|Zap (z_a_p) wrote in marvel_mashup,|
@ 2020-03-19 16:12:00
|Entry tags:||2018: 06 bd, 2020: 03, @snapped, silvercloud: eva, zale: nathaniel|
June 2018: Magic Lessons
| "Stop. Again..." Nathaniel said and his hand brushed off the effort Eva had just put into her latest endeavor. Not because it wasn't adequate, because it was only adequate. The Latina sat behind Nathaniel's desk - the surface cleansed of the mundane, replaced by some of his strangest artifacts and tools. Her long fingers curved around his opaque crystal sphere, armed with a simple task. Manifest her magical energy within the arcane focus, a task which had proven troublesome. Odd for the woman who brought back half of existence with her newly increased magical abilities. Well, odd for the uninformed.|
"This time," Nate said from his standing position, not far from the woman who'd conned him with cookies. "Think less. Visualize more," Caltrops instructed. It was no secret that the taller, dark-haired mutant had returned from the ether high-strung, even for him. Something about the lack of control and inability to define the universe had put Nathaniel on even more of a razor-thin edge. But training Eva, that was his back-up plan - or hers.
"Look at me. Not the ball," he said quickly. "You need an assistant. Not just an instructor. And it should be me," Nathaniel said, boldly. "You need me," he added, then watched as the distracted Eva easily caused the sphere to glow a bright purple - even as he was sure her tongue was loaded with choice words for him.
| Arguably the spicier recipe of the two magic-wielders, Eva's eyebrows rose while her eyelids fell to a half-shut, unimpressed expression. 'Do as I say, not as I do', she thought to herself about the cerebral man who had been pacing around her. The man who readily admitted he lived in his own head. Then, a metaphoric and literal lightbulb dawned with violet before her. Zap's expression morphed into one of self-assuredness. Her modest victory smirk was cut short after Nathaniel Zale opinionated at her. He knew what she needed? And it was him? Convenient... she thought. Especially considering her current station and potential future. |
"You're pretty cocky for a man whose balls are in an electrokine's hands." Her eyebrow quirked with a challenge, but she was also already deep in consideration for what he'd suggested. His eyes showed no signs of challenge, though. He'd been speaking logically, so far as his own situation was considered. Despite her sass, Zap's eye contact with Nate hadn't broken since before he'd instructed her to look at him, which had produced magic results. She placed the orb on the desktop and her shoulders relaxed. Mentally, she commanded it to sit still and not roll off the surface. It stayed, she noted through her peripheral vision. Finally, before speaking, she broke their eye contact and looked down at her hands. "An assistant for what? My magic show?" she joked darkly. "There are times when I wish I could saw you in half," the mutant offered a teasing threat.
Her gaze returned to Nate's and her expression hopefully conveyed she knew what he was suggesting. It was a topic that was just beyond the horizon, and she wasn't quite ready for the dawn. "I'm not just going to be able to slink off into a cave somewhere, as is Silvercloud tradition. I know."
| "They wouldn't be there if I didn't trust the electrokine," Nate said to Eva's challenge then placed his palms flat on the desk and leaned his frame in her direction, not breaking eye contact with her. She steadied the orb, which he noted but didn't waver from her gaze. "Wouldn't be much of a magic show," Nathaniel said, then placed the tip of his index finger onto the crystal orb's surface. She made her jokes about her sawing him in half, which earned her a smirk - though mentally he still dwelled on where exactly his balls were. |
Pitch black ink invaded the space and slowly choked the light from the magical instrument. "You ran before you could walk," Nate explained with more gentleness than he was known for. "And you signed up for something much larger than anyone knows. We trust each other. You trust me with your training and I trust you with my balls," he said, then the now darkened orb rolled defiantly toward the edge of the desk. Nate pulled back and once again stood at his true height and wondered if she'd be able to re-assume control. Not that it was his most pressing matter at the moment. "No. No caves. Palaces and castles - unless you stay on Earth. Even then, the new face of the mutant cause," Nathaniel said, the crystal dangerously close to the edge. "Don't look away from me, I want an answer," he pressed on purposefully. "I'm more clever than the rest, I'm fiercely loyal, and I'm not afraid to tell you the truth," he said and made his case as the magical item slipped off the edge. He halted his rather passionate plea in time to hear if the item smashed into the ground.
