2019-11-27 - Fluent in Feline


Sensing an intruder in the bookstore, Sigyn and Loki find a cat.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Nov 27 00:00:00 2019
Location: NYC - Cover Story

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Theme Song



Shun-SHENG duh gao-WAHN.

Today started out as the past few days have, avoiding Keiko's daughter's demands that she wear clothing, then travelling with Keiko to the Triskelion via a backpack (uncomfortable, but secure enough), and then getting poked and prodded and experimented on by the various staff mages at WAND. She'd been waiting for the next round of tests, sitting on the corner of a desk and watching a different mage practice with small portals edged in golden sparks when Besas leapt at her quite literally from nowhere. Instincts take over far too easily in this little furry body, and she launched herself away from the creepy two-headed cat with a yowl … and through the nearby mage's practice portal.

Now she has no idea where she is, other than it's a bookstore of some sort with all of the familiar book smells, even some familiar tea smells, and then many MANY completely unfamiliar smells. She's tucked herself under a display shelf and is looking out across as much of the store's floorspace as she can see, waiting for her heart to slow its strange syncopated racing.

Loki was upstairs working on some spellcraft, in truth he's working on some rites for his and Sigyn's new student, Betty Brant. Tedious work, but…it needs doing and he can't /always/ schluff it off on Sigyn to do! Brant is his student too, that means he has to do at least some of the work. One moment he's working on the rite, copying it by hand - mind - he doesn't /translate/ it, just copies it, the woman will have to translate this from ancient Norse.

And then he senses a portal penetrating the ward and set spells of the shop. Almost with glee he teleports down to the shop, appearing with sword drawn and eyes bright with excitement.

And he sees…nothing of interest. No warriors. No armored collosi. No elementals. No dark elves.

A frown as he sees a whole lot of nothing…at the moment.

Sigyn teleports in a second behind. "Rather sloppy… all sorts of residue from that portal. Definitely a Midgardian's work." She frowns. "I have the signature. If I run into the mage in question I may have to slap their wrists."

Sigyn mentally shares the mages 'signature' with Loki, before raising a hand and erasing all traces of the portal in a sweep of golden sparks. "There. And if they try it again, I think I'll arrange for the shields to box their ears. I know we keep the shields light on the shop deliberately, but bypassing them without sending a greeting first is /rude/." She's dressed casually, jeans and a t-shirt that says 'Domestic Goddess' and smells… of the oddness that is Asgardian, but also of home-baked bread, roasting meat, apples and spices and honey and all sorts of delicious food.

Tortie-May hunkers a little closer to the floor when two people suddenly appear… and she didn't hear their approaching footsteps. Struggling to bite back on the urge to hiss, she stays as still as she can under the display shelf… but has yet to figure out how to make her damned tail follow suit.

Said puffed-out appendage chooses right then to lash back and forth a few times, swatting back and forth against one shelf leg. « OW! » she hisses unintentionally, then curls her tail close and steps on it to keep it still.

Or try, anyway.

"Bloody damn amateur." Loki growls, but he KNOWS there was a portal, it opened. He nods grimly about retuning the wards to spank the mage, though…with his signature, Loki can more than likely scry to the fellow and make them regret their error. Nothing…lethal, most likely, but definitely something. Perhaps just theft of Hamingja - an unluck curse, that would be pretty likely to make the guy's life hell. Loki is in black slacks, black shirt, black belt and shoes, but he mitigates the black with hematite rings, so there. SHINY black.

He smells of fire and ice, ink and paper and something akin to but NOT Asgardian.

As keyed up as he is at the moment, the sound of the tail brushing would have caught his attention, but with the «Ow!» he definitely knows that there's another sapient present.

Fortunately, Allspeak and his own inclinations would allow him to speak cat. «Come out, or face the wrath of Loki, mortal.»

Sigyn blinks at the hiss, and clicks her tongue at Loki's harshness. "Poor kitten." She focuses in the direction the hiss came from, and there's a knot or tangle. "That's no mage, darling. But it is a bit of a magical muddle."

