1964-11-27 - Trust Us, We're Helping
Summary: Kai and Loki meet up with Elmo at a bookstore. Long time no see!
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
loki kai elmo 

There's a bookstore near the penthouse, and Kai has discovered it. Of course the first thing he's done is drag Loki to it. Even though Loki runs a bookstore of his own, there is no such thing as too much bookstore. "Look at this place," he says in a low tone. "Wow, we are not fancy enough for this place. Okay, I'm not fancy enough for this place. Look at all this stuff!"

Loki frowns faintly, with both admiration and jealousy. "I despise it already…and I wish to own it at the same time." He answers to Kai as he runs pale fingertips across the spine of a blue leather-bound volume. "No wonder my shop has infrequent business." Cant have anything to do with him being scary.

Elmo is here, totally out of place, getting side-eyed by the occasional patron or staff member who probably suspects him of stealing or at least existing without proper respect. He's doing a perfectly acceptable activity though—reading, flipping through a pretty big book, holding the index open. He looks up at who comes in and calls in a totally not-low tone, "Kai, hey!"

Kai grins when Loki says he despises the place. "Your shop is groovy. It's got quality, man. It's got soul." He peeks at the book Loki's looking at, then his head snaps up like a golden retriever when he hears his name. Then he brightens and says, "Elmo! Come here!" He gets looks and an unsubtle 'shh!' from one person trying to read. To which he pays no attention. "You remember Serrure, right?"

Loki glances over sharply when he hears another voice calling out Kai's name and looks the long-haired fellow up and down. His fingertips brush away from the book he was molesting and he draws them behind his back where no one can tell what they are up to. Though he's dressed like a normal human, he doesn't try to act like one these days, projecting a mild alien-like aura of other-worldness.

Elmo abandons the big hardbound book and comes on over. Loki draws his eye and he hesitates halfway there. He stuffs his hands in his pockets, almost mirroring Loki's gesture, but his is clearly a lot more about anxiety. "Hey, yeah, he wanted me to fight you." He shoots Kai a Look, like he can't believe Kai is still hanging out with this weirdo.

"Did he?" Kai asks. Looking to Loki, he asks, "Did you?" He really needs to smoke less weed. He's doing enough to get someone with his stamina high; it can't be good for those poor Elvish brain cells. He shoots Elmo a Look in turn. Has Elmo seen this weirdo? Hello, hotness. "You have to admit, it would've been pretty funny. So how've you been!"

"I do not recall that. But…it does sound like me." Loki suddenly smiles, a curving affair on his angular face, while his green eyes twinkle. "So…you two are friends? And you have somewhere to live? I am shocked. Kai, you hardly hav any friends that aren't homeless." The 'bookkeeper' teases, and angles his body so as to not appear as aggressive, so the other man can approach them.

Elmo half smiles, reluctantly admitting, "Yeah, that woulda been pretty funny. After you beat me to a pulp." Maybe unconsciously, he takes Loki's invitation and closes the gap. "Been busy, yanno, makin' stuff, workin'. My sister told me about this book so I hadda come try to find it." He hikes his eyebrows at Loki. "I'm not /that/ homeless," he says, pulling a wry face. "Kai likes strays though."

"I would never hurt you, Elmo," Kai says. He gives Elmo's shoulder a squeeze, then brings him forward the rest of the way with a strength that could put a grown man through a wall. Still, he wields it gently. Elmo is not hurt in the process. "My friends aren't strays anymore," Kai says. "Though if you need a place to stay, my studio in Hell's Kitchen has a bedroom. It's my old apartment, remember? I live in a penthouse now with Serrure." Yeah, Kai sucks at closets, apparently. "Shouldn't he totally come see us sometime, Serrure?"