| The ball fell, eased into the floor, rolled under the desk, then hit the tip of the toe of Nate's boot. He'd been trying to push her buttons. Well, he'd hit a few. Not much of a magic show. Avada kadavra motherfucka. Eva, of course, had followed his logic through his probably-rehearsed speech. He had a terrible habit of throwing up mirrors in her face and pointing out all the truth and flaws. Her very own anti-Mirror of Erised. But with plaid and well-hidden ears. There on his turf, he was assertive and forthcoming. When they were in her comfort zone - public, around machines, anywhere with newness at all, he had a tendency to skew 'whiny'. But his command 'Don't look away from me' had stirred her emotions above a button push. Balls indeed. |
"Thor said, 'I will build you this new world with my bare hands if need be'. There's a growing mutant movement to join the Asgardians. My engineering work on the plans for Vernal Asgard is overwhelming. My father's shaman legacy is in my hands. I've put a spotlight on my son, or a target." With any luck, her words would clarify the severity of the situation she was facing. Nate thought he knew everything. He did not. Thor intended to ask for her hand in marriage. Once he replaced his gelato with a ring and a home to offer her. It... was alarming. And Dom and Weenie hadn't been any help in the matter, throwing their hats in with Thor and his queen talk and mutant ideals. Her heart started to pound. Nate was in the perfect position to demand exactly what he wanted. It wasn't cajones, it was tact.
The ball that had tapped his foot floated upward and crackled inside with beautiful indigo sparks. Her eyes were shining, she knew, both from the reflection and her emotions. The orb held steady at the level of Nate's sternum. "I have to be careful." This was said at a whisper. Her hands came forward and rested on the desk and she moved to stand. She reached across the desktop, took the orb in hand, then moved around the furniture to stand beside Nathaniel. She took his left hand, placed the orb (which was glowing warmly) against his palm, and watched his face. "I'm not very good, but I'd like to try." She smirked, but as her lips shifted to the side with amusement, the muscles in her cheek forced a tear down over her cheekbone and past her jaw. She released Nate's wrist and hoped he'd hold the sphere because it was her answer to his question that he'd demanded. Eva had put herself in his hands, now. Zap wiped at her face, clearing any remaining droplets of tears or sweat or stress away and she drew in a breath and shuddered out her exhale. Steadied. "It's lucky potatoes are such good conductors."
| The crystal orb sat in his hand, it glowed purple and felt warm against his skin. His over-sized palm pressed against her cheek so his thumb could catch one of Eva's tears. Nathaniel had struck the nerve he'd meant to but felt a pang of guilt at the outcome. "Title of our sex tape," he said and ignored the obvious implications to the statement because they were clearly past such hang-ups. Their connection had grown and but Nathaniel realized he might have just damned himself to be forever in the shadow of Thor for Eva's affections. The pragmatist within him attempted to calm his mind, at least he'd be in a position to do the most good.|
"We will be careful," Nate said then realized the orb - which floated not far from the pair - dimmed but only slightly as this time the black inky cloud didn't overtake Eva's magic. Their energies mingled but Nate wasn't focused on the crystal. "Potatoes are also quite healthy. I prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the ten key health benefits," Nate said, convinced plowing through the potato business was the best way to end this joke.
"You came to me for help with your abilities, but I'll show you I can do more," he said and finally took his hand away from her face. He reached out toward the floating ball and returned it to his hand. "I understood the symbolism, it was endearing," Nate said, a rather candid admission from the guarded mutant. "But I need to smash this," he said with a reluctant face. He threw the orb into the floor and the artifact exploded. The crystal turned to powder and the magic inside flashed with an intensity that even surprised Nathaniel. Invisible runes placed around the office glowed during the flash and were imbued with their shared energy.
"Thor, Asgard, mutants, your destiny, your legacy, and all the pressure on you since the snap..." Nate said and allowed his hand to make a fluttery gesture into the ether. "Not gone, but out there," Nathaniel said while each of the runes brightened separately as he'd spoken. "This space, for right now, is your mental sanctuary," he explained. "The weights of your world lifted but not forgotten so you can clear your mind and focus on what's important," Nathaniel said with only a little bit of cocky energy. "Take a deep breath and enjoy your temporarily-unburdened outlook. Perhaps take in that potato PowerPoint presentation."
