Selfie with a god

January 25, 2015: Kate Bishop and Loki have a pleasant discussion in Central Park. Fire and puppies may be involved.

Central Park, NYC

Sitting on 843 acres of public land, Central Park is one of the most famous sight-seeing spots in New York, and is considered large enough to have its own police precinct (the Central Park Precinct) dedicated to its protection. The Park boasts several lakes — all of which have been created artificially — extensive walking and bridle paths, two ice skating rinks, a variety of outdoor theatre spaces, several playgrounds, and a considerable collection of whimsical statuary. It is home to Belvedere Castle, the Carousel, the Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory, and Cleopatra's Needle (one of three, 70-foot Egyptian obelisks from the Temple of Ra in Helios, its mates residing in London and Paris).



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Mood Music: Central Park is in recovery. After the attacks, there was a great deal of damage to the landmarks and scenic areas. The city and the Red Team have been working on repairing it, but these things take time. Thankfully for the park, in a way, it's started to snow. And the snow does something to cover up the scars, leaving it fresh and white. The damage to the park, though, hasn't exactly been helpful for the homeless population of New York. No more than the snow. Which explains why Kate is out with volunteers from the shelter, passing out blankets, coats, and what food they can.

Loki heard about the attacks. He wasn't terribly concerned or interested in the damage that it wrought, but with the snow, he decided to take a walk about New York City. He always sort of ends up near Central Park — perhaps the green reminds him of home? It's also an excellent place to people-watch. Seemingly unbothered by the cold, he's wearing a classic, dark suit with a wool overcoat and open scarf; no other protection against the elements. There is a walking stick in hand as he saunters through the snow-dusted paths, noting those who hurry past, bundled up, with some amusement.

It isn't too long before a certain young woman's ministrations catches his attention. These humans can be quite interesting when they want to be.

Making his way over to the volunteers, he shadows them as if trying to get a better sense of what, exactly, they're doing.

"There's an overnight shelter set up just a couple blocks west of here, in the church," Kate is telling an older woman, passing her a blanket. "You don't have to go, but the earlier you head over, the more space you'll find, okay?" As the other woman moves off in the direction of the shelter, Kate straightens to look for the next person in need of help. She certainly doesn't look like much, bundled in a puffy down jacket with a scarf and a knit hat pulled over her head. Loki certainly doesn't look like the sort of person who needs a shelter, but when she catches sight of him, she offers a polite smile. "Evening," she says lightly.

"Evening," is offered in reply, a smirk playing about his lips. He watches as the woman shuffles off in the direction of the indicated shelter, "I can see that 'survival of the fittest' isn't something that's well-practiced here. Strange." He does look at the homeless strewn about the park. It's a bit of a shame — they might be so easy to recruit but not terribly useful. "Why hand out the items if you're just telling them to go inside?"

"Many of them won't go," Kate explains quietly, crossing her arms loosely around herself as she watches the other volunteers move through the park. "But they'll take a blanket. Besides, the shelters do fill up, and while the city runs a few extra when it gets bad like this, they don't when it's not as bad. Which is plenty bad enough for people living outside." The talk of survival of the fittest gets a smirk as she shakes her head. "Fit doesn't always mean what we think it means. Take away desk jobs and money and electricity, and these people would probably do better than most."

"You do realize that things such as 'desk jobs', 'money', and 'electricity' are rather new to the human race as a while, do you not?" Loki glances around at those in the park before turning his gaze back to Kate. "You're saying that in these last couple of centuries, humans have grown soft and unable to survive without someone providing for them? That explains so much…and really validates my point." Well, one of his points. "You look familiar…"

"So are computers and vaccines and guns," Kate shrugs to that observation. "People are adaptable, though. They get used to things fast. And when they get used to the new things, they forget about the old things. Like cooking over a fire, or hunting for food, or defending themselves without fighter jets." She quirks a brow over at the man, taking in his coat. "Did you shear the sheep that grew the wool for your coat yourself? Spin the yarn? Felt it? Excess has to come from somewhere. For some people to have more, other people have to have less."

