1963-11-27 - Not what I had in mind
Summary: Barney goes looking for information about 'valkyries' and brings Hilde along. The information gained and how it was gained isn't quite what Barney had in mind.
Related: Lots of 'what the heck is a valkyrie' logs.
Theme Song: None
brunnhilde barney marie-ange rogue 

While they'd actually had a nice day, ONE NICE DAY, Thanksgiving of all days, the weekend had meant ramped up tensions. Barney paranoid as all get out about whatever was living in Hilde's head and Hilde losing more and more time on a regular basis as the Valkyrie in her decides to take walk abouts. So, after something bordering on the closest thing to an actual fight they've had in ages, Hilde said she might know someone. Or that person might be crazy. But they might have answers. Therefore, the pair bundled up for the chilly late fall, early winter weather and headed to the Village.

It took a bit of asking about, as Hilde didn't have the exact address, but eventually she was directed to where the infamous bohemian 'Rain' lived. Hilde stands in the hallway, slightly hunched over, hands in the pocket of her big coat. Every bit of her body language is the wilting, skittish Hilde and no one else. "..'sit. She's… a bit nuts, but real nice. The one that got groceries, when you were dyin'… She's good people." Hilde rasps quiet before knocking again on the door. "…Scarlett? Rain?…it's Hilde… from the bar… You home? I… I got my guy.. with me…" She calls through the door, loud as her little voice can go.


ROLL: Barney +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 72


One nice day in a sea of 'bad' ones isn't really out of the ordinary. At least if one knows Barney, anyway. He's a bastard, putting it bluntly and as nicely as possible; a feat when one considers his parents were indeed married at the time of conception. But, more often than not, it's an argument about her sanity which most certainly affects his personal safety.

And when he doesn't understand something, it makes Barney more than a little fidgety.

Dressed in a long wool coat, jeans and button-down, Barney's hands are deep in his pockets as they navigate the city streets. He's not entirely certain where they're going, and to come across a small band of FBI? He reaches out, grabs Hilde's arm and keeps walking, only to go back down into the subway system, coming up a block past.. and this they do more than a few times in order to arrive properly. He's already lost his SHIELD tail; that's more survival for him now than just to be a jerk. FBI might see the tail, and then look for the target. Nothing hangs a neon sign like, 'Hey, that guy has a tail! Wonder why!' like a Junior Agent trying out new found skills!

The hallway is given a once, twice over, glancing at apartment numbers and possible means of entry and emergency exits.

"Little nuts I can deal with, darlin'.." and he says this with a deadpanned expression towards Hilde as she raps on the door. "It's the bigger nuts that I have a harder time with."


Marie's been up for a while now; it has been her usual morning lineup with just a couple exceptions. Today's been a day for cleaning, and while she may be French and has a duster in hand, she's not the maid. No, the merrily humming slip of a girl is the seer, a servant of her cards through and through, and that's the reason behind her cleaning.

It's also the reason why she /also/ has taken the liberty of preparing hors d'oeuvres; some finger sandwiches and crudites set out; along with four plates and the accompanying napkins sit neatly arranged on the coffee table. You see, Marie does a reading every day. Today her reading foretold of visitors; a general time, a number. No /intent,/ but the cards can be fickle somedays, and this was one of them. She's certain they would have warned if /trouble/ were afoot, though.

When time and fate intersect; a fact announced by that wrapping on the door, and words heard through it. The cards are secured within the folks of her sweater, and the duster put away. "One moment!" calls a voice that's definitely /not/ the bohemian. "<The guests I told you of have arrived, Scarlett. I will see to them.>" is added into the room that holds the other redhead, before Marie makes her way to the door. Graceful footfalls taking her across the room with ease, and the door is opened to reveal a redhead! Nope, definitely not Scarlett; this girl is a bit smaller, dresses in simple fashions and speaks with an accent that marks her as a Lyonnaise. "Bonjour et bienvenue, Monsieur, Mademoiselle. Please, come in, have a seat. My name is Marie, it is lovely to meet you both." Socialization comes easily today because the cards told her to expect company. If they had told her to hide in the bathroom, her greeting would be completely different.


That person in Greenwich Village is known as a number of things: bohemian, photographer, activist, student. So essentially a personification of all the qualities that bring out people from across the fine country to an epicenter of counterculture. Something about the redhead is different though — right up there with the strange fellow in the big house on Bleecker Street half the town swears should just be a grocery shop on the ground floor and a row of brick flats and shops. 'Rain,' as it goes, lives in Albert Chambers at the very top. Come from above and it's easy to spot her place: the one with the rooftop garden. From below, that means ascending the many steps to the ninth floor as this old place doesn't have an elevator. So a voice skimming through the door asking for the resident redhead, at least the non Francaise one, does not really stand apart as strange. The voice itself does.

Scarlett hasn't spent much time outside her bedroom since reappearing at an ungodly hour, proof to like she sleeps. However, the only giveaway of her wakefulness is the repetitive tracks played on a record. Oddly exotic music follows her out, the strains of the Indian subcontinent with a decided preference for Tamil influences today. She walks in thigh-high socks, an oddity for her too, and drifts right past Marie with a vibrant look to her eyes. It's going to be one of those days. Nodding to the seer, it isn't rudeness at play, but the detached transcendence of a guru or something much, much worse.

"Hello, Miss Hilde and Miss Hilde's partner." She can do the math, even this way. "How good to see you." What does she see? That's really open to observation, but one thing is clear. If the Valkyrie in Hilde is remotely awake, Scarlett's spun with the energies of Hel and she isn't dead.


Marie-Ange draws Nine Swords.


Marie-Ange draws 20 Judgement.


At the sight of a *different* woman opening the door, one she doesn't know, Hilde's arctic blues go a bit wider than before. She looks a hint scared and perhaps a little guilty that she drug Barney here and they aren't alone. And was the other woman living with a WOMAN? Surely they were just roommates. Nothing else untoward was happening. That stuff just shouldn't be done. Anyway, there is a moment of earnest panic across the white-blonde's features and then she just takes a deep breath and flickers a game smile across her face, her fingertips reaching out to grab Barney's hand and give it a tight squeeze with her bony palm. See? This would be fine.

"…Ah… Marie? Alright. I did not realize Miss Rain… lived with someone? Anyway, thanks, is she hom-" And then Hilde's question is answered almost immediately, hearing the familiar voice as they are ushered into the apartment. But there is something else there too. Energy she knows. Or, part of her knows. It stops Hilde in her tracks and her eyes are already partly silvering as the Vakyrie pushes to come out, investigate. Her hand tightens on Barney's, actually fighting for control. The downside with the Valkyrie letting Hilde sleep is that the skittish woman has actually got enough energy to be reticent in sharing her brain.


