1963-11-16 - Human For Tonight
Summary: Skali finds an intoxicated and vulnerable Brunnhilde in the bad part of town. She promptly brings her home, cleans her up, gets her more drunk, and then tucks her in on the couch.
Related: 'None'
Theme Song: None
skali brunnhilde 

This is not the safest area of town for a spindle thin blonde woman to be wondering alone, but Hilde's so faded, shadowy and thin, perhaps no one even wants to bother with her. She looks like the sort of person who might be a druggie or have some sort of disease. So, most of the street people are leaving her alone as he stumbles in a not quite straight line down the sidewalk. She's barely trying to conceal the fact she has a bottle of booze in her right hand, but the traditional paper bag around a mickey makes it rather obvious.

Otherwise, Hilde looks a mess. Her blonde hair is ratty, stringy with needing a wash and the cold sweat of someone who has been drinking far too long. She's in a ragged pair of jeans and an oversized shirt that makes her look even more skinny than she is because she's just drowning in it. Eyes and cheeks sunken, Hilde is not an appealing sight to anyone.


It wasn't where one pictured a god. Stepping delicately over garbage, her motions down back alleys dipping between dumpsters and depositing her on her route home with a fluidity only the rats knew. Skali prowled the darkness between the streetlamps, attired for riding the bike home, secretary's skirts all packed away in the bag slung over one shoulder as she tromped down gutter overflow in tightly laced boots. The wolf's cheeks were flush, her eyes brilliant, an affection set in the corners where mischief usually reigned. Both parts of her whole had been satiated this night for the first time in thousands of years, and the fact her only earthly possessions were in a shit apartment in this part of town wouldn't dampen her spirits.

Passing piss drunk vagrants was nothing to note, though the one that brushed her shoulder as she staggered past gave the woman pause. She stiffened noticeably, shifting her attentions over a shoulder, regarding the poor wretch with a mixture of surprise and keen interest. Her nose flared. She smiled.

"I know you."

The words were breathed against the greased blonde hair. How had she come abreast of her so quickly? Now she stood in her path, smiling like a fox with a chicken caught between its paws.

"Stupid little thing that would plunge a needle into a god. How are we this evening?"


It really is a shock that Hilde hasn't been knocked down, taken for her booze or more, considering how out of sorts she is. She doesn't even really realize there is someone in front of her, lost in her own head and grief, until the woman is speaking. Hilde jerks to a stop, still slightly stumbling, her chin pulling up. Drowsy, bloodshot eyes with pupils just slightly blown stare in the woman's direction. The blonde looks like some scared, hurt prey animal, burnt out of adrenaline or worse. She studies Skali for a heartbeat or two.

"…Huh? Uh…I…dunno if that crazy bitch was a god or not… I don't really think… gods are real. But… she needed to be put down. So… I did it." Hilde rasps out, her voice the shell of a whisper. She then rolls her bony shoulders in a bit of a shrug and takes another pull from the mickey in the bag.


"Oh sweetie, gods are very real. Unfortunately."

Skali's golden eyes turned to the streets they shared with desperate sorts, the sorts that would take advantage of a young woman unaware of her surroundings. Her lips twitched, and without further introductions, she looped an arm through that of the other woman and tugged her towards the disheveled apartment building that she called her own.

"Come along. I have more whiskey. And I want to hear what you put in that syringe."

The free hand unoccupied with steering the drunkard onward snagged the paper bagged bottle, taking a swig of it if not stopped otherwise.


Well, this was odd. But there is something distant in Hilde's brain that remembers Skali from that rather insane night. It's hard to forget someone who nearly died at your side, and Hilde felt like they all might have died that night. So, though there is an initial, slight resistence of her shoulders, it doesn't last long. Also, her fighting Skali off is like the branch of a sapling trying to stand up against a hurricane, it simply isn't going to happen. Then her booted feet are stumbling along with the strong woman below her. Hilde is actually taller than Skali, but probably half her size physically. It's an awkward walk together.

"Whiskey…whiskey sounds good. And… she… she was just a mad woman. With power. Mutant, maybe… or more? Fuck, I dunno…" Hilde sounds more than a bit overwhelmed by it all — like any normal, sane mortal should be. Not that she looks like a sane woman. Still, she follows along side of that golden eyed woman.


"No, she's an enchantress. The Enchantress, actually. Different worlds and all that. Certainly it's not too much for you to grasp. After all, you've touched nigh immortality now."