"This?" Loki looks down at his clothing before it shimmers and turns into something much less…modern. Deep green, black, and gold are still within the color scheme, but there is much more leather, silk, metal, and probably fabrics unknown to earth. "Someone made the clothes. Someone did the work. I'm not saying everyone has forgotten, but it seems like little is being done to remind them. No, it is merely coddling." There's a wave of his staff and there's a nice fire for the vagrants now. It might be in the middle of Central Park, but it will keep them warm, right?

Of course, he then begins to walk around Kate, "Magic has touched you, I see. Recently." He continues to slowly pace, like a cat after its prey. "You know Fenris."

Kate's brows rise at the change in attire, taking a step back. It's not a fearful move. Rather, it's preparatory. Space to move. "Yep," she replies slowly, head tilting as she tries to take the measure of…whoever this is. "He's a friend." Normally, that would scare people who know him off. Somehow, she has a feeling that's not going to fly this time. "I sort of get into a lot of stuff. Bad habit, you could say. Hi, I'm Kate, and you are?" Just keep talking.

Loki tsks…people don't know him on sight. It's getting tiring. He really should do something about that. Pausing in front of the woman, he inclines his head, "My son doesn't have friends." There's a flippant wave of a hand then, "Not that I've begrudged him the honor. He's always chosen to be a lone wolf." There's a chuckle at that, "I wouldn't get too attached. He has a habit of running off to different forests when things get too difficult. He has a rather good speaking voice, however. A shame he doesn't use it more."

Right, she introduced herself. "Why, I'm Loki. Prince of Asgard, among many other things."

"Wow. So, this is an awkward moment of deja vu," Kate replies, as her mouth runs directly ahead of her brain. "I think I had this same talk with Ra's al Ghul, like…a month and a half ago." And then her brain catches up with her mouth, and she clears her throat, chin rising slightly. "By which I mean, nice to meet you, totally honored, and my cotillion instructor said my curtseys were way too awful for me to inflict them on actual royalty, so. Uh. Hopefully you're not holding that against anyone." Awkward smile. "Just out of curiosity, if you're a Prince of Asgard, what're you doing here?"

"With whom?" The name isn't familiar. Her words get a bemused sort of smile, "You needn't curtsey, although I appreciate the recognition." At least someone recognizes the deference due to him! "Others should learn from you." He watches as others are drawn towards the fire he made in the park, "What am I doing here? Observing. For now. I do have other plans."

"Also, the fire in the park thing is not good," Kate points out helpfully. "Someone sort of attacked people here, and they're in the process of cleaning up the mess from the last fire." She keeps her arms crossed loosely over her chest, watching the strange man across from her. "There's a lot of observing to do, you know," she says slowly. "Humans are…" She laughs, shaking her head once. "Full of surprises, I've been told."

"So you've been told? Are you not human then?" That might make things more interesting. Not that she would be the first non-human hanging out here in Midgard. As for the fire, Loki glances over at it for a moment before looking back at her as if asking what she's going to do about it? "It's keeping them warm, is it not? I'm not burning any of your sparse trees here in this city."

"Way human," Kate assures with a wave of one hand. "I have a lot of weird friends, though." She keeps an eye on the fire and the people there, glancing back toward Loki. "Someone's probably going to call the cops, though," she explains in regards to the fire. "And then there will be sirens, and probably guns, and then they get hurt, and I don't get to finish my conversation, which would suck because hey, how often do you get to talk to a prince of Asgard, right? Also, god category. Two big check boxes."

Loki arches an eyebrow, "I'm really not concerned about the police, but if you'd rather these people be cold, so be it." There's a flick of his hand and the fire is suddenly gone. Maybe it was the fact that this young woman seemed interested in maintaining a conversation and not immediately attacking him that has piqued his generosity. "I don't believe that there are many Princes of Asgard about, no…" unless one counts his brother, which he, sadly, must. "Happy?"

"I appreciate it, thanks," Kate says with her best guileless smile. It's actually pretty good. Saying thanks to the nice fellow with the power of a god costs nothing. "Also, that's a pretty cool trick," she adds, looking over the ground where the fire was. "Is that an Asgard thing, a prince thing, or just a you thing?"

