Sons of Coul and Odin

April 03, 2017:

Phil happens upon Thor, holding a big turkey leg. Phil has some questions.

SHIELD Headquarters, NYC

Inside of a state-of-the-art SHIELD facility.

Characters

NPCs: Toothgrinder

Mentions: Agent Carter, Atli, Loki,

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Is it that odd?

"Verily, I am starting to think that it is," the thought rumbles from the voice box of the overly tall, overly muscled man standing in the foyer of the New York SHIELD Headquarters. It has some fancy name; Thor doesn't really like to use it.

So he doesn't! But what he does do is indeed stand about, like a statue made of meat and muscle and brain, like a traffic island amidst a sea of busy people. He's the oddity. People in suits, people out of suits, people who look suspiciously look ordinary people — but the Prince of Asgard knows better. They keep glancing at him as they walk by.

"Yes, I trust none of you, save one," he continues this thinking aloud business, which is a terrible thing to do when you're literally standing in a hornet nest of spies.

And he stands out, of course. He stands tall amidst the hustle and bustle, sporting a black vester — that odd combination of vest and duster - over a tan cotton top. And those are definitely leather pants and boots.

Thor has been identified, of course, well before he even turned the corner and started onto the block of street that the headquarters sits upon. Matched up, certain peoples inside notified. He's been here a few times in recent weeks, mostly to see one Agent Carter.

Judging by the brown paper bag resting atop his crossed arms, it would seem that one Agent Carter forget her lunch. There's what appears to be the top of a rather large turkey leg jutting out the top of that bag.

"Some of you do look quite fetching in your garb, I cannot deny that," Thor continues thinking aloud, because verily, he is bored waiting for the note to get up to wherever it is that Peggy has sequestered herself in this building!

—-

Today the man who comes to pick up Peggy Carter's lunch is a little over-qualified for the job. Though. Let's face it. Agent Phil Coulson wouldn't mind the excuse to just drop by the office of one of his heroes, have a little chat, smile at her in fanboy fashion, drop off her lunch, then scurry away again like a kid at a convention secretly hoping for all the autographs.

Despite that, he actually has a serious reason for assigning himself this errand today. He has reason to talk to the God of Thunder. And so it is one non-descript, mild-mannered fellow who makes his way down to the foyer. He draws up beside Thor and looks left and right, as if taking in how fetching various and sundry individuals look for himself.

"Good afternoon, Thor," he says, his own habitual tones such a sharp contrast to the booming, stronger ones of the Asgardian. "Having a bit of trouble?

Thor startles. In the minutes he's been standing there, chatting to himself, he's not really had anyone talk back to him, let alone address him directly! He attempts to cover it, but to the expert eyes of someone in the business? The alien with an electric hammer just startled.

Slowly turning his head, he looks down at the man beside him, a furrow develops rapidly as recognition dawns. "Son of Coul," he greets, barely managing to pull the surprise out of his voice. "I did not expect to see you here. It has been some time."

His arms unfold, taking the bag with them. "Are you here for this? I have been waiting for someone to come and bring the lunch of Agent Peggy to her. It is growing cold."

"I shall gladly bring Agent Carter her lunch, but I hoped to speak to you for a moment as well. Would you mind accompanying me to one of the conference rooms? I can even bring her lunch up to her first if that would suit you." There's no reason Agent Carter should eat a cold, congealing turkey leg just because Phil wants to talk to Thor, even if she can microwave it.

Coulson even reaches for it, but his face turns a bit grave and concerned. "It's about Atli Wodensdotter," he adds, lowering his voice a bit. "I have had a most interesting encounter with her, and I had hoped I could gather your perspective on this matter."

"In private," he hastens to add, lest Thor start sharing his thoughts once more with the entire nest full of spies. This is clearly not something he thinks, say, the receptionist or Agent O'Donnel, who gets his suits tailored and probably does look really dashing but only has Clearance Level 2, ought to be privy to.

It's a good sequence of events. Thor isn't sure about letting the lunch bag go with this particular agent, when the name drops. The bag is easily taken at that point, because the God of Thunder does not protest. He's back to having that furrowed brow and flummoxed expression on his face, like a goat that just got caught chewing through an electric fence.

His now free hands lift, hands resting on the lapels of the duster. The expression fades, and he now sports a rather grave expression. "Yes, let us deliver the lunch first," he says, with a nod for Phil to lead the way.

Once they are on said way, Thor can make idle chit-chat. "She forgets to eat sometimes. Is it a mortal condition? Do your stomachs not rumble loud enough to wake the dead, to remind you to eat?"

