2019-08-25 - Of The Gods


Matthew and Betty have a talk about God(s).

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: August 25th, 2019
Location: Nelson and Murdock, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

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Early in the Thursday Evening, Nelson and Murdock still has yet to close its doors. Oh the waiting room is empty, the front door is still unlocked, and perhaps as a way of atoning for some of his earlier misdeeds, Matthew Murdock told his co-workers that it was alright, he'd handle this last individual who was seeking advice.
"Could you… could you tell me it again, Mrs. Gutierrez? I'm not sure I understand entirely where the issue lies." Matt is seated in his office chair behind the large wooden desk. There are still cardboard boxes scattered around the room with the delivery of a recent case's filework and it alllll needs to be sorted.
For now, however, Matt tries to maintain his focus, even as his potential client tells him again. "You see, Mr. Murdock. I have proof that I came up with the idea for the Bug-A-Salt."
"Yes, ma'am… I understand that much. But did you perhaps file the needed patent for the invention?"
"I meant to."
"Well, yes… Mrs. Gutierrez, but… and now this isn't my exact area of legal expertise. But there are steps you need to go through…"
One might get the sense that Matt has perhaps explained his before, perhaps even several times. And behind him, through that window, the sun seems to be setting on the day. And any chance he'll get out of here and get to Josie's anytime soon.

Betty Brant looks at her watch, then toward the clock on the wall of Josie's. It was behind a cage, busted and useless, but the arms still worked. Matt was late. That wasn't new, but this was a bit of a stretch even for the blind lawyer of Hell's Kitchen. Thinning her lips, re-spreading the crimson across them, the woman downs her shot and slips from her stool. "I'll be back, Josie. Bottle for the road?" Passing off cash, she claims a bottle of scotch and exits.

Her heels click against concrete as she makes her way toward the building. Matt could probaby hear her coming from ages away even if she had little to no idea about his talents outside of a court room. Her steps were light, the smell of her was a mixture of vanilla, lilac, coffee, ink and a hint of alcohol and second-hand smoke.

Entering the building, she glances left and right, following room lights and closing the door behind herself. She hears him speaking with his client - the frustration in his voice was paramount. It makes the woman smirk.

Clearing her throat, she reaches for the door's knob and gives it a twist. "Matthew," Betty pouts softly, a layer of water darkening her hazel-eyes. "Are you ready, mom's wai…Oh, I'm so sorry. I-I didn't realize you had a client. Pardon me, miss." He had a pressing appointment, apparently - hopefully her lie would translate well.

He had heard her coming, the only indication of such was the slight tilt of his head as he continued to listen and nod with Mrs. Gutierrez. His nostrils flared briefly and despite the situation he was in he found himself smiling a little.
Such that when Ms. Brant opened the door to his office she saw that smile there upon his lips as he lifted his head, though it quickly fled with a faint affected furrow to his brow and a hint of sadness to the curve of his lips. Her reflection cast back to her from the dark lenses in his glasses as he sat up, "No, no it's quite alright, Elizabeth."
Mrs. Gutierrez had stopped speaking and was looking between them, "Mrs. Gutierrez I'd like you to meet Elizabeth. Elizabeth this is Mrs. Gutierrez." He uncurls his hand as he makes a semblance of introductions.
Mrs. Gutierrez smiles a little nervously as he looks to Elizabeth then back towards Matthew. "I'll leave the paperwork with you, Mr. Murdock?"
"Certainly Mrs. Gutierrez." Matt stands up from behind the desk and lightly touches the side of it with one hand as he guides himself around. "I'll have my partner take a look at it and we'll get back to you soon."
"Thank you, thank you." Their potential client smiles a little toward Betty as she gathers up her things and then slings her purse over her shoulder.
A few moments and she's gone, the door closing behind her… and Matt drops back into his chair with a heavy exhalation of breath that would be a sigh if he were feeling less charitable.