Her keys jingled in the lock, the door opening to reveal a trash filled hallway, someone already passed out that Skali stepped over and helped Brunnhilde over as well. Her own door was opened with a pause to sniff, ensuring nobody had forced entry before them. When the stranger had passed the threshold, Skali turned to slide the locks into place - all six of them. As she did so, she gently gave instruction.

"Third shelf down, dresser over there, should be a bottle still half full. Help yourself."

There was no television, no bed, a couch without a blanket or pillow even. Clothes were still hung out to dry, after being apparently washed in the bath, the entire contents of the facilities hidden behind a shower curtain to separate them from kitchen and living arrangements. There were a few books, old things with tattered and yellowing pages, long forgotten languages scrolled within. And almost inexplicably, a large bone that probably belonged to an ungulate species and looked thoroughly gnawed on.

"I can also get you some tea. Or crackers. I think I have crackers somewhere. You people eat crackers, right? Saltines?"


The skinny blonde remains upright, somehow, walking along with Skali to the apartment. She should maybe be worried, but Hilde's passed the point of worry. So, she leans against the woman and tries to avoid stepping on the drunk in the hallway. She's been there before. A layer of worry brushes through her pale eyes as she sees the door open, but Skali doesn't seem worried, so she doesn't push it. She bonelessly lets go once they are past the door and Skali is locking it. "…Hmm? Oh. Whiskey. Yeah. Thanks." ANd Hilde does go for that shelf. She needs to keep the pain at bay. It's simply easier that way.

So, she stumbles across the place and goes looking for that whiskey, her motions not so sloppy but slow in a way that says she's trying to keep them not sloppy. "The… Enchantress… fuckin'… Fancy ass name. Arrogant. But… she was breaking… the rules. She was doing… bad. It's just not… done. She violated the dead." Those last words are strange from Hilde's Bronx accent. The accent almost seems to waver a moment, something deeper, older behind her tone. There was a slumbering part of her deeply offended by Amora's actions. But then that part is gone again and she's unscrewing the top of the whiskey bottle. "…No crackers. Just booze. Thanks." She raises the bottle in a silent toast to the woman.

"..Ah…'mHilde. By the way."


"Good, because I think the rats got these."

The wolf god upended the box, obviously chewed through and containing only a few crumbs that spilled out on the floor. She made a face and then nodded in agreement with this Hilde's summation of Amora's character.

"They all are, for the most part. Gods can be like that. Violating the dead, hm?"

Her tone welcomed elaboration, settling on the couch and patting the spot beside her with a comforting smile.



"…Skali." The name has a strange taste on her tongue. Like she's said it before, but she can't remember where or when. Those hazy days of wine and song which are just the echoes of dreams now. Her lashes flutter a heartbeat or two, the howl of some canine in the back of her head. Her eyes flash silver, narrowing on Skali for a moment…"…Skali…" She breathes out. But then it's gone. Eyes blue again, gaze tilting down to the whiskey she's picking up. Booze is important.

Now double fisting, her still slightly injured, wrapped hand around the mickey and her good hand around whiskey, she stumbles back to that bare couch and finally flops down on it. Her brows furrow at the question, mind actually catching up to the fact that the woman wished her to elaborate. "…It's… I mean… people got their time… death can be… noble. Glorious… proper… but all in time. She wasn't waitin' for the time. She was just… taking it. It was wrong. Fucking wrong."


If Skali judged the woman for her overindulgence, it didn't show. The furrowing of her brows could have been misconstrued as such though, the near imperceptible twitch of her lips in hungry pursuit of details, always the details, as she listened as any good friend would. It was easy, practiced, thousands of years in the company of humans making the wolf both impoverished as well as Midgardian in all the most notable ways. She breathed in the scent of the slumbering Valkyrie underneath all the sadness and liquor and smiled in earnest.

"Death just is. Especially here. They are born, they live, they die. The manner of which matters less than it should, perhaps, but that doesn't change how it's cosmically weighed."

The words left her lips in a nonchalant way, musing in their conviction, inviting the woman to challenge her. Skali leaned back in the couch and pulled loose a cigarette from the confines of her jacket, lighting it and holding out the battered carton in offering.


Another drag of whiskey is taken, Hilde curling back into the couch. If it's rude to put your boots on someone's couch, well, she hasn't gotten the message, because she curls her legs in against her chest, the heels of her boots perched on the edge of the chair. She has put the vodka down, at least, far more interested in the warmth of the decent whiskey. A slight wrinkle comes to her nose as the woman goes on about dying.

