|Gods, Monsters, and Muffins|
|What: Thor visits his favorite coffee shop only to find that the monstrous Balor has been set free...and has taken up residence in Thor's usual seat. With video games.|
It's midafternoon, and it's another quiet, pleasant sort of day at the Traditions coffee shop in SoHo. Customers sit here and there, quietly enjoying a nice cup of coffee, reading the paper...though a few do pay some attention to one particular corner booth, where a boy with an eyepatch is sitting across from a man in a dark suit and sunglasses. The eyepatch-wearing kid is rather more animated than most of the customers, aggressively playing a video game on a handheld at the moment with an expression of concentration on his face. An iced coffee sits by him, untouched...until he finally reaches over at an apparent break from the action and grabs it, taking a sip. He screws up his face at that. "Ugh! ****in' garbage." He shoves the cup across the table at the suited man, hard enough the the guy has to scramble to stop it from falling over the edge. "Get me somethin' else."
The suited man sighs, taking the cup. "What would you..."
"I look like I have time t'look at a menu? Pick somethin'." With another sigh, the suited man trudges up towards the counter.
The little bell on the door chimes as the portal opens to admit... a kindly old woman. She pauses to thank the very tall, long haired, blond man that is holding the door for her. Thor smiles genuinely at the woman, murmuring in his deep baritone, seomthing about grandmother and his pleasure. When the elder woman makes her way in, Thor smiles and follows suit, heading toward the Asgardians' usual table, only to find it occupied. This doesn't bother Thor, and is not the reason the warm pleasant smile fades the way it does as he halts in his tracks half way there.
No, the reason for the deity's stop and stare is the boy. The one-eyed boy engrossed with whatever it is that is in his hands. Thor just stands there, eyes seeming to 'read' the information found on the mark that surrounds him. His head tilts in obvious contemplation of the information he gets, lips pursing as he sorts out this fact, and the other: Dad didn't tell me the Pantheons allowed Balor out of prison. Not that the All Father tells Thor -everything- but still! A little warning that such a monster was upon Midgard, would be nice to know, given that I am Her Protector and all...
Don't be a moron, Thor. The mark is your warning.
"Hah! You're done now!" the boy says, leaning forward as the game evidently gets quite intense. The suited man, meanwhile, is at the counter, looking long and hard at the menu to try to figure out something that might actually be to the kid's liking. A few moments more of play, and the boy smirks, setting the game unit down and reaching up with both arms, stretching a little. "Ah, easy, easy...hm?" His eye looks over towards Thor, then, and blinks a couple times. "Well, well," he says, smirking, and gives Thor a nod. "What's the story?"
A smile blooms upon Thor's face, warm and soft, though slightly tense. He moves toward the booth with the boy to sit. It's more polite to talk this way than anything else.
"There are many stories. Of which doth thou speak?" asks Thor as he settles to the booth calmly, speaking the All-Tongue that he migh tbe understood.
Balor laughs. "I'm speakin' of that look you're after givin' me, and the one I'm after givin' you." He folds his arms on the table, drumming on it with his fingers a bit. "Somebody knows me--now that's a rare thing. Half these, I'd say it to their faces and they wouldn't know a thing. Don't worry so, thunder god. I'm here tryin' to get a decent drink while I kick some ***."
"I see. Well, my personal favorite is mocha. Iced or hot. The chocolate chunk muffins here are delightful as well," offers Thor, smile growing a touch easier. He'll tell the Family, of course, of Balor's arrival on Earth, so they aren't alarmed, or do anything to goad him. "As for the look, I do apologize for it. I was surprised to see the mark."
"Muffins?" Balor looks over to the suited man, who has just managed to settle on what looks like a fruit smoothie of some kind. "Chocolate chunk muffin, now!" With that, Balor turns his eye back towards Thor. "Ah, surprised, sure. I ain't fond of it myself, but I'm told it's to keep ones like you from chargin' right in when you see me. I'm not seein' the problem with that, myself. We fight it out, beat each other bloody and blow some things up, an' we get to know each other. I'm told 'tisn't the way things are done."
Thor quirks a brow at the boy's ordering of the man in the suit. A light frown precedes a faint chuckle. He had been just as bad his first time to Midgard, before his Death. He doesn't order. The waitstaff know what he likes. It will be brought or not, as they are able.
"Tis not, I'm afraid, at least in these days and ages. The race of Man doth cover this world. I would dislike risking so many of them, merely to prove a point. Though, if thou doth wish to get to know me better, with some light restrictions, there is an empty field my Lady and I use to practice in," offers the Thunderer pleasantly.
"Restraint from a god of the storm..." Balor chuckles. "I wish. But I'm bettin' that's one of those things I'm not supposed to go and just do. Hey, watch." He looks over, just as the suited man comes back with the drink and muffin. "Hey. The god of thunder here wants to get to know me, so I was thinkin' we could go out to this field he knows and beat each other to paste."
