Hammer and Peg

February 27, 2017:

Bucky visits Peggy at her apartment to try to discuss serious matters. What he gets instead is a startling introduction to Peggy's newest roommate: THOR, GOD OF THUNDER.

Peggy's Apartment, Upper East Side, New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jane Foster, Steve Rogers, Peter Quill, Joker, Melinda May

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Mental and emotional recovery time was all well and good, but there came a point where stark reality became something that could no longer be ignored. For the past short while, Bucky Barnes has been turning over in his head thoughts of the raid on Ozone Park, and the files on the Winter Soldier Project which SHIELD no doubt took. Bucky has a personal copy of the files, left for him as a perverse parting gift by his longtime handler, but he has not fully gone through what they contain, himself.

Above all, Bucky figured that if he wasn't going to just kill himself and be done with it, he might as well try to cobble together his existence in the present day, and given who he was and what he had done, that was going to be a chore and a half. Reclaiming himself from his status as 'a man missing and presumed dead over seventy years ago' to the status of 'uncomfortably alive and not at all well, but here in the present day anyway…'

Peggy was the first person he thought of for this, even beyond Jane— he did not want to burden her when she was still recovering herself— and even above Steve, who he was still afraid to tell many of the more uncomfortable truths about what had happened to him ever since… well, ever since 1943, really. Moreover, Peggy was with SHIELD, and she could probably help him work out what they knew.

So he's called to ask Peggy if he can drop by at some point. Maybe not to talk about anything particularly intensive— he's sure there must be SHIELD bugs of some kind— but to at least get started on the conversation. He makes it up to the penthouse to ring the bell without incident nor particular intimidation about the opulent setting— he heard something about Howard having a hand in all this, so it's all to be expected.

It's a nice door. It really is. The kind of door that's sturdy, real wood, and thick. As Bucky's hand floats to the doorbell however, it becomes readily apparent that one thing is isn't, is exceptionally soundproof.

"Oh, you like that, do you not?" Heavily accented. Asgardian.
"You know I do! Hurry up, he'll be here soon! I need to finish up." Pomp, British.
"Let me just - squeeze it a little longer."
"I think you've played with it more than enough! Go on, get it in there!"
"I think the pineapple juice earlier will really make a difference."

Ding. Dong.

Classic doorbell. It truly is.

"Was that the door? Oh, he's here early! Can you—"

"Yes, of course, of course," Thor's voice grows closer to the door, and it swings open, revealing the God of Thunder in all of his rather burly, muscular, hairy might. As tall as the door itself, he's a wall of muscles, which are much like brains. And it's possible to see just about everything on the God's body, right down to the pink erasers and then some. He stands there, naked as the day he was born, his brow mildly sweaty and his hair a mess.

"Ah, James," he greets with a broad smile, stepping back to gesture the man inside. "Forgive me, I should probably put some pants on. You mortals are such prudes about displaying what creation gave you," he wryly adds.

Leaving Bucky to handle the door, he steps back towards the kitchen. It's warm inside the penthouse, but it smells delightful! Thor's firm posterior disappears from view as he steps behind the island, and he washes his hands at the sink before hopping on one leg, apparently tackling a pair of shorts.

"Care for something to drink?"

Many years ago, through a grueling ordeal of pain, dehumanization, experimentation, and misery, James Buchanan Barnes was made a super-soldier like his brother before him. He joined the ranks of a very select few in which an enhancing serum was reasonably successful without devastating side effects. In every possible way, he is superior to a mortal man: strength, resilience, speed, reflexes, intelligence…

…and unfortunately…

…his senses.

He hears everything. Both Peggy Carter, and what sounds like… Thor, God of Thunder.

Halfway through the "conversation," his arms fold. His head bows a bit in thought as he regards the door before him in deep suspicion. Still, he's giving it the benefit of the doubt, especially as he hears someone approaching to get the door. Someone who turns out to be Thor! All of Thor. Every last bit of Thor. Who really doesn't understand why mortals are such prudes.

Ah, James! Thor beams. The so-named James Barnes, with his senses too keen for his own good, sees absolutely everything before he can slam the brakes on his own successful perception roll.

"…Thor," he returns the greeting automatically, staring determinedly at some point off in the distance as the Thunder God wanders off and starts hopping his way into some shorts. Fortunately, he is behind the counter as this hopping transpires.

Bucky has not yet left the threshold. "I'm in basic again," he says, with an incredulous half-laugh, completely at a loss.

Eventually he crosses in, shutting the door behind him, and looking around surreptitiously for Peggy. Does he want a drink? "You got any of that mead?" he says wryly. He's gonna need it.

That's a lot of Thor to take in. The God of Thunder does his little dance, and makes his little offer. He's apparently already gotten down tonight. Does he have any of that mead? "Does a bilgesnipe require water to spawn its eggs?"

It's said with a grin, though after a moment the grin slips. "The answer is yes."

Opening the fridge, he pulls out a keg, setting it down on the counter. He's swift about filling two wooden mugs, and then a small snifter. "Peggy will not be long," he notes as he steps about the counter. Something's a little off though. The shorts he's wearing.

They're a little too tight for his body. They're a little too pink. He's not wearing… yes, yes he is. Those garments belong to someone else, no doubt the woman of the house. That provides more questions, no doubt.

Offering the mug, Thor gestures for Bucky to take a seat, which he'll do as well. He falls into the arm chair, laughing as he nearly spills his mead. He sips at the rim hurriedly, before casually sending one leg over the arm of the chair. "So! How are you? I am not sure if this is due to be a private conversation between the two of you - if so, I will of course retire to the sleeping quarters — but I did want to ask you a question.

"How do you feel about adventure?"

His toes wiggle.

Aware that Bucky is here now, Peggy is attempting to hurry to get dressed. She was already running a little late. Her schedule has been completely thrown off now that Thor is living here. Her outfit is already laid out, but she can see that things are missing. Did she forget it? How could she. Everything has been a bit of a mess lately. With a sigh and a frown, she peeks out of the bathroom and down the hallway. No, shoot. Bucky is already out there. He'll see her if she makes a run for it. Coming out in a towel is just not acceptable. Shutting the door quietly, she glances about.

