2019-04-30 - The saga of someone else's man

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Loki keeps trying to steal Bucky

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Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: 04/30/2019
Location: New York
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lokibucky [[include LogPlayerBottom

It's early evening in early summer. And James is up in his rooftop garden. There's an assemblage off to the side that's new - what looks like the beginning of a fishpond, using paving stones and a liner, with the unassembled pump system set beside it.

New lounge chairs and chairs, too, besides the ones that were there before. If he and Steve are going to be having Asgardian guests, they're going to need sturdier furniture. The garden beds and containers are damp, as if recently watered, and off to one side, away from the HVAC vent towers Buck's attached so many things to, is a dryer tree a-flutter with laundry on its lines. They may have a mechanical dryer down in the apartment, but why let free sunshine go to waste, right?

The man himself is on one of the lounges, in the shade of an HVAC tower, lying around in t-shirt and sweats. The metal arm has its usual opaque cover and glove on - apparently only Steve gets to see the bare alloy.

Its hopeless, really. He knows it. He's a literal monster…and of course the blond everyone's loved for forever would triumph. There are parts of his logical mind that isn't even sure why he's here, while other bits try to rationalize out a reasonable friendship, or some sort of tactical advantage. Loki just cannot help it. Perhaps he enjoys the suffering. The pale creature materializes on the other side of the laundry, caught in bits and shadows until he weaves his way through. He is also casual, for him, long, dark green pants, matching flats, a tunic of a lighter shade, layered, its hard to tell how he even gets in and out of it. His hair is behind his ears, in loose waves. "It appears you have a habit." Comes his purring first greeting, virdent eyes set upon the recovering assassin.

Buck's languid and tired, it seems, face pale, the blue eyes a little shadowed. He doesn't even sit up, but he does look over. He seems curiously unsurprised to see the Asgardian - was he even waiting for him?

"Yeah," he says, simply. "I like it up here. Outdoors but private. Mostly."

Loki moves closer, slowly, immitating the languar of the other, like if he moves too fast, he might disappear. Pale fingers slide along the top of the new lounge and he arches his dark brows at it. "I should be flattered…it seems you have purchased quite the equipment…fit for a rather heavy prince." He gives it a push, settling it near enough to Bucky that they can talk in quiet voices. Then he glides down into it and folds his hands on his stomach, looking up at the light-polluted sky where only the most brilliant of stars can poke through and be seen."Do you have guests from other rooftops? The Man of spiders, perhaps?"

"Well, I keep running into Asgardians," he says, with a hint of laughter in his voice. "And if they're all like you and can't be kept out….might as well make it so they don't break the furniture. Speaking of which, aren't you supposed to be still in prison? I heard about that thing the other night, with Steve."

Then James sits up, swings his feet around, sideways on the lounge, as if the subject matter had finally grown serious enough to warrant being upright. He looks at the pale prince with those ice-blue eyes. "About that….lemme make something clear, Loki, Prince of Asgard. I understand you're a clever guy. Plans within plans, wheels within wheels, all that. Maybe the word of a mortal soldier won't carry much weight with you. But if Steven Rogers ever again ends up hurt by you or something you instigated, I will murder you." There's no apparent anger in his voice - his tone is flat, his body is relaxed, but the blue eyes never waver.

"You say again…but I never touched him. He fought illusions, which…also never harmed him. In fact, I harmed absolutely no one that evening. The Captain released me on his own, after I explained what I was doing. There is an assassin after my /glorious/ brother, Baldur the Brave." Loki rolls his eyes. "He is so eager to thrust himself into the thick of danger that I convinced him to leave for Asgard for a bit. Then I saw to it to destroy him, in the eyes of whoever was after him. The plan was working very nicely until he showed up again." Loki presses his lips flat and looks away, leaning his chin against his hand. He rubs his finger over his mouth, back and forth, thoughtful, but silent.

"He came back bruised and sore. Something did that to him," Buck's voice is still calm, almost offhand. "And he mentioned that. But Steve…..Steve, he's the bravest, but he ain't the brightest. Hell, I ain't either. But I got a few more pennies on that front than he does. I understand - you're doin' what you do to keep your family safe. Just be very careful about how you include Steve in those plans. He's all I got." Then he smiles, just a curling crescent grin. "Sounds like your brothers are like my betrothed - big, blond, courageous, but not always so smart."

Loki frowns suddenly. He looks around at Bucky and his hand makes a slow descent to the armrest of the lounge. "Oh…I see. He was…tumbling about, I suppose. Betrothed…you say." Loki lets out a soft sigh. "No, of course he will not be bothered again." He figits with his fingers. "I am certain he understands how fortunate he is to have someone to completely trust, who also has his back at every moment."

