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Thread Contributor: Christian VerglasSilence like a Cancer
DC-DCTVU-1

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#1
Safi was gone, and Christian was worried.

The first week or so had been fine. Okay, maybe a little bit better than fine, and certainly a hell of a lot better than he had expected it to be. Safi had been in regular contact, even if the contact hadn’t really been normal. Lots of texting, pictures. It had seemed like the bodyguard had gone back and things were going well.

The texts slowed down, Safi had explained that he was in places with poor reception. Okay, Christian could deal.

But it had been several days since he’d heard anything, and Chris was started to wonder why. Spotty service still meant that a text would go through every now and again! He leaned forward in his seat on one of the many benches that were scattered around the city. Here, he was in what he called the comics borough of the city he had come to consider one of his two homes. The part of the city where the mansion he lived with Tony and Wanda and Safi and Steve was. The same part of the city where the Tower that served as a workplace with the other Tony Stark also resided. Strange how the part of the city that lead to his birth world, that looked so much like the nice little park in Gotham he liked to go see when he visited his sister felt so foreign to him these days.

Silent, eyes down, one of Christian’s fingers flick deftly over the glass screen of his phone. He wasn’t looking at the pictures so much as the dates, the times. Text message after text message, pictures interwoven, not just from Safi, but from Christian as well, messages and replies. Some of the pictures still made him blush now, weeks after they’d been sent, while others and nearly all of the messages earned gentle smiles.

But every smile holds something quietly despondent, something desperately worried in it, too. Every evening, he spent time and energy over the little effigy that represented Safi, sending energy and healing into the doll, which in turn funnelled it into the real person. Safi was in a different world, far away from where either portal to Hub was located, but Christian’s magic was strong, and he knew it found its way to the bodyguard. His boyfriend, now.

The texts run out, and Christian reads the last few messages back and forth a couple more times before his head bows and his eyes close. Safi should have sent him something by now. Even just a picture, himself or his surroundings. In lieu of that, a message, at least letting Chris know he was okay. Safi had to know that Chris would be worried by now, he had to… “Please send me something, Safi. Tell me you’re okay. Tell me you’ve changed your mind even, but say something. Please.” The words were whispered to the phone; it was obvious he expected no response, but he begged anyway, his tired eyes gleaming bright with unshed tears.

@moon
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#2
Loki had been struggling lately with the reality of living with only Sigyn as true company. Oh, the Tonis and Stephanies were agreeable enough, but they were still so truly foreign to Loki. Even the ones of her realm were foreign to her. The only one from a realm like her own that she truly understood was the one who had the most reason to hate her. She had once mind controlled him after all. Even if it was not truly him she had mind controlled, or the fact that it was not truly her who had mind controlled him. The fact of the matter remained- Loki must be synonymous in his mind with loathsome.

So she strolled rather than contemplate the reality of what was almost a glimpse into the future in which she was wed to Sigyn. It was too idyllic, too blissful to be a future that she was truly expected to believe.

Which meant attempting to focus on other things- and wouldn't you know... She found the perfect distraction. A man, working magic- which was well and truly in her domain- as well as tainted by some mystic object- also well within her domain.

A small part of Loki even offered that were she to aid in this man's downfall, Sigyn may finally realize she was not deserving of his love. He would be free of the curse that her being spread to him.

Ignoring the twinge that thought caused- as she was want to do when thinking of Sigyn- she took a few strides before coming to a stop in front of the mortal magician.

"To what God do you pray?" She asked, taking in the image of him bent over and begging for a reply. Oh it was clear that he was asking not from a God, but it was in her nature to be obtuse. She offered him a cookie a drink that she summoned to her hand.

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#3
Even as Loki watched, Christiaan’s hand reached down to rest momentarily on his satchel, where the orb remained nestled safely. It was obviously an unconscious gesture, just that tick to make sure everything was where it should be.

The sudden intrusion into his personal thoughts, into his quiet plea to Safi, earned a start as he looked up at the woman before him. She looked sort of familiar, like he might have seen her before, and maybe he had; there were a lot of people in Hub, and Christian had walked most of the boroughs of the city at least once. She had asked what god he was praying to, and Chris shook his head ruefully, “Not praying to a god. Doesn’t work that way, so I’ve learned.”

