|Ben Reilly (teamclone) wrote in the100,|
@ 2015-12-25 17:56:00
|Entry tags:||!log/thread, ben reilly / spider-man (94), loki laufeyson (616)|
Who: Ben Reilly & Loki
When: December 25, a little bit before moonrise
Where: Ben's werewolf containment cell thingie
What: Ben gets an unexpected visitor and Christmas present.
Rating: F for feels?
After four months, the routines seemed to be set and to run like clockwork. Everything was checked, double checked, and then triple checked. The magic was solid. So were the walls. Nothing was going to get out. And if on the slim chance something did get out, well, it wouldn’t get far.
Which just left waiting.
Ben hated this part. Waiting wasn’t his favorite thing in general, but this type… Just sitting, wrapped in a blanket, mentally ticking down the minutes to the inevitable. No way to fight it. Nothing to do about it. Just sit (because getting caught mid-pace by the moon had… not been fun at all) and feel his skin stretch thinner and thinner until…
Yeah, thinking about the blinding pain didn’t help with the countdown either…
Closing his eyes, he wrapped the blanket tighter around his shoulders. Just a small movement to do more than an actual defense against the winter chill. Time for failed meditation attempt number… he’d lost count. If only because it usually took him until the fifth try to get into the zone to realize that he’d failed in the first go. But it was something to do. Much better than unpacking the baggage in his own head. That never ended well in situations like this. Or, well, any situations really.
Leaning his head back, he inhaled deeply through his nose, ready to slowly blow the breath out.
His brow furrowed in confusion. Couldn’t be… The held breath came out in a fast woosh so he could scent the air again, his head tilting side to side. Definitely couldn’t be. The familiar scent had to be his mind just playing tricks (ha) on him or… maybe… Craning his head down, he buried his nose against the blanket and took a deep breath.
And regretted it. His face scrunched up at the smell just long enough to show his distaste before he sneezed.
“Allergic to dogs? That would be unfortunate.” The scent wasn't as condemning as the voice, but Loki wasn't really aiming for stealth. The door had been resecured behind him after entering, and a check on the magic reinforcements stalled him one second. Rules were always more of suggestions by his book, but he understood that most had concerns of werewolves getting loose. Why make problems?
Hands were stuffed into coat pockets as Loki meandered over to the huddled man. He stopped about three steps away, then stooped, face adorned with that telltale smirk. “Hi.”
His eyes snapped open, the voice and the figure before him confirming that no his nose was not playing tricks on him. That it wasn’t just some lingering scent that a shift in air had stirred up. Ben stared.
And stared, his brain overloaded from the sudden shock. His stomach dropped. No one should be in here. No one. Was the door secure? Did he even need a door to get in? Loki needed to get out. Before the tension snapped with unbelievable pain and then the wolf coming out to play. The wolf that was already so close to the surface that it kept trying to beat down that growing panic because hurray! Company! Friend, mate, distraction! This was a good thing! Except there was no telling just how well Loki’s hide would hold up to a superpowered wolf bite.
“No, I’m not…” The words stumbled out before he could even work through the conflicting fog of emotions. “I just hadn’t thought… where they keep the…” He shook his head as his hands balled into fists around the blanket. “No.” Firmer this time. His jaw tightened and his confused stare strengthened into a steely stubborn glare. “No. You can’t be here.”
This was expected: the staring, the protesting, the huddling inside that blanket like it would actually hold up once the moon rose. Loki, as if trying to be a contrarian, kicked out his bare feet to sit.
“I'm fairly certain I can be.” Loki swept an arm outwards, nodding his head into a short bow. “You do realize that telling me what to do doesn't work at all. Put the concern away.” There was a follow-up glance around the containment room. “Not your usual style, but I see you've taken the place and made it your own,” was the easy remark, Loki's eyes landing on a series of claw marks.
The glare deepened into a full blown scowl at the familiar defiance. Familiar considering Ben had done it himself plenty of times to other people. He was starting to understand just how annoying that could be. Especially when he knew Loki was right. Other people, he knew buttons he could push to make them go whether they wanted to or not, but Loki. Well… if he really wanted to do this, there’d be no stopping him. And it’s not like he could really convince the god that this would be ‘boring’. He puffed out an aggravated breath, a growl managing to creep along the edges.