"… No… death is… It's important. Especially *how* they… we… die…" They? Who the fuck is they? Hilde looks confused for a moment, but a bit too drunk to figure out why she's confused. "If you die shitty… that's all these fucking ghosts around. People who can't let go. Who were before their time. People who are mad. But… you do it right, you find peace… there are other places…" She murmurs with a drowsy sort of dreaminess, tired mind trying to reach out for better explanations, but all of this is still just instinct to her. SHe doesn't know WHY it's instinct, it just is.


Skali unlaces her own boots as the woman talks, the cigarette smoking as it's held between her lips. They fall to the ground unceremoniously and she takes a long drag, settling back on the couch after collecting the vodka left neglected in Hilde's care.

"Like heaven? Hell? I got family there."

The light brown eyes looked all the more gold in the sickly glow of the single bulb over their heads as this stranger regarded her drinking companion, telling her everything and nothing in the spaces between her words, the broad smile. She tapped the ash directly onto the pock marked hardwood floors.

"Why was it your job, Hilde? What possessed you besides absolute lunacy to take an elevator to the top of the Empire State Building to stop an otherworldly being surrounded by magic from hurting people? You don't look like a hero to me."


"You got family in Hell? How do you know?…That's… not comfortable. I mean, they're family, I guess they can be shit bags, but you'd wanna think the best of them that they got forgiveness enough to go to the good place. If there is a good place…or anything after…" Hilde rambles on drunkenly, her words thoughtful but a bit uncomfortable, as if part of her knows what she says is all children's tales. She shakes her head clear after another heartbeat or two, especially as she sees those strange golden, glowing eyes. Who ever had eyes like that?

The question makes her blink more. She doesn't answer for a few heartbeats, instead choosing to knock back more whiskey because it's a more comfortable choice. A slight shiver of something traces over her skin as she shakes it off, pushing those old feelings back and down. "I…I ain't no hero….was scared shitless, really. I dunno why I did it. Just… felt… like I had to. Had to stop… the dead… bein' used like that. I… I could hear'em all… Screamin', you know? It was so… loud. They were in so much pain. I… had to stop it…"


The long legs of the beast wearing human skin re-crossed, sprawled out on the ratted sofa as if it were a throne. A single hair was plucked off her pant leg, considered with a smirk as the black tipped dog fur was twisted until it caught the light and flashed silver. It was dropped to join with the ash on the floor as she mused quietly,

"No. I don't hear them scream. Not after they're dead, at least. I imagine that would be exhausting. So many lost souls, wandering and wandering, no respite in sight, and nobody to hear them except, well, people like you."

She paused and loosened her hair, letting it fall in a dark cascade of brunette curls that were still wet from the shower she had shared with her Prince Charming before crossing town to return home.

"I can't imagine how alone they must feel. How alone you must feel. It's awful."

And while she knew all the right things to say, Skali could only feign empathy. The actual emotion was a stretch for the diety.


It was immensely rare that anyone even seemed to acknowledge the fact that Hilde could see ghosts, much less treated it as vaguely normal. But Skali didn't just seem to trust her words, or think she was insane, but it was like the woman was trying to be gentle and understanding of it all. She blinks, staring in slight confusion to that lovely brunette across from her. "…you… you don't think I'm nuts?" Hilde breathes out quietly, that actually more important in her brain than anything else.

But the other questions to come, the implications, and a slight roll of a shrug comes to her bony shoulders. She's practically a skeleton beneath her clothing, she looks like a woman who hasn't eaten well in months. "I… I like the… dead. They're peaceful, normally. If lonely… sometimes they just need some guidance. Or a hand. Not… really lonely… then… fuck." Just thinking about Barney makes her want to drink. So she does. "…then someone else came along. But… he fucked off…or I fucked up… I dunno. It's done."


The surprise was noted, the only acknowledgement of it a small quirk of her lips as she tilted her head and laughed despite the severity of the situation. There was still humor in her voice when she spoke,

"Hilde, I have met people who are truly psychotic. You don't even approach deranged. Disheveled and near disassociation, perhaps. But not nuts."

As the conversation changed to the characteristics of the dead, Skali's nose twitched on the plumes of smoke rising from cigarette perched between her fingers. She took another long drag before stumping it out on the floor where it joined the other butts nobody would bother cleaning up.

