*snicker* As delusional as ever, dear Fandral. How funny that you have 'courted' so many and yet never married. That is hardly something to boast of, now is it? It is my concern because you expound about what "maidens" want, yet you're offended when one disagrees with you. And how would you know Loki cares nothing for me? You have never understood him and you never will. You might want to show a bit of wisdom for once and stop pretending otherwise.
Oh, you are truly vapid. I have known Loki far longer than you, my dear. So please, allow yourself to believe that he is just a poor, mistreated and misunderstood soul who simply needs a helping hand and a kind heart to show him what love truly is. Then when he betrays you in every way imaginable, I shall be the one to pity you. You would know a thing or two of delusion.
No. That is not how it would have played out at all. Even if I had stayed, there would be no celebration. Not for me. I would have continued to be kicked to the side, like always.
Asgard, is not my home. It was never meant to be my home. It never felt like a home.
And you celebrated anyway, did you not? I heard things in that cell. None of you cared. I drop into the dead of space, and you have a feast. Do not even dare tell me you mourned.
How truly warped your view has become. You have allowed yourself to succumb to your own self loathing and pity. There was not a soul in all of Asgard that was pleased to hear of the death of our younger prince. Loki, you were one of us once. Do you remember none of it? And… your brother, your family. Not a day passed that Thor allowed himself to forget the fate that had befallen you. Blaming himself for your mistakes.
We did mourn. Yet you would tell yourself differently to justify your evil deeds.
Leave off, Fandral, you've never had a maiden in your bed in all your life. You've only had bored lightskirts who take you as a second option when they don't make the cut into Thor's bed that night.
I do not see how this is any of your concern. You defend a man who cares not for you, whether you live or die. And for what purpose? And truly, my dear, I have courted all types. From the classiest of Asgardian high society to the… well, not so classy. I am truly sorry if you are bitter that you never made the cut.
Perhaps you should be focusing more on your brain than your bed.
Exactly your problem, my friend. And look what it’s brought you. This whole… dilemma we are faced with could have easily been avoided if you had simply returned with Thor when he beckoned for you instead of attempting to take Midgard for yourself. Upon your return home, we would have celebrated. Drank, sang merrily and then gotten you a maiden to warm your sheets. But no. Now look at you and how you have fallen.
Whatever it was that had scared the young woman off, Sif could tell right away that their small band looked only marginally less out of place here than they had in the small town of Puente Antiguo. “Perhaps S.H.I.E.L.D.’s halls will not be so easy to find,” she said, meeting the eyes of passers-by as they gawped at or took photographs of her and her friends. The city seemed to sprawl out indefinitely in every direction. In future forays, there had to be a better way to find Thor, or at least alert him to their presence. Having to actively search for him like this was problematic.
Sif shook her head and took point when Fandral began sputtering about the scantly-clad women. “We are far from Asgard. The humans have many strange customs,” she said, slowing down as they approached a group of people standing at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change. She looked up curiously at the red hand symbol, watching with interest as it changed into the blocky image of a walking man.
Everyone began to move again, and she went with the flow, trusting her friends to keep up with her. On the other side of the street, they passed through rows and rows of vendors selling items from tables and kiosks. Sif stopped periodically to ask if any of the good citizens knew where S.H.I.E.L.D. could be found. Some merely shrugged. Others looked at her as if she’d grown a second head.
Eventually she sat on a bus stop bench and crossed her arms. “No one here even seems aware that this S.H.I.E.L.D. group exists, much less where to find them.” Not like that would stop here. They’d faced worse situations before. It was merely frustrating.
Even Hogun was a little distracted by some of the oddities in apparely that passed him by, and he just glanced at Fandral and shrugged. “It would not seem so.” That was a ridiculous attempt at clothing oneself, he thought, as he observed a young man shuffle past with his trousers slung dangerously low- it must hamper his ability to walk, surely? “His belt must be broken.” Hogun commented.
Midgard was strange, clearly, but at least it wasn’t cold and dead- he much preferred it over Jotunheim. He trailed after his companions, slipping through the throngs of people. Sif had the right of it- this was no simple Hamlet like the desert-bound place they had first visited. This, this was a city in it’s own right, and, he mused, much more like Asgard’s shining city than he remembered from any of his prior visits to Midgard. (The HAD been quite some time ago, of course. Things changed fast here, it would seem.) He remmebered none of the stone and steel towers that arched around him, nor did he remember all the brilliant lights and signs and chaos of the Midgardian city’s skyline.
