1965-07-13 - Blind No More
Summary: They're letting anyone into Asgard these days.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
black-widow rogue kai lambert loki bucky strange 

It's a party! Well, not exactly. It's an arrival. Kai has taken shameless advantage of the generosity of his good friends (and more or less brothers in law) Thor and Balder, and he's requested the Princes transport him and his to Asgard. 'His' includes friends. He absolutely needs to have his entourage with him! He is an Alfheim noble of some rank, after all, even if he's never explained that situation in detail. The Sons of Odin, upon their arrival, have their own things to do, of course. Some of Kai's friends have gone to explore their own stuff (a tour of the palace is underway even now).

Then there is this group, standing on the steps of the palace with a stunning view of the highest realm. Asgard's skies are impossibly blue and clear, the architecture somehow futuristic while remaining rooted in ancient tradition. Kai currently carries two cases of wine, one stacked atop the other. "Lambert, what did you bring?" he asks.

Does the Elf require two gorgeous redheads to accompany him? No, but it certainly helps. To Black Widow, he says, "Natasha, this is my good friend Scarlett. Scarlett, Natasha is definitely one of the most interesting people I know. And this satyr-kin here is Lambert. He made all this booze."

"Well," says the faintly goatish Lambert, his ears twitching "I brought some of the Hel-mead I made from that recipe on our holiday there -" Yes. Holiday. Lambert is relentlessly upbeat, or perhaps merely cannot conceive of not having a party somewhere. The chef has his standard yoke across his shoulders that Kai has seen before - a device used for shopping in Chinatown or the fish markets before competitors can get there. In the baskets on either side are neatly wrapped objects of various kinds. The very last jar of honey that Strange did not purchase for Wanda. Home made baklava. Mead from hell. A couple of jugs of satyrwine in pottery in case anyone wants to try the inebriants of _his_ Gods. Bitter hyssop for the wine that Kai carries. A lot of wine, really.

Lambert tries to peer up, and he swings his head around "This place smells interesting."

Considering the habits of Asgard, for once, the Black Widow in her tactical catsuit is likely not the oddest looking in the room. She easily took Kai's invitation to witness something that is literally out of this world. Unique experiences are getting harder to come by when you live such a storied life as Natasha has, not that all the stories are good, but there's no lack of excitment. "Scarlett," she says at Kai's introduction, extending her hand to the other redhead, and as she extends her hand to Scarlett she looks curiously at Lambert while inclining her head in a silent greeting to him.

Can beauty come out of ashes? Apparently they can if they involve charcoal sketches or turning burnt out candles for artistic purposes. There will always a variety of them in Asgard, though the artists skilled in their particular crafts no doubt will find something odd in that young race so uncommon treading their realms in the last century or twelve. Scarlett, however, knows her way about here. She speaks their language here enough to no doubt cause consternation, and a very good many of them affiliated with the library and varied archives look upon her as something worse than familiar. The maiden with flowers in her hair sold dreams for a truth away from the Enchantress to obtain whatever lore she might among their volumes.

So there is party time, and there's a girl fully prepared to slip over a railing and dash off to find the stacks again. But for now, she must socialize and be the epitome of hospitality where it matters considerably to the residents. Besides, never mind she chooses that moment to display a simple, plain tag marked with a single emblem. Just in case they wonder. At least the signature is known to Odin All-Father. Thus, she smiles wanly to Natasha and inclines her head. "Fortune and favour to be here, no?" Extending her hand to take Natasha's means an oddity; she's wearing leather and golden mesh gloves up to here, there, and everywhere.

Kai's brow furrows as he studies Lambert. "We need to find the healers," he says. Then, because this is never awkward, Kai explains to the two women, "Lambert's gone blind, poor guy. His family headbutts a lot, and he's just not got the horns for it." He quickly adds, "He will! They're coming in really nicely, and they're lovely horns. They're just not long enough yet for all that kind of nonsense, so we're here to fix his eyes."

The Elf is dressed like he might be a noble somewhere. He cleans up nicely, and it's unusual to see him being his most pristine. He possesses the surreal beauty of the Light Elves with no illusions to humanize his features. His mad curls have been tamed and coifed appropriately, and his regalia is silverblue with accents of midnight. The stitching favors artistry every bit as much as it does form. One could lose oneself in the ornate knotwork and embroidery. With an 'erf,' he sets down the wine cases and says, "We'll get this stuff pawned off on a servant. They'll know what to do with it."

Lambert does not respond to gestures, but his cataracts mean that he can tell merely the difference between light and dark. The ears, though, move towards the others very accutely - long, flexible. Somewhere between 'elf' and 'goat'. Dressed in a simple white shirt and pair of black jeans, Lambert is not bothering with shoes on his broad feet - he does not have hooves, but here he does not mind his lifted ankles being visible. His tail is flicking around happily as he sniffs, taking in the air. And then he says "So clearly, the ladies with us have the superior perfume and simply _must_ tell me about it all at some point so I can tell Marcie. I really do appreciate someone who can truly invigorate the senses -"

Yeah. The goat is already leering, but he coughs suddenly at 'Not got the horns for it', and is about to comment…when Kai placates him. He then says to Kai "That sounds good. I don't have to worry about flattening an Asgardian by walking into them with all of this, but who wants to spill the wine? So, ahhh, this. The healers. Do you ladies mind accompanying me there? I can be left there if required!"

