1964-12-28 - Angel on the Windowpane
Summary: Kersplat! Michael runs into the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
michael wanda strange 

Late enough in the winter afternoon that light still streams in through the great Eye, that glowing expanse intersected only by its lines. A peaceful interlude…..until there's an enormous sound of impact. No subsequent cracking or shattering, gods be thanked, but *something's* struck the wards, something of enormous power. A glance up betrays a human(ish) silhouette outlined in splayed shadow against the glass, and wings burning around it in lambent glory……until the whole image sliiiiiiides down like a cartoon character and vanishes beneath the round sill.

No demons, no demanding demonic masters, no infernal brother. Wanda Maximoff has the liberty of another night to herself. A night that smells of woodsmoke and brimstone, ash jammed into the thick treads of her boots. Blood she dispensed of in transit, sacrificial drops burnt off on the Witch Road. Cuts in her leggings show smudged skin. One of those gloves is permanently fingerless, though the digits underneath are mostly fine. Chipped lacquer paints her nails black, screw that red door. And she has a plum, a black-skinned cue ball of hope cradled in her palm, one that rolls around when the window overhead vibrates. Her head tilts up, those amber-sloe eyes searching for the source of impact. The wards squeal loud enough to any apprentice, much less the secondary mistress of the sanctum, and her immediate response to nature's pingpong ball colliding with the shrill squawk is very simple indeed.

She bites her teeth into the plum, heedless of the juice running down her chin, and goes for the daggers. So many daggers to pick from! But the preferred pair for her infernal slaying campaigns do just fine, plucked from hip and boot, fresh from the previous spree an hour past. A short, hard whistle brings Aralune poking her head out. Dinnertime? Yes it is.

The spill of tea on the second floor's open hallway carpeting might be considered a travesty. Hissing a curse under his breath, Strange tranfers the tea cup from one hand to another, carefully stashing away the tome beneath his arm before he shakes excess tea from his fingers. A glance up gives him reason to stare, his mouth hanging open just a little as his brows dip down. A humanoid with glowing wings? Smacking into his window?! The being even makes a ridiculous squeaking sound as gravity drags it down and finally peels it from the cold surface.

The garden. The rapid tattoo of steps pauses only for the Sorcerer to put aside the demi-tasse and tome. Then, jogging at a brisk rate, he takes a few sharp corners into the side hallway at a speed to make the excess fabric of his tunic flow about. Opening the back door and peering around it marks him as the cautious sort. The wards are already hovering over the figure, misty and crackling and…paused. Curious? Waiting on their master?

"Excuse me?" Strange doesn't speak too loudly. A glance back into the Sanctum proves that he knows of his Beloved and her attentive state. "You're trespassing," he's quick to inform the interloper, even as he steps out fully into the garden, his hands formed into defensive mudras.

It would look like some homeless or nearly so person, that fallen body in the garden - a plain, rather grubby greatcoat, a bared head with a soldier's crop to the blond hair. But the wings around it, crumpled in flickering planes like the sails of a dismasted ship, give the lie to that. The being's eyes are closed, face slack in what looks like unconsciousness. But they open in moments, to peer muzzily up at Strange, bemused. "I'm sorry. I was playing and I lost control for a moment," he says, voice light, polite, and not in the least defensive.

The grey malk knows where her dinner comes from, and the sleek smoky fae-cat races to her mistress' side. Black daggers and silver handles speak to a truth: food, and ample amounts of it. Shedding her bad luck in flaky spirals of smoke deliberately imparts Aralune with reason to start licking at the air and the morsel bubbles falling on her. Wanda shifts the fortunopause braided in and out of her aura to toss off the acquired misfortunes, at least as she can safely provide. Magic and talent melded together can be done on the move, and those serpentine arrows fold themselves around her in preparation. Strange has blue battle leathers, she has a bad day for the unjust and blessings for the worthy. Hey, the Sorcerer Supreme eclipses whatever she can do on his home turf, and she's out for the imps and proverbial lesser kin who need dealing with.

Someone has read up on sorcerous tactics, mostly.

She'll come slipping into the garden after the rest, trotting cat on her heels an abatement of stealth. Aralune squeaks, pink tongue fluttering. The witch scowls at the flattened winter plants.

"Playing?" Strange echoes the man even as his calculations are drying up to some interesting conclusions. Another quick look over his shoulder and he marks both fiance and Fae-cat. They get a silent flick of eyebrows. What do you make of this, he seems to ask by the expression.

The wards are left to hover as the Sorcerer approaches with confident steps. Indeed, the sprawl of the intruder has taken out a good number of herbs. The wings seem more diaphanous, likely not the cause for crushed greenery. How, now the blond smells like rosemary, at least.

"Lost control, hmm? What's your Name?" Oh yes, the capitalized form of the word. The Sorcerer proabbly isn't ready for the fine quality of an angelic reply, however.