Sif’s inquiries met with no information, and Hogun’s few attempts met with even less- one young male even screamed and flung some folded bit of leather his way when the Warrior palced his hand on his shoulder to ask him a question. Hogun merely picked up the thing, filled with bits of paper and a few solitary coins, and set it on a nearby window ledge. Odd, but surely he’d come back to retrieve it…
When Sif gave up, Hogun folded his arms and took up a position at the back and side of the bench, trying to puzzle out the odd sort of map on the sign by the bus bench. It may as well have been in Giant-speech, for all the colored lines made sense to him. “Perhaps we should simply ask if anyone has seen Thor.” He said. “He does tend to be noticed.” He raised an eyebrow at a woman who had stopped to stare at him, and she quickly bolted before he could begin with that line of questioning.
“Or perhaps we should simply wait to-“
“Excuse me, fellas, but you all can’t carry swords around like that.” A man in a blue uniform was looking impatiently at them, and though he seemed surprise,d it was not by far the strangest thing the policeman had seen that week. At least they weren’t cowboys. “And you certainly can’t take them on the bus.” He said, pointing to a large sign under the bus stop sign reading ‘No Weapons’.
Fandral had found him self sat up beside his friend, looking like a mixture of defeat, annoyance and a slew of other unreadable and inexpressible emotions. Though he thrived on excitement, he didn’t enjoy feeling utterly lost in this strange place. And no amount of scantily clad fair maidens would change that. Or they might, who knows. He simply sighed and altogether ignored Sif and Hogun’s back and forth with the local guards of the city. His elbow propped up against the flat iron armrest of the bench and he sighed as he rested his chin in his palm, taking care not to muss up his facial hair. When the guards insisted that the trio come with them, Fandral stood to his feet and approached them.
"You were saved naught but a month ago by a team of Midgardians and a sole Asgardian, a warrior wielding a hammer with great power. His name is Thor. We are his companions and we have come here in search of him with urgent news for his ears alone." They looked as though they understood some of what the dashing one said though the skepticism was written all over their faces. Just as the explanation rolled off his tongue, a swarm of black SUVs bearing SHIELD’s logo appeared. Fandral had a mind to be thankful until out poured several agents, toting guns and other weaponry.
"Oh, is that really necessary?" he practically protested, throwing his arms up in dramatic gesture. "Oh, I remember you." Fandral said pointedly to a particular agent that approached. "You were in the land of New Mexico. With the son of Coul, yes? Good man. We would speak with him once more."
Sif might have been preparing to tell Fandral that his coat looked ridiculous regardless of the weather, but the portal opened and they were all pulled through before any pithy comments could be imparted.
Travel through the newly-repaired Bifrost was the same as it had ever been before; a dizzying myriad of shapes and colors zipped by as they were propelled through the branches of the cosmos.
When they landed in a swirl of light and dust, it was dark on Midgard. The small group had touched down in a grassy meadow near a lake, encircled by trees. The field was bisected by a concrete walkway, and several humans who were either enjoying a stroll or seated on blankets on the grass jumped to their feet and fled in alarm. The night air was cool but not cold. She looked around and kept her hand on the hilt of her sword.
“Now to find Thor,” she said.
Hogun hated travel by the Bifrost- it made his head hurt, always, until they were back on solid ground once more. The rainbow bridge was useful to be fair, but there had to be a more pleasant mode of travel.
He was happy to let his companions take the lead in where and how to find Thor- Midgard was strange to him, and it smelled…off. Like smoke and some strange oil, and the ground was all rock-hard and unyeilding. Hogun was an fair tracker in his own right, but on Midgard things tended to overwhelm each other. And the humans- loud. Unecessarily so. Screaming was hardly going to get anything done. He sighed inwardly.
“Indeed.” He replied, glancing at Sif. The question was- how? Well, last time they’d fared well enough by simply walking toward humanity until they found him. So he shrugged and pointed in the direction with the most lights and noise coming from it. “There?” He suggested. “It would seem to be where most of the humans are heading.” Indeed, it was the direction most of the screaming Midgardian’s had fled in. As good a choice as any, right? When in doubt, follow the majority.