"Someone else? Dead or alive? Or alive and you want them dead?"

And Skali grinned then at that last thought, a cruelty in her eyes that jarred with the human facade she wore.


A weak, slightly crackling laugh is given to the dishelved and near dissaociation comment. It's rather too true to be funny, but one of those laugh or cry situations. Hilde is still a woman, though, and this might be the first time that she realizes she looks half like a drowned rat or a bird that's hit the glass one too many times. She pushes her free hand back through her stringy blonde hair, desperately in need of a shower. The self consciousness doesn't last too long. She really is close enough to disassocating that the thoughts trickle through her brain like a sieve.

"…alive…don't want him dead…'sprobably. I…shoulda let him die. Shoulda… could have… passed him along. Made it peaceful. But….I couldn't. Couldn't let him go. Cheated. Got the… guy who cheats. He… fixed it. Somehow. Then Barney lost his fucking head because I saved his fucking life. Just kept screaming at me. Fuck…" She groans weakly, a few tears she's trying not to cry cracking through her voice. That night is still too fresh, even if it was days ago. She gulps more whiskey, like it was water. It's going to kill her at this rate. "…I left. He left. Went somewhere else… couldn't stay there any more. Wasn't a secret any more…"


And though Skali was a dispassionate creature, aged a few millennia and oft tired by the dramatics of the humans she passed through, the sudden spasm of emotion, the stream of consciousness, the tears beginning to brim out of the woman's eyes-

A hand reached out and gently patted one of those knees pressed to Hilde's chest, hysterics and alcohol often pairing well with the destitute poverty of this complex. This stranger she brought home could scream and claw open the walls until her fingernails split and nobody would call the cops. For that matter, Skali could rip her to pieces and nobody would report it until the complex started to smell like rotting flesh, as had happened a few weeks back.

She did none of those things though. Instead she spoke, and her words rolled from her chest with a hateful spite that burned deeper than the gold in her eyes, swallowing her pupils, the sun blurring out the human edges.

"They all cheat. That's what humans do. Stop giving him your tears. He doesn't want them and they only make you weak. Drink up."

And with that she stood, disappeared behind the shower curtain. The sound of a bath being drawn filled the silence left in the wake of her words. As steam filled the small space, Skali came back around the edge of the tattered fabric and nodded to the water behind her,

"Take a bath. I'll make sure you don't drown. You can crash here tonight."


A hot bath is probably something that's going to go a long way to Hilde not slipping even closer to hypothermia. She's got so little actual, human warmth left in her. If it wasn't for other parts of her helping *cheat*, she'd probably be dead or dying in an alley already. But, somehow, she scrapes by. Too drunk and too cold to function, but somehow functioning. She defies the rules. So, she drinks hard, because it's habit and she hasn't found that level of booze that just shuts it off yet. She should have. She's too tiny not to. But somehow, she hasn't.

"… you… you don't gotta do that… I'm… I ain't worth it. That's why he left… I ain't worth it." And there are the tears. Not full out wracking sobs, Hilde isn't that kind of girl, but silent, aching tears that cut like icy knives down her ashen cheeks. "…humans do?…" Her brain catches up with those words…"…ain't… we all human? I mean, even the mutants…if that's… What I am, what we are… we're still human…"


The real miracle of the evening was that Skali had hot water, but one of the benefits of older construction in this part of town were tireless boilers in the heart of such aging complexes. As the bath filled, a hand waved off the refusal, pausing in mid motion as the kindness seemed to provoke another wrenching bout of sadness.

"Oh honey, he left because he got bored. Or saw his own shadow. Or felt some gut-wrenching sense of ennui that only his dick could save him from. Who knows?"

Quietly she crossed the room, circling the wretched husk of a woman on her couch until she leaned over the back to regard her new 'friend.'

"If I told you that I wasn't, would you run screaming out of here like a damn fool to be raped and killed behind a dumpster? Probably. So let's go with human. At least for tonight. And a bath."


The commentary about why Barney left just makes it worse. "…that's even more… shitty. I…fuck… I thought *meant* something." Hilde's first mistake, probably. Getting involved. Getting attached. Letting her heart fall for a man like that. She might look old enough to know better, but sometimes any woman fails in knowing better. Sometimes a heart doesn't give one a choice. So, she takes one more gulp of whiskey. Or, she tries. She's actually killed the woman's bottle. How it hasn't killed her yet, one will always wonder.

