2020-07-29 - Speed Reader


An Avenger wanders into a bookstore

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jul 29 22:48:42 2020
Location: Cover Story

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Pietro has actually be here a bit, reading. He did arrive through the front door, jangling merrily, but that might have appeared strange as there was no one at said door when the jangle occurred. The speedster was already in the aisle and out of sight. Not trying to hide, but merely moving fast enough to be missed. He can easily be found browsing books, careful of the older volumes. As for himself he's wearing charcoal colored slacks, a pale shirt, and even suspenders. Dapper and perhaps suggesting another decade. There isn't anything Pietro is looking for, but he can never resist a bookstore!
Eventually he does find a book he's interested in. (Like maybe two minutes eventually.) It brings him to the counter, trying hard to bring the speed to more normal levels. If no one's there, he'll lean on the counter and read.

Sigyn is working behind the counter, the door is warded, just permeable wards, so she knows someone passed through it, even if she doesn't see them… Ah. Aura is back there. That is… remarkably fast. When Pietro arrives at the counter, she gives him a warm smile. "Let me ring this up for you. If there's something you're looking for that we didn't have, please let us know." She removes the paper card tucked inside the cover with title and price, opens the ledger immediately to that page, and note the book as sold even as she rings up the sale. An impish grin, "Do you want a bag, or are you not going to put it down that long?"

Having been in the back, Loki emerges, he's dressed in a black silk shirt, long sleeved of course, and a green vest and pants. His shoes are black leather, and he's wearing little in the way of jewelry, though he DOES have a very nice classic Rolex, possibly antique though it is in perfect working order. He looks about and is holding a stack of books with one hand, though when he sees his wife he can't help but smile a brief moment, before studying the man at the counter. Loki is very good at schooling his expressions, that said, with Pietro's senses he'd see the flicker of recognition as the man moves to the counter as well. "Hello, first time in Cover Story?" He asks in a friendly tone.

Yeah, Pietro is so not trying to hide, so will be easily located. Especially since magic isn't at all his thing. "No, just this for now." Given easily to Sigyn for her asking. He nods to the woman as well, thoughts on that book opening. Huh. "Do you have any way to wrap.. it for me?" The hesitation is for Loki arriving of course. Seems the recognition goes both ways. It leaves the speedster really curious. "Not gift, but even newspaper. Brown paper? I'll pay extra." Given slowly as he tears his eyes back to Sigyn. When asked of his first time, there's a nod, bright eyes flickering between the two, "I wasn't aware of such auspicious company however."

Sigyn smiles, "Wrapping it is not a problem, and no extra charge." Indeed, she pulls out a sheet of brown paper from beneath the counter, where there's a neat pile of such. The paper is large enough that it overlaps quite a bit, and she uses an interlocking fold that holds together neatly without twine or tape. She grins impishly at Loki, her love and humor both obvious, "Someone other than me thinks you showing up is auspicious… What have you been up to that you're not telling me?" Yes, she's definitely teasing.

"No, no…clearly he's just impressed with your origami skills, my wife." Loki turns eyes the green of a glacier's heart and offers a slightly cool hand to the speedster. "Hello, Mister Maximoff, it is very nice to meet you." A wink. "Big fan of your work." Ah, but /which/ work? That's the rub. "Allow me to introduce my wife, Sigyn, Goddess of Fidelity and the best cook…pretty much anywhere."

A grin at the teasing comment from her. "As I said, cannot be /me/ he considers auspicious, I'm generally more associated with wrack, ruin and mischief - none of which are generally terms mentioned as 'auspicious'." He looks to Pietro once more then. "Of course, if you do ever need any particular books, or editions, do please come by, we'll be delighted to assist." And then he ponders a moment. "Perhaps, if you're not busy, some tea?"