It's about time these humans recognize his power. "Trick? That's a mere trifle." However, he knows better than to completely show off. He's learned better in his millenia. "It's -my- thing, thank you. I do happen to be the most powerful sorceror in all of Asgard." Certainly in all of Midgard. After all, he -is- a god. "So, Kate. Aside from giving vagrants directions to shelter and handing them coats so they don't have to actually strive for anything themselves, what is it you do. Or are? Or are you one of the millions of mindless humans milling about this land?"

"Most powerful sorcerer in all of Asgard sounds like it's probably a pretty big deal," Kate observes, tugging on the wrist of her gloves. "Fenris says the stuff he does is pretty minor magics, but it's all looked pretty damned impressive to me. So if those are minor magics, and you're the most powerful sorcerer in Asgard, I'm guessing a little fire's small change for sure." At his question, she pauses for a moment, something a little sharper in her eyes. Lying to this guy…is probably not worth the trouble. "I run a shelter for battered women, at times. Teach them how to stand up for themselves. Stand on their own two feet. And I do the roaming hero thing. Hey, is that more of a normal career path on Asgard? Because I've got to say, I get a lot of crap for it here."

"Fenris' magics come from me, certainly…" they didn't come from his mother. Loki continues to glance about, as if expecting others to pop out because, apparently, he's some sort of villain. "A shelter. And you teach them." It might be an interesting place to start…with the women. "Roaming hero…ahh, I see. Yes, I know a few of those who, for some reason or another have it in their head that I'm out to destroy them." There's a lift of an eyebrow, "Normal career path? You mean this 'roaming hero' thing? Because of Fenris? Fenris is a wolf…he does what he chooses until he tires of it."

"More the myths and legends and stuff," Kate shrugs. "I mean, I did some reading, but there's a limit to how much you can trust thousand year old writings in regards to the cultural norms of the people they considered to be gods, you know? Wishful thinking, I guess. Dad's not a big fan of my chosen path." She shifts, putting her hands in her pockets as she considers him. "I try not to assume anyone's a bad person until I've got more information. And I've got a feeling that coming from Asgard, you might have some different value systems."

Loki's face breaks into a wide grin, "I -like- you! You're the second intelligent person I've met in this puny land." The first being his current apprentice. Everyone else can go jump in a lake, it would seem. "Well. Parents are often blind and don't see their children as individuals…only offshoots of themselves. They must share in their parents' wants and needs…nevermind that perhaps they developed wants and needs of their own!" His voice speeds up in his emotion before he takes a pause and a breath. "Well. I appreciate that you use your head."

It's getting bitterly cold in New York, with the first, fresh dusting of snow on the ground. Kate went out with some volunteers with the shelter to hand out blankets and direct some of the local homeless into temporary shelters for the night. Of course, there may, a few minutes ago, have been reports of a fire in the center of Central Park. Now, though, the fire is gone, and Kate seems to be having a civil conversation with a dashing prince in green and black. Or at least that's how she's playing it.

"Hey, it's a world full of people with all sorts of special powers," she grins at Loki. "The way I see it, if you can't be the strongest person on the field, and maybe you can't even be the smartest, then you ought to put some effort into being the most clever, right?"

Loki tilts his head back and laughs, "Either you have been coached very, very well, or you're smarter than most here. All you do is run these shelters and hero on the side? With a mind like your's…you could go so much further." He steps a little closer to the young woman, "I could certainly help you move forward if you'd like…"

Clint had heard about the fires in Central Park, his 'not quite home but close enough' spot, and it's nothing like it actually is. The Parks and Recreation Department doesn't have much to work with as it -is- winter, and it's been a very wet one. Bundled in a jean jacket, blue jeans and a pair of boots, Clint's got his collar up in the back, and in fingerless gloves, he's got a golden labrador puppy straining at the leash in front of him, desperately trying to sniff every burned tree and mark it as his own. He'd texted, gotten an answer that the park was -the- place, and as he approaches, he can easily make out the outline of a familiar form.

Two familiar forms.

Clint crouches down as he pulls on the least to bring Puppy to him. As it is, the little guy is full of energy; he's caught the unmistakable scent of 'mom' and is dying to run! If only this guy would let him!

As if he's a mind reader, Clint undoes the lead and lets the straining dog go.. and the little guy barrels as fast as he can go on little four legs towards his other 'owner', like a dog outta hell?

