2019-10-20 - A Kiss Is A Kiss


Celerity delivers some food to Central Park.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Oct 20 08:49:19 2019
Location: Central Park

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Theme Song



It's early evening, about the time office workers get home and create DoorDash's dinner rush. Carrying sandwiches around is Celerity's, er, bread and butter. But now she has a couple of strange requests, ones which other deliverers aren't touching. See, most prefer a place where they can just drive up, hop out, make the delivery, and be on their way. You can't do that when two different people want their food delivered near the middle of Central Park.

For this particular deliverer, though? This just makes things a little tricky. The golden blur of Anon zooms into the park, into one of the public bathrooms… and then out comes Celerity Carter, with the bag strapped tight to her body. She holds up her phone, checking the meal order. "Hello? Someone ordered a…" She squints. "…meatball sub with peanut butter and strawberry jelly?" Don't gag. The customer is always right.

"Yes, that is me, please," chirps a glowing, golden woman with semi-flaming hair and eyes who's wearing what is, for her, outdoor wear in the form of a sleeveless onepiece with a diamond-shaped slot missing from the front, made of an odd, vaguely plastic-looking violet material, with scaled, fingerless gloves and plated boots that go just above the knee. All in all it would look like some kind of obscure space Amazon cosplay but for the bioluminescent woman to which it is attached. Seemingly unconcerned by the temperature her clothes expose her to, Koriand'r accepts the sandwich and asks politely, "The pal for payment has settled your bill, yes?"

As for Loki, he's presently not…himself. He's presently enjoying a nice game of chess with an old Russian man, something he has been doing for some few years now. Hey, he likes chess! Don't judge. Also, this man is full of the most interesting tales of his time he spent as an explorer, like…fifty years ago. Humans are such interesting creatures sometimes, sad how ephemeral, but still…quite interesting.

The glowing woman with the red hair and the rather revealing costume? That's /also/ interesting, and ample excuse to rise, leaving his former old man body behind as illusion, even as he cloaks his present self from sight, reverting to his true shape en route. He cannot help but shudder about the combo - really - meatballs with marinara, and Peanut Butter And Jam?

A brief laugh also cloaked, he watches her take her delivery, and then approaches the delivery person uncloaking as a small group of joggers move by even at this hour, his attire altered to match, but his shape and face his own.

"Excuse me…" He looks to his phone. "…are you Celerity? My app says you're my Doordasher as well.."

Celerity's brain short-circuits. People actually dress like that? Her mother would give her a week's worth of punishments for even looking at that kind of outfit. She keeps her eyes steadfastly upwards at face height, while she holds out the bag. "Yes! Yes it is. Um, are you okay in that? It's October, and the weather's cooling down." She reaches into her strapped-on satchel for the other bag; there's someone else in the area…

Ah! And then the tall man with the jogging suit comes up. Celerity breathes a sigh of relief as she holds out the other bag. "Yes. Sashimi, right?"

Koriand'r sees Loki approaching and immediately perks up. One of her favorite things: a pretty boy! That's no excuse to be rude, though, and she drags her eyes back to Anon. "I'm sorr—? Oh, yes, the temperature. Yes, I am well, thank you." She reaches for Anon's face with her currently non-sandwich-bearing hand, and presses the backs of her fingers against Anon's cheek. Her skin is almost feverishly hot. "I am warmer than your people are," she explains, probably pointlessly after that little demonstration, but she enjoyed it quite a bit. She looks like she has more to say, but she simply steps respectfully back to let the tall, pretty boy receive his food. She regards Loki with a little smile and open speculation in her eyes as he steps up for his meal.

Amused as hell by Celerity's steadfast refusal to appreciate the charms of the glowing and flying girl, Loki's not so shy. "Yes, shrimp shumai as well, mm?" Loki's voice is almost a purr, and his smile bright enough. Well aware that the order is paid for he makes a mental note to rate the girl up for making the delivery on time, and for the sheer fun of seeing her discomfiture.


"Thank you, Celerity. Good to live up to one's name." Because why not be nice? No reason not to, and the delivery girl DID perform a service for him. Loki remembers little things like that.

Green eyes turn then to look to Koriandr, a brow quirking and a faint smirk at the speculative look from the girl as she appraises him. "Liam." He introduces himself. "And who might you be, miss?"