Which is when the mortal boy reaches over to take his hand, with the ungloved one of his own. "Hey," he says, gently. "Don't look like that." But he offers no platitudes about being friends or finding someone better or the idea of mortal and immortal. Loki's too smart to accept something bland and meaningless.

Loki narrows his eyes faintly, though he's squinting them from below, rather than the expression seeming threatening. "I can imagine, given what I know of your history, that there must have been a moment when you thought to yourself…" Loki's temperature is very neutral, like the air, when his hand is grasped, and he actually looks at the hand where he's been touched. He turns the palm upwards, lost in that a moment. "I am too late…with the sensation that it was…/important/." Loki flashes a grin for a moment. "Some things even I cannot explain."

"Plenty'a those," he says, nodding. "So many things I don't remember….so many things I'm….not sure what they mean. If it meant something to me and they took that away, or my brain is just fooling itself." His hand is light on the Asgardian's, but he doesn't pull it away or relinquish his grip. "You guys believe in Fate, right? Destiny?"

"Yes…though I have every reason to try to defy it, believe me. Nothing has driven home the threat of fate more than the last few weeks. Are you going to say that Destiny is in charge of all this? I very much have to believe that choice determines destiny. Prophecies will not bend to make themselves happen. Its /one path/." Loki curls his fingers, holding James' hand.

"No," he says, quietly. "Not in the sense of things having to be inevitable. Not like that. And if it is, well, fuck it. If Destiny's why I am what I am, it can go right to hell. I guess all prophecy can do is tell you where a given path ends up," James voice is musing.

Loki makes a humming, purring sound. "I agree…Destiny can go right to Hel. But…I have a feeling you meant something specific by that."

"Just…..what I've been through to get here," he says. Then that sound makes him smile, sidelong. "Do all Asgardians purr?" he asks, clearly. "You make that sound, now and again, when you're around me. Humans don't."

Loki tilts his head. "I have a /gift/, with words. I suppose even, sounds. A low hum in the chest gives off a sensation of contentment, of pleasure." He speaks quite softly, using that low undercurrent to continue to project a sense of ease. "Small alterations in the timbre of a word…how you say it…it makes a difference. Not just an accent, or an emphasis, you can put so much /more/ into a word, until it becomes like magic. You have heard legends of various demons…true names…power over them? What if you said a name so perfectly that you could evoke it into being, create it right out of the air? There are thick tomes on it." The silvery words do have a certain something about them, like even without ever going to Asgard, they do prompt the imagination to create the scene that he's describing. "Should I say your name in such a way…or would you rather not hear it from my lips with such gravity?"

"I'd believe it," he says, very softly. "Steve gave me my name back, after it was taken away. He said it and said it until I understood it was mine again. And he's no kind of enchanter. Names have enormous power, even here. That I get." He looks down at the hand he's holding. "Better not, I think. Have mercy, Loki of Asgard."

Loki dips his chin down, shielding his eyes with a moment of amusement over the refusal. "I suspect that others do not purr in your presence because they are not fools like me. Or….they just do not like you. Its always possible." He teases with a glance back up to the artist.

"They don't like me like you like me," he agrees. "I was at the embassy last night, and got really drunk. Made a pretty good fool of myself over Lady Sif. She didn't take offense at a mortal being a drunken idiot, at least. But I didn't endear myself to her." That explains his pallor and weariness. He lost a fight with a flagon of mead.

Loki lifts his other hand in a sort of 'surrender' gesture. "Well…now you know that I was telling the truth about the mead, but…also…Lady Sif is not fond of anyone, especially me, so, you did no real damage. I wish I had seen that though. Why, with you deep in your cups, I may have had a chance." More teasing.

Now it's his turn to drop his gaze. That pallor is somewhat banished by the pink of embarrassment on his cheeks. "C'mon," he says. "Don't sell yourself short," he retorts. "If I weren't faithful to one man, sure, I'd roll over for ya."

|ROLL| Loki +rolls 1d20 for: 18

Loki starts to lower his hand , but it hovers in the space between them. His eyes get distant, for a moment, thoughtful again. Then he frowns and curls his fingers and at the same time relaxes his shoulders. "I believe I have just accomplished a heroic deed. And…hah…there are those that call me a villain." His lips slant crookedly.

James looks up again, and there's an answering little smile. "Not taking advantage of a mortal guy, when you want to? I'll give you credit for that one," he says, easily. "Thanks."

"Taking advantage never crossed my mind. Taking an opportunity did." Loki replies with a playful arch of his brow. Then he closes his eyes and uncurls his other fingers to let James' hand go, holding the fingers flat out for a moment.

