1965-07-16 - Enjoying the Holiday
Summary: Bucky and Kai wander around Asgard.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bucky kai 

Kai has never seen Buck this relaxed. It's a vacation in earnest, in a world where no one gives a damn that he's the Winter Soldier. Steve is pup-sitting back in Midgard, poor guy, and Buck's been spending time with his girl….and with his friend. Honestly playing tourist as much as he can get away with. Let the Asgardians laugh at the mortal gawking at their realm, he's got no shame.

Kai has slowly been learning the city. He's only been here the once before, and that was to attend his parents' trial. It's his way, though, to scope out the territory, figure out what's what. So he's actually doing an all right job playing tourist guide as they walk along a grand broadway through elegant yet massive arches. "There's a park down here," he says. "We found it yesterday, only Lambert left us to go moon over some boys. And girls. He's going to end up with a little Asgardian baby if he's not careful."

What an idea. Buck's shed his usual watchfulness. It's an echo of the boy he used to be, sauntering along the Parisian boulevards after Liberation. His hair is down and loose, past his shoulders. "Can we even interbreed with them? I mean, I know he's not an ordinary human, but…"

"You'd be surprised what we can interbreed with," Kai says. "I mean it's not like Loki and I are going to have any children, but if one of us was a woman, it could happen, and I'm not even Asgardian." He walks proud, unmasked in his full Ljosalfar glory, i.e. so pretty it's just not fair. Elves, man. The maids do glance his way, and he's oblivious. "He's very proud of himself, though, Lambert is. He can see again and he's taking advantage of everything he's missed going blind. Like beauty, and this place doesn't lack for it."

Bucky is a grubby thing by comparison, even with the arm cover in place, local garb, and his attempts to stay clean and clean-shaven. But it's never bothered him. "I'll bet," he says, with that rusty little chuckle in his voice. "Can't blame him. If I were in his position, I'd be doing the same."

"Definitely," Kai says. "I just hadn't realized what I was unleashing upon Asgard." Still, the Elf looks pretty proud of himself, too. "It'll do him good to chase some skirts and focus on being young for awhile." He glances to Bucky with a small smile. "What about you? How are you enjoying your time in the Highest Realm? I've spent it in meetings bickering over the release of my parents, but the parks are nice."

A worried glance at the elf, at that. "How's that going? Trying to get your parents out?" he wonders, quietly. "I've just been wandering around looking at things. Scarlett, too. But she's known here. I'm just….your pet, you know?" He shrugs, and the usual rasp of metal is muffled.

Kai clucks his tongue and says, "You're my friend." He bonds with these Midgardians so differently than Loki does. "How is the lovely Scarlett? I'm so glad you're here together. Asgard can be such a romantic place." He sighs, shoulders slumping a little. Not romantic when one is here with an agenda. "As stands, it's being considered. The Princes have yet to weigh in, and I suspect once Loki's there, the tune will change. The current conundrum is what kind of message it sends. Naturally they don't want to appear too lax. On the other hand, I don't think two hundred years in prison is a mere slap on the wrist."

"Sheesh, no," Buck agrees, shaking his head. His face softens at that question. "It's been wild. She's taken me flying a few times. I can't believe I'm with a girl who can fly. She's practically a goddess herself…" There's that incredulous look there, that strange wonder. Beauty and the Beast. "I hope it goes well," he adds. Hands in his pockets, gaze still roaming.

Kai grins and says, "You're a great guy. She's crazy about you." Beauty and the Beauty as far as Kai's concerned. "I have a feeling it'll go well once the Princes weigh in. It's not that there's any huge investment in holding them. They're slightly infamous now, much less so than they were a couple hundred years ago. It's about face. You know what I mean? How it looks while people are watching. It's easy enough to wave it off as a favor to a royal son, but to do it because the prisoners' son asked nicely…"

He nods again, walking with that loose, swinging stride. "Yeah. You think you're gonna need to trade what ou brought with you?" Discretion enough not to mention the apple directly, at least for now.

