1963-12-19 - Wolves, Women and Whiskey
Summary: Brunnhilde and Skali finally, properly catch up at a bar of warriors (aka, the cop bar.)
Related: None
Theme Song: None
skali brunnhilde 

The woman hadn't fled the city so much as simply removed herself from the narrative of chaos spanning the last week. While the old magic surged in her bones and an ancient war song beat with every contraction of that godly heart, she ignored the beckon of Ice and War, instead slinking in night's darkness to the remote stretches of wilderness trapped in cold and solitude. Since the death of her grandsire had been announced and her chosen mate's emotional distance, she had turned back to roaming far in the wolfenskien, claws pulling apart clouds and high atmospheric breezes numbing the flesh until it became tolerable. Only when the doors between worlds slammed shut once more did she return to New York.

When Farrell's front door opened to admit the godling, she entered with a quiet to her presence that begged no sideward glance. Instead of donning secretary attire, she had sunk into the threads of woolen sweaters, thick denim, leather and fur. The hair usually carefully pulled back was a fraying mess of dark curls, which pooled against her shoulders as she tugged free her hat and set it on a table. Gloves followed, and then the jacket tossed over a hook, before finally she sank into the warmth of the booth and mentally counted out the dollars in her pocket for a beer. There was no job to come back to, her apartment's state questionable, the motorcycle long lost in the wreckage of the battle.

She requested a beer the color of piss with about equal strength, if only to have an excuse to be sitting there, and mulled over the next course of action in silence while her amber eyes turned to look out the window and watch the pedestrian traffic on the street just outside.


While it's technically a cop bar, emergency services all frequent the place off and on. In her previous state of mind, Hilde never really had the courage to go to a place like this, being woman and just a medic, she felt like she hadn't heard the right. Now, however, let anyone dare tell her she doesn't belong somewhere. She'd probably shove something very firmly in their face. So, the door is pushed open but minutes after Skali has entered and it emits Hilde Norris, clad in her dark navy blues of someone who is probably going onto shift in the next few hours. She couldn't be coming OFF shift, as the clothing is far too clean for that.

She's still her sickly, skinny self, thin blonde hair in a careless fringe around her head, but there is something about the way she walks which says she's larger. Stronger. She has no fear in her frame any longer. She strides straight up to the bar. "Ale. The dark shit. Please." And her words are strange too. Commanding, some old terms, but still that Bronx accent and slightly dirty mouth. She's just a mix of contradictions.

She then turns her head, looking Skali up and down with silvery blue eyes. A slightly wicked smile pulls across her thin mouth and she murmurs gently, "You look like shit, my friend." It's said in affection, almost a growl of warmth, to the woman.


Skali's sense of smell warns her of the approaching Valkyrie long before she heard the words leave the woman's mouth, a twitching of her cold-reddened nose marking her awareness even as she glances over a shoulder and regards Brunnhilde with a smirk. Despite her lack of feminine attire or groomed appearance, the humor still licked the corners of her eyes, a wickedness in that smile that accepted she looked terrible at present, and simply did not care. Gesturing to the seat across from her, she leaned back with a crossing of her legs and raised a brow as the appearance of the other was taken in quietly. Another twitch of her nose, the scent of Asgard now thick between them in boughs of juniper and thick snow neither of them had seen in centuries.

"Come now, you set the bar so low when we last met, I think myself rather presentable at present."


A casual wave of her hand as she waits for whatever dark beer this place has on tap, Brunnhilde smirks somewhat deeper, "I was… only half myself that day and it'd been a shitty week. Give a girl a break." She winks at Skali, amusement still behind her eyes. Yes, the woman now brings far more of Asgard with her, but there is an added scent which has never actually scene the light of Asgard — Poppies. A Midgard flower. She's still standing in a human body and her power dimly upon the air smells like it's been twisted by this human place. But it's a flower of death and war, still very much the Valkyrie.


Skali glanced outside at that, her attentions lingering on the traces of wreckage still outside, the thin crowds, the lighter traffic than usual. Although this particular square inch of town hadn't been stamped out in the fray, it still had a somber air, the establishment open out of necessity to give first responders somewhere to decompress before they were forced back into combat and the long, slow process of rebuilding. Quietly, the wolf inclined her head and took a swig of cheap beer. The foam was licked off her top lip and she glanced back across the table,

"I see."

And in saying so little, she said everything that needed to be mentioned. The warmth of the pub, the low growl of companionship, even the weak ale on her tongue revitalized her spirits with the mingling presence of old magic from other worlds. A faint smile of admission found her features, and she asked with a gentleness that the warrior across from her did not need,

"You have been better then, it would seem?"