«Come on out, dear. I know you weren't the one who made the portal that dumped you here.» Sigyn is more tenderly inclined, and regards most Midgardian cats as 'kittens'. Well, except lions and tigers, those she regards as properly sized cats.

The cacophany of smells the couple have brought with them only manage to confuse May further, still not entirely accustomed to filtering all of the information supplied. She's wary, she's confused, she's … hungry? The man's voice, speaking in a manner she's never heard before but somehow immediately understands has her ears flicking back to flatten to her head.

« NO. » she growls lowly at Loki, though she stops and listens to the woman's voice.

She's NOT thrilled with being called a 'poor kitten', but at least the woman is speaking reasonably. She mrr mreh nao nehhs her Siamese-y reply to the woman. « Tell him to put his blade away. I can smell the metal and oil. »

A snort from the Trickster, and he sheathes the sword, and then cloaks it with his magic so Tortie-May can't even smell it, so there. «Fine, Kitten, come out and be granted audience instead.» Darn, he was feeling mighty smitey! Pity the girl cat isn't the source of the magic, definitely a far different magical signature though.

See Sigyn? He's being nice! Cat hasn't been cursed, blasted, or stabbed yet!

He really was in the mood to smite a bit though, oh well, there's sure to be another assassination attempt any week now, so soon!

Sigyn gives Loki a warm smile that holds promises for later. «See? The sword's away. Come out and let us have a proper look at you. That transformation on you looks a bit of a muddle and can't be comfortable.» She sighs. "She doesn't have the aura of a magic user, which means this was likely done -to- her. And if it was the same person who dropped her here, I might swat them myself." Shapeshifting of your own choice is a fine thing. Being forced into a body that is not your own, against your will, is a horrible desecration to Sigyn's way of thinking. «How did you come to be a cat, Miss?»

Slinking warily out from under the display shelf, Tortie-May moves to where she can see more than the feet of the couple, and they can see her. She's a long, lean, and angular cat, with the body shape of a Siamese but the short and sleek fur of a tortoiseshell. Her ears are mostly flattened and her tail alternates between twitching and lashing as her green eyes study the pair. They're … unusual, and they don't smell like most everyone else she's encountered.

« I don't know how, exactly. But I know when and where. Where is this place? » She REALLY hopes she's not in some other city or state. That would be decidedly inconvenient.

Loki likes those smiles from Sigyn, well, actually he's rather fond of them from anyone. He MIGHT have a slightly active libido. A little. Just a smidge. Regardless, he stands with hands clasped behind him, and in full battle armor still, because, well, he likes to wear it sometimes, and he knows he looks DAMN good in it.

Jotun in Loki's case, Aesir in Sisyn's, what she might consider 'Asgardian'.

Loki nods to Sigyn's assessment, agreeing. "Shapeshifting is fun for the whole family, BEING transmogrified against your will? That's…hilarious. Well, if the person is your enemy." He hunkers down then, and offers a smirk to Tortie-May. «Are you my enemy, Kitten?» He asks, and then he sighs dramatically. «Wellington, New Zealand, little one. G'day.»

Sigyn bursts out laughing, "Loki…" Sorry, but a New Zeland accent in CAT is funny!

Once she has composed herself, Sigyn tells May, «New York City, America, Midgard. I am Sigyn, and this is my husband.» She ponders the magic wrapped around the cat. «Tell me what you can, Miss. I'm not quite sure how you pulled a cat-goddess's tail, but you've got a mess of magic wrapped around you, and only a small part of it is Mortal.»

Still in the wary posture of an unsure cat, May's eyes study Loki, and she visibly flinches when he claims they're in New Zealand. She hisses and snarls, « FROG-humping SON of a— »

Luckily for the couple's ears, she cuts herself off at Sigyn's laughter, though her ears flatten until she realizes the woman is laughing at Loki's words and then says they're actually still in New York. The wash of relief actually causes her to flop sideways out of the tense pose. « I was … at work. I had a sprig of some plant in my pocket along with this collar, » she reaches up unconsciously with a back leg to scratch at the offending collar, « and I was speaking with a pair of colleagues when some odd sort of explosion happened. It wasn't deflagration or detonation, it was … different.»