Betty Brant is smiles and kindness as the woman goes about her business. She comments on the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Gutierrez and bidding her fairwell after she leaves. The sadness in her eyes fades instantly, the act over. A sniffle, a dab under her eyes, she clears her throat and smiles. "Long day?" Bottle atop the desk, she slips in and claims a seat for herself.

"Sorry for the fib, the 'visit sick mom' thing usually works for getting people moving. That's not cruel, is it?" Resting back in her seat and crossing her legs, she brushes down the loose fabric of her skirt and offers Murdock a smooth smile. "How're you, sweetie? You were late to Josie's so I thought I'd visit you. I got some scotch, but I'm going to guess you don't have any glasses in this place."

"You could say that," Matt's smile is still there but it's touched with a hint of weariness as he takes a deep breath again. Then he shakes his head, "She means well, and I feel she may just miss having… human contact?" The lawyer turns his head slightly, listening to the subtle sounds of the elderly woman's departure.
Then he turns his head, not quite in line with her and the glasses making it seem as if he were looking beyond her. "But I'm…" He lifts the files that were left behind by the good Mrs. Gutierrez and runs fingertips along its side, some of the paperwork sticking out of it quite obviously torn from a spiral notebook. "Not thinking it'll be a productive effort."
That said he gives her a nod, "Anyways, no, not that cruel."
She mentions the scotch and he sits up a little, "Oh? May I?" He extends a hand out into the air, hoping she will be so kind as to let him hold the bottle. Then he'll add, "No glasses, but some coffee mugs?" He grins a little at that, though perhaps a touch apologetically.

"Maybe we can do a community project? Allow some of the elderly to have communication between each other? Y'know, something better than Bingo?" Nodding to his question, she lifts the bottle and hands it his way, allowing the heavy, solid glass to touch his fingers.

"Mmm, I heard some of it. Funny thing, a number of people have the same idea as someone else. It's just who touches the finish-line first. Maybe we can work with her creative side? Promote her to develop another idea. This time? Get it on paper and filed away." After Matt claims the bottle, she sits back.

"I'll get cups if we need them. I was thinking of swigging."

A small chuff comes from him, just an exhalation that would be a laugh if it had a little more oomph, but his smile carries it off as he turns his head in her direction, "Classy, Brant." He lifts his free hand along the blunt neck of the bottle and then opens it. Matt leans forward and takes a sniff of the scotch whisky and his eyebrows raise. "Aberfeldy single malt? Nice choice."
His lips part and for a moment it's almost as if he were tasting it without touching it, then he tilts the bottle back for a good sharp swig. It's a quick slosh, then a release and he hisses a little between his teeth.
"Mmm," The bottle is handed toward her, "Those might be good ideas. Could see what Foggy things since he's usually the one that ends up working with Mrs. Gutierrez." She seems to like him more for some reason.

"How're you two doing? Things working out here?" Claiming the bottle, she takes a sip herself and licks her lips of any residue. Bottle down, making sure he could hear it near by, she gives its location with a soft voiced reminder. "Center left. Your side." There's a heavy dragg of metal against wood as the reporter pulls her chair closer to Matt's desk.

"Hey, I think it's a good idea either way. Mom would have loved stuff like that. Art centers or game centers. Gardening? Knitting? Doing things for charity and babies? Metal or wood shops for the guys, hell, anything, really. It would help and allow them some good outlets for mental and emotional health."

The nod he gives is one of thanks as she mentions where it is, though he turns and slides his chair a little on its rollers to be able to more directly face her around the corner of his desk. Sitting back there behind it, that's for client and attorney interactions, and this is much more friendly.
"Hell's Kitchen could definitely use something like that." For a moment he bites his lower lip in consideration and then he says, "Remind me to send him a text before we get too drunk, otherwise we might forget." His lip curls as to be fair it's not hugely likely they'll get completely sloshd.
He lifts a hand and reaches out, lightly touching to the side and finding the bottle again. A swig is taken and then set down as he says with a warm smile, "Tell me what you've been up to lately, Betty? Sometimes I get so stuck with my head down in my own little world, I forget there's a larger one out there."