Barney stands, waiting, though he moves his weight from foot to foot; he's not a patient man. The comment of 'my guy' is passed in favor for listening in on the other side of the door. French. He speaks it fluently, though it's rare for him to tip that sort of hand. Some things are just helpful.

He's good with 'my guy' however in the face of not one woman but two, and when Hilde reaches for his hand, it's an awkward sort of response. In public, and the outward displays of 'affection', even if in the form of support, simply is… awkward. For him. Still, there it is, and fingers entwine for her to give it a squeeze. The first is fine.. the second?


There she is… or here she comes? "Hilde," comes softly, but there's an edge below it. He's got absolutely no idea about the underlying causes; all he knows?

"Yeah.. uh… sorry to bug you an' all.."


"She is." comes the answer; and a glance backwards confirms her words. Scarlett's nod is returned with a bright smile from Marie; clearly, there's no rudeness mistaken from the other woman's actions, and since she /knows/ these people (or at least one of them), the seer walks easily away from the door. There's a moment taken to consult the cards for a bit more insight upon her guests; the Nine of Swords; a card bathed in anxiety and sleepless nights. That brings an arch to her eyebrows and a hidden tightening of fingers, but the Judgement that follows it steadies her. It tells her not to make rash decisions and to give people a chance.

Still, her cards will be kept closer at hand and on person at all times. Just in case.

In the meantime, while Scarlett takes over the duties of greeting, Marie will watch, wait, and learn. Her smile has faded a touch from the initial greeting, but she's hopeful that the chance is one worth giving. The cards have told — and accurately — of far too much doom for her taste lately.


What ironies trace the fears that Hilde manages. Has anyone recently looked at the cost of rent in the city of New York, especially in Greenwich? Ever since Bob Dylan and friends started making waves a few months ago, anyone on the scene not already here has come with their suitcase and their guitar. They spill over into Stuvey-Town and the East Village like a plague of lemmings and still there isn't room for everyone. Doubling up isn't considered odd; it's a fact of life, especially for the likes of a displaced French girl. But this is La Boheme and in the immortal words of Fandral, "Anything's possible."

With a controlled wave of her hand, Scarlett invites the pair in, were her vocal invitation insufficient. The way she moves is efficient and confined, no excess waving about here. Her wild plaits run down her back in a windblown formation quite like no style common here, reaching a point below her hips, the ripple of a fiery tapestry caught on the breeze. "Would you care for tea? There should be coffee, as well."

The varied furniture within the room can easily host a round table; that dinner table alone is solid oak and possibly older than any western state. Poised by the window, the loveseat and the couch would be sufficient for four, and there's always the possibility she might float midair like one of those vedic gurus always practicing in the park. "It has been a rather trying week, hasn't it? We all likely feel a touch of sorts. You can be certain, monsieur, no one here is going to eat you and the main points of exit are through the window, down the stairs, end of the hall, out the third door on the left one floor down. An old maid's closet with an inexplicable entrance to the fire escape. Though for sake of Marie, and your lady friend, I do hope you will accept our hospitality."


It's a struggle to keep that weird, sweet, coppery pressure out of her brain. It'd be so much easier to just give in and go to sleep, or wherever she goes, when that other thing comes. But Barney's warning to her and the pressure of his hand is enough to keep her steady, despite that other mind's curious feelings. "H-here… I'm here….'mstill here…" Hilde mutters to him, trying to be reassuring and steady. She doesn't do either very well and the mutter was probably loud enough that the whole room heard. She gives Marie an awkward bit of a smile, "I'm…*Hilde*." Definitely Hilde. Not something else in a Hilde body, for now.

The blonde comes the rest of the way into the room, pale blue eyes now taking a look about since they have refocused. She seems a bit surprised by the lay out of food and extra plates. "Uh…we didn't want to intrude, if you got…company comin' or something… But Barney was just… he wanted to ask… questions. We can be fast." The conversation about the exits gets an actually wider smile and she looks up to Barney. See? This woman is alright!


Barney does walk in, his hand still in hers at the invite. Brows rise at the offer of food, drink, and he shakes his head quickly. "Nah.. I'm good, thanks." He does have his cigarettes, however, and right about now really seems to be a good time for one.

When Rogue begins her rapid fire explanation of exits from the apartment, it stops him dead in his tracks, blue eyes widening. "Whoa.." While Hilde seems to think the recitation a 'good thing', Barney's not all that sure about it now. "Uh.." and an uncomfortable laugh exits the man. Why does he feel even more like a trapped animal now? Exits watched? "Huh.." and he gives his head the briefest shake. "Uh.. thanks?"

Barney pulls his pack of cigarettes out and is ready to strike a match on one before, "Y'mind?"

Hilde's introduction is glanced at by the man before he exhales as she reveals the ultimate reason they're here. "Yeah, uh.. I kinda was told that you were someone that could actually explain shit, and I wouldn't mind an answer or three." There's a pause before, "What the fuck is a valkyrie?"


Yes, the efforts of the French girl will not go unrewaded! There's a fond look offered over in Scarlett's direction that supercedes the strange conversation about exits. That part she doesn't quite get, but, "Oui, tea and coffee are prepared both. Merely say the word and they shall appear." When it comes to making decisions, Marie consults the cards. When she doesn't? Making all the decisions — coffee /and/ tea rather than /or/ — is the third best thing. Plus, she's growing accustomed to the niceties that the taller redhead offers her guests and does her best to replicate accordingly, interwoven with her own upbringing.

"A pleasure, Mademoiselle Hilde, Monsieur… 'Hilde's partner'." She'll mimic her friend's term of address for Barney until she knows otherwise, too. "You interrupt nothing of importance, there are no other guests coming." she says with a certainty that will likely paint her as unusual to those who doesn't know /why/ she's so sure of things.

Barney's first request — on the cigarettes — is directed to Scarlett to answer, Marie happy to take the role of support and simply lend a hand where she's able. The second request, however, and the rather… colorful words used to make it, draw few things other than confusion from Marie. Fortunately for her, while she can /speak/ English decently, her command isn't perfect. Which means that there's words she /doesn't/ know, that she would in French. She'll make note, though. If someone seeks for this 'shit' to be explained, Scarlett would be the one to seek. Mental note added accordingly, in case it should come up. Now she'll keep ears open to see if the new words are more properly defined for her.


