Trewsday night, 00:35. A star-filled sky hangs above the far realm. The two moons are vibrant thanks in part to the sparse cloud coverage. Low winds keep it chilly and remind all winter is upon them. Temps: -3C/25F lows and 1C/33F highs.
resource block credit goes to miss texas. credit for mini profile goes to bee.
In Brynhilda's abode, things are quiet. Far away from the typical sounds of war training for the ultimate battle between good and evil, a rustic silence lives here. It somehow matches the original Valkyrie's less militant disposition. That's what makes it the perfect place to get away from it all for a moment.
Theone was here doing just that, visiting her sister-in-arms as her lover stood somewhere, probably with ax in hand, training to be the champion his sweetheart deserved. Brynhilda didn't need to be an empath to understand that her runaway sister might be feeling some melancholy emotions regarding the situation. While it did pain her to see such a beautiful spirit as Theone's in such despair, Brynhilda was thankful that someone had retrieved her wayward sister and returned her to Valhalla where she belonged.
Standing beside Theone now, Brynhilda spoke softly. "How are you adjusting to being back home?"
The goddess, dressed in her Valkyrie garb, stands beside her sister and offers her a soft smile. "I did miss this place, well, you and the rest of my sisters that is, but I wasn't expecting to be back here anytime soon." Theone shake her head. A sense of incredulity emanates from her. "Not like this."
Sighing, she confesses, "I didn't mean for him to die and end up here. This is all my fault." The goddess formally known as Lydia walks across the room; her back now to Brynhilda. "I may be a full god, but I still didn't have the power to stand up to Ende and protect him."
Turning to face the other Valkyrie once again, Theone goes on. "I never did learn how to tap into the full capacity of my powers…Father used to talk about my mother and how she was able to use these same powers to both start and end wars."
Dyna enters the hut first and steps to the side, giving Nicolas a clear path from behind her. Though this is the home of Brynhilda, the Queen had learned that Theone was seen coming here a short while ago and so expected to find the goddess present as well.
"I have ended your young Champion's training for the day," Dyna says, speaking to Theone directly. "He performed quite well under Trish's tutelage. He may even be challenging Achilles soon enough." The humor in the Queen's voice makes it plain that this is mostly said in jest, but it also meant to be encouraging. Brynhilda's famed Champion Achilles was formidable in life and has only grown more so over the millennia. It will take more than a couple of days to make a wayward witch his equal on the battlefield.
Dyna looks to Brynhilda. "We are not intruding, are we?" The Queen expects nothing less than deference to her presence, but makes this comment to foster a positive feeling among her Valkyrie. Her intent for ending the training session early is to bear witness to Nicolas and Theone's interaction, to judge the merits of their relationship herself.
As Lydia walked across the hut lamenting the fact that she could not protect her lover, Brynhilda followed behind her. She let a moment of silence pass to respect the vocalized grief. Then, she placed a hand at her sister's back and let it rest there to convey solidarity and support. "Powerful though you may be, sometimes Destiny has other plans," she said in a voice just above a whisper. With any luck, these words would be of some comfort.
Perhaps not as much comfort as laying eyes on a beloved, though. A sound at the abode's entrance causes Brynhilda to notice that both Lydia's champion, Nicolas, and their queen, Dyna, have entered. The blond turns to her leader and bows her head as a sign of her deep respect for her queen. She rolls back up with a grin on her face at the joke of the Citadel's newest recruit taking on her Achilles.
"We are not intruding, are we?"
"Of course not, my queen," Brynhilda responds. There was no reality where she'd ever tell Dyna that her presence was an intrusion. Besides, seeing her lover and champion might have been exactly what her sister needed in this moment. If anything, Dyna's presence was a goddess-send. Eyes trained on Lydia, now, Brynhilda also observes the interaction.
Lost in his thoughts, in his confusion, Nicolas enters into the hut. His head is bowed down, still tortured about the dichotemy of Him and Brennan. In a way, as the Queen of the Valkyries speaks, he's detatched. He's started to piece together a spell to forget his past life and start fresh. Not to undo what's been been done... but... but...
He looks up. Around him are women. Women. Valkyries. A subtle shift in his psyche tells him that he's in the presence of legends. He casts a timid glance to each of them. His eyes, however, are only for Lydia. 'Lydia, Theone, Valkyrie, Goddess, Model, Girlfriend.' It's so much easier to think of her as a Valkyrie, something that Nicolas wishes to embrace.
It's with this mindset that Nic stares at her, the Valkyrie that bewitched him, deep into her eyes. "My lady, I am not courteous, I am not a kind person. But I'd like to learn from you... but only as me." he bites his tongue at this point, if only to honor the presences of those before him. "Since we met, my mind, my life, my physical being has been a chaos of torment. Can you release me to find us again, on our own?
Following Nicolas' declaration, Dyna looks to Theone to see how the goddess turned Valkyrie will respond. Moments pass in silence and it appears that when confronted by Nicolas' outpouring of emotion that Theone stalls. She wonders if the other woman is conflicted by the fact that this man may share a soul with her love, Brennan, but is still very much Nicolas - a man she does not know at all.
It's not the fireworks of passion and love she was hoping to see, but she hasn't lost hope just yet.
"Could you fetch our young warrior a drink," Dyna says, looking to their host, Brynhilda. She then takes a seat upon a reed-woven chair, expecting that the other will follow suit then motions in encouragement for them to do so.
"Perhaps you could tell us how you are finding Valhalla thus far?" Dyna's large brown eyes entreat Nicolas to follow her lead and redirect the conversation to a less heavy topic. "Are you becoming well acclimated?"
When confronted with Nicolas face to face, per Dyna’s grace, Theone becomes overwrought with guilt. Their initial reunion back on earth could be described as happenstance, but his current fate? She feels that falls squarely on her shoulders for not being able to let go of a love she lost long ago.
