1965-08-02 - Philosophy A Mile High
Summary: Just a few guys hanging out on a balcony in Asgard.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bucky kai billy 

Another day in paradise. There are beautiful places within the palace and without, but where does Kai decide to wander today, while his beloved is in a meeting? The steps. On the steps there's a balcony and it overlooks Asgard from the lofty height of the palace. The city spreads out below, and in the distance, the Bifrost stretches out into the vastness of space. Kai sits on the balcony. It's a straight shot down to a courtyard below where he would splat nicely, but he doesn't mind the heights.

Buck fits in here. It's bizarre. But he looks more comfortable with his hair worn half-down, as seems to be the fashion, in garb of blue and brown. Subdued and plain in comparison to a lot of Asgardian finery, but it suits him. Utterly content to be here as Loki's spouse's companion/servant, and lover to Rogue. No one here knows he's the Winter Soldier, or cares. So he's smiling to himself as he comes down the stairs to where Kai sits, making no attempt at stealth, blue eyes bright.

For his part, Billy found a restaurant, and there were these strange but amazing fruits. Probably from Aelfheim, really. So he has one in his hand, and it looks vaguely like an red-orange swirling apple, but not. He's down in the courtyard, and he looks up and regards where he intends to be, looks around, and thinks: I'm an alien in an alien world, why hide? And so he just suddenly zips up into the air, and its not very long at all before he's suddenly hovering outside of the balcony where Kai is found. Crunch! Goes a bite of the apple, and he floats in to settle down on said balcony. "Hi K" He blinks at Bucky, but doesn't comment otherwise, "guys."

Kai glances over at Bucky and grins. "You're glowing," he says. "I think Asgard suits you. It's a pity we'll be moving on soon. I'm sure Loki will happily bring you back sometime, though." He turns his gaze toward the Bifrost, but then there's a Billy, and he perks up in surprise, but his grin returns as the youth floats down to settle. "Hi, Billy. This is Bucky, he's a friend of Loki and I, a dear friend actually."

Billy's seen this guy as a shrieking madman in a SHIELD cell….and the source of multiple apparent clones, each as much trouble as 'Dad'. But now he's relaxed and happy…and even Billy's appearance doesn't seem to disconcert him. "We've met," he says, amiably. "We both work for SHIELD." Then there's that lopsided smile for Kai. "I've never had a vacation before, not as an adult. This is the closest I've ever come. No one here gives a damn who I am on Earth, other than basically your pet. It's been so peaceful, and amazing to see."

Billy looks pained, and pinches the bridge of his nose, "He didn't know that, and wasn't supposed to know that, because that's what being a secret agent means." he says plaintively to Bucky, tone long suffering, but side-eyeing Kai, "Can I trust you not to tell anyone _else_ that or do I need to rewrite the last five minutes into that not having been said? I'd rather not do that because I've never tried that level of reality doohickery before. I might turn everyone into a pig-headed harpy on accident. You never know. Some stuff goes weird when I try it for the first time."

Kai waves a hand and says, "It's all right. I won't tell." He doesn't even register surprise. Then again, he's in the highest realm with an assassin and Dr. Strange's child. Adding SHIELD agent onto that? Might as well. "I've been inside the place. I had a special pass. Plus, I'm an Avenger, and we're honorable and all that." He sighs softly. "Still, it'd be nice to see those pig-headed harpies. Maybe another time."

"Yeah, he's an ally, he's been in the Triskellion. Sorry, I thought you already knew." Buck doesn't seem terribly upset, just a bit contrite. HE snickers at Kai's wishfulness. 'Kai won't tell anyone."

"You just don't …nevermind." Billy waves a hand and settles down on the edge of the balcony, not bothering to worry about gravity. He can fly! "Anyways, this is a nice view, yes? Is that all it is though, a view?"

"I'm not sure what else it's supposed to be," Kai muses. "Do you see that line running out into forever? That's the Bifrost." Of course they would've seen the Bifrost. They had to walk that whole damn thing to get into Asgard in the first place. "Isn't it weird how everything in this place is so big and so small at the same time? Look at those houses down there. They're tiny from up here." He cannot fly, but he's deft enough not to fall off a balcony rail on a whim. "Wait til you guys see Alfheim." He nods to Billy's fruit. "My grandmother has a tree where those grow."