Bucky takes his hand back, but without haste. "Fair enough," he murmurs. Then he settles back on his lounge, with a kind of boneless contentment. "We can go down and get some lemonade, if you want."

"I like it here. It feels like…you, up here. Can I show you something?" Loki asks as he looks up at the sky, all the hair dropped back from his face, so his angular profile is clear. There could not be a more different-seeming man from Steve Rogers than the pale, dark-haired, sorceror trickster.

That has him looking at the enchanter curiously. "I guess it really is kindof the most….me place there is. Steve likes it, but I'm the one who did the work, mostly. My idea. But sure. What do you want to show me?"

Loki lifts his left hand skyward, then makes a subtle, winding motion with the fingers. He draws in a deep breath and the barest amount of strain can be seen on his face. It starts high…the re-organization of stars, and so many of them, beyond count as they spring into life. It follows downwards like a dome cascading over the duo. The sounds of traffic disappears, as do the buildings of Earth, replaced with the rattle of leaves, and the ornate fashioning of one of the Asgardian palace balconies. Though Thor may have shared a drawing or two, or a description or three, it is the scale of everything that might be surprising. The height of columns behind them, of the doorway that is open, leading to a broad room with a central pool of water, it makes it all seem very natural, like there's this building that just happens to be in a forest of carved, golden stones. Their chairs though, remain humorously in tact. There is the sound of a strange bird, and distantly, merriment. That, at least would sound familiar…soldiers having a good time down the road.

There's a stillness to him, then. He doesn't react to startlement as the average Midgardian would. More like an animal, as he looks around him, slowly, silently. It's a long time before he speaks. "This is what your home is like?" he asks, finally.

Loki smiles faintly. "This is the golden realm…Asgard…jewel of the nine. Worry not, I …placed the balcony so that you cannot accidentally fall off the roof." Loki draws upwards, sitting up straight. "I believe there may be some places here, worthy to sketch. I know how you enjoy a nice arch."

"I think I'd be ashamed to try," Buck says, finally getting up from his seat. Even his posture is wary as a cat's, as he paces around the chair, taking it all in. "We've gotta seem so….grubby and ugly and small. Midgard, I mean," he says, almost dreamily. "If this is what you know as home. Will you go straight back there, once you've made sure your brother is safe?"

Loki rises from the lawn chair, his movements as smooth as a panther's. "Its not as if I am asking you to make a tapestry for the century-long weaver competition. There are no stones that are too arrogant to be drawn." He walks nearer, and somewhere within the palace behind them, down a few doors, there is the sound of melodic stringed instrument, playing a tune that has lodged itself in Loki's mind. "I could say yes…and rid you of your guilt, but the answer is no. I am trying to find lost things…and it is a large realm. I suspect I will be here for a great many years, with trips back in between, of course."

Bucky flashes a grin over his shoulder at the sorcerer. "That's a good way to put it. A cat may look at a king, as the old saying goes." He nods, eyes still wide. "I wish you luck. I hope you find what you're looking for." A light touch to the nearest pillar, as if testing if it'll feel real to him.

The stone feels cool to the touch. The illusion is finely wrought. Loki has even made the smell of New York go away and replaced it with a smell not unlike an old castle, mingled with night-blooming jasmine. Its all so careful, it must come from years of memories. "A cat may look at a king. I like that." Loki swallows and folds his hands behind his back. "I am certain I will find the objects…in time. Though, getting some of them may prove to be an exciting adventure."

He pats it once, lightly, comes back to grin at Loki. "Yeah? Even in Midgard? I'm surprised there'd be much of a challenge, considering the things you can do." The smile fades out. "Do you miss it badly, while you're in Midgard?"

"Well…at least /I/ am not in exile." A smarmy look overcomes him. "Who knows how long Thor will be here. The Allfather forgot Hod for 2000 years." Its somewhat of an exaggeration, and different circumstances, but its still funny. "I do not miss it yet. Ah…except the servants are convenient. I like travelling all over." Loki unfolds his arms and folds one hand over the other in front of him.

Bucky blows out a breath. "That's a long time," he says, quietly. Now he's looking at Loki again. How he fits in this setting, as he should. A glance down at himself. Now he's the alien - and small and grubby as he said, a mortal Midgardian.

Loki walks nearer to stand right in front of him, but it doesn't seem like he's up to no good. There's a bit of a bounce in his pace that is unthreatening. "OhhhhhHHh, yes, I understand. Now /you/ are the alien on the rooftop. Worry not…lets see how you might fit in." He reaches out to brush his fingertips on either shoulder, simultaneously, like he were straigtening out a suit. "There…now, no one would know." Loki has 'dressed' Bucky in some casual Asgardian attire, in deep blue, some black, bits of silver embelishments here and there.

