1963-11-15 - Temptations of the Heart
Summary: Amora the Enchantress tempts and charms Illyana into doing exactly what she wants.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-11-12-flirtatious-gossip
Theme Song: How to be a Heartbreaker
amora illyana 


Ice cream is basically the best thing ever, and nothing beats a Coney Island waffle cone with all the trimmings. Illyana's come to favor it so much she knows the perfect plate to 'circle-step' her way to Coney— a nice little abandoned shed that locks from the inside, so she won't stumble into someone and scare them to death.

Because that's important to Piotr, for some reason.

A quick hop and a jump from the Sanctum through Limbo to Coney, and Illyana moves up to the queue. She wears a knee-length A-frame dress, sleeveless and tight through the waist and bodice, in pale yellow with abstract floral inlay, and simple flats. With her hair back in a long, tight ponytail, she looks a little younger at glance than the hard survivor's features of her sharp face would otherwise permit.

"One cone, please, with everything," she tells the merchant, digging in her small purse for a few crumpled bills. He gives the Russki a suspicious look, but— she always pays and is unfailingly polite about ordering. So he gets to it, leaving Illyana to watch him making her snack.

*

With the usual fanfare and lustful glances, Amora the Enchantress practically stalks up behind Illyana, a click of high heels no doubt alerting the young apprentice to Amora's approach behind her. If for some reason she missed this, the Enchantress wastes no time in greeting her. A low, sweet and velvety honeyed tone of voice, that had entrapped more than a few people into listening to her.

"Hello, darling. So nice to see you out and about." She murmured, a rubied smile pulled wide like a predator's snarl.

Amora made little hesitation in coming up behind Illyana and invading her personal space as she leaned forward as if inspecting the ice cream vendor's menu. Her hair a glittering wave of curls that made the tales of Asgard's fair haired women a reality. Though, she was decidedly, in a mortal guise that Illyana had seen her in previously. A sweater of dark green hugged her curves, and cut off at her thighs, that were encased in black tights. A black wool coat was draped over her shoulders not unlike a cloak ought to be, and completing the look were too white sunglasses rimmed in white.

*

Illyana turns well ahead of Amora closing with her, but when the Enchantress starts to push into her personal space, Illyana's response is decidedly unladylike— she tries to shove Amora away from her. Hard.

Granted, she only succeeds in pushing herself away from the Asgardian— physics being what it is— so she curls her fingers into fists and scowls thunderously at Amora. What her physical response lacks, her magical response brings in measure as curling wisps of the power of Limbo crackle in her fingers.

"Is rude to sneak on people," she snaps at Amora, clearly a bit more embarrassed over her failed attempt at self-defense than Amora's attempt to startled her.

*

Amora, for her part, appears unrepentant or ruffled by the young woman's attempts to push her away. Even if it did appear awkward to onlookers indeed. Her smile remained firmly in place. A golden eyebrow hooked upwards and Amora rolled her shoulders back in a faint shrug. "I made no attempts to be 'sneaky' my dear, you really should be more aware of your surroundings. It'd be a shame if you were surprised in any of the other Nine Realms that were less friendly." She 'tsked' under her breath and released a dramatic sigh, turning her gaze upwards as if much put upon.

"Did you keep my little gift, or has it been thrown to the way-side? I'm merely curious, worry not, you will not hurt my feelings if you refused it."

*

"Then rude to stand so close to people," Illyana grumbles at Amora. She shifts her weight and makes sure her purse is still on her bony, athletic shoulder, and then folds her arms under her breasts and stares at Amora. She pinks on her ears and cheeks, but firmly stares at Amora.

"Is bad manners to throw away gift," Illyana tells Amora, her voice firm. "But do not need it, so, have not used it," she adds, struggling and mostly succeeding at keeping her blush from pinking her face. "If I find someone special, then… might talk to them about. It. Using," Illyana says. Realizing she's on the defensive verbally, she shuts her jaw so hard her teeth click.

*

Amora's grin widened to a flash of teeth, even if she didn't even more a step back or away to give Illyana the space that she stated was rude to invade. The Asgardian merely tilts her head to the side, and settles a hand on her hip as she shifts her weight. "Oh, good, 'tis only a simple blessing. Nothing like an honest to Odin, love-potion. That would be reckless of me and utterly irresponsible in the extreme." She flutters her black eyelashes and waves a hand at the thought.

"But, moving right along, darling. I wanted to speak with you about a chance, a possibility of giving you the option to explore the other Nine Realms.. You see, Lady Sif, the warrior Goddess that I have been thusly indentured to until she becomes Queen—" She made a face and a doubtlessly a rude gesture in Asgard.

"Well, she is planning a trip to Hel, and while we could use the Bi-Frost, I thought I would extend an invitation to you as a learning experience. Not many young girls your age can say they've been to literal Hel and back after all.."