Pietro is a little unsettled to be honest, for he so wasn't expecting to shop books and meet gods. Then again, this is New York. He should be used to this by now. "Thank you." Given for the wrapping, of which holds his attention. "Well, I was simply trying to be polite." Given with a smirk that boarders on sly. "Supposing I should know better. It is a pleasure to meet you, lovely lady." There is an Eastern European accent to his words, but he speaks English perfectly.
He grips Loki's hand without any kind of strength contest. That would so end in his favor, wouldn't it. Invited to tea, the speedster hesitates again. Another unexpected surprise. Loki is sure to be good at those. "It would be a pleasure. Let me pay for the book first? Wouldn't want anything to occur before that." Hey, it's New York. Fin Fang Foom might attack. You never know. Will offer Sigyn his credit card.

Sigyn slides the card, and processes the purchase. Ledger for tracking purchases, but latest tech for credit cards. "We aren't busy today, Mr Maximoff, we would enjoy the company." And the chance for her to show off her baking! Hmm, do speedsters eat like Asgardians? Well, no matter, she is used to having people drop in who eat far more than humans do. Once the charge is done she hands the card and the book back over to Pietro, and the 'open' sign flips itself over without anyone going near it. "There's a small garden behind the store, I'll set up tea for us there." And she vanishes… literally, rather than seeming to the way Pietro does. Though his perceiving at super-speed means he sees all sorts of pretty swirly PATTERNS where other just see a golden flash as she vanishes,

A soft laugh at Sigyn's vanishing, and then he turns to Pietro. "She does so love to show off sometimes. Still, you're in for a treat, I daresay." Loki's handshake is not a challenge either, he matches the strength he's given, no more, no less. And yes, the Lord of Lies is fond of his little surprises. Or big ones. Medium…any size, really!

Once he's gotten his book sorted out, Loki motions towards the door near the back, and then starts that way at a much more sedate pace than 'teleport', or 'speedster'. "So, I hear that you're an Avenger now, is this so?" Once they get close, the door opens all on it's own as they head towards the back. The backroom is quite remarkable, clearly where the 'favored' clients are brought, private meeting area, and all sorts of exotic bric-a-brac about. Without pausing he leads the way to another door that leads into a walled in garden, with a bricked over doorway in the shape of an arch.

A glance to the door and that sign, then Pietro makes himself relax. Magic. It's just someone using powers. "Please, Pietro, if you would." No need to be so formal. He takes the book, thanking her, and smiles to himself for her disappearing. Golden swirls. "She even teleports attractively." Bemused at the whole thing. In for a treat. "I can't imagine it wouldn't be considering." A goddess of what again? Yeah.
With that, the white haired man follows Loki. "I have been for many years." Given of being an Avenger. "I took a hiatus for a time, well more than a year, leaving me out of touch with current goings on." Pietro admires it all, book under arm, as they pass through. "It has been quite quiet since returning."

The back courtyard is a little architectural oddity, a niche formed between buildings when roads were straightened and old buildings replaced. It somehow manages to get enough shade to be comfortable, but not so much that the garden has trouble flourishing. Indeed, there's likely some magic at work here as well, as it smells like plants and warm brick, not car exhaust or any of the other less pleasant scents of the city. There's a tiny brick courtyard, and a wrought iron table sits with a pitcher of iced tea as well as a pot of hot tea. There's also two tiered trays, one tray holds an assortment of cookies, the other tiny iced cakes, minature scones and small pots of clotted cream, and finger sandwiches. Sigyn nods as she hears the tail end of the conversation. "Quiet depends on where you are looking… there have been a few interesting issues we've come across. Dark Elves invading. Hydra being a pest. The usual. But if we can keep them from bothering ordinary people's day to day lives, then we've succeeded."

"Pietro, very well." A chuckle. "I am, of course, Loki." He even omits the surname! He laughs softly. "You should have seen Steve when he was imprisoned and cursed with lycanthropy, I really should see how he's doing and the delicious husband of his, Bucky Barnes as well." He nods about the Dark Elves. "Yes. The Svartalfar are twats of the worst sort." A judicious rub of his chin. "Unless their even worse, of course." A wink at that. "And HYDRA…/is/ rather pestiferous, like roaches, really, never seem to be rid of them."

