2019-06-14 - Victorian is the New Fashion


Ambrose has the luck of meeting Loki in the park and a business partnership is forged. Poor Sif, being momentarily stuck in a dress!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jun 14 03:39:50 2019
Location: Botanic Gardens

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Theme Song



Evening performances keep this place open on some nights, and this is one of them. The distant sound of orchestral music drifts through the air from the performance site. Human chatter also mingles with that from the back of the performance area, but Loki is far enough from those things to let it feel just like light background music. He's disguised in his own way, which is just that he is in modern, Midgardian clothing, tight jeans, a green, long-sleeved shirt that is unbuttoned to the middle of his chest. He's sitting on one of the border walls to a patch of delightfully interesting artichoke flowers, looking at a piece of paper in his hand. It looks like a sketch of some kind.

The peace doesn't last long. Nearby, on the fringes of the site and behind Loki another ten yards yet, a scuffle breaks out. It's quick and mostly silent, save for the sound of a sudden yelp abruptly cut off after something snaps — a wet and grisly sound.

A man looking as if he'd seen better days comes scrambling across a border garden, clutching his arm to his chest, pale as whey and then books it away down the path, heading out of the park.

"And if I see you again within my territory again, Algiers, I will be your end!" The shout to follow him is crisp and cut-glass in British accent. It appears to come from a younger-looking man who emerges to watch the ne'er-do-well flee. With a sharp huff of discontent, he then inhales and straightens his blazer at the front. It's black, sleeker than the matte-darkness of his fatigue pants, and as he turns to see if he's drawn attention to himself, he can be seen to be sporting a white t-shirt beneath it.

Not only that, but to the Sight, he radiates like a frickin' safety flare in a wavelength of lurid red in his aura.

Loki looks up at the sound of the scuffle and folds the sketch in his hand, and tucks it into his back pocket. He arches a dark brow at the victor, obviously curious as to the source of this marvelous chaos. But its the sense of magic that keeps his interest. Just the attention of the pale man…is the answer that comes Ambrose's way. "That is a curious word to use. Territory." he purrs out. To most people, he also sounds British, but…to the keen ear of someone who actually is, its unplacable among the more popular dialects.

Ambrose goes still where he stands, perhaps an odd behavior from someone who - to the mundane eye - appears just as another troublemaker from across the drink. He eyes Loki in his finer clothing and his eyes narrow thoughtfully.

"I admit, it might come across as more archaic than the modern tongue might employ. 'Turf' always makes me think of the squares of peat-moss used as kindling," he replies back to the stranger with a wary politeness. As he lets his eyes rove down Loki from head to toe and back up, the ambient light from the park's lamps flickers through his pupils in carmine-red. "Surely you've heard equally ludicrous choice of words from the locals?" He's twigged into the odd accent and in turn, is curious despite himself. One step towards Loki is slow and very indicative of a kneejerk reaction that might be bolting.

Loki puts his hands on the concrete wall. Its a small sign that he doesn't seem to care that Ambrose just beat some guy up, and has a territory. "The locals' ludicrouss is entirely different. Either you sell drugs, rob people, or are possibly trying to sell magazines or candy bars." Thin lips quirk into a sly grin. "It is humorous, because I do not see any candy bars."

Loki's observation is enough to make those dark brows meet in something that might be amused suspicion.

"No, I daresay you won't find a single candybar upon my person, not even one I forgot in my pockets," Ambrose admits wrily with a roll of one shoulder, as if keeping himself ready to run. "You're an observant one…and ruddy nosy. You're dressed too finely to be a undercover agent of some alignment or another and you're not dressed finely enough to be of a class interested in idle tidbits of knowledge. Bored, is it?" The Jackal allows himself a small if somewhat sneering smile, enjoying the potential for some verbal fencing if only to assuage his own boredom in turn. After all, Algiers didn't offer much competition in their scuffle.

"I am dressed for a thoughtful farewell in a garden. Occassion…rather than dressed for the lifestyle. But, you do have the first bit right. I am /not/ an undercover agent. It is a pity you do not have any candy. I would have liked a bit of chocolate right now." Loki continues to stay fairly still, still sitting where he was originally. He can recognize a flighty creature when he sees one, and he lures with his calm manner, green-eyed gaze, and subtle mannerisms in his face that convey a playful attitude. "I think we should have introductions. Careful. I can tell when someone is lying. I…am Loki." Could be just…someone named that, of course.