—-

"It's the condition of driven mortals who are fed more by the pursuit of foes and the defeat of threats than the satisfaction of the belly," Coulson replies mildly, hitting the button to get them up the elevator. He holds the bag carefully, not really wanting to get his suit touched by the massive end of the turkey leg.

He tilts his head at the Asgardian, birdlike. "Surely there are some among your own people who are much the same?" He won't pass up the opportunity to learn even this small nuance of the way things work on far-flung Asgard, his keen hazel eyes more intent on the God as he seeks to gather that much more intelligence, no matter how minor it may seem to be.

Perhaps more importantly: "How did it happen that you became the one to rectify the situation in Agent Carter's case?"

—-

Amusement takes the features of the Asgardian as the question comes out. Thor doesn't even hide it. "Could it be that her promise was true?" he wonders, a broad grin across his face. He waves a hand, dismissing his rhetorical, entering the elevator. "I do not know if you are simply playing coy, but I grew tired of my affairs being listened to from within the walls." His apartment was arranged by SHIELD, and of course, bugged. "Agent Peggy was kind enough to offer a remedy for the buzzing that was keeping me up at night."

The Alien Prince, the roomie of one of SHIELD's time-jumping founders. He crosses his arms. "As for your other question, when our bodies demand food, we give it food. You would enjoy the feasting halls of Asgard. Fine food, much finer than that-" He nods to the turkey leg. "-and the coldest, frothiest mead in all the Nine Realms."

That grin returns, and a blonde brow lifts. "And need I mention the finest wenches?"

A faint smile touches Coulson's lips. "I wouldn't turn down the chance to go someday," he admits, though it might be hard to imagine him really diving headlong into the wenching. Still. Occasionally he manages to charm a lady or two, and often where it is least expected. The elevator doors slide open and he leads Thor down to Peggy's office. He ducks his head in and says, "She's on a sensitive phone call. I'm going to drop this off."

And he promptly does, shutting the door carefully and quietly behind him. Any reaction he has to learning that Thor is rooming with Peggy to avoid surveillance is carefully hidden behind his habitual faint, smiling mask. There's no sign of approval. There's no sign of disapproval. There's no indication, even, if he is playing coy or not.

Instead of clearing any of that up, he opens up a conference room and enters it, adding, "We'll talk in here, if you please. And I appreciate your willingness to talk to me about this. I know you're busy."

The courtesy of Midgard, for good or for ill, with words that are sometimes said as much for form as for function.

It would seem that the God of Thunder is used to waiting around. He does just that, though he hazards a peek in, and a wave, to his roommate. It doesn't last long, and then they're off to the nearby conference room. Striding in, Thor glances at the walls, head cocked, almost as if he were… listening… for something behind the walls.

"I am not overly busy," Thor admits, sounding dangerously close to bitter about that. "In truth, I had considered offering my assistance more readily to the plights of this Realm. But that is not why you wished to speak with me."

Sitting down on whatever available furniture is in there, he leans forward, elbows gracing the table. His expression turns downright serious, like an oncoming storm. "What news do you have of my granddaughter, and is my goat safe?"

"Your goat helped her flip a garbage truck, but we sorted it out," Phil says, tilting his head at Thor.

"And…if you are at a loss for things to do, I'm sure I can find them. As it is, I'm not certain the presence of your granddaughter doesn't at least point to a threat to this Realm. And most others. So, perhaps that is why I wish to speak to you."

He sits down across from Thor. "She tells me she comes from the future, a future where Midgard is a blasted wasteland. She is slowly losing her memory of that future. She said, however, that she shared some details with you about what she saw, and what she knows. Obviously the more we know about what's ahead, the more we can prevent it. She at least believes your future-self sent her here to prevent all of this. I'd hoped I could ask you to help me sort all of this out, to figure out where the opportunities for prevention might lie in the here and now. Or to share any deductions you've made about what she has to say."

Hopefully: "Or that you'd tell me she's simply mad as a hatter and I can stand down on this whole thing? Because I think I'd be inspired to buy you a whole goat farm if you could tell me that and it were true."

It may be his job to prevent world-altering or world-ending scenarios. That does not mean he exactly likes learning new ones have been served up on a platter. It's sort of a love-hate thing. There's the satisfaction of a job well done, but in the meantime someone's trying to grind the planet into a fine red-tinged mist, and that's not cool.

The topic of discussion clearly weighs on Thor. What before was an almost 'too casual' nature before has shed, laugh lines giving way to unyielding lines and a resolute jawline. As Coulson speaks on about the potential for what Atli's presence holds, the Prince of Asgard taps a finger against the table.