"That yet remains to be seen…" Widow concedes the place is remarkable, though her visit to the realm of Nevers had opened her to more fantastical things. Yet, she's unclear on what this visit to Asgard will bring, so she's not quick to count it as fortune and favor. Natasha does seem particularly drawn to Kai, her blue eyes lingering on him each time they glance his way, "you do seem different here, Kai, formal wear? Or a disguise?" Hard to tell sometimes which is which.

"I do not think you need to worry about opinions upon horns," Scarlett replies, voice laden in a murmur of cheer that dances across her tongue. The adjustments from Aesir to English and back again require careful consideration not to cross-pollinate languages in ways they were never meant to. "They will be magnificent when they make their appearance." A flash of a smile traces her lips, and lend her that sunny buoyancy that could chase through the darkness, if so compelled. Her attitude is the cusp of summer colliding into autumn, her aspect visually aligned with the deep traces of sylvan greens to accent the purled gold. The one deviation: the necklace, plain as it is, and that hell of a shocking opal caged in filigree under her glove that very likely has half the sorcerous staff around Asgard on alert.

"Neroli," she says lightly. "As a base. I could tell you middle and base notes for hours, but you can follow the citrus where you go. Near as I can tell they have nothing similar in the gardens here, though that may be because my own senses are dulled compared to some." Might as well be polite, mily eyes or not.

"I lose track of which version is the disguise," Kai tells Natasha with a wry smile. He claps Lambert on the shoulder, guiding him should he wish to put the yolk down now that there are servers coming to relieve them of their burdens, and to offer them all refreshments. For himself, Kai takes a goblet of mead. This may be the watered down stuff that won't kill mortals, but by golly it's an early start ont he drinking, and he'll take it.

He lingers near Lambert lest his friend begin to wander toward stairs or some other potential catastrophe. "When Bertie here can see, he's one of the best chefs in New York City. Even when he can't, he's pretty good. Fixing his eyes is a service to Midgard. A mission of mercy for those poor benighted palates." He presses a goblet of mead into Lambert's hand. "And for Bertie not to see you two in your glory is just a crime."

Lambert carefully styles his curls up to show the very little points that have errupted through his skin. About an inch long, but still what would look like horns on a goat kid. Yes. This is a very masculine pose! Lambert is evidently from the biological imperative of the male being the pretty one. He himself radiates magic, but not strongly - just a sort of rough background side effect of being what he is. Old magic, not particularly controllable, with a tendency to wander off and get itself into trouble. Just like Lambert, who says "Yes. I like perfumes. Neroli, petitgrain citronnier…perfume to the nose is the same as taste to the tongue, for pleasure." As Kai taps him, one ear flicks towards the servants, and Lambert half-crouches to let the baskets rest on the ground. The yoke is shrugged off his shoulders and Lambert says to one of the aides "Thankyou." He then grins, and his sharp, meat-eating teeth show "Kai knows my tastes," Lambert says brightly "And of course, I do regret not being able to admire you. Perhaps you will come, later, to my restaurant and I can show you the best of Greek cuisine." Then he says suddenly "I can smell mead."

"Perfume…?" Natasha was not expecting that question, and she looks to be considering what to say, before eventually offering, "chypre," without offering elaborate discussion of its merits. "This place certainly offers many new fragrances…I don't suppose there is a gift shop for Asgardian goods, is there?" Natasha points the question at Kai, she would definitely be eager to see a sampling of such.

Dusky laughter shimmers on the threshold of audibility, swallowed back to avoid its full reality from coming forth. "'Tis fairness. Let him have the act of imagination." Scarlett has no precedent for dealing with a blind satyr and politeness prevents her from asking how that came to be. She all but tiptoes around that fact, allowing Kai some means to withdraw the conversation or Natasha to fancifully sidestep. "Gift shop? As such, no. Mortals have been incredibly rare here for quite some time. Roughly seven hundred years, give or take. The notion of Midgardners traipsing about takes some getting used to. Though you can find all number of artisanal shops and such, they do not use currency the way we do." Figures she knows how to shop about here, though the corner of her mouth lifts again in another dreamlit memory drifting and going. Ease of a smile is never a truly carefree things here.

"I daresay you had me at Greek. Mediterranean food is delightful and a careful blend of spices and flavours." She sighs faintly, hand to her stomach, the other to the small of her back. "The drinks here are memorable, the food delightful, but sometimes a girl dies for a bit of lemon spritzed properly."

