"You think you've got it bad," Obi-Wan quipped as he used the Force to grab another mug of beer off the tray of a passing waitress. "Let me assure you my friend, trying to defend is much harder than trying to over-throw. You are allowed to get away with causing property damage, and you have the disposable minions. As a 'good guy', I'd be morally obligated to care about my troops, even if I didn't want to."
"I never win though," Loki countered plainly as he swirled his wine in his glass absently. "No villain ever does for long. It makes it all rather depressing."
Obi-Wan nodded in commiseration – he had rather dramatically lost quite recently, so he knew how it felt.
"And you have to put up with that one trying to reform you all the time, I suppose?" the Jedi Master asked with a cocked eyebrow and a subtle head-jerk in the direction of Thor – who was wearing the biggest, daffiest smile as he swung his over-sized hammer and tossed around armour-clad clone troopers.
"Interminably," lamented the god of mischief. "He doesn't seem to understand that I cannot bear the sight of him any more, but then, of the two of us, I've always been the brains to his brawn."
"Not to say that you lack the latter at all," the Jedi offered as he took a sip from his stein. His third stein. He'd also already had a glass of what Tony had called 'Jawa juice' – which he had created based on the information on Obi-Wan's datapad, though it hadn't tasted much like the drink the Jedi remembered – and there were three bottles on the table between himself and the green-clad man as well.
Empty bottles. That they'd shared.
"Not to say that I lack in the latter at all," Loki agreed, and glared out the corner of one eye at the idiot who persisted in calling him 'brother'. "I've just always been the sharpened knife to his hammer," he growled.
Obi-Wan chuckled softly. "Sounds a bit like my own opinion of blasters as opposed to lightsabers, the latter being a much more elegant and civilised weapon," he said, and pulled the handle of his own lightsaber off his belt to show to his drinking companion.
"That's a very clever thing," Loki praised frankly. "I'm unfortunately surrounded by ham-fisted idiots though," he continued, and picked up the sceptre that was leaning up against the side of his chair. "The latest weapon that I've had access to, apart from my throwing knives," he presented.
Obi-Wan ran a critical eye over the form of it. "It doesn't look like a blunt instrument to me," he offered at last.
Loki snorted and replaced it. "Oh, it's sharp," he allowed. "Cut straight through a human torso, no problem, but that's not what it's really meant for. I'm sure Director Fury would be able to give you some security footage of what it's capable of as a weapon. Brainwashing, explosive blasts, that's what it's really meant for."
"If you don't mind, I'll pass on asking anything of Director Fury," Obi-Wan replied. "He reminds me too much of Mace Windu, and then he'll go and do something that Mace would never do, and it just jars me."
Loki nodded. "I don't see Director Fury as having the patience to learn to use a bladed weapon," he admitted. "On the other hand, I also don't really think he'd be one to let there be a weapon built he didn't know how to use."
"You know he's already trying to reverse-engineer the blasters my troops brought with them? And that second-in-command of his... Hill? She stole my datapad yesterday," Obi-Wan complained. "I had only just gotten it back from Stark."
Loki scoffed lightly. "You're lucky that man hasn't stolen your lightsaber," he quipped.
Obi-Wan snorted into his drink. "I know it," he agreed.
For a while, the two continued to drink in silence, occasionally looking out the four-inch-thick window to where Thor was still happily 'training' with the clone troopers in the heavily reinforced room beyond.
A thought suddenly struck Loki as he watched the Jedi toss back the very last of his latest beer.
"So, what sort of life do you think you might build for yourself here?" Loki asked, careful to keep his face perfectly neutral.
"Stop it," Obi-Wan said instantly. "I don't know what you're planning, but I can feel through the Force that you're planning something, and I can also feel that I'm not going to like it. Just because I've had a few drinks doesn't mean I'll let you get away with some nefarious plot. Director Fury would hunt me down, and I believe we've already discussed my lack of desire to have anything to do with the man beyond what is absolutely unavoidable."
Loki scoffed lightly, amused. "I'm planning to set you up with a nice girl," he countered. "How could you not like that?" he asked.
"The Jedi Order forbids attachment," Obi-Wan stated, "and my Master was very strict. I was punished frequently for my less-than-disciplined thoughts when I was younger."
"The Jedi Order doesn't reach this far, my friend," Loki countered. "If it weren't for the peculiar destabilisation of the portal as it collapsed -"
"- the ensuing wormhole wouldn't have occurred and this world would still be just another unknown speck of the Unknown Regions, far, far beyond the galaxy I know," Obi-Wan finished in a recitative manner. It had been explained, several times, and apart from what had caused the wormhole in the first place, he'd been able to figure out much of that himself without being told by anyone.
"Exactly," Loki said, a hint of a smile on his features now. "You don't have to answer to the Jedi Council any more. You can live whatever sort of life you want. Including finding a nice girl and having children. Which I suppose you could raise to be Jedi, if you wanted."
