2019-06-21 - A Rosebud By Any Other Name...


Ambrose and Pepper cross paths again. Who is this Rosebud? Ambrose knows no Rosebud — and man, braised chicken again!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jun 21 04:50:37 2019
Location: Central Park

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Theme Song



It's completely illogical. Ever since Pepper 'met' the cheeky little Rosebud and his human, she finds herself thinking about the little jackal. She's not been around animals much in several years, and that little exotic pet was just so FULL of personality.

Because of that, she finds herself back at the Tavern on the Green, sitting in the far corner of the outdoor patio seating, with braised chicken once again. And she keeps expecting to hear the telltale yip of a shameless little beggar.

What a coincidence. Ever since Ambrose managed to mooch the remnants of the braised chicken from Pepper's plate as the bold little canine of the far desert sands, he's been wondering about the woman. Granted, red-heads have proven to be nothing but trouble in his personal records, but she was kind — and kindness from strangers, a rarity in his life, has its own draw.

As such, he too finds himself on foot on the paths of Central Park again. This time, however, he's on two feet rather than four, dressed in a sleek dark blazer overtop a crisp white t-shirt and equally dark blue jeans. He's tamed his hair and at least tried to make himself look like less of a ne're-do-well and more of a…gentleman-rascal? Cad? A charming one, at least? Hey, he tried.

As he rounds the path's meandering curve where it ghosts alongside the Tavern on the Green restaurant, he finds himself coming to a slower pace and laughing under his breath. "I'll be damned," he murmurs to himself, because lo — there Pepper is, at the same table, with…the same plating of food. Ambrose looks to one side, weighing options (and the feeling of the slip-collar in the interior pocket of his coat), and sighs to himself. He approaches the restaurant and once within polite speaking distance of Pepper, he asks, "Excuse me, miss, have you seen a small white dog around here?"

Pepper looks up as the man approaches and asks about a dog. "Oh, no. Sorry. Not already on a leash at least." She smiles a bit apologetically, while inwardly she has a very momentary uncharitable thought about people letting their pets slip their leashes. If the pet's an escape artist, put a harness on them. Is that so difficult? Really?

"I will keep an eye out, though. Pets do seem to end up around here. I think it's the food smells from the restaurant that draw them in."

Ambrose stops on the edge of the green by the restaurant and takes up a comfortable stance, his hands in the pockets of his blazer. He sighs slowly and looks around again — all the while laughing like a loon internally. "That is unfortunate. Yes, I thought so myself, that the lure of the food might drawn him in. You see, he's normally quite good about sticking close to me when we're on our daily travels…one might say we're tied at the hip," he explains, giving Pepper a beseeching look.

The only problem is that his eyes twinkle just the slightest. It's been a while since he's had to be the consummate silver-tongued liar.

"Would you mind terribly if I waited nearby? You see, he's rather fond of braised chicken, of all things." The master-thief nods towards Pepper's plate and smiles almost ruefully.

Dammit, that food smells good.

That causes Pepper to blink at the man a couple of times. Is he … /flirting/? Does he even have a dog? She looks at him for skeptical moment, then figures that there's really not much he can get away with, as they're in a populous and well-lit place with waitstaff that know her well enough, and she has a taser in her purse.

"Sure. Come have a seat." She's still not entirely trusting of the man, but she'll offer him a seat with his back to the restaurant.

And he'd better not try anything. She's wearing her Jimmy Choos today, and she's punched through carpeting with them.

"Oh — thank you, miss, but I prefer to remain standing." Ambrose's fetching little grin falters in passing before regaining its comfortable wattage. "And I've already eaten today, so I've no interest in the wait-staff tending upon me. But by the sound of it, you might have seen this little rascal before…?" he asks, tilting his head a little in a motion almost…canine, as if to better see her.

It's due to the Bane that he keeps his distance. Granted, he's had many decades now to work at keeping it beneath his skin rather than tendriling about in interest, but his mantra has always been 'better safe than sorry'.

Okay, it hasn't always been that — we blame Talbot and his finger-wagging of Karmic morality for this shift in behavior.

Okay then, suit yourself. Pepper nods her acceptance of the man refusing her offer to sit. And, perhaps it's a good thing she's already pretty much done eating. She … might have ordered a bit more than usual due to thinking that there might be a cheeky little Rosebud along to do some begging.

"I might have," she concedes to his question. "What breed is your dog?"

"Ah, he's…" Ambrose chuckles to himself and looks to one side, grinning. Oh man, there are the dimples. "He's an interesting case in regards to 'breed'. He thinks himself rather blue-blooded, I'll have you know, and his manners do show this," the master-thief explains, now holding Pepper's eyes. "I suppose he would be described to be, at best, a pariah dog. He's rather…"

The brunet snaps his fingers off to one side as he thinks, squinting at the woman. "I suppose you could say fox-like. He's rather striking, but I do have bias in the matter."