Fandral righted himself, the fine fur-lined coat on his back and the pack slung over his shoulder. “To Thor,” he said softly, almost to himself as the three began to follow the crowd to what looked to be the inner city. He knew enough of Thor and his dealings with the mortals that looking for anything related to SHIELD seemed to be a no-brainer. What he didn’t realize is that the top secret government agency was a bit elusive, to say the very least. “We must find the house of SHIELD. If Thor were to travel anywhere first, it would be there.” Dashing marched, each step taken full of purpose until they reached the bright lights of the streets. His eyes scanned all possible directions and he let out a little huff. “Um, excuse me, fair maiden?” The woman he approached quickly turned and retreated. Glancing back at Sif, Fandral shrugged his shoulders. “Perhaps it was the coat? I knew I should have worn something a bit less, I don’t know, this has a lot of volume to it.”
Before either of them could send any insults his way, he walked past them and decided to head north. Surely they would find someone somewhere that would be willing to help the lost travelers. Though it was a bit difficult at times to keep his mind on his purpose as they passed by several women wearing less than he’d seen some maidens where during bedroom encounters and the thoughts that flooded him both flustered and distracted. “My… they are… not shy, are they?”
“I heard that,” Sif said as she entered the observatory, Hogun not far behind. She and their grim friend weren’t actually that late. Fandral always got his mustache in a twist over even two minutes of tardiness, and though she never intentionally delayed them just to see him in a huff, she never ceased to be amused by it.
Nodding to Heimdall, she received a nod in return. She hoisted the pack on her shoulder to make sure it was secure. “I’m ready, and I know you are eager for us to be on our way.” Sif was just as eager. Loki was far too dangerous to be left up to his own devices and it was their job to bring him home where he couldn’t harm anyone else.
Hogun just smirked, following Lady Sif in with a curt nod to the gatekeeper. He personally rather agreed with her, and unlike her, was actually just spiteful enough to make very sure he tended to show up AFTER Fandral most places (just long enough to irk the handsome fellow- it was payback, really, in Hogun’s own rahter quiet way.) But this was not one of those times, and really, they weren’t late. Not yet. Hogun was quite eager to be on time for this mission, anyway. But chidren, really?
“Aye. I am ready as well, oh Dashing one.” He said in response to Sif. His own pack was strapped against his back, though he really tended to travel light. He glanced back at Heimdall, a little curious to see the watchman’s reaction, but got very little in the way of a clue from his expression. A man after his own heart. He shrugged very slightly, and stood by Fandral’s side, opposite Sif. “To Loki, then?” Not that he was particularly looking forward to any confrontation with his once-friend, but this was something that needed doing. And he was hardly about to let Fandral and Sif go off alone.
"To Thor. Then Loki.” Fandral corrected his companion with a bit of a bite in his tone and an eyeroll to match. As much as he would have loved to head straight to the source of all this grief, the truth was that no one really knew where Loki was. Nor what he was capable of. Whatever he was planning, if he was in fact planning something, could prove too much for the trio. Thor was needed.
Dashing turned and gave Heimdall a little nod. Nobody really knew when it was that Fandral had been put in charge of the entire affair, whether it was an official order or if he had just placed himself in such a position but it was how they operated without Thor regardless. The Gatekeeper slid his sword inside the mechanism and activated the Bifrost, the familiar humming soon filling the air. Suddenly, Fandral’s expression turned to that of concern as he addressed Sif. “Do you think the city of New York is experiencing proper fur coat weather? I should not want to arrive only to find that I have dressed inappropriately.” That thought came far too late as moments later, they were sucked through the portal.
Odin’s orders were clear and concise; Travel to Midgard, find Thor and inform him of Loki’s rather miraculous escape. It seemed that the Allfather had not wanted to involve his eldest son in the beginning. But when it was decided that the Mischief Maker was truly no longer in the realm of Asgard, Odin knew what had to be done. And who better to send than Lady Sif and the Warriors Three? Or Warriors Two since Volstagg had found himself injured from a previous battle and unable to join his companions.
Fandral had been itching to get on after Loki from the moment he heard of the trickster’s escape. He’d harbored ill feelings towards his once-friend for some time but after their encounter down in the cell, they both knew it was far from over.
The dashing one had insisted that no one be late and had given a specific time for their departure to Midgard. But of course, he found himself alone on the bridge, standing beside Heimdall awkwardly for several moments without so much as a word.
"So," he spoke up, clearing his throat. "Can you at least check to see if they are on their way?" Heimdall gave a disapproving grunt which just sent the blonde retreating back into the Observatory with a huff. "Always late! Always! I feel as if I travel with children.”
You wish to come find me and take them from me? Be my guest. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the company of someone who made me feel as though my IQ has dropped.
Oh, I intend to find you. To make you pay for once again defying the Allfather’s rule! And I will not be coming alone, snake. I hope you have enjoyed your time away from that cell because you will be returning to it soon enough.