Exits watched or exits known. It's something of a rote summary from the redheaded bohemian, suggestive that the question comes up a lot in people's minds or conversations. Possibly, possibly not. Her shoulder lifts at the question of the cigarette. "Greenwich Village, you know? That's hardly the greatest vice on this floor." Might as well go for broke. Scarlett glances out the window, looking inevitably southwest, and then her fingers leave the sheer drapes that stir to the heating in this old dame. Pops and bubbles of sound whisk behind the walls along with the ethereal music from her bedroom, blended to the distant rush of water and the inevitable murmur of city life. Nowhere in New York is truly quiet.

Hearing Marie say 'Hilde's partner' does warrant a brief, ghostly smile across her lips, a flicker of amusement in azure eyes. The expression vanishes not long thereafter, settled back into the incisive lines of a scholar, perhaps, or someone sizing up the question put before them.

"In the simplest terms, a valkyrja — valkyrie — is a female spirit who chooses whether warriors who survive or die in battle. They escort the dead to the Norse afterlife. You can think of them as a kind of angel, though they are more accurately fate spirits," says Scarlett thoughtfully. "Many cultures have similar roles. A valkyrie comes from Norse myth — Vikings, in other words. But they originate from another realm altogether, and they are remembered by Norse legends best."


ROLL: Brunnhilde +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 73


Out, out, she wants OUT! While Hilde had been the one to insist on coming with Barney, it's the Valkyrie now which claws at the back of her mind, desperately trying to make her presence known and correct the inaccuracies that she biased-ly sees in Rogue's statement. Hilde actually wavers, her eyes flickering silver again and head almost dropping as she actually fights whatever pressure she's feeling in the back of her head. That strange, sweet scent of poppies comes again, the spirit that lives on in her tossing every bit of power she can at the medic and, shockingly, failing to actually get a foodhold in that mind they share. But Hilde doesn't look too good, a cold sweat having broken across her brow and her fingernails leaving moon shape cresents in Barney's hand.

"…then… why… What is living… in the back… of my brain?" Hilde gasps out, her teeth slightly gritting as she really tries to remain herself for this conversation. It's her life. Barney is her partner. She's had enough sleep to actually be functional and she wasn't running away from this issue, once and for all. Though, possibly she should sit down before she passes out. Or pukes. Who knows.


Marie-Ange draws 0 Fool.


Barney lets go of Hilde long enough to light that cigarette, then, setting the pack back into his pocket, the match waved out. Twisting around to search for an ash tray, should he find one, he'll toss it in there. If not? Into the pocket it goes. His hand recaptures Hilde's own, if that makes a difference to anyone. He nods at the French girl, a murmured 'thanks' to her, not to leave her out or anything.

But this question has been pressing on him, and there's just a whole lot of weirdness. Barney listens to the explanation, the cigarette taken, drawn upon. "Female spirit." Okay, that works… so far. "Vikings. So, that was like.. a thousand years ago." He's a little fuzzy on dates, but he knows it was a long time ago! "So, why—"

It's the same question that Hilde begins to ask, and at the squeeze of her hand upon his, Barney looks to the side, and his arm tenses. He's ready to keep her on her feet if necessary, but instead he's leading her to a spot where she can sit down. "Hilde.." is murmured. "Hey.."


The comment of vices is enough to redden Marie's cheeks; /that's/ a word she knows and she /does/ know some of the things that occur… in the city if not the floor, if not her own occasional fond rendezvouses with alcohol.

The explanation? Is also conferred with the cards; doubly so after the words from Hilde that cause Marie's eyes to watch her just a little more closely. When the French girl was living on the streets, she'd seen people have reactions that weren't entirely dissimilar; usually they were the result of vices themselves. They were the kind of thing to stay away from. The Fool, however, tells her to remain still. No problem, not yet.

"You… have an angel living in the back of your head?" Valkyries she knows only what Scarlett just said — and only now — but angels? Oh, Marie is /versed/ in angels. She's not heard of them living in people's heads, but the possible connection /does/ make her light up a little more. Barney gets a direct look, as well. "Is there anything I can get for her, Monsieur?" The 'she seems unwell' that should follow doesn't need to be spoken, Marie decides.


"Most likely spiritual possession or you were always a valkyrja. I would not expect it to be a common circumstance." Scarlett regards Hilde's transformation through almost unblinking eyes. Her own barely border upon human, their intensity a glow in the dark and gods help if headlights slant off them in her current state. "Valkyrja sometimes are considered royalty or mortal women who undergo an apotheosis, a transformation through marriage, death or other means. It could be particularly heroic women are uplifted to that state. I suppose it's worth asking whether you have experienced a near death encounter recently." A beat follows, a pause for confirmation or denial. "Another option, you were born this way with the potential you awaiting an opportunity to get out. One day you are you, one day you transform or become you, the valkyrja."

As the seer already went there, she might as well go for broke. "Possession means as Marie said: you share your body with another entity. In this case, a valkyrie or a disir. How that came to pass, I don't know without asking her, presuming she can even be separated from you, Miss Hilde. Though a distinct voice in the back of one's head is not necessarily a sign of possession. Do you converse, or lose control to her? Do you remember what happens if she does? With no disrespect if she is a separate, aware being. They aren't commonplace in this world." This, more than anything else, the soul-thief knows. It is her grim province, and they are well into its territory, even as that penetrating, long look might just resound with the gravity of another. If they know who, presuming they do.

A pause follows, and she asks simply in a tongue little recalled even in the cradle of its birth, "«Do you hear this song and know my words?»" To anyone else, yippee, Old Norse.


ROLL: Brunnhilde +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 50


"I'm here… I'm here…" Hilde repeats to Barney, but she's also letting him guide her over to wherever the closest seat is. She'd rather like to not face plant in the middle of a strange apartment, especially when they were so close to answers. She hasn't let go of his hand once it's been retaken, even if he's smoking a cigarette. She needs that touchstone, that thing to remind her to fight for her own body, her own consciousness. This was her life. As Marie asks that question about an angel, she gives a weak shake of her head, sending a mess of white blonde fringe all around her cheeks, "N-no… I don't think… fuck. God…I don't know…"

And then the other woman is going on about all the possibilities, mentioning that she'd have to ask the spirit herself. Hilde's fighting so hard that her hair is clinging to her cheeks with that cold sweat which is only getting worse. But she's failing. "Please… I don't…want to go…" She half begs Barney, half begs the entity in her head. But as Rogue speaks Old Norse, it's simply too much.