“When I say I don’t want anyone getting hurt, that includes you,” he still tried as he pushed himself up to standing. Hey, wouldn’t be a day in his life without trying to fight an unwinnable situation, right? Keeping the blanket wrapped around himself, he shifted his weight, just enough to give an excuse to shuffle a few steps to counterbalance. And then a few more. And a few more. Slowly giving into the pacing circuit of the immediate area. “I keep trying to get the curtains guy to come in, but he says I need windows first,” he shot back absently, his eyes wandering in the direction of the door. “Is everything still sealed up tight?”
From the claw marks to Ben, and then in circles as Ben paced, Loki’s eyes were practically dancing as they kept trained on the moving target. The glare didn’t dissuade in the least, but Ben couldn’t be held accountable for that. It was a decision made, and Loki didn’t budge off those sorts of things without being bodily shoved off them. In short: there wasn’t time for Ben to get his leverage back. Loki knew that. Timing was usually part of a good trick.
“If there’s any sort of draft, might I point out that you’re pacing in a blanket,” Loki offered, not really bothering to sidestep the further prodding of nerves that were already frayed. His smile turned dangerously upward, even steeper, at one corner. “I know Harry Potter lore, and you do, as well. You won’t snap at animals. And me? I’m good at out foxing. Besides that, I have enough party tricks to keep the entertainment going. That’s Asgard’s real loss, as I’m sure they realize now. They exiled the best sense of humor to ever grace that place.” There was a short pause, Loki tilting his head upward in thought. “Provided any shred of Asgard pulled through. I was keeping it safe in my pocket, but it wasn’t there when I came to in this place. Ah, well. I suppose everyone loses their marbles at some point.”
The foot up swung back to its starting point, planting Ben still in one spot so he could properly focus that scowl back at Loki. His lower lip only jutted out more at that grin. Which would only be encouragement, really, but… Ok, ok, more understanding about the usual team and villain annoyance that went along with the inclusion of a spider. Tossing the god out was still high on the temptation list. Especially if just to spite that grin. Especially since he knew it came from a smugness that Loki had put him between a rock and a hard place. The reasoning was sound and forcing Loki out… Getting him out the door would be cutting things far too close for comfort, especially with the other man dragging his heels. And talking him out of it…
His shoulders drooped as he blew out a heavy, defeated sigh. His legs folded under him, easing him down in a fluid motion to sit indian style, his back to Loki. Ok… not fully defeated… A hand snaked out from the blanket to rub over his face and then up through his hair. “I don’t know… Keep this up and we might put the snapping rule to the test,” he muttered before waving his hand absently. “I doubt the wolf likes card tricks.”
Loki's smile was steady, though his brows lifted with amusement at the continued attempts to grouse. As Ben sat, so did Loki shove himself upwards to kneel and lean over Ben's shoulder. With the full moon almost up, it was stupid to think there would be any surprise in sneaking up behind, but there was always another way to shake that stubbornness. In fact, this was part of the fun with spiders: they didn't make anything easy when that self-blame set in, which ordinarily was too much work to be worth it, but…
New world. New Loki.
And so it was a fox's muzzle that unceremoniously wedged a damp, cool nose into Ben's ear.
His resolve was strong. His resolve was steady. Ben would sit there and not give into whatever scheming Loki had. Easy, right? He could do this. No problem.
His resolve didn’t plan for something cold and wet in his ear.
An undignified yelp escaped as he twisted and turned to get away from the cold wet as well as get a better sight line on what Loki was up to. His eyebrows raised at the fox face that was still very much Loki’s, complete with that smug amusement still firmly in place. He rolled his eyes and made a half-hearted attempt to push the furry muzzle away. Resolve strong. Resolve strong.
Resolve crumbling. A snort of amusement as his lips twitched up. “Heh. Out foxing.”
The shove was partially obliged, but it wasn't half a second before Loki pressed forward again. Since Ben had turned around, it was too easy to anchor a somewhat humanoid paw on his shoulder and bear down with a full set of canine teeth showcased in a grin.
“Shapeshifter humor,” Loki replied. And to anyone who hadn't ever seen a talking fox, the effect was odd to say the least. Generally, a set of teeth that impressive didn't bode well if you happened to be on the other side, but Loki didn't consider himself a biter. Not in this sense, that is. “I told you, didn't I? Besides, the way I hear it, Christmas isn't a time to be alone. So perhaps you might drool a little more tonight than usual. I know what I'm doing.”