The Jackal is transparent, at least to someone as old and worldly as the Trickster God himself. His mouth opens a touch as if he might consider something snarky or even insulting slipping from it. Another step closer is accompanied by a soft snort of amusement.

"That…is a name with flare and circumstance," he replies firstly, still apparently firmly in the camp of 'No way that's your actual name but okay!' "You must be one of those costumed players — or are you one of the live-action role playing fanatics? Allow me, please."

Ambrose executes a courtly bow that's outlandish in its flare, something not seen since the late 1800s and indicative of long-practice by his smooth bend and rise at the waist. "Lieutenant Atherton, at your service." He even clicks his boot-heels together and salutes from his temple with two fingers, smirking.

|ROLL| Loki +rolls 1d20 for: 6

Loki is used to not being believed when he says his name is Loki. However, he's also not used to being quasi-mocked about it. Tap, tap, tap, tap…each finger on his right hand drums once against the cement wall where he's sitting. He raptly watches the other man perform his smooth bow, then lowers his eyes to look at the ground for a moment. When he looks back up, he smiles. "What sort of costume do you think I wear? Or…what character do I play?" Most people, if they are being teased, show some sign of a wound to their confidence, but under the subtle words of the trickster, there flows an undercurrent of sprung trap, and a cat curious about what the mouse has to say…on the subject of /cats/.

|ROLL| Ambrose +rolls 1d20 for: 3

Ambrose's ocean-blue eyes mark the patient pattern of fingertips upon the wall and he can't help the puckish gathering of his lips despite himself. It's stupid, this long-indulged habit of his, but oh man — he's clearly scored a hit.

The way that Loki looks up at him is enough to make the fine hairs on his neck rise; a hit of adrenaline tingles at his fingers and toes. Another step closer and now there's about a dozen feet between them. The Jackal projects a lazy confidence in his mannerisms now and idly replies,

"You'd make a damned good member of a posh class, I'd think. Quisby, even," he adds, scratching at the line of his five-o-clock shadowed jaw in passing. "Landed gentry. Where is your butler? Is his name Jeeves? If it is, that's ruddy stereotypical."

No one's yet told him that it's a very, very bad idea to bait the Trickster God.

This was one place that Sif had not found by exploring. Instead, it was recommended to her as a place to visit. And this, more than any other place, is a dichotomy to her senses. It is simultaneously reminding her of Frigga's palace gardens while being completely and utterly foreign. The section of dry, often-stabby plants was truly alien to her senses.

She's been wandering aimlessly for a while now, and still has yet to see something familiar. Though, voices drifting along with the scent of flowers… those are familiar. She starts walking in the direction from which she thinks the voices are originating.

"My butler is back at the…ah…lets call it an apartment, for ease. He is not my sitter." Loki shifts his feet, planting them on the ground, and then pushes off the wall to stand. He leans on one leg heavier than the other and brings one hand to rub his first finger back and forth over his lower lip. "So, you are very familiar with these…costumed people? What do you dress up as, rogue? Let me guess…the same costume every year…a pirate?" He arches his dark brows and grins with the pleasure of their little banter.

The Jackal's laugh starts aloud and then rolls into the back of his throat behind his teeth, almost a growl at the end. It dies out on a sigh. "Bloody hell, no. Pirates." A scoff. "Though I could no doubt pass for a period actor on All Hallow's Eve, I've got a far better costume to employ. Though, one time, I did have the opportunity to dress as Anubis. You're familiar with him, I assume? Ancient Egyptian god of mummification and the afterlife?" Ambrose brushes away his own question with a wave of his hand not a second after he's asked it.

"It was a good showing…what I remember of it. I even had gilt on the mask." A short sigh and he glances about the garden out of old, cautious habit before looking back to Loki. "I might emulate him again some day, one never does know."

That laugh was VERY clear, and it lets Sif zero in on the source. She walks toward its owner, moving quietly out of deference to the gardens and no other reason. She is by no means stealthy, though. She never has been. So her footsteps can likely be readily heard by anyone with good hearing or alertness.

She steps around a stands of shrubs and a wall to see Ambrose and Loki across the way there.


"Mmmmhmmm." Loki answers softly. "I know him. We had a terrible meeting the other day. Is…" The godling takes a step closer to the Jackal and asks in a softer tone, after wetting his lips. "that who put this bane on you? You should be more careful in dressing up like Gods. Some of them might take…offense." His voice sweeps low over the syllables, dancing between a purr and a hum in places, the craft of it a perfection of meaning. The word 'careful' comes alive with a slight stress and lengthening on 'care'. 'Gods' is clipped, and 'offense' hangs in suspense and hisses its way to a drawn-out finish. He stares, and he doesn't turn his head at the sound of footsteps, though he does quickly glance out of habit.