With a push of poppies on the air and other, more metallic scents of blood and steel, those pale eyes stop fluttering and scrunching. No more fighting. They are just white silver as her hair now and suddenly Hilde is sitting with far more grace and poise than before. Shoulders square, back strong. She doesn't squeeze Barney's palm like she will break it. In fact, as she realizes how hard her counterpart was holding, she lets go gently, "… Pardon, killer." He gets a wicked flash of a smile. It seems both of her sides were fond of this one. Then she is looking back to Rogue and responding, for just a moment, in Old Norse, «Yes, I know your words. But it is cruel to keep this conversation from others. Especially the man. He is overly sensitive.»


Marie-Ange draws Page Pentacles.


Does Rogue take notice exactly when Barney gets lost in the entire conversation? Probably around the word 'valkyrja' and 'apotheosis'. If he wanted simple, and he does, this just isn't it. At all. He's down on the couch, his attention split now between trying to understand exactly what is being said and what—

Oh. Crap.

"Stop it.." Barney growls softly, but it's not to Hilde. He looks up at Rogue, and he's louder now, "Don't do th—" He's ready to rise, the anger, the lack of understanding absolutely present upon his face. He's not happy; that is a given, and is there a flash of concern? Maybe…

The smell.


Perhaps this stays his hand from pulling his pistol, but… perhaps it's the fact that ultimately it would be a weak threat, breaking his most basic of tenents: 'don't pull a weapon unless ready to use it' and 'no women, no children'.

Barney's rising to his feet before he catches the difference in pressure in his hand, and he looks back to see her. He knows the difference now, and he resettles upon the couch, cigarette forgotten for the moment. The nickname, 'killer' brings a soft chuckle, but there isn't a lot of humour behind it, mostly due to that, yes… lack of understanding.

And the words? Blue eyes move from one to the other.. back and forth in hearing that language that hasn't been spoken in.. millenia.



Marie's pretty interested in the conversation; a woman who could be an angel, or at least shares her body with one? The thought that the heavenly hosts themselves have come to visit the abode she shares with Scarlett is the kind of thought that flatters, makes her feel good. The Old Norse spoken? That flies right over her head though. That's not a language she knows in the slightest.

However, the change in scents in the air catch her attention; as dos the visible change in Hilde; another card is drawn — the Page of Wands, referring to manifestation — but that's not the reason she's drawing it. She's keeping this one in her hand, just in case she needs to defend herself or more importantly still, defend Scarlett. The grip tightens at the addressing of Barney as 'killer'. That's a word she definitely knows, too.

"What's happening?" asks Marie, looking between their guests for answers — and to keep her eyes on them. She's very much ready if this goes south, but there haven't been any threatening movements made against them, so the image stays on the card for the moment.


Poppies dance on the air, twirling around neroli and leather in an opiate wave. Barney could well and truly pull a gun at this point, and he might not like what it gets him. On her home sanctuary, Scarlett is not precisely forgiving about violence.

When it comes to another figure emerging in place of Hilde, a theory is proven, an idea given manifested form. She dips her head in agreement and greeting both, not daring to reach out a hand for a shake or to calm or even assure Marie. Voice will be enough. "Pardon me. English will do just fine. I asked her if she could understand me, and she did. Let me explain quickly in French for Marie's sake."

Turning her gaze away for a moment to Marie, she says, "«I spoke to Hilde in Old Norse, the common language between mortals and Asgardians. I wished to see whether she might recognize it. Our guest does, and for the benefit of the gentleman, I will refrain from continuing further in it. Though you are always welcome to ask when a phrase is unclear, for it would be surpassingly rude for us to leave you confused on a point of language. Yes?»"

The brief smile fades anew and in its place, an inestimable calm and poise linger in her bearing. Afraid she is not, given to a certain calm. "Unless I am much mistaken, we are speaking with the valkyrie. Though that is rather like saying 'I'm chatting to that woman.' Would you prefer to be called Hilde, or is there another appropriate name?"


A look is shot to Barney as part of her can just sense his hand twitching for his gun. Whether it's Hilde or Valkyrie who knows him that well, who knows, but the silver gaze very much screams 'Not Now'. She clears her throat and, not familiar with French, she gives Barney very much the same explanation Rogue gave to Marie. It's only polite, after all, "The young woman… split… woman…" A slight narrowing of her eyes at Rogue, sensing that strangeness already, but she doesn't push it yet, "Was simply asking me if I understood. I told her yes. This is the common language my people and the humans share here on Midgard… Earth, as you call it. But it is rude to speak in it, so we shall keep to English because I demand it for your sake." Oh, proud. She was such a proud being. So unlike Hilde in that.

Also, unlike Hilde, she dislikes feeling ragged. She takes a moment and smooths that thin blonde hair out of her sweat dampened face, tucking it behind her ears and using a sleeve to brush off that bit of clamminess from her face. Now, she just seems to slightly glow with health. It doesn't well fit that malnourished body.

Rogue is given a calm, patient smile, "It would be like saying that if I were not *The Valkyrie*. The first. While my legacy and traditions have given birth to many other who do the proper job, it began with my service to Hela. Something you seem to well understand, a part of you, at least. But, if you wish to be more… Personable, you may call me Brunnhilde. That is also my name and has been for a millenia." Her voice is strange, a touch of slightly modern words and Bronx accent with the ancient pattern of speaking most Asgardians carry. "And yes, this circumstance is…Complicated."


Barney knows the smell, knows what it does to his Hilde, and as far as he's concerned, the paramedic is being used, being toyed with… to what end? He only asked! Anything Barney does with Hilde around is purely protective of her… and that includes any 'acting out', as it were. She's the one anchor, the one foundation (other than his brother) that keeps him tied to this place, as opposed to any one place.

"Why the fuck did you do that? Do you have any fucking idea what you just did?" Barney seems to have an idea, and he's not happy. At least he might have a clue, but.. he doesn't. "Goddammit.. sonofabitch.. I just wanted to fucking know.. not have a god damned dog and pony show. Shit.."

It's actually the French that explains everything to him, or at least it's the most tangible, the most understandable thing that has been said since walking in the door. He's not letting on, however; it's buzzing in his head in the wave of floral aroma.

"C'mon…" and Barney is ready to go. Ready to take this 'valkyrie' with him in the hopes that she'll return to her senses. Return to him his Hilde.

It's when the valkyrie.. no, 'The' valkyrie begins to speak that Barney looks back at her and some of the anger departs, but he's still not a fully happy camper, even in the face of the now named 'Brunnhilde's calm. Though now?

He's learning more.


Scarlett's explanation gets a fond smile from Marie and a nod. "«Then I will have some questions for you later on, Scarlett… but I think I have caught most of it.»" Pause. "«I know you would never intentionally be rude towards me.» she assures as an afterthought. It might go without saying, but some things just feel better when said.

