|The Enchantress Visits Genosha|
|What: Amora drops in on Magneto|
The sun is sinking towards the horizon when Amora is escorted into Magneto's presence by two of his seemingly innumerable functionaries. A suspicious man would think that the sorceress had timed her arrival so that the dying light of the day would filter /just so/ through her luxuriant blonde locks, making them glint with fiery golden light as she slinks along just slightly before her escort, her feet not quite touching the ground.
" Imperator..." Amora purrs, a faint smile touching her soft mouth as she inclines her chin ever so slightly in his direction. "How kind of you to go to such trouble to receive me." She says with a graceful twist of her wrist to encompass her escorts, a glint of amusement lighting her eyes.
"Lady Amora," Magneto says, an expression of genuine pleasure crossing his face. He wears a long tunic, belted at the waist and with elabourate cross-layering over his chest. It's a unique look, but the sort of thing one would expect the Imperator of the Mutant Nations to look.
He crosses in front of the Iron Throne- the chambers from which he rules, named for the monolithic steel throne that sits precisely in the center of the room, atop a dais, and reaches for Amora's hands in a gesture of friendship. He leans forward to exchange a courteous air-kiss to the cheek, then steps back, releasing the woman's hands and stepping back out of her personal space.
"Would you care to join me? I was making ready to prepare my afternoon tea," he solicits the woman, gesturing at his antechamber off of the main room. "It has been too long since you graced us with your presence. I can call for food, if you are of a mind to eat," he offers, gently leading the way towards the side room.
She arches close as he claims her hand and presses a gracious kiss to the air just above her sculpted cheek, smelling deliciously of honey and sun-warmed apples. That selfsame smile has returned to her lips when he does draw back, a mingling of wry amusement and indulgence that lingers as lets her emerald gaze trail across the architecture of his majestic throne room.
"Oh, don't go to any trouble on my account..." She drawls, looking coyly at him from the corner of her eyes in a way that suggests she doesn't mean a bit of that. And, further, that she knows he knows it, thus rendering it something akin to a shared jest. "But don't let me interrupt you. I'm certain that your schedule is... quite demanding." She turns back to look at him squarely and unshrinkingly before summoning an expression that almost looks genuine, adding softly, "And you're right. It's been far too long."
Magneto smiles, his oddly deep eyes acknowledging the joke within-a-joke, and inclines his head to the woman in both acknowledgement of the touche and the request for tea.
Once inside the antechamber, his posture changes slightly. Only a very astute observer would recognize the shift from The Imperator into Magneto, a change from the formal statesman to a more relaxed, but equally charismatic posture.
"How fares Asgard?" Magneto inquires, inviting the woman to take a seat where she likes. "I spoke to Lord Loki quite recently. He seems to have taken quite well to the burdens of rulership," he states. He presses his fingers to a metal teapot which immediately seethes with steam, from which he decants two measures of water and sets a tiny metal sieve, with loose leaves, in each porcelain cup. Bringing the cups and saucers to Amora, he offers her a choice of cups- an ancient tradition among rulers and statesmen- and takes the other, settling down into a seat facing hers at an angle. The entire setting of the room is one of relaxation and informal conversation, down to the way his chairs eliminate any overtones of hostility or confrontation.
"I am curious if you have observed him enough as a ruler to determine if he can sufficiently stand in his brother's stead."
"There is much yet to be done, but as you say... we have been left in able and... eager... hands. " She plucks her choice of cups from his offering hands with another shamelessly coy smile, floating quite literally along in his wake to claim her chair and fold one leg over the other in slightly showy fashion. The cup is brought to her lips as she watches him, the tiniest of sips taken from its steaming contents before she murmurs approval.
"Delicious. You're too kind, gracious Imperator. Though I confess..." she says, inclining towards his chair ever so slightly and letting her voice drop into a honeyed murmur, "... I grow worried that I will cease to be your favorite Asgardian dining companion now that Lord Loki sits upon Odin's throne."
"Lord Loki and I will never be boon companions, Lady," Magneto informs the woman with a warm smile and nod of his head. "But we have a mutual respect for one another. He is a canny and intelligent individual, who has leveraged his intellect in favor of strength in order to ascend to his birthright. I think we both mutually trust one another as far as one can throw the other, as our Earth saying goes," Magneto offers with an easy laugh.