"It's because of Lambert that I've been learning to cook," Kai says. He has remained standing poised without slouching for a whole fifteen minutes. Longer, even. Proof that someone did home train him, he's just elected to forget most of it. Except now. Now he's all about the elegance. "I'm no longer feeding Loki spaghetti with sauce from a can. Anyway, why don't we see if we can get Bertie's eyes fixed, then when we hit the shops in town, he can see what nice thing he's going to buy me for being such a good friend."

Lambert shoots Kai a dry look, blind or not, and he says "I'd love to know what currency is used here." Not that he has said 'no', at all. A gift is a small price to pay. Lambert says "While I don't know about gift shops, presumably they trade amongst one another. The goal would be to spot something you like, and ask them where they got it from, I think?" Lambert rubs his hands together. Dickering is fun, even if his experience is mostly with fishmongers and florists. Then he claps Kai on the shoulder, and he says "Let's go to your sawbones." Elegant? Lambert is not elegant. He is bouncy, full of vigor and brightness - he then says brightly "Soooo if Kai can get directions, I guess one of you ladies should lead me…" Riiiiight.

"As would I, not often I get to witness such worlds," Natasha concurs with Lambert. "Well, if bartering is how it works, I certainly have the means to take something back with me," Natasha can only assume Kai wouldn't be the only Asgardian to approve of her Widow's Kiss if she honestly thought to trade a packet for something.

"You seem to do quite well, Lambert," Natasha notes, "but if you must have a hand, I can help guide you…as a friend of Kai's of course."

Sawbones — rather not, no. The redheaded bohemienne, unlike the assassin provocateuse, flashes the slightest bit of a smile. "Always a rarity. Make the most of it, of course, because the realm offers every kind of escape." Scarlett isn't prone to bombling off at random, at least while people are watching her. Like an unseen brownie, she vanishes when someone's attention isn't upon her. Or rather she might be a Weeping Angel, probably closer an apt comparison.

Her own nature is simply to absorb her surroundings, a tad mute as she measures up the differences of their whereabouts. That drink has to be swallowed fast, at least.

Kai cedes Lambert's proxity to Natasha with a wave of his hand, as though presenting the satyr for her entertainment. Who is he to stand in the way? He shall accompany the lovely Scarlett, or at least fall into step with her and see how that works out. The first thing he does is ask someone where the healers are. Always a good first step! Then he leads the way.

Lambert beams towards Natasha, and those sharp teeth show again. With his sense of smell and hearing - and the closeness of Kai - he can likely make it around just about anywhere. But the chance to hold a pretty girl's hand is still pretty exciting for 1963. He laughs, at the 'of course', and then he is being guided by Natasha. Who might well have business elsewhere pretty soon. Lambert seems content for the moment just to be _here_ with the chance of being fixed, so as Kai gets directions, up he gets, ready to trot. He has a slightly odd lolloping gait, from a faintly inhuman tendon distribution. And then he is nudging Kai as they are drawn into a building "What can I pay with?" Lambert hisses.

And so they leave the palace steps and enter into the palace itself. Kai walks like he knows where he's going, but he has to stop and ask instructions a few times. The key is pretending one is supposed to be there. No one questions why the Elf wants the healers. He looks like he knows what he's about and he's dressed rather well. So on they go, down this corridor, then down that one, and turn at the second fearsome painting of Odin and down another broad corridor. It's a truly massive palace.

"Don't worry about it," Kai asides to Lambert. "You're a guest of the Princes." Yet more hassle he's willing to place on them for their genuine kindness and consideration. Out into a courtyard, and then yes, into another building. The Elf pats Lambert's shoulder. "Here we are," he says. "I'll just hand you over to these nice ladies in robes." And he does.

At this point, the lovely redheads recede to their own affairs, perhaps to converse while they wait, or to not wait at all and go on to other things.

Lambert probably gets mistaken for the amusing manservant. But his ego is unassailable, protected by overwhelming ID, so he never seems to mind. He nods to Kai, and then there is a cheerful wave "Thankyou _so_ much, Kai," he adds, lower voiced now "I really appreciate it. I really do." And so as far as Kai is concerned? Lambert is taken on out by a couple of healers who end up facing what must be one of the simpler surgeries for people with their technological skills. The last Kai hears is Lambert saying "…wait, sunglasses - those are sunglasses, that thing you are describing, yes?-"

And what to thy wondering eye should appear, but a magnificent Prince, with horns of a reindeer.

From beyond the healers suite, appears Loki, all cloaked and helmed in his formal attire. He seems freshly arrogant and powerful, likely straight from some sort of suspicious meeting with someone he was able to push around and get his way with.

Loki says, "Is the goat having his hooves removed?" He asks in a purr."

Kai's attention darts to Loki when he arrives. The Asgardian Prince has a commanding presence, and it's a testament to Kai's polished facade that he doesn't go a little weak in the knees. Not visibly, anyway. He does smile, so broadly there are dimples, and he says, "Not at all. They're going to fix his cataracts." The Elf stays where he is, hands folded before him. He hasn't let on to anyone here what connection he has to the Prince. He's leaving that up to Loki.

