Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine
Fill for the prompt from my dear accomplice vardek on Norse!Kink.
(I had a similar idea for a long time, so it was indeed a crime not to try to fill it *brow wiggle* )
Chapter 2 part A
The seconds of scientific exploration merged into minutes and then an hour passed unnoticed, but the mystery Steve and Loki joined forces to solve didn't progress in the slightest.
The device the two were trying to make work refused to respond to any kind of outside stimulation.
Steve had tried pushing all the buttons and following the instruction he had been given earlier by one of the agents to the letter with no apparent results.
He at one point even resolved to hitting the object several times, meanwhile explaining to surprised Loki that sometimes human machinery just needed a good slap to start functioning properly. However, the ritual punishment didn't help. At all.
Loki had examined the device meticulously, took it apart and put it back together twice and yet failed to achieve any results as well.
Steve's patience was finally wearing thin and Loki- well, after the Prince had ruled out every possible explanation to why it didn't want to work, he simply took a step back from the table and proclaimed in a solemn tone that the object was cursed.
“Oh, it is not cursed, Loki, we must be doing something wrong...I think we should go and ask for help.” Steve brightened up, stretching a little. It felt good to let muscles on his back flex after bending over the table for almost half an hour.
“No, we can't do that!” Loki looked scandalized.
He didn't dignify Steve with the explanation of a sudden outburst, but none was needed. The captain observed the Aesir behavior long enough to understand that both princes had a superiority complex towards the human race, and while Thor's was based both on his regal status and on power, Loki's relayed mostly on the supremacy of his knowledge and versatility of his mind.
The younger prince of course was much more subtle about it then his elder brother and usually did a good job hiding it behind the respectful manners, but it still surfaced in the moments like this.
Like a stubborn child.
Steve shook his head and set his foot to the door.
“Don't worry, I'll go ask myself. Just wait here, OK?”
The door closed behind him before a rather loud and vivid objection fell off Loki's tongue.
The prince made a mental note to strangle the captain upon his return and resumed glaring at the object.
He wished for a second his annoyed look could turn the little machine into a pile of ash, eliminating the problem and possible reason for later public humiliation, but the dreaded piece of equipment stood strong, completely unperturbed by Loki's infuriated stare.
Loki leaned forward and whispered in acid tone, “I will not be outsmarted by some stupid Midgardian toy!”
The coffee maker stared back at him in silence.
Steve rushed through the halls searching for help. He knew he needed to find somebody able to honor the vow of silence for the prince clearly would not tolerate any gossip about their little and completely forgivable failure, so it really couldn't be an outsider like a military personnel or a civilian. It had to be someone from their delegation.
Besides, Steve had to act fast. Loki was rather annoyed when he left and something told Rogers, perhaps a hidden beneath the pounds of muscles intuition, that Loki getting pissed could lead to a major disaster.
The captain couldn't explain it. Loki seemed very reserved and fully in control of his reactions, a trait most likely cultivated through years dealing with his hot tempered brother, but Steve could sense a storm of emotions running deep inside the man. It was like a mighty gale concealed under the thin layer of ice, waiting to break free and engulf everything in its path.
It is always the quiet ones, somebody shared a proverb with him once, and while that person clearly implied sexual meaning, Captain knew that it was an accurate psychological observation applicable to all aspects of life.
That's why he had to be careful.
Besides, he honestly didn't want to risk a fragile sprout of their friendship.
It had nothing to do with his assignment or the mission itself, to Steve's shame the reason behind it was much more selfish. He was simply happy to finally find another strong and honorable person that didn't fit in the present day world.
Steve was an earthling, and a soldier, but a soldier of a time that had passed. He put on a bravado face and pretended to be at ease with the state of things, but in fact he was hurt, and hurt bad. He was frozen into the ice for over 70 years, and while he remained the same the world had moved on. His family and friends died, the things he loved gave place to something new, people changed, their believes and values shifted, and he became a relict.
Steve sometimes felt like he shouldn't have woken up.
But then he met Loki and saw a glimpse of a future for himself- the prince was adapting fast to new conditions, changing himself according to the circumstances, and Rogers hoped that may be one day Loki would teach him how to fit too.
Plus the prince was simply a very nice person to be around.
