying." He exhales before he looks away again, "You are free to leave if you wish," Thor murmurs. "After this week, I would imagine that you would find it difficult to remain, and offer to do so simply as a challenge."


"I have been free to leave since the moment I arrived," Crystal replies archly, just a flicker of a smile adding humor to the words. "And I will be free to leave no matter how far this goes. I am Crystalia Amaquelin, princess of Attilan, and the elements themselves obey my will." She stands, closing her eyes to focus enough for all of the sand to simply…fall from the fabric of her gown before she holds down a hand to him.

"I am beginning to believe that you and your father fight because you are too much alike. Keep that in mind if this court grows tense. Whether or not I stay here as your bride, Thor, I am not leaving until you are the man you can become. Which," she adds, "Is going to involve an apology to both Sif and Amora, but that is going to have to wait. Come. It's time to prepare."


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