1963-09-25 - A Whisper in Time
Summary: Finally… Loki meets with his lady Scarlett.
Related: A Word in Passing
Theme Song: Joy Williams - Til Forever
louis rogue 

After the audience with Odin during the celebration in the great hall, the royal family had gone missing for a good bit of time. Balder, Thor, Loki, all were unable to be found for a handful of hours. A time which they spent in the company of their father in the War Room of Asgard, seeking to set the course for the realm and to focus upon the tasks that lay ahead. Afterwards there was some celebration, just the trio of brothers chatting, laughing, making light of what had passed in the last time since they'd all been together.

But now it is almost the morning of the next day, though some of the more exuberant Asgardians are still involved in various contests of strength or endurance, though mostly drinking. But it is only then that Loki is back amongst the people. He moves through the subdued crowd with an ease that would make one question whether or not the prince had truly left Asgard all those years. He offers greetings, smiles, sincere contact that lets the people he speaks with know that he remembers them.

Yet it's only when he sets eyes upon the young woman known as Scarlett that he offers his regrets to those around him and breaks away from their company. It's towards her that he moves, and he offers a small bow to her, hand touching the center of his chest while the other sweeps out to the side. He straightens and offers a wry smile, "Lady Scarlett, I trust you enjoyed the revels?"


The revelers in the great celebrations of the harvest blot know of the guests in their midst somewhat. In the eternal society of Asgard, gossip runs like wildfire through people doomed to live five millennia. Any alteration to the regular rhythms of their lives must be cherished and seized upon like a gem. By now they speak in hushed tones of a foreign princess brought from Midgard as the bride or consort of Thor Odinson. They whisper in corners about the meaning of such forays, and whether this one succeeds better than the last. The mortal. What was her name? Time has already forgotten.

The lady's attendant, other than Amora the Enchantress, confounds all attempts at pigeonholing. Fandral escorted here near and far, the wagging tongues say. Heimdall himself met her on the Bifrost. Amora guarded her arm for hours. She serves the princess. She serves Thor. She serves no one, and acts as the token mortal, a skald; no, an ornament; no, a weapon, for the guards swear she brought the Enchantress in when the sky split with the Prince's wrath…

There she is, nonetheless, guarded as she is always guarded, partaking of mild conversation about whether Midgard really does still use fires to heat homes. The conversation spills away into silence, her partner scurrying off away from a much bigger predator. Besides, they cease to exist in her too luminous eyes, and the whole world could burn and perish without a blink when Scarlett of Midgard lifts her head to match eyes with that favoured son of Frigga. Nothing else matters, the universe in its heat death boiled off. She bends in curtsey as graceful as any in St. James' Court, executed in green leather and golden mail shaped to leaves, making her wild and Asgardian, but wholly her own. "Your highness." Words come to her lips… In Aesir. His own native tongue. "Well it is to receive you in this court." This, from a girl who curtseyed before the All-father not a meter behind him, flanked a step forward by Stephen Strange.


She rises, offering her gloved hand in a sort. "I doubt I shall ever forget them. Something as this imprints itself upon the mind. "


It is within that torrent of social suspicion that the prince rises from his bow, eyes upon them assuredly and tongues will waggle. The first night of freedom and the trickster spends some of his rare time with this young mortal. And then when he sweeps her along with him, resting her hand upon the crook of his arm even as he moves between what gaggles of mingling nobility there might still be, he offer her a few words sidelong as he moves. "Matters have proceeded apace, I am to Midgard the evening next."

He moves with her towards the side hall that lead to the various quarters, his hand resting upon hers gently as if to assure she wouldn't drift off. "Odin has expressed his will and his displeasure in his own manner. We can but obey."

A small sardonic smile touches his lips as he looks to her, "Torn from my brother, the title of Protector of the Realm is taken and delivered unto me. I am to take up the mantle once I again set foot upon Midgard's soil. We are to set what forces we can array against the giant-kin."


Let their tongues wag, those spectres hungry for any scrap to sustain them for a year. Scarlett falls in step beside Loki, the slight lift of her heels giving them a more even balance, though he still has the advantage of height upon her. Segmented gloves guard her fingertips for the most part, designed such to allow immediate baring if necessary. Tucking her arm within his, hand resting close enough she might feel his pulse, she matches the prince pace for pace. "So soon returned after your arrival," she murmurs, nodding to the gravity of the declaration. "Your tasks must be most urgent to match the dispatch and great title."