"Oh, I'm going." Kate grins back at Loki, hands in her pockets. "Working on a sort of…union. Connections. There are a lot of heroes out there who do a lot of different things. But right now, it's not everything it could be. I intend to make it that way, though. The problem is, I'm going to have to hunt done some trouble-makers before I can do that. People trying to murder their way through my potential recruits. It's a big-" She cuts off as the puppy comes tumbling up, jumping up at her legs and barking cheerfully. FOUND YOU. "Puppy?" Her brows furrow, and she leans down to get a grip on his collar with a perplexed look. "What're you…"

Loki certainly makes note of Kate's words as to her actions within the heroing world. He's about to reply when the dog approaches with exuberance. There's a glance between the dog and Kate before he looks further up the path. "Ah. Things are about to get much more interesting." He crouches down, offering a hand for the dog to sniff before he stands at ease, his hands behind his back. Waiting."

If Kate looks up in the direction from which HawkPuppy came, there's the form and figure of an archer with hands in his pockets, a lead hanging empty at the other end, sans dog. He's walking slowly towards the pair, blue eyes more on the man clad in green than Kate. Those hands don't move, but each step towards the pair is deliberate. "Kate.." is called out, his tones even. Calm, though there's something under those tones. Warning? Definitely something that sounds a great deal more professional than 'casual' and 'social'. "Dog wanted to see you."

Clint stops before he fully reaches the pair, watching as Loki kneels down to try and get the puppy's approval. HawkPuppy, remaining true to his breed's gregarious nature, is not only sniffing Loki's hand, but making that leap in order to lick the man's face. This, of course, gains a mental facepalm from Clint. Great. Just. Great.

"Apparently," Kate replies to Clint with a wry smile, turning an apologetic look on Loki. "Sorry, we're still training him on the whole not jumping on people front. Leash?" she asks Clint, holding out a hand for it. She's well aware of who she's dealing with. But in typical Kate fashion, she's dealing. It's what she does. "Loki, this is Clint. Speaking of training, he's taught me a lot of what I know. Clint, this is Loki. He's a Prince of Asgard, and Fenris' father. We were just discussing a few things."

Loki reaches out to scritch the dog's ears as it seems to seek out his attention. "Ahh…these dogs always remind me of my brother," is tossed off before he straightens. "Oh, it's quite all right. I knew he meant no harm." Loki doesn't hate animals. In fact, quite the opposite. After all, he has a son who is a wolf.

A charming smile is given to Clint as they're introduced, "It's so good to see you again, Clint…is it? You look far more comfortable with your feet on the ground."

Apologizing? To -him-? Clint gives Kate a long look before he hands over the leash, pulling his hand from his pocket. "Here you go."

His expression doesn't change from the neutral professional now, as Clint nods his head. "Yeah, we met. And I didn't mind my footing up there." Not until Lunair had the whole 'ray' thing. "I'm good pretty much anywhere." Loki.

"You know, I know I've seen your face before our meeting. Not sure where, though." Clint, not necessarily a natural born liar. SHIELD has been monitoring the god's movements, and on a few occasions actually triangulated position. Slowly but surely, SHIELD is building something of a database on Loki, and Clint knows -something- of it. Not everything, as it is 'need to know'. But as the archer 'bumps' into the man, that knowledge grows.

Kate clips the leash onto the puppy, putting what looks like a good deal of focus into convincing him to sit. Of course, she's also watching Clint and Loki. There might be a brief 'don't start anything' look directed at Clint. "That might be the first time I've heard anyone tell Clint he looked more comfortable on the ground than in a nest," she says lightly, smile quirking. "He's usually happier on the high ground."

Loki doesn't seem to care if anyone is trying to compile a database on him. He can't be tracked, and he's not predictable. Mercurial would be putting it kindly. Granted, he's not going to sit down and spill all of his plans, but it's more fun when others think that they're getting something useful. Kate gets that charming smile as well, "Yes, well, the last time we met, he was in a rather precarious position. And it was quite chilly, if I recall." He makes a show of looking the man up and down, "I'm glad to see you've dressed better for the weather this time."

Clint holds his hand out for the puppy, but thinks better of it. Crouching, forearms on knees, he wiggles his fingers to try and get the dog to come to him. His level! Of course the bundle of energy in golden fuzz is going to come! "You protect her, okay?" is whispered as he scritches ears.

