1963-11-21 - Crossroads
Summary: After discussing business with Strange, Skali and Loki take a walk back to the manor and discuss where the wolf's loyalties lie.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-11-21-establishing-neutrality
Theme Song: None
skali louis 

The laughter in her voice was honest, the sound rich and accustomed to sipping on humor chased with violence. Their stride was joined by the whirling mass of musculature and tawny fur, the formality of a leash avoided as Bragadin surged out of the first gate and nudged the latch on the second to lead the way down the sidewalk.

"It was a time before temples. Before electricity. They were easier to terrify before they tamed fire. Ever heard of the Big Bad Wolf?"

A fluidity to her motion matched his stride as they moved down the street, a natural kinship accustomed to partnership instead of succor. The smile tracing her lips broadened, Cheshire in its toothy mischief and unabashedly devious.

"I was never deserving of temples. After all, I'm only a wolf."


Still walking along with the poodle neatly keeping pace and with its leash around one hand in his pocket, Loki seems terribly at ease for the moment. His eyes are distanced towards their destination, the manor with its guards and the reporters though some have filtered away and headed off. But at their return it does cause a small stir as photos are taken and a few questions are hurled with little effect.

"So you have made yourself known to me, it puts you naturally at a crossroads." He moves along and gives a nod to one of the soldiers who snaps to attention at the appearance of the prince and his companion. Climbing up the first of the three short steps, Loki pauses to look at her as he rests a hand upon the door knob. "This is where you write the rest of your story. It's an opportunity that doesn't come again. Oh something similar down the line could, but nothing quite the same as this first revelation."

He opens the door and the dog races inside, rushing across the hard wood floor with claws clicking and clattering as it rushes to the back of the house for the treats that Hilde at times puts out for him. Loki holds it open for her and her animal should she so wish, "You could join our efforts, earn your place, and enjoy the fruits of loyalty and a strong position. Unless you enjoy swimming in the smaller bowl for a time longer." Then there's a pause, "Or would that be hunting in a smaller forest?"


It was not until the first flash bulb pops that Skali realizes her first step had been taken in an unintended direction. One moment she trotted along as amicably as the hounds by his side, the next her step was shortening, her brow creasing, a cast to her person that would tuck a tail if she had it. In such a state, her eyes rise to meet his own as he regards her from the top of the stairs and the moment passes.

"There are no absolutes in an eternity. Although it's poetic, I will give you that."

And despite being but a minor godling, her chin raised in a fashion that regarded him with an easy confidence. It did not challenge his supremacy, but it also did not depend on it, draw to it like a moth to a flame. A smirk that echoed his own, and then her head tilted to one side in that curious fashion and she followed him into the manor,

"What would you use me for? Some find me useful in moments of intractable diplomacy."


"Each to their gifts, of course." Loki steps inside the foyer and it leaves here there with that decision to be made. To follow or to reject the hospitality. For truly behind her is freedom, a lack of attachment, as well as a lack of obligation. It is assuredly tempting. But it is not what is offered within the confines of the embassy, at least for now.

Should she join him inside, however, she will see him standing before the coat rack, pulling his gloves free from his hands and stuffing them in the pockets of his jacket as he shoulders himself free of it. Once it's set to the side he continues further on into the room and down the hall. "When a task beckons, it would be good to know that it could be handled with a few words given and results being expected."

It's towards the study that he makes his way, a common place for the sharing of words and the creating of agreements. "But you set foot on this path and it is a sublimation of self. It is a recognition of something greater than yourself. Asgard, the King, the nine realms. It is a loss of freedom and would require accountability. Is that something you would be prepared to endure?"


"Asgard? Not Odin?"

Every step he took was echoed by the click of her heels, a sway to her hips as she passed down the hallways that refused to be overshadowed by his lead. Ignoring the preamble, and having no outer garments to shed, she leaned against the frame of the study and murmured softly,

"Caution, Trickster, lest your ambition be misconstrued as treachery."

A flicker of light in her eyes, a passing memory, and then her attention rests upon him in a moment of lengthy consideration.


A small chuff comes from him, laughing faintly as he steps towards the liquor cart and casually flips over two glasses. The bottle is turned on its side and he begins to fill one glass and then the other, "Your oath would assuredly be taken to Odin, though I will bear some weight as your closest of the blood."

He doesn't hand the drink towards her so much as casually pushes the cart in her direction with the toe of his shoe as he drops into a seat opposite her. "As your elder I owe you this. I owe you this chance. I owe you my protection as can be offered. I owe you the opportunity to become what you could be."

There's a pause as he lifts his drink to his lips, then pauses as he looks across to her. "You would be surprised how many foundlings are in this realm. How many scattered and lost Asgardians all dreaming of the golden city yet enjoying their place here."


The cart rolled idly towards her, intercepted without nearly as much aplomb. Where Loki was all greased axles and graceful dignity, Skali was deceptively human. The glass was lifted, sniffed at, considered but not drank from. She did not depart from the frame that she so adeptly skulked within. It fit her.

"Thank you for seeing my potential."

