2019-07-16 - Odin is a JERK!


Brunnhilde tells Carol the reason she left Asgard…

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jul 16 02:28:05 2019
Location: RP Room 5

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It's been over a month since Carol has really seen Brunnhilde, other than a brief encounter at a cat cafe (why she was there is unclear). But mostly, it's best to count since the intervention, that left a hole in one of Carol's walls and Brunnhilde stalking out of the apartment, furious and insulted. Perhaps because things hit a bit too close to things she prefers to cover up with ample amounts of alcohol.

Why she's currently outside Carol's place, hesistating at the door, is something she's asking herself just now. Why is she back, exactly? It's not like Carol will apologize for saying what she thinks. And why should she? She doesn't /like/ what Carol was implying. But…she does miss her.

And so, with a deep breath, she pushes the button to buzz Carol's apartment.

Carol wasn't really expecting anyone, and honestly after spending a week in space hunting Badoon warships that might be sneaking around Earth was taking a day off. So she comes down wearing her USAF shirt and floofy red and blue fleece pajama bottoms, along with a blue terrycloth bathrobe. Oh, and cat slippers. Then she sees who's on the other end of the buzzer…

"Oh, um, Hilde… I… er, hi." She stammers a little, blushing a bit as she definitely was not expecting Brunnhilde to arrive. An Avenger would have just buzzed her ID card, so she was expecting some sort of solicitor, not well… possible girlfriend who she had a fight with and has been feeling miserable about ever since. "Want to come in?"

The other woman hesistates to meet Carol's eyes as she arrives, other than a faint, if brief, curve to her lips over the outfit she visits the door in. She'd like to tease her that most people wear less on hot days like this, not more, but she's…not sure if that's comfortable yet. She nods slightly, sthen steps inside at the offer, letting her close the door behind her as she walks into the living room, then seats herself on the couch, with less of her usual casual sprawl. Instead, her knees are close together, and her arms are resting on them as she leans forward.

Carol shuts the door after Hilde comes in, then moves over towards Brunnhilde on the couch, sitting next to her as she looks at her, waiting for the valkyrie to start since, well, she doesn't want to lead her into anything.

However, Goose hates uncomfortable silences, so immediately pounces onto Brunnhilde's lap and starts purring, curling up and basically being Comfort Cat. Even if they are a flerken.

Hilde is drawn taut enough that when Goose jumps up, there's a very slight start to her as she leans back, regarding the flerkin, then relflexively reaching out to scritch the cat slowly. "…I'm sorry for your wall." It's innane and a terrible thing to start with…but it's the first thing that comes to her tongue that she can actually blurt out.

Carol smiles a little, "Eh, considering some of the things we've done here, a little wall ding isn't too bad." She pauses, then adds, "It was mostly still intact, at least." Her lips quirk a bit, as she tilts her head, regarding Hilde patiently as she seems to know how this kind of thing goes.

The other woman grunts quietly in acknowledgement, her fingers reaching up to gently scritch behind Goose's ears. "…you pity me. The fallen valkyrie. Banished to Midgard. Finding quiet in the bottom of whatever bottle is nearest." She doesn't look at Carol, focusing her attention on Goose. The statement is steady, but without emotion, the usually boisterous woman drained of her fire a bit.

Carol shakes her head, "No, I don't. I worry about you, because I care about you, 'Hilde. And I've been in that place where you are." She looks at Brunnhilde, "It's not a good place." Which is pretty obvious, as she her tone is soft and even, her eyes staying fixed on Brunnhilde.

Brunnhilde snorts, some of her fire returning. "I've lived for millenia and survived. I am in no danger of falling." Her fingers continue to stroke down the flerkin's back gently.

Carol grins slightly, "Yeah, didn't say you were in danger of that, but that doesn't mean you're in the best spot either, hon." She sighs a bit, glancing to the side, though her hand does wind up resting on Brunnhilde's arm, fingers giving her a squeeze there.

Brunnhilde's skin is warm, her muscles firm underneath the touch as she slows her stroking of Goose's fur for a moment. "I survive.I survive by not remembering. If I don't remember, I don't rage. I don't have to remember it."

Carol looks back at Brunnhilde, "I know. You don't have to remember the pain that way. Problem is, it always comes back." She sighs a little, "It's… not really something I'm used to talking about either."

The dusky redhead lifts her eyes finally, locking them on Carol. "…and what memories would you need to avoid? You are a heroine to the world and beyond. Honored and launded for your victories. Those who hate you fear you, for you are the one who hunts them and they cower from it." She shifts, leaning back against the couch back. "What pain could you carry that is so heavy, in the face of that?" She seems genuinely curious now.