"I will do my best to keep to English as well, Mo— ah… 'killer'." is added for Barney's sake. It's now that she takes a glance at the card she holds; visual confirmation of what she'd already known. Manifestation. Does that mean…? Hilde is given a slow, appraising look as she considers whether or not she wants to speak. Eventually? Curiousity — and hope — get the better of her. "Brunnhilde," formalities dispensed; in order to keep to her word of trying to stick to English. "You… you are this thing called a valkyrie, yes?" A pause, and her voice grows just a shade quieter, the grip on her card loosening. "…are you also an angel come to visit our home, then?" Normally, she'd take such things as gospel when they come from Scarlett. But faith is something that goes a long way with her; and seeing /demons/ in person strengthened the one she was brought up with. She wouldn't mind seeing the good side of things for a change.

…and then Barney opens his mouth. Marie /still/ fails to comprehend most of the words, until…

"Language, Monsieur!" comes a half-shocked, half-irritated command from Marie. "«You dare to possibly stand in the presence of the divine and use such a heretical word? What kind of man /are/ you? You should beg her forgiveness for the filth that flows from your mouth!»" Oh well. At least she tried.

Congratulations, Barney. You're officially the first — and only — person that timid little Marie has ever scolded. Feel proud.


Well, there they have it. THE Valkyrie, the one and first, for whom mentions of Sigurd or Siegmund will be suspended completely.

Scarlett fixes Barney with a rather opaque look, still respectful when Marie is perfectly capable of responding to the rules of hospitality and proper behaviour in front of a guest. No lifting of a finger to censure her there, not in the least. She will settle matters peacefully in her own time as she rises to pour herself a cup of tea, and one for anyone else disposed towards drinking it. A given for the Frenchwoman, the other two trusted to speak up in their own time. She walks towards the kitchen to turn on the stove, placing the full kettle atop it. "You wanted to know about the subject. I could subject you to Wagner's atrocious operas, or draw you a diagram with the nine realms on a tree and Heven placed somewhere around it." Heven? Indeed, someone went and spoke about that in front of her. "Lady Brunnhilde may be capable of providing a better one, if you are disposed."

Formalities are not fully dispensed of by her, but then she knows a few things about titles. Cream taken from the fridge she places on a tray, sugar and honey supplied on the side. Cups come down from the cabinets, prepared as needed. "None shall give you harm here, at least wittingly. Is there aught else you require to be comfortable?" Manners matter. That speaks to one surfacing, another vanishing, then a rotation of faces, three-in-one. Nornsdottir indeed, albeit oddly.


A single arch of a golden brow is given to Marie's tirade in Barney's direction. Brunnhilde doesn't understand it, but that tone of voice, especially from the petite, cute woman was endearingly amusing. She even quirks a bit of a smile. "Barney Barton. I do not know what she said but have you learned your lesson?" The elegant woman asks with just enough amusement beneath her tone that it's clear she is actually, slightly teasing him. Her smile grows just a touch. "Also, you came here for answers, killer. Did you not? We can leave this place with none, or you may learn to practice a scrap of patience and gain wisdom you seek." Those instructive words are less teasing and far more calm. She is not moving from the couch.

Especially not as cream and hoey are brought out of the fridge and prepared for her. She gives a single, thankful bow of her head in acknowledgement to the offering. She waits until the tray is brought and leans forward, scooping up a mug of honied cream for herself. No sugar. Nothing else in it. Maybe this is what Hilde should ALWAYS be drinking — put some meat on her bones, at least! "No, this is most comfortable considering the days and setting. And I shall not draw him a diagram. I suspect it would go over his head." She pauses, turning back to Barney and narrowing her eyes. "No…you are most intelligent. You just would not care for it so you would not bother to remember. If you have questions you *care* for, ask them now. Your lady fights harder now that I have let her sleep."


Barney stares, absolutely stares at Marie-Ange, though it's hard to determine if he understands her words or is just puzzled about the screed leveled at him at a rapid pace in obvious distress and indignance. He's back on the couch; hardly a position of 'authority', whether conscious or otherwise. He doesn't look like the words particularly stung, so maybe he didn't understand them anyway? Brunnhilde's teasing question of him gives over to his grumbling, and he looks at Rogue, almost accusingly. He doesn't move from 'The' Valkyrie's side, however.

"Do you have any fucking clue that there is a goddamned human woman there? Did you hear the fact that she didn't want to go? What the fuck is this?" Words that Barney had no clue he'd ever say: 'human woman'. "You think this is a game?" He was hoping to avoid all this. Hoping.

Why is it, in his mind, that the sociopath has the most sympathy for the frail woman's plight? (Not that Barney brands himself thusly, but!)

Underscoring his words, then, is the fact that Hilde struggles against it more. Fights it. And Barney's only got a little more information on it. Though, as she teases him, he looks down and away, his cheek twitching as it tenses and relaxes. Pictures wouldn't do for him, and he shakes his head at the suggestion, even if it makes him sound.. less than intelligent. Though, when asked, the assassin does raise his gaze again, "Why? How come her?"


The theory of Brunnhilde = Angel is solidified a step further as Scarlett speaks of the possibility that Heaven would be on the tree that she and Thor tried to explain to Marie. …which also helps the girl wrap her brain around /that./ Because she understands how Heaven isn't a place you can /go./ Not before you die.

…which also has her suddenly wondering about just /what/ the Asgardians are, now. Not friendly aliens, but something /else./ She's not sure exactly what.

On top of that, Brunnhilde says nothing to disprove the idea that she's an angel, so it's decided in Marie's mind. That maes her feel better, that an angel would deign to visit a sinner like her… especially in light of recent events, but also in general. There's a little huff from Marie that seems to let out any rage that built up there, and an apologetic look is offered towards Brunnhilde. "I am sorry, Brunnhilde, I ju—"

Then Barney opens his mouth again. The the language filters out again. Marie opens her mouth. Closes it. Opens her mouth and raises a finger accusingly. Closes her mouth again. Then she just sighs with exasperation. Even if he's painted himself into a bucket to be JUDGED, there's something relatable about Barney's plight. That's part of what spares him another tirade.

The other part is that she wouldn't be able to bring herself to do it again if she tried. So there's another apologetic look offered to Brunnhilde, and it's time to drown her sorrows in tea, where she can hide her disapproving frown behind a cup.


Tea will come with the rest, but honeyed cream is a passable drink. Better when heated, possibly, but a leaf out of recovering from Asgardian pastimes applies here. Or it might be said Scarlett operates off a trove of knowledge she is absolutely not alluding to in company, which could very well be the case. Do not look in her ear hoping to find a shadow play on the wall of her skull.

