2019-10-19 - Chutzpah


In which a rather bored Loki checks in on what's happened in the last month while he brood—-/thought/ things through. Aghast to see Steve Rogers in a Hulk cell, he went for a visit.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Oct 19 22:17:58 2019
Location: WAND Holding Cell

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Theme Song



What a night. With senior WAND agents, SHIELD agents, and his significant other all agreeing that the pillow-stuffed cell in the basement of the Triskelion being the safest place for the recently re-human Captain, morning dawns with the full moon setting on the horizon and the man himself safely stashed away.

Behind Hulk-proof glass and layerings of Class D security wards, Steve's a sight. In borrowed SHIELD sweatpants and a scrounged-up blue t-shirt from his locker (courtesy of Bucky), he's leaning against the wall in the back corner. It feels safest to keep his spine there; after all, two ICER shots full of anti-werewolf admixture to the kidneys wasn't a small amount of pain. He's still dealing with the after-effects of the brutally-fast reversion by the light sheen of sweat about his temples.

With eyes closed, the Captain breathes in and out slowly, methodically, attempting to nap despite the incessant crawling beneath his skin and in his stomach. Burning through calories like that is terrible business!

With cameras on the cell and security agents between rotations, he has proverbial solitude on his side…at least for a brief moment.

As for Loki, he's only just returned from his jaunt to Muspellheim to get his head on straight, and he's feeling more than a little rejuvenated, more than a little revitalized - which is much better than reviled, he's rather tired of being reviled. Ah well, that's the old mode of thinking, it has no place here.

Once back home he fills his scrying bowl with water, and does some peeking about to see what is up with those who he finds interesting, a glance shows him a framed news clipping from the forties showing Cap and his Howling Commandos, and that draws his attention thither when he casts the spell.

He works the rite carefully, doing it the old fashioned way, he's feeling retro it would seem. Finally, the waters shiver, and go dark, and then he sees. "The devil? What trickery is this." He sounds offended! Trickery is HIS schtick, damn it!

"Well, nothing for it." He rises, the spell banished with a casual wave of his hand, and then he straps on his sword, and secretes several daggers about his person, after all, this could be a rescue mission.

A few moments to fix a path through the hidden ways, a faint smile at the Class D wards, and then Loki steps into the cell with Steve, leaning against the wall as he flips a dagger in one hand. "Well, I must say, not impressed with the quarters you've been issued, Captain Rogers." He says with a smirk.

Steve's eyelids slowly rise to see what new madness the admixture is delivering to him now. After all, he's fairly certain he was hearing colors back on the boardwalk of Coney Island and the earlier hallucinations of shadows crawling around outside of the cell couldn't exist; Agent Koa would have known immediately and reacted.

He blinks again, harder, and then squints. A broad hand rises from where they were limply left lying in his lap to run down his face.

"Gimme a second," he rasps before pinching the inside of his arm hard. A wince follows and then he looks upon Loki with greater sense of presence.

"Can't say the room service is stellar, but…it's understandable right now." He eyes the flickering rise and fall of the dagger. "Safer for me to be in here." A hard swallow and lick of lips seems to indicate dry mouth; he hasn't had water in a few hours.

"Haven't seen you in a while. Up to anything?"

To anyone experienced with magic or with ability to use the Sight, the Captain is practically nuclear with a lycanthropic virus.

Green eyes narrow as he studies Steve's condition, and it is plain he doth not approve. The dagger is put away, and he shakes his head. "Bitten off a bit more than you can chew, mm?" Loki asks as he moves towards the First Avenger. "Really, Steven, you should know better than to poke a wolf, I have one I've known for a very long time, they can be rather irascible creatures if angered."