| His palm was surprisingly warm on her cheek. Zap closed her eyes and smiled at the inside joke, leaning slightly into Nate's rare physical offering. "I know you can." Do more. She'd seen it in the past, had heard about feats, and had very strong beliefs about the future of his abilities. His hand fell and she rolled her eyes at his minor condescension. 'Symbolism was endearing'. Quickly, though, Eva's eyebrows rose in surprise and the sound of magical glass struck the air without shattering, along with a dark, twisted purple energy that quickly disapparated. He didn't need to mansplain what he'd done; she felt it. |
The weights of her world... placed in a limbo, so to speak, so she could focus on 'what's important'. All of the things he'd listed were of utmost importance, speaking in the grand scheme of things. But Nathaniel Zale was referring to the importance of her harnessing her power. With him. His language - both verbal and bodily - was much more liberal than she was accustomed to. For a moment, she considered that it was a steppe in the pyramid of her magical education; him softening to gain her trust. She knew in her bones that was not the case, however. "Thank you." He was opening himself to her. Sometimes it felt as if he didn't realize it himself. The progression had been natural to the point of being supernatural. "I've seen enough PowerPoint for ten lifetimes," the techie countered, finally, and reached up to locate Nate's prominent but shrouded left ear, then gave it a little wiggle before she stepped back to take the breath she'd been instructed to.
"It's really difficult," she swallowed, "to keep my emotions in check lately." Around 'Caltrops' in particular. She smirked to cover her tracks a bit, "I feel like I'm fourteen again trying to keep from frying the security system." Except that wasn't a proper analogy. "I don't feel out of control, I mean, just..." Do what he suggested. Relax. Breathe. "Unpredictable." Sure, she was a free spirit, but just like Ororo and many others before her, Eva had learned to keep her emotions focused and in check - for so very many reasons. Her hand rose, and a ghostly, lavender replica of her fingers sailed slowly forth and entered Nate's chest near where she'd floated their orb. "You feel it." And so she felt the effects of the runes of blabbermouthy.
| "Has it?" Nathaniel asked sarcastically after Eva had mentioned her difficulties controlling her emotions. “I hadn’t noticed,” he said with a grin she needed to appreciate because not only was it rare but it was also meant to soften his blow. “But... I think you’ve earned the chance to relax,” Nate decided for the rest of the world.|
The specter of Eva’s hand moved to him and indeed inside of him, and Nate suddenly found it difficult to completely control his emotions. “You shouldn’t...” he paused quickly, after nearly blurting out an extraordinarily unwise statement. Caltrops took a moment and once again clamped his feelings down. “Pardon me. That was... impressive,” he told his pupil. “I want focus though. Stand, breathe, align.” He said and started to pace once more.
As he moved, he stopped at several of the glowing glyphs and examined them. He didn’t even look toward Eva when he noticed her noticing. “Align,” he repeated. “Interesting,” Nate murmured out loud. “I was nearly too late... but don’t fret, I already have suggestions,” he shared, finally letting in on the fact that she wasn’t the only one studying.
“Aligned?” Nate asked, finally looking toward Eva once more. “Good.” He moved to stand behind her and made sure her spine was actually straight. “Now, listen... to ... my... voice.” He spoke slowly and purposefully. Nathaniel moved to show his mouth hadn’t actually been moving. Emotions are a key, but not the answer. Control, breathe, focus, he telepathically urged. Try it, but don’t dig too much. You aren’t ready, he warned. You touching my ear is extremely erotic, he shared with an audible sigh. “Gave you that one for free.”
| She was a master of zen. Mechanically speaking. But there was math and science and dependability to mechanics. Attuning to machines and attuning to the mystical forces were separate schools of learning. Her chakras and all the other names for what Nate was referencing had been sufficiently aligned, to his liking anyway. She nodded silently to his question 'Aligned?' and waited for him to creep closer as was the norm. 'I'm listening!' she thought sarcastically to herself, completely self-sabotaging her goal. Ahem. |
Try it? Mission accepted. Just before she was about to dive back in and further impress the un-impressable one, Nate took a layer off the top, then spoke aloud. Her eyes bugged, and Eva's mouth fell open slightly. "I'm s-" so sorry...? #metoo. She hadn't meant to cross a line, professionally... But she also didn't feel any upset within the layer of the mind Nate had lifted for her. The words he'd revealed didn't fully explain his emotional state. That's what was revealed to her upon 'trying it'. Mentally prying. Her eyes narrowed as she refocused and righted her posture.
You don't have to be embarrassed. Her face wore a bit of a smirk, but there was empathy in her eyes. They're really good ears, by the way. What were you almost late for? They were independent thoughts, but dicing up her stream of consciousness was more difficult than writing in punctuation, it seemed.