Carol smiles slightly, "Wasn't always the cosmic powerhouse with cat slippers that I am now, 'Hilde. Should tell you about my family life… such as it is." Her voice drops an octave, as she growls out in a voice painfully familiar from memory, "'A woman's place is in the home. You can't be a pilot! The only reason you should go to school is to get a husband!'" She shakes her head a bit, "And getting powers doesn't always help with that baggage."

Brunnhilde furrows her brow. "I have never liked how the men of Midgard, and many women, feel every woman is too fragile to be a warrior, when they are the fiercest there are. A man fights for honor and ambition and to prove himself superior. A woman who picks up a weapon does so becasue she has determined she must kill to protect that which she cares for. There is less doubt. Less ego."

Carol nods, "Yeah, when I turned 18, I basically told him off and went straight to the Air Force Academy." She smiles wryly, "Then, of course, I couldn't fly combat because women can't fly planes. In war. That's just ridiculous." She makes a face, "There was a lot of pressure to fight against, and I… well, I needed an outlet."

"Foolish. Women are perfectly capable of piloting a craft. You cannot even make the arguments that men have more muscle and upper body strength." Hilde says with a snort, then frowns. "…you drank because you felt trapped by expectations?"

Carol hmms, "I think partly that, partly Catholic guilt." She smiles wryly, "Growing up in Boston, I had a lot of that, though I had to work through it. Took a while, and wasn't easy. Do you have any idea how weird it is to have Tony Stark, of all people, realize you're an alcoholic and you have a problem?"

"Catholics are good at guilt." Hilde shifts, brushing her fingers down the back of Goose's neck lightly. "I have heard rumors that he is a party boy…he confronted you over it?" she says slowly.

Carol chuckles, "Gives you an idea of how out of control I was at the time." She gives Brunnhilde a wry look, "Been sober for over a decade now, though. Not sure how much it counts considering time travels differently at relativistic speeds, but hey, I'll take it." A bit of a grin at that.

"And how out of control was that? You have a Kree's biology…" Hilde murmurs quietly. "What excess did you have that was so notable?"

Carol mmms, "Honestly, I don't exactly remember some of the incidents." She blushes a little bit, "But some of them I do, it was just… constant. Like waking up in the morning and having something in the coffee, and then something else, and then…" She sighs and just shakes her head. "Wasn't really a physical thing, so much as a psychological one."

"And you believe that it is this for me." Hilde says steadily, trying not to be defensive. "It is…it is how my people are. We drink to celebrate, to mourn, to show fellowship. To forget." She shrugs her shoulders slightly. "…but I will….I will admit it does not…work. For the last. It has not. It distracts me from what is….how different it is from what I was." She breathes in, then lets it out slowly. "I do not know that it is the same as for you. For you, it seems, it was battle stress. Stress over being put into a box, told what you should be, what you could do. For me it is…different. It helps me not think of what was."

Carol nods, "That makes sense. What happened? I mean, I know the myths but I also know that can be a lot different than the reality." She leans in a bit, "I mean, I didn't think it was the exact same as me, but… well…" She pauses, and crooks a bit of a wry smile, "You're going to make me say it, aren't you?"

Brunnhilde closes her eyes, leaning back, her chest rising and falling slowly as she exhales. "…I wanted to be of the Valkyior. From when I was a child. It was…like being an Avenger here, perhaps. Except you needed no inborn power to distinguish you. Just talent, and drive to be superior. To be the greatest of warriors you could be. A defender of the land of Asgard and its people." she begins. "Sif was of my age group too. We were…" She smirks faintly. "…we were rivals. Frenemies, you would say. I did not hate her, but she was always in my way, and I in hers, and we both knew it. Only the greatest could be of the Valkyior…to wear the armor, the cloak. The chosen of Odin himself."

Carol nods, listening intently as she slips an arm around Brunnhilde, tilting her head and letting her talk. Though at the mention of frenemies, she grins wryly, "Yeah, I have a few folks I know like that. Mostly friends now, but back then it was a bit of a rivalry." She smiles, continuing to listen.

Hilde twitches at the contact, tensing up at first, then slowly trying to relax. "She still has a stick up her ass. She always did. There was always a proper way to do things and a proper way to act and she did not approve of a commoner girl who cared less for how she looked than for what she did." she notes, dryly. She exhales again. "…it was the height of honor, of my life. What I wanted most. I was fortunate enough to impress a great mentor…a hero. A son of Odin himself, his first son…the one he never speaks of now. That he's expunged from history. Sigmund." She inhales. "…my father was dead, battling giants. I did not have one. My mother didn't want a warrior after that. She dallied with poets. I had to fight to find the training I wanted. Sigmund was…he was kind. Stern. He laughed at life. He treated me with respect, always, as a teacher to a student." She smirks a bit. "…I fell in love with him as a girl. A foolish crush. But I admired him so much."