Kai nods and says, "Probably, but I'm waiting to put it on the table. I want to see where they stand with a mea culpa and a polite request." With a little laugh, he adds, "I have so few bartering chips, I have to hang on to them. It's mostly just sounding them out until Loki is there to ask not so nicely."

Buck grins at that. "I can't imagine Loki in full wrath. Kinna scary, honestly. He's never been really mad at me, just occasionally tryin'a fuck with me. Like that time he was at least pretending to be jealous, when I won you that bear. IT wasa bear, right?"

Kai sighs wistfully. "It would be grand." Of course the idea makes him smitten. Loki hangs the moon as far as he's concerned. "It was a bear," Kai confirms. He laughs, because it's funny now. "He just likes to keep things interesting. And you took it like a champ. See? He was just testing you." He claps Bucky on the arm. "Wait! Maybe it was a frog. That frog Kevin molests."

He can't help but laugh. "It is a frog. And yeah, Kevin apparently likes it way too much. That dog," He snickers. Still admiring the view. "You know, Steve would fit right in here. If he hadn't been such a runty little bastard when he was a kid, I'd'a wondered if he was descended from one of the folks here. Big strapping blonds, after all…."

Kai grins. "Hey, everyone needs companionship." He looks around as well, taking in the sights and the people. "And he's got that quality of nobility," he says. "It surpasses normal humanity. I'd say it's his greatest super power." He then adds, "There's nothing wrong with being a runty little bastard. I keep up just fine." Except given how he's decked out, he hardly looks runty or like a bastard. It's the garb of a nobleman. "Did your boys ever come back?" he asks.

Bucky pulls a face at that. "Yeah," he says, quietly. "Poor kids. I shoulda known better, kept 'em away from the fireworks. I hate what was done to them, so much." His fingers have curled into fists, and of course he's entirely unconscious of it. "I had someone I was before the Russians got me…"

"All's well that ends well," Kai says gently, and he shoulder-nudges Bucky. The arched street leads over a bridge where a gentle stream flows, and then into a park with the shade of great trees and sunny beds of gorgeous flowers. "They're going to live and grow, and now they know that fireworks are just fireworks. It's not easy, Bucky, but it is possible, you know? I almost got Kyr to take a sandwich from my hand. Small steps."

He laughs at that, but there's a bitter edge to it. "They're like wild animals we're slowly taming," he says, sadly. "Some of 'em more easily than others. Kyr's one of the sweeter-tempered ones. I've gotta get 'em out of the city. Maybe when we get back from here…Thank God for ou and Steve and Mr. Stark and …."

"Remember we're going upstate? Loki is on board for us to rent cabins." Because what the Bucklings really need is Loki to 'help' with their assimilation. Kai grins at Bucky voices his gratitude. "You're home when you're with us," he says. "All of us. We brought you out of Russia. You'll bring them, too. We'll keep feeding them nice things and showing them kindness. If nothing else, it makes them comfortable while they figure it out."

"That's right," he says, sheepish. A ghost of the usual incandescent grin. "That'lll be fun. I'll have to beg Loki to be real nice tothem. No tricks, and to bear with them. They're still so feral. You know, I've only known about them less than a year?" It's hit Buck suddenly, clearly. "I don't know how old they really are. They can't be more than eighteen. The Russians didn't get me until '45 ,right? So….even if they started the minute they had me…."

"Loki's curious," Kai says. "He just wants to figure them out." He leads Bucky to a bench and sits, patting the spot beside him. Asgard requires a lot of walking and a lot of stamina, though he's not showing any outward sign of needing a rest, himself. "The oldest they could be is twenty," he says. "That's not very old, but old enough to have lost one's childhood to God knows what. But look to the future and all the years they've got ahead of them."