« After the shockwave passed, I… » she hesitates, then realizes these two people don't know anything about her and she doesn't have to put up any kind of front around them. « I felt dizzy. So I excused myself, went into an office and then I woke up like this. » And metal hands are NOT her friends, even if their owners might be considered friendly.

Loki shakes his head and laughs as Sigyn does. "Oh come ON. At least let her wonder for a /few/ days before you reveal the truth."

He listens to the story from the cat, and seems fairly amused. «Sounds to me like the collar might well be the focus of the spell that transformed you.» He looks to Sigyn. "Definitely divine level magic, and a bit messy at that." A smile. "Not polished, elegant magics like -we- wield." He looks to the cat then. «If you hunger, or thirst, let us know and your needs will be met.»

Sigyn is not in armor, just jeans and a t-shirt. She sits down next to the May-cat and reaches out slowly. If May draws away, then Sigyn will withdraw her hand but if allowed Sigyn will scritch behind May's ears, right at the base, the spot that is so hard to scratch properly one's self. «Curses have rules, conditions for breaking them. If we find a priest of the deity that bespelled the collar, then they can likely discover the conditions to remove it. Or… one can… try to cheat. But that has its own risks. The most common way of cheating a curse is to transfer it to another person.»

May's tail projects her annoyance at Loki's laughing admonition, and while she stays still as Sigyn sits close, she does indeed draw away from the woman's hand. It's more to try and catch the scents lingering on fingers than anything else, though. « Yeast. Cinnamon. Nutme— »

Her ears suddenly flick back as she looks up at the woman, giving her a rather startled expression. « Senglu. The plant. It was… monk's clothes? »

And that tell-TAIL provides Loki with even more to laugh - or at least smirk about. Okay, there might be a tad bit of snickering as well. Nope, not a dram of remorse about teasing poor Tortie-May. «So, is Kitten your actual name, or would you prefer something different?» Of course, being Loki, her preference may or may not have any impact on what he calls her.

"Wolvesbane?" Loki murmurs thoughtfully. "Why on earth were you carrying a magical collar, probably accursed, and wolvesbane? Planning on an altercation with a werewolf you wanted to turn into a cat?"

Sigyn allows the cat to sniff at her fingers, «Yes, I've been doing baking, getting ready for the holidays.» She frowns at the mention of the herb. «Monk's hood… has someone tried to remove the collar from you to see if it can be removed?» The enchantment on the collar might not have meant to turn someone into a cat… a poorly trained magus and wolfbane could have warped its' original spell. Briefly she entertains the thought of transferring the spell to the incompetent mage. Not entirely moral by her standards, alas… though completely moral and humorous by Loki's. She might suggest it to him later…

Loki is most definitely not endearing himself to May. « Call me Shanzha. » Allspeak translates the name to Hawthorn, and from a cat's mouth it sounds like Nyangnah.

At his question about the wolvesbane and the collar, she hisses shortly, « Classified. » She then returns her attention to Sigyn to answer her question about the monk's hood. « No, not yet. I had both in my pocket. » And this is when her little furry body reminds her that she's not eaten since before leaving Keiko's house that morning. « Your roast is close to burning. »

Loki is a tad bit of a brat, and not everyone has Sigyn's good sense to find him charming, but…tastes will vary, and really, how long will May live? Not like he'd have to worry about it all that long regardless. «Shanzha.» Loki nods. «As you wish, Kitten, Shanzha it is.» Deciding that the armor is a bit much, he banishes it, leaving him in black on black on black on black, the shirt actually having been dyed with blackest black which is a bit eye jarring.

"Classified? Really. Interesting." See, that response was knee-jerk, Loki immediately pictures Shanzha as having military training of some sort. Intuition flares, and he grins. «You know Captain Rogers.»