Then the woman is returning to her and leaning close. Hilde just stares up into those golden brown eyes, brows arching a bit harder. Her bloodshot, teary gaze studies her new friend a bit longer, "I…I'd say… jus' cause you're a mutant…don't mean you're not human. We're all fucking human."


"Oh, how I wish we were. That would make it so much easier for myself. Come on."

Reaching down to help the woman to her feet, she half dragged, half carried her to the tub which was halfway full and looked positively decadent. It was perhaps the only thing clean in the entirety of the apartment, though the small pile of cigarette butts and emptied beer bottles strewn underneath the clawed feet indicated Skali often drown her sorrows here. Stopping short of tossing her into the water fully clothed, a hand untangled the bottle from the woman's care and took a swig - only to find it empty.

"Oh my. You are going to need some water. If you puke, try to do so outside the tub."

She murmured, leaving the woman to get undressed as she made good on that promise of water. Given the fact that the apartment was a single room, conversation could still be comfortably carried while she rummaged in the kitchen for a glass that approximated cleanliness, returning with it filled to the brim with water. She set it beside the tub and leaned against the frame where a door could have hung in a more up-scale joint, averting her eyes politely enough.

"Unfortunately, I'm uncertain any of it matters. Mortals are born, they live, they die."


A rasping, cold laugh comes at the comment about puking. It's one of those laugh or cry chuckles. She hasn't puked yet, but there is a first time for everything. She stumbles along at Skali's side to the tub, but really, Hilde would be impossibly easy to carry for all her height. She's nothing but lanky limbs, bones, and a bit of skin. She also has no body modesty, probably an after effect of being in medicine. Bodies are bodies. She drowsily begins to pull herself out of clothing, fingertips fumbling at buttons.

Beneath her shirt, she's as skeletal as one would expect. Almost all her ribs could be counted, hip bones sticking out. She doesn't bother with a bra. She doesn't need one. She just dumps clothing onto the floor next to the beer bottles and then sloughs herself into the tub. At least it was warm. She might get back to shivering soon. "…Yes…they do.. but that death can be *good*. It can be honorable. And that *does* matter. What… are you saying you don't…Die? Everyone dies. Except the death cheater… the one that smells like lightning. That's… why I got his help." SHe's drunk enough now she's rambling, old patterns coming into her speech in a way she doesn't even realize.


Skali lazily shrugs as she settles next to the tub after kicking some of the refuse away, her back to the warm porcelain. As Hilde speaks, she passes the water up and into a hand, accepting it back whenever the woman had her fill.

"I'll die, eventually. It's not destined to be honorable or good, but we all have our parts to play."

There was a confidence in her tone, a knowledge so few possessed. Skali didn't just think she knew when her death would come; she knew the hour and the place, the means and the ways. It was such an absolute, it didn't bear pondering, and thus she continued with a faintly restrained curiosity.

"The one who smells like lightning? Have a big hammer? Talk funny?"


Well, Hilde wasn't a big fan of water, but something in the medic's mind acknowledges just how much she probably needs it. The fact it's a miracle she's conscious or even carrying on, she shouldn't jinx it, so she needs to drink. So, head lulling back against the edge of the tub, making her stringy blonde hair damp in the water, she accepts the bottle and takes a few bird like sips before pausing, then another few sips and she passes it over. It was a start.

Her pale brows arch, looking over to Skali, letting that strange vision she has sometime cloud her eyes, drinking in the taste of death on the woman, "…yes…I suppose… a long time from now, though. It's… not on you. Death. The black dog doesn't linger in the corner… the hounds… the fight… It is far from your time…" The woman's voice seems older as she speaks that, her eyes a hint silver, but it's slipping away as quickly as it came. It's easier to slip in and out when she's drunk.

"..Big hammer? Uh…no…annoying, mouthy…Red scarf. He loves that fuckin' scarf… wasn't even that cold. The death cheater… used to work at the hospital. I remember him, then fucked up his hands… But he knows how to… cheat. So, I asked him to cheat for us. To save Barney. Couldn't… couldn't let him go."


"The weaver of falsehoods. I know of him. Treachery runs in the family."