Looking over to Skali, Hilde adds to her order, "And… several fingers of whiskey, old man. Thanks." She pulls out a fiver to pay for it all, gods only know where she got the money, and waits for the drinks to come before wrapping both of her scrawny hands around the glasses. "Come on… Let's go sit somewhere we're not gonna scare the boys." She mutters with a mix of derision and respect for the men that line these halls. So many men. Warriors so, of course, she did respect them. But also warriors that did NOT fight at the side of women, so that respect only went so far. She nods Skali towards a slightly more private back booth and then begins leading the way. She doesn't wait for an agreement. She just makes the choice for them.

Once her thin frame is settled back into the booth, she scoots her shoulders up against the wall and kicks one long leg up to resting straight along the booth's cushion. She rests the whiskey between them, clearly meant to be shared, but tugs her dark beer in close. Yes, the city is destroyed, but she has the content look of a feline who has been supping on cream for a week. Well, she is a Valkyrie who has been supping on war, so it might not be too surprising. "…I am…changed. Still fuckin' Hilde… but I remember it all now. Everything before this…Life. I get why I seen dead people, why I feel these things. Don't feel fuckin' crazy for the first time in my life, yanno? It's…nice."


With a rueful grin and a shake of her head, Skali followed after collecting her scattered things. In passing, the bar tendered held out the rest of the bottle not drained by the initial order for whiskey in offering. He had obviously taken note of the uniform that the slender woman wore, and knew exactly what all of the alcohol was for. It had been a difficult week for anyone in New York, and liquor salved whatever wounds couldn't be touched by surgical precision or sterile gauze. Skali thanked him before following Hilde's lead to sink into the privacy of the distant booth, a deep sigh of contentment echoing the whisper of her clothing and jacket tossed into a corner. The beer had been finished before she left the other table in preparation for the whiskey her claws now wound around while considering the words hanging between them.

"A change in perspective usually helps. I could have told you but-"

The wolf's words trailed off and she knocked back a shot without flinching, supping on well whiskey like it was water.

"It seemed the sort of thing you best come to on your own terms."


A slight arch of a thin, almost non-existent blonde brow comes as she sees Skali actually carting the entire bottle of whiskey. "Damn. I gotta smile at bartenders more often." She rasps out, but she seems content to sip on her own dark ale for the moment. It was quite enjoyable. Her second leg comes up, being completely rude by putting them along the bench, but she keeps her boots off the cushion, hanging into the air of the tavern, as her feet cross at the ankles.

"…Eh…I'm sorta pissed that everyone in the world was like 'Oo… little Hilde Norris won't be able to take it'… includin' the other half of me that is *only* the Valkyrie. But… whatever. Shit happened. Ice giants came. Lots'a people died. I had work to do and couldn't do it in denial. It's all worked out now. So. How are you?" Like the massive shift and combintation of her worlds was of no more casual interest than yesterday's fifth page news.


Skali chuckles and shakes her head at the assumption,

"Not that you couldn't take it. Simply that it was your state of being. I was not the one that created it for you, and therefore I did not know its purpose. I endeavor not to dally in things I have little understanding of."

The woman spoke with a voice full of teeth, blood on the back of the tongue, a mischievous humor in her eyes. Both of them had found a closer communion to the less human machinations within them, and Skali's spoke with silvered tongue. While the world crumbled, bridges shattered, mortals suffocated in rubble while choking on screams; she had hunted large, hoofed, stupid things across the great North and fed well. The human skin felt tight and constrictive. She admitted as much with a grunt.

"Tired. I've lived on Midgard for so long. I think part of me hoped the arrival of the others would provide some enlightened understanding of purpose. It was a silly thought."


"Ah. No one…created this for me. It was a happy accident after… some rather awful machinations. But, perchance that is a story for another hour…" The moodiness of something quite uncomfortable crosses the woman's pale features and she drowns the memories in a very deep draw of her beer. Half the glass is gone by now. It's going to be a miracle that that skinny body will be able to stand, much less work, at the end of this conversation. But she continues to partake.

"…It was… Midgardians are… set in their ways. And other than guarding and hunting, I suspect they will give us little purpose that we do not assign to ourselves. But… you still remain, no? Why? You look…look like that skin of yours is itching. Ready to move. You dislike it." Hilde was far more receptive like this, or perhaps she simply was more willing to call out people's emotions.


"My brother, he is built for the politics of court. I do not know how he manages it. Something of my grandfather in him that I do not possess. Loki-"

The name seemed to curve her tongue, as if she was taking her time with a thought, another swig of whiskey as her metabolism primed and began quickly filtering, processing, watering down the experience.

"-offered me something. A place in serving him. The purpose just seemed so repetitive, as if it had been formed for another being and I was simply being offered it out of protocol, and not suitability."