When the kettle starts to steam most incessantly, the redheaded bohemian pours the boiling water into a pot and dunks two teabags for good measure. Her own cup receives a different treatment, loose-leaf tea redolent with the scent of lavender mixed into a pierced ball. It lands with a clink, the water spilled over it while she jerks on the chain to aid the liquid percolating through the round nest of dried petals and leaves. All holds an air of ritual for her, performed without real effort, rote measures.

"The Valkyrie takes the souls of Asgardians to their proper place. You may not claim on mortals except those who worship the gods of Asgard, is it not so?" That piece of knowledge slots into the puzzle pieces already filled in. "In this age the Agardians reveal themselves upon Midgard, but were you here earlier? I wonder to what purpose. Nonetheless, Miss Hilde is not comfortable with the arrangement if she fights you. Is there no way you may be separated?"

Marie may judge, the bohemian is apparently above being such, and slips the French girl a proper shortbread cookie covered in a dusting of cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted almonds. French baking is the worst in holiday time. Omnomnom.


That pale eyed look is given to Barney again, the one that momentarily says she is speaking with a child, but she is trying to reign it in. A slightly tempered smile follows it, "You already have the answer, had you been listening. Do listen now, I have no care to repeat myself." Then she's looking back over Marie and Rogue. Marie is given some sort of strange, almost protective smle, something blessed and gentle, even as she's eyed in thought. This one could make a good follower. She can almost smell it on the girl. But this was no time.

Then, there is Rogue who asks, no doubt, the most astute questions. She presses her lips thoughtfully, not rushing into answers, but exhaling a slow breath as she weighs the woman's knowledge with the man's lack and her own still just piecing puzzles together. Finally, she stares in a quiet, cultured, warmly even tone. It's so unlike Hilde it's a miracle her vocal chords can produce the sounds. "First, I do not consider this a game. I would let her out… Let your woman share space, but I worry it would entirely shatter her spirit. I do not know if she is strong enough to take me into herself, though it would be ideal. I keep us separate out of protection for the young Hilde, as she is very much me. An extension of myself, as it were."

Then, she's looking back to Rogue, eyes settling for the fuller part of the story. "…I have found myself able to usher mortals on to whatever… realm they please. Perhaps because of this body. Or other times. I have not, as this woman, chosen to favor where they go — simply that I make the passing proper. Peaceful. Noble." Rogue has witnessed this very action before, as has Barney. "As for separating, I do not think it possible. I came to this world in spirit as my body is… trapped, elsewhere. Magically and physically. Somehow, spiritually… I escaped. When I came here, I found a… Shell. A child with no mind or soul, viciously injured in some accident. Her parents would not let go of the body, though it would have been better. She had been a shell for months, possibly why this body still remains sickly. So… I took residence. But… the process was exhausting. And trying to shove all of me into such a tiny mind was… traumatic. The brain could not contain what I was. So, I slumbered, but Hilde woke… grew. Different, but human…"


Angel, sure?

Angel of death. This is something Barney knows full well, having pulled Hilde away from a broken, bleeding body; she having knelt in the puddle of that life's blood.

Brunnhilde's cup and saucer of cream and honey, the kettle for tea, the cookie.. all forces a shaking hand into his pocket to take out his pack of cigarettes again, the last left mostly unsmoked, sadly. He doesn't have a hold on The Valkyrie, easy enough then to light the match from his book of matches, light the stick, wave out the little flame and once again, it's tossed to an ashtray. This time, though, Barney doesn't ignore the cigarette, and draws deeply, letting the smoke settle in his lungs, and in turn, his nerves settle moment by moment.

"Asgardians. Don't you mean Vikings?" That's the word Rogue had used earlier. 'Vikings'. "What the hell are they?" Gods of Asgard? Someone isn't fully familiar with the Norse stories!

When Rogue finally 'gets it', Barney gestures towards the younger woman with the hand that holds the cigarette before he draws from it again. Now, though, the damage has been done, and there's not much to all this he likes. Sure, he likes the Valkyrie, but he doesn't understand her, and the stress and distress from Hilde? (Okay, and the fact he tried to drug her so she could get a good sleep AND he not be attacked in his sleep?)

The look given him, Barney looks away again and sits with his cigarette as his main source of input. The story, he listens to, blue eyes diverted as he gets the gist of it all. No wonder Hilde's like she is.. and he glances off towards that window with the sheer curtains.

But, trapped? Barney looks back at this added bit of information, the cigarette stalling half-way up. "Where?"


There's still pieces of the puzzle that need to be filled in, to be sure, and the ones Marie has might just be in the wrong places as it stands…. but she's gotten enough for now. She's gotten validation, acceptance from a percieved source that she never thought she'd get, and it helps to heal the broken bits inside the Lyonnaise another step further.

…and then she has a /cookie./ Scarlett knows the surest way to Marie's heart, to be sure, and it earns her a fond smile and a ressuring pat somewhere that she can find purchase. She's learned that touch matters.

Brunnhilde's story is taken in slowly, Marie remaining silent to ensure that she can absorb it all. She doesn't /understand/ everything, but she can certainly absorb it and try to process it better at a later time. It worked for Yggdrasil.

But waking earlier than usual has taken it's toll; and the… spirited discussion that she took part in? DIdn't help matters. Marie's carefully moving back up to her feet, and offers an apologetic look — this time to /both/ the guests. "I fear I must take my leave, Madame, Monsieur, although I hate to leave while company visits. It was an honor, truly." …well. To meet /one/ of them. Maybe she's trying to redemn Barney? That earns Brunnhilde some bonus points, even. And gives her a bit of hope for him.

"The Asgardians are not of Hell. I have seen the creatures of Hell, and they… are more terrible than one can imagine." she adds for Barney, and then turns her attention to Scarlett, flashing another smile. "If I am required for anything, I shall be in my room."


Everlasting silence greets the explanation. The questions were asked, now the audience listens, at least in Scarlett's part. She settles down into a classic lotus position atop an ottoman reserved for that use, though her knees hardly impact the fabric. Look too close and the indentations which should be there aren't, proof she is resisting gravity's downward pull for comfort or reflex. The teacup in her hands is fairly dip, the rim smooth and shielding her lips as she breathes in the fragrant black and lavender concoction. Matchless scents cast their intoxicating net over her mind, a mildly addictive effect akin to the nicotine rush. One calms, the other excites.