Loki stretches out the hand that had been flipping the dagger, and cups Steve's chin as he extends his magical senses to study the four folds of the man Captain America 'Hamr' - his body, currently seething with lycanthropic virus. 'Hamingja' - his luck, bruised and battered but still there at least. Sometimes luck likes to run off, which is not so great. On impulse Loki loans a bit of his own, not necessarily a comfortable thing, but it might help the man. 'Hugr' - his essence, in Steve's case, to Loki's sight, a proud griffon - the grace and power of a lion, tied inextricably to the nobility and ferocity of an eagle. And his 'Fylgja', again, to Loki's sight this is a woman with dark hair, he'll research the lady, she looks old fashioned, war era perhaps? The Fylgja is a 'follower', a separate being, a sort of spirit guide.

"I am afraid I will need time to cure you, but I can at least loan you some strength…" Loki works a spell, a healing spell. It does not - it CAN not fix everything, but it can ease things, help Steve feel a bit better at least.

Even with his physical energy reserves in the low — he hasn't felt like this since Operation Dragoon back in the war and forty-eight hours of running at full steam — Steve still manages to flatten himself into the corner of the cell's room. His lips rise to flash canines at the approach of the hand, but there's just barely enough of a fingernail's hold upon his sense of Self that it's not partially-shifted teeth attempting to slam down on Loki's knuckles.

The Asgardian mage's touch isn't unkind; simply firm and professional, as a doctor might look upon a patient. A whisper of a cooler draft feels to gather and swirl over Steve's skin like a near-spring breeze. He's not privy to Loki's discoveries, but he does meet the Trickster's gaze with the undying fearlessness of someone long-used to holding his ground. Like a painting shifting on the wall, there's the barest inkling of the sense of something changing to him — if asked, Steve could never put his finger on the additional twist of Loki-luck granted to him.

"Cure me? Loan me strength?" With his chin freed, Steve unconsciously runs his forearm under it; his skin is a little chilly yet. "Awfully nice of you."

Loki's healing spell is simple, and it does help Steve, easing pain, lending some measure of a 'second wind', it won't last for terribly long, but for the moment at least there's greater clarity. "Steven, Steven, Steven…don't bite the hand that heals you, that's impolite." He grins as Steve manages not to lose control, and that earns the plucky mortal a nod of approval.

That chill draft is not merely physical, it is spiritual, the man's core nature is that of a Frost Giant, after all. It is an inherent part of him, something he's not bothering to hide (like the sword on his back is hidden).

That Loki Luck will be a bit of a brat, of course. It is only a small bit, only capable of small things, but it is mercurial, and playful, and cruel all at once. It is a gift, a great one, but it will not be a comfortable one.

"Cure you, loan you strength, yes." Loki says. "You're the beloved of one I hold in esteem, and so I choose to try and help. Do you spurn my aid, Captain Rogers? Dare you do so? Can you risk it?" The lack of aid, or…Loki's ire? That's the bit that's not clear. Could be both.

As the spell settles, it becomes easier to breathe. The radiant agony of the ICER wound sites fades away into the background of his attention and the vice-grip headache brought upon by low energy reserves melts. Steve looks over himself, not caring for a passing moment if the display appears to be less than thankful or suspicious. He feels…invigorated.

True-blues lift up to Loki again and hold his gaze once more as Steve works himself to his feet. He tries not to use the wall as aid, but a palm flattened against it is still required before he completely finds his knees.

"'m not gonna turn away anything that helps me keep from going off the rails." Oof — by the furrowing of his brows, this admission was difficult for the Captain, so renowned for self-control. "Already got folks working on a cure though. If you really wanna lend a hand, might speak with them on matters," he informs the mage.

"But you know me…when's risk ever been an issue?" Dry, the quip, and knowing, by the glint in Steve's eyes.

"It won't last, I'm afraid, God of Mischief you see. My magics, my gifts are often…" A wave of his hand. "…two-edged." Loki shrugs. He is what and who he is, he can be no other. SEEM other, yes, but he's a god - his 'essence', his 'self', those are more or less immutable. Fortunately, Loki's essence is intertwined with chaos, perhaps he alone of all the gods might change. Maybe. Possibly. Even HE doesn't know.

He steps back to give the Captain room to stand, no hand offered to help, why would he? Why cheapen the man's effort, his suffering, his worthy growth?

