1964-12-02 - Shots Thrown
Summary: Snowballs with two sorcerers just plain isn't fair.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
wanda strange 


The first snow to hit the city of New York isn't anything dastardly. It's individual flakes on a wind from the frigid north, a portent of future storms bearing much more power and volume. Still, who's out in the backyard of the Sanctum in his black Belstaff, looking up into the steely clouds?

A sigh gusts white and he frowns consideringly. "This is nothing," he grumbles. It's barely sticking to the grass. A glance over his shoulder at the mansion and back to the walls surrounding the small greenway. Then comes the twiddling of fingers and an illusory spell kicks in, one inlaid to the bricks a long time ago. It's a normal backyard. Totally. Maybe.

…not really. Then comes the laugh and beginning of a much stronger incantation, the very one that left him so very many years back tasting peppermint for far long than wanted. The snow gusts thick and hard, building to a contained blizzard within the confines of the yard. He's risen into the air, clothing dancing with Mystical power; the crimson scarf is, of course, a happy Cloak to be catching passing wafts of breeze. Give it a few minutes and flump — easily two feet of fresh, fluffy, perfectly-drifted snow. A veritable winter wonderland.

With hands covered in black gloves, he mounds up a ball and then lofts it up towards the stained glass window overlooking the grand staircase. WHUMP. That's right, a lump of snow slides down the glass.

Challenge issued.

Snow is old friend to a girl used to seeing the first frosts in October and the barren chill running down over the great Eurasian steppes in their wake. Sunsets bring longer nights and endless chill, a fight to stay warm in hole-riddled shelters whenever they could be found. Strange doesn't know the story of her upbringing so well, but while they lived in similar continental climes — Nebraska, the Eastern bloc — Wanda and her twin brother suffered. They did not have solid walls or warm clothes and blankets to keep the worst at bay. Living hard-scrabble even during those rare years under two parental figures leave their marks.

Winter has fewer fears than it might hold here in a city with many places to hide and warm corners, vents offering steam, doorways to loiter. They don't die much in the snow anymore. She thinks little of the cold and sips tea by a window, staring out into the streets where the grass is long gone and the pavement grey, not even glistening.

The ball that smashes into that window while she considers different factors of the hour does not startle her from a reverie. It lands like a shell and she recoils, thrown backwards from her seat, reverse roll coming up in a crouch with two knives at the ready. One blade shines dim grey, the other all matte edges, her heel flat to the ground. It wouldn't be so hard for her to unleash a good few swipes at the unseen.

Dear heart needs to learn to relax. The offending pane receives a glare and the red-eyed witch doesn't give very much time before she steps forward. The flower pot won't be sufficient for her needs, so the old art falls to the wayside for the new. A circle of rapid rotation throws orange sparks and she steps through, her coat falling in around her, a heady expenditure of energy that will require oranges and honey.

Behold, the Sorcerer Supreme up to his mid-shins in sparkling new snow. At her arrival, he grins boyishly and throws out his arms.

"There you are. Look," and he turns at the waist, his broad gesture taking in all of the glistening mounds and layers gracing the foliage. "Our own winter wonderland." He stoops and gathers up another handful of snow, rounding it into a near-perfect sphere. It gets lobbed up and down rather deftly for chilled nerves and his smile deepens. "What do you think?"

He throws open his arms and she considers, briefly, hurling one of the knives on reflex. When the failure descends, reason jumps in to take the fatal blow before something embarrassing happens that involves a pointy end, the Cloak flying up in defense, and someone sadly sewing the fresh new speed hole it acquired.

Mustn't stab Cloak except on invitation.

"This was not here before." Observant points, twenty! Wanda is now only at minus one thousand and sixty three. She glances about, the red in her pupils and flared over the sclera a bit alarming when it shifts of its own accord, dragons dancing in a misty sky where no other presences roam. Absence of amaranth or amber leave little question which contest of wills defines her personality. Old habits slither away, clinging to her legs, a pair of toddlers. "This is snow. It may be bad to eat." POINTS!

