"Acceptance," Dean echoed further, somewhat skeptically. Of course, he'd never met the real Loki; only his imposter. "Acceptance by who? What's left of the Norse Gods? Humans? Angels? Demons? Olympians? Most of the old Pagan gods want to be worshipped, but they've fallen out of favor with humanity. They've been replaced, mostly by angels, but they aren't much better."
"The Norse gods are a little different," Kris told him. "They are more elemental, more attuned to humanity than the Greek pantheon. They did not go into hibernation, they have been living among humans for these past two thousand or so years. Loki is not wholly Norse, either - his mother was one of the Aesir, yes, but his father was a giant, so it is said."
"Not necessarily," Dean replied. Mythology was a tricky thing. There were too many contradictions; nothing seemed certain, not even centuries-old lore could be taken as truth. "It was my understanding that Odin was Loki's father, though I realize that conflicts with the lore." At least, that's the way it had been in his universe.
Kris frowned thoughtfully. "To be honest, the lore surrounding Loki is murky," she admitted. "Some say Odin is his father, others that he was adopted by Odin and considers Thor his brother. Some say he is Norse, others that he is an immortal giant. I believe he causes mischief for the attention it gives him, which is why I say he seeks acceptance rather than chaos."
"So, what are you suggesting? Hug therapy?" Dean asked, trying not to sound too sarcastic, though that was obviously not the solution he had in mind. "And what if he doesn't agree? What then?" he asked further, wondering if she was prepared to do what as a hunter, she was trained to do.
"Then I kill him." Simple as that, it seemed. Kris shrugged, sipping her coffee. Then she seemed to realize what she had said. "I was not intending to tell you that," she said, turning suspicious eyes onto Ayden.
"You realize he's a Trickster ... and a liar. He might tell you one thing and do another," Dean pointed out further, though she probably already knew that.
"He is the original Trickster," Kris said, drawing her eyes away from Ayden, who was doing her best not to look guilty. "It is very likely that he will lie to me. But he is also a Norse god, and they have very ... simple tastes. He may be walking to his death with this battle he plans on having, and what do most people want to do in the days leading to their possible death?"
"Live," Ayden said softly, glancing at her brother. "He's going to be having fun."
"Are you suggesting seducing him?" Dean asked point blank, brows arching upwards in curiosity. He couldn't think of any better way of having fun than that, though he still thought the best way of handling a troublemaker like Loki was to just eliminate him.
"It is a possibility," Kris conceded. "And a male is never more vulnerable than when he drops his pants."
Next to Dean, Ayden snorted into her coffee, groping for a cloth as she spluttered through her giggles.
"That's a little evil," Dean said. "Remind me never to piss you off," he added, though it was unlikely she'd ever try that on him. "I have an idea what he might be after," he admitted at last.
"Well, killing him is the last resort," she pointed out, tilting her head curiously at his addition. "And what is that?" she asked. "I have yet to discover it myself."
The Dean of the past might not have been so generous as the Dean of the present, but having an Olympian for a brother-in-law had changed his mind a little. Still, Loki's reputation preceded him, and if his intention was to cause trouble for humanity, Dean would do whatever he deemed necessary. He didn't say so just yet though. He had a reputation of his own, after all. "I'm not entirely sure myself, but I think he's after Gabriel - as in archangel Gabriel," he informed her.
Kris frowned. "That makes no sense, Mr. Winchester," she pointed out. "Why would a Trickster be after the last remaining archangel? Surely he knows that causing trouble for Gabriel would be enough to bring the Greek pantheon down on his head?"
"Dean," he corrected. Mr. Winchester made him sound so old, and he wasn't even 40 yet, though at 36, he was getting closer. He shrugged at her question. "Loki and Gabriel made an agreement, and Gabriel broke that agreement," he told her simply, letting her do the math.
Her dark eyes considered this for a long moment. "Revenge," she said succinctly. "That complicates things."
Ayden leaned forward. "Why are you doing this?" she asked suddenly. "You said you were asked to do it - who asked you?"
Kris clamped her jaw shut for a long moment, fighting against the words as she considered the pros and cons of sharing that information. When she made her mind up, the truth blurted out. "Artemis."
Dean arched a brow at the name drop. They were well acquainted with most of the Olympians, including Artemis, but what did she want with Loki? "Why?" he asked bluntly, though the answer seemed obvious. "Is Artemis worried Loki will upset the balance of power? He is the God of Chaos, after all. Kind of goes with the territory."
"A war between the Norse and Greek gods would be a disaster," Kris pointed out. "When gods fight, humans get caught in the middle. If Loki dies, Thor may retaliate. If he kills Gabriel, Zeus will seek vengeance. I don't know what his goal is here."
"Loki's goal?" Dean asked, assuming she was referring to him. "My guess is revenge on Gabriel, but if he knows Gabriel is in charge of Heaven, maybe he's hoping to take his place. I mean, he's a Trickster, right? He can shape change at will. What if he intends on killing Gabriel and taking his place ... as Gabriel?"
Kris swore softly in a language that was definitely not native to her companions, leaning back in her seat. "Convincing him not to do that will prove complex," she muttered, smoothing a hand over her hair.
Beside them, Ayden held up a hand, like a child in school.
"Of course, he's might be able to look like Gabriel, but sooner or later, someone will realize he's not what he seems," Dean remarked. After all, no matter how much Loki might try to resemble Gabriel, he wasn't an archangel and didn't possess an archangel's abilities. Seeing Ayden with her hand up, he smirked and gave her a nod. "The little girl in the first row?"
Ayden stuck her tongue out at her brother, snorting with laughter as she smiled. "I was just thinking," she shrugged, "but he's elemental, right? He's driven by emotions and needs? So ... maybe you don't convince him not to kill someone, you offer him something better than killing someone."