Anon's face is pretty close to feverishly hot too, especially when this mystery woman reaches right out and touches her cheek. She squeaks under her breath and flinches back, but while it's fast, it's not too suspiciously fast. She may be tense, but she has control on her speed. "G-G-Good to know. Um. That's really not enough to count as 'indecent exposure'? I always thought clothes like that would get someone arrested." It's okay, Celerity. Think of it like you're crossing a rickety bridge. Just don't look down.

She double-checks the screen — something she has a good reason to look at, whew — and nods. "Y-Yeah, shrimp shumai." She checks through the list, and sighs. "And no more orders in the area, so I guess that means break time for now." She gives Loki a half-smile. "I swear my mother just went digging for obscure virtues. Oh no, couldn't be Charity or anything like that, had to go three layers deep in a thesaurus."

Koriand'r smiles brightly at Liam (but only metaphorically; her skin, eyes, and hair may all flame, but apparently her teeth don't) and steps forward to greet him. "Hello, friend Liam," she greets, her sandwich forgotten in her hand, her head high, her eyes bright and focused on his. "I am Kory Anders." She just barely catches the name coming out of her mouth. She still isn't a hundred percent sure why the false name is necessary, but she trusts her friends who say so. Her free hand reaches for Liam's cheek, and, mindless of the absurdity of doing so while both of them hold bags of cooling food, reaches her lips in to kiss him for a full second before deciding, "Yes. It is good to meet you."

She smiles at Celerity. "Is it your time of leisure? You should stay and explain this arrest."

"Actually, Celerity, according to New York statutes 'indecent' exposure laws might allow for far less than the young lady is wearing, the law stipulates it is criminal to expose ones private or intimate parts of their body, but only when it goes against public sensibilities." Liam smiles and offers a card to each woman. "Liam Lai, with the law offices of Lai, Cheetham & Steele."

'Liam' is smiling to the illuminated lady, when she introduces herself. "Miss Anders…" And then kisses him. He does not seem to mind at all, returning the favor without any shaking of his aplomb. "Well, they surely breed them friendly in your neck of the woods, Miss Anders."

He can't help but laugh a bit when she then steps back and asks for Celerity's explanation of arrest. "Oh, yes, do tell, Celerity whose parents were so very fond of the thesaurus. Honestly, that's a fine name, nothing to be ashamed of, I once knew a man named Temperance in All Things Magilicutty."

He's joking, right?

Celerity squints at the card when 'Liam' gives it to her. "Lie, Cheat 'Em and Steal? You even got business cards? This is a very elaborate costume, but you know it's still like two weeks until—"

Then the kiss. She's not even involved, but her eyes bug out to the width of the dinner plates which the pair could probably use sometime soon. Hey, their meals are getting cold. "Um. Do you two know each other?" The signals mix. Yes, they just introduced themselves and they're talking about it being nice to meet each other. But on the other hand, Kori's already calling him 'friend', and acted quite… familiar. Yes, the weight of evidence is in favour of them being strangers until recently, but the remaining evidence clashes too much with her… sensibilities.

She coughs, her face lowered. Nope, nope, not looking. Just fiddling with her phone. "Right! Right. I-Indecent exposure. Like, if you go around naked or too close to naked, you can get… I think it's just a fine, or something? But it's against the law." She fiddles with her phone while she murmurs, looking things up for more detail. "…it can't be far less than what she's wearing, can it? There isn't enough there for there to be a 'far'."

Koriand'r's face is an odd mixture of hope and disappointment. On the one hand, Liam at least didn't recoil; on the other, he didn't seem exactly into it. You can watch her shrug it off and steel herself, though, as she reminds herself what cold fish humans generally are. Can't blame them for the way they are. To Celerity, whose interjections Koriand'r honestly understood more of than whatever Liam was talking about, she explains cheerfully, "Yes, we met just a moment ago. You were here when it happened, friend Celerity." An 'oh' expression dawns on her face, and she asks, "Or do you mean because I kissed him? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. I was under the impression Earth women do not like to be kissed by women, but if you want…" She's already reaching out for Celerity's face and stepping in.

"L-a-i, not Lie, C-h-e-e-t-h-a-m, not Cheat Em, and Steele with an EE in the middle, and another on the end." 'Liam' is smiling as he corrects Celerity. "And costume? Were I in costume would I be in sweats? Wouldn't a lawyer be in a fancy suit?"