I solemnly swear…. Buck looks down, bemused, delighted by the dress-up. "I don't think I'd fool anyone, but….these are nice." Almost his colors during the war - the old blue coat gone to dust somewhere in Russia.

Loki might have matched his eyes…but he'd never admit it. "Not if you opened your mouth." That makes him look at James' mouth. NNF. "There are a host of accents there, but none of them from Brooklyn."

"I'd be no good at pretending to be mute," he says, apologetically, looking up again. A bad idea, perhaps, that. A beauty the more powerful for him being wholly unconscious of it.

Well, Loki didn't turn the entire sky into a different realm for nothing. When Bucky looks up, Loki reaches out with one hand to try and curve it around James' waist, and the other much higher, trying to slide his fingers along his jawline and curve behind his neck as he makes his move for a kiss. Its all one motion.

He doesn't fight it. What he does is freeze in confusion, breath catching….then try to shake his head, mutely. Loki can see his pulse jumping in the hollow of his throat.

The fingers pressed against Bucky's back grow firmer, and those at the back of his neck tangle with some hair. Moments after he feels the tension, he clings, possibly to see if it'll ease, but when the anxiety of the kissed only rises, his grip relaxes and he parts. But, he also doesn't apologize.

He's rigid with distress, but there's no blow. He's got sense enough not to strike someone that much tougher and stronger than his mortal self. When Loki lets go, Buck steps back, not looking Loki in the eye. "Please put things back like they were," His tone is flat, and he's gone white. If there's anger, he's biting it back. "I….can't do things like that with you." Not even embarrassed, there's no blush.

Loki lifts his hand, efficiently, and makes a slight twisting gesture and the world of Asgard collapses like a shower curtain without a rod. With eyes and ears attuned to a different setting, New York's beeps of traffic, the way the yelling and talking echos off the buildings, its jarring familiarity for Bucky, but Loki makes a slight wince at it. "Mmm." Loki agrees with a grunt. "Now I know for certain, beyond any doubt. Perhaps the other reasons may be enough for others, but, I did not care to leave an 'if only' behind."

"He's the love of my life, and he loves me back, even with what I am," Buck says, in a near-whisper. Still not looking up…and now there's the blush, a hot flood of color to his face, hands knotting in the hem of his shirt. "You're beautiful and impressive and …I can't."

Loki straightens his shoulders. "I do not know why I am so drawn to you, and I have no more power to make that go away than a Midgardian does. I know you can't…I know. Sometimes I let myself believe a lie too. I will…/behave/…from now on." He lifts his hands and bows his head faintly.

Bucky finally looks up. "You don't even really know what I look like," he says, and there's something infinitely tired in his tone. "Maybe I shoulda shown you from the get-go." He pulls off the glove, and then the flesh-colored sleeve. There's the alloy arm in all its weird glory, though the red star is still hidden by his shirt. Maybe that'll put Loki off.

It doesn't. Its fascinating and interesting and he can feel a million questions bubbling up. Loki parts his lips and shakes his head. "I appreciate the effort, but…really…you /undressing/ won't help…and trying to explain how terrible you are won't help either. Telling me how very much in love you are with someone else who makes you extremely happy though, does. I. am…..sorry, for making you feel uncomfortable." Then he rakes his hand through his hair.

He snorts. "I'm not undressing. That's just my prosthesis. I lost my arm in the war. But….yeah. I've been in love with Steven Rogers since I was fourteen years old and I still am. I'm gonna marry him as soon as I can get him down to City Hall, now that this part of Midgard lets men marry other men." Then, crookedly, he smiles. "I guess you kinna did me a favor, in a way. Reminds me of how grateful I am for what I have in him. When he sees you next and probably tries to punch you in the face, roll with it, will ya? I'll try and keep him off ya, but he likely won't listen to me."

Loki lids his eyes. "Right. Because of course you have to confess all of this." He forms a dry expression. "It certainly is all my fault. No doubt there." He draws his arms across his chest. "I shall go as I came…" And he makes to teleport out of there to go lick his wounds.

"Hey," Buck says, gently. "I'm sorry. Oh, Loki, I am. You paid me a compliment and …you stopped when you realized I didn't like it. That….I haven't always had that. It's not your fault. Forgive me?"

Loki tightens his jaw and may be having some emotional issues at the moment. "There is nothing to forgive. I need to go…" Then he will disappear into hiding, wherever he's keeping himself, alone.

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