The healers don't seem terribly fazed by the healing required, it's true. The shape of the corneas are interesting, but it's a mere variation on a common theme. Honestly, they don't even really need to knock Lambert out for it. They have these weird, astral-looking globe-thingies that they set afloat in front of Lambert's eyes, and a light emerges from the globe-thingies, scanning the satyr-kin's eyes.

Loki smiles faintly, and crookedly, as Lambert is looked after. "Ahhh, yes, I do recall you mentioning that." Loki doesn't seem to be shy about sliding one hand behind Kai's back as if he owns the elf. It might be unseemly for a Prince, but…for this particular prince, its really the least shitty thing he's done for centuries so…Odin at least, does not seem to care for the moment. "And then…your parents?"

Kai turns slightly toward Loki, poised yet making no attempt to hide that he is, in fact, quite owned by the Prince. He seems so calm, but his heart is beating hard and fast, his pulse fluttering in his throat. People will talk. This isn't like Midgard. The people this will get to are important. He darts a small, brave smile at Loki, and there's genuine pleasure in the look. Let them talk.

The Elf swallows, then nods and says, "Yes, I was thinking we might try to catch the All-Father in a good mood. I brought the, uh…" He whispers to Loki, "The apple." Then he's quick to add, "It's safe, but I think it might be something to barter with."

Since without lasers, and with precise technology, cornea surgery can be pretty much painless? The whole thing takes a surprisingly short amount of time. A tweak here, a replacement there, a clean up of each lens until they are brand new, and a few delicate tests. Look at this. Read out these words. Ah. Alright. Perhaps just describe these shapes if you cannot read this language…never mind. Focus here. Focus there. Someone is out after a mere twenty minutes to signal to Kai that his friend is…wait. Is that Crown Prince Loki? The healer mutters something about the friend being out soon and then ducks away to gossip.

Speaking of the amusing manservant. Bucky's content to play cyborg Arlecchino to Kai. Or pet - Kai's brought his goatfriend to get his eyes fixed, maybe this one wants his metal arm replaced. He's dressed plainly, overcoat, dark pants, dress shirt, leather gloves. He doesn't fit in in the least, but then, what does he have that would serve, here? Nothing. He ends up in Kai's shadow, defaulting to that role. Loki gets a bright-eyed almost smile.

Loki bows his head once to agree with that sentiment. "Yes, I think it shall be, and I fully intend on throwing my own weight behind the deal. I shall speak in your favor, and in theirs." In a glance to Bucky, he smiles in return, and places a hand briefly upon his shoulder, claiming him too in a way, lest other Asgardians get the idea that he's OK to be played with. That wouldn't do. Not his to claim, maybe, but its a protective gesture, at least. "And what do you think of the…Golden Realm? Much better than Hel I would imagine."

Just wait until Kai gets these two guys alone with a seamstress. Oh, he has plans. Yes, plans. For now, he doesn't seem to mind their Midgardian sensibilities, despite that he's playing every bit the Elvish Nobleboy. He glances up to the robed figure who emerges to tell them of Lambert's impending doneness. Yep, there's going to be gossip. Kai bears it. Let them talk! He wants people to know who he belongs to. He smiles at his lover and says, "Great minds think alike." He then glances to Bucky and sizes him up, already imagining the finery he's going to drape on this bad boy.

Meanwhile, Lambert's eyes are fixed just that easily. Read this, describe that, what color is this? Vision returns to him, informs him he sits in a futuristic looking chair while robed women have floating globe-things hovering about his head. The thingies start to retreat, though. Patient is all better.

There's that smile, not that incandescent cock of the walk grin, but the shy one. The one Kai first saw, when he was just ragged 'Jack' sleeping rough on the streets. "It's amazing," he says, in his rough voice. "Beyond my wildest dreams." The touch doesn't disconcert him - he looks up into the Prince's face. And arguably, he's within Loki's fealty, as well as Odin's. Kai's his protector, and Kai's Loki's spouse…

After another couple of moments, Lambert is back up on his (bare) feet, and thanking people with flirtatious comments and bright cheer. He is an easy patient - easygoing as well, though he does end up coming out with a fairly Asgardian looking curve of coloured glass around the top of his head to dim the light on his newly bright eyes. They are a wild golden brown now, with the milkiness completely gone, and tiny pinpoint pupils from all the light on them that they are unused to. Lambert calls out as he exits "So, these lovely ladies who were -" Loki and Bucky. Lambert pauses, shoots Kai the oddest look. How did Kai pull _that_ series of vocal transformations off?

Loki grins towards Lambert and narrows his eyes at the change in the goat's vision. "My my, it seems that SOME gods are better than others, after all. You shall have to give our regards to those lazy Grecian drama mongers, dear Lambert. Your eyes look marvelous, full of life." And to Bucky he nods. "I approve of this regard for the fairest of all realms. Of course, it is /small/ in its own way, but…every stretch of it is breathtaking. I shall have to take you to the World Tree, though, it can be overwhelming to some. Kai, I am certain you can endure though."