Carol mmmms and listens intently now, not interrupting as she just pays attention to what Brunnhilde is saying, noting every word as she smiles a little absently, perhaps thinking how similar it is to what she went through, in some ways.

"With his guidance, with the strength of my own hand, I became a Valkyrie. And by Odin's favor for my deeds, I became leader of the VAlkyior, first among my sisters. Their battle leader, their trainer. They were my responsibility, and I took it seriously, raising them as warriors and sisters of battle. I was…happy. I felt I was where I belonged, where I could do what I wanted most. Odin was like another father to me. Even Sif was…reluctantly for both of us…like a sister. We still were rivals, but she acknowledged that I had earned my position.

Brunnhilde takes a deep breath. "Sigmund was a twin. Nonidentical. He didn't know he was Odin's son. Neither did his sister, Siglinde. Neither of them knew they had a sibling. Not even when they met." Her nostrils flare. "Not even when they fell in love."

Carol blinks at that, but doesn't comment, looking a bit startled at that revelation as she tilts her head towards Brunnhilde, letting her continue. She does, however, put her arm around Brunnhilde, supporting her as she lets Brunnhilde talk about what happened.

Brunhilde mms. "Worse, she was married at the time. Her husband challenged Sigmund to an honor duel after he found that he was sleeping with his wife." She frowns. "I…I didn't know all of it at first. I wanted to intervene to stop it. Odin at first was willing to do taht too, but then Frigg talked him out of it. And me. She said that….even if Sigmund hadn't known about his sister, he'd know she was married, and it was an honorable duel for a dishonor done. And that I should allow the Norns to guide his fate." She frowns. "I…I was torn. She was right, but…I still went to him. I told him that even if he fell, I would take him to Vahalla for a death in battle, for he was a hero…"

"And he told me he would not go. Siglinde would not be there with him, and he would rather commit suicide and go to Hel with her than be separated."

Carol nods, letting Brunnhilde finish as she hasn't heard this side of the saga before. Not like it was actual history, anyway, as she just supports Brunnhilde, head tilted slightly as she gives her all of her attention.

"Odin….Odin felt this dishonored Sigmund. Ruined him, as a hero, to be willing to give up Vahalla for a woman. Not that he told them that they were brother and sister, or his children." Hilde scowls quietly. "…so he cheated. In the middle of the fight, he threw his spear and shattered Sigmund's sword. He told them then what they had done. The sharpnel gravely wounded Sigmund, the fragments of his sword dug into his side. I…I could not stand by. I grabbed him, and we ran, he and I and Siglinde."

Brunnhilde closes her eyes. "I went to my sword sisters, my battle maidens. The ones I had taught and led and sheltered. I thought they would stand with me. Force Odin to back down, to see what he was doing was wrong, but….instead they turned on me. They joined the hunt with Odin."

here's no emotion in this revolution, it's matter of fact. But her fingers tighten, curling into fists at the memory of the betrayal.

"…Sigmund and I decided we would lead them off, so Siglinde could escape. I didn't know at the time, but she was pregnant with Sigmund's child. We fought back to back…and in the end, Sigmund threw himself in the way of an arrow from one of my sisters, meant for my heart. He died in my arms, apologizing for pulling me into it…that I was suffering for his sins."

She shakes her head. "…Odin ordered me then to leave him. Even though he had died in battle, he tried to deny him his place in Vahalla."

Carol frowns at that, "That's horrible." And she means it, as she listens to the description of Odin's treachery, her eyes narrowing as she might be giving Thor an earful when she gets an opportunity. And not just for smashing her wall in the mansion either!

Brunhilde opens her eyes again, starting off into space a bit. "Odin was..displeased when I called him a monster and challenged him. He let me carry him to Vahalla, but then he stripped me of my abilities. Made me as a human, then cast me into a magical sleep, doomed to be claimed by whatever hero braved the walls of flame he raised around me int eh forest as their bride.

Carol gives Brunnhilde a wry look, "Well, I'd do it easy, but that just seems… such an asshole move by him. Taking a warrior and demoting her to be wife-fodder?" She sounds like she might just punch Odin in the face the next time she meets him. If she ever does, anyway.

Hilde mmphs. "…he took everything. My honor, my strength….my position. My sisters. " She shakes her head slowly, then snorts. "And it gets better. For Siglinde escaped successfully, and had her childe…Siegried, son of Sigmund, grandson of Odin. Dragonslayer, reforger of his father's blade. And the hero who found me and claimed me by giving me a ring he'd found in the dragon's horde…that was a cursed ring that even Odin himself feared."