He rises then, uninjured, unhurried, but a little unsteady. Bewildered by the scent - plucking the green needles from the leg of his fatigue pants, bringing them to his nose to smell, and then to the tip of a pink tongue to taste. Curiosity may not kill an angel, but it's already led him to some strange and foolish places. Only then does he look up to meet Strange's eyes, guilelessly. "I am Michael," he says. And the name…..hardly a full Name, considering. Strange can feel the presence of its entirety behind those few syllables, like a crystal glinting from a single facet. A look down at the fragrant pulp beneath his boots - as befits someone who attacks from above, they are paratrooper's boots, and he even has the bottom of his trousers bloused, as he should. "I'm sorry about your garden."

What does a cat make of a giant bird-person? Probably dinner and a dessert, after a nice movie.

What does Wanda make of a winged window-smasher? She spits out the plum into her palm, chewing on the fruit to release the sugar-high in a damson jacket. Mmm, plum.

«Miscreant.» Yes, Tibetan, because there is no language they otherwise hold in common capable of transferring the meaning in laconic status as she so excels at. Why use words at all when judgment levied in golden stares will do? Her gaze travels over Michael to the ground, assessing if he took out any tree boughs or bushes in his descent, or there is a bird-shaped imprint left behind on her favourite bench. Never mind that her blood practically resonates with a demonic beam as loud as any in creation, among the highest dark powers choosing her as his favourite sealed vessel. This is merely default distrust of anyone pretending to play and nailing the favoured symbol of the Sanctum. Michael means only the vaguest whatever for a girl raised by forest bandits, Tibetan monks, and a millennia-old sorcerer. There are about 900,000 of them between Lithuania and Ceylon.

"«Perhaps»", replies the tall man in battle-blues in their shared tongue, his hands still hovering at his hips in readied state. "«Be wary.»" Like he needs to tell the Witch twice. She's a constant shadow and the world should always fear what strikes from the dark.

Ever suspicious, Strange watches the man's behaviors. Taste-testing…rosemary? The contemplative face that the winged being makes is without mockery, almost toddler-like, and the Sorcerer draws up in unconscious surprise. Truly, it appears the man had no idea of the herb's sensory attributes. Then comes the eye contact.

There's something different about the intruder's eyes. There aren't any jaded shadows, no life's slow wear and tear that time in combination with existance imparts. Scratch off plain-grain human on his mental list. He can't sense any form of magic that he knows lingering about the man. Then comes the Name.

It resonates throughout his soul-font with enough lingering intensity to give rise to a short inhale. A flicker-flash before his mental vision of a sun rising at hyper-speed over the hills in April, reversing into darkness once again — the clang of steel and blood, if it could be called this — the birth and death of galactic spirals — and back to the garden. Pinpointed pupils and the undulating currents of air around him betray Strange. He can hazard, via some sixth and Mystical sense, that this was but a minute facet of the being.

"The Michael?" Even as the Sorcerer asks, he's battling with good old human disbelief. Sure, the Vishanti exist. Absolutely, there are demons and horned critters from hells that only the Masters of Kamar-Taj know to exist. But…angels? The winged seraphim of the Christian texts? …no way. The wards abruptly reverse their looming to wreathe about Strange's shoulders, glittering and winding lazily about. A hand diverts from symbolic form to extend back and past his hips — an offering to Wanda to take it.

Sorry, world, there are some things that do not really trip the wire as well as they should do. Dropping Wanda in the middle of Christian testimony and hagiography lacks the impact it should. Eastern Bloc practices and paganism in healthy growth among her primary folk while she struggled and scraped by do not leave much room for winged-beings. The name Michael at her temple connects to her brain, and yes, she can identify Michael-with-wings to St. Archangel with Sword. It still means about as much as a sad-eyed icon dumped in a cellar before the hammer and sickle washed over the eastern hinterland.

Well, hand in hand it is, for where Strange goes she follows. Luna waits by the sidelines, running for an empty planter to shield her from her dinner. Whither he goes, his fiancee follows. The golden-skinned witch holds little overt doubt in her bearing and chiseled, hard features. A smile cracked might just shatter her flesh. Michael chowing on her herb garden earns him another point in the miscreant column, the poisonous breath measuring up irritation all the same. First windows, now plants. What's next, he sits on the cat's tail? Mr. Doctor has the talking well in hand, so for the meantime, fear that pointed stare.

"Oh, you do know me," The smile….it's as innocent as a child's, all sunny good nature. "Yes. The first Michael. I know, I don't look like the statues. The human artists, they meant well, but whoever told them that Lou looks like an angry red cartoon baby or a lizard…..it's like a bad joke. I guess Gabriel's to blame. He loves to exaggerate, if you don't watch him closely." He glances up from a distracted contemplation of his fingertips, brushes his hands clean, and then, as if to demonstrate that he is the one, the only, spreads his hands low at his hips. The wings bloom into terrible life, that impossible span blazing not like the dawn, like Lucifer's, but like swords of frozen fire, the saturated color of a sunset that presages a stormy night to come, with here and there a glint of Cherenkov's blue. Rosemarie knows how soft they can be, but they don't look it now, each feather as sharp as a blade. The presence of him expands, too. No mere towering up towards the stratosphere, his height remains the same….but an aura that advances like the blast radius of an explosion, redolent of death, and war.

