cutting_edgex23: ([TX] concerned inward)
X-23 ([personal profile] cutting_edgex23) wrote2013-06-08 07:44 pm

When the stars threw down their spears

Norman agrees to take X, Elle, and Bruce up to the mountains, though he does sniff disdainfully when Thor decides to fly himself.

The trip itself is cold and breezy, because it is made in dragon claws, and they do not offer all that much protection against the elements. Still, it is not raining. That would make this even more difficult than it will be already.

Norman -- in consultation with the others -- eventually sets them down on a flattish outcropping of stones, then takes himself and Bruce to perch on a separate, nearby rock.

It gives them the best view.

X, in the meantime, gives Elle a small bottle of trigger scent, then goes to stand by Thor and wait.

She is tense as piano wire.

The scent of fear is heavy in the air.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor grinning cheerfully (cheerful floppy puppy)

[personal profile] mjolnir_retriever 2013-06-09 12:36 am (UTC)(link)
Thor, on the other hand, is not tense. He looks relaxed and easily ready for action, and very nearly cheerful, as if this were the start of a pick-up football game or something.

You know, if pick-up football games usually entailed light armor. (Bare arms, no cape, only a sleeveless flexible breastplate and vambraces -- this is Thor's equivalent of workout clothes.)

Mjölnir lies on the ground some yards away. It'll come to his hand if needed, of course, but if not -- well, X did ask him to please try not to wound her too badly while Bruce was around, so as not to upset him. Bare hands are a lot easier to avoid inflicting bloody harm with than a giant magic hammer of magic stone.
master_bruce: (Looking Over Gotham)

[personal profile] master_bruce 2013-06-09 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
By contrast again, Bruce is almost sick with tension. Fight situations are so much worse as a spectator - and that this is planned, and it's happening to X...yeah, he's not anywhere approaching OK.

But he wanted to be here, and he's not going to hide from it. So he just stands on his rock, and forces himself not to move. He won't distract, and he won't let himself intercede. There is irrational irritation at Thor looking so calm about it all, but he knows that's not really the guy's fault.

His gaze falls on X, and stays there. She's all that matters here, in the end.
ellectrical: (windswept traveling)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-10 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
Elle, if anything, just looks tired.

She takes the bottle from X without comment, and watches her as she walks away. Other than her hair blowing over her shoulder, she stays entirely still.

Once X has stopped, she calls out, "Tell me when you're ready."
ellectrical: (luster)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-10 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
But Elle doesn't hesitate any longer than this.

Without looking away from X, she opens the bottle, touching its contents to her fingers, and then her fingers to her neck, as though she were putting on perfume.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor, hammer in hand, staring upwards. (incoming target)

[personal profile] mjolnir_retriever 2013-06-10 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
A blur of gold and crimson; Thor is there between them, ready and waiting.

The moment X moves towards Elle again, she's getting flung in the other direction.
ellectrical: (one way)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-10 01:37 am (UTC)(link)
Elle takes the time to put the bottle down.

Then she walks across the rocks, toward X and Thor, though at a slow enough pace that she's not rushing either of them.

But when the other woman launches toward Thor, she calls out, "X!"
ellectrical: (leaning in)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-10 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
Abruptly, Elle kneels as well, slamming her hands against the ground.

X will have difficulty pulling her claws out of the stone now. At least, for as long as Elle can hold out.

"I can help with that," she murmurs.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor in armor, looking upwards seriously into golden light offscreen (father's faith)

[personal profile] mjolnir_retriever 2013-06-10 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
Elle does some interesting things with her electricity.

Thor isn't here to spar; he isn't here to fight for the fight's sake. He's here for a very specific part of this training: to stop X when she needs stopping.

At the moment, she doesn't need it.

(When and if she does, she can make friends with that outcropping again.)
ellectrical: (don't know what to think)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-10 02:22 am (UTC)(link)
Elle's hands shift slightly on the ground, but she doesn't move.

"X," she repeats.

"I know you saw me."
master_bruce: (Listening Hard)

[personal profile] master_bruce 2013-06-10 11:17 am (UTC)(link)
The instant X's eyes turned red, Bruce's hands clenched into fists at his sides.

They're still like that now, only he's dimly aware of pain beating in his palms where his nails are digging in.

She doesn't look like X, any more. Even so, Thor throwing her aside as if she weighed nothing - his legs jerk reflexively, wanting to run to her. He curbs it, and forces himself to stay still, though it feels like his stomach is trying to crawl up into his throat.

When she sags, he bites his lip. Maybe she's done it, and will stop now. He can only hope.

ellectrical: (let's go)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-10 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
"Yeah, you can."

It's less an encouragement than a reminder. She takes a deep breath, shifting again to keep her balance on the stone, as though someone were trying to push her off.

She's more reassuring when she adds, "And I can wait."
mjolnir_retriever: Thor looking serious, again. (sober prince and diplomat)

[personal profile] mjolnir_retriever 2013-06-10 11:54 pm (UTC)(link)
"You will defeat this," Thor puts in, gravely, "as you have before."

"It will be well, X."

He may not have the same degree of intense feeling as the others on the subject, or any bone-deep understanding of the pain of wresting control of yourself from others, and a lifetime of warrior training plus some more specific sparring practice may have inured him to the prospect of harming X. But he's not immune to a friend's pain.

Besides, as far as he sees it, he's saying only the truth.
master_bruce: (Looking Over Gotham)

[personal profile] master_bruce 2013-06-11 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
Bruce is a little too far away to be heard, and he's not sure whether he should speak anyway. He's well aware that if he draws her attention, he's the least able to defend himself against her. It's not fear for himself - Thor's here for defence - but because he knows how she feels about threatening people she cares for.