Pine green, at the moment, Loki's gaze meets the true blue of Steve Rogers, and his lip curls in a smirk as teeth are bared a bit. "I suppose I can offer some insight, if they wish it and have the wit to comprehend what I have to offer." Unspoken is his doubt that they will, but he's at least willing to entertain the thought they might. He can't help but laugh at the risk comment. "Risk? You mean life, don't you? LIVING is risk, but the game, oh…the GAME, the best in town."

The reminder as to the nature of the gifts has Steve drawing himself up taller yet. He's still not quite as tall as Loki, but he might give the impression of looking at the Trickster on his level by dint of emotional lean into this impression. The stalwart and noble ever do try for diplomacy and how fun as they to tease.

"If you figure risk is a game, might want to try the board game sometime. Turns take longer'n heart surgery," the Captain deadpans, still visibly if mildly perturbed about the mercurial god's presents.

"'nd don't be so sure they'll turn away any insight. 'm not… Nobody needs me running around the city with selective amnesia 'nd a mouthful of steak knives, as Barnes would call it." His throat works again, but he doesn't look away from those verdant eyes. "If Barnes'll trust you, so can I," Steve adds as if trying to make a solemn point even unto himself.

Presence is quite a different thing from /size/. Steve is a figure of myth and legend, a hero stepping from the pages of history to stride the world with a titan's steps. No, he does not need mere height to stand proud, to stand as equal…at least in spirit…to ancient Loki. And Loki's smirk turns to a more genuine smile, acknowledging the man's chutzpah.

"Played it, and yes a bit tedious, especially with large numbers of players. Still, an interesting game too." Is he simply going along? Or did he really play? That's the thing about Loki, it is really really difficult to get a gauge on what's true and what is not.

Another laugh. "Oh dear me, no, Captain Rogers…don't start /trusting/ me, that would be foolish. I am the Liesmith, after all. Trust instead that I'm amused, and that I am a friend to your beloved, or would be. Trust in /that/ bond, but not in me, never in me at your peril."

A moment of thought, and then he nods. "So…hungry? I could conjure you something a bit less bland than prison food, if you like. I'm a bit peckish myself, perhaps some steaks? Porterhouse, rare of course…smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some corn on the cob? Always liked corn on the cob, even if Coyote got annoyed when I borrowed some maize."

Steve's jaw moves on the horizontal back and forth minutely at the reminder of one of the Trickster's many nom-de-guerres. He even makes to fold his arms now across his broad chest.

"Fine. I'll trust in the old saying about uncertainty and its certainness." It's a bitter nicety, this clarity from the Asgardian mage…if it's a murky clarity at best.

Still, at the mention of food, it seems his stomach is set to awaken with a fury. It audibly growls. The faintest pinking appears at the tips of the super-soldier's ears. Irish skin is sometimes a curse, quick to color.

"Feel like if I said no, you'd be insulted, so sure." That Steve is practically salivating at the idea of steak is something he steadfastly ignores. Along with nobility comes pride in spades, apparently, even if the serum-twisted virus in his veins is screaming for sustenance.

"Much better, very wise, oh Captain Bucky's Captain." Loki says with approval of Steve's faint pique.

With a gesture the table is set, a private table for two, complete with candles in silver holders. Fine white linen the tablecloth, and before each man is a steak of truly heroic proportions - two inches thick, probably a pound and a half of mouth watering porterhouse covered in buttered mushrooms and grilled onions. There's baking powder biscuits in a wicker basket, and hand whipped butter in a small tub. A quarter of the platter is covered with a mound of garlic-mashed potatoes lavishly festooned with thick brown gravy. And in the middle is a small chaffing dish, inside of which a half dozen ears of corn reside. To drink are a pair of HUGE horns, full of honeyed mead.

"Then…eat, Captain, and let us tell each other tales of heroism and folly, courage and calumny, joy and despair." He raises his horn, and grins. "To the greatest game of them all - to life."

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