"Its Loki. I have stopped pretending. If someone wants to pick a fight with me over something I did not do, they can find me in person." Loki admits. "He should come by." Then he looks at Elmo. "You, should come by. What the Jotunheim…stay a while…maybe sleep in Bucky's bed while he's off having a girlfriend." Loki makes an elegant gesture as he finds out that Elmo's actually semi-homeless!

Elmo swallows, making a visible effort to keep his cool. "So, uh, that's why you look kinda familiar," he says with a decent attempt at nonchalance. "Nicetameetcha. Again. You know what I mean. Seriously, I'm not homeless. Uh, but, I'd love to come by. To your penthouse. That you live in with Kai." He gives Kai yet another Look, this one about why is Kai so gay in front of God and everybody.

Butter wouldn't melt in Kai's mouth, the way he looks at Elmo. Who needs words to speak when one can say with the lofting of one eyebrow that he will gay it up as gay as he wants. He shifts a little closer to Loki. See how with Loki he is, Elmo? Not just gay in front of God, gay with a god! "You should totally come see us. Our housemate is gone a lot, but I've learned to cook a few things, so we could do dinner." He looks to Loki. "Elmo would have fun with us, I think."

Loki arrrrches a brow as Kai starts to troll poor Elmo a bit. He tilts his head, curious, amused, and pondering just whose side he wants to be on for the game. "We do live there together. With another man. But…he is more like…" Loki pauses before saying what he was going to say, "He's a friend. Kaaaai, I am so curious when you say that Elmo would have fun with us, what you mean." Green eyes dart to Kai.

Elmo *glares* at Kai, who is *messing* with him, because of course he is. He turns red and gets awkward, shooting a fast glance around the room to gauge who notices and if he's going to need to fight any of them. "Don't you dare," he mutters fiercely.

Fortunately for Elmo, most people don't really care what's going on with those three strange guys over there. For all they know, Loki and Kai are standing close just because there's really good friends. It's not like Kai is throwing around rainbow glitter. Yet. "Oh, you know, good conversation over drinks, board games. Elmo, you worry too much. I'm your friend. Let me take care of you." He shoots Loki a sly glance, though, amused.

Loki takes a step closer to Elmo and stage-whispers, "I would not trust him. He is in a mischevious mood, and I would know. No…the only one you can trust is me." The prince chuckles.

Elmo drags a hand down his face. "Oy vey, there are two of you," he mutters. His thin shoulders twitch when Loki steps closer, but he permits it. Maybe he's distracted by all this outrageousness. "You're the *worst*." Is he talking to Kai or Loki? Probably both.

"We're the best," Kai shoots back without missing a beat. To Loki, he says, "Elmo is a bit cranky, but under that hard crust, there's a really sweet guy. You just have to get to know him. This is how he expresses his affection. When I was at a club in Greenwich Village and did some beat poetry about how 'gay' didn't mean happy anymore, he told me I was Satan." Which apparently Kai took as some sort of compliment.

Loki glances from Kai to Elmo and considers the man for a moment. "Strictly speaking…he is not gay, nor am I. This is an inter/species/ relationship. That should be the more concerning part." He points at Kai. "He…is an /elf/…and I am…complicated. And over a thousand years old." A grin at Kai. "He's so much /younger/ than I. What do Midgardians call that? Cradle robbing?" He chuckles. "You see? There are so many other reasons to be offended by us, the least of which is both being tentatively classified as male for our respective species." He gestures at Kai. "He might have his orafices in the knee…and have a gestational sack on his back. You have no idea."

Elmo covers his entire red face. "I really am gonna have to fight someone," he mumbles into his hands, then looks up. "I've seen his knees," he says, a touch defensively. "They ain't got no orifices. And if they did, hey, that's okay, I won't judge!" Except he'd absolutely judge. In a heroic attempt to change the subject, "Kai, I gotta ask you somethin'."