The finger stills, and he speaks. "Were it that I could tell you otherwise, Son of Coul. While your Realm has certainly progressed in the last century, it is still young by many standards. This is not the first instance of time-travel that I have come across, and it will not be the last." His shoulders lift into a slim shrug. "I cannot say with any certainty that what this apparent granddaughter of mine says will come to pass as she says it, or that the actions we will strive to take in the days to come will change that future. From what I have gathered, it is a very, very distant future."

Blue eyes settle on Phil's frame, and a smile best described as kind briefly curls Thor's lips. "It is not something that you will need to worry about, in all likelihood."

Those arms spread into a bigger shrug. "However, I know some of you mortals, and you in particular from our… time together. You will pursue this, and you will miss meals as a result. What information did Atli have for you? For me, she had a warning.

"My brother. The one who controlled the Destroyer. I trust you remember."

"I understand. You wish for your Realm to remain as it is, as much as possible, so that your children, and their children, may frolic freely amidst the…" Thor glances towards the window, and he squints. "Flying men in their capes and iron suits."

A soft exhale of amusement leaves the Thunderer as his gaze returns to the man opposite him. "The Realm changes. Know that I would have it change for the better. Whatever far-off future Atli has been through, I will do all in my power to ensure it does not come to pass. She has been through much, and it is perhaps a blessing that her memories are fading."

Leaning forward again, Thor nods. "The one thing I can be certain of, is that my brother was in some way involved. And I would caution you to think long and hard before you chase that lead. He is dangerous from afar, more so if he has reach for your back." No, he definitely doesn't sound bitter there, except that yes, he does. A thought occurs to him, and he looks sheepish. "Did your men fully recover? From New Mexico?"

Now it's turn for Coulson to look gentle. "The size of the threat does not change the necessity of a response, but I will be cautious. It's not as though chasing down your brother and asking him if he plans to destroy everything is likely to bear fruit. The answer is either 'yes' or 'good idea, thanks.' No, it's more about mining data at this point, looking for— well. Things he's likely to be pursuing and subtly getting in their way before he gets there."

Frustrating. Long-shotty. But there's also no doubt Coulson wouldn't hesitate to try to get directly in Loki's way if he felt that's what he had to do. The mild little man doesn't look or act much like a warrior, but neither has he ever flinched in the face of his own impending death.

"They recovered, worry not," Coulson replies, without the slightest hint of rancor. "We have access to fantastic medical technology. They got some nice paid leave in addition to the sick time, or so I'm told."

He approves, though, of the question. It shows in the slight softening of his eyes, the little smile that creases his face, not mysterious or enigmatic this time, but genuinely warm.

And the expression is mirrored, the God of Thunder put at ease with the knowledge that the best trained men of SHIELD recovered from the beating he delivered to them while stripped of his Godhood. "I am gladdened to hear that. It was an interesting time in my life, and it seems that these times remain so."

"I do not have much information for you at this time. When I do, I shall share it." Thor admits, with another glance out the window. He squints, and then checks the time on what appears to be a rather broken starkPhone. The screen is definitely cracked, a few times over. "I should be going. As I mentioned earlier, if you have need for me, please do not hesitate to be in touch. I am but a phone call away, as you mortals are fond of saying." That can't be accurate, nobody calls in 2017!

Rising, Thor taps the table twice, a thoughtful expression crossing his features. "And I know that you will take my warning to heart, concerning my brother. You are a protector, and there is great honor in that. Men of your caliber are a dying breed, despite your fondness for stealing the scientific livelihood right out from under young women." His tone is mirthful, teasing almost. His grin returns, and he thrusts a meaty hand out. "Be safe, and be well, Coulson."

Coulson shoots a glance at the phone as if contemplating offering to have it fixed, but in the end he gives that up as a lost cause. He suspects whatever circumstances caused it to be broken in the first place would swiftly reappear, perhaps just moments after the repair was made.

He stands as Thor does and says gravely, "I appreciate it. And I will keep it in mind; for it is not right for your talents to go to waste." And while he doesn't have an active Situation now, he suspects he will sooner or later. Perhaps even sooner, rather than later.

He takes the teasing with good grace, his eyes twinkling. "Oh Thor. I haven't borrowed from a scientist in ages. I really miss it. I don't suppose you could also call me if you find any young women who have some research I need? Just for old time's sake. I mean, you know I'll give it back. More or less. Eventually."

He takes the hand and offers a shake; his grip conveying friendly firmness. "Be safe and be well, Thor."

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