Before Safi had left, Christian had promised him two things; that he wouldn’t kill himself to save Safi, and that he would put on weight again, get healthier. He had managed to do both. The first while that Safi had been gone hadn’t been too difficult; he’d been fine, going to Belle’s, cooking for himself and Tony, snacking throughout the day at work and then returning home and learning from Kai as often as they both had time. Still, he shook his head at the offer of the cookie, a grateful smile on his lips as he did so. It wasn’t a dismissal, but he really didn’t want….anything to eat. “Sorry, I’m really not hungry right now.” He just needed to hear from Safi. He’d be fine once he could stop worrying…

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#4
Loki's eyes picked up the movement, certainly. And there was much to be said for the power of subconscious actions. How a pair would walk together. Either automatically slowing down or instinctively speeding up to match- or doing the opposite to get away. The instant the man's face turned upward, however, Loki's thought was lost.

It had been clear from the get go how similar this man was to Toni, but not that they were identical. Pursing her lips, Loki allowed her form to shift, melting from a beautiful woman to a powerful man. He raised an eyebrow at the stark look alike. "I find that it truly depends on what God you pray to." He offered, voice curled with something very old and spoke of his true nature.

"Not that I have much experience praying, mind you. Or any." Loki offered with a small grin, wondering how long it would take this other man to attack him.

Tossing the cookie aside to where it dissolved into the shimmer of magic, Loki did his best to not make a face. This mortal was looking down on the generosity of a God- and Loki wasn't sure he was even aware. Lifting the coffee closer to his face, he swirled it easily with a little motion, watching as it turned to Hot Chocolate. Perhaps a testament that Loki wasn't feeling particularly male at the moment was how much she longed for whipped cream and sprinkles- shaking her head to prevent a reversed change, Loki reminded himself that he was a God and any how dared question his choice of drink could face off against him.

The whipped cream grew from the drink as he took a sip. "If you are not praying, then what magic are you working?" He asked, in an awkward attempt to further the conversation.

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#5
If he knew anything from his run ins in Hub, the fact that he looked like Tony Stark was definitely on the list. He had mixed feelings in the subject; he had gone from idolizing to envying to caring about the man, and that was just one iteration of Tony Stark. Chris knew another one, too.

Christian has assumed the lady would just move on when he declined her offer of a cookie. Most people would have, bit it seemed that this lady had declined see he needed company. We do not need assistance. We need to work. We need to focus. Yeah. Or he just needed Safi to text him and let him know everything was alright. “Gods…. They’ll what they decide to do, when they decide to do it, Miss.” There was no anger or bitterness in his voice, he was staring a fact, as gently as he could. “I can’t expect any god to just jump up and being Safi back or ensure his safety just because I asked, no matter how desperately I need to know he’s okay.”

When she didn’t get up and leave at his possible blasphemy, Chris pulled himself, of reluctantly, from gazing at his phone. It wasn’t like staring at the screen would make Safi answer any more quickly than he was going to anyway. “Oh…. it’s just healing. And sending a bit of extra energy to him. Just in case he needs it… It’s…” the small magician sighed, “It's not much, but it’s all I can really do.” And he was miserable that it wasn’t so, so much more.

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#6
Loki watched the young man's form as with his rejection, he proceeded to lose the thread of reality. He assumed so readily that she would move on that when the words slipped from his mouth, his mind quite obviously went elsewhere. It was fascinating in a kind of... pathetic kind of way.

So when Loki strode forward, heels being traded for the now more sensible leather dress shoes, he almost felt bad for considering pushing this other man to the dark side. Almost. Loki sat down easily, bracing his elbows on his knees. "I won't pretend that deities don't have a tendency to be mercurial but I also find it depends on who and how you ask." Loki smirked, thinking of some of his own favourite offerings of years gone by.

Chuckling slightly to himself, he glanced at the other man out of the corner of his eyes. "I myself have always been preferable to bad liquor. Not that I'd ever drink the stuff personally, but I have a great appreciation for those who take something that's supposed to be sacred and ruin it. All my brethren demanding the finest casks of wine, oft enough stealing from one another, made the perfect prank, that I had no need to do myself." Tapping the long pale fingers of one hand along his knee, he almost allowed full laughter out at the very idea. "My followers would leave a cask that looked to be of high quality, with a single rune etched on the inside so I knew who the offering was for, on the altars of others. Of course the casks were always filled with the cheapest swill available."