Obi-Wan snorted in derisive amusement. "And just who would this unfortunate girl be?" he questioned. "And she must be unfortunate, if you'd set her up with a man who has been very deliberately kept from learning practically anything about relationships all his life, and knows effectively nothing about that famed emotion that is so vital for the sort of relationship you're trying to get me involved in."
Loki smirked and pointed a finger towards a woman who had just entered the café/bar area of Stark's building, admittedly she was being dragged in by another, younger female. "Her," he said simply.
"You mean the one Darcy's dragging along?" Obi-Wan asked curiously as he watched.
It was very hard to move about in the building and not meet Darcy Lewis. That girl had a very big presence for such a small person. It might have had something to do with her D-cups, but Obi-Wan was fairly immune to the temptations of the flesh by now, so he was more inclined to put it down to her smart mouth. Darcy was also part of the team that was 'educating' him as to vital knowledge of the planet since he'd arrived roughly a month before.
He'd never seen the woman with her though. Probably the scientist that Darcy worked for (when she wasn't forcing pop-culture on him), and was forever running around fetching things for, since she apparently only left her lab at night, to study constellations.
"The very same," Loki agreed. "Astrophysicist Jane Foster."
Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes at the thin woman on the other side of the room, as though doing so would force back the alcohol and improve his vision over distances greater than five feet. Gaze still narrowed, he swung around to pin Loki with it.
"No," he said flatly.
Loki blinked, slightly surprised by the swift rejection. "Why ever not?" he asked.
"She looks almost exactly like Padme," Obi-Wan muttered to himself and promptly snatched another stein of beer from the serving girl through use of the Force. Seeing Mace Windu's near-double in Director Fury was bad enough for his mental equilibrium. Padme had such a double here as well? When he'd finished slugging back half the contents of the mug, he said much more audibly: "I sense an ulterior motive."
Loki shrugged. "It's no secret," he began easily. "When Ms Foster found out that Thor had returned to Midgard and not come immediately to see her, she was rather upset. When he came back a second time, this time with me in tow of all people, she blew up at him. Thor was most apologetic, especially when she left him with a hand print on both of his cheeks, but she refused to take him back," Loki explained. "Thor grovelled for the first time in his life, but he has always left the 'talking out of trouble' bit to me before, so his grovelling actually worked against him," he added with a darkly pleased smirk.
"So are you trying to set me up with Ms Foster for her sake, or as further petty vengeance against Thor?" Obi-Wan asked frankly.
Loki gave an expression of mock-hurt, a hand moved to splay across his chest. "It can't be both?" he asked.
Obi-Wan's moustache twitched in such a way as to indicate that he might have almost smiled for a moment, but had quickly repressed the expression.
"My answer is still 'no'," Obi-Wan said firmly, and collected a bowl full of nuts from an untended table, floating it over to sit in the empty bowl on their own table. "Why did you want to take over this planet anyway?" Obi-Wan asked curiously. "No one's been able to tell me, whenever I ask."
Loki shrugged. "Damned if I know, now that I've experienced some of their culture for a while. The therapist that SHIELD assigned me though says it has something to do with an inferiority complex and 'daddy issues'," he admitted, and frowned fiercely. "Why didn't I win?" he demanded suddenly. "They were scattered and didn't even get along with each other! Most of them didn't even like each other, let alone trust them! I should have won!"
"It's because they didn't like each other, I think," Obi-Wan offered.
Loki turned a questioning gaze on his drinking companion.
"Having someone you can trust to watch your back in a fight, that's great, and a couple of them had that," he started. "They worked well together and dealt damage. The others though? I think it was because they didn't care all that much at the beginning of the fight if the others got hurt, that they didn't have a problem with leaving each other to deal with their own part of the fight. They worked independently of each other, to great effect."
Loki nodded his unhappy understanding.
"They came together at certain times, and because they had a common goal, they set aside the general dislike to work towards a common goal, but they broke off away from each other again just as quickly once that pocket of your army had been dealt with," Obi-Wan elaborated. "They're individual fighters of great power, used to working alone against the odds. You had soldiers that co-ordinated with each other and didn't have a lot of individual strength. Despite your superior numbers, skill of your opponents overwhelmed you."
Loki sighed in frustration – and recognition.
"You're right," he conceded, and looked down into the bottom of his empty wine glass. "Damn."
The communicator on Obi-Wan's belt went off then.
"Yes?" he asked.
"Master Kenobi, please refrain from giving Loki advice on how to take over the planet better," Director Fury's voice came sharply.
Obi-Wan winced, then frowned. "Does Stark know you've hacked into the security feeds of his building, again?" he countered.
There was a grunt, and a click that signified Director Fury had hung up.
Loki smirked at Obi-Wan.
"Shut up," the Jedi ordered grumpily before the god could say anything.