Rising once more, Clint looks between the pair, "Wasn't my doing, or yours," comes as an answer. "And, I understand that it's -not- going to happen again." Just to be clear. He -was- dressed appropriately! Not his fault that it didn't stay that way…

Of course SHIELD will be stymied. It's the name of the game. Doesn't mean they don't try to make patterns where there are none. It's a hive of activity, and there are budget lines to be spent in the game of cat and mouse!

"Kate, I'll see you when you get home?" Blue eyes flicker to one, then the other, landing finally upon Kate once more. "Give me a text."

"Yeah, I'll be home soon," Kate promises with a nod and a reassuring smile for Clint, slipping the leash around her wrist. "I'll make sure puppy makes it safe." To Loki, she shrugs, smile crooked. "Clint's pretty good with precarious situations. They're kind of his specialty. Personally, mine's usually more stumbling into things that're way over my head." Like, you know. Norse gods. Or exploding trees.

Loki can't help but twirl his 'walking stick' before it's leveled at Clint, "Now…why would I be so predictable as to see you out there again? After all, if I am correct, it won't even be an issue for another year or so." There's that beautific smile again. "Such hostility…and I haven't done a thing to you." Yet. Or much. He didn't shoot the nudity gun after all. Kate and the puppy get a grin, "As long as you keep your wits about you, there isn't any situation over your head. Remember that."

"That's the truth," Kate agrees, watching Clint go for a long, thoughtful moment. Once he's out of sight, she looks back to Loki with a brief, rueful smile. "Pretty sure he's holding a little bit of a grudge," she notes. "On the other hand, that video's never coming off my phone, so…" She trails off, shrugging with a flash of her own innocent grin. "Call it even."

"Really, it was his own fault," Loki explains. "If he was polite, I probably wouldn't have had to do what I did." Sure, he went a little far but it was taken far beyond subtlety. "Also, I wasn't expecting the woman with the strange gun. I'm not entirely certain how that would be useful except for an element of surprise…" for some who might care about such a thing.

At the mention of the video, he seems a mite surprised, "There is a…video…of it? On your phone? May I see?"

"It's on YouTube." Because of course Loki knows what YouTube is. But Kate pulls out her phone, offering it over. "No messing with it," she cautions. "Seriously, that makes me grin when I'm having a really bad day." But she passes it over all the same. A show of trust, maybe.

Loki will have to ask Rain about it. However, he does know what a smartphone is and sort of how to use it. Taking the phone, he looks at it for a moment before he seems to open up an app. It's not Youtube. It is, however, the camera, and he leans in to Kate and holds the phone out, "Smile!"

And now she'll have a selfie with the God of Chaos on her phone."

It's then handed back as if nothing happened. "Well, it was a pleasure meeting with you, Kate…the good samaritan and occasional hero. I'm sure we'll meet again. Perhaps that dog of your's will help calm, ah, Clint some. He seems quite uptight about something."

Yeah, sure, why not? Kate smiles almost automatically, taking the phone back with a bemused look as she sees the picture. "Yeah, uh," she says slowly, putting the phone back away. "Nice meeting you, too. Good luck with the whole figuring things out down here and all. You want me to tell Fenris to call you?" That's just a polite offer, right?

He seems to ponder the question for a moment before giving a shrug, "If you wish. He won't, but you may tell him that. I believe he also knows where to find me should he wish to visit." Loki probably knows his son better than Fenris would like…or he knows enough of him to not get in the other's face. "I'm glad he's making friends though. It's…a first."

"Don't worry," Kate says as she backs away, heading back to her work. "He did let me know he was probably going to be horrible and eat the sun and end the world eventually." She grins, shrugging. "I told him that didn't mean he couldn't be who he wanted to be in the meantime, though."

Loki shrugs, "It's merely an end of one thing and the beginning of another. It will come one day…probably not anytime soon." He seems thoroughly inconcerned about Ragnarok. After all, he has plans for that as well. "That's kind of you and I'm sure he appreciated it. Sometimes the burden of responsibility weighs heavily…even if the event is so far away." And with that, he takes a step back, "I wish you luck in your ministrations to the poor and the cold."

Then, just as quickly as he appeared, he disappears in a shimmer of light

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