Still, he says it in his head. Come on. You can do this. You can do anything. Beat this, so we can go home.

He watches Elle, too. She's so calm. If she can be, so can he.

So he says nothing. But he's willing her to fight on, and he's not going anywhere until she's done.
ellectrical: (I won't let you hurt me)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-11 12:29 am (UTC)(link)
Elle stills again, her hands steadying on the ground.

But she tells X, "I'm going to wait. Until I see your eyes."

It's not what she wants to do, exactly. But she feels that it's what X needs.

"And I'll keep talking."
ellectrical: (but it does me no good)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-11 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
Elle lifts her hands, though she keeps them raised, as though pressed against a wall. She stays on the ground at X's level, though she does shift her weight to her feet, so she can rise easily when she's ready.

Watching her eyes, "It's getting better.

"Will it help if I'm closer?"
ellectrical: (build a wall)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-11 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
She nods, and stands in place. Her eyes only leave X to glance once over to Thor, before she begins to walk carefully across the rock.

Her hands are still held out in front of her, a bit like she's feeling her way through the dark. It'll be enough to repel an initial attack, if it's needed.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor looking serious, again. (sober prince and diplomat)

[personal profile] mjolnir_retriever 2013-06-11 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
The details of all of this are unfamiliar, but the general feeling (for Thor's part) is not: it's like being the senior warrior in a training session with just the right level of younger warrior. Advanced enough to be allowed to test themselves by letting loose; inexperienced enough to need a referee ready to break them apart, and healing stones at the ready.

Or, in another way, like mediating some touchy bit of diplomacy between third parties. You let them come near the edge, but you stay poised to make sure no one steps over it.

(Both Asgardian diplomacy and Asgardian warrior training can be pretty hands-on.)

He inclines his head slightly to Elle in return -- go on, I'm here and watching -- and waits.
ellectrical: (but it does me no good)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-11 02:20 am (UTC)(link)
Elle keeps walking until she's about a foot away from X, then drops down again, resting her left knee to the ground, her hands still held out.

"See," she says. "I'm here."

Then, though still steady, her voice drops to a whisper.

"I'm not scared of you."
ellectrical: (black sheep come home)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-11 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
Elle doesn't answer.

But instead, she finally lowers her hands, and holds them out toward X.
Edited 2013-06-11 02:35 (UTC)
mjolnir_retriever: Thor in sunlight, looking amiably neutral. (sunlit listening)

[personal profile] mjolnir_retriever 2013-06-11 02:44 am (UTC)(link)

He never doubted. But still -- good.

(Already, she shook it off quicker.)
master_bruce: (Half Profile)

[personal profile] master_bruce 2013-06-11 11:54 am (UTC)(link)
Bruce can't stand still any longer. If Elle is going to her, then she must be over the worst. And even from here, he can see that the red is gone from her eyes.

He walks slowly, ready to back off if any of them tell him to. But he can't stand there and feel like it's not safe to go near her. She's still X, no matter what.

He comes to stand beside Elle, hands loose at his sides. He doesn't say anything. He's not going to push into her space. She'll come to him if she wants to; in the meantime, he just wants her to know he's there.
ellectrical: (leaning in)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-11 03:22 pm (UTC)(link)
If Elle knows he's there, she doesn't show any sign of having noticed him.

She presses her hands back against X's. Just in case, she murmurs, "It's okay now."
Edited 2013-06-11 15:22 (UTC)
master_bruce: (With X)

[personal profile] master_bruce 2013-06-11 03:40 pm (UTC)(link)
She doesn't need to use any.

Bruce lets out a sound that is almost a sigh, more like a choke. He drops to his knees on the ground, and wraps his arms around her.

It's easier than talking, anyway.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor in sunlight, looking amiably neutral. (sunlit listening)

[personal profile] mjolnir_retriever 2013-06-11 04:42 pm (UTC)(link)
He would offer X what comfort he could, if she needed it -- his fist against her bicep or his arm around her shoulders, words or silence.

But she doesn't. She has Elle and Bruce both, right now. They don't need him joining in, and they don't need him standing over them.

He turns a little away instead, to pay attention to Norman. The dragon is left out of this moment too, although he doesn't seem to mind it any more than Thor does. At any rate, it's only polite that they occupy each other, both for courtesy to each other and so that X and the others don't need to feel self-conscious about taking all the time they need.

Besides, he's genuinely curious. They didn't get a lot of time to talk before, and Norman is different than the other creatures termed dragons that Thor knows. And he's X's friend too.
master_bruce: (With X)

[personal profile] master_bruce 2013-06-11 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Bruce presses a kiss to the top of her head, and shuts his eyes. Her words let the relief come, and he sags into her just as strongly as she leans into him.

She won't forget. He believes her.

It'll be OK.
ellectrical: (but it does me no good)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-11 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Elle looks away.

It's the only selfish motion she's allowed herself since they began.

And though she doesn't show it, not in her face or the pressure of her hands, she's starting to wish X would just let go of her.
master_bruce: (With X)

[personal profile] master_bruce 2013-06-12 12:14 am (UTC)(link)

God, yes.

He supports her all the way up, and tries not to dwell on how wrong it is to see her in this state.

'Can you walk?'
ellectrical: (the moon and the tide)

[personal profile] ellectrical 2013-06-12 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
She moves with X, but doesn't say anything.

Her eyes stay down, though now it's because she's watching how steady the other woman's footing is on the ground.