Pepper watches the man, trying to figure out what about this he finds so terribly amusing, and tries to hide most of her skepticism behind a sip of her tea. Yes, she's drinking hot tea. In the middle of June. A black tea, no less, with a distinctly lemony aroma to it.

As he starts describing his 'dog', her eyebrows draw together as his description…


"What is your dog's name?" she asks a bit slowly, her suspicion VERY apparent now.

Ah, the knife in the ribs of his burgeoning amusement. Ambrose can even be seen to deflate a touch. He laughs again, each exhale more pronounced, and he even curls his tongue to touch his front teeth for just a second. When his lips close, he can be seen to suck on a canine tooth, an old tic never lost even after centuries.

"He…came to me with the name of 'Rosebud'," the master-thief reveals with a ruefully fond smile on his face now. His nose still wrinkles a little to betray his dislike of the nickname given to his shifted form. "A charming little creature like him doesn't deserve the name, but I…saw no reason to change it, given he responds to it…well enough." Oh, that was painful to explain.

Talbot surely gets a faint blip of juvenile sass in his direction along the kythe.

Suspicion confirmed! Pepper sits up straighter in her chair. "Seriously? So then… Kent is a relation of yours? Because Rosebud seemed to know him quite well, to the point of shoving paws in his face." THEN she realises what she's just blurted out and her eyes go wide.


She's not slipped up like that in YEARS. At least it was over something completely innocent and not over some multi-million dollar business deal.

|ROLL| Ambrose +rolls 1d10 for: 4

Ambrose lifts his brows at the amount of information suddenly handed to him on a silver platter. Thank god he isn't of any persuasion to abuse it, given it's about his fiance — okay, lies, he's going to twist it awfully and see if he can't make Kent cringe out of fond exasperation for the man. Revenge for Rosebud will be sweet.

He also can't help the crack in his politely surprised expression. He coughs once, which surely covers a laugh. "You met Mister Talbot then. He is not formally a relation of mine yet." With all that implies, the twist of his smirk says. "Rosebud is very content to test his patience, I agree. The man does have the patience nearing a saint. It is eerie sometimes," he allows.

Pepper's sharp eyes catch crack in Ambrose's expression as well as the 'yet'. Ahh, more explained. But still, she'd be remiss if she didn't give this man the same scolding she gave Kent. "Yes, and with a pet that precocious, you both really need to be far more diligent about keeping Rosebud properly leashed." And now that the thought crosses her mind again, she looks around in hopes of spotting the cheeky little canine.

"We are so close to heavy traffic, it honestly scares me to think he might get hit by a car. If he's this good about slipping away, you really should look into a harness or similar."

Don't get her started on the microchip again.

Ambrose nods solemnly…at least, as solemnly as he can manage, given the sheer amount of laughter bubbling up in his ribcage. Straight-face, man, stiff upper lip. No doubt the tamped chuckling still translates to his cerulean-blue eyes in tiny crinkles at their corners.

"Your concern is duly noted, milady." The archaic appellation slips and is, in turn, his own conversational foible. Maybe it'll be lost in the accent. "I think…if you run across Rosebud again in his wanderings through the Park, test him. You might find him to be more intelligent than the average dog on the street. He knows a good number of tricks, including avoiding traffic."

Seeing those eye crinkles, she knows this guy thinks she's funny for being so serious about leashing Rosebud. "I had kind of already guessed, considering he knew how to eat off of a fork amongst other things. But that doesn't prevent random happenstance. He's an exotic pet, and likely still far closer to wild than domesticated. Something could spook him and send him bolting into traffic. Or just as bad, someone far less kind than the average pet owner in Manhattan might get their hands on him."

She shakes her head. "It's just the sort of risk I wouldn't be willing to take with any pet of my own. There are just far too many variables to account for."

Oh — oh, the amount of concern is rather sweet. There's a twinge internally and for a fleeting second, Ambrose considers simply stepping away and reappearing as the semi-fabled pale jackal that once enjoyed the braised chicken still resting on Pepper's plate. Common sense catches up to him alongside the warnings given about scaring the mundane: never a good idea.

"I shall speak to Kent about potentially harnessing the little malapert. It would at least give the appearance of safety for him. He is a weasely little creature, so I doubt a harness would do his safety much justice, but…" The master-thief lifts a hand. "Your counsel is appreciated nonetheless," he finishes with a fetching smile. A sigh and he glances about.

"Apparently, Rosebud won't be joining us. I shall keep searching. I thank you for your time, milady Potts." And on that note, Ambrose turns on his heel and jauntily makes his way back to the path to continue down it, pleased as pie with himself.

Pepper nods as the man finally cottons on that her worries are serious, and promises to speak with Kent about getting better control of the cheeky little Rosebud. When he takes his leave, she offers him a smile. "Thank you, and I hope you find Rosebud soon. He's probably off begging someone else for their dinner. Have a good evening."

… wait. She never told him her name.

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