Buck settles down, crosslegged, next to Kai, kicking the hem of the cloak he's wearing back so he doesn't sit on it. "I can't wait," he tells Kai, earnestly. Being here's taken years' worth of strain off that mobile face - he looks more like the kid who marched off to war with Steven Rogers. Even with hair down past his shoulders.

"Is that any different from anywhere else, though? I've sit on the roof of skyscrapers in the Big Apple and looked down and people look like ants." Billy shrugs, but he sounds curious. About the fruit? He looks at it and to Kai, "I think its maybe the best fruit I've ever tasted. Its sweet and tart and crunchy then creamy and I don't even know." He eyes the pair of non-flyers sitting on the edge of the balcony, and subtly wraps each with a band of force around the waist. It feels like nothing but a light pressure, it doesn't hold them in place or restrict them. BUt he'll carry anyone who decides to try falling.

"Time Square doesn't have statues three hundred feet tall lining the street," Kai says. The architecture here is rather huge like that. It just looks small from the still huger palace. Everything is built to be just so damn extra. "I can't imagine how many generations it would've taken to breed fruit like that true," he admits. "But there are houses who dedicate entire lifetimes to shaping nature into a more perfect version of itself. We don't have a lot of fighting types, not like Asgard, but no one does leisure and beauty like Alfheim. You'll love it there."

"It sounds like even more of a vacation," Buck says, on a sigh. Wistful. "Steve needs to see this, when the kids are safe and stable. He'd fit in even better than I do. I mean, he's a big blond hero, and they seem to mass produce 'em here." A glance at the fruit. "What kinna fruit is it?" Then he confesses to Kai, a little sly, "I'm lookin' forward to bein' drunk again. Nothing on Earth 'cept some of that stuff Lamb brews….or the boss has in the basement…" And here he blushes, furiously.

"I don't even know what kind of fruit it is, but wow… but… hey I see something, be back in a bit." Billy falls over the side, is caught by nothing, and flies off.

Kai eyes Bucky sidelong as he starts blushing. His lips twitch at a smile. "I'll give you Firefly wine," he says. "And I'll tell you the secret of it that I haven't told anyone yet: when you drink it, it makes you glow. There's bioluminescence in it." He winks. "Don't tell Lambert. Let him be surprised." He then utters the name of the fruit, which has some flowy Elvish name that doesn't quite translate into anything else. When Billy flies off, Kai waves after him. "Bye!"

"I wish I could fly," Buck sounds as wistful as a little kid looking at a puppy in a pet store window. "Scarlett flies. Mr. Stark flies…." He looks to Kai. "….does Loki fly?"

"Yeah, that's got to be handy," Kai says. He pauses, then admits, "I don't think I've seen Loki fly. He's a sorcerer, so maybe he can if he magics up a spell for it. Flying's the best. We wouldn't have to walk all the way down the Bifrost. We could just fly and be there in a zip."

"I wonder if Mr. Stark could rig me up a jet pack," he muses, grinning at the thought. A nod to the elf. "Thanks for all this, Kai. This is just kind of the capper on all the good you've done for me."

Kai shoulder-nudges Bucky. "It's a pleasure to do it, Buck. You've been such a good friend to us, and I can see how much good you have in you to do for the world. You deserve a holiday, you and the Miss." He smiles faintly, whimsical as he takes in the lovely view. Then he mentions, "One of these days I'm going to put ferrets in that suit of his just to see what happens."

The idea has Buck falling into a spate of soundless laughter, nearly tipping himself off the edge of the balcony. "I'd love tosee it. Maybe I can help." Poor Tony

Kai holds out an arm to steady Bucky, and his small smile broadens into a dimpled grin. "It's an important reminder to check your suit, right? It's doing him a favor." Yes, that's what all the pranks Kai pulls on Tony are, favors. "I can get the ferrets, I just need you to distract him."

He purses his lips, chuckles. "Yeah. Maybe just one. We'll have to find a cute one. Maybe he'll adopt it, like the kids."

