Team Building

March 07, 2014:

Loki catches up with Sif to ask her to play on his knattleikr team against Thor. She agrees.

Library, Asgard

Lots of books and scrolls.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Asgard.

Home, more than anywhere else, for the lady Sif. Thor spends more and more of his time on Midgard, and it is truly more for this reason than any other that Sif descends to the mortal plane. It has its interesting places and people, cuisine and culture, but Sif is more comfortable in her homeland.

Thor's gone now, off on some errand, and this certainly makes the palace a quieter place. There truly seems no way to make the day other than dull: she has warmed up on the training ground, she has wandered the city to see shows and shops and markets and it's just dull, dull, dull.

So she's returned to the palace, haunting the racks of books and scrolls for favorite old stories. Disappearing into some other life seems more suited to her current mood.

~

"Then let your precious Asgard fall around your feet for all I care," is darkly muttered as a door slams behind a new entrant, the action a great deal more violent than any hand could cause. Loki stalks into the library, assured that virtually no one of any import spends any length of time here. After all, here are the stories that used to surround the Prince in his youth; here, here could be found the stories of greatness of his mother's battles, of Odin's exploits (the bad and the good..) and it's here that he retreats.

Stopping in his tracks, Loki blinks once, twice before he twists around to look at the door, then back at the form and figure of… Sif?… and back again at the door, confusion marked plain upon his face. Still, he gathers himself, schools his expression, and makes to approach, his greeting rising easily in the quiet of the room. "Is all truly so desperately peaceful that you've sunk to new lows, Sif?"

~

She'd heard the voice somewhat vaguely in the back of her mind, but it was a moment before her ears caught up with her brain. The library, it's true, is more often abandoned than not, and Sif is rarely one who haunts its stacks. She once said that she had far more interest in making history than learning it. Some days, though, are different. Still. There is plenty of room in the library, and neither the shieldmaiden nor the mischievous scholar need trouble the other one.

…Considered too soon, it seems, as Loki does not have the wit to avoid her. Sif turns and, to his comment, cracks a slight smile and even lets out a small chuckle. "Yes, I've come tripping into your domain. I won't trouble your books or your studies, whatever they may be. What have you come seeking?"

~

"What have I come seeking? A cure for cluelessness. A salve for stupidity? A balm for boorishness… shall I go on?" Loki wanders towards Sif now, blue eyes looking at the shelves to get a glimpse into the shieldmaid's mind (for the moment, anyway). Taking a deep breath, a smile creeps upon his face and lingers there in answer to the quiet jest. His domain.

"Of course, I could ask you the same. Does my brother not have you on the training fields with your new sorceress? Learning those new tactics for battle? Instead, you come here to read stories. At least tell me you're looking for your own stories to be sure those pathetic mortals got it at least half right."

~

A cloud passes over Sif's face at even the oblique mention of Amora. She turns her head away, gazing up along the books and scrolls. She does in fact stand amid the ranks of the tales of great heroes and warriors… and tricksters, too, come to that. The tales of Frigga are not far from her hands.

"They are off. Together or not, it makes no difference. Who knows where sorceresses go, or — or what they get up to? I have only ever trusted one, and the queen has better things to do than go conquering and adventuring." Sif sniffs, her eyes returning to the spines of the books and the tags of the scrolls. "There was one of these stories I loved. Long ago; long, long ago. A tale of the Queen and her cleverness."

~

A hand moves to his heart in theatric 'offense', but Loki doesn't look too terribly upset for not being the named 'trusted'.

There, however, is that shadow. He'd thought he'd seen it the other day, but now his suspicions are confirmed. Schooling his expression into a somewhat sympathetic one, the Trickster is on to the next topic. One, perhaps, that may warm the shieldmaiden's heart. Or at least allow for a feeling of vengeance.

