1965-07-20 - Afoot in Asgard
Summary: Plans to run to Vanaheim!
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bucky rogue 


Asgard: once, a realm travelled so little by the children of Midgard that they were almost legends unto themselves. From whence all matter of trouble began, it hardly seems believable humans walk around mostly unfettered eighteen months and more after a grand revelation of the Aesir on national television.

Though to her credit, Scarlett was the first, alongside Crystalia of the Inhumans. Thus she holds some private mirth about the place, something secreted deep away. None know when Odin All-Father listens in, and she isn't about to confess to him she holds literally every last member of his court save his youngest son and wife imprinted on the void where her soul ought to be. That's just foolish. Strange's bracelet rides on her arm, plain for any and all to note exactly whose aegis she officially stands under: the erstwhile apprentice, the younger, of the Sorcerer Supreme of the dimension counts for something.

Away from the splendour of the palace, then, and past the endless parties, the Golden City awaits. Bucky has an advantage; his girl speaks Aesir pretty damn well, though they all understand them well enough. There's something about shocking a shopkeeper by haggling with him in his own tongue. Which is exactly what she's done to acquire a delectably scented meat-pie, almost Australian style, to share. "You really do have to try this. There's nothing comparable in New York. They are best for taking on hunts. Outside the city, the gemperature can drop off substantially."

The kids are being pup-sat by Uncle Steve, back in Midgard. So it's a vacation for them, with Loki and Kai as hosts. Buck's in Asgardian clothing in blue and brown, his favored colors, plain but comfortable. His hair has the front layers tied back, the back loose down his back, the better to blend in. He's at ease in a way he never is in Midgard. Here, no one gives a damn that he was the Winter Soldier. He's just the mortal pet and amusement of Prince Loki and his companion. "That does smell amazing," he agrees, holding out a hand for a bite or two. Content to wander and play tourist, letting her lead.

Here, indeed, none care. They might worry about the fledgling sorceress in their midst, given her ties to the great and mighty. Go around a long-lived people once or twice asking questions of culture, and suddenly the anthropologist diplomat turns into a cause of concern. Neither princes or princesses descend, however, and they have time unto themselves, walking through the meandering scrollwork byways that overlook picturesque lakes and stepped terraces clad in jewel-like buildings.

Here, the need to conceal that ability to fly is considerably lessened. Though the gold-helmed guards passing by might watch them considerably, she ignores their presence as much as she can. "Try a bite. I have half a mind to drop down into the reflecting pool if it gets much warmer though." She rotates around, and Scarlett stands on tiptoe ahead of Bucky, holding her hand out to present him with the meat-pie almost chivalrously. "The marketplace down there has an excellent stage and performers that would rival anything in Shakespeare's day for how deeply they contend against one another. What would you wish to see, if you might know anything? Sadly no gryphon's dens this far down. I could dash away with you to Vanaheim, if you want true wilds."

Buck takes it, takes a bite, wolfs it with no care for the temperature. Used to bolting, alas. Then he hands it backand swallows hard before answering. "I….honestly don't have a preference," he says, shrugging exaggeratedly. "Everything I've run across is amazing. Just being here is such a vacation. Next time maybe we can bring Steve and the kids. Not like the kids can do much damage here, and there's a lot of wilderness to run in…"

The crumbling pastry holds a taste rather unlike any mere steak or hamburger. Imagine $200 a pound Kobe beef mingled with the finest texture of a firm tuna or salmon steak, then crossed with the braised bourbon of a long-casked bit of whiskey, and that begins to briefly approach the meat, to say nothing of the spices and herbs applied in perfected doses to create Asgardian street food. Sure, they have rat on a stick somewhere — the place has poverty, like it or not — but the majority of chefs and cooks had a thousand years to refine their craft. To human palates, the outcomes are usually this side of sublime.

"I act as a messenger and courier oft enough for the Doctor. He might have need to come here and place me in his stead. One open portal," she gestures in a circle, "and with the All-Father's consent, we may stay a time. Duty dismissed, and we wait a few days for the proper return." Thoughts go on that front, and then she wraps her arms around Bucky's waist to draw him near. "Come. The most impressive spectacle of this is really from the side, but barring an approach on the Bifrost, we go up. Breaking the sound barrier here isn't problematic. Wards or some sort of dome absorbs the disruption and deflects it upward. Feel like flying, my heart?"

He's apparently suffering from a moment of being overwhelmed by his tastebuds. Eyes widened, jaw stopped and not working for a few beats. "Good God," he says, when he can speak again. "What did they make that out of? Roast unicorn?" Buck turns that bewildered stare on her. Then things start up again, even as he's drawn close to her. "Sure," he says, gladly. "Where-ever you want." He has no idea where to start, content to drift in her wake and play tourist on the cosmic level.

"Unicorns are entirely too costly, and besides, the meat might ignite on your tongue or turn to poison, depending on the breed. Space shark holds a much different taste, so I can be sure it wasn't that. At least as I remember. It wasn't as though I licked myself to compare." Scarlett tips her head slightly and smiles. "Terribly ferocious, man-eating mountain chimera, actually. They're vaguely related to the highland basilisk and a mountain goat, if you can imagine welding them together and then dumping them into the most inhospitable peaks imaginable." Her glittering gaze trailing over the assassin's face, she adds, "Try not to look too enthralled. They might think I have gone and bewitched you with my enchanting wiles." Whispering that in his ear cannot possibly help, especially when she lifts them back to stand upon the railing. Toodles, guards.