Heat radiates through the barriers separating them, and the mercurial drift of her veiled gaze lifts to capture his face again. Shielded by a blithe mask, only someone familiar with her moods might realize the burning intensity directing her, measuring the state of his bearing, the lingering wounds, those things made visible only to a worried soul. It won't be enough to drink her fill here, not in the least. But this will have to end the famine, in small bites for the moment.

"Whatever resources you require to fulfill your tasks, ask. I kept samples of the leirjotun after its dissolution that may prove worthwhile, and composed a report while in the upper gardens." A pause follows, even as she tips her chin up. Mischief meets with the nameless intensity; her gift doesn't absorb by aura, but she drowns herself in the starlight again. "I do not anticipate remaining here, unless bidden. Though your family's protection extends to me, I wouldn't abuse it."


Turning to face her, they pause there in the hall. "Heimdall will see you home if you wish to depart. Or you can hold til I take my leave this coming evening." Loki gives her hand a small squeeze and glances down the hall, yet there are still some around yet not quite as many eyes. So his voice drops subtly and he murmurs, "The future beckons, and for that we must plan."

The prince shakes his head and for a moment his eyes distance. She might get some insight then as he allows a moment of reflection to show in those green eyes, as if a million things were flitting through his mind, so many that must be seen to before progress can be made. "My brothers will be coming to Midgard as well, and we are to join our efforts together. The manor in New York, it must be seen to and readied. I would have you speak with those of your ilk and see what service can be gained for a time of conflict could be near that may require others to address in full."

A frown touches his features and he lifts a hand to his shoulder, squeezing the muscle there as if something weighed heavily upon him. He shakes his head then and murmurs, "If there is aught you can do to make such a transition easier, then do as you would. But beyond that… I am still in thought."


Her gaze follows on a whitefire trail, and she dips her head, the stir of those fox-red braids woven in a dragon's coils. Ever mindful of the walls being alive, and ravens everywhere to hear the course of events shifting, Scarlett curbs her tongue. How many words wish to be said! "He was kind to me, in his tasks. Though has the Doctor not departed, I may return with him to avoid a diplomatic wrinkle." A very faint chord of mirth colours of her words, paying heed to the bent and slanted truths in a plain statement.

She sweeps her thumb against the underside of his wrist, a gesture easily construed as calming as much as determining he is tactile, no figment from a dungeon. Except she writes, the faint script of English letters imprinted on his sleeve.

"Mi casa es su casa." A gesture lightly indicates one of the further balconies peering over the golden city. In other words: what resources she has are his, even if colloquial Spanish might be lost on others here, despite having fluency I n the language. "Time to take up an invisible mantle in the cause your lady mother spoke to me of, in her fashion."

How mild a throwaway statement, suggesting Frigga knows whom she is.

"Very well." A slight pause lingers there, and then she smiles again, the luminous weight of her eyes overshadowing the lunar curve of her mouth as the stars outshine the moon in the proper moment. "You ask much, but you deserve no less."

Then, she murmurs, "I apologize if I trespassed against your will. But in light of silence, we could not know."


"You did naught to upset my plans, brave Scarlett." Loki's smile is easily given as he lifts a gloved hand to her cheek, the back of his fingertips brushing along gently in a tender caress. "Things have proceeded as I expected. I was able to at the least get my brother and father speaking again, and some weeks of quiet contemplation are a price I would pay again to be able to speak my mind to my father as I did."

He takes a deep breath and shakes his head, "But as for what tasks you can perform, perhaps just see what there is to be done with the manor. Anything further, save for a time when your mind can hammer upon the anvil of such a quandary."

There's another pause and he looks down the hall. "I have much I must tend to, many I must speak to. Too much to set in motion before I can depart. I shall meet you once again upon Midgard at the manor?" He turns back to her and smiles crookedly, "You can tell me what you would then, if such fits your wishes."