He snakes a tiny cake, "Entrapta would approve." Wait…LOKI watched She-Ra and the Princesses of Power?!

"As to my wife…everything she does is lovely, even when we fight." A chuckle. "ESPecially when we fight, that's how she first piqued my interest, actually."

Pietro admires the garden. "Amazing." Is complimented. Maybe he can do something similar over in Wundergore. Sadly it'll never match, him not having magic, but maybe. "Well, quiet since I returned?" Asked, amused. No, he doesn't mind. And yes, the speester is impressed. Yeah, just had this spread of confections laying around? Uh-huh. He puts the book gently down on the table and takes a seat. Now, he doesn't watch TV, so has no idea who Entrapta is. What a strange name. However, the man does have to pause over husband Bucky. Er.. Well then. But that isn't lingered on. Taking a couple of sandwiches on a small plate, the speester smirks over fighting. "How often does she let you win?" Those overly bright blue eyes just might be gleaming as he asks.

Sigyn laughs, "I'd never let him win, it would take the fun out of it for both of us." She smiles lovingly at Loki, "Besides, the fact that I've gotten good enough to be a serious threat to him is a credit to his skills as teacher. I was a good fighter before we got married, but Loki's always been more than merely good."

"Quiet is boring." Loki says, and really there's few things scarier than a bored Loki! Sigyn knows. OH, how she knows.

He can't help laughing the smirking question asked, cheeky bugger, this lad. Loki likes cheek though, so it is good. Well, until it isn't - the risk is edging over from 'cheek' into 'disrespect', that's where things get 'may you live in interesting times' interesting.

A nod to what Sigyn says. "Fighting is pointless if either side just gives in, though…there was that one time Sigyn was spoiling for a fight, and I just meekly agreed to everything she said." He actually cackles a bit. "She was FURIOUS, didn't speak to me for a year." He wipes at his eyes. "Ah, good times." He does nod. "She's one of the deadliest dagger wielders in the nine realms, and she's pinked me more than once. Her magic is also puissant, here, in one of our homes she is truly a peer." High praise indeed from Loki.

Note to self.. no picking fights in Asguardian homes. Or with the Loki family. Of which he does already know Thor, so that's just confirming an idea Pietro already had. Don't mess with gods unless you have to. "These are excellent, thank you." To Sigyn about the sandwiches, and that's no lie. Will totally take some of the iced tea if pouring for himself isn't rude, and that helps washing things down.
And totally being a cheeky bastard, the speester smiles, but decides not to prick Loki's pride already more than he has. "Sound advice I'll take to heart." Never having married, he can see something that works when it's there before him. "Have you truly been together for thousands of years?" Innocently asked.

Sigyn nods, "Converting to Midgardian years isn't easy… especially since back then you didn't agree what year it was from place to place. Not just different systems, but different counts using the same system. But we were married somewhere around, oh, seven hundred and fifty A.D." She grins at her husband, her eyes merry, "Finest trick Loki ever played, and caught himself in it."

"The trick of course being stealing her hand in marriage." Loki grins, because he is so (NOT!) immune to flattery, and well does Sigyn know it. "So…what, just shy of 13 Midgardian centuries." A shrug. "We're just in the prime of life now." He says.

Because: Asgardian & Jotun, respectively.

Tweaking Loki's pride is a fun game! Really. Try it! you'll definitely not be let down for excitement. "So, have you had /any/ excitement since your return, or has it just been 'bored'bored'bored' all the time?"