"Just one," Kai agrees to, grudgingly. "I'll get the cutest one I can find. They're frightfully clever. Maybe he can train it to help him out in the lab." He perks up. "Oh, couldn't you just see it in a little lab coat?" He clasps his hands together. "This is going to be great."

"I should be nicer to him," Buck muses. "He's been really good to me. He maintains the arm, makes it better, in fact. He's helping me pay for the kids. But I think the ferret might work…..I bet he appreciates a good joke."

"Oh sure, it's all in good fun," Kai says. "I stopped drinking all his scotch because he stopped trying to hide it." In his mind, there is some internal logic at work here, why any of that is okay. "I just hope the ferret doesn't get hurt. They're pretty crafty, though."

Bucky leans back, looks up at the sky. "He drinks too much," he says, but his tone is full of sympathy. "I …don't know exactly why. I feel like he's running away from himself a lot of the time."

"Yeah, I was having a hard time keeping up with his drinking," Kai says. "Maybe you should ask him sometime. I used to run away from myself, and it was because I was scared of who I was. The implications, you know? The child of criminals, all alone in a world of people who would live and die within moments. We've all got something about ourselves we're scared of. Meeting Loki made me feel like who I am wasn't so bad after all, I guess."

Bucky turns that blue stare on Kai. Not as reassuring as Steve and his kindly eagle gaze, but….sympathetic enough. When Winter isn't ironing out his affect, he's still got that mobile, transparent face. "Realizing I had friends who still saw me as Bucky…..that's how I'm here. So I know how you feel."

Kai smiles softly and gives Bucky's shoulder a squeeze. His own fey gaze is rather sweet, ageless in its youth. "I think it's one of our greatest fears and our greatest needs: to be known. To be known, and to be loved all the same, blemishes and all. In America, they talk a lot about individuality, and how a self-made man doesn't need anyone, but in this one thing, that's not true. We need to be known, and that means there needs to be people to know us."

"Yeah. That lone wolf stuff's a load a' bull. I learned that in the war," he says, with a rueful smile. "Your brothers in arms make all the difference, right? No matter what the comic books say."

Kai nods firmly. "We're not made to be alone. That's the one kindness your boys' creator did for them. He gave them each other. I was alone for the longest time, and it hurt." His brow furrows at the memory. "I didn't want to be better than the humans. I just wanted to play." He shrugs a shoulder. "So maybe that's why he runs. Or not. I don't know. He doesn't talk to me except to say get out of his lab."

"Yeah," Buck's got that wondering look. "I should try an' talk to him more. He's not as…uh, in awe of me as I think he is Steve. Steve has that effect on people who don't know that he puts his pants on one leg at a time like ordinary guys. They look at him and see the hero."

"Steve is such a good guy," Kai says with good-humor chiding. "He's a living symbol. It must be hard, because you know he's just as human as anyone else. He's just also this symbol, and people respond to that." He lays a hand to his chest and says, "I see him. I see that he really is just that good. He helped me with my rounds one night, visiting some of the old folks I do. He got a fan for this one lady because hers was too small and she was roasting in the heat, poor bird. I knew he'd do right by her."

"HE always has been," Buck says. "Even when he was a scrawny little kid. Especially when he was. God, he was a fighter, even when his real opponent was his own body…." He trails off, reaches back, undoes the clip holding the front of his hair to let it blow loose. "You shoulda seen him. I swear I thought it was even odds he'd die before he graduated high school."

"That would've been a waste of a perfectly good human being," Kai says. "Good on him for fighting. It's hard to believe to see him now." The Elf's features soften. That poor sickly kid of yesteryear has his sympathy, even if it all did work out all right. "Except he still pushes himself. I see that much."

Bucky takes a slow breath. "He feels like he owes the world for what he was given, what he became. I swear, I'm gonna have to knock him out and make him take a vacation. He hates the idea of down time so much."

"Probably doesn't know who he is if he isn't fighting," Kai says. "He should come to Alfheim. We're an entire culture of people who know exactly how to relax." He slides off the railing, back onto the balcony. "Come on, let's go inside and get a warm drink." There's no heat wave here in Asgard, and as the shadows lengthen, the air is getting just a bit nippy.

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