But, all the brooding aside, the captain was running out of time.
Darcy wondered through the long corridors waiting for the evening to come.
She didn't waste any time since arrival, and using her lovely brains and organizer talent managed to schedule a poker game in the enlisted club. The casting itself was a piece of cake since US Navy stood proud with some of the finest asses Darcy had ever seen, but still- the showdown missed a star, a leading character who could spice up the performance.
And than the Gods smiled at her and presented the best strike of luck ever.
Steve Rogers spotted her in the doorway and approached the girl with a very determined face.
Whatever reason of his interest in her humble persona was, Darcy was not going to miss the opportunity.
“Ms. Lewis? I'm sorry to bother you, but I am in need of assistance...”
“I'm all yours, Captain Rogers.”
Steve froze for a second to process the said figure of speech, then blushed a little.
“Well, prince Loki and me...we were trying to make the coffee machine work but it just, well..we couldn't. Would you mind to check it for us?”
Darcy's chin jerked up as Steve's hand laid heavy on her shoulder, making the skin prickle with warmth.
“I just have to ask for discrepancy. Prince Loki doesn't want this to get on official record...”
The girl's lips curved into a sly smile, and she crossed her heart with a finger, “I'll take it to my grave.”
The happy coincidence just got happier, Darcy thought, if she could get Rogers convince Loki to participate... The girl had to swallow a limp in her throat.
Photos of topless Steve would make a hit in the internet, that she was damn sure of. Not everyday the world could get a snap of the famous Captain America's fabulous booty.
And as for the photos of prince Loki...well, she will keep that treasure to her private “pleasure” collection.
“Um, captain? May I ask for a favor in return?”
Steve turned to look at her over his aviator leather-clad shoulder.
“I'm hitting the enlisted club in an hour, there's going to be a poker game...”
Darcy had to maneuver her face out of the collision with Steve's broad back as the captain immediately stopped dead.
“Yes, no, don't worry, we are not playing on money, that's forbidden. Its more of a....friendly strip-down game.”
The walls around them seemed to turn into a shade of pink reflecting the captain's face that was glowing bright red from embarrassment mixed with indignation.
“Forgive me for speaking bluntly, but strip-down poker game in a navy officers club doesn't seem to be an appropriate pastime for a lady. Especially if you are playing with sailors. They can be rather...frivolous in their approach to women.”
“That is why I need somebody to accompany me to the game, you know, in case they behave badly.”
Steve looked at her sternly, as if was reprimanding a silly child for a bad prank, but Darcy wasn't fooled – she could sense his inner knight stirring, ready to protect the helpless maiden's honor. When the man's features softened in agreement, she let out a sigh. The captain was so trusting and gullible that she almost felt sorry for tricking him into this. Almost.
“Now, about the coffee maker. Did you plug it in?”
“Did you put water in it?”
“Pushed the “on” button?”
Steve considered the girl for a second.
“We are not that bad, Darcy. I had a written instruction and followed it precisely, and the machine seemed to function just fine several hours before. I don't know what could have happened...”
As they were closing in to the kitchen room, Darcy cast a glance on the wall and detected a small official-looking note on the fuse box near the entrance. God bless her vision correcting glasses!
“Light-saving policy in order.”
Darcy almost forcefully dragged Steve to the wall, poking the note with her finger.
“The light-saving policy. It means you have to turn on the switch because the whole power line in the kitchen is off line, no wonder the coffee maker didn't work.”
She took out the lock and opened the fuse box, studying the markings on the buttons.
“Lets see...where is kitchen...oh, here it is. Now, lets put this baby back on and check if the machine is working...”
Darcy clicked the switch into “on” mode and the lights flickered and illuminated the corridor and the kitchen with bright luminescence.
Steve started to smile as a shriek of horror all of a sudden sounded from the kitchen.
Darcy forgotten, the captain rushed to the rescue only to find Loki covered in coffee powder and water looking rather frustrated, with an evil coffee maker machine fuming black smoke behind his back."What was just that?" Loki demanded rather angrily.
“The room was cut off the power line...Is that a dishwasher cable sticking out of the microwave?”
Darcy looked around, assessing the scale of damage down by unauthorized remodeling, and damn it was extensive!