Exiting the bathroom, she shuts the door and moves forward, arms crossed in front of her. Wearing a skirt and one of Thor's vest, arms crossed over her chest, she sheepishly makes her way down the hallway. "James!" she says, blushing. "You're early! Uh, this is rather embarrassing. I'll be with you in just a moment."

Her hair is still wet from the shower, falling down around her shoulders, face not made up. It's possibly the first time Bucky has seen her this disheveled like this other than on a stealth operation. "I see Thor is—Thor! We talked about this! You can't be in the kitchen without any clothes on! It's unsanitary! Please tell me you have some shorts on this time." She can't tell if he is from this side of the counter.

Bucky clearly has no idea what a bilgesnipe is, nor whether it actually requires water to spawn its eggs. This results in him giving Thor a decidedly wary look before the Asgardian helpfully clarifies that the answer is, in fact, yes.

"Great," he says, for lack of anything else more suited to the occasion he can really say. The occasion being Thor bustling domestically about Peggy Carter's kitchen, hauling out a keg(?!) from the fridge and pouring drinks. He is informed Peggy will not be long, and— is that—

How in the fuck did Thor get his ass into Peggy's shorts? Bucky has a feeling he would need Jane's intellect to calculate that.

How is he, Thor wants to know. Bucky wants to know that too. "Uh… fine. Getting my shit sorted out," Bucky answers, sitting uneasily and trying not to look at what's presented as Thor assumes a much more cavalier position. "I, uh…" But, Thor wants to know— how does Bucky feel about adventure?

The former assassin squints. "It depends what kind of adventure—" he starts.

James! he hears from behind him. You're early!

Bucky hasn't forgotten his manners, even after seventy years. Peggy enters the room and he pops to his feet, apologetic. "No, really, it was rude of me to be too early. I mean— catching you unprepared, and—" Wow. That vest really… it doesn't… ah, shit, Steve, Bucky thinks, and averts his gaze.

"Sooooooo," he eventually starts slowly, with a corresponding gesture of his mug from left to right, connecting an invisible line between Peggy and Thor. "You're living together?"

His mounting disapproval is palpable.

It's only going to get worse.

Peggy makes her appearance, and Thor's face brightens, the question of adventure falling to the wayside as another topic presents itself. "Oh, that looks good on you," he compliments with a nod, gesturing with the wooden mug to the vest.

Then he's chastised instead! Straightening in the chair, he drops both legs to the floor, face turning a touch hurt. "But - I am a God, Peggy! There is nothing within the kitchen which can pierce my skin, and believe me — there have been some close calls. Surprisingly, my manhood remains unblemished," he asides the last to Bucky, expression very much a 'yeah, that's alright!' straight-faced nod and thumbs-up like that one kid on the internet.

But what was that Bucky just asked? Living together? The God laughs, apparently having failed his class at 'Reading the Room' at the local adult education center. He smiles at Peggy, then down at his mug. "Yes, it is all quite new for both of us, but we have indeed merged our belongings. As you can see, it is somewhat of a rocky road, but we are making the best of it."

He stands then, giving Peggy a full view of what he's wearing, and steps over to the kitchen counter. That's where the snifter was left. "Come, sit and drink with us. I poured you a small amount." He casually dips a finger back under the elastic of the undergarments, snapping them into place upon his godly buttocks.

While maybe Thor is not the best reader of rooms, Peggy is. She truly looks embarrassed to be in any form of undress in front of James, she can tell he isn't comfortable with all of this. And that he's disapproving of everything that is going on. She looks between Thor and Bucky quite a few times. Okay, she's starting to get a picture as to how this looks. It, honestly, did not even occur to her. "James…" she starts, moving forward a step, though her arms remain firmly wrapped around herself. Thor's vest really is too big for her.

That moment is interrupted as Thor comes around the counter and Peggy can see exactly what he's wearing. Her eyes widen and her face flushes an immediate bright red. "Wh—where did you get those! Take those off!" Then immediately, she holds one hand up. "Not here."

As Thor begins to explain that, yes, they are living together, things really start to snap into place. "Wait, okay. That's true, of a sort. I offered Thor a place to live because his old one was too small and made buzzing noises." In other words, definitely monitored by SHIELD. "But nothing has been…merged." Is that what the modern word for sex is? She's not sure. What were the terms Jane used?

"I'm not sure why that's 'surprising,'" Bucky mumbles at that aside. Mumbles— because his right hand is over his face, as if he could block out the awkwardness of this entire interaction. "I mean… god…"

It drops away again as Thor and Peggy clarify that they are, indeed, living together, because Thor's old place was too small and buzzed. Bucky gets the implication immediately— about the surveillance, that is— with the familiarity of one spy to another, but while some understanding does start to creep across his features, that disapproval isn't quite weakening.

On the one hand, Bucky is given to understand that in this era, just letting a man stay with you isn't as loaded as it used to be, especially if you are rendering aid in the form of what the kids these days call 'couch-surfing.' Peggy herself insists that nothing has been merged— quite contradicting Thor's easy declaration that there's sure been a whole lot of merging.

Bucky remains standing, perhaps because Peggy herself is still standing, or perhaps because he's too alarmed to sit right now. He is silent for a few moments, before with an air of resignation he just starts drinking.

After draining what has to be half his mug, Bucky peers at Peggy. He's got that helicopter-brother look in his eye: the sibling variant of a chopper parent.

"Does Steve know?"

"They were laying around," Thor defends his attire, fingers poised to slip the garment off when Peggy quite rightly tells him not to do it right now. He laughs, and leans against the counter, scratching at his hearty scruff of a beard as he listens to the two talk.

Does something dawn on him as well? Not really. 'Merged'? He squints at the word that fills the air of the penthouse, weighing it, judging it, finding it to be quite baffling to him. "Yes, it is all quite straightforward, young James," he says over the rim of his mug, indulging as well. "Mmm, that's a good vintage. Really, Peggy, you should try it.

"I will go and get changed as apparently this is unacceptable," he adds, very much with to the tone of 'oh you silly mortals.' His eyes finish rolling. "They are remarkably comfortable though. Anyway, dinner should be ready in - what does that timer say, 10 minutes?"

The God of Thunder saunters off into the back, mug in tow. "Why does Steven need to know?" he questions as he disappears.