Pietro does some math in his head and slowly nods, "We humans must seem so ephemeral to you." He sure can't imagine having been married a millennia and more. That smile does return and he asks, "Who tricked whom though?" For you both label it a trick, but don't quite seem to agree on who. Maybe on both?
Excitement? He shrugs, "A little. Carol, Captain Marvel, and I were asked to help with the rescue of some captives. Thanks to the plans and preparations of the group known as RESCUE it went down as smoothly as one might expect." Seeing that no plan ever lasts contact with the enemy. "We saved everyone, but it was almost disappointingly cliche. The location was inside a caldera."

Sigyn nods, and for a moment her eyes are serious, "Ephemeral and fragile, but precious for that. Not that most Midgardians aren't boring. I find most Asgardians boring as well, thanks to my husband's terrible influence." She does smile at Loki at that. "But the saying about the candle that burns twice as bright burning half as long? Many of you cram as much living as you can into that time, and it's a glorious if fleeting thing. It's always been my choice to join Loki here, and I've rarely regretted it." She pauses, "Salmon in aspic… that -almost- made me regret it." Blancmange did make her regret it. Some things should just never be done to chicken.

"Honestly, yes. Often dull, very brief things…but the ones who are interesting are /so/ interesting that it makes the dullards, simpletons and twits not matter even more than they already don't." Loki nods to what Sigyn says. "I have met some very interesting mortals over the centuries here, in fact the interest factor has been increasing, I suspect by the time I die the averages will have reversed to most mortals are interesting." Loki laughs softly, and yeah, at nearly three millenia, he does have a few years on him, and likely another 6-7K to go barring Ragnarok, of course. Again.

"These RESCUE folk - would you say they're dull, interesting, or fun, Pietro?"

Pietro can so totally grasp the fragile part. Humans are. Precious? Well, he does believe in humanity, so maybe, yeah. The speedster is a hero after all. He doesn't comment about it though, but he's very much paying attention. And enjoying the spread. It's soooo good. A smile spreads over the salmon comment. "I'm afraid I don't know enough of cooking, so I'll certainly take your word for it." Trusting the hearth goddess seems the best plan here.
"Hmm.. Dull." Is said with a shrug. If only to spare RESCUE that they were in fact interesting. "When I say everything was planned, it was planned down to details." Lots of tedium, Loki! You so wouldn't like it.

Sigyn shakes her head, "Over planning is as much of a vice as under-planning. It's better to plan for flexibility, especially when facing an enemy." She smiles, and there's a sharpness to it. "After all, they usually have plans of their own the dirty bastards. That's why they're the enemy." And then the smile softens, the sharpness hidden behind the domestic goddess. "Try one of the cinnamon chocolate cookies… I have a lovely hot spiced recipe, but I'm trying to make something that's more warm and friendlg."

"Involving hot peppers this time?" Like the trick she played on him with the duel. "Oh, my wife has few, maybe no, peers in the kitchen. ANY kitchen in the Nine Realms, or beyond." He sighs at the ill news from Pietro about the RESCUE crew. "Sounds fairly tedious." He admits. "I mean, I like a good plan, but yes…as beloved Sigyn has said, plans need to be able to adjust to the enemy. I have seen some so-called 'Generals' try to plan for every contingency, you can imagine how well /that/ turned out for them."

A soft laugh. "Well, you could always drop by for lessons, Sigyn is a fine instructor too."

Pietro agrees about over planning, but what can you do? "It didn't go badly, but there was something that wasn't expected of course. There always is." He shrugs, and totally helps himself to one of the cookies. "Thank you. Everything is delicious." You are ruining him for every other cook. So not fair! "Cooking or being a general." Amused at the offer. "I must decline sadly. I don't do well with lessons. Mostly due to my power, but the offer is appreciated." No lie there! So can't cook well because of it. That frustrates the man to no end.

Sigyn smiles, "I've done and taught both, actually." She tilts her head, "No, you just need a teacher who will adapt to your needs, rather than expecting you to compromise to fit their teaching style." Her eyes half lid. "I have a couple of ideas, let me ponder it."