Carol makes a face, "Let me guess, it wouldn't even turn you invisible or let you Rule Them All, would it?" Okay, she cracks a joke because she kinda has to, just to lighten it up a bit, though she's still staying close to Brunnhilde, fascinated by this history… and probably thinking that yeah, there's a reason that she does what she does.

Hilde's lips twitch. "…the latter. If you had no love in your heart at all, it made you unstoppable. Unbeatable. All you had to do is give up any love or empathy you might ever feel, forever." She sighs. "Not that the loveable idiot knew that. " She rubs her face, sighing. "Odin, you see, had promised Freya to the giants who built Vahalla..but instead he gave them this ring. The giants were brothers…and one promptly killed the other. The survivor was changed by its magics to become a dragon over time, until Siegfried killed him. It might have still been good…at least as good as the hobbits had it, for a while.

She plucks quietly at her t-shirt. "…I don't know…if it was Odin's magic, or something else, but…I fell for him. And we were married. I resigned myself to being a good little spear maiden…to raise children. His children. Even though I knew his past."

Carol sighs, "I suspect parts of this tale are what inspired Tolkien in the first place, but…" She winces at the thought of Hilde settling down for that, since that just feels… well, not really something she'd want to do, easily.

"Most likely. The One Ring, definitely, though it was an evil dwarf and his brother who created it, not some ancient." Hilde says, frowning. "I was…happy? I didn't think I would be. But…there was a king of the land in which we lived, named Gunther, who had a sister named Gutrunde. They both desired us…Siegfried for her, and me for him. They welcomed him as a hero, and slipped him a potion that made him forget all about me…that we were married, that we had met. I…" She looks down. "…I thought had been…playing with me, and once he'd gotten what he wanted, he was…." She sighs. "…I was a fool. The king took me and I had no strength to fight him. But it was all a plot by a dwarf named Hagen, whose father had made the ring. He murdered Sigrief…stabbed him in the back like a coward."

Carol winces again and nods, "I see… I'm sorry that happened 'Hilde." She shakes her head, "Can't even imagine what that was like. Though, well, it does seem that you did get your strength back, from what I can see."

Brunhilde narrows her eyes. "I drowned that little rat in the river until he stopped squirming." she says, with great satisfaction in her voice. But then…he told me what the ring was before I killed him. Tried to bargain with me over it. I knew….I knew that if the ring remained, it would be misused. And I had not the power to keep Gunther from claiming me again."

"So on the day that Siegfried pyre was made…I threw myself onto it." She shifts. "…I was…I had nothing."

Carol looks at Brunnhilde with concern, then nods, "That's… one way out of it, but I guess you got better?" She quips a little bit, then grows more serious, "I can't even imagine what that was like."

Another quiet snort. "…Odin was watching…he saved me on the bring of death. Restored me, proclaimed I had proven myself a defender of Asgard once more, for sacrifcing myself to destroy such an evil artifact."
She grits her teeth. "He gave me Siefried's word, as if it was…as if it made /UP/ for it! He just…he tried to shove it all under rug, hide it deep in the dark where no one would know that he helped kill his bastard son, and his grandson as well! He did nothing…" Her hands grip tightly. "I couldn't…I yelled at him. Screamed at him. Told him he had no worth. That I would not follow an oathbreaker. That he had turned me into nothing but a prize after all of my service to 'teach me a lesson', and then had been too cowardly to deal with the ring directly. He ADMITTED IT."

HIlde's chest rises and falls more quickly now. "So I cast down his honors. I cast aside my title, my position. I wanted nothing of him, or his family. I wanted nothing of those who claimed to be my battle sisters, who betrayed me. I wanted to not….remember." HEr voice trembles. "Remember Siegfried, or Sigmund like that…broken in the end…"

She closes her eyes, tears escaping, one on each side. "All I had left was their sword…and I renamed it in honor of Sigfriend. Dragonfang."

Carol nods, "Serves him right. You're too good for them." She says that rather firmly, placing her hand on Brunnhilde's as she gives her a firm look, "Look, I don't have centuries of life under my belt, I'm just a Catholic girl from Boston that found amazing cosmic powers and got to be a superhero. But I can tell you this much. I'm never giving up on you." She grins, "Even if you punch holes in my wall. Though I might send you the bill." With that, she winks, giving Brunnhilde a crooked smile.

runnhilde inhales, then looks at Carol. "…I will try not to punch holes in your walls. But it is…this is something that festers in me, lik ean old battle wound never healed." she says softly. "But for you…I will try." She leans her head quietly against Carol's shoulder. "…may I stay here tonight?"

Carol smiles, "I wouldn't have it any other way, Brunnhilde." With that, she places a light kiss on Brunnhilde's forehead, cradling the other woman close on the couch quietly.

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