A dry spark of laughter sets fire to the entire parched field, taking it away in a chord of merriment that might turn heads. It only adds to the legend of the God of Stories, the trickster Prince, there beguiling another mortal. Oh yes, the very same one whom the Enchantress carried about, and showed the gardens there…

"Arranging for that, my lord," only quick ears will pick up the slightest stress, a shared quip, "should be no difficulty. Organization on a grand scale I have done with greater frequency in recent days. Let me handle what I can in advance of your return. For all you know, by the time of your return you may own half of Fifth Avenue through a series of encoded accounts in Grand Cayman and Liechtenstein." That her heartbeat arcs on an unpredictable path through the celestial spheres, striking high and tumbling erratically away, is purely felt and not seen. No collapse follows.

A straying glance takes more effort than she might say. "Time rushes against you. I can feel the disturbances in the ripples. Call at the garden, when you are prepared, then to your lovely manor. Shall I wait breathlessly until the appointed hour?" That might warrant a smirk, and she doesn't care, lacing her fingers lightly around his for a moment with just a hint of pressure. "Try not to forget those who oathed themselves to you while buried under the demands of your office. That vow is not discretionary or convenient."


"I would prefer it if you breathed." Loki smirks back at her as he draws her close for a bare moment, pulling her into an all too brief embrace with one arm around her. But then he steps back and holds her at arm's length, his gloved hands resting upon her shoulders and his eyes finding hers. "Now…" He straightens up and takes a breath himself, shaking his head slowly. "We must part for a time further, though we shall meet again in New York."

No other glance is given towards the people who assuredly are paying attention to them… though acting like they're not paying attention to them. He smiles faintly and opens a hand towards her as he asks, "Now tell me what has passed for you. I am curious how you spent your days of freedom from my domineering rule." His lip twitches slightly, almost threatening to grow past his normal smirk.


A frictional dance of their auras recognizes its own; there lies a latent spell in her veins, furled in the bloodstream, tight as any seed. It knows its own origins, if not the reflection, and he might feel the tease of the power there. Or the merest friction dancing through her aura of a thought, an energetic surge going off like a solar flare, matching the brief entwined of her arms around his waist. Moments last altogether too short a time, but the hidden strength in her lithe frame evinces itself even so. It might even bruise.

They can step apart and she rotates upon her toe gracefully, reversing course. "Learning, in truth, exploring all I could; honing my art; and extending your tyranny upon fertile fields. Laying in the foundation for what will come." A pause follows, then she adds, "Vexing his highness your brother, of course, and confounding the Enchantress." Her smile harbours an element of mischief, the sly curl at the corners a frightening mirror for his. It should be. She's had weeks of practice. "She believes I am not cutting enough, but that might come with time. We should speak upon that one later." Cutting words? Enchantress. Let the eavesdroppers wonder, and shake their heads. Just what mortals need: lessons on being sardonic, witty, and devilishly talented.


A short laugh comes from him as he shakes his head. "Indeed, I shall look forward to hearing of it. Continue as you would, vex whom you wish. I shall bear what cost it requires." Loki's smile is amused as he then lets it falter for a moment as he looks down the hall. Shaking his head he murmurs without looking to her. "Very well then, time for us to our tasks."

Looking back she can see the too casual mask of the courtier settle back into place as he straightens to his full height and then executes another smooth bow with one arm out to the side. He recovers and murmurs, "Til the next time, Lady Scarlett." He steps back one solitary step, and then when she returns his farewell, he shall turn and move off down the hall… walking past those who are still feigning their lack of attention.


With warnings like that, Stephen Strange, sorcerer supreme, may have his head in his hands. The Dean of Columbia may wonder why on earth every last student in the faculty is trying to claw their way into the archaeology department and making sudden class overloads. Set free an inquisitive, creative girl with a bit of firepower at her back, and things happen.

He might be responsible for rescuing a kitten. Maybe he'll do an outstanding dance to amusement and wonder. And perchance he'll buy a damn manor.

Let the bystanders have their questions as she dips into that increasingly mercurial countenance and bearing suitable for an awed mortal, demure and polite all the same. "Thank you, your highness. I will be grateful for the insights." Dipping again in a bob of a curtsey, her obeisance is no less formal than before. Separation snaps their gravity, but the invisible bonds sing stronger than that. At least to her. "Road rise to meet you, my lord."

They close around her in their dance, a murmur goes here and there, then someone else causes a scandal by wearing their brother's armour—for shame, those pauldrons were earned for the second battle of the Tharadin Pass in Svartalfheim…

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