These Asgardian healers, they're a bit stiff in the face of flirtation, but Midgardian's gonna do what Midgardian's gonna do. Kai glances up and smiles at Lambert as he emerges. Then he tilts his head as Lambert pauses. Yes, there were two lovely redheads when Lambert went in to get his eyes checked, now there are two handsome dark-haired men. Alas, Kai merely looks perfectly innocent. "You give me strength," he tells Loki. "I should love to see it."

Buck's still got that soft, dazzled look in his face. "I'm happy to see every place I'm allowed to go," he says, humbly. This is a long way from Brooklyn….and it's much better to be in a place where he was never the Winter Soldier. Even if the Asgardians think of him as Kai's mortal pet, it's enough to make him happy. Then he's grinning at Lamb. "You look better," he says, with an upnod. "Bet it feels a lot better."

"Everything is so _clear_," enthuses Lambert "I mean, I feel a completely new person." He bows, with a bounce "Prince Loki," he says to him "I would hate to say any God was better than any other." On account of being allergic to lightning. He then says "And you look wonderful. I mean…goodness, I am so happy!" he is, too. Annoyingly so, peering at his fingers, and wiggling his them, and then saying all too casually "Hello Mr. Barnes." And a slow, wicked grin in turn "Yes! It's truly amazing being able to _see_ like this. I feel -" Gabble gabble. Lambert is _delighted_, and it shows as he makes it across to the little group "I think my vision must have been bad for a few years, actually, I just didn't realise."

Kai clasps Lambert's shoulder and says, "Your eyes are beautiful. I've never seen such color. Now when we visit Alfheim, you'll be able to see the Valley of the Moon Elves in all its beauty. You'll enjoy our Firefly Wine even more." To Bucky, he says, "I think you'll be able to drink it, too. It's not quite like the mead they serve in Asgard or the stuff Bertie here brews." His eyes narrow as he looks between the two of them. "What colors do you like?" He needn't ask Loki. Loki is already dressed to the nines.

"We can cut it with water. I don't mind drinking it baby strength. I'm not here to kill my liver," Buck's tone is pragmatic. "Colors in clothes? Plain stuff. Gray. Dark blue. Dark green," he says, with a shrug. It's certainly what he favors on earth. He's got his hands in his overcoat pockets, looking around in unconcealed wonder…..and wondering where his girl is, surely.

Loki lids his eyes. "Yessss…though, you always seemed to have good taste in what is beautiful, regardless." And to comment to Bucky, "Plain? Hah. No. We do not do plain here. You will look magnificent when Kai is done with your look. Should we…go to a tailor and have it done? I think a smooth helm, silver, swept back like mine, but without the horns…lower on the brow, perhaps. And your jerkin will have metal plating across the front? What do you think, Kai? He could look quite the warrior."

"Look at you!" Lambert says to Kai "What a costume - and look at Prince Loki. Amazing!" He seems to truly mean it too, regarding the man with admiration openly, before he says "Sky blue and ochre or amber." Of course, since he is Greek. The Mediterranean. "Bright metals as well. Whatever matches my fleece, or looks good on my floor or -" He is just. Too delighted for words. He then says to Loki "You are incrediable! Look at those horns! Your horns. I love your horns." And then he is moving over to Bucky and prodding at him "Look at you! Good to see you out in the open. No, no. If you have the chance to shine, you should _use_ it." Lambert makes a fist "You should be magnificent. Everyone should. What's the point of hiding away?" Subtlety is not a Lambert thing.

Bucky's girl was here a moment ago. Ships in the night. While Kai is about to call down the seamstresses for some top notch fashion, the women are probably off reading books or studying Asgardian weaponry. Kai nods firmly to Loki and starts leading the way out of the healer's hall. Once outside of it, he admits, "I have no idea where I'm going. Do we go to them or settle in our quarters and they come to us?" He glances to Loki. He's been trained in the etiquette of Elvish high society, but Asgard is another matter entirely. "Lambert will look so fetching, and Bucky will be every bit a warrior worthy of Valhalla."

"I'm not used to being magnificent," Buck says, a little drily. "I was an assassin. We're supposed to be inconspicuous. And I'm not beautiful like Natasha, I don't clean up that nice." Uh oh. Challnenge issued.

"Asgardians have no word for Assassin. We call them honorless cowards." Loki winks at Bucky. "Better you be a /warrior/ here, like you once were." He smiles and though there is some truth in his words, the tone mostly seems to be teasing. "We can go to them, Kai. Its down a few hallways, where the servants take their quarters."

Kai nods to Loki and gives him a relieved smile. No wandering lost! He more or less falls into step with the Prince, letting him lead the way. "They'll probably want to get their hands on Lambert first," he says. "He's got such a unique look." What with the horns and tail and all. "I'm thinking something a bard or minstrel might wear for ease of movement and overall appeal." He looks Lambert over. Yes. When they get to the tailor, it's Lambert he sacrifices first.