Loki was content to muse, thinking of other particularly entertaining twists his followers had done to the things that were supposed to be sacred. Meat that turned out to be snake. Furs that turned out to be vermin. Cakes that turned out to be rottingly sweet- Loki was entirely convinced that he had inadvertently aided in the creation of Fondant.

Loki nodded at the other man's words, wondering when he would take note of Loki's appearance. "Healing is not a simple magic for many. You should take more pride in your abilities." Loki offered idly, keeping an even gaze levelled at the magician.

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#7
Okay. Christian was firmly planted on the ground and in reality. He was prone to babbling, and his mind sometimes made connections that others’ didn’t, but he was sane and smart. And if his thoughts were even more jumbled than usual, the fact that he had two voices in his head - his own as well as the orb’s - really didn’t help. He couldn’t be blamed for that.

It was in the way the man (who had been a woman not a few moments before) spoke. Not just the turns of phrase, but the way he placed himself right along with the gods they were discussing, that earned Christian’s full attention. Brown eyes lifted from the phone he’d been staring at so intently that he had only been peripherally aware of Loki and what she-then-he had been doing. “Other than making them angry, what was the point, though?” Chris tipped his head as he asked the question, curiosity coloring his features as he tried to think of why he might have had his followers act in such a way.

If Chris had known that Loki had been even possibly responsible for fondant… Well, that might have led down a road of the god earning a very vocal explanation of just why the stuff was so horrible. Except for in this one restaurant on a moon that Chris didn’t even know the name of… The fondant on that cake had been extraordinary… Enough to perhaps shift his feelings on the icing in general. To know for certain, though, he’d have to go back.

Not simple magic… “Healing is the second magic I learned. It’s easier than other things.” He still hadn’t managed to figure out the invisibility spell, after all… But it was nice to be complimented, to hear that what he did so naturally was difficult for others. “Thank you,” he murmured, offering Loki a smile, “You’re very skilled, too, though. I can’t change myself the way you can.”

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#8
Loki would challenge the claim that this other man was sane. He had no qualms believing the intelligence- but sane? The man was sitting on a bench, talking to an inanimate object, checking his phone obsessively- that was no variant of sanity that Loki had ever heard of. Still, far be it for the Princess of Madness to be throwing stones- Or rather, The Prince.

He gave a smile that hinted at his true nature- one twisted with mischief. "I am the god of tricks. And I simply adore twisting things that other gods hold so dear. It shakes things up. Pulls back the curtain, so to speak." He offered a hand to the other man. "I am Loki Laufeysdottir. Perhaps you have heard my name before."

Loki wouldn't mind listening to Chris rant about Fondant. It was in fact designed to look good and taste bad after all.

Loki chuckled slightly. "It is nigh impossible if your nature is not aligned with healing. I am a sorcerer of repute, and yet healing has never been my forte." He did pause slightly, his mouth curling ever so slightly as he sought out the words best used to explain.

"You misunderstand. I am certainly capable of changing shape. In fact, I once impregnated a mare such that she gave birth to my daughter Sleipnir. But you have not witnessed me change myself. It takes me no work at all to be myself. Male or Female."

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DC-DCTVU-1

555 Posts
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Age:32
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#9
Love made you do things that might appear to be madness to others, perhaps. One of the people that Christian loved fiercely had simply gone quiet, no longer sending messages to him, not even angry ones or demands that Christian leave him be. Safi had gone from his usual flirtatiousness to quieter to worrisome to silent. And Chris, for his part, was absolutely terrified about what that meant.

Loki Laufeysdottir… Christian knew many of the mythologies from his own universe; Loki, son of Odin… The mythological god of mischief and tricksters. But this woman-now-man didn’t seem to match the joyful god from the stories in the old books he’d read growing up. “I’ve heard of a god named Loki. Norse god of mischief. Fun loving one,” he looked at Loki with brown eyes that were sharper than madness would have allowed, but not filled with the suspicion that one might expect, “Didn’t seem they got all of it right, at least not on my world.” Shrugging, Christian kept the rest of what he knew about Loki, brother/sister of Thor, sometimes-villain of the Avengers, to himself. Just in case.

Fondant was one of Christian’s favorite topics to babble on about, complaining about the wet-toilet-tissue texture and the lack of any sort of real flavor other than ‘gritty sugar!’ that it screamed at you even before it touched your tongue.