“You connected all the electric devises on the kitchen in one circuit? But what for?”
“I needed to test a theory...” Loki shifted himself from behind Steve's protective form and casually brushed off the grounded coffee off his shoulders. “Aren't you supposed to be assisting Lady Jane with my brother?”
He looked so cute and messy that Darcy couldn't help herself and snapped a pic on her phone, earning a rather infuriated look from the captain.
Don't care, had to do it, the girl thought, shrugging off promises of death and despair Steve non-verbally sent her.
“No, she'll be fine on her own. Plus I have a poker game in less then an hour. The Captain is going too. Care to join us?”
Loki stopped for a second to think. “A poker game? Hm, I've never participated in that kind of entertainment before.”
Steve shrugged his head, “no, trust me, it is not worth of your attention.”
Loki gave him a dismissive look, “Oh why, you are going, aren't you? So I bet it is at least a bit interesting.”
Well, it's not that I have any choice on the matter, all thanks to your royal stubbornness.
Steve didn't say anything aloud though, but tried to look grim.
Loki smiled at him, “All right then, I'll join you and Lady Darcy. Just give me some time, I need to clean up.”
Darcy shone up with a smile, “Awesome! I'll be waiting for you!”
With that she left, muttering “yes, yes, yes!” to herself.
Steve turned back to Loki, “You don't know what you just got into.”
the Prince considered him lazily, still trying to get the coffee out of his hair.
“And why is that?”
“I think...”Steve leaned forward and lowered down his voice, “I think Ms. Lewis has some hidden agenda in all this. It may be...ill advised for you to participate. Besides, she is so fond of her cell phone device that takes photos...”
Loki grinned and twiddled Darcy's I phone in his long graceful fingers, “You mean, this one?”
The blond man gaped in surprise, but his question was canceled by what Loki did next. The prince placed the device in his palm where it fit perfectly, made several motions with his fingertip and smiled again, looking rather satisfied.
“See, very simple. No physical evidence of our encounter, and if she chooses to tell anyone...Well, I'm pretty indifferent to gossip.”
He flickered the phone in his fingers again and it disappeared in a puff of green smoke.
Steve continued to stare.
Loki patiently waited when the human came back to consciousness.
His theory was right- the humans in most part needed to be introduced to magic step by step to avoid...their cortex system overload.
Steve to his honor was one of the fastest to recover.
“OK, I guess, you are right...But what about this?”
He motioned around the kitchen that looked like a engineering battlefield with parts and cables laying all over the place and something horrendous in the center, featuring the dreaded coffee maker, blender, microwave and some other devices Steve didn't remember the names of.
Loki waved his hand, letting green sparkles flow from his fingers, and the mess reorganized itself, all the equipment assuming original positions and all the parts flowing back to their respectful places. "I needed to occupy myself waiting for your return."
“Nothing to worry about. Now, if you excuse me, I'll go and change. This coffee powder feels rather uncomfortable on my skin.”
“Um....can't you just , you know...”
Loki arched an eyebrow, “Please, speak more clearly, I can hardly grasp the meaning.”
Steve blushed a bit, cursing his lack of self control, and made a wide motion over the prince's body, distantly resembling the one Loki did when he was performing the magic.
“Can't you use magic to fix this?”
The soft laughter made Steve feel like a foolish child.
“Of course I can, but is much more efficient to do it in normal way.”
He paused for a while, thinking something over. “Plus, I have to check on Thor. By all I know he might be breaking things as we speak.”
“All right, then I'll see you at the club. Wait, Loki.”
The prince turned his head and stopped at the entrance.
“How are you going to get to your quarters looking like this? You definitely going to be noticed.”
“No need to worry, my friend, I can sneak in without being seen.”
Steve gave Loki a doubtful look.
Loki smiled again and snapped his fingers, dissipating into the thin air.
Steve's jaw hit his chest as a cheerful voice echoed through the hall, “ See you at the game, Steve!”
The captain could have sworn Loki was barely holding back laughter.
Steve chuckled in amazement and made his way out of the kitchen. He stopped at the corner of the hall, mused for a short moment, then turned back.
He paused at the fuse box and turned off the power in the kitchen compound. And only after that he headed to the enlisted club, feeling satisfied with himself for fulfilling his civil duty.