*

Illyana's face goes flat and she steps towards Amora. She ignores the people who are literally fleeing the area at the uncomfortable psychic pressure of Limbo leaking around her and she meets Amora's gaze with her own hawk like eyes— like the Siberian sky on a winter day.

"Am. Not. Young. Girl," Illyana reminds Amora. "I am /Queen/."

She lets that point stand, then settles herself, tugging her dress primly. "Now. Have not been to Hel, but read of Nine Realms. Odin has said, I am not welcome on Asgard; but Hel is not Asgard. I have," she adds, "met Lady Sif. So if my skills are needed, I will join your troupe," she tells Amora. "Know much of the Realms since my last trip. What is it you intend to do in Hel?"

*

A shrug, a wave of her fingers as if dismissing the words that had caused the mortals around them to flee. She again, brushed it off as unimportant. "Yes, right, well, I know not. Merely that my mistress desires to go, and to perhaps Vanahiem. I thought that you might yet learn something valuable on the journey. Beyond that?" Another easy, languid roll of her shoulders.

"But again, you should ask Doctor Strange's leave. He was dismissive when I brought it up before, and considering the last conversation we had—well, I highly doubt her told you of it. He is very protective of your safety, and I am overstepping my bounds here. If he tells you no, you really should refrain from coming along." She murmured, tapping her chin. Her smile faded as if looking deeply concerned at the thought.

*

"Strange is /not/ charge of my plans," Illyana says, immediately getting visibly irritated at the thought that she's subordinate to his desires. "If I wish to go, then I will go!" she declares, hotly. She appears to regret her words a half a second later, but clearly she's the sort who's too stubborn to check something once she's said it.

"I will /tell/ Strange I am going, and he will have to accept it," she says, straightening her spine even more and jutting her chin at Amora. "With Sif, and you, and to… Vanaheim, and Hel. No one prevents me from going where I will!"

*

A blink and Amora's eyebrows shot upwards in surprise. "Oh, well, if you say so. I shall inform my mistress then that you desire to come after all. There was some debate on whether or not you would.." She murmured, partly a lie and partly true. At least, from her point of view.

And then a smile curved upon her cherry lips once more and she crossed her arms, tilting her head to the side as she peered at Illyana. "Hmm, you are quite a lovely Queen, I shall have to keep a close eye on you to be sure that no rogues come sweeping into Vanaheim while we are there to steal your heart. Could very well be a tragedy in the making worthy of song.." She mused, "Though perhaps they might be able to keep up with a woman like yourself after all, darling.."

*

Illyana turns furiously pink at Amora's compliments, trying hard not to preen— but Amora's words are as powerful as any of her magics, and vastly more subtle. Clearly, she has little defense against such flattery. One flat shoe grinds a little half circle under her toes, and she shifts her weight back and forth in clear betrayal of appreciation for the casual little compliments.

"Er… well. Not likely that to happen, but the… thought is… appreciated," Illyana gets out, once she finds her aplomb again. She's still visibly pink on her cheekbones, but her features remain otherwise serene. "Would find it unlikely someone steal my heart as they say. Particularly not while on sightseeing trip to Hel."

*

Amora swept a hand up between them, a gentle unrolling of her hand as she gestured to Illyana. "Truly, darling, I am considered by most to be the most beautiful woman in the Nine Realms.. but," She held up a finger.

"I think many would be hard pressed to not say the same of you.. I'm certain that you'd be an Enchantress in your own right if you so desired." A twitch of her lips following, "Give or a take a few hundred years and you might just earn the reputation on your own, breaking hearts of men and women alike.." She tapped her chin, shifting her weight upon her heels.

"Still, you never know, Hel encompasses more than just the dishonored dead.. and who can say what we shall see? Vanahiem has plenty of handsome would be heroes and bards. I doubt your presence will go unremarked.."

*

Illyana's /almost sure/ Amora's pulling her leg at that point— but she still fights hard to keep from smiling. "Da. I am sure," she agrees, trying to be more polite than anything else, and struggling not to internalize Amora's praise. After all, no self-respecting Queen of Limbo would care about being the fairest of all women.

But the little blonde girl inside Illyana does desperately crave that validation, and she is not entirely without voice.

"So this trip," Illyana says, breaking Amora's verbal spell. "When will it happen? How long will we be gone?" she inquires, trying to make her tone more perfunctory and visibly not let herself be enticed by Amora's seductive charms.

*

A 'hmm' follows as Amora takes a few steps as if sizing up the young woman before her, a hand pressed against her chin as if in deep thought. "Well, don't let any of Midgard's silly expectations or assumptions on love infringe on your happiness and desires, my dear. It would be the biggest shame of all to deny yourself such things on some lowly mortal's idea of what is right and wrong.. The whole concept of no enjoying one's self before marriage or that you become somehow 'less' for having lovers.." She rolled her eyes and shrugged.