"They weren't born, I don't think. Well, not as they are," His faceis pale. "I think he took ordinary human babies and remade them, with science and magic. I don't think he made 'em out of nothing, as it were…..I guess they used stuff from me because Zola was involved." He's shivering at the thought. "I still haven't killed him yet…"

"Sit," Kai says. "You're on holiday, Bucky. Don't let it consume you. They're safe now, in the mansion, running Uncle Steve ragged. You'll get Zola soon enough. Didn't Stark make you bulletproof? You'll be putting an end to the bastard before you know it. But for now? Look at the trees. Have you ever seen anything like them?"

Bucky pauses, giving Kai a bewildered look. Memory was strong enough to half-submerge him, for that little while at least. Then he licks lips gone dry, and the sheepish expression reappears. "No," he says, quietly. "Nothing like it. I can't believe I'm here. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn, and when I look back at all the things that've happened to me…"

"You've wielded Mjolnir," Kai says. "Or at least a version of it. That's a pretty big deal. You've fought at the side of godlike beings. Hell, you've fought godlike beings. I'd say you've got some miles on you, Brooklyn Kid. He leans his shoulder against Bucky's. "And you're still standing. The resilience of mortals never fails to astonish me. It's inspiring."

"Right?" he says, shaking his head. "I mean, what I got to do with Steve durign the war…that was crazy enough. Then….all the rest." He spreads his hands. "I do. It's very weird. I look back at what I remember things being like when I was a kid, and….it's hard to think I'm the same guy."

"You're not," Kai says. He claps Bucky on the shoulder. "We're constantly reborn with every thought, every action. You're that guy's future, and he's your past. In a way, he'll always be that kid. That's a good thing. It means nothing ever really goes away." He gazes up at the trees with their sweeping boughs that rustle in the breeze. "You and Steve both were chosen by Destiny. It happens sometimes."

Now Buck gives the elf a dubious look. "Chosen by Destiny?" he parrots back. "Steve, maybe. Me, I don't believe it. Maybe I just got slipstreamed along in Steve's wake," he says.

Kai shrugs. "Don't look at me, I don't pick on Destiny's behalf. I'm just saying, you wielded Mjolnir. Not Steve. You've become an ally of an Asgardian Prince. You're in Asgard, he's at home watching the kids." He holds up a hand. "Don't get me wrong, Steve is one of the greatest people ever. It's humbling to be in his presence. But don't sell yourself short."

He can see the struggle in Bucky's face. The warring between the part of him that insists he was born to be Steven's sidekick….and the acknowledgement of the battles he's won on his own. "….I guess you're right," he says, finally, grudgingly.

Kai's expression softens. "It happens once in awhile," he says. "Don't feel bad, Destiny picked me, too, and I'm still coming to grips with it. All I ever wanted was to disappear. Talk about not always getting what you want." He smiles crookedly and gives Bucky's shoulder a squeeze. "There are perks, though. We get to hang around people like Scarlett and Loki."

"Scarlett's worth all of it," Buck says, without any hesitation at all. "She's so amazing." So smitten, this mortal fool. "Kai, let's go get a drink. Even if you have to water mine like I'm a little kid. How's that sound?"

Kai says, "Sure," and rises to his feet. His easy smile is there as he says, "We'll find you a nice watered mead, and if I have to carry you back to the palace, that's fine. Anything for you, my friend." He looks around the park, lips pursing as he thinks about which direction to take. "I think we passed a public house up the street a ways. Let's go check that one out."

"Thanks, man," Buck says, as hs turns that way. "Honestly, I'd like to do some real drinking while I'm here. I really can't, back on Earth. So very little is strong enough. 'cept that stuff Bert makes…."

"He brought some, too, "Kai says. "Come on, let's get loaded. We'll find our way back to the palace somehow. Nothing watered down for you." He slings an arm around Bucky's shoulder and walks with him up the street. This will be them later, only stumbling. "We'll have to bring a sample of the mead to him so he can figure out how to make it on Midgard."

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