The next laugh out of Ambrose is quick and breathy, accompanied by a half-grin that's clear acknowledgement of something having gone awry in his plan — this man can See his curse. He takes a mirrored step away from Loki's approach, rolling the sole of his boot on the pathway, and still keeps the subtle insouciant lift of his chin.

"Oh-ho, no-no-no-no, not Anubis at all." His voice might sound airy, but it's tight in places because — oh good god — he's coming to the slow and rude realization that this Loki might actually be THAT LOKI. "Nooooooo, no-no, another pantheon entirely. By all means, send Anubis my fondest greetings, he's been a patron saint of mine for decades now," Ambrose continues, unable to keep from snarky because a frightened Ambrose is a smart-ass.

Movement, however, draws his attention and he recognizes the brunette giving them a look. "Lady Sif?" Surprised, Ambrose pauses, his attention diverted to the Asgardian warrior-woman and totally away from Loki for a moment.

Sif's eyes flick between the two men, seemingly reading their postures and possibly their demeanors to determine if they're adversarial or not though in truth she's just surprised to see them both here. Stepping fully into the space they've found but not within arm's reach of either man, she offers them a polite greeting of the Aesir warrior sort, bowing at the waist with her right hand fisted against her chest just below her left collarbone.

"Prince Loki, Mr. Atherton. Well met. I've not … interrupted anything, have I?"

Yeah, she's clueless about the topic of conversation she just interrupted.

A moment is all Loki needs. There is a subtle motion of one hand and a soft, gold ripple. Sif can see it right away, though she missed the reason behind it. Loki goes from his normal dress to that of an 1800s English nobleman. Prim and proper coat, vest, inky cravat, the whole bit. Even his hair is made shorter with the illusion. "Lady Sif, indeed. How curious to see you here…and even more curious that you two know each other." Green eyes shift back and forth between them, curiosity raised to a new height. "How…would that be?"

Ambrose, with his attention on Sif, misses the subtle wash of magic over the Trickster God. He gives her a quick, thankful grin for interrupting because he was becoming certain that his goose was cooked and now, look! She is his savior!

"Oh, no, Lady Sif, noth…"

Looking back at Loki, his triumphant little smile melts away into a loose-jawed incredulity within a second. Eyebrows lift high. The hanging mouth remains at least until Loki asks after how he and Sif know one another.

Ambrose moves his lips a few times without words and then manages after clearing his throat and shifting in place, "Milady Sif and I were recently involved in…capers." he decides, appropriately (and annoyingly) vague.

A beat — and then Ambrose just can't help it. "You've witchcraft, don't you." It's a bald statement aimed at Loki.

Sif looks at Loki in fascination, not understanding his change of attire but not at all perturbed by it. She's seen him manifest his armor in such a manner countless times. It's the choice of attire and even the change of his hairstyle that has caught her eyes. Quite different from what most Midgardians wear on a daily basis, and yet somehow very well suited to the sorcerer.

She's about to answer her fellow Aesir's question about how she and Ambrose met when he beats her to it, and she can only nod agreement with his statement, though she does add one more likely useless tidbit of information. "We have a common acquaintance in Kai from Alfheimr."

Of course, now her attention is on Ambrose, and her eyebrows draw together slightly as she tries to figure out why he seems to gobsmacked by Loki's quick-change. Well, until he calls it 'witchcraft'. She can already feel Loki preparing to very soundly correct the Midgardian on the difference whether he actually is planning to do so or not.

He's always seemed a bit touchy about others using the correct terminology for his spellcasting.

The trickster frowns. "I am not a witch. This is Seidr." Loki pauses after, essentially, just saying the Norse word for magic…that is usually performed by a woman…who is also a healer and fortune teller…but he's not a witch, noooooooo. He purses his lips for a moment, then draws in a breath. "Kai…Kai…oh, yes, the elf. Spirited fellow. I remember. We fought together." Then to Sif he explains, "He said he thought I might dress this way. I think I rather like it."

Ambrose nods in silent agreement to Sif's additional comment without looking away from Loki. He's still having some difficult figuring out precisely how the shift came to be because he's seen magical shifts before, but not while retaining the human form.