Of course he DID order sushi, well, sashimi which is related but distinct. Only the shumai are really worrisome when it comes to their temperature. "Yes, personally I find such laws a bit ridiculous, people should be free to dress as suits them so long as they don't pose a risk to others in so doing. For example…would you want a surgeon to operate on you while wearing a fur coat?"

And speaking of which, when Kory kissed 'Liam' she's bound to notice he /was/ a bit colder than most humans, temperature wise, strong contrast to her own considerably warmer body temp.

Eyes of green are bright with laughter, and the kiss - while not returned with passionate abandon, /was/ returned, and not at all shyly.

"And yes, never met Kory here, before." His reaction to the girl moving to kiss Celerity? Practically nil, clearly he sees not a thing wrong with men or women kissing each other in any configuration of genders. Same, different, kissing is kissing.

Celerity huffs at Liam. "With an EE on the end so it's Steelee, huh? And c'mon, it's like that old movie where they call the law firm 'Dewey, Cheatham, and Hao'. And since you've gven me the spelling…" She starts googling said law firm. But then she blinks when Kori and Liam confirm something for her. Yes, they did indeed just meet, and they did indeed just kiss. That gets her blushing all the way out to her ears, skin threatening to out-red her hair. "W-Wait, so you just…" She swallows. Nope, no need to finish that thought.

And no ability to either, not with Kori coming closer. The touch on her cheek finds that Celerity's skin is actually warmer than Kori's, Tamaranean or no, but she doesn't flinch this time. "So you're an a-alien, then? I-I think it's more that most Earth people don't kiss people they've just met! R-Right?" She glances over to Liam, as if expecting him to back her up. Kori's put the ball in her court, and it's a moment of truth. The redhead trembles, but… "W-Well, if you wanted, I wouldn't mind." Liam would need to strain his ears to hear a squeak that quiet, but Kori is in a much easier hearing range.

|ROLL| Loki +rolls 1d100 for: 49

Koriand'r waits patiently for the human to quit waffling, but with some interest: maybe humans DO have emotions, but are just repressed. Well, hers is not to judge, hers is to kiss. She completes her fill and steps back, unrolls her sandwich, and tries it. Hm. The human obsession with sweet doesn't really work for her, but the mouthfeel is alright, at least. Nice and sticky.

"Your laws are silly to me," she declares, or sounds pretty close to that around the cling of peanut butter and beef. "Why are you so afraid of bodies?"

"Well, why not 'just'?" 'Liam' answers. "In many cultures kissing is very much a part of the normal day to day, it wasn't until fairly recently that things got so much more stodgy." A nod. "Repressed even." Unconscious mimicry of Kori's thoughts. 'Liam' smirks faintly at Celerity's nerves, and then the permission being given after all. "So…see? Just a kiss." A nod. "A rather nice one at that, at least in my sample size of one."

Oh, humans do indeed have emotions. SOCIETY is the limiter here.

A shrug then as he finds a spot to sit, the illusory him playing chess saying his farewells to his old chess partner, and walks off. He looks to Celerity, curious to see how blushy she'll get. "So…are you into women then? Or are you more open than that? Clearly, Kory has an laudably broad horizons."

He grins a moment to Kory, and then watches for the fireworks from Celerity.

Celerity's kiss is more sloppy — er, more clumsy than Loki's, but it's not lacking in enthusiasm. Afterwards, she takes a few deep breaths, trying to steady her brain again. "U-Um. Because bodies trigger primal, instinctive parts of the mind, a-and it's scary to think of yourself as being that primal instead of all, like, rational and civilised, maybe? That's m-my guess, but psychology isn't my strong suit." Like Loki suggested: society is the limiting factor.

Speaking of whom, Loki's questions make her squeal aloud, her face ducking as if she can hide in her shirt's collar. "I-I! It! It just seemed like it'd be rude to say no if she wanted to!" Yeah, that's about 2.75 lies right there. Loki's lie-ometer is going into the red zone, and he doesn't even really have a lie-ometer. With all the commotion, she hasn't even thought to check her google results.

Koriand'r leans back against, well, nothing. Her body behaves as if there's a wall behind her, though. It's a trick most Tamaraneans know, to help relieve pressure on their feet when they don't really feel like flying, though she hasn't had to use it much on this bizarrely low-gravity world. She nods at Loki while munching her sandwich without much enthusiasm but at least without active dislike, which is more than she can say for most food on this planet, and eventually swallows enough to say, "I do not fully comprehend the intricacies of kissing here. It seems to be tied to an expectation of sexual intercourse, which is so odd. Why must pleasurable contact be sexual?" she asks, not complaining but actually curious, looking between the two local experts on humanity for their answers.