"Text him now. I'm aiming to drink that whole bottle. Strength training for your liver, right?" A wink, without thinking or apology, the woman waits for him to drink before taking her next drink. She doesn't offer the bottle back until said text was made, and sent.

"Me? Work, mostly. Working on some articles and hopefully getting some support to the DZ and Mutant Town. Still need to work on my piece about Frank Castle." Taking a breath, she swigs and hands the bottle back Matt's way.

"I-huh, kinda stopped being Catholic? Dating Eddie again. Guess we'll see how that goes. Third time and all that…Anyway, what about you? You still with um, what's her name…Heather?"

At her behest he did indeed reach into his coat pocket and brushed a hand over the phone to activate. He spoke quietly to the hand held device, "Text. Foggy. Hey Foggy. Remind me to talk to you about Betty's idea about a senior art and activity center. Might help with Mrs. Gutierrez. Send."
That done the phone returns to his pocket as he shifts on his seat a little. letting him lean forwards and rest his forearms on his knees. He turns his head in her direction when she speaks and nods as she tells him about her work, "I'll look forward to that piece when you get it in print."
Then she drops the mention about no longer being Catholic. His brow creases and he lowers his head slightly, as if trying to get a different angle from which to hear her, "I can understand with everything that's passed. But don't cut yourself off from emotional support or advice. I know I sometimes need it." But they are two different people, of course.
She mentions Eddie and he nods agin, his eyebrows lift upwards at the mention of it being the third time and his nod affirms his desire for that to go well.
Then she mentions Heather and it actually takes him a little bit to remember who she was speaking about. "Oh! No, no we're not still dating." He shakes his head and accepts the bottle back from her, "And no, I'm single. Sort of not looking at the moment to be honest."

"I don't mean…I mean, I didn't pull back after mom or anything, just…something else happened and it was different." She attempts to explain, her heart skipping a couple beats at the confession. "I promise it's not bad, just…well, I'll talk about it in a bit. Not drunk enough. Not even tipsy." Smirking, she continues sharing the bottle with Murdock, each drag becoming more warm and soothing.

"I get that. I wasn't looking either, I don't think. Not with Kate and not even…I don't know. After dealing with the Zsasz stuff, and mom, I kinda just wanted to live. Do stupid stuff, experience things - y'know. Then I just wanted to settle down." Chuckling, she shakes her head. "That sounds so stupid."

"Not so stupid…" Matt gives her a small little lop-sided smile. He's a good bit taller and heavier than her so it's not quite as strong of an impact on him. But he feels it, mainly in that it's nice and warm in that room. "I don't think I really… look for someone? It's more a thing about being open to it maybe?"

He holds off on imbibing anymore for now but he does reach out as if he wanted some more if only to lay claim to the bottle for a bit. Give Elizabeth some time to ease up. "Things have been so busy though, but then isn't that the." He stops for an instant then continues, "The cop out with all of that? Telling yourself you're too busy?"

"Shit's always busy, Matt. That's our jobs. There's always another case. Always another article. Always another, well, always something more." She pouts slightly as the bottle isn't returned to her, but she gives it time, and space.

"Should have asked me out, Murdock. I like guys like you." She muses and shifts in her seat, moving one leg over the other, bobbing her foot casually.

"So, while we're on the crash course of 'lets be serious cause we do that when we drink', when you pray, do you feel God? I mean, really, honestly, feel something?"

Responding to her even before she finishes speaking he says, "Well yeah," Since it's clear where she's going with it. Distracted by the thought he sort of takes another sip and then sets the bottle back down upon the desk. Not quite out of reach, but enough that it's a stretch.
"Important to keep busy," He says, head lowered a little and his glasses slide down his nose a touch. Just enough she can see the small sliver of moon white of his eyes as he gestures with one hand…
"Didn't I?" He asks, perhaps not recalling correctly if he did ask her out or not.
But the conversation moves on already and he takes in a deep breath. She conjures the spectre of the divine and it makes him hold that breath deep in his broad chest. A soft, "Mmm," Is heard from him, "Sometimes. Yes." His murky eyes are little more visible now and it's more evident as he seems to look just a little to the side of her and off to the distance, "When I speak to my father. I've felt him. Every time I kneel… not always."