The man turns white as a sheet. "Young master, ah...I..."
Balor sighs, snatching the muffin from him and taking a bite. He turns his gaze to Thor. "You see? Don't worry. I'll talk to Aiden an' we'll get to smack each other around. Right now it'd get this idiot freakin' out too much."
The man finally recovers a bit, setting the cup down before Balor as well and turning to Thor. "S-Sir, I apologize for the young master...he is..."
"Balor. Which he knows, so we aren't even tryin' the stupid act," Balor interjects, and then takes a sip of his smoothie.
Thor watches the interaction, opting to chuckle with amusement. He scoots over to give the suited man room to side at his side if he wishes.
"I thank thee for thy apology, but it is not necessary. And young Balor speaks true. Should it become possible, or even as a moment to stretch, I would be pleased to host a spar. Restrictions, of course, would be placed to ensure the protection of Midgard and Her Children," Thor says smoothly to the man with a warm smile to back it up.
"Aiden. Of course. I am in no rush. It is good to see that thou hath been given an opportunity," Thor says to Balor, once more turning his blue-grey eyes to the boy.
The suited man stands somewhat awkwardly for a few moments, but finally evidently decides that refusing a thunder god's offer of a seat might be more...uncomfortable...than sitting in on this conversation, and takes a seat.
"Sure, sure," Balor says, taking another sip from his smoothie, and then a bite of his muffin. "I have. Even if it does mean Aiden sends me out with watchdogs like that man there," he says, gesturing with his thumb at the suited man. "...and holds me back from havin' too much fun." He fingers his eyepatch.
"For the safety of Midgard, too much fun should not be had, but I understand thy frustration and annoyance," Thor says sympathetically just as his own iced mocha arrives. The Thunderer perks up at the sight of it, thanking the waitress graciously, and taking the drink to slurp on. MOCHA MOCHA MOCHA!
"Safety, safety, sure. As long as they keep makin' those things, I'll keep 'em around too," Balor says, chuckling as he indicates the game machine with a thumb. He smirks at the sight of Thor slurping down his mocha. "Never thought I'd see one of y'Asgardians enjoyin' a place like this. Didn't y'always like the big halls where you could get good and ****in' drunk and kick the **** outta each other? You're...what's the term I'm lookin' for..." He looks over at the suited man. "What's the term?"
"I...don't know, young master," the man in the suit says.
Balor scowls. "I dunno. Means that you're livin' like you're from here or somethin'. I don't care." He takes another big bite of his muffin, and talks with his mouth full. "Wrff bffin'f a whfff (swallow) bunch'a these when we go."
Thor smiles gently at Balor, patiently watching the boy's arrogance. Thor knows he was like that, in his youth, knows that he still has some moments of the same. But seeing it for himself is... well, Thor's glad he's learned what he's learned. Hopefully, Balor will learn as well.
"I find the mortals here, and their food and their drink pleasing. I see it as a part of my domain," says Thor gently. As for acting like he lives here, well.. he does!
Balor laughs. "He sees it as part of his domain. Y'can keep it, thunder god. I ain't gonna fight you for it." He drains the rest of his smoothie, and shoves the cup over to the suited man. "'nother one, to leave--I mean, what's it...to go, sure. An' more of those muffins." He picks up his game unit, starting another level. "They're takin' to you pretty easy, thunder god. They don't seem all freakin' out like my man there. But he's new."
Thor smiles, though a seriousness rests in his gaze. "Never assumed thou would, Balor." Pause, Thor glances over the patrons and the servers while sipping his mocha.
"I protect them, and have worked hard to earn their trust. Simple gestures, such as please, and thank you, and the use of a gentle voice, I have found, aids in this." Voice of experience!
"Look at you--tryin' to teach me manners," Balor says, with a hmph, as he plays his game. "Y'can act all polite to them all you want, but you're differen' from 'em. Y'really think these mortals are gonna trust you after they see you throwin' around some lightnin' or smashin' stuff up with that hammer o'yours? Sure, they've prob'ly all seen it on the news, but y'ever done it right in front of 'em? They won't treat you the same when they see it firsthand."
Thor shrugs lightly to this, sipping at his mocha.
"Some fear me for it, when they see it. Some worship me. Some are not unduly bothered. For I have 'done it' before them. I am sorry for those I frighten, and when amends can be made, they are," Tho says. yes, trying to model manners to Balor.
Balor hmphs. "We'll see." The suited man returns, bearing another smoothie and a bag of muffins, and Balor slides out of his seat, still gaming as he does. "Enjoy your...whateverthehellthat'scalled, thunder god. I'll see y'around. I've a store to get to. Pre-orders, so." He looks over at Thor, briefly, and returns his attention to his game as he starts to walk for the door.
Thor nods to Balor, watching the boy go. Yes, he must tell the family. And so he finishes his mocha, then stands and leaves the coffee shop after paying at the till.