1965-07-04 - War and Fishing
Summary: Kai and Bucky hang out after hours in the Avenger's mansion.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bucky kai 

It was a successful evening. Cookout food on the roof, followed by fireworks, viewed from a distance. The pups dealt with it collectively very well, if with some puzzlement. There was swimming. Now the kids are fed and cleaned and stashed in their upstairs den….and Papa wolf is wearily cleaning up the aftermath in the kitchen. But he looks very content, if heavy-lidded and sleepy.

Poor Kai, he doesn't do well in the heat. He wilts. When it cools down, though, in the late hours after everyone has settled, he comes alive. He comes in through the front door, dressed in cut off jeans and a t-shirt (it's too hot these days for his modly best), and he slinks through the house, looking here and there. In the kitchen, there are signs of life! So he trundles in and perks up when he sees who's there. "Bucky," he says. "It's awfully late."

"Yeah," he says, affably, giving Kai a sleepy smile. "Long day. How 'bout you? I know the heat is a torment. The kids don't like it much either." Scrubbing plates and settling them in the dishwasher, pace slowed from earlier. "There's cold beer and root beer in the fridge, if you want."

"Just the words I want to hear," Kai says. He helps himself to a root beer, then comes to lean against a bit of counter where he can watch Bucky do his thing. "How are the boys? Did they like the fireworks?" Who knows where Kai was during the celebration? The gods alone know where he goes when he disappears.

"It kind of bewildered them, but they got it," he says, as he gets one for himself. "They're doing better, slowly but surely. They squabble amongstthemselves a lot. I need to take 'em out of town. To some resort we can commandeer, up in the mountains or something. They aren't city kids, like me an' Steve."

"That might be good for them," Kai says. "It can get overwhelming in New York, especially in the summer. "Maybe go to a camp up in the Catskills or something. They have cabins up there. You should get a couple cabins on a lake and just relax for a few days. I can hold down the fort."

"Exactly," Buck says, nodding. "'s what I'm thinking. I wanna get something more permanent, a base up there. The city makes them miserable. They need to run and play in the woods, the lakes, things like that." Then he grins. "You should come too, for some of it."

"Oh, I don't know," Kai says. He takes a long drink of his root beer, then lets out a content sigh. Finally it's cool enough to move around and not be miserable. "I'll see if Loki wants to. I don't know that camping would impress him very much. Then again, if he's out doing his things, I might go to fight off the tedium. I haven't lived off the land in ages."

"Well, with showers and roofs and stuff. I'm not up for the whole Army experience," Buck notes, tone dry. "I've had enough of eating squirrels and living in dugouts. You could come up for a while, if Loki's busy."

"Thank you, Bucky," Kai says amiably, and when he smiles like that, it practically lights up the room. "I was thinking maybe fishing, so I'm doing at least something outdoorsy. I won't even cheat and trap the fish in a water bubble. You know, make it sporting. Have you ever caught a fish?"

Bucky nods, as he sets another plate in the rack. "I sure have. I had really extensive survival training, between working withthe Commandos and then the Russians. You leave me somewhere with a knife, I can survive. But I grew up in the city. Wilderness isn't my usual place, y'know? Fresh-caught fish can ve good, though, cooked right. What about you?"

"Oh sure," Kai says. "We had a little house in the Highlands. There's lakes everywhere. I've fished in Loch Ness." He laughs a little. "My job, when food or moeny was scarce, was to fetch us food from the forest. I think that's why I love cities so much. I get nostalgic though, sometimes."

"It is nice to be able to go to the store and just buy what you need," Buck agrees, chuckling. "I've been to Scotland. I don't imagine catching fish in that Loch was easy." The glasses chime as he shifts the upper rack to settle more plates in the bottom.

"There were nice trout in the rivers," Kai admits, "but I had my little places I went to along the lakeshore. Then I met a fishmonger and started working harder on a different sort of lure. It's easier when someone just gives them to you." He smiles, showing not even a little bit of remorse. He takes a drink, then adds, "I think mum and da just liked getting me out of the house for awhile. It was only the one room and a loft."

Bucky pauses. "You lived there with your parents?" Somehow the idea of Kai as a child on earth, all those centuries ago…

Kai nods, curls bobbing. "Oh, sure. I was born in London, and when I was about ten, we came to Scotland and ended up in a little town near Inverness. I lived there until the Jacobite Rebellion. Then mum and da got arrested and taken to Asgard, and I had to go to Alfheim for awhile. I was grown by then, of course." As if he doesn't look barely grown now.

"The Jacobi…." He knew Kai was that old. The elf has said before. But parsing it…..Buck gets that little furrow between his brows. "Damn. That's right. I forgot…." He grins, sheepishly. "Man. How humans must've changed in all that time. From before America's founding to the atom bomb…"

"It's what I love about humans," Kai says. "They change so fast. When I came back from Alfheim, I landed in the Americas, and the world was poised on the brink of war. I didn't understand the finer points, but they put a rifle in my hand and said you're with us or against us." He takes a long swallow of root beer. Mmm, sweet and fizzy. "That was my first war. Never did get the hang of them."

Bucky whistles at that. "Well, I've been through mine," he says. "I'm sure it won't be my last." Buck sounds….uncertain if he really minds, by his tone.

"There's going to be another war," Kai says. "I'm not going, though. You shouldn't either. I'm not saying the Russians shouldn't be stopped, but warfare has changed. The bomb has everyone justifiably nervous. You don't want to be fighting over there and have someone decide to skip right to the big finish, and kaboom, there you go." He shakes his head. "I can walk off a bullet, but the bomb? Not so much."

"Amen," Buck says, softly. "I'm afraid of it, honestly. That they'll rope in Steve and me and the kids….I don't want the kids anywhere near where the Russians could get 'em, ever again. Even ifthey're made to be fighters, and they are."

"Doesn't matter what they're made to be," Kai says, "what matters is what they are and what they become." He wrinkles his nose. "I don't think Uncle Sam or Mother Russia should get a say. I suspect — if the brass have any brains — they'll want to keep you guys on hold. After all, once we start using our super guys, they'll start using theirs."

"I imagine they want us as an obedient team. I'm not above that," he admits. "I still do work for SHIELD, more or less. Anything to make sure they're never tempted to trade us away."

Kai says, "That's not a great position to be in, Bucky. Still, there's worse organizations than SHIELD, and they've done all right by you, all things considered. I fight the causes I think are right. No one tells me what to do." It's a fine illusion he's got going there, as though, say, the All-Father isn't holding his parents over his head.

Bucky just slants a look at him, but doesn't argue it. "I can't blame you," he says, softly. "But the kids….some of the guys in SHIELD took out on them what they meant for me. I killed a lot of agents when the Russians had me."

"I hope that guy got his ass kicked," Kai says. "I'll do it, if not. Those boys are incredible. I feel a little protective, I don't know why. Maybe because I'm protective of you, and they're yours." He frowns. "It's not right, taking it out on them."

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