The mention of Steve does give a bit of a flush to Peggy's face. Standing there in a skirt and Thor's oversized vest, it's something that halts her advance toward him. Her mouth opens for a moment to explain herself when Thor defends his attire. "My—-pants are not generally lying about!" she also defends herself.

Moving to pick up the glass would kind of make her middle more exposed than she would like, so for now she leaves it where it is. "I'll be sure to try it in a moment," she assures. There's no anger or frustration directed at Thor for this situation, it's not his fault at all. She made the offer and she's not about to rescind it. "Yes, thank you, Thor. I would appreciate it."

The question as to why Steve needs to know is left unanswered for the moment. Instead, she turns to James. "No, not yet. I haven't spoken to him since the movie night. I was going to, however. This isn't meant to be some sort of secret. I have this large space, I offered as I could help. There's nothing sordid here."

They were 'laying around,' Thor says of the shorts. Bucky tries and fails not to look completely scandalized at the idea of Peggy's unmentionables just 'laying around.'

"So do you Asgardians just lie around naked all the time then when at home?" he asks, perhaps hitting the limit of his agitation, when Thor huffily goes off to rectify his unacceptable nudity. "Or is it just you?" It's really a good thing Thor is the only Asgardian Bucky has encountered so far; this question would get a lot more awkward if Bucky had ever met Thor's father.

Strangely enough, Bucky doesn't answer 'why Steven needs to know,' either.

He just turns his attention on Peggy as Thor walks off. Well— turns his attention on the empty space next to Peggy, pointedly not looking at her in her state of undress. He aggressively drinks more of his mead. Thank God this stuff works. Peggy is quick to insist that it's nothing sordid— just a lending of space. She'll tell Steve whenever she speaks to him next.

The big-brother hackles go back down, though Bucky still seems a little grumpy that the wrong gloriously-chiseled man has made it into Peggy's apartment. "You two are gonna be the death of me," he complains. "I, uh…" He waves his mug vaguely as he retreats. "Go get dressed, I'll just… stand… over here…"

There's a laugh from Thor as he's questioned about his usual state of attire. "I shall paint you a picture shortly," he jests, free hand floating dangerously close to slapping his own backside as he makes good on his exit from the room.

A magical girl sequence follows, the God of Thunder casting off the undergarments, finding a pair of leather pants and a soft, long-sleeve tan top. His more standard attire, indeed. Hearing that Peggy may be on the way to change as well, he does the sensible thing, and sticks the pink garment out the door for her to take.

Inevitably, Thor resurfaces, tying his hair back. He's balancing the mug by holding it with his teeth. "It all depends," he makes good on his promise to paint. "Some of us are prudes, others not so much. Cloaks, leathers, armor, barely-there dresses. If you are ever lucky enough to meet Amora, you will know the closest to perfection to surge forth from the loins of an Asgardian." There was no need for the Thunderer to gesture there, but he certainly did. He's learned the ok hand from his emoji studies, too.

"In private, we dress as we choose to. I am fond of wearing little when in my quarters. I… suppose it is something I should work on."

A smile takes his features, and he places one hand to his chest, close to the heart, to the pec. "Forgive me if you have been shocked or scandalized at all by this evening. It is not my intent. I am simply… very comfortable, here on Midgard, with people I consider friend. Perhaps I am too fast to trust, but I sense the courage and honor within Agent Peggy, and you as well, James."

A very genuine warmth fills those words, and he occupies the kitchen, refilling his mug. "More mead?"

"From what I have witnessed, it is not all the time," Peggy responds softly to Bucky. That's not exactly helping, she's sure. But, she is a witness to all of this. Mostly just due to proximity. "However, he also has a very broad definition in regards to personal space." Or what may classify as his or her own personal space. "The situation is certainly a work in progress, however I couldn't just leave him where he was." As previously discussed, the monitoring from SHIELD.

Finally, there's a smirk and a raised eyebrow at his declaration that she and Steve (or maybe it's she and Thor) will be the death of him. The embarrassment is melting into the opportunity to tease him. "Please, Sergeant Barnes, I'm sure you've faced worse things than a woman in an Asgardian's vest." Though, she knows it is the fact that she's not wearing much underneath that which is causing the problems. "I'll be right back."

As Peggy leaves to change, it seems that she tags Thor in to keep Bucky company. Passing Thor on the way, she gives a nod of the head. "I'll be right back. My turn to change. I would consider keeping James' glass filled for the time being. I believe we gave him quite a bit of a shock."

I shall paint you a picture shortly, Thor promises. Bucky thinks about that, and then he drinks more.

The mead seems to be working, at least, because he's starting to feel slightly less agitated about this entire situation. Especially now that it's been clarified that there's Nothing Sordid going on. Bucky nods slowly as Peggy explains that, well, Thor isn't naked all the time, and it's not like she could just leave him in the fix he was in. "I suppose not," he remarks, lapsing briefly into more serious concerns. "It's best if this information is controlled through you rather than anyone else. Not just Thor's, either."

Peggy will know exactly what Bucky is talking about there.

"Still, you better explain it to Steve sooner than later," he notes. "Not because he'd be mad, but because otherwise he's gonna find out the wrong way and it's gonna only be half the truth when he does, and he'll make some dumbass assumption and, I don't know, leave you to "be happy" or some shit."

Again— Steve and Peggy are going to be the death of him. He rolls his eyes when she teases him about that. "I'd say probably ninety-nine percent of the things in my life have been worse than being in the company of a woman in an open vest," he remarks dryly. "Now go put on a shirt."

He is quite unaware of Peggy's quiet advice to her roommate, though by the time Thor gets back Bucky does look moderately less aggravated. It might be he's adjusting the weirdness. It might be the mead. It might be Thor's clarfication on Asgardian cultural norms, followed by his really earnest words, which manage to mollify even a cranky asshole like Bucky Barnes. "Well, no," he says, as to whether he has been shocked or scandalized. "I've definitely seen worse." So much worse. "It was just kinda unexpected. I wasn't aware Peggy had offered to put you up."

Thor speaks of courage and honor. Bucky seems to take it as a given when applied to Peggy, but a faint wince crosses his features when it's extended to him. He isn't rude enough to try to argue, though. "I guess you'd be qualified to comment on that," he says instead, wandering over and proffering the mug in wordless affirmative to the offer of more. "Being 'the god' of those kind of things. Is that how it works?"