"You did. But you didn't show up. You tried again, it was a nice night, but you didn't call after. I'm fine with flings, Matt, but a girl knows when 'busy' doesn't mean the office." The sound of her voice, however, doesn't seem to suggest he was stepping out. Perhaps it was only noting that 'busy' didn't mean here. Life had its ways, regardless. At least she doesn't sound angry - disappointed, slightly, but more so her voice is sing-song and in jest.

Soberng up as the conversation continues, the woman frowns lightly, her brows knitting. "You're lucky. I never felt anything. Mom did, I think. I just…never did? I think I went for mom more so than anything else." A pause, "I tried going back when she was sick and after she died. I-well, you know about super heroes and the like, right? And Gods? Gods from myths are here." Beat. "I felt one. I actually felt one dig deep. Touch my soul, embrace it." He could practically feel, perhaps hear, the shiver rippling through Brant's body at the memory. The hitch in hr breathing, the drumming of her heart. "If God does that for you, I'm fucking jealous."

The small smile is a little sad as it reaches his brow, causing them to come together and lift upwards as he knows exactly why he didn't show up. And why he didn't call. His lips part as if to explain to her the reason…
But then he pauses and his head lowers slightly, then he says simply with a gentle murmurs. "I apologize, Betty. I did treat you badly. I should have been more aware of the impact of my actions." And those words have the gentle ring of truth to them as he rests his hand on the end table between them, as if reaching out but unsure where her hand might well be.
"If we ever try it in the future, I'll try to be forthcoming. But sometimes life springs unexpected things on me." He lifts his chin a little, a small half-smile touching his lips, "I mean the other day I took a wrong turn and spent two hours trying to find my way out of a construction site." That, however, is not exactly true.
But then the topic shifts, to belief, faith. He listens to her story and his smile shifts to the other side, though accompanied by a warmth of expression.
"I think… I think we all might feel God differently." It's then that the drink is remembered and he takes another small sip, though the scotch sloshes around a bit. He's controlling his intake for now, but has allowed… just a little bit of the liquid warmth to touch him. Then she mentions the feeling of a superhero touching her deeply and smiles, "But the lord said to him, 'Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine.'" Though he doesn't finish the quotation, perhaps just wishing to impart that small idea.

"Bullshit. You have nothing to be sorry for. Things happen, Matthew, and I-well, shit, I know that more than most lately. I can never fault you for life happening, nor would I." Chuckling, she nods and reaches over, tenderly slipping her fingers around his wrist and applying tender pressure. "Hey, chin up. If you want forgiveness, you have it. I'm not even going to make you pray about it, either." Winking, a natural action for herself, she gives his wrist another squeeze and sits back.

After he drinks, she drinks, continuing to share the bottle with a casual ease. Back to God. "I suppose we do. I mean, I wasn't mad when things happened to mom. Not with God, anyway. It was people. It's always people. I just never felt anything when I would pray. No calm. Ease. Comfort, support…it was just words I eventually stopped repeating. This God, though, he…he's here. There's no question about what he is, his powers, what he can do." Swallowing, she blinks smoothly, her expression blank. "I gave him my soul."

His lips curve downwards not in a frown but like one of those reluctant smile as he shakes his head, "Who is this magnificent individual that they've had such an effect on you?" He sets the bottle down on the table and his fingers curl around hers. Just giving a small squeeze as he holds her hand, maintaining that contact as it helps with their interaction.
And through it all he is listening to the gentle thumping of her heartbeat, the way her blood rushes through her body, the softness of her breath.
"I mean, if they've made you feel so positively. I'm curious what it would be like to meet them.