He has no doubt that Sigyn has the Yule feast well in hand, no doubt they'll soon be heading upstairs to deal with it. Cat and wife and trickster.

Sigyn almost squeaks at the mention of her Roast burning, and vanishes in a very neat teleport. No portal, no flash of light or sparkles. A few moments to remove the roast from the oven, food from stovetops, and check on everything. She is back in time to hear Loki mention Captain Rogers. «We had him and his husband over for dinner the other week. They're a lovely pair. Should we call them and let them know you're here? Or would you like to join us for dinner?» That's Sigyn… when in doubt as to what to do with someone, offer them food.

Sigyn's gasp and abrupt disappearance is enough to startle May into scrambling back under the display shelf, and Loki's mentioning Steve is honestly a relief even if she trusts the black-haired man about as far as she can throw this building. Thankfully, Sigyn's is clearly a voice of reason.

« Yes, if you could, please. They'll contact my colleagues. » She peers out from under the display shelf at the woman. « I could eat. » And perhaps take care of some other business as well, though that is a bit more of a touchy subject.

Loki laughs outright when Sigyn ports out, and looks to Tortie-May. «She's a very very good cook, Sigyn is. She's got some odd notions though that using magic to repair a burnt roast is cheating somehow.» He shrugs, clearly he just does not get it. Of course - HE can't really cook too well, save perhaps over a camp fire. Lots of time out on viking and the like.

When the Shanzha asks for Captain Rogers and or Bucky to be contacted he digs out a phone and will shoot them both a text.

Found your wayward Kitten, she's here at Cover Story, come by any time. - Loki

He moves towards the back door marked 'Staff Only'. "Well then, if you hunger, Kit-Shanzha, follow me and we'll get something to eat upstairs."

Once the group relocates upstairs, Sigyn opens the door to the laundry room and works a small conjuration, adding a litterbox with kitty litter to the laundry room. The room has a washer and dryer, containers of detergent… none of which has ever been used or even opened. Sigyn likes cooking by hand. Laundry, however, is tedious and dealt with by magic. The machines are there as, well, stage dressing. Mortals have them, so while living on Midgard Sigyn and Loki have them.

Sigyn sets three plates on the table, only two with silverwear. She cuts up some of the roast for Shanzha, and puts out a shallow bowl with fresh water. A modified dispell-poison spell makes sure there's no trace of onion, even on a molecular level, in the cat's serving. Onion is toxic for cats, and Sigyn modified that spell ages ago so she can cast it for other species. One race's spice is often another's poison.

May follows Loki up the stairs to the residence above the bookstore, ears and nose taking in everything as she goes. She peers around Sigyn's ankle into the… oh. Laundry room. That's not going to happen. She does, though, quickly locate the powder room. « Excuse me, » she mrrs at the couple, then slinks into the guest bathroom and pushes the door mostly closed after herself. A quick look at the doorknobs convince her to not latch the door shut as much as she'd prefer to, and a few minutes later she returns, mincing quickly across the floor to claim the chair in front of the place setting without silverware, the fur on her front paws spiky-wet to the wrist joints.

Loki pours himself some tea and settles at the table until Sigyn's return. "Nice touch with the litter box." He smirkingly approves, a soft laugh when Tortie-May declines and heads to use the restroom, and apparently even managed to wash her paws after. Impressive feat for a creature without opposable thumbs!

«I texted your Captain and his lovely husband.» Loki offers when Shanzha returns and takes her place at the table. «So…are you a SHIELD agent then?» He was considering joining at one point, then changed his mind. He MIGHT do some consults if they want him to.

Sigyn puts a linen napkin in her hand, and offers the hand to Shanzha to help her dry her paws if she wishes. «Shield? Oh yes, one of the groups you mentioned that is trying to protect Midgardians from themselves. Shanzha, I fixed you water since coffee and tea both have caffeine that your current body really shouldn't have. I hope that's alright. Or I could use magic to remove the caffeine from some tea or coffee for you if you prefer.» Interesting perspective on SHIELD, but then again, she's Asgardian.