"I do like my sugar daddy," Kai says when Loki mentions his age. He nods wisely to his lover's words and jerks a thumb over his back. "I could be an egg-layer. A marsupial. Oh, man. Why can't I be a marsupial?" He then says, "Technically, you've seen my back too, but it's been awhile. It got weird." He considers a moment, then takes pity on Elmo and says, amiably, "Ask away." Like he wasn't just tormenting the guy.

Loki tiiilts his head when its revealed how much of Kai that Elmo has seen. He arches an expectant brow and falls silent, like he's waiting for the question with intense interest!

Elmo sucks in a breath. "Okay, uh, I met this guy and—" quietly, "I think I accidentally asked him on a date? I didn't really mean to, just I realized after and, uh, what do I do?" He looks at Kai, then at Loki, then back at Kai, suddenly worried and anxious.

Kai glances to Loki, then back to Elmo. Dating advice? Yesss. "Figure out where you're going before you commit, and don't overdress. It'll look like you're trying too hard. Keep it casual and public, because you don't know this guy or what he's about. Bring enough money to cover your own food, just in case, or be ready to dine and dash. Other than that, just be yourself." He smiles, sterling and dimpled.

"I just want to know who the guy is." Loki offers as his piece of advice. "And…if its an accident, then, you could always tell him how straight you are." His smile slices his face, crooked.

Elmo stares at Kai helplessly. "Where I'm going? What—that doesn't make *any* sense! Explain to me like…like I've never gone on a date or anything. Or. Anything." He's wilting a bit, bravado quite gone. He perks up a little when Loki asks after the guy. "He works at the library. He's real tall, kinda like you. He likes books." He winces a little, realizing he's gossiping with Loki, as in, /Loki/ Loki, but hey, he asked, and Loki doesn't seem so bad, and plus, Kai is obviously head over heels for him. All points in favor.

"Ooh, does he have a name?" Kai jumps on this gossip bandwagon with a quickness. "If he's a librarian maybe you should take him to this bookstore. Just two friends hanging out." He winks. He asides to Loki, "One of us had better go check him out, make sure he's good enough for our boy Elmo." He claps Elmo on the shoulder. Lightly!

Loki speaks up rather fast at that. "Yessss, /I'll/ go. I'll find out what his interest level is…and then you will know what he's expecting, Elmo. Librarians can be surprising. And possibly dangerous. And of course, two shy people can sometimes not get the job /done/."

Elmo makes a wordless noise of pure horror and waves his hands in an ix-nay protest. "No," he says, trying to sound firm but just sounding desperate instead. "Absolutely *not*, why did I say anything, this is a *disaster*. No, do not go hassle the nice librarian! *Kai*!"

"I'm not going to hassle the librarian," Kai says. He claps Loki on the back, the touch lingering just a little. "He is. But don't worry! Loki here is the very soul of discretion and smoothness. Your friend won't even know he's being queried. Come on, what's his name? What's his name, Elmo? What's his naaaame. He deploys the Big Puppy Eyes.

|ROLL| Loki +rolls 1d20 for: 4

Loki starts chuckling, soft and musically. "This is magnificent. All of it." He declares. "I am certain that everything will go just fine. But, you seem to be losing your cool. I will let you and Kai discuss it, as I hear some books calling my name."

Elmo closes his eyes. "What have I done," he moans. "You guys can't do this to me. I'm trying to be normal!" He scowls at Kai and makes a grippy motion, as if grabbing him by the lapels, although he doesn't actually touch him. "Everything about this is your fault."

Kai murmurs to Loki, "Love you, babe." Just loud enough for the two of them to hear, and he gives the trickster an unsubtle adoring look. Let people say something. He'll punch them through a wall. He then slings an arm around Elmo's shoulders and says, "You mean it's to my credit. Look, we're trying to help you. It's a dangerous world out there, you know."

Elmo surprisingly kind of leans into Kai, even as he's grousing, "Sure, 'help', I need your help like I need a hole in the head. I didn't mean go terrify the poor guy!" He groans and leans his forehead on Kai's shoulder. "He's *never* gonna go out with me now."