A tongue drew over her lips and she leaned back into the booth cushions, turning her eyes from the glass to rest quietly on the clear, blue stare of her drinking companion. Silence stretched and finally she admitted softly,

"I was built to kill things, Hilde. I was built to ruin, to betray, to twist and subvert and collapse. Thy name is treachery."

And she spoke the last sentence as if repeating a judgement passed long ago that still haunted her. The edges of her lips turned up in a smile, and she laughed, the humor dark but honest.

"I've played at being human. I think I dislike it."


Icy blue eyes watch Skali for several long heartbeats, considering the the unhappiness on the gruff woman's features. Hilde's nose wrinkles a touch at the comment about ruining and betraying. "…I think you are too hard on yourself. You were built to trick. To fight… not to ruin. You are not an awful creature, unless you wish to be. Is that what you wish? You prefer that to noble actions, well fought war, the halls of Valhalla waiting you when all is said and done? I do not know that I believe that. You need not be human to be… noble. Strong. You can still be vicious and be *right*. Moral."


"A hero? I have no stomach for such."

A pregnant pause lingered as she ignored the other question. Did she want it? Oblivion instead of songs sung and a hall of warriors bringing mug to table in cacophonous pounding that applauded her arrival? It was a secret guarded by her smile, and finally, a long sigh.

"My thoughts wander. I apologize. I've been traveling in the other skin and it makes me more thoughtful than this conversation necessitates."

A finger traced the rim of the nearest shot glass, her lupine gaze dropping to follow the fidgeting motion before she continued quietly,

"Are things well for you with your mate?"


A laugh is barked from Hilde's throat, the sound of it made for far stronger, larger lungs than the stick thin frame across from Skali. The woman just shakes her head, "I did not say hero. I said fighter… I know you fight. You could come for the frays, enjoy the blood. You could hunt here, behind the scenes, those that deserve death. That is what my mate does. It is it's own noble calling…" Hilde admits with true appreciation in her eyes. She still might have rather alien morals, but they are morals never the less.

She finally takes another gulp of her ale, nearly finishing it. "…My mate? Well enough. He is… startled by the change, but has found certain enjoyments in it as well. We are learning each other again and that can be a fun activity." There is lust that gleams behind her eyes, as well as some violence.


It is with an envy that Skali marks the other woman's affections, a knowing now that ached in her bones and made the wolf behind her own eyes pace. The nails clicked against the corridors of her mind and she shut her eyes and took another long drink.

"Nobody deserves death more than another. That is the natural way of things."

She did not dismiss the idea though, an appeal in a more directed hunt, a companionable effort, a baying for blood even if it did come from the tongues of a mortal pack instead of wolf. Rolling back her shoulders at the thought, she grunted a bit as a joint snapped back into place and she managed amicably,

"I am glad for you. The human you've pretended at being depended upon him. The Asgardian that you are has no need of him, except for selfish enjoyment of his company. I have found such enjoyment to be preferable to dependence."


"Perchance I shall introduce you both…or you could go into work for yourself. But you need a hunt, a purpose… then you can destroy as you please and it makes sense. Senseless destruction… that is not natural. That is foolish. Death well fought and earned? That will sate your thirst far better, I do think." Hilde's far wiser in this frame, thousands of years behind her tired, mortal eyes, charged with the passion of one who speaks of war like a fine wine. She looks a touch rankled at the comment about deserving death, but she doesn't argue on it. She just steals some of the whiskey for herself instead.

"And yes… the human I was… still am… She is more fragile than I'd prefer. This body is… frustratingly delicate. But, considering it should be dead, I suppose it will have to do. It has taught me much. And he is still enjoyable. Though…" Hilde looks down into her glass, almost a touch guilty. "I…do not know that I could imagine life without him, even now." Still dependent. She still needs him. She may even be in love.


Skali smiles at the offer, and does not wave it off, instead enjoying the third shot a bit more slowly. Not thatw ell whiskey should ever be sipped, but it would draw some attention if she could clear all of the amber liquid and still walk out upright. While not as frail as her companion, Skali was hardly thick enough to hold down that much whiskey as a human.

"I am amused by the possibility of something in this realm making me fight for a kill. It's been too long since I've been challenged."

A hand rose to tangle through her curls, spacing apart the mats that had started to form, picking the coils back into some semblance of order. As she listened, she nodded once or twice before finally laughing and adding gently,

"It is not weakness to love your mate, to feel as if his absence would leave a hole within you, to know that by sharing his presence, parts of your mutual beings are now entwined in a mess of inseparable threads, futures upon pasts that stretch beyond untimely end. This is the normal way of things for the wolf."

She didn't add that this was enough for a wolf.