The roomies tag and Thor talks. He speaks from the heart, or somewhere close to it, of how he's still learning the ways of Midgard, of what is acceptable and what is not. Of courage, honor, and what he sees within the mortals that are currently in his close proximity. He offers a refill, and takes the proffered mug, topping it back up with a frosty bit of head.

The decently clad God of Thunder smiles, offering it back. "It is something along those lines. I am the God of Thunder. It is something I was born with. I can close my eyes and feel the shift of storms across this realm. Far to the south and to the east, I feel one brewing. The winds churn, seeking to gain speed, strength, to come to their full ferocity."

Somewhere in there, his eyes closed. His eyes open, and he cheerfully toasts his mug against Bucky's. "I believe you call it a hurricane!" he says, with equal cheer.

Moving away from the keg with a gesture back towards the seating, he takes up his spot on the arm chair once more, leg again hanging over the arm. "My father, the God of Wisdom. My mother, the Goddess of Marriage. My brother… was the God of Lies."

He needs to drink at that point, and he does so heartily. Nursing the mug thereafter, he makes a face that isn't too far from making a fart sound with his mouth. "Not all of us have titles to go with our godhood, and we tend to exemplify these traits. I am fierce and I strike quickly. You will hear thunder before you see the lightning. These are the signs of the coming of Thor."

The God lashes out with the mug, slashing like a sword, though he does so very slowly 'lest he spill the mead. Leaning back once more, he shrugs. "It was much different a thousand years ago. There were more boats, much more pillaging, fighting with swords. Times change."

Craning his neck to look back towards where he expects Peggy to pop out of, he calls, "Peggy, can you check the heating box when you come back out?" He means the oven.

Peggy shakes her head at Bucky, head tilted. There's a shrug of her shoulders as the mention of needing to talk to Steve before he finds out from someone else. "I never expected him to be angry," she tells Bucky. From all that she's seen of Steve, she doubts he would be upset that she offered Thor a place to stay. However, she also didn't think through how the arrangement might look to anyone without the proper knowledge. Of course, Thor's clothes optional thoughts and Peggy's wardrobe malfunction is not how she planned on Steve finding out that Thor is now her roommate. Then again, she didn't imagine that to be what Bucky saw, either.

As for how Steve will react if he found out through half information, Peggy gives a raised eyebrow. "I will talk to him soon," she hopes. "I don't think Steve would make improper assumptions." She trusts Steve, but she can at least see some truth in him wanting her to be happy. Maybe she and Steve will be the death of him, because she's just as stubborn.

Then, she's off to change. It takes her a bit longer than Thor's magical girl sequence. Putting on another shirt and some make up, she leaves her hair down, still damp. While she enjoys Thor's company, she also doesn't want to leave the pair of them alone too long with Thor's keg of mead. She knows just how strong that stuff ifs.

After a little while, she emerges again a few minutes after the yell for her to check the heating box. To someone else, she might give them a snide comment about checking the oven, but Thor did all the prep: she has no problem with pitching in. Bending over the oven, she checks it, a little light coming on inside as she does so. "I thiiiink it's done," she tells them. But, she's also not exactly the best cook in the world. As long as it's steaming, anything might look finished to her.

She moves over to the counter. "Are you two already swapping war stories?"

"Of course he wouldn't be mad," Bucky says, with the patient certainty of longstanding friendship, "but he really loves to be dumb." Still, he can see a lost cause when it's right in front of him, and as far as the Steve-Peggy conglomerate goes, well, it wasn't always just Steve giving him the headaches for being bullheaded.

Peggy is off to put on clothes, then, leaving Thor to entertain instead: this time, properly clothed. And the God of Thunder, surprisingly enough— or perhaps not surprisingly at all— is a deft entertainer, refilling the mug and passing it back. Leaning against the island counter, he nurses this mug more slowly as Thor elucidates what it means to be the God of Thunder.

"Shit," Bucky summarizes, as he takes a drink subsequent to that cheerful toast. "So could you tell a hurricane to fuck off? They've been making it all the way up to New York lately, and the city can't handle the storm surge."

Following Thor back to the seating, he looks bemused at this elucidation of Thor's entire pantheon-family. He seems about to say something sarcastic about the 'God of Lies' thing, but senses something slightly… off about the moment, perhaps sensitive, and wisely drinks instead. "Well," he says, "sounds like you got the fun purview." Marriage doesn't really sound like that interesting of a thing to govern, when you could be flying around spewing lightning at people instead.

Ah, but then Thor reminisces about the evolution of war over the ages. Though Bucky showed up on the scene pretty damned late compared to Thor, this is still at least a topic he can relate to more than godhood. "Times change, the weapons change, the tactics change," he says. "But the underlying basics don't change much at all." He grimaces. "The boats are bigger but they're still around, and there's still been plenty of… 'pillaging'… in every war I've seen. You probably don't care for modern-day warfare, though: there's not much forthright or face-to-face about it. The Great War was when that all first started changing." He means World War I, of course, but those of his generation didn't really call it that, being much too busy actually fighting the Second World War to really think about calling it that.

Are you two already swapping war stories? Peggy inquires, alerting Bucky to her return. He glances around, looking guilty as charged. "There's still a glass waiting for you over here," he indicates indulgently. He's relaxed. That mead is definitely taking effect.

"I could, if the need were great enough," Thor replies, idly toying with the rim of his mug as he stares down into the murky contents. "I could avert disasters, I could end wars, I could do many things with my power… but we are constrained by certain rules, laws if you will. I cannot interfere unless the need is truly great enough, or unless I deem it fit." His eyes lift. "It is not a casual whimsy, I assure you. I am quite fond of this Realm, but it is you mortals who must govern and lead - and respond - not we gods who are so often silent."

Still, that has the option to turn dour, and they could be talking about war instead! Oh, that's equally dour. "Thank you, Peggy! Let me go check on that," he adds to Bucky as he climbs out of his chair, making his way to the kitchen, gesturing to the snifter for Peggy as Bucky calls it out.

