1963-10-28 - The Valkyrie and the Wolf
Summary: Drawn by forces and currents that transcend the physical Plane, the Prince of Wolves — Hrimhari — seeks out Hilde, a weary EMS worker, to puzzle out what makes this remarkable woman so unusual, and so familiar…
Related: None
Theme Song: None
hrimhari brunnhilde 


The night is dark and full of…

Emergencies. People needing something. Attention. Help. Reports. Complaints. Questions. So many questions… The time is roughly after 02:00, and the night-sky is mostly clear — but for the taint of smog, and vague wisps of morning mist hanging in the air like loose threads of a giant web. Outside one of New York's hospitals lies a diner — open all hours — catering especially to those staff who find themselves on that shift in the dead of night.

The Graveyard Shift.

Various employees of the hospital have come and gone through the diner, while others are there as well: folks from Emergency Services, and families taking a break from staying up with loved ones all night.

On this particular morning, it is the aftermath of an especially nasty accident. Multiple automobiles were involved. More than one person died either in the event or just after. Fortunately, more lives were saved than were lost.

Drawn by the calamity itself, at first, a tall slender man with a mane of silver hair stands just outside the diner — flanked by a dutiful dog, a retriever. The dog remains outside, while the man walks into the diner; inhaling through his nostrils, he gazes back and forth as if seeking something out…


While her partner sleeps it off in the bus — she's driving tonight and needs to be alert — Hilde is sitting at the counter working on her second pot of coffee and not hating the world. At least she's getting through one of those things. It's only this diner's proximity to the hospital alone that allows her to sit here at all considering just how much blood is on her boots, slacks, shirt sleeves, chest, and even smeared on her cheek where she didn't quite totally wash up enough after the situation. At least her hands are clean.

Other than her fingernail beds. Those are impossible to clean, especially when gloves rip and trap blood inside.

A mostly uneaten sandwich sits in front of the hunched, too-tall woman, but she seems far more interested in the bitter sludge in her coffee mug. With her white blonde hair and pale skin, covered in that much blood, she might almost look like a ghost on a night like this. It was nearing Halloween, after all. She barely moves as the door opens.


The silver-haired man's chin comes up, and he peers with narrowed — notably golden eyes — in Hilde's direction — inhaling once more through his nostrils.

A frown immediately follows.

The frown deepen a bit, and the silent fellow tugs uncomfortably at the collar… and then the hem… and then the sleeves of his suit-jacket. For someone so elegantly dressed, he is ill-at-ease in his choice of attire.

A couple of waitresses work tirelessly behind the counter, occasionally sparing glances at the too-tall EMS woman — but not for the height; it has been a rough night, and they can all feel it. There's sympathy in those eyes, if mainly hidden by the 'work face' they put on.

The prince approaches the counter, just to the side of Hilde and addresses a waitress. "This one begs your pardon," says he in a strange syntax, and refined accent; his tone is gentle, almost soothing. "But requests a mug of your coffee-beverage. Milk — with sugars-twain."

When the woman gives him a blink at his choice of words, the man frowns, thinks, and then amends: "White, with two." The waitress glances over her shoulder at her co-worker, jerks her head to the side to indicate Hrimhari, and then mouths the words: 'you hearin' this?'

But she gets the coffee.

Hrimhari… turns his eyes toward Hilde.


Even through the haze of almost no sleep in two days — Hilde hadn't gotten a proper stretch of hours in since that afternoon on Barney's couch — and the crash that comes after a crazy, adrenaline filled night, the sound of the man's voice and strange words is enough to draw anyone's confused attention. It's the sugars-twain which eventually get a drowsy blink from ice blue eyes, pale as any Nord oft can be, in the man's direction.

Hilde just stares at him, blood splattered and dead eyed, for several heartbeats. She doesn't really have a sense of propriety or social politeness herself, and he's staring right back. So, staring it is. She goes on staring long enough that it would probably be uncomfortable to anyone else in the world, but the dead have all the patience possible. Maybe she really was a ghost.

Finally, instead of letting this strange face off continue, the blonde medic rasps out a truly classic line. "Why don't you take a picture, it will last longer."


"The memory is a pool in which naught is forgotten, no matter how deep it may hide," the strange man replies mildly. "'Tis the man — or woman — who forgets how to swim."

Yet again, his choice of words elicits a reaction from the nearby waitress — who rolls her eyes at him, while still too curious to just dismiss the oddity of his speech and move on.

Fortunately for him, customers take the waitress away. Curiosity is forced to hide once more behind the 'face' worn by those who work here. After sniffing and sipping his coffee, Hrimhari takes a seat at the counter, facing forward so as not to offend the weary EMS woman unnecessarily.