'Seidr' is not a word known to the Jackal though he knows he's heard it before. It'll be time to raid his tomes when he's home and certain he wasn't followed. A small scoff leaves Ambrose and he asides to Sif quickly as if attempting to excuse a folly,

"I did not imply that it was a good idea, Milady Sif, more than he would suit the typing if he felt inclined to dress as a costumed player might." Oh yes — he heard the appelation of 'Prince' earlier. This is indeed the Asgardian Trickster God, without a doubt. Please don't punch him.

His ocean-blue eyes flick to Loki again and he still adds, "You are going to get commentations on your fashion, sirrah."

Again, there is information here that Sif could likely share to clarify things, but she doesn't. Because she doesn't know what the others do or don't know about each other or magic or, well, anything. Instead, she moves a few steps closer now that it's clear the two aren't at odds and she won't be forced to have to defend one from the other. She's not even sure who'd she'd defend for or against, though likely she'd defend Loki as he IS an Aesir prince.

"These garments are certainly more suited to you than what I see most Midgardians wearing about," she admits to the dark-haired prince. "Though they still seem somewhat… ill-suited to combat."

Loki makes a faint motion with his fingers again, and this time…its Sif that changes. the illusion just curls around her so delightfully, dressing her in a classic Victorian gown to match Loki's own fashion. "Now…they will simply think we are hired actors to provide some luxurious ambiance to these gardens. Ohhh, Lady Sif, you do look so nice in a dress. You should do it more often…" Grinning like a cat with feathers in its mouth, he looks again to Ambrose. "So…if you are a friend to Kai, and know Sif, then you must not be completely useless. What did you really mean by saying this is your territory, earlier?"

Sif's sudden illusionary shift in garments has the Jackal taking a sudden, scuffing step back. He doesn't flee — he does stare however, eyes gone wide once more. She does look rather fetching in a dress, but he knows better than to say it aloud, especially after seeing her in action. One can see him trying to keep the thoughts from escaping by the silentl popping of his lips.

Loki earns himself a quick glower that evens out into an urbane set of fine facial features on Ambrose. "I am anything but useless," he points out tersely. "What I meant earlier by 'territory' is that I am a…collector of esoteric items. My interests are few and far between, but they are spread throughout New York City and, as such, all of the city is my territory."

By how he frames his habits, it's an easy leap to that of 'thief' as his occupation.

While Sif has felt the wash of Loki's magic many times before, that's not what causes her to gasp and look down at herself in the Victorian garb. She's now swathed from neck to ground in deep red silk taffeta, a stand-up ruffled collar around her neck, gathers down the sleeves to her wrists, the bustled skirt split in the back and trailing out an impressive train of pleats and tiers. Even her hair is gathered up in an elegant style and dotted with tiny red ornaments perfectly in keeping with the dress.

"Wha— Loki, what is the meaning of this?" She looks at the sorcerer thunderously for a moment, then one of her hands goes to her sternum as her mouth opens as if she's struggling to take a breath.

"I can't breathe," she gasps as if honestly disturbed by the restrictiveness of the costume.

"Which means you can hardly pursue me." Loki grins broadly and lifts his chin, a marvelous glee in his eyes at the 'win', however brief it might end up being. Ambrose's explanation has a more serious look cross his features and he looks over the man again. Then, he slides out his phone and unlocks it, before offering it over towards the man. "Put your number in here."

Again, the puckish little quirk of the Jackal's lips appears and fades almost as quickly as it showed. Poor Sif. Poor Loki, actually. Ambrose is very certain there will be some form of retribution. The master-thief muses briefly about a betting pool for the impending brawl before he lifts his hand upwards in surprise at the sudden motion towards his person!

Oh, it's a phone, not a trenchknife — he sighs at himself even as he looks into Loki's face, suspicious yet.

"…do you have a job offering for me then, your highess? I did say that I was a collector. Is there something to be retrieved…?" Carefully, he takes the phone but makes no move to input any information within it.

|ROLL| Sif +rolls 1d20 for: 2

Sif spends the next several seconds looking shocked and concerned and then calmer as she figures out how to breathe with the horrid garments binding her ribs so tightly. And once she's recovered enough she goes to step toward Loki with the intention of shaking him until he returns her garments to the normal Midgardian ones she was wearing before.

And she steps on the front hem of her skirt.

The abrupt and completely unexpected downward pull on the overwhelming garments throws her completely off balance and a second stumbling step to try to regain said balance only makes matters worse. She winds up falling toward the two men with a very undignified yelp.