Celerity's reaction to the kiss definitely would give the lie to her words that follow. Of course, 'Liam' can't just let things lie there, nope. "Oh, forgive me, I hope you didn't think I was judging, far from it. I was just curious if you like men and women alike." Having sit, he opens up his lunch container, and takes the paper off his chopsticks, breaking the wooden things apart, and then eating his now cool shumai dumplings. He'll offer each lady one if they like, not wanting to be rude and especially in light of the lack of enthusiasm for her own meal that Koriandr displays.

The leaning against nothing trick is interesting, 'Liam' notes it, but really - not a surprise to see considering the girl is literally glowing. "Oh, that's just a product of society again, an invention promulgated primarily thanks to Judeo-Christian mores, exacerbated in the Victorian era, though only in public, the goings on behind closed doors are much the same in whatever era."

'Liam' smiles. "Truly, pleasure is something that people could do with a lot more of in their daily routines, much that is ill with this world would be remedied, I would think."

Celerity's chin ducks so low it practically buries in her chest, when Kori talks about the usual expectations. No, no, she wasn't thinking of such things just a moment ago, not at all, why do you ask. When Loki reiterates the question, she whines and hides behind both of her hands. "I…" She's not answering that. Does Celerity even know? She's at that age group where people are still figuring such things out, and she has quite the complicating factors in any such honest self-examination or -exploration.

No, better to focus on broad, vague questions. She chews her lower lip. "W-Well, as for why kissing is considered sexual… it's kind of tied in with the same systems, isn't it? It's a lower level of the same kind of e-erogenous stimulation, right? Lips are erogenous zones, as much as…" She doesn't finish that thought aloud. "A-And there's escalation. Like a touch becomes a hug becomes a kiss becomes…" She shrugs. "H-How's the food? Is it, um, not going together?" Like most people would expect from marinara, meatballs, and fruit jelly?

Koriandr stares blankly at Liam for most of that speech, comprehending none of it except that Liam is smart; which, upon consideration, she decides she appreciates enough to give him a smile and to move closer to him. She's still engaged enough with Celerity that she doesn't mind answering, "It sounds to me as if when you are kissing someone, you are not thinking of the moment, but of what the next moment might be?" Her tone is dubious and self-conscious, as if she knows she's saying something utterly ridiculous but can't help it because she seems to be in an utterly ridiculous situation. As to the question about the food, she shrugs. "It has very much sweetness. The bread and the red sauce and the other red sauce are all much of sugar. I should have asked for lemons." She spots the offer of shumai, and the way she chooses to accept it seems inevitable: she steps forward, parts her lips, leans in, and delicately bites the tiny dumpling off Liam's chopsticks.

Delighted at the flustering of Celerity, 'Liam' chuckles warmly and nods. "Oh, of course. My apologies, I didn't mean to offer offense." Which is absolutely true! He wanted to get more blushing and stammering, and /that/ he got in spades. Of course his own mores are a bit more open than most people's - being a deity of a so-called pagan faith gives Loki a lot of wiggle room others might lack, add to that the ability to change his shape in pretty much any fashion imaginable, and things like gender bias become fairly meaningless, especially when one can expect to live for tens of centuries without dying of old age.

And /has/ already lived half again as long as Christianity has been a thing.

"Sex is sex." He says with lips curled in a smile. "It can be fun, but really, who am I to say what's right for you? You choose what's right for you. Experimentation, exploration, discovery — that's the path to self-knowledge, and it is something you need not fear. The fact is that things won't always work out, but if you do not /try/, then they NEVER work out, mm?"

He laughs softly at Kory's less than stellar review of the bizarre sandwich. "I have to say, when I heard the order mentioned I had to see who would actually /want/ that combo." He returns Kory's smile, and shifts very slightly to make room in case she wants to sit down. A faint grin as she eats the dumpling.

Celerity tilts her head, fingers rubbing the back of her neck. "I… honestly don't know about that. I mean, I haven't e-exactly done a lot of kissing, you know? And just now, I was mostly just thinking 'aaaaaaa' so I don't know what I'd 'usually' be thinking during a kiss." Loki's advice about experimentation and exploration… Celerity hears it, sure, but she sits down on a bench and turns away. She doesn't actively hunch in on herself, but it's clear she doesn't buy that it's as simple and un-scary as that. She has way too many go-to answers for 'what's the worst that could happen?'