He opens the oven, sticks his hands right in, and pulls out what appears to be a number of glazed pineapple chicken quarters. He inhales, a pleased 'mmm' escaping him. "Giada, you have done it again," he speaks of course of his Food Network Goddess.

Setting the tray down, he glances at his hands, dusting them against his pants. "Verily, the weapons are larger, and it is far less personal. These birds with bombs - the drones, the missiles. There was a certain honor to fighting someone on the field, staring into their eyes, knowing that one of you was going to make the ultimate sacrifice"

His hands spread. "Times change. I have yet to test these modern bows and boats in battle. To be blunt, you mortals were never a match for the other Realms. Dragons, giants, elves, fae. And the dragons are tricky — very smart, you know! Perhaps this realm has a fighting chance now. I hope it will never come to that. And perhaps there is still some honor left on the field here. I should not judge until I have been there myself."

Turning away to a pot on the stove, he checks it, then removes it from the gas. "This is hardly a feast such as you would find in the halls of Asgard, but I hope it will suffice. The clucking bird and the white grain. Chicken and rice. Yes, sometimes I just say these things odd for the sake of it. I will serve you both, so please, sit and relax."

He's about to use his hands again when a little Peggy shows up on his shoulder and tells him that's not right. Instead he uses the utensils available, and he'll have a plate for each of them. "I obtained this recipe from the Internet," he sounds very proud of that. "And I have also been advised that there are many singles in our area, so, that is also good to know."

EARLIER

"Giada said this would be easy. Her plump lips and ample bosom have lied to me!" The God of Thunder proved inconsolable, another batch of chicken lost to the crisp blackness of overcooking.

Dashing to the rooftop, he cast the blackened corpses to the ground, where his goats did merrily feast.

"No! I shall try again! I will master this as I have mastered every weapon known to the Nine Realms! I shall cook!"

There's a reason Peggy managed to get as high ranking a position as she did: once she believed in something, she kept at it until she achieved what she wanted. She would not call that bullheaded, but, then again, Steve probably wouldn't either. Poor Bucky.

More put together, more at ease with a proper top on, Peggy reaches for the left behind snifter as both Thor and Bucky remind her of it. Leaning a bit on the counter, she takes a sniff of the mead, steadying herself. She knows this stuff is strong. Responsibly, she takes a small sip. While most liquors cannot pull a face from her, there is a wince and then an eyebrow raise. That is strong. No wonder it can get super soldiers drunk.

Now that the misunderstanding has been ironed out, it seems that everyone is more relaxed and ready to enjoy themselves. While she misses out on the story about hurricanes, she enters on the tail end of Thor speaking of his love of the Realm, though her attention is mostly focused on the oven at first. When Thor moves to take the pan out the pan barehanded, she reaches an arm out to stop him - that's hot! But, it seems as if 350 degree heated pans are no match for the bare hands of Asgardian Gods. Instead, she settles back to her smaller glass of mead.

"Is it true that the dragons held enormous treasure hoards?" It's hard to tell if she's teasing or not. Through Thor, she knows such things may be real, even if she at times has a hard time coming to terms with the idea that the things she read about in stories may have some basis in reality. "Some things remain the same. I had to hit a clown in the chin with the barrel of my gun the other day in order to ensure a madman didn't make off with a SHIELD truck. That was rather up close and personal."

Once the plates are in front of them, she smiles at blonde Asgardian. "It looks like a feast to me. Is this from that woman on the cooking show? You know, there was a woman I crossed paths with during my SSR days. She was in the OSS, remarkable woman…McWilliams, I believe her name was. I was told she went on to have a cooking show."

Bucky turns a little pensive as Thor answers that he could solve many a human problem, could avert disaster and end wars— but is constrained not to. Not unless the need is truly great enough to warrant the interference of a god. He glances down into his mug, contemplating the mead, but in his eyes reflect memories of war after war after war. The bloody fields of Italy, the jungles of Vietnam, the desert of Afghanistan— twice— the mountains of Iran. All the numberless places he was forced to go in order to ensure war and fear and strife kept rolling on through the years.

"We don't seem to govern ourselves too well," is all he says aloud, wry. "But I guess that noninterference policy's for the best. It'd be worse to get led around by the hand. Have no free will."

He turns in his chair to keep tracking Thor as the Asgardian bustles back into the kitchen, speaking as he does of the honor inherent in facing one's foe directly and looking them in the eyes, in full knowledge that the impending battle can only end one way. Bucky coughs and takes a drink. "There's still some of that, sometimes," he says, instead of talking about the fact his own military career inevitably focused around the fact he was the best marksman in the 107th. His life as a sniper and stealth killer is pretty much the exact opposite of facing a foe in honorable combat. So many occasions where he held the life of a wholly unaware man, a mile distant, hostage to the pull of his trigger finger. So many knives in so many backs.

His brows lift a little, bemused, at the descriptions of the countless other realms, with which their own human one is only just now catching up. Dragons, elves, fae, and giants. Huh, giants. "Maybe we do," he says, when Thor remarks that humans might finally have a fighting chance now. "If you mean the ice giants, I punched one in the face the other month."

He seems a little startled when Peggy weighs in that she also hit something in the face recently: a clown. "A… clown?" he asks. "Do I want to know?"

He turns to face back forward in his chair, however, as Thor brings over some plates. "This is really way more than you even had to do," he protests, when Thor demurs about the spread. "I just meant to have a quick conversation— nothing that'd put you two out like this." Not that he's complaining.

Yes, the digits of the God of Thunder are in no harm from a little heat, it seems. He does spare a glance at Peggy as he senses her taking her first sip of the good mead, amusement across his features. Yes, it is strong, but surely she is stronger! "Now that right there, that is a warrior!" he nods at Peggy's bravado against the clown, rice spoon lifted in cheer. "Clowns are wicked creatures in most of the realms. You would make a fine shield-maiden, Peggy Carter, let there be no doubt of that."

He serves, and he's happy to talk of cooking and dragons.

"Good food and good friends, what more can a man want? Perhaps a nice warm body to lie beside, but that is not my point. Think nothing of it, James, for you are welcome in this abode of Peggy and mine," Thor says as he sits. It seems he's taking co-ownership to heart! He again topples into the arm chair, holding a plate no less! "I shall look up this McWilliams later, provided I can get past the myriad of flashing windows that have taken up roost on my screen."