The birth of light created its shadow, the beginning the necessity of the end, the first singers the final silence. All of it an intimation of a name nearly impossible for human lips and throats to form.

Gabriel jokes? And this Lou…given the mention of horns and scales, this must be…Lucifer? Isn't that a thing to consider over tea late at night? Angels do exist, what do you know? Wanda receives a quick side-glance and squeeze of her hand. It's a reminder of duality, presence, a check-in given the set of her jaw.

The reaction to the appearance of impossibly-beautiful wings, fit to make the poets cry and artists weep for inability to capture their brutally-sharp hues in diamond-scalpel edging, is purely knee-jerk on his part. The Sorcerer's aura bends briefly to the expansion of the archangel's presence, but then, with all the bone-deep, mulish tenacity of human nature, his own cyclones up before blowing out in return. Petrichor and the dust-dry crisp of impending lightning follows. A quick step puts himself between Michael and Wanda. Ever shall he shield what he loves, unto the death. The flaring appearance of golden mandala-shields before his palms speak of an inclination to non-violence even if the graveling depths of his voice might imply otherwise.

"Don't try it." The wards shiver before they swirl about him and the Witch both, swift celestine and graphite-mica, very much ready to strike on a whim.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d100 for: 61

Wings that flash on the captivating edge of zero Kelvin or rustle the tones of a cosmic symphony at its earliest foundations, heard in the background noise of the universe, cannot fail to kill the breath in the lungs and the thoughts in the mind. Empty silence crashes down and down. Where ought to be some kind of narrative is a torn out section, pages thrown away smoldering.

Not often the Witch is properly silenced, but here she is. Hand slack in the sorcerer's, knife juggled to swing the point back. At some point between here and there, she lost the plum, and the cat is gone into the house where safety shows. Power plays are so far beyond her ken. Heralds of Galactus and Sorcerers Supreme deal with this, not misbegotten survivors of the charnelhouse of Europe. Her blood wanders around in thick coagulation, and her jaw sets a little. Outside her pay grade, most certainly. Up go the mandala wards when she is well and fully released, and that calls one thing. Reality pinned down rises around her, her hair starting to float from it, the universe's central heartbeat right there.

The squashed, nibbled plant is no longer buried where it was in the soil. It relocates as though it always was somewhere else, safely nine feet off her left hip in the empty planter. Happy loam under two inches of red cedar mulch surrounds the poor little herb.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d100 for: 7

There's an incredulous tilt to his brows, and he glances back at his wings as if they were misbehaving. Is his celestial slip showing? A snort of stifled laughter. "Try what?" And his hands are spread again, human-looking palms out, as those burning pinions fold behind him, but do not vanish. "I'm sorry. I can't regrow your garden," he tells Wanda. "Though I could lend you energy, if you like." As if it were a cup of sugar. Imagine that - the sensation of the war angel's ichor burning in your veins, given freely.

"Anything threatening," Strange manages to reply, even as a trickle crawls up his spine. Reality is plucked at the Witch's fingertips and it sets his heart to jangling behind his ribs. Adrenaline is a cold rush to his extremities and with an effort, he slowly rises from his half-crouch of readiness. The mandalas go nowhere. Every now and then, they give off small golden sparks where magic collides with ambient energy in the garden. "«Beloved, I don't think he means harm,»" he murmurs to her. The rhythm of her life-force resonates through his bones and causes an obscene tickling at his soul-font. Is that the subtle drag of deific nails across the thin barrier between himself and their realm? He wills it away, whispering mental promises that all is safe — all is well — she is well — he's a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, don't try to borrow him, please.

"«I'm uncertain of his offer as well.»" It's not that he doesn't trust the angel, it's that fire and oil go so very well together and there's a particular influence that both Sorcerer and Witch attempt to keep very much under wraps. Tempting Fate is anathema when his Beloved is involved.

The witch fixes the herb with a final judgment to assess it may survive the winter in its new spot. Maybe just the evening. Some hour where the flattened demise is not immediate thanks to a selfish angel stamping around in the garden, caring nothing for what he knocks over or whom he offends. A bit harsh of a judgment in turn, but no one counts her as a right and genuine soul. She avoids eye contact with all and sundry. The dagger feels so terribly unsuitable for this encounter, and well it is, but still at hand. Her thumb runs along the hilt, not fully to the blade. On the soulbond, all is black water irritation and absolute distrust raised to a razor point ready to be jammed into the heart of a problem. Or eviscerating anything disturbing the peace. In no sense is she ever a kind soul. Not now. Not when riled to hiss. No words there, only the stirred precision of stormcloud fight and flight. This is what her adoptive father taught her to deal with. And run is smarter than stay.

"I do not mean any harm," the angel affirms, dipping his head a little. Apparently he understood that. "I shall leave, if you would rather." Suiting action to word, he spreads and raises those terrible pinions. They cast no shadow, not the true kind, though there's a sort of glowing afterimage where one should be. That terrible aura dwindles, withdraws, leaving him feeling, as it were, not much more than some odd kind of inhuman.

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