That's enough to make Buck's brows quirk. "Fair enough," he allows, standing a little straighter. HE was a warrior, when he was Steve's sidekick. Even if he can't really measure up against an Asgardian.

Loki makes a humming sound and then nods to Kai. "Yes…Lambert first. We need time to consider how best to present Bucky. But Lambert will be happy with any colors, and practically dress himself. By the way…Kai…YOU look so stunning that I do not think anyone could fault my attraction to you. And you are, after all, a Prince in your own way."

Once Lambert is shuffled off to be measured, poked and prodded, Kai nods in satisfaction and turns his attention once more to Bucky and Loki. He smiles, ducking his head at Loki's praise, and despite still being a little nervous that the castle will soon be whispering about the two of them, he sidles closer to steal a quick kiss. He's used to doing that in front of Bucky. "Not so grand by far," he murmurs with a rare show of modesty, "but I will look my very best so that I might do you proud." Gazing up at the Prince, it's a wonder cartoon hearts don't flutter around his head. He's still smitten as a kitten. Half-distracted, he looks to Bucky, and he says, "Yes, it's time to put the assassin behind you. You're a warrior, and that's how you'll look."

And Buck's been around them enough to appreciate it as mere dopy sentiment. He doesn't even look embarassed or turn away, just smiles a little smile. "Whatever you guys think best, so long as Scarlette approves." He keeps his hair long because his redhead likes it, after all. She gets final veto on what they dress him in.

Kai makes goo-goo eyes at Loki until the Prince is called away on some royal errand. Kai watches him go, and he sighs softly, then looks to Bucky, who has seen him this smitten a hundred times before. "People are going to be talking about us," he says. "I don't know what's going to happen, but the cat's out of the bag now. And yes, of course all of this is pending Scarlett's approval."

"He's Prince of fuckin' Asgard, he's known for getting what he wants, and keeping what he gets," Buck says, bluntly. "Who can really tell him to do any damned thing? Not even Odin All-father, from what I understand," He looks levelly back at Kai. "You'll be fine. Fuck 'em." On a lighter note, he adds, "….it's weird to be somewhere where my hair being this long isn't unusual."

Kai bites his lip, pensive all the same. "You're right. I spent so long trying to hide from the All-Father's notice, and now I arrive in Asgard as his son's side. Love makes you do crazy things, Bucky. If you had asked me before I met Loki if I would ever come to Asgard I would have told you wild horses couldn't drag me, not even kicking and screaming. But for him? Of course I'll come."

Bucky smiles at him, and it's one of those little warm ones. "Tell me about it," he agrees, gently. "It's the ones I love I've done the most insane things for. And who've done them for me. I never thought I'd willingly go back to Russia, but I did…"

The pair stand in a corridor outside the palace tailor's while Lambert is inside getting bedecked in proper garb. Kai himself is a picture of elegance in the clothing of an Alfheim nobleman. His curls are coifed, his beard trimmed, and with no illusions cast to humanize him, he stands surreal in his Elvish beauty. He even carries himself nobly. Who is this, and what have they done with Kai?

The Elf nods to Bucky and says, "Love is insidious. It changes you, and then it makes you adore who you've become. I wouldn't trade it for anything, even when I think it might end badly. Especially then, because it makes me want to live every moment of it that I can."

In the near distance of the corridor, one can suddenly hear a baritone voice addressing one of the many aids stationed throughout the palace. Now that he's been pointed in the correct direction, a tall and broad-shouldered figure in a very familiar shade of Master-blue and wearing a very familiar crimson Cloak about his shoulders begins to walk towards the pair. Behind him, the relic wafts in the speed of his pace.

"Ah, well. I'll be damned." The words reach them before he does, wearing something akin to a sly grin. "Master Alfsson…and Mister Barnes. What brings you to Asgard, of all places…?" He pauses at conversational distance as he looks them both over.

Strange's appearance has Buck's jaw dropping. He did not expect tosee the wizard here, clearly, and he stares for a moment, before he collects himself. "Visiting," he says, lamely, looking to Kai. Who let the sorcerer in here? And is Bucky in trouble?

Kai smiles warmly as Strange approaches. To be honest, he wasn't expecting to see Strange either (not yet anyway) and the pleasure on his face is genuine as he inclines his head so lowly it's almost a bow. "Sorcerer Supreme," he says. "We've come to visit. I accompany Prince Loki, though you've only just missed him, and of course Bucky accompanies me. Lambert's inside getting new clothes. Bucky's next. You, of course, look resplendent wherever you are."

"Let's hope that I do." Strange returns the courtly motion with a dip of his head. "I wondered if the youngest Prince was the reason for your visit. I hope you're enjoying yourselves thus far, though it's not my place to offer this sentiment." He glances over at the door and half-smiles. "Mister Petropoulos should be looking rather dapper shortly, it appears." He looks back to the two gentlemen again. "Have no fear, Mister Barnes. They'll have you gussied up in no time. You'll look the part." His eyes slide from Bucky to the Elf. "You're buttering me rather thickly, Kai. Should I be wondering if you're up to something?" The question has equal parts good humor and query to it.