Especially when they zip up with none of her usual caution used over New York. The missile tracking systems here are just a tad more advanced, trying to decipher her as a living being, not of the court, and him bog-human at that. The golden shimmering pyramid of Odin's palace rears up behind them, all Asgard unspooling at their feet, the Bifrost a living conduit of brilliant rainbows.

James clings to her, he always does. Pure human reflex makes sure of that. But his eyes are wide, taking everything in, enraptured as a child. "You have," he tells her, tone gentle, bemused, even as he looks down and out. No fear there. Too much wonder taking up space to admit it. And here no one wishes him ill in any specific sense. "I figure it's pretty obvious," he adds.

How not to love the moment when they come together under the foreign skies? Such moments are what Scarlett lives for. She laughs softly into his shoulder, face buried a moment in the dark tunic, sheltering Bucky from her nigh-deadly touch. "You know how much I adore you? I would just hang up here forever with you, like stars." Satisfaction rimes every word while the scent of neroli mixes with metal oil, and the urge to rub her nose against his cheek becomes almost too strong. "Bewitched then. True, I even gave you a magic ring to do it, didn't I? Magic enough, anyways."

That scent he loves on her. "You had me under your spell even before you got me the ring," he says, turning to look at her, eyes star bright. "You know that." Then he's back to admiring the view, shaking his head in wonder. "Man. I never thought I'd go farther abroad than parts of Europe. Here I am in another world."

"Another realm, as it happens. Each of the realms on the World Tree act as a different dimension, encompassed within a broader sphere," Scarlett murmurs into his ear. "This is among the smallest of them, but the greatest. Asgard holds the balance. Of course, you have Alfheim of the elves near the top of the tree, and Midgard — the Middle World — in the centre. The standard theosophical view of 'dark things' being low is possibly borrowed from the model, since you have Nifelheim and Hel snug among the roots, and Svartalfheim and Muspelheim down that way as well. Jotunheim and Vanaheim stand closer to Midgard. I could tell you the rest, but truly, it's better to throw open a portal or ask Heimdall to take pity on us and let us pass. Sometimes he might, for a song or a story or cause." Her lips quirk to a smile. "Once he answered a call to save the nephew of the All-Father. So in a sense I owe him a debt. He gave me you, in a roundabout fashion."

Bucky blinks at her. "How's that?" he asks, beween glances below. "What do you mean?" Always delighted to hear a story from her - she's more well-travelled, in her way.

The soaring arc of their travel keeps pulling them higher through thinner air at almost dangerous speeds. Too fast, they would never be heard. Certainly the serum helps enhance sensitivity to sound, but that also means the rushing wind deprives Bucky of actually hearing the bohemienne's voice. She cuts a long arc onto her back, her leg curled protectively around his thigh, almost reclining as she stares up into the limitless sky and no doubt fails to see branches of any kind. The World Tree isn't that obvious.

"Odin's children begat very few children," she says, "and thus they are treated with honour and distinction due their sorts. The nephew of the All-Father — or grandchild, those lineages are ever unclear — was raised as royalty in Vanaheim, the wildlings' realm, and rightly so. For truly nature sings in his heart. One such place we ventured to is a realm of no great consequence, a small island among giants if you like. Its people were being massacred in sieges. Among them were kin to the prince, so aiming to save the wolf-kin if we could was essential. Alas, there wasn't merely a small raiding force but a whole bloody army. Stone-men — the kronan — and a host of other hideous creatures slaughtered villages wholesale, and then tried to raise them with necromancy and a host of other dark powers." She shakes her head, the story dwindling upon her lips for a long moment or two. "Not a happy memory. We took flight best we could, giving the few survivors time to escape, and Hari was overrun. Hell's bells, I was overrun. I couldn't very well take him to the sky and leave the others to die. So I called for Heimdall's help — for Hari, not me — but the rainbow bridge hit us both, and we ended up in a pile of wolves and one wolf-prince atop the Bifrost Bridge over there. You can see the observatory, the golden building, at the terminal end? That's where Heimdall the All-Seeing dwells. We made for Vanaheim later, and I was thoroughly educated on how to have four feet by the den-mother and sisters."

Buck's listening with his usual intensity to that story, momentarily tuning out the rush of the realm beneath. But when she gets to the end, he abruptly grins, that absurd, incandescent grin. "No wonder you're so good at handling me and the kids," he laughs., eyes alight. "You've got experience in raising wolves."

"In lying in a pile of dire wolves bigger than Steve is tall, and nigh immortal." Those gleaming emerald eyes flicker to life as she meets his gaze. "I imagine it would be possible to arrange some manner of introduction, if you like. They may have thoughts on the boys." Boys. Pups. Not hims. Bucky and the kids. "Hari had a connection to all of them, at some level, though I always assumed that was due to his overlordship of wolf kind. He is… druidic, you might say, that would be the easiest means to understand."

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