"Onto the other topic once more.. I know not when it shall happen only that it shall happen /soon/. My mistress has not told me of when we leave, merely that we shall. I cannot imagine that we will remain long, but time is odd between the realms, as you well know."

*

"Why would I?" Illyana asks, sounding puzzled. "All these people, who say 'God wants this', 'God will judge'. Have not met this god. Do not know. Have met many demons who said they would eat me if I did not do what they wish, but that is nothing uncommon in Limbo," she says, with a wave of her hand. "Have met many who wanted to be God. But there is nothing that is all powerful. There is only strength and leverage and will."

"One matter remains— payment," Illyana tells Amora. "In Limbo, nothing comes for free. No favors, only debt and balances. What do you or your lady offer me for my sword?"

*

A smile, this time possibly more honest in amusement at Illyana's words and Amora folds her arms over her middle as she offers a polite incline of her head. "Why indeed," She murmured, and shifted to eye the vendor not too far from their spot. "You may yet want your ice cream, my dear."

And then at the matter of payment Amora's lips pursed together briefly, "Darling, this is an invitation, not a summons. Tis a matter of knowing you desire more knowledge of the realms—do you not? That Odin has forbidden you from Asgard, I thought you might wish to survey the other realms as the opportunity arises. A Queen should be aware of her neighbors.." She offered softly, "I have no payment for you in this, other than the venture itself.."

*

Illyana's lips twist. "Am inclined to aid you and the Lady Sif if you are threatened," Illyana admits to Amora. "But I cannot do so for free. We are not travelling parallel, we go as group. If going as group, then my skills are needed— then I must give those skills for free to protect others. This is not how is done," she tells Amora, visibly stressed that Amora isn't catching the core concept.

"Must be reckoning ahead of battle," Illyana explains, looking at the vendor, who is /very studiously/ focusing on the zen of making waffle cones, and not the batshit crazy women talking about Hel and magic and dimensional travel nearby. He seems weirdly coping with that process, so— power to him. She looks back to Amora. "Nothing is free," she says, echoing a grim sentiment that she's clearly unable to release.

*

Amora inclines her head, another short gesture to Illyana following. The Enchantress pauses to inspect her nails, as if the glancing light from the sun above caught her attention as she turned them this way and that. "What would please you then, my dear? My dominion is love and desire, I can only offer aid or payment there. 'Tis Lady Sif, who is Goddess of War, not I. She who shall me Queen of golden Asgard. Not I." She murmured.

"If you desire payment in such domains that is what is on offer to you, but you must clearly state what it is that you wish in payment, if knowledge is not a concept alone worthy of you. Which, in and of itself is a pity, for I hold knowledge as high as my most precious artifacts."

*

Illyana considers all that Amora might offer her. Or Sif. The wealth of knowledge, of Asgard— weapons of war, secrets untold by human lips, all the darkness and light that the Asgardians hide behind their immortal walls.

"You must teach me how to flirt," she says, finally. "And nod ugly flirting, how the boys do. Real flirting. How you make Strange blush. Agree to educate me, I will agree to join your party in Vanaheim and remain ally until we return to Ear- Midgard," she says, amending her words. "As long as you and your Lady Sif deal in good faith, will be ally as long as we are abroad."

*

A pause, surprise flickering over Amora's features honest, and open. Clearly, whatever she had been expecting, had not been that. Then, a slow nod and Amora formally offers a bow, with a sweeping hand over her middle. "Very well, it shall be then, as you desire. I shall teach you." A pause as she straightened, eyeing the young blonde before her.

"When would you desire such a lesson to start? I would suggest, as .. flirtation, 'tis a fine thing, but as all things that are fine.. requires repeated practice."

*

Illyana collects her ice cream and pays the fellow, who promptly shuts his storefront down the minute the two women walk off. She bites her ice cream. What a weirdo!

"Deal." Illyana falls into step alongside Amora. "How do you keep making Strange blush? Every time you are around, he turns red like tomato. Is magic? Or is he peculiar like that?" She seems completely unaware that she turns pink as a rose at the drop of a hat.

*

Amora grins, and starts idly walking along the sidewalk. Her high heels clicking and she catches more than a few men's eyes in passing—causing a disruption to foot traffic with a simple toss of her hair over her shoulder.

"Well, when we first met.." She trailed off, as if thinking. "He was very interested in my attention." Bespelled attention was still attention in her book.

"Perhaps it is that he remembers that, or merely is embarrassed at his body's very natural reaction to mine. That he desires me, and he, above all else desires to control himself better than that. He, as many men, find it inexcusable to give into their desires. That such a reaction is natural? Well.. mortal man has always believed that he can tame nature." She rolled her shoulders back, a smirk pulling at her lip.