Even now, as Nicolas stands here before her professing a desire to be with her in his new incarnation, his declarations make her feel conflicted. Her heart trembles with the excitement of rekindling the connection she once felt with his soul, but she wonders if Nicolas is truly destined for the lifestyle of Valhalla, for a life of war and blood.
“Could you fetch our young warrior a drink?”
The Valkyrie Queen’s voice cuts through the moment of silence and draws Theone out of her moment of hesitation. She moves to stand before the corporeal spirit and presses a hand upon his cheek; the coarse stubble of his beard feels enticing to touch.
Theone then brushes her hand down to rest on Nicolas’ shoulder. The adopted Valkyrie leans forward and kisses him softly on the cheek. She lingers in this position for an extra moment to whisper, “We’ll talk more once we can steal a moment.”
"Perhaps you could tell us how you are finding Valhalla thus far?"
Pulling back, Theone sees the Queen has taken a seat and has gestured for the others to do so. Taking Nicolas’ hand in her own, she guides him over to a vacant sofa where they can be seated.
“Are you becoming well acclimated?"
Because the question is clearly directed to her proposed Champion, Theone remains silent and lets him answer.
There's a pregnant pause in the air when Lydia's words escape her following her champion and lover's declaration. Brynhilda is happy that Dyna is there with the wisdom to facilitate this meeting she's initiated. "Yes, Queen," she says before marching into her kitchen. While everyone else finds their seats in her den, Brynhilda ladles cool well water into a wooden cup for Nicolas.
A moment later, she returns. Walking up to Nicolas, she extends the cup to him. "For you," she says, and waits for him to accept it. Once he's taken it, she offers him a warm smile before turning heel to find a seat for herself. She lands somewhere opposite the sofa the two lovers occupy. Quietly, she anticipates hearing how her sister's champion is liking Valhalla.
Immediately Nicolas feels a little bit of shame. He could have chosen his words better, made her understand more. The last thing he wants to do is hurt Lydia's feelings. Nor does he want to incur any divine wrath from these mythological beings. He's toyed with the idea, since he arrived, that if he was less than enthusiastic about his new home that he could be smote down by that crazy goddess from before. She had done that easily enough when he was human, surely she had the power to complete end his spiritual existence.
Still, Theone comes over to him, and he doesn't recoil from her touch. Instead he finds it compassionate, reassuring. A surge of pleasure bubbles in his gut. Maybe he hadn't made a complete ass of himself after all. ('Still, remember, she did this to you. Don't lose yourself in her again.') he finds himself thinking. It's true. He does need to be on guard. He needs to keep his emotions in check, or at least learn how to. He'd just have to treat it like he was learning to control his powers again.
As such, he stiffens a little as Lydia kisses him on his cheek. Her hand floats down to his back. He wants to lean into her, but he refrains. Instead he gives a little nod and a soft smile before he returns his attentions to the other ladies in the room.
Brynhilda comes over with water and Nic eyes it questioningly. So far he'd met a handful of these Valkyries, and he could tell that they were as different from each other as humans were. Trish was battle worn and firm as steel. Dyna radiated power, control, command. Lydia... she was a story, a novel, unto herself. Brynhilda? She gave off something calmer, more sincere, in her vibe. (She still could have offered me mead. I mean this is Valhalla, not a clean living seminar.') However, he'd be foolish to turn down the drink.
Taking the water in hand he immediately takes a sip. It's a show of trust in some ways, but it's also good manners. After swallowing the liquid (by and far the best water he'd ever had truthfully) he finally addresses Dyna. "Um, your Majesty?" he starts off, unsure exactly how to address her. "It's not exactly what I imagined Valhalla would be like, at least from the old stories. In some ways parts of it are familiar, and in others it's completely different."
"Dyna will do," she encourages with a smile. Her rule has always been a softer touch, guiding their sisterhood rather than forcing it. She also needs Nicolas to grow comfortable in order to truly open up.
"It's not exactly what I imagined Valhalla would be like, at least from the old stories. In some ways parts of it are familiar, and in others it's completely different."
The Queen smiles, understanding exactly what the newest Champion means. This is not the first time she has been told about this dissonance between the imagery formed in the minds of mortal men by their mythology and the reality.
She glances over at Theone, who sits beside her Champion on a cozy sofa. The image captures what she hopes will further bloom between the two. Though eager to coax it along, perhaps the pair should have been given more time alone.
"He had an impressive showing with Trish." Her lips pull up into a grin. "She is still a bit too easy on him, but not by much."
"He is a brave soul." Theone smiles warmly. She knows the statement to be true. In both lifetimes this mortal witch showcased a deep bravery. Although Nicolas is no hardened warrior, in either life, across his last two lifetimes he's stood up to both demigods and gods. While bravery is one characteristic of great importance in this world, Theone wonders if it'll be enough for Nicolas to survive here in Valhalla. Enough for him to impress Ende and avoid her harsh judgement.
"Trish is dedicated to the mission, so I'm sure if Nicolas held his own it's because he has the makings of a warrior."
She looks from her queen and over to her proposed Champion. Curious to how he is feeling right now, the Goddess of Empathy contemplates using her distinct powers to get a read on the man sat beside her. She decides against it though. Instead, Theone places a hand on his knee as a show of support and affection. She'll do what she can to protect him and ensure his survival. Right now the most important thing is for him to prove himself worthy of becoming a Champion. What follows can be a decision the two work out together. There is more than one way to work around the Laws of Magic.
She's done so twice after all.
"I know he hasn't earned his place here traditionally," Theone looks back to Dyna with the intent to meet her eyes with a pleading gaze, "but he is a good man. We should do our best to make sure he is successful in his trials."