"We won't terrorize," Kai says. "Look at me, I'm a hopeless romantic. If anything, we want to ensure he will. Look, you're a great guy. I like you. I want to see you happy. You're just afraid because Loki and I are such a dynamic force. But in this case, it's for good!"

"Dynamic, that's one way to put it," Elmo mutters. "Look, just…promise you won't let Loki scare him." He squinches his face up. "That's a weird sentence. You've been…you know….with Loki this whole time?"

Kai lays a hand over his heart and says, "I won't let Loki scare him. If he's weak, though, it's better to get him weeded out." Hastily, he adds, "But that's not our determination to make! That's yours. So, no scaring. Loki is the smoothest smooth-talker. It's kind of his thing." He nods then and says, "Yeah, we started hanging out after that day at the shop, and then we just sort of hit it off. He's dreamy."

Elmo looks thoughtful. "He's not weak," he says. "A great big dork, but…weak? Nah." He offers Kai half a weary smile. "Well, Loki *is* handsome. Seems like a nice enough guy. I guess I shouldn't worry, you can handle yourself, right?"

"Yeah, I can," Kai says. "We've just got this vibe, you know? I mean, yeah, he's a trickster god, and sometimes he does some really chaotic stuff, but he always comes home to me, and I know he's not screwing around." He sighs softly. "And he is so hot." He claps Elmo on the shoulder. "Big dork, tall, thin, library. Can't be that many boy librarians around. We'll have to talk to them all."

"He really did want me to fight you," Elmo says. "From the way you looked I didn't think you could—you know. Fight. Stand up for yourself. I dunno. I was real, real wrong. I didn't want to anyway, I mean, am I gonna scrap with some poor guy minding his own business? All with the blonde curls?" He sighs deeply, ruffling Kai's shirt. "I can't believe you're gonna twist my arm like this. You're gonna hassle every librarian in the city unless I tell you which one, aren't you?"

Kai grins as the curls are mentioned. That grin, though. "No one would've gotten hurt, and yes, yes I am. What I think is he wanted to see two cute boys frisking for his amusement. It's just that, you know, Asgardians. Their idea of 'frisking' occasionally involves a small land war. But it's all in good fun."

Elmo grimaces, but doesn't otherwise protest being called cute. Kai must be wearing him down. "Okay, okay. His name is Lindon. He works in the archives." He looks at Kai, pleading. "Listen, I know you wanna help, I'm just. This is just. Really scary," he admits in a tiny voice.

Kai says gently, "There's nothing to be scared of. You're under the wing of elves and gods now. If anyone tried to hurt you, there wouldn't be enough left of them to identify." He smiles. Kindly. And he ruffles Elmo's hair. "Don't worry. I'm the sledgehammer. Loki is the finely tuned instrument. It's better he goes."

Elmo narrows his eyes and prods Kai in the chest. "I can take care of myself too, yanno. I don't need immortal dingbats fussing over me like aunties. I got enough aunties already." His mouth quirks. "…Thanks, though."

Kai laughs with delight. "Immortal dingbats," he says. "It's no problem, man. Look, friendships mean a lot to me. My friends are my family, and we might hassle you a little, but it's out of love. You know, if you ever do run into any kind of trouble, we got you."

"I used to think I hadda watch out for you," Elmo says, that wry half-smile coming back. "Little did I know, huh? I'm still gonna. You can't make me stop."

"Wouldn't dream of it," Kai says. "Besides, you see things I can't even wrap my mind around. What would I do without you?" He gives Elmo's shoulder a squeeze, then lets him go so he can pretend to browse books while he chatters. "I had a pretty bad summer, Elmo. It was rough. I thought about you during that time, wishing I knew you were okay. I wanted to say good-bye, because I thought I was going away for good."