"My brother and I were speaking the other day, the day when I received word, that is.. and we've agreed that a game of knattleikr would be most welcome. He and I on opposite sides," Loki pauses and sidles beside Sif now, his gaze shifting from Sif to the books, and he lowers his voice, "And I suggested that I would ask you to be on my side." There comes another deliberate pause before he turns to face her, brows rising, his face seemingly free of guile. "Would you? Or has he caught up with you first, beating me?"

~

Browsing. Pointedly browsing. Sif's fingertip runs along the edge of the shelf, waiting for the trickster to be gone. Why is he staying? What reason can he have, except to torment?

But he remains, and Sif looks perplexed as he continues to speak. She turns to face him a bit more fully, first gazing over her shoulder, then looking him full in the face with growing bafflement. "He's made no mention of it," she admits. Not that the fact stings at all. Goodness no. "So you're the first to ask, and a game of knattleikr would be most welcome. But why? Why would you want me on your team? What profit is there in this for you?"

~

And there, there rises the hand to his heart once again, now looking wounded. "Even in a game played since youth, you would accuse me of asking you for my own gain?" Loki tsks softly and lets his hand drop, and the smile comes more fully. His tones drop, and he offers encouragingly, "Come on. How long has it been since lifting anything against your comrades and -not- have to hold back your strike?"

Loki returns the attention, blue eyes searching her own, and there, for a moment, flickers something behind that crafty expression. He chuckles and takes a step back, his eyes casting down to the floor a moment as his shoulders rise. "Besides, tell me. Do you think for a moment that anyone else so capable would agree to my team? As it is, I no doubt have to fill the ranks with burdensome oafs."

~

"I have known you since we were both young; when has Loki ever done something that wasn't for his gain?" But the comment is not made derisively; there's even the shadow of a smile as she says this. But as he goes on, the game does start to sound a little more promising. A bit more tempting.

"I could," Sif allows. "And I could find other people worthy of the tame — knattleikr requires guile almost as much as strength and swiftness, but I could help you make a fine team. And the game is far more enjoyable when played against a capable opponent. Thor is certainly that. And he will recruit Fandral and Volstagg and Hogun if he has not already. …And Amora."

There's a thought. There's the hook that she can find for herself. A look of realization crosses her face, and she starts to look rather pleased. "Amora. Yes. And he'll see what happens when he tries to substitute one for the other."

~

And there. She's gotten it. Loki's smile grows to a pleased grin as the connections are made. "There are times when my own benefit echoes others', Sif," he prods gently. "So, we have an alliance. I have no doubt Thor will encourage the Warriors, should they be able to tear themselves away from their respective vices."

Now, the younger Prince takes a step back, the grin lingering. "Yes, he will."

Looking over his shoulder briefly, he returns his attention quickly to the shieldmaid. "There is more to be done before the game. I am going to go find our favourite lake and make sure there will be no distractions." Like the Icelandic Royal Air Force coming to investigate the play.

~

Wenching, eating, and brooding. She might be able to woo away one or two before Thor gets to them. If not… Heimdall is eternally too busy, but Balder might well serve. And there are other worthies in Asgard, too, who would be eager at the chance.

Sif ponders it a moment. It's a chance for Loki to show up his brother. It's a chance for her to show up Amora. It's perhaps not the friendliest way of looking at the day ahead, but it might well work for the both of them. And that might be all that Loki has in mind.

"I'll see about finding us some more players. There will be those who will give it greater consideration if I'm on your side. When shall we meet?"

~

Loki takes another step back, those blue eyes back to studying her, and perhaps there's an appreciation there for the fact that she picked up on everything so quickly that can be read upon his face. (Or perhaps it can be read in his tones, that he's speaking to her -normally-, rather than as he is wont to do?) He gets so weary of having to explain things over… and over… and over. "I need to find the lake, and then I'll speak with Thor. I'll find you again later tonight, and we can finish up the plans?"

Turning on his heel now, the Prince makes his way from the library; so much to do yet, and so little time!

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