Betty Brant parts her lips and closes them once more. She swallows again and keeps her silence, taking a swig. Hand in hand, she glances at the connection between the pair before returning her gaze to his face. She knew he couldn't 'see' her, but that's where you look when speaking with someone, even if the face she was viewing was her own. Her heart skips at the question, her pulse returning to normal. Her breathing eases, too, smoothly rolling in and out, in and out again.

At length, she chuckles and shake her head. "How much do you know about old Norse mythology? Did you ever study it when you were younger or even now? Did it ever interest you?"

His own heart is a steady beat, slow, controlled even as he listens closely to her own. It's clear that this meeting had an impact, and on some level he hopes it is purely of the good.
"I know a little of it," Those dark glasses continue to offer her naught but her reflection, so the only window into the man before her is that small smile, and the warmth of fingertips upon the suppler curve of her wrist. She's given a small smile as he then adds, "And of the Asgardians. You met one?"
He cocks his head a little to the side and then reaches out to extend his hand to where he heard her place the bottle. He finds it and sets it in his lap, hand around its stubby neck. "Tell me what they're like?"

"A few, actually. Not too many, but a few. I kinda found them without meaning to. Followed an odd story trail and then…surprise - Gods and Valkyries." Smirking, she sighs and leans forward. The comfort of their fingers together was getting hard due to an extended arm. She pulls her seat closer, allowing both more comfort.

"So far? They're kind. I've helped them with a few things, for good reason of course. They've helped me. Allowed me some protection when I needed it and just…helped. One even calls me little sister." Swallowing, she licks her lips smoothly, considering her next words. "Do you know the story of Ragnarok? Of Fenris the Wolf God?"

Matt turns his head to the side a little, the glasses sliding down slightly from his eyes though he takes a moment to push them back up the bridge of his nose. His lips part and he nods a few slow times before he offers breath to a few more words, "I do. He devours… the sun? Bringing on eternal winter. And then the gods battle their own."
It is paraphrased, abridged, but roughly true to the legend. "But, Betty. The Asgardians aren't Gods as we likely imagine or feel. They are otherworldly, yes. Empowered, yes. And their legends have a strength to them I'm sure."
He draws his lower lip between his teeth as he remains there. Not moving closer, but not moving back either. "But they're not God. Their Odin didn't create us, I feel. And I believe that they are Children of our Lord too."
There's a faint smile, "In a way." Another pause. "As it were. Though don't tell them I said that."

"Yes." She nods, that was the story after all. "He's trying to not allow that fate to happen to the world. I-I feel for him deeply. And that hand upon my soul, I've never…" Matt continues and it gives the woman pause.

"Why aren't they? Wouldn't God just be some other being? Otherwordly, too? To hear it from them, Ymir created us." A pause, "Why can't he be the same but of different names? Every tribe has their own Gods." Beat. "I-I never felt God. I feel Fenris."

"I feel that God encompasses us all, Betty." His smile is gentle as he turns his hand slowly over, an unconscious movement of his hand as if through their touch he is asking her to accept his words as his own feelings about the matter.
"I feel that He is if I had to try and make sense of…" His smile broadens and he knows how much of a task he's bitten off and is trying to chew. "The entirety of humanity's belief systems. But I feel that he is everything, because he is beyond what we consider the universe. That everything in our understanding is in some way a part of the all. That we all have our purpose."
He squeezes her hand then, "Even Asgardians, though I think none of us can truly know what role we are to play."

"I'm failing to see your point." Betty murmurs softly. She's not angry or upset, just soft voiced. Confused, even. "I'm…picking up a sense of disappointment from you? I'm not telling you to keep God, I just…don't walk that road anymore." Reaching for the bottle, she considers it but instead, leaves it where it is. Her hand is still within his own. "I-guess I just didn't have anyone else to talk to this about." A scoff, "I don't know many spiritually people."