Elmo shoots Kai a wide-eyed look. He studies the books too, even though he has one already out on the table, so he can let Kai talk. "What? What happened? You—/what/?"

Kai finds some cushy chairs tucked away in a corner, where they might talk privately, and he flumps down in one. "I died, man. It was a mess. I got marked by the Wild Hunt, and dark elves chased me down. They tortured me for awhile, then they made one of my own friends tear out my throat. I went to Niflheim, and this mystical woman told me I could return to the land of the living, but only so I could find Loki, so that he would be dragged down there with me."

Elmo listens and his eyes can't go any wider. He's quiet for a long few moments, gathering his thoughts, then ventures, "Why? Why would anybody do that to you?"

Kai gives Elmo a small shrug, and he sits there, just a small elf-man-person in a world where weird shit happens. "Dark elves don't like elves very much," he says. "They were happy they caught one." He shivers, rubbing one arm in idle, remembered distress. "So I came back to life, but I couldn't see or talk to Loki, but I had to pretend I was trying to find him. We existed through notes to one another given by mutual acquaintances. He saw me sleeping once. Then we saw each other and the next thing I knew, I was in another afterlife."

Elmo mutters, "That part sounds familiar." He adds quietly, "Didn't think you could die."

"Oh, I can die," Kai says. "My kind live for a long time, and we're tough, but we're not immortal." He shivers. "No, we can be killed." He drops his gaze. "Loki rallied several others to help him, and he stormed Niflheim to find me, only I was in Czernobog's realm. He stormed that, too, and he and the others brought me back. So that's how my summer went. I died twice and came back. Because my man is groovy."

Elmo rubs his forehead in an overwhelmed sort of reaction. "Kai. God. I dunno what to say. I feel pretty bad for yelling at you, now." He reaches over and grabs Kai's hand and holds on, hard.

Kai holds fast to Elmo's hand, and he smiles at him, all that warmth resurfacing. "Don't feel bad," he says. "Always yell at me, if that's what you feel like doing. It's so good to see you, Elmo, and to see you made it, too. But, like, that's what I've already been through. There's nothing you can throw at me that's going to make me balk."

Elmo shakes his head a little, at himself. "I'm scared of going on a date and you went through hell. I know what I wanna say," he adds suddenly. "I wanna *hurt* those guys who did that to you." His long hand quivers on Kai's, as if he's imagining running several thousand volts through some dark elf. "I don't know how anybody can want to hurt you, Kai. You've got the biggest heart I've ever seen in my life. Wanting to hurt you—that's like wanting to hurt sunlight."

"Dates can be scarier," Kai says. Then he grins and ducks his head as Elmo speaks. He tucks a curl behind one ear and says, "Dark elves, man. They're, like, the antithesis of what I am. They're svartalfar and I'm ljosalfar, dark and light. They loathe the light and will do anything to destroy it. That's why they call the Hunt; to find something beautiful and destroy it." He wrinkles his nose. "Total buzzkills."

Elmo snorts. "Buzzkills. Yeah." Still chewing on the whole thing, he says wonderingly, "And Loki saved you. Well, I guess he ain't so bad."

"He's not, no," Kai says, and there's that twitterpated face again. He settles back in his chair, so lazily relaxed even in the wake of such a tale. "He's complicated. For as long-lived as I might seem to you? I'm a flash in the pan to him. He's got a mind that's just been going for over a thousand years. I mean what even sticks with you? He's, like, deep. But he stormed Hell to bring me back, so that's, like, the only thing I need to remember."

Elmo huffs out a long breath. "No kiddin'. He really must love you. I guess I better get him a Hanukkah present. You think he likes latkes?"

"I don't think he's ever had one. Ooh! Yes, that's what you should do. Come over to our place and bring lots of foods we've never had before." Just wait til he finds out Hanukkah involves jelly doughnuts. "Then we can do you a proper Yule, with the burning log and the evergreen, and basically Christmas stole most of its good stuff fro us."

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