The tone she spoke in was rueful, acknowledgement of a distant time when she would swallow the sun and let the fires burn her alive savored with a slow nod. Something in the answering lyrics of the woman beckoned Skali's head a bit higher, the wolf stirring with a want to let flesh peel away, pores ripple with dark fur, a muzzle pressing into that sickly looking palm in an offering of comfort. Sharpening teeth gritted as she bit back the instinct, and settled on passing the water back into the waiting hand.

"What does Barney need? What deal did you strike with the King of Lies?"

There was no judgement in her tone, simply a careful knitting of all the threads to see the full picture. Skali rarely did something without a full comprehension of its consequences. Except when it came to Namor, which was a tragically human shortcoming.


"…Weaver of…falsehoods?" That actually makes Hilde laugh, drunken, a bit sad, but an honest laugh. She hadn't really thought of THAT name for Strange, "He's…weird. He cheats, but…he's only been pretty…Good ta me. He helped. Didn't ask for anything. Just…just helped. Got the infection out of Barney. Put his lung back together. Shit even a surgeon couldn't do. Fuckin'…miracles." Hilde grabs at the water, tired mind suddenly thinking it's booze by the way she eagerly drinks and then wrinkles her nose. Not the taste she expected. She hands it back.

"…not that Barney fuckin' cared. Saved his life and he screams his head off like I got the cops comin' back to our pad or somethin'. That's what he acted like…fucker. Probably…good… I'm outta there. But… fuck…" Her voice slightly cracks there again. She can't keep the anger long. She misses him too much.


"Not the same asshole, then."

Skali muttered with a laugh. There were some miracles her grandfather could manage, but this seemed outside of his expertise. And to ask nothing in return was equally as uncharacteristic. The water was taken back but not abandoned, the low rattle of the thin woman's breath and her slurred syllables requiring the liquid even if it did not burn the senses away. Caretaker was not a task Skali was practiced at, but she fell into the role with the easy adaptation of any pack animal.

"Did you save him for your sake? Or his?"

The question hung in the air, and it was asked by something that smiled with the painful query, savoring the mortal coil this creature in the bathtub was still tied to.


"…Good. I mean, there is such a plethora of assholes in this city. We're not wanting for them." Hilde deadpans quietly, the joke pretty funny to her, even if it's also a sad truth about New York City. She doesn't reach for water again, but she's sane and slowly iching to half sober enough that she dips one hand into the water and cups it across her face. At least to get some of the cold, nasty sweat off of her and that odd feeling of maybe being sick at the back of her throat. She's fighting it, but with sobriety comes a new level of misery. Or maybe she's just rounding the bend of alcohol poisoning and somehow still awake.

"… save…Barney? Fuck…I dunno…" Hilde breathes out, the first, initial, honest reaction she can think of. But then she falls quiet and sighs, letting her head lull back against the edge of the tub. "…mine…probably. I.. I couldn't let him die… Couldn't thinka livin' without him…"


Skali held her silence for an uncomfortable stretch, only the sound of the water lapping at the side of the tub as Hilde adjusted her weight and bathed echoing the admission. Despite all of her elevated godliness, the truth of the words set claws in her gut and twisted. Even shifting uncomfortably would not relieve the sudden pain, and so she admitted softly,

"I know the feeling."

Long on Midgard, she had abandoned the hope of finding a mate that could match her in longevity. Finally, the wolf had accepted a moment of brilliance, a brief chapter of living, despite the cost of an eternity that spanned after his death. A flash of white as her teeth bared, and she soundlessly snarled at the sentiment.

"Regardless. You cannot expect gratitude for something done in selfishness."


"…it's a shitty feeling." Hilde echoes very quietly to the woman's sympathy. All she can do is give some empathy, because she's struggling through it herself and she has no good advice to give, evidenced by the mess the woman found her in. Hilde sighs, giving up on trying to totally clean her face, so she just sinks into the water a moment, totally immersing her face and hair. That might give Skali a brief heart attack, because maybe Hilde has passed out or is trying to kill herself, but she comes back up a heartbeat later hair dripping but a bit cleaner. Water gives some shock of sobriety. Or, it's at least keeping her sort of awake.

"…I… I guess I didn't want gratitude. I don't expect anything like gratitude from Barney, he… he ain't that kind of guy. I just didn't expect it to… destroy everything. Fuck… we'd been trying. Hard. Tryin' to be happy… maybe that was stupid."


A human could live without air for a few minutes. A more attentive caregiver may have started at the sudden sound of water sloshing over the small figure within the porcelain. Skali let her take the reprieve without interference, resting an ear against the body of the tub to ensure the woman was still alive and hale.