"This one begs your forgiveness," he remarks softly a moment later, lowering his gaze briefly. "The night has been long for many — and some more than others. You may call me… Hari — most find 'Hrimhari' difficult to pronounce — and Hari's gratitude is yours."

As odd as it may sound, his tone and demeanour are completely sincere, spoken with the gravity of understanding with which one soldier might address another.

Or one healer to another.

Hrimhari sips more of his coffee.


Working for an EMS company in New York City means that Hilde has pretty much seen every type of crazy, drugged out, drunk or plain nuts under the sun. This, however, is new. Old fashioned crazy? Maybe he thought he was one of those vampires? She stares at him still, drowsily, but is trying to figure out what in hells he is about as he goes on about memory and forgiveness. Eventually, she just blinks slowly and shakes her head, going back to her coffee.

"…Look, buddy, Hari, whatever your name is… I have no clue what you are on, but I don't think we've ever quite met before and I have no damn clue what you want forgiven for. SO…uh. Take it. Sleep well at night. Sweet dreams. Your soul is cleansed. You want me to give you a Gloriana or two?" She deadpans. Hilde's voice is as rough around the edges and unsolid as her frame seems to be. A least she can say more than a few words. She then takes another gulp of her coffee, tasting her pulse on her tongue with the far too much caffeine and not enough rest. She finishes the mug with that gulp.


The fact that Hilde does not appear to realise what Hrimhari is — or for that matter, what she is, given how she smells to him — surprises him. The wolf-prince never forgets a scent, physical or magical, and Hilde's is…




And he has no idea why.

Sitting up a bit, the golden-eyed man looks more directly at Hilde with that same frown upon his face, and says: "This one offended; 'tis customary is it not to make all ills right." There is something in the way he speaks those last few words — 'to make all ills right' — that might strike a chord in the woman seated beside him. Then again, it might not. The sense of familiarity the wolf-prince feels toward Hilde defies explanation, at least for the time being, until the day his and her true nature is revealed.

Assuming it comes at all.

For both the Valkyrie and the Prince play a role in seeing that nobility and valour in life and death are rewarded, and the souls of the living are led to a place beyond grief. "They do not see, do they?" he wonders aloud, cryptically (although likely referring to Hilde's rather special relationship… with Death).


The first touch of 'broken' to Hilde's scent would be the fact that she does not *physically* smell like an Asgardian at all. No real power in her, nothing but human blood, bone, skin. She smells immensely human and broken in other ways — too many drugs through her system, too tired, half starved, half burnt out. She is not a human who is taking care of herself. Too busy with others, no doubt. But magically… There is something there. Most certainly familiar. Valkyrie. Strong but muffled, like buried under years of dirt and soil. Whatever was Vakyrie in her has been in a deep grave for a long time. But the magic is still there. The feelings.

No wonder she cannot sleep.

Her eyes narrow at him a bit more as he uses the old language. It's like those words echo something sleeping and distant in the back of her mind. An ancient melody she can't hear but is always just on the edge of her mind. She tries to shake it free, getting the song out of her head, but he feels like death. It's blanketed around him, comfortable, familiar, heavy with grief. If she were a cat, she'd want to rub up against him and mark her scent all over that feeling.

Instead, she subconsciously leans closer, so her bony, thin shoulder leans against his even in the chilly night. A point of human contact. Heat. Life. "You didn't offend, buddy." She finally affirms, softer than before, especially as he's going on about not seeing. Her head tilts a bit more, still keeping that faint touch between them. "…not see…what?" Those last few words are just a rasp of an uncertain whisper. How could he know about what she sees? Who was he?


Hrimhari lets his eyes fall closed for a few moments. By now, the oddities of his behaviour have gone more or less overlooked by the staff in the diner. This is New York, after all. Still, that soothing presence has them pausing just ever so slightly when they walk by, as if he were a pack-leader calming the pups while enduring the storm.

The analogy is not far from the exact truth.

When he does open his eyes again, he lifts a hand and lays it gently upon the counter-top — half-way between himself and Hilde. It is not quite a 'take my hand' gesture as such… but the promise of one, in the future.

There are too many demons clawing at the heart to 'spare a hand' just yet, that much is obvious to them both. Kinship in Death, that's how it feels — and right now, it is the only thing that feels secure, while all else might be falling into chaos.

The prince takes a breath as if to speak, and then changes his mind. Instead of saying anything (out loud, that is), he glances back toward the door. Immediately the dark-furred Labrador pushes the door open and trots over to Hrimhari.

An unspoken message passes between them, ending with the dog leaving Hari's side… and padding over to Hilde instead. Where he sits. And waits. Hari looks back at Hilde.