Bucky is still eyeing Strange a little askance. He's still dressed in plain Earth clothes, as it were, a drab sparrow in a conference of resplendent eagles. "I'm sure they will," he agrees, voice wry. He gives Kai a sidelong look. "Kai's always up to something," he says, all innocence.

Kai's eyes widen a titch, speaking of innocence. He looks to Bucky, scandalized, and then back to Strange. "Kindness begets kindness, that's all," he says. He certainly hasn't made arrangements for the Sorcerer Supreme to be pranked while he's away lest his influence go unfelt. Perish the thought. "While I'm here in my capacity as the heir to my grandmother's House, I'm afraid I've had to abandon my Midgardian sensibilities for now."

"Hmph." It's not disapproving…not disbelieving…but somehow, the faint air of suspicion remains. But then again, when does it not? When everything wants to eat your world, you get jaded. "I suppose I'll know who to speak to if I come back to something awry about the Sanctum," he says with faint dimples. "And you are here in…which capacity, Mister Barnes? As a simple guest? Or do you have formal connections with the Court of Asgard as well?" His keen eyes flick to linger on Bucky in particular.

"I, uh, swore an oath to the All-father," Buck says, oh so innocently. "Under the Prince's advice. I….well, we'll see if it stuck, I think. But mostly 'm just a guest, I think." Poor Buck, so out of place….and so unbothered by it, for the moment.

To be fair, that suspicion is well-placed, even if the infraction is hardly world-eating. Kai remains poised and elegant, hands clasped before him. "Ah, yes. The Oath to the All-Father. I suspect it stuck, indeed, but I wouldn't worry." Says the Elf that just a moment ago was talking about how, if not for Loki, no one would be able to drag him kicking and screaming to Asgard. "I think I'll visit my parents tomorrow, if they let me. I haven't seen them since, goodness, the American Civil War." Such an ungrateful son.

The revelation of an oath is enough to really garner Strange's attention now. His face fully turns to Bucky and the man is given a studied once-over whether he likes it or not.

"Be mindful of yourself, Barnes." That's the extent of the soft warning he gets. "A visit to your parents will likely be appreciated, Kai." He shifts in place and his gaze temporarily refocuses off beyond and deeper into the palace proper. "It's been enough time if several hundred years have passed."

There's a shrug from Buck, at that. What's done is done….and if Loki and Kai's protection is enough, let alone Scarlett, what can he do. But he inclines his head, after a moment. Still watching Strange, as if not certain what to do with him.

Kai bows his head for a brief moment of childly guilt. He has been quite the scamp in the past, getting into war after war as an excuse to be 'too busy' to come see them. Now he's actually in Asgard, it's not like he can make excuses that'll stick. "Only a hundred," he says. "But yes, far too long. At least this time I hope I come with good tidings." He smiles faintly. A glance between Bucky and Strange gets a curious look from him as he tries to puzzle out their vibe.

"Your presence alone should be good tiding enough, I think," the Sorcerer replies quietly to Kai. "You can tell them of your time on Midgard, of your adventures and lessons learned." He gives the Elf a little knowing smile. "Parents like hearing these things," he adds, almost sagely.

His chin lifts slightly as he realizes that he's under scrutiny and glances to Bucky almost lazily again. "Can I help you in this time and place, Mister Barnes?"

"Not that I can think of?" Buck offers, in an uncertain lilt. A leeeetle sass there. Confident enough in this place to tweak the Sorcerer's wwhiskers a bit.

Kai smiles at Bucky. Elf approves, or at least finds it funny. To Strange, he says, "Perhaps I can tell them all about it over tea sometime, maybe even in Alfheim. Maybe I'll even bring them to Midgard to introduce them to you. They won't believe how much it's changed. I bet my da will like the music." This seems to perk him up. Yeah. Not showing up for a century, and he brings music. That'll make up for lost time.

Strange smirks faintly at the super-soldier. "I will be present within the Court for a short period of time. If you do manage to think of anything, you're welcome to approach me. However…don't hurt yourself, please." He then looks to Kai once more. "Your father will probably find the music very novel. Introduce him to the electrical guitar, if you can. That was a pleasant surprise in musical development, in my opinion."

Buck's looking between them, thoughtfully. "Will do. How are you here?" he asks, finally. As if he just can't leave Strange alone.

Kai nods as he says, "Oh yes. I'll have to get him one. He'll love it." His mother may never forgive him. He still is a little reticent about the whole thing. Not in any tangible way. It's hard to put a finger on. There's just a sense of distance there. He's been separated for these people for a third of his life. To Bucky, he spreads his hands and says, "He's the Sorcerer Supreme. He can go wherever he pleases."

