Hindsight, Hockey, Hippies and Heists
A/N A very special Thank You to SpaceAnJL for so many things that I would double my file size if I were to try and name them here.
As much as Loki enjoyed being at St. Trinian's, the fact had to be faced that sometimes, he got bored. There was nothing required of him, no routine to fill his time, nothing that made demands upon him.
He often found himself in the unused library. It required little magic to tidy it up, and Loki spent many hours there, reading. Angel had told him how to tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction. He'd found the biographies fascinating, especially those of kings, queens, and presidents. From there he progressed to fiction. Shakespeare was beautifully written, but … troubling. He saw so many parallels to his life, his brother's, and life on Asgard.
He spent a great deal of time contemplating those parallels, and looking deep within himself. He decided to talk to the Matron about it, she was in possession of all of the facts, level headed and he was a little surprised to realize that he trusted her opinion.
With that in mind he invited her to join him for a glass of wine one evening. She searched his eyes before accepting. After they had settled in their seats, a glass in hand, he broached the subject. Her eyes sharpened in interest as he spoke and then softened.
She rose from her seat and crossed to lay a hand on his shoulder. "Oh Loki. I believe you were little bit mad. Don't you think?"
He sighed, inexplicably comforted by her words. "I think perhaps I was. How can I be sure …?" He couldn't continue.
She squeezed his shoulder, and ducked down to face him full on. "Loki, I would never have let you near the girls had I any doubts. Whatever madness overcame you,*you* have now overcome."
"I wish that I had your certainty. Looking back, I was so foolish. How could I have ever hoped to prove to my fath… to Odin that I was more a son of Asgard than Thor, who is, indeed, the true son?"
"I'm not sure that your issues would ever have been solved by a single act. You see that, no?"
"Certainly, now, when it can do me no good." His normally smooth voice was bitter.
"Well, hindsight is always 20/20." He blinked at her in confusion. "The picture is always clearer looking back, with the benefit of more facts."
She kissed his cheek and returned to her seat. "Would you tell me of an adventure that you had with your brother where your magic saved the day?"
"Do you truly wish to hear of this?"
"Very much." She assured him. His green eyes lit as he launched into an exciting tale.
Later, once the story had been told, the Matron listening with her eyes shining, she said a quiet goodnight and left him to his thoughts. Needless to say, he got very little sleep.
The Matron gently scolded him the next morning when she saw his sleep-deprived visage at breakfast. He found her scolding strangely reassuring rather than irritating. He was certain that had anyone else attempted it, they would have felt the sting of his annoyance.
Sensing that he needed distraction, she invited him to come and watch the hockey game that afternoon. Having a vague understanding of the game from watching the girls practice, Loki agreed.
Watching the girls in action was enlightening for Loki. He watched in awe and no little trepidation as the girls "played" hockey. Every time one of the St. Trinian's girls was struck Loki flinched and it was with the greatest self-control that he refrained from striking the offender down. When the game was over and the enemy soundly trounced, he praised their skill and enthusiasm. "Truly, you were as fledgling Valkyrie, smiting your enemies."
"I thought that the Valkyrie carried off the worthy dead to Valhalla," Haley said, her head cocked to the side in question.
"It is true that the primary responsibility is such, however, they are mighty shield-maidens. Each one is a warrior in her own right." The girls seemed pleased with the comparison.
A few unsettled days later, Beverly, St. Trinian's receptionist, approached Loki. Loki rather liked Beverly; he had an inexplicable fondness for her. He felt no romantic attraction, but she was sweet, harmless, kind and what Angel called goofy. There was no hidden steel in her, as there was with the Matron. Which, he supposed explained why, while he liked Beverly, that's all he would ever feel for her.
"Grace," she started. "Matron, rather, asked me if I would mind teaching you to meditate."
Loki blinked at her. "To what?"
"Meditate, Mr. Loki. You focus your thoughts inward and achieve harmony. She thought that it would help you to sort something out?" Beverly was curious, but not nosy. If he wanted to tell her what Matron thought he needed to sort out, good, if not, well none of her business was it?
"Did she?" His voice was cold.
"Yes, we all need to sort ourselves out from time to time. She didn't say what, exactly, just that she though meditation might help." She reassured him.
Loki's stiff posture instantly relaxed. He gave her a curt nod of acceptance. "What must I do?"
She led him to the library, one of the quieter places at St. Trinian's, and told him to find a comfortable place to sit. She lit her incense, and started some soothing music at a low volume. Assuming her own comfortable position, she began to quietly instruct him in the subtle art of meditation.
Subtly was always one of Loki's strengths, as well as quick-wittedness, so he caught on fairly quickly. Once he achieved a trance state, Loki was able to "sort" through his thoughts, as Beverly had put it. He was able to distance himself from his harsh memories, and in this way, see what he had done wrong, and where he had been right. Sadly, the former outweighed the latter.
Still, by the time Beverly brought him out of his trance, he had achieved a measure of peace. "Do you do this often, Beverly?" He asked her gently.
"Nearly every day, Mr. Loki. Would you like to join me again."
"Indeed, I would, if that would not disturb your own meditations."
"No, that would be lovely. It's nice to have someone to share it with." She smiled warmly at him, and they parted on excellent terms. Loki was happy to add meditating with Beverly to his slowly developing routine.
Angel and Haley showed him how to access the news sites on the internet, and arranged for him to be a subscriber to a couple of the more reputable sites. So the first thing that he did after his shower was to check these sites for interesting tidbits that he could offer up as conversation starters at breakfast, which he almost always shared with the Matron.
He also started to attend all of the hockey games, and many of the practices. That the Matron was, of necessity at all of these did not hurt his feelings. She would usually bring a thermos of tea, which she would always share with him.
Now he would meditate in the late afternoon with Beverly, with left him in a peaceful frame of mind and allowed him to sleep better.
One morning, a few weeks into his newly established routine, Loki was checking his news sites and discovered something that annoyed him. His brother, Thor, had joined a superhero group called the Avengers, and as a consequence, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, had an exhibit on Norse Mythology, in his honor.
Loki was cranky and out of sorts all day. He even snapped at Matron Murgatroyd. She narrowed her eyes at him, reminding him that beneath her generally sweet disposition was a core of steel. Before she could unleash the sharp side of her tongue, she froze, searching his eyes. Whatever she saw there made her release her breath in a huff.
"I apologize, Matron. I had no call to be so rude to you," Loki said before she could speak.
"I don't know what's going on, Mr. Loki, but I will assume it is something that will be resolved before you speak so rudely to me ever again." There was no question, but Loki nodded any way.
Then she smiled at him, and he knew that she had forgiven him, as easily as that. His green eyes warmed.
It was during his meditation with Beverly, that he was able to turn his turmoil into the beginnings of a plan. He decided that robbing the exhibit would give him great personal pleasure, as well as improve the finances of the school. And Loki was fond of the school for more than just the offer of sanctuary.
There was no doubt that being at St. Trinian's, surrounded by the girls who believed in his magical abilities and admired them, significantly enhanced said magical abilities. He could feel the additional power literally at his fingertips.
Having some of the girls along for the heist, as Angel and Haley would undoubtedly call it, could only increase the chance of success. Also, they would enjoy the act itself, of this he had no doubt.
So the big question now was: how many of the girls could he transport to New York to rob the Met?