"There are things in this realm, some human, many not, which could give you a challenge. You should seek them out. I think it would do you well." Hilde smiles again, a touch more fiercely. She pours whiskey straight into the beer glass, not bothering about getting a new one. The flavors mingle well enough to her.

The commentary about loving a mate makes her brow arch quietly, head tilting a hint to the side. Hilde isn't all that comfortable discussing emotions in either frame. She just gives a gruff touch of a grunt. "Yes, I suppose. He… is a strange human. But perhaps that is why I like him… I find normal humans quite boring."


As she watches the other woman weigh her words, and then slowly recoil from the emotional context within them, Skali's smile broadened and she shook her head. Let the Valkyrie have her affections and call them strangeness. Was not everyone allowed some small pleasures in this life? As she let the topic die, her focus turned back to the challenge of a hunt, a bit of humor rumbling up from her throat as she added calmly.

"Did you have a costume in mind for me, if I'm going to be off fighting the good fight? I feel that spandex may create a poodle effect with the fur that I'm not willing to explore at this time."


"Spandex?" Another bark of a laugh and a good wrinkle of her nose. "That was not what I had in mind, though now I am considering it for the hilarity alone. No… something in leathers, so it might act as a proper armor as well. Leather and bone, perhaps… I have not the money to commission such a thing, but I suspect we could convince the embassy to… sponsor it, perhaps? If you were making a good name for Asgard out there?" Hilde offers with an arch of her brow and slightly curious look as to how Skali will respond to the idea.


Skali shakes her head slowly, before murmuring without pause,

"I would rather not be known as an Asgardian, if it were all the same to you. Odin asks much of his people and none of those expectations do I endeavor to deliver on."

There was no affection in her tone for the ruler of their home world, the bridge of her nose going so far as to wrinkle in disgust before a wave of her hand and a swig of whiskey chased away the thought. The third shot glass was set down empty as she pondered out loud.

"I can trade fur for leather. Though it will do little against bullets, I am usually faster than those. In truth, there is no great need for armor. I do not have such a soft skin and fragile bones as you do."

A casual toss of her shoulders, as if they were two ladies just passing the time discussing dresses on sale at Bloombergs instead of battle armament. The observation was made with a little chuckle as she glanced up to ensure the Valkyrie did not take offense.


Not offended, no, but a touch frustrated in agreement. Hilde looks down to her frame and huffs out a little grunt of displeasure. "Yes, I suppose. This frame is…inadequate. And yet, it has taught me such things and gives me access to… levels of power, or realms, I had not expected. I am loathe to give it up, though some say I should fight to regain my old body." The woman just rolls her eyes at the thought, having no wish to do so at all. She is content in this weakling frame, it seems. Over all, at least.

"Then simply leather for the look of it. Perhaps we shall find some at a shop. I shall keep my eyes open. And a leather mask. That seems to be important, that your face is covered, if you do such work." Hilde also seems not bothered about the woman not wishing to be an Asgardian, or known as one. She simply accepts it and moves on to other solutions.


Skali laughs as she shakes her head, as if in disbelief.

"Masks. Leather. What kind of oddities are you attempting to lure me into, Hilde?"

Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a crumpled dollar for her beer, the whiskey having coated her senses in a far more pleasant way than the piss water. Still, she was not expectant of a friend to pay for such a luxury.

"Perhaps we do this again. Soon? Your mate can come. If he is strange, than I will likely find him amusing. I could do with a small measure of amusement."


The commentary about doing this again soon makes Hilde's eyes tilt towards a clock hanging over the bar. She gives a little groan in realization that yes, she should actually start moving right now herself. She takes one last, deep shot of whiskey and then starts moving to the edge of the booth, having already paid for her's. A glimmer of amusement cuts through her eyes, grinning, at the oddities. "Oh…nothing you can't handle." SHe states off handedly.

Then she is moving, standing, only slightly tipsy herself though this body really wasn't that resiliant. "Yes… I would very much like to bring him. he's.. difficult about meeting people, but I think you two would find each other amusing, to say the least. We will do this again. I… I am here often. Or I will come back to your place. I can find you. You can sniff me out. It will happen."


"As such things are want to do."

Skali noted after pouring what shots remained back into the bottle and tucking it into a jacket pocket. After all, the other woman had to get to work and there was no sense in letting a gift go to waste. As her hat was donned once more, gloves pulled on, jacket buttoned, the woman's smooth stride shadowed the EMT's to the doors of the establishment with a wave to the bartender and a final thanks. Skali did smile at the folks behind the counter.

The cold of December in New York battered at them as soon as they stepped outside, an instantaneous sobering chasing away the pleasure of good company and a warm booth at the bar. With a sigh, the wolf murmured with whiskey still on her tongue,

"Be well, Valkyrie."

Then she departed without a casual glance behind her.


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