Just what is Thor looking at? Avoid his search history!

He gestures for people to eat. He seems ready to feast, tearing meat with his teeth. "Now where were we? It depends entirely on the dragon," Thor explains. "Before we left this realm — hmm, that would have been about a thousand years ago? Maybe more. Anyway, we had a standard agreement. Send us prayers, and we will answer them. I came to a village whose dogs had all been slain. There, I found a dragon nearby, Skabgagg. Big, green, and fierce! Fat, too. We formed a fast friendship in our search for the culprits. Rock trolls! It was not the dragon, no — though sadly I did have to kill him a few days after."

Sad ending, Thor! He waves a chicken bone. "Anyway, Skabgagg had no treasure to speak of, he simply wished to live in relative peace and eat whales. Fafnir had little wealth also." He seems about to launch into that tale, when he makes an 'ehh' expression and abandons that course. "You know, I think it may just be the dragons that stay in their lairs that have the wealth. And Bucky, you help yourself when you finish that mug, you must be thirsty tonight, my friend!"

Leaning back in the chair, the God seems in good cheer. "Adventure! That is what it all truly boils back down to. We journey forth, we find the treasure, and we return it to a safe place where we may admire it from time to time. Obstacles overcome, adversity defeated. Friendships are forged, strengthened, perhaps broken. The stuff that the minstrels song of."

Thor leans forward. "And that, my fast friends, is what I wish to offer."

"Maybe we don't do the best job at governing ourselves, but the last thing I would wish is for us to be ruled by a benevolent God to whose whims we must cater." Peggy takes another small sip of the mead, steeling herself better for the burn. She does a better job of not making a face, but doesn't accomplish it entirely. She'll get there: she's determined. Voice a little husky from the burn, she adds, "No offense, Thor."

While Peggy has seen her fair share of combat, she is also a spy: a profession she knows Thor does not look on too highly. However, that does not seem to bother her. She knows her missions and her intelligence gathering has their place and is important. How else did the Howling Commandos know where they should go without her ability to infiltrate? There was a time for Steve's Shield and a time for Peggy's infiltration. Both were necessary.

The question from Bucky about the clown is met with a shrug of her shoulders. "Some maniac with green hair and a smile. Goes by the Joker. Nasty fellow. Never seen Agent May so angry before she fought that guy. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen Agent May show that much emotion before. He wanted a SHIELD truck for what - I am sure - are nefarious purposes. Blew up the truck, but at least he didn't get it."

Thor's insistence that clowns are nefarious in all realms brings up a bit of a laugh. Her cheeks are flushed quite immediately from the mead and it seems like it does not take much to get Peggy Carter drunk on Asgardian Mead. "That is quite a compliment. I did manage to hold Steve's shield the once. Heavier than I expected, to be honest." Settling herself into the plate of food, she twirls a fork as she listens to the recounting of the tales of dragons and trolls and treasure. There is a little bit of a gleam in her eye as she listens to the recounting. Still inside Peggy is the little girl who pretended to be a knight and vanquish dragons with her brother Michael. So, listening to the tales of a warrior fighting olden monsters is something she certainly enjoys. "Adventure! Yes, that does sound remarkable."

Waving a hand at Bucky, she shakes her head. "Don't be absurd, James. You're welcome here any time. I didn't even have to do any of the cooking." It might be better that way, too.

Bucky frowns a little at Peggy's description of this 'Joker' individual. "Green hair and a gimmick," he muses. "Shit has got weird in the last seventy years." Not as weird as the fact clowns are apparently a popular meme of wickedness across the realms, just in general; Bucky takes up his plate in lieu of saying anything particularly snide about that, especially as Thor and Peggy are both waxing gracious about their offered hospitality.

He does grin to himself as Thor ruminates on how he'll have to figure out how to get past all the flashing windows on his screen later. "They're 'pop-ups,'" he says, with the particular enunciation of someone who is also just starting to figure out what these things even are. "I'm told you shouldn't click on any part of them, or else more will show up."

He lapses into silence as Thor waxes grandiose about stories of dragons and trolls and adventure. This is clearly what Thor was getting at previously, with his queries about Bucky's interest in such. He slants a glance sidelong at Peggy, amused to see the gleam in her eyes at the idea of adventure. He's not surprised if that thrills her.

"Where would you even go for that kind of thing these days?" he asks. "These other realms, I assume." He can't picture that on Earth, at least not in the Earth he's come to know, where nothing is so storybook or straightforward as that anymore. "…I should probably get my affairs squared before I think about any of that, though," he admits. Whether it's going aboveboard, or flying under the radar. "It's only SHIELD with any information on me so far, but eventually it's gonna come out that I'm not quite so dead." He frowns. "I was gonna ask if SHIELD reached any organizational determination about me yet."

As talk of the clown and the gimmick comes out, the God of Thunder casts a glance across the room, to where his red cape and hammer hang on. He buries his face in his mug as the conversation turns. Clearly, he does not like clowns however!

"Then I shall find a means by which to smite these pop-ups," Thor replies with a firm nod.

He talks; adventure, dragons, adventure. "There are still places to go, where you can embark on adventure. Sometimes it is quite boring, just the company you keep that makes it better. I suppose that is true of most things. I wish to find strong hands that will embark with me on a journey into mystery. I know not all the details as of yet, but that is precisely how an adventure typically starts."

The real reason that Bucky is here comes up though, and so, Thor falls quiet, save for the fact that he is a loud eater. He smacks at bones, gnawing through cartilage. He'll even get up, checking mugs and the snifter - with a look to Peggy to see if she /really/ wants a refill - and act like a proper wench and handle the refills.

"I think a lot of people have gimmicks now." Peggy shrugs her shoulders and rests an elbow on the counter, then a cheek on her hand. She's right at ease now, both eager to discuss ideas about dragons and adenture as she follows both Bucky and Thor speak.

"You should an anti-virus program. SHIELD installed one on my computer. I bet Jane would help you out with one." That should take care of pop ups, right? "But, yeah, you're not supposed to click them. They're all lies of some sort or the like. If you have a free car to give away, I doubt you'd just wait for someone to visit a random website to do it." At least, that's what she believes. Or maybe that's just what she's been told.