"This is Dodger; he will help you in any way he can. Whatever happens, he will not be far." The prince says it as if the words were carved in stone, or written in the heavens. There is a pause before he adds:

"Trust Hrimhari in this, for now. Please."


The silence never bothered Hilde. In fact, she rather likes it. Silence as the grave. Silence as death. So, while he struggles with demons and words, she just leans against him. That point of warm contact from her shoulder — warmth unable to be helped as two living bodies connect and share heat — the only bit of comfort she is giving him. But it is a constant. She feels his grief and, for as rough as she is, she is a touch stone too. Where as he keeps his hand half between them, she doesn't shy from the touch.

Then that *dog* is trotting in through the door and sitting in front of her. A living thing. A trusting, kind, probably slightly dumb *creature*, too loyal for its own good. Hilde's ice eyes widen in confusion and a bit of panic, abruptly drawing away from Hari, that touch gone, as she stands off of her barstool and shakes her head emphatically.

"No, no..buddy, no. Look. I can't take your dog. That's super sweet and all and I'm sure you're just the nicest guy this size of Timbuktu, but… he's clearly your dog. You'll miss him. You been going through enough as is — I can see that much. Keep your dog. Please. I…I barely got enough room in my apartment for ME, much less a dog. And I don't got the hours for a pet. I can't even keep a plant, much less a DOG. Everything around me dies. You… you *seriously* don't want to give me your dog." She points out as firm and certain as anything she's said all night.


The wolf-prince almost chuckles — almost — but he does smile. When Dodger gives him a confused tilt of his head, Hari lifts a hand briefly and turns back to Hilde.

"He is not Hrimhari's. Dodger belongs to himself." The man pauses a little, glancing away with a puzzled frown upon his brow. When Dodger gives him yet another head-tilt, Hrimhari murmurs aloud:

"Aye, Two-Legs are most peculiar… who belongs to whom…" Once more he does not realise he has said it out loud until it is said, and he closes his eyes again — this time, in chagrin.

To Hilde he adds: "This one shall not burden you. In your pain, merely know that someone is watching over you — and help shall never be far. You have the word of Hrimhari."

Dodger barks, startling a much-too-sleepy cab-driver taking a break.

"And of Dodger," the prince amends with a smile. Whether or not that means Dodger will follow her home (likely not, at least not at Hilde's 'heels', so to speak) is left ambiguous. Although from this point on, the aching-hearted EMS worker may find an odd number of dogs — here and there — merely watching, if not intruding.

This 'bird with a broken wing' shall fly again. Someday.


It's nearly impossible to creepy Hilde out, she's just seen far too much and is as jaded as New Yorkers come, but this is creeping her out. She still remains standing, but her heavy, blood splattered boots take another tread backwards, away from that silver haired, elegant man and his dog. She's even abandoned her coffee cup, which speaks to how freaked out she is. A still slightly blood caked hand fumbles into her pocket, grabbing for some change to pay for her coffee. She likes the diner too much to stiff them.

"Seriously, Hari, buddy, I…I don't need a dog sitter and… while I'm sure you got a *reeeeall* nice relationship with your four legged buddy, dogs don't talk. They're too stupid and sweet and probably too good for this world. So… you just keep with your buddy and tell him to stay clear. I don't need any watching over. Period. Dot. Okay? So…so just…Back off." Hilde practically growls those words. Someone being nice is not something she can really handle. Not without seeing the catches.

Finally, she finds two quarters, too much for the coffee but she's not waiting for change. She fumbles them onto the bar and then begins to back around in a circle, towards the door. She keeps one hand up in a warning off signal to him. "So…you…you both just stay in here and away, alright? Have a good night. I…I can't say I hope we meet again." And then she's out the door, into the darkness of the night, double timing back towards her ambulance.


Dodger twitches as if he were about to follow Hilde, but a muted shake of Hrimhari's head causes the faithful hound to stay where he is. The prince drinks the rest of his coffee — despite the fact that it is stone cold now — and puts some cash on the counter. It, too, is more than it needs to be, but he nods his head to the waitress to take it all.

Currency still makes absolutely no sense to him. He might as well have just put some pebbles on the table, a handful of gravel. "Aye…" he murmurs softly. "Two-Legs are strange…" Dodger licks his hand in agreement. "But that She… is no ordinary Two-Leg. No, do not approach her — her fear is too great. The others will not understand the cause of it. But do not remain far away. She will understand… in time."

The prince falls silent and scratches Dodger behind the ear. As another waitress walks by, she hesitantly works up a smile and gives Dodger a pat while saying: "If you need someone to take your dog, Mister — I'll take him."

Hrimhari smiles, letting out a sigh.

"As this one said earlier, young one: he is not my dog." And with that, he too rises from his seat and makes his way to the door. "Two-Legs…"


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License