The Outer Sanctum Part 1

((OOC: Joint post between Gray Gladiator and Blitzen))

Niko scooped up Theo, and with her head safely tucked against his shoulder to prevent whiplash, took the most direct route home. While Theo may have seen everything as a blur of breakneck speed, to Niko it was more as if the world stopped as he jogged by. All the same, while his left arm cradled his cousin’s lower body, he used his right hand to shield her face. If asked, and he knew he wouldn’t be, the action was two fold. It would negate Theo’s insistence that she’d swallowed a bug, and in this case, it would prevent her from seeing the hateful signs of protestors near the consulate and Washington Square Park. His least favorite sign had an unflattering picture of Theo from their Bailey Bishop Interview, the sign itself reading “Freaks Go Home!” He’d purposely kicked a waste can which would send the lot of them tumbling to the ground in his wake. Weaving between cars and messenger bikes, he arrived safely at the doorstep of the sanctum and gently set Theo back on her feet.

Theo coughed dramatically causing Niko to roll his eyes. “I made sure you did not swallow any bugs.” He insisted. Theo gave him a wary look but dropped the subject and skipped happily up the front steps to change and have Bob, who once touched Mindingo Montoya’s hair fix her own. Niko who was taking his time- solely because a pretty woman was walking her bicycle down the street and glanced his way - found himself locked out. He knew the game well. If he reached for the doorknob, it would skirt just out of reach, causing the young man to cuss in Sokovian.

“Come on, stupid house…” Making a fist, he leaned on the frame with one shoulder and banged on the door, but Theo was currently being enthralled by Birdy and hadn’t noticed, either that or the house had moved her far enough from the door that she couldn’t hear. Finally, after the Sanctum had moved the doorknob directly in the path of Niko’s fist, he decided to give it a rest, zipping off to the bodega to grab a sandwich for the homeless man by the tattoo shop before seating himself on the stone pillar outside the steps. Loosening his tie and popping open his collar, he opened the bag of chips he filched for himself, content to crunch on them while doing his least favorite activity, waiting patiently.

Hours (or maybe 20 minutes) passed before the Prince of Wakunda’s black car turned down the street. He turned again to knock on the door only to find there was no longer a door knob at all. “Seriously?” He complained to the stupid Sanctum, banging once more on the door for Theo.
---
Entering the backseat directly behind his driver, T'Chantem slowly stretched his muscles, allowing his body to finally physically relax before leaning his head against the cushion of his seat and shutting his eyes. He replayed the events of the press conference in his mind, focusing on the critical moments of the event, the most obvious being the front-row debut of the Maximoff cousins. T'Chantem wasn't completely sure how they had managed to squirm their way into a highly secured event, but in the past several days, the pair had managed to pull off other feats that made their appearance just a tiny bit unsurprising.

His thoughts were interrupted by the muffled voices of protesters slowly contaminating the streets of New York like a sickening plague. He watched as they waved signs and chanted phrases such as "Muties don’t belong here!", aggressively spreading their demeaning views about super-powered individuals. T'Chantem could feel his stomach twist in disgust at the warped and discontented faces of disapproval and anger from people who couldn't learn to accept others who were different from them; it was people like him that made sure they even had a home to go back to. Drawing his hand across his window, he summoned a force of bitterly cold wind that forcefully sent the protesters tripping, stumbling, and crashing into one another as his car quickly passed by. He was careful not to injure any of those participating or their bystanders, but he hoped the warning would be enough to at least send them home.

Eventually, T'Chantem's driver arrived at the Sanctum Sanctorum, coming to a brisk stop once T'Chantem told him to forgo attempting to find a place to park. "Just wait out front here, I don't plan on this taking too long," T'Chantem informed his driver. He motioned for his bodyguards to remain behind before grabbing the black pea coat in the seat beside him, and pulling it over his soldiers once the door was shut behind him. He didn't bother buttoning his coat as he expected to remove it once he was inside, but his suspicion grew once his eyes settled on a frustrated Niko banging to no avail at the Sanctum's door.

"Locked out?" T'Chantem questioned, walking to the base of the steps of the enchanted building.

“I’d like to say it was because I forgot my keys,” Niko replied, as he looked upwards at the white wooden door frame, as if that would help. “But really, the Sanctum can be a -- tempermental.” He settled on as he fiddled with his tie. “It really seems to like Theo, though. And we both appreciate you coming to talk with her. I’m sure she’ll be along in a minute.” Unless of course, Bob was re-re doing her hair for the umteenth time that day. “Or two.”

Ascending the few concrete stairs that led to the door, T’Chantem stood beside Niko, observing the solid slate of wood that sat before them. He found it bizarre that the door lacked a door knob or handle, but what he found truly peculiar was the way Niko spoke about the building, as if it were a sentient being with its own mind, thoughts, and actions. He smiled at Niko's gratitude, offering him his hand to shake. "I don't mind at all, it's nice to finally properly meet you, Nikolai," he greeted.

Niko shook T’Chantem’s hand, not entirely sure of the proper etiquette, if there was such a thing to shaking hands. Theo would let him know later, most likely if there was. Hopefully not in front of the prince, but that was actually part of the girl’s charm.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Prince T’Chantem.“ Niko replied shaking his hand as if he were a regular everyday person, because Niko only knew two handshakes. There was that one, and one which lead to a shoulder bump hug kind of gesture, which definitely did not seem appropriate. “I’m sorry for the delay. Theo just wants to make a good impression.” Niko chuckled. “Which would have been better made by making sure the door was available.”

"I'm not bothered by a bit of waiting, but I do wonder how Theodosia was able to get in?" T'Chantem asked, placing his hand against the center of the door. He wasn't sure what he was looking for, as it was evident that the door knob was absent, but the only other option he could think of was kicking the door down if they wanted to enter immediately, which was something he was not willing to do to someone else's property.

Niko scowled at the door, slapping it again with his bare hand. “It lets her in. I stayed behind because the girl who lives up the--” he caught himself about to tell a Theo-like story, and instead rubbed a hand across his chin. “I was distracted. The sanctum plays favorites. I know how it sounds, It was built on a dimensional crossroad of sorts, that’s what our house guest says.” He suddenly realized the trouble that Theo had making friends wasn’t always her own fault. “I’ll just text her.” He took out his phone and had it put back away in a blink, sending the message off.

“Outside with Prince, Open Door, Sanctum is a Dick.”

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