"She's a vicious general. I can truly say that the thought of being on the other side of a war from Sigyn is something even I would prefer to avoid." Loki grins then. "But /oh/, what a glorious contest it would be. Maybe we should conquer a couple of countries, see what happens." He's kidding, right? He has to be kidding.

He's not actually kidding, but he isn't quite serious either. It WOULD be fun, the prep work of the conquest though? That doesn't really appeal for such a limited thing.

"Even the Norns get surprises from time to time." And that's true. Clearly he agrees about there always being surprises. "You should form a paramilitary comprised entirely of cooks, the Cooking Special Forces." He quips.

Isn't there a Steven Segal movie about that? Pietro nods, not knowing the real history, but willing to take things at face value for the moment. At least from Sigyn. "Very well." Of the cooking lessons. He doesn't try and explain the issues he has with things like heating food. People never believe him. "Thank you." Just to be polite. But Loki? Pietro asks of Sigyn, "Please tell me he isn't serious." No, someone doesn't like the idea of taking over countries at all. That's bad.

Sigyn gives Loki a /look/ "Whoever won the fight, I'd get stuck with running the countries and cleaning up the mess afterwards. So no." She sips her tea, "Now… purely as a mental exercise, I've considered what it would take to remove various tyrants… but outsiders coming in and trying to solve peoples problems tends to just create more problems in the long run."

Well, she's not wrong, she would. Loki translates the look properly and wisely has some more tea and cookies, because he actually IS nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Almost. He laughs softly at the Very well from Pietro. "She's very convincing, she might just be able to do it too, Pietro Maximoff. She is quite inventive." In lots of different ways too.

He wasn't serious, no, but he also wasn't /not/ serious. Sigyn decided things nicely. "We could devise some sort of game to simulate conquering the world, I bet that would be very popular as a game." Like Civ, or Risk, or any of a dozen more…

Pietro finds he likes Sigyn. Practical. Smart. Dangerous. And a good cook. Too bad he can't steal her. To prove his like he takes another cookie. "There are plenty of games if you want to play politics." Said seriously. No playing with people's lives! ..Anymore than Loki already does. "I wouldn't doubt you both would be fabulous about it, but I can't approve of taking over any countries. Especially for the reasons Sigyn herself stated. That's simply rude." For all he's amused at the idea of not doing so for simply rudeness sake.

Sigyn nods, "There's also the matter of escalation. We get away with as much as we do because we play by certain rules by living here. We keep things to local, we live here, own land and businesses and if we happen to be on hand to deal with a local villain who dares annoy us, it means little on the grand political scale. However if Loki, a prince of Asgard were to conquer a nation, well, even if the locals welcomed it because we were saving them from worse, other realms would… see it differently. The politics would be atrocious." She sighs, "And I'd have to clean it up. I'd have a headache for decades."

"Well, manners are important, to be sure." Loki says, yes…that argument reached him more than the humanitarian concerns. Show of hands - who's surprised? Also, Sigyn has already been stolen once, thank you very much, and unlike the modern film industry doing something again and again isn't really their sort of thing. Not even in part. Especially when it was done right the first time!

"Oh very well, no /actual/ conquest." He'll still play with mortals lives from time to time, he can't help it really, freer than most gods by his nature as a trickster, he IS still a trickster, still by nature one to meddle. And yes, he can be malicious, even cruel, but he doesn't *have* to be.

Pietro nibbles on cookie and looks between the two. "How inconsiderate of you." Said to Loki about giving Sigyn a headache for a decade. "Not factoring in the comforts of your wife. Tsk." Of course he is teasing, but this whole conquest thing has him trouble. Especially since he knows it so could happen. "Instead, perhaps, take her to a location of her choosing for a relaxing few years?"
Then he stills and listens. "Forgive me, but I must hurry off. I am being called." He rises to his feet, eating the last bit of cookie in an eye blink. "Thank you for your hospitality, both of you." The man takes up his book and then disappears in a pale blur. Woosh! The live of an Avenger…

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