Though make no mistake, she probably considers how possible it is to locate a body somewhere buried in Asgard (likelihood? Questionable) and graft the proper soul into it (probabilities high, souls like their original forms) using means that will not end up with Hilde dead (50-50) or her deeply in trouble (98.7% chance, mitigated by Plans C through G, dependent on a heist in D.C.).

"I should have a book for that," she murmurs, looking about with a vague sense of bemusement.

Barney snaps her back after a moment. "Asgard is a realm outside Earth that inspired the Norse — Vikings. On the news, Loki noted their interactions that led the Norse to worship certain Asgardians, like himself, as gods. Her body might be there. It might be on Earth. I doubt it to be stuck in a museum somewhere."

As Marie rises to take her leave, however, Scarlett does the same. "Do sleep well, cherie."


As Marie rises to take her leave, the elegant, willowy but oddly powerful looking woman on the couch rises respectfully as well. "…Rest peacefully, Maire." Brunnhilde offers with a tone that almost sounds like a benediction. Oh yes, she has her eyes trained on that one now. But, not this active second. She tilts het head one last time to Marie and then looks back to the others, returning to sitting as smoothly as she stood. She some seems to just take up more *space* in this frame of mind. She knows how to command a room, no matter how scrawny the shell she wears is. Rogue's explanation of the realms to Barney gets a slight, affirmative nod. She doesn't dwell on metaphysics right now otherwise. It is not his care.

"Trapped, yes. Somewhere on Asgard. I… am… uncertain where." That makes her brow furrow. Uncertain due to magics, or time, or something else, she's not sure, but it is frustrating. "By the Enchantress. The woman we saw on the street, the day the force in black uniforms caught up with you. That is why she illicted such a… violent reaction from your lady, both times she was encountered. Also, most like, why your lady had the courage to fight her on the tower. I, and your Hilde…have more brains than the Enchantress, but Amora… she has more base power." A hard thing for a proud being to admit.


Look at that, Barney rises at the departure of Marie-Ange; some manners remain for the leashed mad dog. The cigarette isn't neglected, though, and once she departs the room, Barney retakes his seat, moving and giving some room for the 'larger than life' Hilde. He can see the interest in those steel-silver eyes of hers; he is getting to know this particular persona, for better or for worse.

Now that Barney asked about 'trapped', and there the answer comes. "Was that…" Things make a little more sense. "That real—" Babe. Looker. Man, it was hard to keep his eyes off of her. He nods his head, easily recalling the day that had passed under a week ago. "Somewhere else.. well, how do we get it back?" Of -course- he's not looking at the logistics of what would happen the moment they do find it…


Scarlett returns to her tea and her ottoman, settled once more in gracious ease. "Of course, it would be her. She owes me something of a favour." Her slanting gaze alights upon the pair of them, too intense a cyan shade, practically bleeding along her silver-rimmed pupils. "The Enchantress possesses any number of present schemes, and I do not care a great deal for what they entail. Your body stolen from you as one of her activities would fit the bill. In this, I am willing to assist you in seeking its return provided such actions will violate none of my existing oaths." That is more spoken for Brunnhilde's benefit than Barney's, an acknowledged point pregnant with gravity.

Her fingers lace around the cup, and she takes a sip of the tea. "Right now, I believe she is currently visiting Hel. You may have time to act, though I would doubt it unless you are aware of its location. There are some who might, however." Her gaze widens, a thought blossoming out of nothing, and then she presses the rim of the cup to her lower lip. Oh yes. Ideas, ideas are spinning.

"Though put Marie in danger, and I take it personally. She is kin." Pride meets with a well of it deeper than any bored into Siberia, an unyielding sense resonating through the humming voices in her cracked and fractured mind.


While Barney is just getting to know Valkyrie, the woman actually does know him very well. Hilde's life imprinted, shared, through all of her mind. The recollection of that woman gets an arch of a brow and that slightly wry smile, "Yes. That immensely attractive female off whom you could not remove your eyes long enough you nearly were killed. Yes. That woman." Oh, this creature has quite the dry sense of humor. She's as much a trouble maker as Hilde, just in different ways. She has the sly, rough humor of battlefield soldiers who rib each other out of dear love and affection. "As for how we get it back…" A slower breath is released and all smile drops away. Especially as the other woman seems to offer a timeline and solutions already. She suddenly looks rather gravely serious and, perhaps, a bit surprised at herself. Or, at least, the thoughts she is having.

"…I do not know… if I wish it back." Brunnhilde confesses after several long, mortal heartbeats. "…even if I knew how, which I do not. It would require asking the Enchantress to yield power and admit to being wrong. An impossible task. Even if *you* knew how, Scarlett… But…if we did… I… think… I rather like this arrangement. My life as Hilde Norris has been… educational. A strong bridge between what Asgardians were and what we *should* be. I think there has been much value in living as a mortal… both in power and in wisdom. I would not trade it." It seems Valkyrie has quite a measure of affection for her mortal host, even if she speaks about it like a particularly interesting text book.

The commentary about Marie just draws a slight, reassuring shake of her head, "I would never put a woman so ripe for proper grooming in danger. She would be a brilliant initiate to the work that must be done. If she keeps like to me… we shall see what the years bring. But she is a thing to be protected, not threatened."


Barney looks away at the gentle teasing, a little embarrassed, perhaps, at being found out. This is a man that doesn't do well in the realm of 'personal contact'. "Yeah, yeah," he murmurs gruffly. Was also that same time that he acquired a new gun and made a widow out of Agent Ross' wife. Seems he's more sensitive about the possibility of a libido than the lack of presence of morality in 'right' and 'wrong'.

No loss of sleep there. Not a minute.

The 'threat' to Valkyrie brings Barney's attention, having passed over the potentials in regards to getting a body back. It's off and away and out of his hands. He may have contacts around the world, but this 'Asgard' place? Not a chance in Hel? (Joke!)

It's Brunnhilde's confession that actually brings Barney's attention back around, the cigarette almost complete burned through. This means he shifts his position and lights a new cigarette from the old, tamping that one out in preference to the new.

"What would happen if you did go back? What would happen to her?"


The redhead finishes her tea in another sip and looks down into the cup, considering the level remaining. Now is as good a time as any to replenish it from the pot, but the pot is over there, she is here, and… the gesture executed by her fingertips doesn't actually seem to do anything.

The ways of magic are mysterious, no?

Scarlett stares into the kitchen, her eyes slick in a vibrant shade that dances through the curtains of the auroras. Then she unfolds her legs and walks over, like a normal individual, and pours herself some of the steaming water into the cup. Maybe that was the trick, assuring it was heated.

Maybe she likes making gestures.