"No it's okay," Matt's smile grows, "And no, you're free to view things however you like, and if you can get… such warmth and positivity from a relationship with someone, then I hope it's a great thing."
And yet…
"I just would worry that if you put so much belief into someone, if you raise someone onto a pedestal so. A person who is empowered and gifted, yet… still fallible. Still with their weaknesses and idiosyncrasies. Then I just don't want you to face a feeling of such loss if that ever comes to pass."
Then he turns his head as if looking at her, but it's just a little bit off, just a little to the side. But she can tell he's trying to make that effort. "And maybe think twice if they ask for your credit card number." His lips part in such a gentle smile, affection clear on his somewhat flushed features.

"People disappoint me all the time. Even Gods fail now and then. Even your God fails. But he's still standing. And I get the whole 'oh, it's humanity and blah-blah-blah'. Sometimes I don't think that's enough. This way I can actually speak to who I'm following and I know, without a doubt, they're listening. I call, they echo back. I ask, they answer."

His joke at least carries, causing her to pass over a bubbly giggle. "Yeah, right. They can have my credit, it's shit anyway." A smile and she rests back. "I don't know, Matthew. I like the idea of putting a God in check if need be. If something seems off, what is it like to ask about it directly? There's no 'so many people died, where was God'. I know where he is, what he can or can't do. He's more than me, more than I'll ever be, more than I could ever do. Life and death, the cycle made physical with mind enough to /not/ bring about the end of times as was written for him - isn't that a good God?"

"Accountability can be a seductive thing. It makes you feel you have power, makes it so you feel you have control of a situation." He takes her hand then into both of his, and his touch is so very warm. She likely hasn't ever looked that closely at his hands. At the callouses, the the small scars upon the knuckles. The way the veins stand out against the backs of his hands. They're not the hands of a lawyer. More a labourer or a boxer.
"But I do think it's possible that this Fenris might have power. But I do feel his is also most likely a limited being. Finite and fallible."
He squeezes her hand then and adds, "But if this is what /you/ need Betty, to help you get through the things you've dealt with. Then… he's the best in my book."
There a gentle admission, perhaps all he can truly offer and maintain his own faith.

Betty Brant frowns. She is listening, she understands why and where his position is within this field. She shifts, heels down flat, and leans forward. Hand in hand, all four meeting together, she brushes the pads of her thumbs across the tops of his rough, worn hands. She notices - she doesn't question.

"Hey, I'm not asking you to let go of what you believe. Not at all. I guess…I know how hard it's been for you. Smart people have crisis' of faith. Keeping with it is, well, perhaps a mixture of strength and a sprinkling of stupidity. We just…need something else out there. At least most of us do." Pause. "I'm thankful that you're being supportive of this, but I don't want you to worry about me because of it."

Allowing a silence to grow, she looks at his hand once more, turning them over in attentive study. "Working out badly or did you and Foggy have a massive falling out?" She knew hands that looked this way - they belonged to a man who favored wearing black and a skull.

"Oh," Matt subtly draws his hands back a little, as if self-conscious, but then eases them back as if letting her explore and touch as she would. "Like father like son," He smiles a little, his head tilting away though it lets her see just a sliver of his clouded eyes.
"I try to keep in shape, and I do a lot of boxing." Then his features color a little bit more though perhaps not so much from the drink. "Speed bag's a good workout but sometimes I miss." No he doesn't.
There's a pause then as he seems to let those words hang there, and his features change a little, as if not caring for what he just said. So he adds a little more, "Though sometimes it's just… good to feel something. Hit something. To get out of this little box I'm in." He lifts one hand free from her, motioning upwards as if indicating the office as a whole.

"You're a tough s.o.b., y'know that, Matt? You have to be around this city." She doesn't question it, say he's wrong, or even chide him for missing the speed-bag. Giving his busted knuckles a kiss, she allows his hands to pull away as she sits back. The heavy topics were still in the air but at least done for. She got to talk, he got to advise - they both got a good drink.

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