"I have things I look for. It would benefit both of us. You never know what I might call you about. Perhaps I shall just send you pictures of unlocked doors…" Loki says the last bit suggestively, as if he were speaking of something pornographic. But then, Angry Sif is falling! Oh no! He's close enough, the elegant man slips in and tries to catch her to keep her from faceplanting. Of course this chivalrous action also puts him far too close to the angry woman for his own health. He seems to realize this immediately and wiggles his fingers so that her attire turns back to normal.

With the sudden lurching of Sif, Ambrose's dubious squint at the Trickster God is broken. He fumbles with Loki's phone during his sudden dive-in to attempt to catch her before she face-plants. It means jumbling it from hand to hand as he outstretches his arms.

The step-in is a swift movement on his part, far quicker in reaction time than most mundane mortals, and unfortunately commits him to being in Sif's path despite the switch-back to her normal garb.

At least he doesn't drop the phone!

Sif topples over into Ambrose's arms just as the dress disappears and her usual shirt/jacket/jeans/boots return. The moment she realizes she's no longer in that restrictive costume, she somewhat gracelessly scrambles back to her feet and dusts herself off. It's kind of like watching a cat do something completely clumsy and then just shake it off and walk away like they meant to do it.

"Thank you, Ambrose," she tells the Midgardian, and then levels a flat look at Loki. "I know you enjoyed that far too much." She doesn't openly promise retaliation, though. He is a crown prince, and appearances do have to be maintained around outsiders.

Loki nods to Sif and if he thinks there is something coming, the entitled bastard doesn't act like it. He does glance over to Ambrose though, and repeats, "So, is it Lieutenant Ambrose Atherton? Make sure you put that in the contact information." He winks.

"You're welcome, mademoiselle," replies the master-thief, flustered enough to fall back into old habits even as he too is attempting to regain his former aplomb. Still holding the phone, be brushes at the front of his jacket as if to remove dust and flexes his fingers once. The Bane's still under control — mostly; it roils at the edges of his aura, knowing it nearly tasted Asgardian life-force and desperate to sniff its bouquet again.

Sif does get a look partially betrayed before Ambrose sighs slowly. "…yes, it is Lieutenant Ambrose Atherton," he reneges. Someone's warned him about the power of Names — he doesn't give his middle name deliberately. Ambrose puts in a number and hands the phone back to Loki with a composed expression once more, slightly haughty. "Given you will be contacting me in regards to business, I have input my working alias as the contact name. I've no wish to be suddenly visited by anyone rifling through your phone, for example. Please, leave it as such. Changing it to my given name will constitute a breach of trust between us."

His cell phone is listed under: The Jackal.

Curious about the cellphone as it's a device that SO MANY Midgardians seem to rely heavily upon, Sif leans a bit to look at what Ambrose is doing. His tapping at the symbols on the screen, though, ultimately give her no insight whatsoever, and the frustration is clear on her face. But it's clearly not aimed at anyone but herself.

She really needs to learn to decipher the Midgardian lettering system, and she knows she does. She simply doesn't know where to begin as in her explorations she's seen a staggering number of symbols and sigils, and she has yet to make sense of any of them.

Loki glances down at the code name and then looks to Ambrose. "Hmm. Fair enough," Loki squints his eyes. "Just business?"

Seeing Sif's interest in the object, Ambrose pulls out his own phone and shows it, flipping it back and front in his grip. "A moment, milady Sif," he says quietly as he recognizes the lack of knowledge and not wanting to put it center-stage.

Loki gets a look that includes a little, almost canine-like tilt of the Jackal's head. This must be the influence of his shifting taking over subconsciously. It includes a small scenting flare of nostrils, ineffective in this human guise.

"Business for now. There is time yet to develop a friendship, I believe. I will ask milady Sif what she thinks of you." He grins sharply. This should be interesting…

Realizing she just revealed in front of Loki that she doesn't comprehend those devices, Sif promptly straightens again and nods to Ambrose when he asks her to wait. She looks over at Loki as if trying to gauge whether he noticed it and if he plans to use that knowledge against her, and then Ambrose mentions asking her about the sorcerer. THAT elicits one of her slightly uncommon but clearly highly amused smiles.

"I would be honored to share my observations and opinions with you, Ambrose." But, of course, she did just make it clear that they'll be opinions.

Loki considers the two of them for a moment. Just a hint, just a hint of an emotion that is cousin to hopelessness flashes in his eyes for a moment, then there is a cold tightness. Formality. He lifts his phone suddenly and takes Ambrose's picture, presumably just to be a shit, then gives his hand a sudden twist and he snaps out of the area.

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