"As you like," she states. It is not her body under discussion. "I protect her as much as she permits me."


The gesture towards the tea pot gets a slight narrowing of eyes and confused look. What was that strange, trio of a mortal trying to do? Valkyrie does not inquire further, though, as it was not the rub of conversation. It does remind her of her honey and cream, though, which she scoops up for a long, enjoyable sip. Barney's question about what happens to Hilde makes her frown. She doesn't look comfortably ready to answer. This is a woman who is used to having all the answers being in suddenly very new territory. She finally just slightly shakes her head again.

"I…do not know. At the root of it, we are the same person. Hilde is just… an adapted part of my mind to this world and this body. I did not expect her to be as fragile as she is, though there is fight to her yet. I would, in an ideal setting, let us both actively share mind and soul. But… I do not know that is wise. It would change her, permanently. Perchance break her. I cannot say. But…" There is actual apology in Brunnhilde's eyes as she says this part, and it's all meant for the mortal man who holds such care for this body. "…I do not know she would mentally remain if I departed. I suspect this body would return to being the shell that I found. It has not it's own soul."


Barney wanted answers, right? This was more than he'd expected, more, probably than he wanted. Isn't that always the danger, though? Beware for what you ask for? The cigarette returns between his lips and he rises from his spot on the couch. Magic is never his 'go to' explanation, not for anything. Ever. This, this has filled his bucket pretty full, and he's going to need time to work through it all.

Shame the man doesn't drink, because that might help. Well, it's 'helped' others anyway.

He does know the definition of 'dead', however. 'Shell' is a really good euphemism. Barney nods in the answer and looks to Rogue now. "Thanks for your time," is murmured. "I think I got my answers." It's back to Hilde now when brows rise. "What is that? I'll get you some for home." Someone wasn't paying attention!


ROLL: Brunnhilde +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 17


"When you decide if you wish to pursue that body, then I am here. Consider this, however. This is a body born mortal. Will it survive with you as you are, Brunnhilde? Can you heal the damage done to it, or will you be restrained by its limitations?" Scarlett pours more tea for herself, after taking a sip to test the flavour and temperature. Superlative, of course, but then this particular rare blend of her own creation frequently balances the pleasures of a black with an herbal in ways that defy convention. A little cream might be taken, but she refrains, shaking her head slightly. "There is always the concern you might suffer from grievous injury and be cast out to your body, leaving that one to die. And with it goes Miss Hilde. I only raise this for you both to consider your choices."

Ignorance dies a hard, hard death with this particular rebel.


As Barney is talking about home, there is the little screaming voice in the back of her head asking for it also. But Brunnhilde barely winces, having gotten practiced at keeping the tired little mortal out. While much knowledge has been gained here, there have been few actual solutions, especially where this body and mind are concerned. Clearly, Brunnhilde thinks she knows best for both of them, whether she does or not. Who is to compare an ancient Asgarian to a 30 something, barely functioning mortal? Not Valkyrie, that's for sure. She knows who wins. She does, however, take one last, deep drink of the cream and then she stands. In this frame, she is the exact height as Barney.

"It is cream. It is… delicious. And nourishing. Get some." It's not supposed to be a command, is it? He offered, after all. And then she looks back to Rogue, listening to those words even as she does seem ready to depart. "…that is half the reason I keep my greater mind separate. For her life and sanity. Yes, I am…restrained by it's limitations, in a manner… but I have also helped this body push past them. She would have killed herself twice over in the last month, and died by his hand once, were I not present. So…I have my own ways of…helping. I recognize there may be limits I cannot pass. Does that mean we hasten her death? No. There are still lessons to be learned here."


Barney knows from experience that this is about the time to depart; when Hilde would begin to get tired, strained, stressed.. and whether or not he's doing it out of acknowledgment of the silenced voice within her own body, he's still doing it. The cigarette is pulled upon again, and smoke is released from his lungs. The conversation regarding death and dying normally isn't one that he really cares about. It's not his 'thing'. It's the fact that they're discussing his Hilde that gets his ire up. The one thing that's 'his'. (Hell, even his apartment isn't 'his'.)

"Cream, okay." Barney can find cream easily. It's in every market place between here and 'home'. He looks between the women now, and there's a restlessness now that is coming over him and he almost seems to bounce in place. "Okay.. you guys can stop talkin' like that. It's time to go. We're not gonna do anything that'll hurt her."


Cream and honey. Go for it. One will know whether he does it right when Hilde smiles or punches him across the room. "Good luck," she says quietly, no more than that, and no less. The slight smile touching her lips could be a smirk, it could be punctured by slyness only if one could see Scarlett other than in profile. She gives them no benefit of that, holding up her cup and sipping it. The walk over is easy enough.

"I wish you both well. Should you need more, you will know where to look. My lady, Hilde's companion, 'Killer.'" He sounds like a really grumpy dog. There is humour in that, and Marie is going to be thanked for tossing her a joke.


As Barney grows more restless and he says that nothing will happen to hurt her, the Valkyrie arches a single brow at him, "You and she are very good at pretty lies. Especially to yourselves. It is a poor habit. One you should work on breaking." AKA: She doesn't believe a single word of it and the regular denial that Barney/Hilde practice is probably hurting them. But, Brunnhilde doesn't push this issue in front of a somewhat stranger. She just gives him a heavy look that is partially judgment and partially a promise they may very well discuss this later.

Then she is turning back to Scarlett and she bows her head in a deep gesture of respect. "I thank you for this time and counsel. Should you need the Valkyrie, but call upon her, and she will come. A favor is owed. I wish you the best of luck in the repair of your own soul." Whatever that means? With that, the woman turns elegantly on the ball of her foot and leads to the exit. No leaning on Barney now. No familiar Hilde exhaustion. She walks from the room like a Queen departing some sort of royal speech.


How hard could it be?! Cream. Maybe Brunnhilde will mention the 'honey' part, maybe not. Regardless, it will be a stop on the way back. He looks back at Rogue at her farewell, particularly in the mention of the 'nickname'. Brows rise but he doesn't say anything, turning away again. The Valkyrie is the one that gives the proper good-byes, thankless lout that he is.

The Valkyrie's 'correction' of him gains a scowl and a deeper pull on that cigarette, the red ember moving fast up the paper-wrapped bit of tobacco. "Yeah." What else can Barney say to that? Not much. Judgement, discussion, doesn't matter to him. It may end up in a fight; yelling, and one or both of them departing to separate corners.

This is most definitely a healthy relationship! (Not.)

Barney is gone first, through the door when Valkyrie offers the proper farewells, and when they do leave, it's not 'hand in hand' as they came in.

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