"Yes and no," Strange says, appearing formally amused at Kai's statement. "I may go wherever I wish, but courtly manners get me farther still even than a Gate from time to time. I'm here to speak with Queen Frigga in particular, practitioner to practitioner. She always has an interesting nugget of knowledge to offer when I am on-world. If you stop learning, you risk death." A lifted hand is both shrug and acknowledgement of the truth of the statement. "What I gather here may benefit us all on Midgard in the future."

"Kinna like a cat," Buck opines, after a moment further. Yes, Bucky, just like.

Kai coughs delicately. It's not a laugh at Bucky's statement. No, goodness, no, he's being a lofty noble right now and is every inch playing hte part. "I can't wait to meet the Queen," he says. "I've heard so many good things about her. I only hope that I might make even the smallest good impression." Meeting the boyfriend's parents. Always fun, especially when the news of the relationship travels even now at the speed of rumor.

The quiet snort is also not really a laugh, even if the Witch would probably call him out on it. Someone's likely thinking of Aralune even as he shakes his head to himself.

"The Queen-Mother, in my experience, is kind and just. In her pursuit of the Arts, she has learned patience and wisdom where others may not have yet. I would be yourself, Kai, manners and all before her. She may see through any front, intentional or not, and why be someone you are not when she will discover your true self later, one way or another?" Ah, Sorcerous wisdom.

Somehow the idea of a queen is more intimidating. But Strange's explanation is reassuring. "You'll do fine, Kai. I mean, it's not like you don't think Loki hung the moon, and being head over heels for their kid….that's gotta endear you to 'em, right?"

"Gosh, I wouldn't know who else to be," Kai admits. "Except myself. I just hope I'm not a version of myself who can't find anything intelligent to say." As if Kai has ever had trouble finding it in him to speak. Continuously. Often. He smiles at them both. "Thank you for the vote of confidence." And goodness, it's true that Kai thinks Loki hung the moon. Just the mention of his name makes Kai get a goofy look. "He was in his full regalia," he confides. Mmm, horns.

"As well the young Prince should be at this time. It will make a good impression on anyone he speaks to and to the Court itself. I doubt the All-Father and Queen-Mother will have anything negative to say when sitting upon the throne before their subjects. They seem to take care in their words and actions as any rulers should, from my own experiences standing before them as one of the diplomatic representatives of Midgard," the Sorcerer informs them. "It will be the courtiers themselves who may spread rumors. They have little else to do whilst here. For example, I expect to hear something new about my arrival makes no sense whatsoever and came from the bottom of a mead tankard rather than the truth." He rolls his eyes.

"You'd think they'd learn better, living as long as they do. I guess people never change," Buck offers, quietly. "Even immortal Viking god people." God only knows what they'll find to do with Loki's pet mortal.

"He looks good in his regalia. I'm glad you're here, actually," Kai tells Strange. "Your arrival is far more interesting, surely, and with greater portend. And if you think about it, given the broader scope of what is known of Prince Loki, it's not that big of a deal." It's not like Loki's leading armies against Midgard or Asgard, for example. He looks at Bucky. "Gossip's a valuable social tool," he says. "It's great when you control the narrative."

"Would that I could control others to avoid attempting to tarnish my good name. I waste valuable time and energy in Courtly duels when I could be putting both to better use." Gossip makes Sorcerers grumpy. "In case anyone inquires, Kai, my arrival has nothing to do at all with your introduction to the All-Father and Queen-Mother. I am truthfully due to speak with the Queen about matters in the Arts and nothing else. Correlation does not equal causation, after all."

Now it dawns on Sergeant Barnes the Slow On The Uptake. He turns a curious look on Strange. "But realy, you are here to, like, be in Kai's corner? Right?" All but wagging his tail. That puts a new light on things.

Kai's brows lift. Strange being here in Kai's corner certainly would be nice! Kai looks to Strange. "I honestly didn't think you would be in Asgard." Technically, true. He timed his pranks quite carefully. "But if you're here to speak to the Queen-Mother anyway, and my name happens to come up, I hope you'll say a kind word. I would never dream of asking you to lie on my behalf, of course. I rest assured you know the true content of my character."

The Sorcerer eyes Barnes the Slow On the Uptake for a moment. "I cannot place myself in any corner while I am present, Mister Barnes. In the name of preserving peace between our Worlds, I cannot infringe in judgment passed upon one of another world not my own. My attendance is reason to speak with the Queen-Mother on things of Mystical import and this alone. However, as Kai mentioned earlier," and he lifts a finger as well as an eyebrow. "Should the Queen-Mother ask my opinion on Master Alfsson, I shall give her an appropriate answer. Have no fear, Kai," he adds, his lips rising into a small smile again. "I've seen nothing but good in your actions."

Kai's smile is so broad there are dimples. He inclines his head to Strange again. "I have every faith," he says. Just then, an attendant to the Queen-Mother comes to collect Strange just as a tailor comes to collect Bucky. Kai rubs his hands together. Ah, yes, everything is coming together, one way or another. And he? He has mead to drink while he waits.

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