That was it. She didn't bother offering the 'but.' Sometime during his offer, the smile had faltered. When Odin's name left his lips, her own tightened until the humor was dead. A lengthy sigh was spared, as the glass was set back on the tray and she continued honestly,

"I do not dream of the golden city. Perhaps it is a weakness of character, that I disdain oaths and enjoy the chaos of this realm, the unpredictable yet intense explosions of emotion that only man can boast"

Trailing off, she clicked her tongue and then added in earnest. "I'm sorry that I cannot accept at this time."


A nod is given as he settles deeper into his seat, "Then all I have left to offer you is my protection, as far as it can extend without conflicting with the oaths of realm that bind me." But then his smile shifts a touch as he meets her eyes, seeming to become all the more at ease. "And now, with that out of the way, tell me of yourself granddaughter."

He cocks his head to the side, "Whatever you will, for I find myself wistful of mood of late, and would see how reality has treated you in your travels and travails."


Skali chuckles at the offer, knowing it was not offered lightly and thus her discomfort deepened all the more. The grain of the wood suddenly became very interesting, and after a lengthy pause, she entered the room and settled in the chair opposite of him. The drink had been reclaimed as she passed, and now the amber liquid was splashed against the interior of leaded crystal, gauging the viscosity before she took a sip and looked pleased.

"I accept, though I hope to make no use of it. I've lived this long without need of it. If it were not an insult to your competence, I would extend my own protection but-"

A pause as the humor rekindled and she met his eyes, "-I doubt you need it." The thought passed, hopefully amusing him as much as it did her, the question hanging in the air as she seemed to consider all of the things she could tell him and how to obscure the important portions.

"I lived for some time as a wolf. The woods were felled, the wilds claimed, the industrial revolution extinguished the ability to live in anonymity. I became human, after a fashion. Fought by their side in the wars, lived in poverty, claimed riches whenever they suited my fancy. Took a mate. Watched the world turn over and on itself again, then be reborn once more."

The ice clinked in her glass and she took a sip before rolling back her shoulders and sighing, "I have been treated well and often. Midgard agrees with me, as it seems to suit you, though perhaps not in the same fashion."


"It is an unwise man that would turn away allies, so I shall hold your protection to me dearly." Loki's smile is given easily enough as he takes a sip of his drink as she does as well. But then he sets it aside, leaving it there for the time being as he crosses his arms over his chest, eyes resting upon her with lids half-closed as he ponders the question that is Skali before him.

"It does seem, indeed, that Midgard has treated you well. You seem…" He turns his head to the side slightly, "At ease, where it's concerned." But then he uncurls a hand towards her, "I should warn you, however, that there are missteps you could make that would cut you off from the Golden City and your family in the eyes of those who have power over such things."

He uncurls a hand, "Standing against Asgard and its goals would be one way. Or offering aid and succor to her enemies. If you truly wish to have no standing amongst your kind then worry not of such things. But if you would keep an eye to the future, then be aware."


The pass of his drink to one side does not go unnoticed, but she hardly allows it to impede her own enjoyment. Lifting the liquor to her nose, she inhaled deeply on aged gold and let out a happy sigh as her eyes bled out to a matching color. While he relaxed, she did not lull into such a state though she flirted with the edge of it.

"You should know best of all that there are shades of grey. Binaries are such a tired human ideal."

A tongue traced her lips, another long drag of alcohol passing down her throat as the emptied glass was set aside. Contentment echoed in her growl as she moved to stand, regarding him with a mixture of calm consideration that honesty eased into as she spoke,

"I do not need to return, Loki. My future is here. No matter what a mess you make of it."

The name was used in a quiet admission, trespassing perhaps across propriety though it only added to the candor of her words. There was a warning there, one she could not impress much fear into given the difference of power, but that could not strip the emotion from the promise.


A low laugh slips from him, one that lifts into a chortle and grows further until he's actually laughing. He straightens up and shakes his head, again reclaiming his drink and fighting down the echoes of his joviality as he takes a sip as if to steady himself. It's only then that he lifts the glass towards her as if a toast as he murmurs, "I wish you well in your attempt to argue such before the All-Father."

But then he still chortles some as he shakes his head when she tells him of her future being there, "Then enjoy it, Skali. But do not be resigned to fate." He pushes himself to his feet as he downs the last of the drink. "Feel free to make as much of a mess of it on your own as you will."

It's towards the door that he moves as he asks over his shoulder, "Shall I have Hilde prepare a room for you, or would you care to make your way home?"


"I don't believe I could claim your blood in my veins if I weren't making a mess of something." The laughter she echoed came easily, disguising the pause as she measured the name 'Hilde', her nose twitching as she seemed to seek a word that couldn't quite be called to the tongue. A flicker of recognition traced her expression, and then was quickly obscured by a shake of dark curls,

"No, thank you. I'll be on my way."

She was still smiling though, the mutual humor having amused her in turn and making her departure all the more aligned with some unspoken understanding. Perhaps there would be a day when he could call her to heel, but it would not be under the name of his father or the cause of the Golden City. As he stood, she followed his lead to the entryway, the hound rejoining her side as they lingered outside the front door.

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