As for the idea of adventure, she finds herself nodding her head enthusiastically. "Mystery and adventure, you can sign me right up. I'm sure Steve would be interested, too." Would he? Who knows, but she's volunteering him now anyway. As Thor looks at the snifter, he'll find that it still has a little bit at the bottom, but she holds it out a little toward the blonde god for more. She can handle it!

Then, however, her face turns more serious as Bucky starts to talk about his reason for visiting. "I've handed off what we took out of the Hydra base to SHIELD and also have been logging and cataloguing what is there. There is still an interview necessary of Jane. Most likely for you, as well. They have yet to come to a decision as far as I know, though."

Bucky contemplates his mug as Thor speaks of wishing to find companions who will accompany him on a mysterious journey, the details of which he does not yet know. He isn't a hundred percent sure, given Thor's rather antiquated talk, but he thinks Thor might be asking for some assistance with some kind of mission. "Well, you know, I'm indebted to you," he starts, "so I'd be happy to help with whatever—"

Peggy enthuses about how Thor can 'sign her and Steve right up!' A little startled, Bucky glances sidelong at her, only to find her holding out her glass for more. He angles a certain 'not sure if good idea' glance at Thor.

Perhaps in an attempt to forestall Peggy getting completely wrecked, he starts to talk about something a little more serious. Peggy's answer draws a 'thought so' kind of look from Bucky, a pensive half-lidding of his eyes as he nurses the remainder of his mead. A grimace croses his features at the idea of 'an interview.'

"Guess that's inevitable," he says. "There's going to be an accounting for all that I did one way or another. I dunno how SHIELD is gonna interplay with dozens of different nations all wanting blood. They seem to be holding on to you" A cant of the head at Thor, "but me…" They could as easily decide against the Winter Soldier as decide for Bucky, and he seems rather prepared to go to ground if that should be the case.

"Yes, Steven is a strong fellow, I could certainly see him embarking on adventure. I do not call in debts, James - you should be willing, not obligated. I will take you also if you wish to join. And provided the good lady Jane gives her blessing."

Thor looks at Bucky then. Yes, he knows who handles the leash of the Winter Soldier now! He escaped that fate by fleeing to Asgard!

And so too does Thor sees the look that Bucky gives him. He even acknowledges it, with a little twitch of his godly lips upwards. "Just a little for you, you need to ease into it," he opines, taking the snifter to give it a half-fill. That he'll give back to Peggy. Truthfully though, the keg is within arm's reach of the woman at the counter and she's a big girl - she can do what she wants! Filling the two mugs right to the top, he returns one to the Soldier, and sits his rather weighty behind onto the arm of the chair he's apparently taken over.

He listens, scratching at his beard. It seems he's done eating for now, and he's just going to drink. "I will admit that I do not know all the details, and they are not mine to ask for," he holds up a hand to forestall. Not that he was really expecting anyone to start on the Ballad of James Barnes. "What I do know is that everyone is deserving of a second chance. Whatever deeds you may have committed, whatever blood may stain your hands, you should be given a chance to make things right in whatever way you are able."

Thor drinks. "But oh, who am I to say such things? I am simply a foreign dignitary, a Prince of Asgard, a God with the potential to take over the Realm and bring it under Asgardian rule." He's downright mischievous as he hides his face in the mug.

The startled and sidelong glance at her from Bucky is given a raised eyebrow. Peggy has an expression that clearly asks, 'what?' without actually saying anything. She clearly does not see what was wrong with her answer or why it would illicit such a response from him.

As Thor refills part of her drink, she sets the glass back down on the counter. She's not going to sip from it immediately: there is no need for the moment. And, as Bucky guessed, it's not in her nature to make herself fuzzier while discussing important information dealing with both a friend and SHIELD. "It's…there is quite a lot there," she tells him. "It might be a little while, or it might be a summary decision." It's a bit out of her hands. "From what I've…" Her expression turns far more sober for a moment. She's listened and heard quite a bit of what was on those tapes. But, it's not something she wishes to bring up entirely in front of Bucky. "From what has been catalogued, I believe there is a clear case to be made for rehabilitation. However, I do not know the modern international laws well, or at all, to be honest."

Thor's agreement that he believes in second chances is met with a nod and finally, she does take another small sip of her glass. There's a laugh at his mischievous tone. "See, should we need to, we will simply bring Thor to the Triskelion."

Bucky smiles into his mug as Thor dismisses the idea of debt. "Fair enough," he says. "I'm more than willing to help, then. On whatever your 'adventure' is."

Provided Jane gives her blessing, Thor adds, with a pointed look. Bucky coughs into his drink. "Well, you know Jane," he says. "She won't give her blessing unless we actually take her along, too."

He watches with a rather careful eye as Peggy is allotted just a little bit more mead. He takes his own refilled mug when it's offered, though doesn't immediately drink, wanting his wits about him when he gets into this decidedly more delicate territory. His expression sobers as Peggy says plainly there's a lot there to go through, and she can't predict how long it will take. But from what's there, she believes there's a clear case. Who knows how the laws will rule, however?

Bucky starts drinking again, then. His gaze says that he knows Peggy's seen the material— and he's okay with that, if not really thrilled. "Maybe," he says. "I was not myself. But the things I did were heinous. It's hard to say." His mouth twists into a wry smile. "It depends how bad people need a scapegoat to nail to the cross."

Thor weighs in, however, with the sort of tact befitting a prince. "There's a lot of blood," is all he says, his hands tightening on the mug as if he can feel it right now. "But I'm prepared to do a lot of 'making right.'"

The god's quip afterwards does well to lighten the mood. Bucky laughs despite himself. "Well good thing I made friends with the right God then. Things go bad for me, I'll just have you take over."

Attempts to be serious? Thor just won't have it. "Yes, that is how it shall be — if they come for you James, I shall raise Mjolnir high and threaten them with all manner of curses. At worst, I shall suggest you be given treatment similar to that rapscallion Quill."

The mug pauses, and he looks from Peggy to Bucky. "He has mentioned that, has he not? That he escaped the Hangman's Noose on Asgard by becoming a prisoner under my care? He and his group who call themselves the Guardians?"