“And here I was expecting a different fox,” Ben managed to counter, his voice hushed and distant considering…
He still didn't know what to call this. Labels tended to complicate things anyway in his line of work and he learned long ago to just go with the flow and enjoy things while they lasted, no matter how odd they seemed. At least he knew most of the deal before he'd stumbled into this.
But then there were these moments. Sure, maybe this fell into some greater picture in Loki’s head. Maybe there was something more. But right here, right now? It was trying to fix the curse (even if that ended in a big oops). Doing the perma-blond treatment. Poking and prodding about the talking part he needed when he requested company for walks. Never prompted, never asked for. Just a helpful gesture without any possible personal gain in sight. And now…
His smile turned fond as he reached up and ruffled the fox’s black fur. “Thanks. You’d be getting a kiss if there wasn't a risk of an accidental lip piercing in the process.” Letting out a soft sigh, he tapped his finger against the fox’s nose. “Will you humor my concerns and requests for promises that you'll only keep if you feel like it?”
It wasn't that foxes didn't have brows, but perhaps they didn't normally use them to full potential. Loki, on the other hand, was making magic of a fox’s visage, raising just one brow as if considering the plea. Empathy was a newer facet, and it often was tucked underneath ego and mischief, but it existed, and it occasionally sparkled in the right light. Or with the right person. Verity could attest to that.
“Aye,” was offered after a brief silence. Not long after came the follow-up: “Only because you asked so nicely, and I like your face. Come here.” If you blinked, you missed it. Shapeshifting was a fast change art. Loki extended her human hands towards Ben, waving him to come closer into a waiting embrace.
Ben couldn't help the flash of envy that flickered across his face instead of the usual curiosity at Loki’s ‘parlor trick’. With the moon so close, tugging at his bones, the seamless shift almost felt like a slap in the face. Almost. After all, being a werewolf wouldn’t be as much a curse if it was that easy, right? And Loki couldn’t help his (well… her) natural talent.
Loosening his hold on the blanket, he scooted closer to Loki and made good on his word. He threaded his fingers through her hair and brushed his lips against hers. Nothing much compared to what else they’d done before. Just a light, tender kiss to show his gratitude.
“You better get as much as you can of it now, ‘cause it’s going into hibernation mode soon for the night.” He angled his head so he could rest his forehead against Loki’s, but keep his eyes focused on the goddess’. “First sign that things are going wrong, you teleport yourself out of here, got it?” His hand detangled so he could use his finger to emphasize the point. “First actual sign. Not the first time you have an ‘oh shit, I’m in over my head’ moment. I know, I know, you know what you’re doing, but… that humoring of the non-shapeshifter brand thing.”
Humor him, Ben had asked. For that reason, Loki held onto a sigh. She couldn’t resist a small eyeroll, though, as Ben plodded through the worry and concern. Understandable, of course -- he was just like that. The whole hero package meant making plans for all uncertainties and ensuring the safety of all. If it took some placating, then Loki could play along.
She raised a hand to lightly pat his cheek in response to the finger-waggling. Given their equal heights, it wasn’t much of a reach. “Maybe you’re overestimating what you can deal out and what I can handle, but yes. I will vacate post haste if you decide to sharpen those canines. Cross my heart. Look, you can see my hands -- no tricks.”
“Or claws,” Ben added, stubbornly staying firm despite knowing how futile the attempt really was. “And I’d rather overestimate than under with this.” His eyes drooped closed and his head tilted downwards. “For my sake as much as yours.”
He took a deep breath, his nose nudging against Loki’s cheek a moment before he let out a heavy sigh. Well, might as well settle in for the short moments left. Wrapping the blanket tight around himself again, he shifted and slid against the ground, curling up on his side, his head cradled in Loki’s lap.
“I’m the sneakiest sneak. At least trust that I can get out of any fix, if nothing else.” Not that the sentiment wasn’t appreciated. It was. In fact, to stop and dwell on it for a moment, this was one of those rare moments in which someone felt genuine concern for a trickster’s sake. The replies might be smooth and tinged with that usual laughter, but that didn’t mean a certain warmth didn’t reach past all those defenses.
A wayward glance was given at the door. There wasn’t really any telling what outside looked like in this sealed-up place, but Loki had a guess that Ben could feel that lunar gravity. If he was settling down, then it probably wasn’t long now. She lifted a hand, turning the backside of it to Ben’s jaw, but then thought better of it and brushed his hair back with her thumb once. Then again. It turned into a small, rhythmic movement with the ticking seconds.