May studies Loki for a moment, though considering he knows Steve and Bucky well enough to have invited them to dinner… « I am, yes. » She doesn't elaborate. Let them think she's some generic level 3 admin or some such.

A look at Sigyn and the napkin in hand, and she daintily offers her paws to be dried one at a time. « That is SHIELD, yes. » It's an accurate enough assessment from an outsider, she supposes. And, the use of the term 'Midgardian' reveals why the couple seem — and smell — different.

« The water is fine, though I really have been missing tea. » After that one cup that Koa and Keiko gave her, they learned about caffeine toxicity and refuse to give her any more.

«Ah, of course. Not doubt a minor functionary, or the like." Is that smirk 'knowing', or is he just being sly and pretending? It is really REALLY hard to get a good read on this guy, slippery doesn't even begin to cover it. Sigyn would know better after twelve centuries of marriage, of course, he's the Liesmith, the Trickster, the Burden to Sigyn's arms - even she might have trouble reading him at time.

Probably vexes Tortie-May though.

They're DEFINITELY very different, no question, and him from her - they're clearly different species.

"Oh, should I drink something else then? I wouldn't want to be thought a poor host to our guest." Loki says with seemingly complete sincerity. Of course - guest right is a big deal to the Norse. He might even BE sincere!

Sigyn gets another shallow bowl out and pours tea into it, and pauses just for a moment with it cupped in her hands. «There, I removed anything that might harm your current form. I adapted that spell so I can suit it to other races and even individuals ages ago. It comes in handy as Loki and I travel a bit.» Most mages make gestures, or chant, or … something visible. Sigyn just seems to concentrate for a moment. «If you would rather something else for dinner, please let me know. I have canned tuna and caviar in the house, but thought you might be tired of being offered fish.»

May looks at Loki flatly. « No doubt. » Sigyn's getting another shallow bowl distracts her from staring at the man, her ears perking forward as the tea is somehow made safe for her. The lack of pomp and circumstance in doing so has her fascinated, considering the faffery she's seen in the WAND department recently.

« The roast smells excellent, thank you. » She even bobs her head in a small appreciative bow, especially as the woman has correctly divined that she's getting rather thoroughly sick of tuna and shrimp. She takes a taste of the tea and, while it just doesn't taste the way she's used to, the warmth and the faint bitterness is still soothing.

She doesn't realize she purred there for just a breath or two.

The flatlook from the -Cat- really amuses Loki, and he rises, then gets himself some whiskey. He loves him some single-malt, especially when you consider the fact it is older than SHIELD, Tortie-May would surely realize that a /hand/ written label, even if the language is one she doesn't read, is likely very old indeed. He pours it into a short glass, over ice. Ice is almost always acceptable.

«Unlike most Asgardians, we actually /study/ our magic, and -understand- it, and |Improve| on it.»

And yes, Loki definitely giggles a bit at the purr.

Sigyn smiles at the purr but does not giggle. Does NOT. Willpower and magic go hand in hand after all. «It's one of the reasons we fell in love with each other.» And the smile she gives Loki leaves no doubt that she does indeed love her husband, mischief, lies and all. «Magic isn't science, but it does have rules and patterns. Magic is as fundamental to the Universe as gravity, but far harder to understand in part because it tends to take the shape of the vessel. When you study magic you must always remind yourself that what you are learning is contextual, and may not apply in another context.»

Sigyn blushes. «Sorry… I have a tendency to… what's the phrase Darcy uses? Geek out over magic.»

The bottle with the hand-written label catches May's attention and her ears AND whiskers arch forward… until he starts pouring. Then the acrid scent of the alcohol hits her nose and she flinches back before ducking under the edge of the table to sneeze.

« Excuse me. That's … very strong. » She emerges again and after a moment of consideration delicately hooks a piece of the roast from her plate, eating the morsel of meat off of her claws rather than eating directly from the plate.