"So, you like sour, huh?" Celerity asks. "Have you tried pickles? Tamarind? I feel like there's a particular kind of cuisine which is known for being sour, but… I can't think what it is right now."

Koriand'r notes the invitation, faint though it is, and helps herself to a seat next to Liam with a gracious smile. She listens to his speech (he does love speeches, doesn't he?) and asks curiously, "Do humans choose what is right for them? On my world, this is not true at all. We could wish all our lives that something would be right for us, but it never will be."

Based on her posture, 'Liam' answers her body language and not Celerity's words. "Of course it is scary, that's half the fun." A pause. "Maybe two-thirds. It is awkward, and it can hurt like hell, but oh…when it DOES work, so worth it." Not that he's had the best of records, about the only one he's been with he was pretty sure loved him is dead, so far as he knows anyway.

BUT…'Liam' is not going to dwell on things that are dark and dreary. At least not for a while, hopefully a century of two, that would be nice.

A smile then as the girl diverts to food. "Oh, tamarind is delicious, I'm very fond of Indian and Thai food, and I love Kimchi, though it is not for everyone. I /do/ like pickles as well, especially kosher dills."

'Liam' smiles welcome as Kory joins him. "It depends on the humans, I suppose, Kory. Culture, family tradition, religion, there's a lot of variables in play. Ultimately, though, the greatest gift given to man is the ability to choose - the consequences can be dire, but there's always that ability to make the choice." Something that gods and angels have to envy in most cases.

Celerity chews her tongue as she mulls over Kori's question. "Hypothetically, yeah. That's the ideal. But…" She nods to Loki. "A whole lot of things can get in the way." And now she's morose about that, enough so that she actually stops blushing about the thought of 'experimenting'. "Thai, think that's the one I was thinking of." To distract herself, she lifts her phone again. "Huh. Well I'll be damned." (Thoroughly and eternally, according to her mother.) "Lai, Cheetham, and Steele is an actual thing."

Koriand'r peels the sandwich open, plucks out a meatball, and begins nibbling on it. That's better, at least. She should have thought of it minutes ago, but was busy being distracted by pretty boys and kissing girls. She glances up at the sun, and discovers, "It is too late for me to remain. I must go to the educational facility. Liam, did that slip of paper contain a method by which to contact you? If it did, I would like to have one," she explains, smiling, no shyness or hesitation in her.

"A whole lot of things." Liam agrees readily to what Celerity says. He frowns when she gets a bit morose, he's not in the mood for Morose, especially not if he didn't inspire it! And drat, no more blushing? Bah. "Possibly Thai, yes, there's quite a few sour dishes there, truly, most cuisine has something of the sour to offer." He laughs outright at the exclamation. "Nonsense, Celerity, damning is something that takes real effort to win."

And really, who -doesn't- get distracted by kissing and pretties? 'Liam' surely can't (truthfully) make that claim, though…he is the Liesmith, so…

"School day, is it?" He asks, and then digs out another card. "Email is probably the best, I'm constantly misplacing my phone. My law partners grow rather wroth with me about that."

Card delivered, he kisses Kori good bye, cool lips put to good use and then he ponders a moment before offering a half bow to Celerity. "It was very nice to meet you both, I hope the day treats you well. As it happens I have a nine o'clock appointment today, and needs must get home in time to shower and change." And with that he sends an illusory 'Liam' jogging off, even as he cloaks himself.

What curious creatures mortals, still, fascinating - he thinks to himself ere he departs in truth.

Celerity snorts at Loki, shaking her head. "Depends who you ask. In some opinions, damning's easy to come by." She holds up the card for Kori to see. "Yeah, phone number and email address right there. I should get going, too." She hops off the bench and back to her feet. "It was nice meeting the two of you. And, um." Oh, looks like she has some blush left after all. She takes a pen from her pocket and scribbles her number down on the back of Loki's business card, to hold out to Kori. "S-So you can get in touch, if you want."

She doesn't stick around to see how Kori responds to the offer. Head ducked, she turns and dashes out of the park. That's an impressive clip; if she joined the university track team, she could probably come second or third in the races.

And it's not until later, when she's out of sight and had a chance to change, that she really starts running as fast as she can.

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