Nigh impossible? Chris arched a brow, “I see.” It was a surprise, to hear that even skilled sorcerers and magicians found healing difficult. He was good at it, it was almost natural for him to heal someone, a simple task, really… But what Loki was able to do, to change themself, female to male, to a horse… Christian blinked and considered that, what that might allow him to do, to be, the orb whispering in his mind all of the ways they could use such knowledge and magic. There were so many possibilities there. “Is that…” He looked up at Loki, “Is that something you could teach me?”

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#10
Loki could almost read the expression on the man's face. Though he hailed from a universe where Toni was spelled with an i- the similarities in build were still plenty to pick out most facial expressions- though Loki had the strong suspicion that most of what this man shared with Tony was a face and naught else.

Perhaps Loki was mistaken and this was just how Tony could have been, but Tony never struck Loki as someone to whom healing magic would come easily, no matter how different his childhood may have been. Loki smirked at Chris, a hand reaching out to touch his cheek before grasping his chin and turning his face sharply to meet the god's eyes. "No need to play coy, youngling. You bear more than a passing resemblance to stark and are sitting in a part of this city built from a version of my home. I'm certain you have heard stories of the mad prince of lies and evil." He purred, though the last modifier was gratefully no longer accurate.

Loki didn't mind maintaining the threat anyways. "And the polite thing to do is return the introduction." He quipped, letting go of the man's face and leaning back so as to give the Stark lookalike room.

He allowed the mortal a moment to take pride in his abilities before he made an addendum to his statement of difficulty. "I, of course, am a master sorcerer however and have of course, learned." Loki smiled, voice smooth and honeyed, dangerous only in how little the tone conveyed.

His smile grew as the man lunged for the chance to learn, thinking only that it had been easier to lure him in than he expected. He wondered whether that dark taint was at the root of the action. "Can I teach you to be many gendered? Unfortunately not, it is something you must either be born or become through a long time spent as such." He offered easily, as though he truly thought that was all he was being asked.

Lokie stretched, taking his time as he appreciated the warmth of the sun. "If you mean to change your shape at will- it depends on how much work you're willing to put in." He added, finally. Though silently he continued- 'and how much you are willing and able to lie.'
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DC-DCTVU-1

555 Posts
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#11
Truth be told, Christian’s expressions, morals, personality, all of him besides his face held more in common with a different, blonder Avenger than Tony Stark. Or Toni Stark. There were similarities between Chris and Tony Stark, though. They were both intelligent, stubborn men who were trying to do the right thing. They both held their friends, their chosen families, above themselves. They both strove to help people.

Christian wasn’t playing coy. The Loki from his comic books was…. Loud. Boisterous, arrogant, loud, obnoxious. The man he spoke to now was, yes, arrogant, but in a quieter way. Confident and haughty, but Chris wouldn’t have said evil. He blinked and tensed at the outburst his eyes growing wide as he was grabbed so aggressively, frowning as he considered what the man said. It was, in the end, the colors that gave Loki away. Green and gold and black, there were others who used such colors as their own, but only one ‘prince of lies’. “I’ve heard of one similar to that, but I’m not sure about the evil bit. Not good, but evil?” Christian shrugged, “We’re only as good or evil as we choose to be. And it’s hard to imagine that someone who cares about their friends and sibling as Loki of Asgard is depicted as doing to be entirely evil.”

Those honey brown eyes were focused entirely on Loki now; not judging, simply looking at him as though seeing him for the first time. Then, cautiously, as though Loki might use the offer as an excuse to assault him (again, if you counted grabbing his face) Christian offered the other magician his hand, “Christian Verglas. You won’t have heard of me, I’m far from famous.” His smile cracked his face in two; he wasn’t famous or renowned, but he was fine with that. Fame would only get in the way, he figured. Everyone knowing who you were and all.

Of course someone like Loki would know how to heal people. Christian wasn’t surprised to hear as such. Still, Loki had said that it wasn’t easy, and for Christian, it was the most natural thing in the world. The kind of magic that he could work tired, or keep going while he slept. It had come easily to him, and maybe there were things that would come easily to others that didn’t to him (he still couldn’t do the ‘don’t-notice-me’ spell at all) but this was something he was good at that others found challenging, and it was always nice to have something like that.

Work? Christian grinned, his eyes glinting in the dim light, a strange green light seeming to light them from within, “Oh, I don’t mind work. Would you teach me? If I promise to work hard to learn?”

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