He waits for an answer, before heading back into a prior topic. "Jane Foster may also accompany us on the journey, but verily, you must protect her well," he nods to Bucky. Yes, very at ease is Thor, even as he so casually brings up the next part. "I may not yearn for her as I once did, for time away has quenched that fire, but I still insist that she receive only the best of treatment."

Kind of like a warning, isn't it?

Thor muses on that very thought, and spreads his hands. "And please, do not take that the wrong way. I have no intention of entering into a duel to the death for the hand of a maiden. Those days are behind me." What? "Plus, it is clear that she cares greatly for you. Yes, perhaps if things go badly, you can become my faithful squire, and serve me on Asgard away from all of these petty politics and these power struggles."

Sure, Thor has an accent, but he's got a LOT of mirth in his voice as he says that, and the grin doesn't quite manage to be hidden with the swift accent of the wooden mug. "Just think, all the mead you could drink, at the largest tavern across the Nine Realms!" He nods to Peggy, as if that were a selling point to the whole suggestion of Bucky becoming his indentured servant.

Peggy reaches across the counter and attempts to give James a bit of a squeeze. "I know you weren't. We'll figure out a way to fix this." She certainly believes that while Bucky may have done some horrible things, it wasn't him doing it. It is like blaming a gun for killing someone and not the gunman in her eyes.

As Thor brings up Peter Quill and the Guardians, Peggy rolls her eyes just slightly. "The only thing I remember of that Quill is that he brought grenades to a spy operation. I am not at all surprised he's a criminal on multiple planes."

As Bucky and Thor discuss Jane, she merely watches. This is not her topic of conversation. She knows a warning when she hears one and also doesn't have any reason to interject here. What she does wish to interject on is the conversation about Bucky becoming Thor's faithful squire.

Taking a bigger swig of the glass at the image, she can't help but laugh. "I think James would be a remarkable squire, Thor. In fact, I couldn't imagine someone better suited for the task." She gives James a wide smile, clearly teasing. The mead is going to her head.

This is probably the first time Bucky has ever had someone offer to defend him with 'all manner of curses.' It's also the first time he's heard directly that Thor and Quill have an assocation. He blinks. "I don't recall him mentioning it. Which means he probably didn't. I'm… not really surprised, though, I feel like everywhere he goes he gets himself into some deep shit or another. So you're… what… his parole officer?"

It's a small world, he thinks dryly to himself.

His demeanor grows distinctly a little more awkward when Thor mandates that he protect Jane well, if Jane is to come along. Bucky must protect her well, because while Thor doesn't have feelings for her anymore, well, he's still got feelings, and you better not fuck up again, James Buchanan Barnes. "With my life," he insists. "I already failed once. Never again."

Peggy's hand on his shoulder helps. He gentles to the reassuring touch, and to her words. "If anyone can find a way to fix it, probably you could," he says. The mead's probably making him maudlin, but it is something he believes even if he's typically too dour to say it.

THEN SHE BETRAYS HIM. Bucky chokes on his mead at the suggestion he become a faithful sidekick of some sort, should things go awry. What a preposterous idea! "I'm pretty intent on not having things go badly," he says once he recovers. "And you keep your opinion out of it, Margaret Elizabeth Carter." Definitely the mead.

"Yes, that is the phrase that has been used, that I am his parole officer," Thor adds his bit in. The warning that follows seems well received, and the God gives a slow nod of his head as Bucky insists that failure is not an option.

Then the teasing begins, and Bucky bites back, and it nearly brings a tear to the perfect blue eyes of the Asgardian. A fond smile takes his face. "Now, now, her opinion is quite valid. We could furnish you with a fine cape, nearly as fine as my own, and perhaps find you an enchanted sword. I could even arrange for you to slay a dragon to acquire it and prove your worth to stand by my side. How do you feel about helmets with wings?"

Making his way to the keg to fill his mug, he waves a hand. "Now, I must leave you both, for I am due at my friend Darryl's for a game of what he calls 'Trouble.' I dare say, he knows not what he is bargaining for, if he wishes to bring the Son of Odin in the vicinity of trouble!

"Please, Peggy, do not bruise his ego too much. He is a fine warrior!"

Thor's really fond of making a gesture with his forearm, just to show how fine, firm or hard some things are. He does it now, as he steps across the apartment to grab his hammer.

Any attempt at a serious conversation is now out the window. She starts to look touched at his assurance that if anyone could help him, she could, but the subject of Bucky as Squire has been brought up and that means all bets are off. Especially with alcohol this strong in her veins.

Immediately, it devolves into something akin to sibling rivalry. As Thor quickly comes to her side - as she sees it - in the matter, she beams first at Thor and then at Bucky. "Don't you middle name me! See, James! The Asgardian God that is going to give you Planar Immunity agrees with me!" It's hard to mistake the fact that she sounds proud of that fact.

And, then, he brings up more imagery. Bucky in a cape, vanquishing dragons - all arranged, of course. A helmet with wings! There's uncontrollable laughter that she barely attempts to hide behind her hands. "Yes! See! You'll be in good hands as Thor's squire!"

When Thor makes his ready to leave, she waves, pleasantly, still laughing. "Be good! Don't wake the neighbors if you're going to be out too late!" she reminds him. It seems that despite their differences and learning processes of how to be roommates, the cohabitation is working out well enough.

Well, three or four or however many it was mugs of strong Asgardian mead? Is definitely approaching too much even for a super-soldier. This is perhaps why the typically-unexpressive James Barnes looks so openly horrified, now, when Thor elaborates on the kind of ensemble that he could have as an Asgardian sidekick. There could be a cape! A sword! Even a helmet with wings!

"Steve wears a helmet with wings sometimes," he mumbles. "I think? And he looks like a fuckin prat." Now there's a word he picked up from hanging around bombed-out London in 1944 too much. "I'm not doing that shit." Pause. "Though I would fight a dragon. Maybe."

Thor declares he must take his leave for now, however, which leaves Bucky alone with Peggy. Peggy, whose own 'too much mead' is making her into the very essence of an obnoxious little sister. Bucky's on to you, Peggy! He had an obnoxious little sister growing up. He knows exactly how to deal with those.

"I'll middle name you whenever I want!" Yeah, that's how.

And as Thor departs, no doubt the bickering shall continue.

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