He sips his tea, the leaves set aside on the provided platter. "Beside, Lord Loki does not look nearly so becoming in green as you," Magneto adds with an air tone that turns to a companionable grin. The contrasts of age on his face are truly baffling- the subtle expressions, the expressiveness of his eyes, utterly at contrast with his smooth and relatively youthful features, free of scars or the ravages of time.
“I’d imagine that, if pressed, either one of you might summon the vigor to throw the other a considerable distance...” Amora observes in an impish purr, her teacup poised between the press of either hand and held aloft to artfully frame her face in a delicate wisps of steam. The observation is chased with a brilliant smile and the slight arch of a brow as she adds, “... but I take your point and trust that fate would never allow your bonhomie to deteriorate to that degree.”
She basks in the compliment, nestling her cup back in its saucer and affording him ample opportunity to judge for himself before she asks, “But I take it that it suits you to have such prominently placed friends? What of your own plans for the future? Or have you already secured all that your heart desires?” Her sly tone makes that seem a doubtful prospect at best, and she watches his cryptic face closely for things besides that interesting mix of youth and wisdom.
"Oh, my goals are long and far ranging," Magneto assures Amora. "This is... a step, as are all parts of long plans," he points out to the woman.
At her question, he mulls for a moment, looking down into his teacup thoughtfully. "My wants are secondary to those of my people, Lady," Magneto says politely, his tone almost thoughtful. "To their needs. My people need me to be more than a man. A man has desires and wants and needs. A leader does not. He sacrifices himself to the good of his people," Magneto explains to the woman.
"So when all mutants are safe and secured- and the future of us all is guaranteed- then perhaps, I can rest, and pursue my heart's desire." He sips his tea, pausing for just a moment to smile. "Perhaps I will take up knitting," he says, his breath spilling steam over the teacup, before he grins to himself and sips his tea, delicately, pinkie out.
Her laughter sings out at him across the narrow gap between her chair and his, mirth at the idea of him cloistered away with needles and wool after many years labor ridiculous enough that she can't resist the humor of it. And even when she's spent, the echo of it lingers in her brilliantly green eyes as she watches him.
"How selfless of you. Though have a care, my virtuous Imperator... human lives tend to be all too fleeting, even those belonging to the most masterly and powerful leaders. It would be a shame to spend every grain of sand allotted to your hourglass in service to others, however noble the cause..." The familiarity of her observation is, depending on his perspective, either heightened or softened by her unblinking scrutiny. Her voice grows ever so slightly teasing as she says, "Perhaps I shall have to come visit more often, if for no other reason than to ensure you pause long enough to take tea."
"I seldom have cause to take tea otherwise," Magneto admits readily. "Entertaining such a distinguished person as yourself is more than enough cause to give me reason to pull myself away from my work." He sips his tea, then looks out the window, his expression thoughtful.
"I find that there is little in life that truly brings me pleasure, aside from the satisfaction of success," Magneto says, his tone contemplative. "To master a turn of phrase in music, to subdue an enemy without any blood being spilled... or to crush them utterly under my heel," he says with a rueful laugh.
"Perhaps I am as ultimately self-serving as anyone else. But," he amends, examining his tea, "I do like to give myself some latitude in that while my actions may be self-serving, they benefit others far more than myself." She studies his profile as he turns towards the window, her emerald eyes narrowing slightly as she traces the lines of his unnaturally youthful face with her gaze. Whatever she sees there draws her lips into a lush purse for a moment before the expression is supplanted by a rueful little smile.
"Or perhaps" She murmurs at him, her throaty purr barely reaching his contemplative ears, "You truly have given yourself over... utterly... to your cause. Body and soul." A quirk of a brow and she adds, "Which would be both noble and something of a pity. Though it is a unique experience to take one's refreshment with the literal embodiment of an island, I suppose."
Her lips part just wide enough to allow a soft sigh of breath to pass between them. And an instant later she unfolds one long leg from atop the other, rising from her seat with a flutter of emerald silk about her knees. "Having distracted the nation of Genosha from its work, I shall withdraw... though only for now." She adds with a winsome smile. "Till our next tea time, Imperator?"
Magneto rises and bows to Amora, the gesture nuanced and precisely polite. "I am at your convenience, as always, Lady," he says, smiling warmly at the woman. "Fare well on your travels, and do not hesitate to pay visit to me again at your convenience. I look forward to your next visit." By some unseen signal, two guards materialize from around the corner, a guard of honor to see her safely out of the Spire.