*

Illyana's a bit shorter than Amora, but at least she's in flats, so she can take longer steps fairly easily. "Er, yes," she says, pinking again as Amora mentions carnal desire as such a blaise element. "Makes sense."

"Then I want to know— if see someone I … like," she says, taking another bite of her ice cream. She must have some magic of her own, as she doesn't seem to get headaches from it. "Lihk— shumum I think is pretty," she says, swallowing. "Or interesting. But, am not sure if is interested in me. How do you test that?" she asks, looking to the lush-bodied Enchantress.

*

A pause followed, and Amora hesitated in her steps as if the thought had never once, in all her days, occurred to her. Someone -not- physically desiring her? Impossible! Even when the men she'd wanted (Thor, always Thor) didn't /love/ her, she knew that physically she was still very much desirable. No male that was attracted to women had ever been able to refuse her /that/.

"Well.." She glanced over Illyana again, her brows furrowing briefly. "The short answer is that you make an attempt to demonstrate /your/ interest in them. Either through word or deed. They will make it quite clear to you, in some way be it verbal or not." And then Amora was moving again with a swing in her step and click of her heels.

"For if you do not seize the chance to make yourself clear, then however shall they know? I will tell you, that subtly rarely is a boon here. Most men are blunted weapons, with very little ability to pick up on such cues—there will be a rare man that can, but again.. Be confident and clearly state, by action or deed, your intent, your interest."

*

"Men, yes. Impression I gain is, men are dumb, and easy to make point by dragging by hair," Illyana snorts. "Is something learned early. Many think that if I am wearing not enough clothes, is 'flirting'. Too many demons in Limbo for clothes," the lean little Queen mutters, such a little barbarian in her own way. "Clothes stupid waste of effort."

"But, if person I am trying to reach is not a man?" she inquires of Amora, giving her a sidelong look to gauge her reaction. Some folks had been oddly reactive to that question, in her mind, which clearly makes little sense to her. "Is friend of mine," she explains to Amora, lifting one bare shoulder in a shrug. "Have spent some time together. Am not sure if romantic interest or just… enjoys being friend."

*

Amora didn't seem too particularly concerned with the idea of being interested in a woman as opposed to a man. Her own predilection for those of the male persuasion aside. She had had female lovers, lovers that weren't particularly of any one gender either. Though she hadn't crossed into some of the territory Loki got into..

"Men are typically dull swords in such departments, true. I can say, though women can be just as thick headed as men though." She waves her fingers in the air as if in thought.

"I could always /see/ said friend and tell you true. I know what.. or who rather, all people desire.. /If/ they desire someone at any given time. 'Tis the strongest magic I hold. Even as I am." She smiled, and winked at a passing man, the poor mortal walking into a woman and earning her ire as a result.

"You however? You might tell via a simple askance if she is your friend. You might attempt to flirt, but .. such a skill is unpracticed, I yet believe?" She hitched a brow upwards. "And you would not wish to ruin your friendship with ill-performed flirtations.."

*

"Da. Is… what is word," Illyana mutters, trying to sort her English. "Not translating well. Could flirt, and if not reciprocated— she might not wish to be friend. Then again, flirt, and flirt /badly/, she might not wish to be, ah…" She screws her nose up. "…er… courted! Da, is word, courted."

"But you and Strange, and others, have all said— direct approach, best approach. Am scared," Illyana admits. "Do not wish to hurt her. Or scare her away."

*

A small nod follows, and for once, Amora seemed to perfectly understand. She had faced many a prayer from past worshippers with the same woes. Another century and another place, but love and its troubles would always be the same. "Indeed, and in Asgard I would vouch for the direct approach. However, in this case, you are afraid.. which is perfectly natural."

"I would suggest, you ask if she has anyone she currently is interested in.. to start. See for yourself. I could give you spells and potions and the alike to see. I could teach you the spells required for such.." A smile, wicked in its manner. "I could give you what you'd need to ensnare her desires and make them your own.. But.." She holds up a finger. "I know that is not what /you/ desire out of such."

"Besides such a modest approach, I would suggest practicing on others you care little for. Test what you should say and practice the art. Then you shall be less nervous when it truly matters."

*

"Would gut anyone who feeds her potions," Illyana says, levelly and with a cold lack of fire. It sounds scarily earnest. "Would be wrong of me to be exception to that rule." She another bite of ice cream, keeping pace with Amora.

"Will… /consider/ practice," she says, guardedly. "I have few friends and wish to lose little of them."

She glances at Amora sidelong. "Now, tell me about what to wear…" she asks, eagerly taking in Amora's every word.

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