« I've met other agents who behave similarly about their chosen fields of study. Geeking out does appear to be fairly universal. »

Loki is the king of giving in to his baser impulses, to say he has 'poor impule control' is akin to saying that a solar flare is a bit warm. Oh, he CAN control himself, but that's just not fun! «Originally I was just hot for her, I mean, really…have you SEEN her hair?» Loki mimes swooning. «And then I learned she had spirit, and a brain. My trick turned back on itself with admittedly decent results.»

Oh, he plainly loves his wife, but they have a very topsy-turvy relationship, there's plenty of bumps, and nope, he doesn't always treat her well. Sometimes he needs to go out and /do/ things, sometimes fairly awful things, he is moody. Fortunately his moods can last a while, and they've worked out a pretty good system for dealing with his mercurial nature.

He really is at present trying to be a better man, less broody and self-destructive, or…just destructive in general.

He ponders putting the whiskey away, and then opts to keep it unless Tortie-May starts sneezing in earnest.

Sigyn laughs, and smiles at Loki, her whole expression lighting up, eyes sparkling. «And I was so determined I was -not- going to have an affair with him. I was engaged in an arranged marriage to a decent, boring man, and was going to be a decent, boring wife and get away from my mother.» She shakes her head, smiling. «Loki tricked me, taking my betrothed's place when he was killed… but when we were married and he revealed the truth, I realized I loved Loki's copy as I never had my real betrothed. And I decided we could make our marriage work.»

Sigyn looks over to May-Cat, «Though the important thing for you is that we've both grown much better at magic, both by working together and challenging each other. If you brought us the mage that originally bungled the spell and got you stuck like this, Loki and I could likely transfer the curse to him.» Loki would find that amusing, and since May didn't directly anger the goddess who enchanted that collar, transferring the curse probably wouldn't even attract their attention.

May finishes the bit of roast and puts her paw on the napkin rather than back on the chair. « There are always worse ways to meet a spouse, I suppose. » And no, she's NOT about to share any information about herself. It was enough of a gamble sharing the pseudonym she gave them.

« I'm not entirely sure cursing another agent would be a wise idea, » she says to Sigyn. « Though perhaps you can help the agents who are trying to solve this dilemma? » Having a centuries old spell-caster or two to consult with can only help, right? Maybe?

«For my own part I was /shocked/ when she took my side before the All-Father. I think that might have been the exact moment I realized I actually /liked/ her for herself.» Hey, he's Loki - he's seldom mushy, this is as good as it gets, which is fine. Sigyn heard the underlying love, in truth he's been an awful shit to her on many occasions, but ultimately they work things out. So far.

Loki looks up then as the finish eating, eyes defocusing on the here and now, and then he turns to Tortie-May. "Some of your SHIELD friends are outside, just pulled up in a SUV - you're welcome to stay if you wish, otherwise…"

Sigyn looks thoughtful. «Talk to Steve and Bucky, reassure yourself. Then I would be willing to visit the site of the accident and help your agents unweave the tangle they've made.» She looks to Loki, "She's not a friend of yours, so you helping her with your being the ambassador could get political." She lowers her eyes mock-demurely, her tone suddenly sweet and meek, "I'm merely your wife… I felt so sorry for the poor woman, trapped as a kitty…" She drops the act, smiling up at Loki, a twinkle in her eyes. "Even if the politicians somehow found out, they couldn't really object."

Privately, Sigyn thinks to Loki . o (And having my being on SHIELD's friendly list will keep me safer… and it may not be a bad thing to learn more about WAND if they are making such spectacular mistakes!)

May manages to eat a fair bit for her size. She stops before she feels overfull, though, because that's just unpleasant. She watches Loki when he goes a bit distant, one ear flicking toward the door leading down to the bookstore at his announcement. « I should probably be going. » Though she's seriously considering insisting on staying here once Agents Kurita and Turner are reassured. No small child to contend with, and these two can actually converse with her.

Patting her paw on the napkin one last time, she bobs her head in a nod of thanks to Sigyn. « I will do that. Perhaps the help will be what the agents need to figure this whole mess out. »

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