The snowball arcs down into his hand once again. He tilts his head as the slow realization creeps into his understanding. Oops, may have startled her, given the fighting-color in her eyes.

"No, it wasn't," he acknowledges with the grin gone softer, though no less cajoling. "I thought we might appreciate the boons of winter without the over-shadowing presence of a certain elemental." Yep, that one. The protective mountain spirit itself.

The snowball is string to a cat armed with atomic missiles and potentially alien technology, plus the freeform capacity to dismantle snow at the subatomic level.

Up. Down. It lands in a sorcerous palm and in that moment, Wanda puts away the proverbial claws after a satisfactory assessment her surroundings do not include cannons, Aralune, or anything attributing to possession by a questionable demon. Her mouth squishes down into a crushed rosette. "B'mola. I wonder that he is resting too much. There is no snow here." That's right, bird, do your job, says the Scarlet Witch. She is one to talk. No grinning from her, but the speculative gleam of her eyes is enough reason for certain antennae to go up.

"What do you do with the snow?"

"I don't eat it," Strange replies firstly, poking light fun at her earlier statement. "This is the beginnings of just about…anything, really." His bright eyes follow the rising toss and its fall, consequent catch and then up. The nonchalance takes on a playful tensing as the Sorcerer recognizes the twinkle in her eyes.

"We could…build a snowman. Or…make snow-angels? Dance in it," he continues, taking slow and deliberate steps towards her. She might recognize the meandering speed from a time past in the woods, when leaves drifted, knocked from their moorings by raindrops. Not once does he drop her eyes, daring in his own. Still, he idly tosses the ball of compressed flakes.

Who doesn't eat snow? For emergency situations, perhaps necessary, but of course the sorcerer supreme has his own resources and possibly a canteen with tea at all times. Or those wretched energy shakes, which themselves are things of hideous creation. Wanda nods very carefully.

Playtime is a calculated absence in her life, the succor of loss gouged upon childhood in broad swipes tainted by Chthon's own hand. These notions to make something for its own sake are not unknown, but joyously and playfully gamboling around is a lost cause on the Witch. She has no young frame of reference to understand.

"What is a snow angel? Did you tell me last year?" It is not wrong to ask about these things, though she trudges through a drift to poke at the top. Her finger breaks through the crust, testing the accuracy on that front. Is it all ice or downy fluff all the way down. Leaves and sky, joys and frozen water. Hmm…

Strange alters his course until he pauses beside her, leaning at a small angle to observe what he can of her testing the snow. It is, in fact, the most wonderful light fluff all of the way down, perfectly sticky in its distribution of moisture.

"I don't remember if I did. A snow angel is when one lies down in the snow and moves their legs back and forth. It pushes aside the snow and the resulting image left in the snow looks akin to the standard angel. Like a person with a skirt and wide triangular wings. Snow angel." His grins widens ever so slightly. Note the lack of another toss of the snowball. Uh oh.

Another toss. Really. A good question comes to Wanda's lips, allowing her time to bargain for another outcome. "How is an angel in a skirt?" This is suspicious, even as she can imagine the movements, and more importantly, how Pietro would create a field of mine traps shaped vaguely like people, then complain about sodden wet hair. Inspiration, thus.

She kicks at the snow, light and full of wee clods, because Strange never does anything by half measures. Another kick, no trouble there, except she pokes right into the body of the spell with a fingertip as surreptitiously as she can. Likely she cannot make that happen, but the thought counts, wavering motes on the air whipped around to make a wall of snow. Not thick, but cold enough, tall enough, to presumably fall on him.

Shots fired!

The aim of the snowball he wings in her direction has no guarantee of impact, a throw haphazard even as his laughter rolls and he turns a shoulder as shielding. The pattering of snow is total-body, leaving him spattered in crystalline motes. Brushing snow from his hair, the man wheels and immediately narrows in upon the Witch. His locks are glossy ink, sticking up as if toweled just out of the shower, and a dollop of white slides from the shoulder of his Belstaff.

"Because of the shaping — and I agree, it makes little sense," he replies as he suddenly dives at her, intending to gather her up close to him and throw them both into the nearest drift.

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