When she resurfaced, a quiet laugh echoes the words as she finally spoke with a note of rebuke,

"Was it not his time? Was not his mortal husk past due for demise? You didn't save him; you forced him into a rebirth. It's an uncomfortable process. Let him adjust."

Golden eyes peered over the tub, laughter in her gaze as she added, "Phoenix and all that."


"…God, that's some…mythology old stories bullshit. I dunno nothin' about that… He's just cranky. Maybe he'll come around." Oh, Hilde, the irony, as she genuinely seems to think that, despite the fact that she SPOKE like some of those old stories just earlier. Now half clean and half warm, though, her head is drooping. Her body just wants to sleep, though she's fighting to keep awake in the water. Instead, she just lays her cheek to the side of the tub, half hanging there, hair clinging to her throat and neck as she stares at Skali through half lidded eyes.

"…it… was his time… but maybe not. 'cause it certainly didn't happen, so… doesn't than mean it wasn't? Uh…I dunno. My head hurts." She rasps out quietly. It's a fucking miracle it's just her head which is rebelling and not her stomach.


Skali laughs openly at that, matching the sinking woman's gaze with her own as she peers fully over the edge of the tub now in companionable consideration. A rolling of her eyes as she glances towards the single, ratted towel hanging nearby and she heaves herself upwards to go collect it; the motion belonging to something much larger and more dangerous than a young woman who offered shelter for the night.

"Archetypes. Humans tell the same stories in different forms. Mythology, old stories bullshit. Recycled."

A hand was extended to help her out of the tub, the unoccupied hand displaying readied towel.

"All off it intended to make sense out of chaos; the natural state of things. Breathe in uncertainty, breathe out expectation."


"…you got some real fancy words, hun… Nice, but real damn fancy. That's… too much to think about. I don't care about… humans, or shit, or stories. I just care about breathin' enough to get to tomorrow. And… then we worry about the day after." Hilde drawls out tiredly, any of those silvered eyes or pretty, old words well and truly gone now. Then she stares to that hand, blinking tiredly. She had to figure that out. Getting up, she had to do it.

It's sluggish, but she does finally manage to reach up and wrap her fingertips around Skali's. She's stumbling, but she manages not to go ass over teakettle. She has to lean heavy on Skali's arm, which really isn't much to anyone else because Hild probably doesn't weigh 100 pounds while soaked. She manages out of the tub and grabs the towel, shivers settling in a few heartbeats later. "…fuck winter." She mutters, "'salways cold."


The knees weakened, the frail limbs of the sodden rat drawn out of the tub with a steady hand. As her strength wavered, Skali's evidenced itself, until ultimately she wrapped the frame in the towel tightly. When terry was tightly pressed to skin, she gently gathered up the full figure in her arms with a low growl.

"I'm going to put you on the couch."

There wasn't much argument that could be brokered, clean clothes set on the couch next to the sodden figure, simple as they were. They looked warm, frayed at the cuffs and aged, but wool. A refilled water glass was set where Hilde could easily reach it, even as the thermostat was nudged up a few degrees for all the good it would do. The heat rarely worked in her apartment. It had never been an issue before.


The blonde might be embarrassed about this in the morning. Tonight, she's too close to warmly comfortable (the first time she's felt that in days), exhausted, and drunk to really care. In fact, instincts bring her to nestle in a bit closer beneath Skali's chin, like a pup seeking it's mother's warmth and safety. She's out of words, just a drowsily muttered bit of assent, as the woman offers her the couch.

When Skali lets her go, that gets a protest of chill and whatever might be warm and close is tugged around her, even if she's just pulling clothing ontop of her towel covered body. Being drunk is useless, especially when one runs out of anger and adrenaline. It's just exhaustion and surrender now. Hilde is going to pass out dead asleep in moments.


The heat never clicks on. The lights flicker with the attempt once or twice, before the effort is abandoned. The breathing slowed, the night wore on, the chill eventually ghosting every exhale. Flesh shivered, and even in her sleep, the woman's teeth chattered. Until thick fur pressed close, the weight of a body curling against the near-corpse of this houseguest. When Hilde rolled closer, the massive beast rested a head over her sleeping form and for once in years; perhaps she was warm and safe.

When Hilde awoke, coffee was in the pot and a note to secure ALL the locks upon her departure. Please.

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